I always hear that Carnival Cruises sail full... but.. seriously now..do they REALLY??? I figured some ex-crew might be able to verify this? ie - rooms that were empty and didn't need housekeeping ? I often think there MUST be some cabins empty.. but whenever someone says they have bedbugs, or some other issue in their cabin, they are always given the excuse that the ship is FULL and there is no where else to move them too (yeah right! likely story)..
Lets hear the honest truth from crew members??
Yes - ships sail 'FULL' just like airlines these days - esp during holidays and high seasons. Prices come down if a particular sailing isn't selling. Many lines have a crew/staff privilege where friends & family can sail on standby and if there actually are available cabins, those get filled up. I've known of several instances where someones parents have flown a long way just to get left at the pier.
They will keep an emergency room for illness quarantine/bedbugs/domestic problems/technical issues in a cabin, but it's usually going to be a regular inside cabin.
Also - people cancel or don't show, so even a cabin empty on day 1 might have the occupant join the cruise 'downline'. There are often people who don't realized how small the average cabin is and book 4 people into a shoebox ;-) and then go to the guest services desk asking for another room to 'expand' into.
On my ship - even the crew cabins have often been 'full' and joining crew turned away at the gangway because there's absolutely no bed in crew or guest area to berth them.
Carnival Corp has an internal policy that ALL cabins MUST be sold before a ship sails. This policy applies to the entire fleet of 101 cruise ships.
They just about always are fully sold out.
My ship has not had an unsold cabin in more than 17 months.
Sold does not always mean occupied.
Nearly every ship has a 1% no-show rate on nearly every cruise.
Depending on the size of the ship, that could translate from as few as 2 or 3 - or as many as 25 - sold but unoccupied cabins at sailing time.
Many cruisers who miss the ship on embark day may still have an opportunity to catch the ship later in the cruise. Sadly, most of them are not polite enough to contact us to let us know if they plan to join us or not. If we have not received confirmation of a cancellation, we cannot give the cabin away. But we can use it for emergencies until / when / if the occupants show up.