Saturday, September 1, 2012

Carnival Announces More Changes

Carnival Cruise Line
Cracking Down on 
Deck Chair Hogs

It's a beautiful day at sea aboard your Carnival Cruise.  You have some breakfast, change into your bathing suit, lather yourself in sunscreen, grab a book, a hat, and your towel and head to one of the sun decks to catch some rays.

Experienced Cruisers - Does This Sound Familiar?
Upon arriving at the sun deck, you see row upon row of chairs lining the pool area.   Now, you just need to find that perfect spot to hang out for a few hours.   You survey the landscape and see towels, flip-flops, books, and all sorts of items on the chairs.  Someone has beaten you to that chair, so you move on, only to find all the chairs are already taken.

New Program Going Fleetwide

Carnival Cruise Line, responding to guest comments, has recently been testing a program on Carnival Breeze.  The program is designed to ensure that all guests are able to enjoy equal access to sun loungers by preventing seat saving in outdoor deck areas.

Outdoor deck area crew monitor sun lounger usage and when they see a seat that contains a towel or personal belongings that appears to be unoccupied, a notification sticker with the time of day is placed on the chair. If the seat remains empty for another 40 minutes, the contents are removed. 

Carnival says that the test program was well received by passengers, and they have decided to gradually roll the program out over the next several weeks with the entire fleet enforcing the new policy by mid-September.   Note:  other cruise lines have similar programs.

Hopefully, with this new program, the next time you are on a Carnival Cruise, you won't have the experience mentioned above, of not finding a sun lounger.

 Carnival Expands
All-You-Can-Drink Package
Now on
Carnival Splendor & Victory

UPDATE 9/15:  Carnival Spirit & Breeze Added

The trial program, "My Awesome Bar Program", debuted on Carnival Victory and has now been expanded to Carnival Splendor.

The per-cruise cost for the "My Awesome Bar Program"  is $42.95 per person per day, plus a 15 percent gratuity. 

Purchasers can partake of a wide variety of wine, beer and spirits, as well as sodas, bottled water and non-alcoholic frozen cocktails throughout their cruise.  Not all drinks are included in the program.  Specialty coffees are excluded, as are drinks that are more than $10.    Passengers participating in the program can get a 25% discount on bottles of wine and Champagne, as well as more expensive wines by the glass and cocktails.

There is a big catch, however.  If one passenger in a cabin wants to purchase the beverage package, then all passengers ages 21 years and up in the same cabin must also purchase the package. 

Once again, Carnival isn't the only cruise line that has beverage programs of one sort or another.  Some programs are restricted to certain ships and destinations.   It will be interesting to see if this program expands to more ships in the fleet.

We'd love to hear your reaction to these new programs ...
Do you think that this program would be for you?   Do you think the value is commensurate to the cost?   What do you think about requiring all passengers in the cabin to purchase the package?

Note:  For those that haven't cruised before,  as you can now see, alcoholic beverages, soda, and bottled water are extra cost items on the majority of the cruise lines.  For the most part, it's only on the luxury lines that you see the cruise cost include alcoholic beverages, for example.


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