Thursday, February 25, 2010


Long-awaited news from Carnival came this week with the announcement of a genuine onboard Future Cruise Program. The former program operated by the contracted-out Carnival Vacation Planners died a welcomed death a couple of years ago following numerous complaints from passengers and agents alike.
This time, Carnival’s Loyalty & Cruise Experts will preside, helping our clients book a future cruise that WE will actually service as usual, and they will receive onboard credit to boot. Finally! CCL is even giving an open booking option requiring a reduced deposit of $100 with four years to book a sailing date. As a bonus, when clients book their next cruise onboard, they will receive two additional cruise certificates to give to friends and family to travel with them, and receive the same benefits.

The Future Cruise program is rolling out on 18 of the 22 ships in the fleet within the next month, with the Imagination, Sensation, Paradise, and Victory added at a later date.

Now we can tell our clients with confidence to take advantage of this great offer!

In a webinar this week, Carnival’s Terry Thornton, Sr. VP of Itineraries and Revenue Planning, outlined a few of the line’s 2010-2011 ship positionings. Already announced was Carnival’s return to the Mediterranean in 2010 with the new Magic, sister to the Dream, sailing 7-, 9-, and 12- night itineraries from Barcelona. The third in this class ship, yet to be named, will do the Med honors in 2011.

Folks on the East Coast will be delighted to learn that the newly upgraded Fantasy begins sailing year-round from Charleston to the Bahamas and Key West.

Thornton was also candid in acknowledging a need for new ports—perhaps involving the creation of new port structures much like the one at Costa Maya. Under consideration are Mexico—something on the mainland across from Cozumel; a new destination complex in Freeport, Bahamas; and a new port along the Baja. We’ll just have to wait and see if any of these interesting ideas come to fruition.

By the way did you know that on the island of Roatan in the Western Caribbean, you can book a chair lift transfer from the cruise pier to the beach?  Carnival's beach excursion there includes a "clam shell"-covered lounge chair, a beach float, snorkeling gear, and the lift.  A cool way to begin a day at the beach, don't you think?
More itinerary announcements will follow in April. As a matter of fact, watch for 2011 deployment news from all cruise lines in March and April. We’re poised to set up groups and get your cruises on the books for the coming year!

In other Carnival news, the line reported record wave season bookings with strong reservations activity for 2010 departures. We can relate! Ben and I experienced a busy two months ourselves, thanks to a client base ready to cruise.

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