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  #61 (permalink)  
Old August 6th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
Actually the Carnival Paradise that didn't work was several years ago.

Times have changed, and I don't think it will be all that long before we see a mass market line go totally non-smoking. Celebrity has got very close now, and I think their sales are holding up. So my guess is within the next 2 years you'll see someone announce a totally non-smoking ship.
You maybe right. I personally don't think a totally non-smoking ship will be successful. I agree with what Mike said. I don't smoke, but I have relatives that do. So if I want to cruise with them I need a smoking ship. Also the new ships now days are even larger then the Paradise is. If they make one of the newer ships non smoking I don't think they can fill it. I could be completely off base. But that is my two cents. I hope Carnival doesn't go to a non smoking ship. Iph has the best suggestion. Instead of a non smoking ship why not require smoker to use E Cigarettes when on board. They can smoke without bothering the non smoking. Plus it would think E Cigarettes are safer for the ship, less chance of catching fire like a regular cigarette can. It makes sense to me.

An electronic cigarette or "e-cigarette" is a battery-powered alternative that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by delivering a vaporized liquid nicotine solution. When you make the switch to an e Cigarette you are really vaping instead of smoking.

You probably have noticed I explain that I'm a non smoking. My concern with limits on behavior like smoking is where does it end? It seems the non smoking people have moved to trans fats and fast food resturants. I get worried when people want to control what I eat. What business is it of anyone including the goverment to monitor my trips to Mcdonalds? Los Angeles' city counsel has put a ban on fast food resturants. These things will work there way into cruising.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25896233
Here is why the ban won't work to stop obesity
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?se...lth&id=7050767
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Last edited by katlady; August 6th, 2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Yes, how time flies. The last smoke-free voyage of Paradise was 9/20/2004 according to some google reports.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old August 6th, 2010, 04:21 PM
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Bruce,

All, or nearly all, of HAL's ships are under 2,500 passengers. Are you saying HAL has never made a profit?

Shelby
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old August 6th, 2010, 05:58 PM
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Bruce,

All, or nearly all, of HAL's ships are under 2,500 passengers. Are you saying HAL has never made a profit?

Shelby
HAL made a great profit for most of it's 150 or so years in business - because until recent decades, the cruise industry operated on a very different business model from the one we see today.
Today, mass market Cruising is all about volume and economy of scale.

When Carnival purchased HAL about 20 years ago, HAL was just days away from bankruptcy. Their smaller ships couldn't make a profit even then.

It was the new Vista Class ships operating at a healthy profit for the past decade that has allowed HAL to continue operatiing their smaller ships at a loss or a break even point.

In the past few years, fuel and other operating costs have gradually eroded the profitability of the Vista Ships. That explains why you are recently seeing an increasing number of complaints about cutbacks at HAL, accompanied by an increase in comments about fare increases at HAL. They must cut perks and amenities fleetwide to cover their decreasing profitability.

HAL does have one great advantage in that their smaller ships are all quite old (that means they are already paid for). Despite their small size, their operating costs are somewhat manageable with no bank loan payments to cover. But that situation will not last too much longer. It will soon be time to retire some of those smaller, older ships. They will not be replaced with newer small ships.

You will also notice that HAL is no longer building any smaller ships, and their CEO is slowly and very carefully getting HAL cruisers accustomed to the idea of larger HAL ships in future. With the current business model, it is the only direction they can go if they want to stay in business.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Thank you for the clarification and added info, Bruce. I had to see the day when those smaller HAL ships (Statendam, Veendam, Ryndam, etc.) are retired. For older folks or people who have trouble getting around, those ships are so much easier to navigate.

I talked my cousin and her husband into going on a cruise, and they unfortunately chose the Emerald Princess. Both of them are obese. When they came back, they said they had a good time, but wouldn't cruise again due to all the walking.

Shelby
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old August 8th, 2010, 02:52 PM
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Don't know when you've last sailed them, but you'll find plenty of "older folks" on today's Carnival.

There are plenty of activities going on, and that's part of their "Fun Ship brand", but it's far from an all out party all the time. I don't even drink, and not really a "party guy", and I seem to fit in just fine on Carnival.
I actually agree with Henry on this one - Carnival is far more youth oriented than say Holland. Carnival has mostly rock bands, folk singers etc. Holland has string quartets and harpists.

I think Carnival is VERY youth oriented on the scale of things.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old August 8th, 2010, 07:01 PM
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I am a Platinum member, getting ready to sail on #27 on Carnival next month. I mostly travel with a group but have been a solo traveller as well.

Someone in an earlier thread talked about solo passengers bringing in much less revenue than a double, triple, quad occupied cabin. I agree that this is probably the case, in general. However, I spend a lot of money on drinks and gambling and based on many others with whom I travel I can say that I've probably spent much more, combined, than family or friends who were travelling in a double or triple cabin. I realize overall that Carnival surely makes more money, in general, on a double, triple occupied cabin, however, I say this only to say that Carnival should offer deals to those single passengers who have a history of spending (high value). They can track my expenses via their technology, computer, don't care, and then offer deals as such.

On another note, Carnival should give their Platinum guests the choice of what they want in terms of "platinum rewards". Currently, Carnival offers wash/dry fold, personalized stationery, canapes delivered to your room, casino tourney entry, a Carnival logo item (bag, coffee thermos) etc. Now when I say this, I'm not saying I don't like the small perks, they are and can be a nice touch, but...I personally have not used the wash/dry service in years. The stationery gets tossed in the trash can and we rarely consume the canapes (especially the ones with salmon, etc. - although the dessert canapes are awesome!). I would personally rather a casino credit, drink coupon, discount to specialty restaurant, free Spa access (Dream charges for some amenities) etc. They should give you a list when you board of, let's say, 20 different items and you choose 5 for example. I realize repeat guests already have some great perks in special repeat passengers party, priority embark/disembark, etc. but those other small things, while nice, don't do much for us. I'm just saying give Platinum guests a choice, keeping the cost/price equivalent to what they currently award. Rewards are psychology at work and all the experts say you need to make sure that what you are rewarding is meaningful to the individual. Ok, I say this not because I don't appreciate the small things - I truly appreciate the free casino tourney entry, repeat passenger party, guaranteed reseverations and purser desk priority line, etc.- but since these other things are already part of their loyalty program they need to make sure they are 'working' with their most loyal passengers. In addition, unwanted items would cut down on their cost.

Finally, Kuki hit on something which has always bugged me - not only on Carnival but other lines as well and that has to do with the day of embarkation and disembarkation. I agree about the desire to not rush the passengers out of their cabins, however, I am sure it is a harried morning trying to get the ship ready for the next voyage. But, have you noticed that there are quite few (in relation to their total staff numbers) Carnival staff when you embark or disembark. To me, it is so important that you have as many Carnival staff, when boarding and disembarking as possible as people remember this for a long time. On boarding, they need to say "welcome on board, we appreciate your choosing Carnival". And even more importantly at disembarkation they need to be there to say "thank you so much for sailing Carnival, we'd love to welcome you back very soon." While during embarkation and disembarkation you do see staff members they rarely say anything to you. Yes, there are staff members ready to greet you and respond to questions, but rarely do they go out of their way to make an impression. At the back end of the cruise it's generally how quickly can we get you out of here. I realize there are thousands of people they are trying to disembark from the ship but there is nothing wrong with offering a simple, sincere "thank you". I also realize senior staffers don't want to get caught up in conversation with passengers while they are trying to clear the ship - whether it's regarding their cruise experience or what have you.

I love the Carnival product and, in my opinion, after having been on many other lines, they are absolutely the best in the industry. I was just simply offering my opinion since you asked. Lacking the above would never steer me away from Carnival. It's the reason I have sailed with Carnival more times than any other cruise line.
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old August 8th, 2010, 07:54 PM
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While having a menu of perks to choose from sounds good, implementing it and managing it would be difficult and costly. Where they now have a one-fits-all loyalty program, they'd end up having to administer dozens of individualized loyalty programs. How many variations can you make by having hundreds of guests each choose 5 from a list of 20? Lots of them.
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2010, 02:27 AM
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Lightbulb My suggestions...

Okay... trying to come up suggestions that don't destroy the bottom line, and still be an improvement, I would:

Customer Service: The booking and reservations department seem to becoming less and less customer service oriented. Call a different day and get a different answer. And even faced with an obvious problem, supervisors don't change, they just circle the wagons. I suspect you have supervisors supervising spouses, etc. It's getting more and more like a boiler room, and detracts from some of the stellar agents. My guess is that this would ADD to the bottom line since it sometimes turns off people from booking in the first place. (Read these boards) Devoting attention to quality customer service on the ship is great; now start the process a little earlier.

Group Leader Communications: I don't think you are adequately taking care of the person responsible for bringing you the group. Groups fall into your lap based on one person's decision... yet that person still gets the same uninspiring customer service, and next to no communications. It turns into a contest. Nothing is personal. When something goes wrong, the Group Leader takes the heat, and never speaks to the same person twice at CCL customer service/reservations... unless by accident.

Loyalty awards: Something... anything. Perhaps letting previous pax make their reservations through a better trained, more competent customer service agent. We want to feel as if the agent is working to help us... to steer us to the best deal... not hide the ball. Why should your most loyal customers have to become their own experts, and feel as if they are dealing with an adversary?

Cross connect the loyalty awards across the corporation.

How difficult could it be to have the computer generate a instruction sheet to the waiters and room stewards with our preferences based on a profile we input? If the steward walked in saying, "Oh Mr. Jones, I see you prefer more wash clothes, so I have added several for you," or, "Good Evening Ms. Jones, would you like you favorite Cosmopolitan Martini this evening?" Can't cost anything more and would make the passenger feel really special. Find a way... you are the CEO.

Captain's Reception, etc.: Waste of time and money. Why crowd into the showroom for some soggy bread and cheese spread accompanied by a fruit punch or drink watered down with melted ice. BFD. Give us a drink coupon, or a 2 for 1 coupon in the MDR. Free glass of wine if we go to the specialty dining room. Half off on a bottle of wine. Move some product and make us feel good at the same time... with what you charge, you still profit.

Team Spirit: Make your passengers feel as if they are part of the TEAM, not just customers. Every CD announcement sound like a sales pitch to buy something. We know you need profits... make us your partners, rather than make us feel as if we are walking through a carnival with all the harkers trying to get us to pitch our dimes on a dish. We need incentives to spend more and have a good time, not reminders.

Entertainment: Okay, I guess it is expensive to change entertainment, but I am getting ready to be a repeat customer on the same ship in 14 months and I better not see the same shows again. You want my repeat business, this has to be worked out.

I'm looking forward to the Comedy Clubs with hope... thanks.

Culture: With your Mexico or Alaska specific cruises, I am sure you can find people with worthwhile information to share about the port regions, and provide presentations or special events. Perhaps a joint venture with the local tourist bureaus? You have to do something with these itineraries to add something... there is only so many times we are going to do the same ports. There are different festivals and holidays in Mexico... and Mexico has a rich culture... take advantage of it where you can. Most of it may be pretty cheap to access.

San Diego/Ensenada/Hawaii: This embarcation process needs some serious review, but I don't think it is that big a problem to solve. You just need to access some of the local assets better. Huge benefits with very little outlay.

Port of San Diego: A fantastic port that is getting better. Great city, wonderful weather, lots of pre and post activities, easy access, and an inviting environment. We need San Diego and more itineraries from this port.

Okay... that's my two cents for now!
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Old August 9th, 2010, 12:50 PM
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I love cruising on Carnival! The only thing I might change would be to get rid of some of the "orange" furnishings on the ships. We cruised on the Dream and I wasn't crazy about the decor. There was way too much orange, expecially in the Lido restaurant. It made the area too dark for me! I had a wonderful time on the ship, though!!
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Old August 9th, 2010, 02:01 PM
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Libragirl,

People in Tennessee would disagree with you - there can never be too much orange!

Shelby
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Old August 9th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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I'm a die hard Vikings fan but I do know there can be too much "Purple". :-)

Carnival's decor really does go over the top.

Take care,
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Old August 9th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Agreed...they need to tone it down. I liked the decor of the Carnival Spirit - it was a sophisticated glitz.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Shelby View Post
Libragirl,

People in Tennessee would disagree with you - there can never be too much orange!

Shelby
I live 30 miles from Austin, Texas.....home of the University of Texas Longhorns who wear burnt orange......so there are many people here who love orange, also! I'd just rather not have it all over the walls and furniture!
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old August 9th, 2010, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
While having a menu of perks to choose from sounds good, implementing it and managing it would be difficult and costly. Where they now have a one-fits-all loyalty program, they'd end up having to administer dozens of individualized loyalty programs. How many variations can you make by having hundreds of guests each choose 5 from a list of 20? Lots of them.

I'd have to kindly disagree with you. It would not be difficult at all. They staff one person in a storage facility somewhere near the bottom of the ship. The cabin steward visits the storage facility where they have 20 items stocked in bulk. He hands the individual "keeper of the goodies" your list which shows your desired items and he delivers them to your cabin. Truly giving customers what they want is true loyalty. The program they have now is surely not a one-fits-all if the loyal customer is not keen to the items received.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 11:19 PM
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I'm a die hard Vikings fan but I do know there can be too much "Purple". :-)

Carnival's decor really does go over the top.

Take care,
Mike
With respect Mike, can there be not enough Black and Gold?
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Old August 10th, 2010, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenito View Post
Cross connect the loyalty awards across the corporation.

How difficult could it be to have the computer generate a instruction sheet to the waiters and room stewards with our preferences based on a profile we input? If the steward walked in saying, "Oh Mr. Jones, I see you prefer more wash clothes, so I have added several for you," or, "Good Evening Ms. Jones, would you like you favorite Cosmopolitan Martini this evening?" Can't cost anything more and would make the passenger feel really special. Find a way... you are the CEO.
Kenito you have some great suggestions. This one really hit home with me. While in business school I took a class and there is a hotel that does this. They have a data base of their customers likes and when the guest checks in the staff know if they like an extra pillow, need the ice bucket filled, have ice tea with dinner, etc. They also enpower any employees on staff to fix the problems for the customer. So for example you hated your shore excursion and you were complaining to the bartender that bartender is enpowered to give you OBC or a free drink to make it up to you. I want to say the hotel that has this service is the St. Regis in San Francisco, but I'm not 100% sure the class was over 7 years ago.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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I would make Jane Fonda a Cruise Director.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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I read once that Carnival Corp. is limited in the way their different brands interact due to anit-trust concerns. This related specifically to the acquisition of Princess. If this is true I would imagine that it also applies to Royal Caribbean and their brands. There is not enough competition in the marketplace to link up the cruise lines like Hilton, Holiday Inn and Marriott can.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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Last year the "world's leading cruise lines" web site (the overall branding name for Carnival Corp cruise lines) said all of their loyalty programs are interchangeable - but they never really spelled out how it worked.

World?s Leading Cruise Lines | Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Costa, Cunard, & Seabourn

It looks to me like they have taken that down, and I fear it may have been because I wrote an article encouraging people to ask about it. I said "technically if you have five cruises on Holand America you should belong to the Seabourn program, and if you have 25 HAL cruises you should qualify for a free Seabourn cruise - but don't expect to get it."

That was NOT correct, however. I was just extrapolating what the web site said at the time which was vague. They have since changed it.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 11:59 PM
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I believe the Captains meet and greet could be dropped. Or maybe just make it for first time cruisers, but charge for the drinks. They are way too crowded to be enjoyable and this would thin them out. This will not improve the bottom line, but it will add to the experience for a first timer and make them a happier cruiser.

I don't have a real problem with the photographers wanting to take a few shots and offer them for sale. I would dedicate one exit off the ship to those who wish to skip the photo op. First timers may want those pics, but once you've bought a few of them, you can skip it. Again, not really adding to the bottom line, but your catering to a group that would not purchase the pics anyway and making their exit to a port that much quicker.

The repeat crowd is where your money is to be made. Not only do we need to track and reward you on the number of cruises you take, but we need to keep up with your sail and sign spending. A repeat cruiser that spends little or nothing onboard will not qualify for bigger perks as fast as a big spender. You also base the type of rewards on their spending habits. Someone who doesn't run up a huge SS account might respond to half off coupon for the gift shops after reaching a certain level. Maybe the big spender gets special seating at shows or VIP status at the art auction. Spending some time and money marketing directly at your repeat cruiser would pay off. Sorry folks, but money is what we're after here.

The way the company is run now makes money, so makeing wholesale changes for the sake of change is not a good idea. One exception to that is on the next class of ships, there needs to be areas of the ship that will compete with zip lines, flow riders and ice skating rinks. I see this as an area that Carnival is falling behind in.

Lastly, lotteries are a great money maker. Everyone want to spend a dollar for a chance to win millions. OK, maybe we don't give away millions, but we could easily give away a few free cruises.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 08:25 AM
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Interesting question....
Like Trip, I would "tone down" the gawdy decor....
I'd also put down the prices of drinks, and especially of photos.
And I agree with Laura, all ships should be non-smoking!

donna
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Old August 12th, 2010, 11:44 PM
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I would like to see:

Carnival ships that are designed to bring the outside in so to speak - w/more glass and windows allowing passengers to to view the ocean from public areas.

The gaudiness of the public areas "toned down" as Trip and rollerdonna mentioned. Though the Carnival look has improved somewhat over recent years, it just lacks class or something and often comes off tacky and "scrambled".

Better service. Most esp. in the main dining rooms. The D.R. staffs usually seem inexperienced compared w/what we have generally experienced on other mainstream cruise lines. Maybe they need to give their staff more training before putting them in the passenger D.R.s.

I wish they would have a popular Broadway style play at least once on each cruise. (NCL used to do this and now RCCL is starting it up on the Oasis class ships.)

Specialty lounge areas (like the piano bars, etc.) that are more spacious instead of chopped up little rooms that become super crowded when anything very good is going on in them.

Designated sportsbars (w/plenty of t.v.s) that have things like chicken drummies and other casual, sportsbar type foods (preferably w/no extra fee like on NCL's Sky).
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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Last year the "world's leading cruise lines" web site (the overall branding name for Carnival Corp cruise lines) said all of their loyalty programs are interchangeable - but they never really spelled out how it worked.

World?s Leading Cruise Lines | Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Costa, Cunard, & Seabourn

It looks to me like they have taken that down, and I fear it may have been because I wrote an article encouraging people to ask about it. I said "technically if you have five cruises on Holand America you should belong to the Seabourn program, and if you have 25 HAL cruises you should qualify for a free Seabourn cruise - but don't expect to get it."

That was NOT correct, however. I was just extrapolating what the web site said at the time which was vague. They have since changed it.
I tend to think it wasn't because of anything you did.

The program was (and may still be) VIP (Vacation Interchange Privileges) which gets confused with VIP which gets with VIP...

The program was if you sailed on one brand, you could get a discount on cruise prices on other brands, but it never was as good as if you were a past guest on the line. Sometimes there would be special deals (like on cruises that weren't selling well).

I have never heard of anything suggesting perks on one line transferred to another, and I don't believe they should.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:23 PM
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What would I change? Nothing. Carnival knows their target market and it isn't in catering to individuals or to any great extent, past cruisers.

They know what destinations are most attractive to mass market cruisers - there isn't any money in specialty cruises at affordable prices.

The perks for past guests are what they are. Past guests are nice, but don't grow the business and don't pay for new ships.

The single cabins on NCL are tiny. Some Carnival cruises are still at 150% for 1A cabins for singles. In the past, the supplement sometimes was only 25% and I have no reason to believe it couldn't be, if cruises weren't selling, however...

I think more people are cruising again and the cruise lines have some ability to raise prices. Cruising today is still a lot cheaper than it was years ago. Actually, last year, I think it was sale of the century - not sure those prices will ever be seen again.

I am also happy that Carnival made enough money to reinstate some of the prior dividend. I'd rather receive cash than some piece of plastic or other nonsense in the form of a perk.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 04:27 AM
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if I were brought in from outside the Carnival family, I would change nothing for the first 6 months and do an extensive listening and observing tour..the first two months I would sail each ship in the fleet (unannounced and under cover) as a guest in various cabin categories and view from their perspective..would spend the next two months in the same fashion on all of my competitors fleet and the final two months spent with my employees in all departments listening to their recommedations and concerns, then I would meet with my board and senior leadership and put together a plan of action

if I were promoted from within the ranks of Carnival, my first act would be to appoint Paul and Kuki and Katlady as my special assistants, then I would announce my retirement and cash in my stock options and buy a yacht and start my own one ship cruiseline and invite my fellow cruisemates to an around the world cruise
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Old August 14th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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The upper management of Carnival Cruise does sometimes cruise the seas. For that matter, I even met Uncle Mickey on a Carnival cruise and saw Joe Farcus on another. Joe didn't appear to be on acid, so go figure.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice View Post
if I were brought in from outside the Carnival family, I would change nothing for the first 6 months and do an extensive listening and observing tour..the first two months I would sail each ship in the fleet (unannounced and under cover) as a guest in various cabin categories and view from their perspective..would spend the next two months in the same fashion on all of my competitors fleet and the final two months spent with my employees in all departments listening to their recommedations and concerns, then I would meet with my board and senior leadership and put together a plan of action

if I were promoted from within the ranks of Carnival, my first act would be to appoint Paul and Kuki and Katlady as my special assistants, then I would announce my retirement and cash in my stock options and buy a yacht and start my own one ship cruiseline and invite my fellow cruisemates to an around the world cruise
I like it. I need a fancy title however.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 05:44 PM
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I agree with the person who suggested a California Itinerary. We cruised RCCL on a repo itinerary that went from San Diego to Vancouver. How about a round trip out of Vancouver or (UGH) Ensenada, that includes San Diego, Catalina Island, San Francisco, and Seattle in the middle?

I'd also cut back on the over head announcements. Does this bug anyone else but me?! Just tell me good morning, what the weather will be like, and when we can disembark for the port city....then perhaps in the afternoon, give me the lineup of the rest of the day's activities. I dont need to hear everytime bingo starts, everytime there's a sale in the shops, etc.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 08:55 PM
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Here are a couple more:

On our recent cruise on another line we were greeted with chilled wash cloths - it took one member of the staff for a couple of hours in each port. On a really hot day it was very nice.

The other deals the the ubiquitous overhead annoucments. I would like to be able to pipe the general annoucmnet into my room, at my discretion, to see if this is an annoucmnet I care about. Most of them are just annoying noise in the hall.
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