Pay all at once, or make payments to Carnival??

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#1
North Carolina
47 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
I'm trying to figure the whole "price change/upgrade/OBC/etc" deal with regard to booking on Carnival for an October cruise. I want to book now, and possibly pay in full at time of booking w/credit card.

However, I've seen posts here that (if I understand correctly) say you can't get credit if the price drops after you've made your final payment?

Can someone clarify this for me? So if I pay in full up front, I can't take advantage of any price drops between now & when we sail?? Or am I misunderstanding the other posts I saw?

Also, do I just watch the prices and when the cruise I booked falls below what I paid, just call Carnival? I'll probably be booking through an online site (not Carnival, as they were higher).

Should I just go through Carnival and pay more at first and hope the price drops below what the other site offers *now*?

Thanks for any advice!
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#2
Durham, NC
11,694 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Have you read and posted in this thread?

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=902581

All the "advice" is there.

Or, you could always call Carnival and get answers from them rather than 400 different opinions and interpretations of the policy from CC posters.
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#3
Richardson, TX
71,088 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by CruisinInNC
Should I just go through Carnival and pay more at first and hope the price drops below what the other site offers *now*?
No TA is allowed to advertise below Carnival's rates, so be sure you ARE seeing a lower rate. It could be a promo that you could just as easily get thru Carnival. For instance there was a $100 off booking thru MC so you had to use a code if you paid the deposit with MC to get that rate.

One site is already showing the new "early booking saver plan" as the lowest rates on their site. Carnival offers it too, but you have to ask for it. The same site shows 1A as their lowest rate, whereas Carnival shows 4A as its lowest rate, again not apples to apples. Most people dont want a 1A because on some ships it has bunk beds, so Carnival doesnt show it when they show inside rates unless you ask.
#4
Grove, OK on Grand Lake
3,514 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I have paid for our cruises both ways.....paid deposit up front and then paid in full after our cruise. This cruise I decided to pay monthly payments and that's the route I will use from now on. Our cruise is next month and it's been paid off since the 1st of December. I like that option much better!
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#5
Central Florida
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Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by firefly333
one site is already showing the new "early booking saver plan" as the lowest rates on their site.
hint, please ??!!
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#6
NW Indiana
106 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
If you pay in full when you make the reservations then if there is a price drop the best Carnival will offer is an upgrade to a better cabin category or an On Board Credit. And last I heard the OBC wasn't happening anymore.

If you make the deposit and wait to make full payment then anytime the price drops, "and you catch it", Carnival will reduce the amount of your balance due by the difference. But you do have to call them to make it happen.

I have a 9a cabin for a Dec cruise and last week the price dropped twice and both times I called my rep and she got my balance down by about $150 because I have only paid the deposit so far.

I think it's great that they are willing to allow me to benefit from a reduction in the price and all I have to do is call. Not many companies will allow you to re-negotiate a price once you are in contract with them.

Hope that helps some.
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#7
North Carolina
47 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Thanks for the info! I guess we'll be making payments!

For instance there was a $100 off booking thru MC so you had to use a code if you paid the deposit with MC to get that rate.
MC? Is this Mastercard or some other abbreviation I'm not familiar with?
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#8
London, Canada
7,532 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
What people mean when they say you usually won't get the lower price after final payment, is the 70-ish day period prior to your cruise when you have to make final payment. This is called the penalty-phase, which means you can't cancel the cruise without incurring a penalty. Prior to that, you can cancel penalty free (notwithstanding whatever your TA might charge you for canceling, but they should tell you this upfront anyway), so they allow you to get the lower price because all you would have to do is cancel and re-book at the lower rate anyway.

You can make your final payment anytime from booking until the final payment due date, and you can still get the lower rates, or cancel penalty free.
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#9
San Diego, CA USA
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Originally posted by old sole
hint, please ??!!
I might just need TO GO on VACATION! (I think)
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#10
807 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by CruisinInNC
Can someone clarify this for me? So if I pay in full up front, I can't take advantage of any price drops between now & when we sail?? Or am I misunderstanding the other posts I saw?
Well in our case...we booked our March cruise in November paying the total balance at booking (paying in full early).

The price went down and we called our PVP. She upgraded us a deck up and also gave us a refund on our CC too.

How I understood it was they will upgrade your cabin if you paid in full and you are AFTER final payment date. They will only upgrade you if they can (no refund)
If you paid in full and it's BEFORE final payment date then they can upgrade you and/or give you a refund of the difference in cabin pricing.
#11
16,535 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by CruisinInNC
I'm trying to figure the whole "price change/upgrade/OBC/etc" deal with regard to booking on Carnival for an October cruise. I want to book now, and possibly pay in full at time of booking w/credit card.

However, I've seen posts here that (if I understand correctly) say you can't get credit if the price drops after you've made your final payment?

Can someone clarify this for me? So if I pay in full up front, I can't take advantage of any price drops between now & when we sail?? Or am I misunderstanding the other posts I saw?

Also, do I just watch the prices and when the cruise I booked falls below what I paid, just call Carnival? I'll probably be booking through an online site (not Carnival, as they were higher).

Should I just go through Carnival and pay more at first and hope the price drops below what the other site offers *now*?

Thanks for any advice!
Out of curiosity why pay in full now with a CC. If you are going to pay the balance off why not just stick the money in the bank and wait, if you are going to pay it over time why pay the interest for the CC.

As far as a credit etc., I believe that the rule is after the date for final payment, not the date you make final payment. So even if you pay in full ahead of time you should be able to get a credit or OBC if the price goes down before the final payment date.
#12
WEST VIRGINIA
6,083 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by CruisinInNC
.........I've seen posts here that (if I understand correctly) say you can't get credit if the price drops after you've made your final payment?

Can someone clarify this for me? So if I pay in full up front, I can't take advantage of any price drops between now & when we sail?? Or am I misunderstanding the other posts I saw?

..............
Thanks for any advice!
CruisinInNC,

'No OBC after final payment' refers to your final payment date, not when you actually make your final payment. Final payment is 75 days before you cruise for seven day cruises, less for shorter cruises. If you pay in full prior to then, you can still receive OBC up to that date, or a refund to your CC.
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#13
Davison, MI
6,891 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Originally posted by firefly333
No TA is allowed to advertise below Carnival's rates, so be sure you ARE seeing a lower rate. It could be a promo that you could just as easily get thru Carnival. For instance there was a $100 off booking thru MC so you had to use a code if you paid the deposit with MC to get that rate.
Not so!

If a TA books a group of cabins at a set price. Than the Carnival price goes up the TA can still advertise those cabins at the lower price. This is how you will see a really good deal that the Cruise lines don't match.
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#14
Florida ..Jensen Beach
453 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by zqvol
Out of curiosity why pay in full now with a CC. If you are going to pay the balance off why not just stick the money in the bank and wait, if you are going to pay it over time why pay the interest for the CC.

As far as a credit etc., I believe that the rule is after the date for final payment, not the date you make final payment. So even if you pay in full ahead of time you should be able to get a credit or OBC if the price goes down before the final payment date.
Some people pay there credit cards off monthly.. hence no interest
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#15
Toronto, Canada
210 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by firefly333
No TA is allowed to advertise below Carnival's rates, so be sure you ARE seeing a lower rate. It could be a promo that you could just as easily get thru Carnival. For instance there was a $100 off booking thru MC so you had to use a code if you paid the deposit with MC to get that rate.

One site is already showing the new "early booking saver plan" as the lowest rates on their site. Carnival offers it too, but you have to ask for it. The same site shows 1A as their lowest rate, whereas Carnival shows 4A as its lowest rate, again not apples to apples. Most people dont want a 1A because on some ships it has bunk beds, so Carnival doesnt show it when they show inside rates unless you ask.
Unfortunately, I've never seen a case where Carnival had the best deal.. same advertised price as the TA's.. yes. But many of the TA's automatically upgrade you 2 to 4 categories higher and often include free hotels, or credits. It's like comparing a category 8B to an 8E or a 4A to a 4G and saying they're the same. Both of which I just saw on the net for my cruise just 5 minutes ago.
#16
London, Canada
7,532 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by martini_guy
Unfortunately, I've never seen a case where Carnival had the best deal.. same advertised price as the TA's.. yes. But many of the TA's automatically upgrade you 2 to 4 categories higher and often include free hotels, or credits. It's like comparing a category 8B to an 8E or a 4A to a 4G and saying they're the same. Both of which I just saw on the net for my cruise just 5 minutes ago.
It's funny. I checked the price on a cruise in August on Carnival.com, then got online quotes from a few TA's that advertise on cruise critic. Carnival.com was cheaper than all of them by hundreds of dollars, for the same cabin. I haven't had my TA quote it yet, since I don't usually bother her until I have my vacation weeks confirmed in February. I had one quote off that compete site where they said the price they were quoting was less than the one they were allowed to advertise, and it was a decent price, so hopefully my TA comes through with an equally "unadvertiseable" fare LOL.
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Dan

"I'd Rather Be On A Ship With A Drink On The Rocks, Than In The Drink With A Ship On The
Rocks."



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#17
Toronto, Canada
210 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by DanJ
It's funny. I checked the price on a cruise in August on Carnival.com, then got online quotes from a few TA's that advertise on cruise critic. Carnival.com was cheaper than all of them by hundreds of dollars, for the same cabin. I haven't had my TA quote it yet, since I don't usually bother her until I have my vacation weeks confirmed in February. I had one quote off that compete site where they said the price they were quoting was less than the one they were allowed to advertise, and it was a decent price, so hopefully my TA comes through with an equally "unadvertiseable" fare LOL.
By TA's I really meant some of the more popular online sites.. they can do it because of volume. An independent TA probably can't compete with what Carnival could offer directly.
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#18
London, Canada
7,532 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by martini_guy
By TA's I really meant some of the more popular online sites.. they can do it because of volume. An independent TA probably can't compete with what Carnival could offer directly.
Yeah, those are the ones I'm talking about too. crucon, cruise, cruise411, the ones with banners ads on here. Amazing that they were all consistently $80-90pp higher than the carnival website. And I have no idea what the PVP that keeps bugging me would quote, since I've heard they are usually a little cheaper than carnival.com.

My TA is part of a huge buying group and has always quoted me the best price on Princess (and I'm not talking about her beating a lower quote that I tell her about, she is the lowest quote to begin with), so when I firm up my vacation dates in a couple weeks, it will be interesting to see how she does with Carnival.
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Dan

"I'd Rather Be On A Ship With A Drink On The Rocks, Than In The Drink With A Ship On The
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Fond Memories Of

Carnival Dream - Western Caribbean - Jan 2013
Navigator Of The Seas - Western Caribbean - Jan 2011
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Sapphire Princess - Mexican Riviera - Jan 2006
Carnival Victory - Canada/New England - Sept 2001
Carnival Tropicale - Panama Canal - Jan 2001
Grand Princess - Eastern Caribbean - Nov 1999
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#19
11,389 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by martini_guy
By TA's I really meant some of the more popular online sites.. they can do it because of volume. An independent TA probably can't compete with what Carnival could offer directly.
Never true!

An independent, one person, TA can always quote the exact same price as Carnival's lowest, lowest price. Carnival guarantees that they will NEVER undersell a TA.
That is not saying that the TA knows all the codes to get that lowest price. But if he/she knows the codes, and being in the business they should, they will match Carnival's price.
An independent one person operation can even beat Carnival's price if they give up some of their commission. But that's not likely since they probably do want to pay their bills and make some money. What they cannot do is advertise a price lower than Carnival's.

Dan
#20
11,389 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by DanJ
Yeah, those are the ones I'm talking about too. crucon, cruise, cruise411, the ones with banners ads on here. Amazing that they were all consistently $80-90pp higher than the carnival website. And I have no idea what the PVP that keeps bugging me would quote, since I've heard they are usually a little cheaper than carnival.com.

My TA is part of a huge buying group and has always quoted me the best price on Princess (and I'm not talking about her beating a lower quote that I tell her about, she is the lowest quote to begin with), so when I firm up my vacation dates in a couple weeks, it will be interesting to see how she does with Carnival.
Something wrong with the research or CCL's site. AS said above, CCL's guarantees TA's that they will not undersell them. Also, all a PVP can do is enter the proper discount codes to get all the possible discounts, [military, resident rate, etc.] If you knew the codes, you could enter them on CCL's site and get the same price. And TA's can enter those same codes and get the same price.
Simple rule:
Carnival never beats the price of a knowledgable TA, BUT TA can beat Carnival's price, but cannot advertise that rate.

Dan