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Old December 29th, 2008, 10:05 PM
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Default Is the VIP truly worth it?

I am sailing in a couple weeks on cruise #10 and I have heard of the VIP perks but how exciting are they really. Yes, Im sure priority boarding and disembarking will be nice but other than that and a load of laundry for free how special can it be? I am not trying to be cynical but Carnival is not an upper end cruise line, its one more for the masses. What can I really expect from this experience?
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Old December 29th, 2008, 11:44 PM
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IMHO your thinking correctly. Other than the embarkation the VIP benefits aren't that great. The canapés are awful. The laundry is OK, but no pressing and don't trust them with anything nice. How many times can you tour the galley? The window at the Pursers desk is nice if needed, but maybe I use that once a cruise. No biggie.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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I, on the other hand, tend to disagree. I really enjoy the Platinum card benefits! As you stated, the BEST part is absolutely the embarkation/debarkation priority, but all the other little things are very nice too. O.K., I'm going to let the cat out of the bag on one benefit. I agree the canapes aren't the greatest, however,,,,if you stop at the pursers desk, and simply ask, they'll substitute chocolate covered strawberries. They are GREAT! (Now I suppose everyone will do that and they won't allow me to do it anymore.) The other small things, like the gifts each cruise are nice. Having the crew notice the card and ask "how many cruises" etc. is nice. Frankly, it's way better than any of the other lines, and yes, we're Platinum or whatever on almost all of them. Not only that,,,it's FREE!

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Old December 30th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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Only problem is there are starting to be alot of VIPs and for embarkation its a mess. A few years ago when VIP started it was nice , now its just another line to stand in.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skymaster
I, on the other hand, tend to disagree. I really enjoy the Platinum card benefits! As you stated, the BEST part is absolutely the embarkation/debarkation priority, but all the other little things are very nice too. O.K., I'm going to let the cat out of the bag on one benefit. I agree the canapes aren't the greatest, however,,,,if you stop at the pursers desk, and simply ask, they'll substitute chocolate covered strawberries. They are GREAT! (Now I suppose everyone will do that and they won't allow me to do it anymore.) The other small things, like the gifts each cruise are nice. Having the crew notice the card and ask "how many cruises" etc. is nice. Frankly, it's way better than any of the other lines, and yes, we're Platinum or whatever on almost all of them. Not only that,,,it's FREE!

Ken
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Ken

The past two times they called early on requesting a delivery time for the canapés (both on Conquest). I was going to ask for cheese plate next time, but the strawberries are a better idea. THANKS.

Elite on Princess is very good. Free internet (also with Platinum), Bar set up in cabin, lunch with Captain & senior crew, etc.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman
Only problem is there are starting to be alot of VIPs and for embarkation its a mess. A few years ago when VIP started it was nice , now its just another line to stand in.
True.

I think they need another level at 25 cruises.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman
Only problem is there are starting to be alot of VIPs and for embarkation its a mess. A few years ago when VIP started it was nice , now its just another line to stand in.
True.

I think they need another level at 25 cruises.
You're correct in some cases,,but the line is considerably shorter.
Actually Snooze, I think they do have another name for those over 25 cruises, and also the 25th cruise is rewarded with a 25% OBC of the fare, for that cruise. (I'm going to hit that very shortly, and plan on an extra nice cabin for that one)

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Old December 30th, 2008, 04:37 PM
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I'm sorry, I don't mean to ask a stupid question but what is canapés?

I had VIP once for check in and I say if you're gonna sail anyway, might as well work your way up the ladder towards VIP status and take all you can get.
I have trouble standing in long lines so if they offered, I'd even pay a little extra to be a VIP.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 04:57 PM
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None of the cruise lines have great benefits in their repeaters program. If you're cruising a line you like, then any of the little things are a bonus.... but not reason alone to stick with one line with the goal of reaching a certain level.

I kind of enjoy the wash & fold. Great for the extra Tshirts, bathing suits, and shorts we pack along. There's also a "platinum gift" of some sort. Last one we got was the small metal thermos. Though now have several of those too.

Princess Elite members get some free internet, and HAL long timers get free laundry I believe.

Some others you don't get much other than the priority embark.... which in some cases can and do have longer check in lines than the regular lines.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skymaster
I, on the other hand, tend to disagree. I really enjoy the Platinum card benefits! As you stated, the BEST part is absolutely the embarkation/debarkation priority, but all the other little things are very nice too. O.K., I'm going to let the cat out of the bag on one benefit. I agree the canapes aren't the greatest, however,,,,if you stop at the pursers desk, and simply ask, they'll substitute chocolate covered strawberries. They are GREAT! (Now I suppose everyone will do that and they won't allow me to do it anymore.) The other small things, like the gifts each cruise are nice. Having the crew notice the card and ask "how many cruises" etc. is nice. Frankly, it's way better than any of the other lines, and yes, we're Platinum or whatever on almost all of them. Not only that,,,it's FREE!

Ken
"SKY"
I agree with you also I love the Carnival VIP status. When crew members see the card they do take notice and the DW just loves the chocolate covered strawberries. Yes and the FREE part is the best part.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 11:44 AM
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I really enjoy the convenience of getting off the ship on tenders with no waiting for tickets, leaving the ship at the end of a cruise with #1 status so we can just leave when we please and with the certainty of dinner at a time and table size we ask for.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 06:55 PM
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I would enjoy the ease of departing and embarking. That is good enough for this old goat.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Is the VIP truly worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by briguy
I am sailing in a couple weeks on cruise #10 and I have heard of the VIP perks but how exciting are they really. Yes, Im sure priority boarding and disembarking will be nice but other than that and a load of laundry for free how special can it be? I am not trying to be cynical but Carnival is not an upper end cruise line, its one more for the masses. What can I really expect from this experience?
First, congrats on sailing and having it as your tenth cruise. The "perks" for any of the cruise lines aren't that great, however, you are cruising because you enjoy the service that the particular company provides. Otherwise, why go with them? Carnival may not be an upper end cruise line, but, I always have a good time on Carnival. I enjoy myself so that is a good reason to go.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Is the VIP truly worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casino Player
Carnival may not be an upper end cruise line, but, I always have a good time on Carnival. I enjoy myself so that is a good reason to go.
I dunno . . . we chose Carnival because it seemed most of the other lines - at least the reasonably priced ones - seemed to be garnering a fair number of negative food comments. The reviews of Carnival are very encouraging regarding the food, which is a make-or-break deal for me! That, and the friendly staff . . . we hope!
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Old January 15th, 2009, 02:11 PM
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We did not choose to cruise Carnival for the perks.

Our family of four were already Platinum before the program even started.

But now that they offer it, I do believe the perks are in line with the price you pay for a Carnival cruise.

VIP Check In is best appreciated when you have arrived behind 4 buses from the airport.....OR when fog delays boarding by 5 hours and EVERYONE is trying to get on the ship at once.

This happened (fog) on our Holiday cruise (12/07) and it took everyone HOURS to get onboard...it took us about 10 minutes. woo hoo!!!

So VIP Check In (while may not be perfect every time) still offers a great perk when you need it the most!!

We love the free Slot (or Blackjack) tournament entry. I don't gamble..but even I can push a button. And David won the $500.00 in January (on a FREE entry)....loved it.

I used the wash and fold on every cruise (sometimes more than once).
Don't send anything that is delicate....but they do a great job on underwear, socks, the boys shorts, tshirts and jeans.

I also like the benefit of the Platinum line at the Purser's Desk. I try not to use it when there is only one Purser behind the desk...but it is a nice perk.

And don't forget that "silver card" (a standing joke since everyone assumes it is "less than a Gold card".....until you tell them it isn't silver...it is PLATINUM!!!
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Old January 15th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrangi
I'm sorry, I don't mean to ask a stupid question but what is canapés?

I had VIP once for check in and I say if you're gonna sail anyway, might as well work your way up the ladder towards VIP status and take all you can get.
I have trouble standing in long lines so if they offered, I'd even pay a little extra to be a VIP.
canapés are Hors d'Oeuvres made with a base of bread or crackers, and topped with an assortment of small, usually savory toppings.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 11:05 PM
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We have been Platinum for a little while now and enjoy the perks for the most part. I am glad to hear that we can opt for the strawberries over the canapes since we never eat them.

We have several of the Carnival thermos bottles now, but only 1 of the tote bags from a couple of years back - it's time for a new promo item for VIP status.

Love the debarkation process and usually the embarkation. However, sometimes the VIP lounge is full at embarkation and others in our group that go thru the line are ready to board before we are.

We really like to have the priority tender tickets and always use the laundry service.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 02:49 PM
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For me, the best part of the VIP service is the priority gettting on/off the ship. I have some physical problems that are not obvious by looking at me (okay, that's a good straight line for anyone who wants to use it), so not having to stand in line is not only a convenience, but allows me to do more than I normally could. I also have a card from the state of California saying that I am disabled and have occasionally had to show both that and my Platinum card, but the benefits are significant for me. I also happen to love the canapes and the laundry service. I always do it the end of the cruise, so a lot less laundry to do when I get home. Oh, and DH also won the blackjack tournament on one of our free entries.
Ah, the benefits of being a cruise junkie!
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Old January 18th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorcrazie
For me, the best part of the VIP service is the priority gettting on/off the ship. I have some physical problems that are not obvious by looking at me (okay, that's a good straight line for anyone who wants to use it), so not having to stand in line is not only a convenience, but allows me to do more than I normally could. I also have a card from the state of California saying that I am disabled and have occasionally had to show both that and my Platinum card, but the benefits are significant for me. I also happen to love the canapes and the laundry service. I always do it the end of the cruise, so a lot less laundry to do when I get home. Oh, and DH also won the blackjack tournament on one of our free entries.
Ah, the benefits of being a cruise junkie!
Marty

Hubby won the Slots Tournament on the Imagination in January on that free entry.....we loved it!!!!!!!!!
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Old January 19th, 2009, 10:10 AM
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I forgot about the free entry ticket to the slot tournament - love those, but didn't know about the blackjack tournament tickets. I'll have to check those out next week. WOO-HOO - one week from today I will be getting a massage on Progresso Beach. The 10 day forecast for Progresso and Cozumel shows the high 80's for the two days we are there. Can't wait to warm up!
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Old January 19th, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Default I love my VIP statis, and nor is Carnival is low budget

In these timing economic times, what is for free anywhere?. Remember the service on the airplanes competing for your loyal busness, not any more. They charge for fuel, food, drinks, magazines, ticket, luggage, assaigned seats or printed/mailed tickets. Forget the frequent flier mile programs. Basically shut up and sit in your seat, I forgot the lost baggages and cancelled flighs, and delays. In the time osf hotels they are not much better either, safe charges, airport pick up fees, pool chair and cushion charges. etc. I feel Carnival for the price, places and what is offered it is a great bargain. The Vip plan is great, its free, you would complain if they stopped it, RIGHT? I hope people dont think after 10 or 20 cruises they are expected a free cruises???? MAYBE SO. You know how much you have to spend on a miles earned flights to get a free ticket, plus the fees charged, plus the block out or stand by ticket you receive. Carnival I love your program. Keep it up. Alan shipahoy@bellsouth.net
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