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Old 10 Jan 17, 07:01 PM  
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Tracyjj0
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Booking a Carnival cruise via an American travel agent - Good idea? t

Hi

I've been looking at a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean, sailing out of Galveston, this August.

The price on the Carnival.com site seems much cheaper than on the .co.uk site - so I guess I could book through that, but I seem to remember seeing that sometimes US agents add sweeteners, such as extra onboard credit.

Can anyone advise me whether it's a good idea - any pros and cons? Any recommendations for agents?

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Old 11 Jan 17, 11:02 AM  
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Originally Posted by Tracyjj0 View Post
Hi

I've been looking at a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean, sailing out of Galveston, this August.

The price on the Carnival.com site seems much cheaper than on the .co.uk site - so I guess I could book through that, but I seem to remember seeing that sometimes US agents add sweeteners, such as extra onboard credit.

Can anyone advise me whether it's a good idea - any pros and cons? Any recommendations for agents?

I don't think Carnival (cruise line) allow you to book through a US agent. We have tried booking Princess and Holland America cruises with a US agent and as soon as they hear that we are UK residents they say the cruise line won't allow them to book. Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Costa and P&O are part of the same parent company - Carnival Corporation. Their 'regional pricing' policy makes me cross.
Have you tried a dummy booking online with US agent - see what happens when you put in your address.
RCCL, Celebrity, Azamara, Disney and NCL and others allow booking through a US agent.
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Old 11 Jan 17, 12:07 PM  
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Thanks for the reply, very interesting. I've just sat down at my computer to sort this out, so will try a dummy booking as suggested

I have loyalty discount with P&O, for previous cruises - didn't know they were the same company as Carnival - shame they probably wouldn't recognise this, but maybe I'll give them a ring and try my luck
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Old 11 Jan 17, 07:35 PM  
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We booked a Carnival cruise through Carnival.com. Tried loads of US cruise sites and couldn't find any that were better than Carnival. We got on board credit of $50. They also refund difference if price drops. Which travel agent did you find that were better?
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Old 11 Jan 17, 09:39 PM  
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Brits can book with Carnival.com.

If you know you are definitely going consider an early saver rate. With this if you book a price drop even up to 2 days of sailing, you simply phone up and ask for the price difference. Full details are in the sticky above. The cabin has to be a valve to book for the same number of people and the same catagory, so book a cabin where there are lots of them for a example a 8b for two people.

The TA's tend to offer the same perks as Carnival or that's my experience so I always book directly with the cruise line, plus you are in charge of cabin etc should you want to change.

Also look out for low deposit offers. Often these come along for $50 a cabin. Track price drops on cruisefish it's worth paying the fee for me for the money I've saved in the past.

As for agents I haven't used any of these, but worth a try are vacations to go, cruise planners, viva voyage the US site not the UK one. Also have a look at cruise nation uk ta they sometimes have great carnival pricing better than the US. Last year I got a balcony for 12 nights for three of us for 800 with a night pre cruise at the Novotel in BCN. Carnival were wanting double that.

With cruise nation to get the best pricing you have to book either flights, hotel or both if you want them both. So long as it's some form of package. You don't even have to stay in the hotel. They will look to see if they can book a specific hotel of your choosing too. However there will be no price drops.

Perks across different cruise lines are not recognised by the Carnival group. If you hold Carnival shares then you can get $200 OBC I think it is.
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Old 11 Jan 17, 11:40 PM  
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Originally Posted by scarecrow View Post
Perks across different cruise lines are not recognised by the Carnival group. If you hold Carnival shares then you can get $200 OBC I think it is.
Some really useful information in your post, so thank you.

You need to own at least 100 Carnival shares to get the OBC, alas currently they are about 43 a share! The OBC you get depends upon length of cruise, but as an example for 7-13 days it's $100, or 60 if sailing with a U.K. brand, which I assume means P&O or Cunard. To get $200 it would need to be 14 days or longer.
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Old 12 Jan 17, 12:11 AM  
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Fab advice, but I booked late afternoon, on UK site, after tearing my hair out trying to book on US one

Slightly changed my plan and went really cheap with lowest rate inside cabin - It's just for me and my 20yr old son - and we're hoping for a fun, active, party type cruise - so looking at the cabin as just somewhere to crash

7 nights - Galveston to Cozumel, Belize & Mahogany Bay. All tips paid up front and $100 onboard credit - 1200 (paid 300 deposit)

Not the cheapest I'm sure, but glad I've booked and stopped the dreaded comparing!

No Florida this year - 4 nights Baltimore (Our reason for the trip to USA, to visit a convention), 3 nights Washington, 3 nights Houston, then the cruise
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Old 12 Jan 17, 12:21 AM  
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I'm sure you will have a great time. We have cruised Carnival several times and they offer a great cruise.
Think you were just as well booking on the UK site, from what I remember their pricing structure was a bit clearer than the US site, also with the way the is behaving you know exactly where you are.
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Old 12 Jan 17, 07:17 PM  
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Originally Posted by Pootle View Post
Some really useful information in your post, so thank you.

You need to own at least 100 Carnival shares to get the OBC, alas currently they are about 43 a share! The OBC you get depends upon length of cruise, but as an example for 7-13 days it's $100, or 60 if sailing with a U.K. brand, which I assume means P&O or Cunard. To get $200 it would need to be 14 days or longer.
We hold 100 Carnival shares bought back in 2011 at 19 per share. Best investment we ever made - we've had more in on board credit than we paid for the shares. Plus they pay a quarterly dividend. Not sure I would buy at 43 per share!
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