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No More Cheap Cruises


FJB
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I'm not surprised they want to raise the prices but I am surprised by the, I guess the best way to say it is, crassness of the way they describe it, especially in times like these with inflation and all. They've made similar comments before when they were bragging how they were really socking it to customers by raising prices for onboard spending. 

We love cruising and this probably won't stop us because I never really looked at it as a cheap vacation. It looks cheap to begin with before you add in other necessary spending such as port fees, gratuities, insurance and excursions...not to mention drink packages and all. Like I said, we are willing to pay but there will be a point of diminishing returns. We like a certain type of cabin and location so you have to pay extra for these of course. 

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@FJB Unfortunately, I think all of the cruise lines will be following this trend. I'm disappointed by it. However, I appreciate the openness from the cruise line about the upcoming changes. Some of the cruise lines have increased the prices but haven't publicly announced the changes. I have tried to book a new MSC sailing and the prices have gone up by 50%, even when booking with a promotion. 

@KeithG I think that the industry is going to become more exclusive in some ways because it's not really priced at a point that the majority could afford. As the prices go up for the more affordable lines, guests who could only afford those prices won't be booking as often as before.

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@KeithG To me, cruising is so much more than the destination! Sometimes I don't even want to get off at the ports of call because I enjoy being on the ship so much more. The tranquility and amenities of the ship trump the destination in my opinion. 

@3SistersI think cruising has already become more desirable and novelty for many. After not being able to cruise for some time, I think guests are more excited than ever to cruise and live in the moment. 

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Agreed, I do love the ship environment. There are some ports where its a toss-up on whether or not I get off, Belize is one of those. Nice to be on board when the others go to shore and sometimes we'll walk off after the rush just to go to eat or grab a drink on shore. 

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@Kendall James-Vargas That's right! You are paying for a cruise experience, you might as well what the ship has to offer. 

@KeithG Yes, I feel limited at Belize as well. It's one of those ports where I get off for an hour or two, but I don't anticipate being off the ship for long. I love the convenience of food on the ship. I don't have to wait at a restaurant or look for a restaurant onboard. It's all within reach, and it's so relaxing to know that! 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll tell you why I am loyal to Carnival. My second cruise overall was with Carnival in 2016 and we paid a very high price for a very luxurious suite. There were some issues at embarkation and debarkation that I felt did not live up to my expecations, given what we had paid. Cruise was fantastic but there were some issues. 

When I got back I wrote to Carnival to mention these issues and then let it go and moved on.

About a week later I received a phone call from the VP of, I believe, cutomer relations or something. Anyway, someone very high up in the company. They were calling to ask about my issues and my overall experience. In the end, they gave me some VERY nice perks for the next cruise if we would try Carnival again, which, of course, we did and have been loyal to Carnival ever since. 

The thought that they took my issues that seriously sold me on Carnival. This isn't to say other companies wouldn't do the same but that response to an email was telling. 

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@KeithG I appreciate this testimony. It's so reassuring to know that Carnival Cruise Line cares about its guests and their feedback. Have you ever gone on a behind the scenes tour onboard one of the line's ships? The cruise line is bringing its "Behind the Fun" tour back for guests! I haven't experienced it before, but it sounds very fun.

Edited by Kendall James-Vargas
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Yes we are loyal, we have gone on Royal also, nothing wrong with them but everything being equal we are just about to turn Platinum so we stick with Carnival. 

I have not done the behind the scenes tour but I was interested to see it mentioned as coming back. Definitely interested if its available on one of the upcoming cruises. 

We have a cruise booked on the Jubilee when it gets here, cruise is March 2024.

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@KeithG I also like to stay loyal to a particular cruise line to earn status and rapport with onboard. Platinum is such an honor! That's really exciting. How many more cruises do you have before you make it to that loyalty status? 

The cruise line just unveiled a new pin design for its platinum guests designed by Britto! Have you collected any pins in the past?

https://www.cruisehive.com/carnival-unveils-new-pin-design-for-diamond-and-platinum-guests/63138

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We'll be 2 days short after the 14 days coming up, so effectively the next cruise. My understanding on Carnival is if you pass the mark during a cruise you get the privileges on that cruise. We'll see.

We have collected a few pins and other gifts. Mostly I care about the early on and priority debarkation to avoid what seems like a Rugby match in the hallways if you try to carry your own luggage off. We've got Faster To The Fun, which the just brought back,  for both our upcoming cruises so we'll get priority boarding and debarkation plus our room should be ready when we board. 

 

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5 hours ago, KeithG said:

We'll be 2 days short after the 14 days coming up, so effectively the next cruise. My understanding on Carnival is if you pass the mark during a cruise you get the privileges on that cruise. We'll see.

We have collected a few pins and other gifts. Mostly I care about the early on and priority debarkation to avoid what seems like a Rugby match in the hallways if you try to carry your own luggage off. We've got Faster To The Fun, which the just brought back,  for both our upcoming cruises so we'll get priority boarding and debarkation plus our room should be ready when we board. 

 

You are correct.  If you hit the Platinum at any time during a cruise, you are awarded that status for the whole cruise.  The challenge though was that some of their systems still kept showing up as Gold for us because they are "populated" prior to us getting on board.  In other words, you have to actually start the cruise to trigger this benefit.  Then they kind of have to back-track a lot of stuff.  For example, when we got to the room our Sail & Sign card was Gold instead of Platinum.  It was an easy fix to have it switched at Guest Services.  But, just be aware that you need to check to make sure you are getting the right benefits (pin, early boarding, laundry service, etc.).  Be sure to get the card switched though as presenting it during the cruise makes a difference.

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@KeithG I hope you do! You could always call and double check. I wouldn't want you to miss up on those perks. The Rugby match statement made me chuckle. I also prefer to avoid the crowds for both the embarkation/disembarkation process. My husband gets very flustered during the process. He's usually fine once he gets a drink onboard though. Do you usually carry off your own luggage? I always leave in the night before. 

I have a funny story for you. Two cruises ago we packed our bags the night before and forgot to leave out shoes for my children. The next morning, to disembark, my three children had to do the whole disembarkation process without socks or shoes. We had to actually sneak into the buffet for breakfast because we weren't allowed in without shoes. It was so funny. My husband didn't find it amusing, but I was cracking up the whole time. I sanitized their feet once we got our luggage in the terminal. We won't do that again. We learned our lesson.

Faster to the Fun sounds like an awesome perks program. What is the additional per person cost? Does the cruise line charge per stateroom? 

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@RoadTravelled Thanks for confirming that! I'm even more excited for @KeithG upcoming sailing now. Maybe a call to the cruise line ahead of time could initiate the process prior to embarkation. I would say a call now would be easier than a visit to guest services later. From my experience, the line for guest services is usually pretty long.

Laundry service is such a nice perk! I always go home with some much laundry. Is there a max amount of laundry you can do with the Platinum status? I think I would use that to its fullest capacity. 

I would say a Platinum card would give you extra special treatment considering your loyalty to the cruise line! 

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Yes, we always carry off our own because we have a long drive so even an hour or so makes a big difference. Thats why I like Faster To The Fun or being in a Suite. You wait in a designated spot and then you get led off first. Same with Platinum. With the way Carnival does the staggered arrival now the boarding process is usually pretty quick and smooth, I like to get on early and start the festivities, once on board my job is over and I can finally relax.

Tha is a funny story and I bet it happens a lot because they announce it over and over the day before debarkation, make sure you have clothes. At least you had clothes, some people end up only in whatever they wore to bed. 

Faster To The Fun is per cabin, the 7 days was $129 per my receipt. Not cheap but for me, worth it. 

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@KeithG These FTTF options have a starting price point that may differ because of the different, port-specific itinerary durations. That's a good point! 

I found some more information on it here. https://www.cruisehive.com/carnival-bringing-back-popular-add-on-priority-program/88051

It seems that the offering was taken away for some time, and it has recently returned. 

Edited by 3Sisters
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