I had a roomie get taken in and spend a lot in the spa. Its true its a 3rd party who runs it... as a 3rd party runs the internet, and another 3rd party runs all the onboard shops.
When I was stuck on Conquest with Ike bearing down I asked the sub CD if they could get the location of Ike and was told no one on their staff could go online. Same problem when we got 12 hours notice we would be coming into New Orleans .. they couldnt go online to find out phone numbers for rental cars and such. Even the FCC agent only could access the Carnival site.. couldnt get to other sites.
People who buy expensive jewelry and think Carnival is standing behind them are often surprised to find out they have to deal with another company, Carnival says not them. The shopping expert is there to steer you to stores that give kickbacks, not to save you money.