Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee FAQs
Q: What was the motivation for creating the Best Price Guarantee?
A: Many of our repeat guests who have booked Carnival shore tours previously are already knowledgeable on the outstanding value our tours provide. However, our research indicates that many others, particularly first-time cruisers, are interested yet concerned as to whether or not they are getting the best deal. The best price guarantee program will assure our guests they are getting both the highest quality and the best value on all of our tours.
Q: Explain the process of filing a claim?
A: The guarantee is available for excursions booked prior to or during a cruise. If guests pre-book an excursion, then find a comparable tour advertised online at a lower price, they can complete an online form up to seven days prior to the cruise to invoke the guarantee. Guests can also complete a form during the cruise either before or after their excursion has taken place. Carnival will review your claim within five (5) business days - claims are typically processed within 48 hours.
Q: Will all claims be handled before the end of the cruise so the guests have a chance to spend their onboard credit?
A: Yes. All claims will be handled within 48 hours.
Q: The press release references a 'comparable' tour? What exactly does that mean and, given that there could be minor differences in the tours, who decides what tours are comparable to the ones offered by Carnival?
A: We need to be able to verify that the tour has the same elements which may include transportation, entrance fees and meals, for example, in addition to the other core features. Claims received prior to the voyage are reviewed by the shore side shore excursion management team. Claims received on board are reviewed by the shore-ex team on the ship.
Q: Cruise line shore excursions have historically been perceived as overpriced. Did you have to lower your prices to be able to launch this?
A: We did a careful evaluation of our shore excursion pricing. In most instances we were quite comparable to what independent operators are offering. There were a few instances where we did make some pricing adjustments.
Q. Do you expect criticism from people who say this will take business away from local operators in the ports?
A. Our shore excursion operations are all run by local and regional operators and all of them employ local citizens. Our tours provide a good economic benefit to our ports of call from both the standpoint of revenue that goes to the operators and local employment.
Q. Is this program a gimmick because the number of people that will file a claim is probably small?
A: Value is extremely important to people. No one wants to feel like they paid more than they should have for something. We think this program is extremely important to assure our guests that they can book our shore tours with confidence and we stand behind our product and price. Additionally, it is important to remember what you get when you book a tour through us. Guests enjoy the convenience of having shore excursion tickets delivered to their stateroom, access to shipboard staff to answer questions and provide assistance on a 24/7 basis, and an assurance that they will receive a refund or the excursion time will be adjusted as needed based on weather or other issues affecting a ship's scheduled port of call visit. Additionally, ongoing communication between tour operators and shipboard staff ensures that the cruise line is aware when a tour is running late or unexpected circumstances arise.
Q: Why not reduce the price of your tours rather than introducing this program?
A: Our shore excursions are already are a great value, and we are already competitive with other tour operators. The Best Price Guarantee asserts that we stand by the quality and value of our shore excursions.
Q: Coupled with the vacation guarantee, what does the Best Price Guarantee say about Carnival?
A: It says that we listen to our guests and take their feedback seriously. It also says that we are so certain of our ability to deliver a great, memorable cruise vacation and shore side experience at an exceptional value that we are willing to guarantee it.
Q. Why doesn't Carnival pay travel agent commission on shore excursions?
A. The ports of call and shore side experience are a great selling point when marketing a cruise and information that travel agents can use as part of their selling toolkit as they are helping clients to visualize all the different experiences they will enjoy. This new best price guarantee is also a great selling point because travel agent's clients can be assured that any excursions booked through Carnival are guaranteed to be the best value.
Q. Why should travel agents be interested in this and promote this when they can earn commission by selling tours through certain independent operators?
A. First, no one else is offering a price guarantee. Their clients will only get this from Carnival. Also, guests who book their excursion through Carnival enjoy the convenience of having shore excursion tickets delivered to their stateroom, 24/7 access to shipboard staff to answer questions and obtain assistance, and an assurance that they will receive a refund or the excursion time will be adjusted as needed based on weather or other issues affecting a ship's scheduled port of call visit. Additionally, ongoing communication between tour operators and shipboard staff ensures that the cruise line is aware and can make necessary changes to a ship's departure time when a tour is running late or unexpected circumstances arise.