Funny you should bring up the Carnival program again.
I have had 50,000 points sitting in my account and a friend of ours has 25,000 in his. We decided to use 'em up. So we decide to do the Freedom, Grand Mediterannean in 8/07. Especially since the Currents magazine you spoke of had a pretty good deal.
I call them up, get a bunch of run around and then the guy finally realizes he is not going to flim flam me even if I am a blonde from a state with a 50% drop out rate. We finally come to a truce and he decides he can sell me something if he'll just treat me like a human. So, there are about 3 big sales or promos going on and he runs the numbers to find the best deal, which is the past passenger deal, so he begins to figure out my total after redeeming points. The total he gives me is not $500 less than the subtotal figure but about $375. When I questioned this I found that when you use points in combination with a promo or sale you lose some of the value of your points. Grrrrr.
End of story: I booked the cruise at what I felt ultimately was a good deal with an itinerary we are really looking forward to. But . . . will I continue to use my SeaMiles card? Not likely.