Monday, April 30, 2012

P&O Changes Gratuity Policy

P&O cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival announced today that they will not only require prepayment of gratuities (as other cruise lines do) but they will also make the amount of gratuity a cruise staff member receives dependent on their rating based on a customer survey. If applied well, this could further improve the customer service levels for most travelers. However, it is possible that a cruise staff member who feels that they have already lost a chunk of tips due to an anticipated low score could really become a jerk.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just What Shall I Pack?

"We overpacked" is a phrase that I have heard from nearly everyone that Ihave spoken with when they returned from their first cruise. It is a phrase that I too commented after the first cruise with my family and every year undoubtedly scores of other first time cruisers will state the same after their cruises. Now ladies, my intent is not be be sexist but the degree of over packing appears to be more noticeable for the women out there. Maybe it is the "need to color coordinate" gene that is absent in so many of us men out there. read more

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cruise Diva: Meet The Guy Behind Carnival Cruise Lines’ Burger Joint

If you enjoy the Food Channel's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives check out the Cruise Diva article on the Carnival 2.0 burger joint inspired by Guy Fieri.  Wow he knows how to load those burgers!

Cruise Diva: Meet The Guy Behind Carnival Cruise Lines’ Burger Joint

Monday, April 23, 2012

17-Year Old Dies After a Diving Excursion

A 17-year old passed away four days after a scuba diving excursion.
There are still a lot of missing details but a 17-year old American tourist encountered problems while participating in a Carnival Cruise Lines sponsored scuba excursion. The excursion was one to learn scuba and only had 16 participants with four instructors including the dive master. The teen had difficulties and reportedly needed CPR then was treated at a hospital in Grand Turk before getting airlifted to a hospital in Florida where he passed 4 days later. Our most sincere sympathy go out to the family of this young man.

Royal Caribbean Does a Good Deed

Unlike the Princess Cruises ship who sailed past a disabled fishing boat, the Oasis of the Seas came upon a broken down fishing boat in the waters near the Caymans and provided assistance to repair the engine so that the boat could return under its own power. The RC ship provided a fresh battery and some fresh water. Good job!

Passenger Jumps Into the Pacific from Carnival Spirit

What the heck must he be thinking?
On the fourth day into a 15-day Hawaii cruise from San Diego at about the midway point, some nut jumps from the serenity deck into the Pacific. Now I have been on the Spirit twice and did not feel the seafood was bad at all so no need to try and get your own. Or was it a dispute with his significant other or could it possibly be the alcohol? Well, the man was lucky the ship dispatched a tender to rescue him and bring him back on board. Wonder if he will be put off when the ship arrives to the first port of call?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Carnival Corp Missed Opportunity

Missed Opportunity
It recently was reported that a Princess Cruises ship (owned by Carnival Corp) failed to assist a disabled fishing boat in the Pacific off of Panama. The small boat was spotted by passengers and reported to the ship's crew but the crew sailed on. With all the recent negative press received by the Carnival Corp this was a great opportunity to get some great PR. Those chances do not come along too often.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two+ Months to go

With slightly over 2 months to go until my Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Valor, I anxioulsy wait for some price drops to build up some on board credit (OBC). According to today my ship is still about 50% vacant. Come on Cruise Sales!

My cruise was booked under the Carnival Early Saver program so any price drops which causes the fare for my exact cabin category to fall below what I had paid will be credited to my on board account. I easily check on the fare for my cabin category through We shall see.

New for 4-12-12

I was checking out cruise critic this morning and read an interesting segment about three cruises than 'won't eat through your tax refund'. Check it out at

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cruise Diva: Viator Offers Shore Excursion Savings

Earlier today the Cruise Diva posted great information about a web site that provides a comprehensive listing of shores excursions based on specific cruise itineraries for less than the cost of booking through the cruise line.  Cruise Diva: Viator Offers Shore Excursion Savings Why pay more than you have to when you take these excursions? 

In other news a 17 year old female who was put off the Carnival Sensation last year has filed suit against Carnival accusing the ships security staff of illegally strip searching her.  Carnival issued a response.  Check out the article on the miaminewtimes link below.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

home      So what is up with the Carnival Triumph? US Marshalls temporarily seized the Triumph in Galveston on March 31, 2012 after a law suit was filed against Carnival based on a claim from the estate of a Costa COncordia passenger who died in the grounding. The ship did sail as scheduled after some negotiations between the parties involved in the suit but is this just the first of many to come? As a cruise passenger I would be livid if I was denied a paid for cruise because the ship was seized as part of a legal mess.

     I was looking for cruises for next year and noticed that The Carnival Splendor may be repositioning to New York in 2013 after a January Hawaii itinerary and a Fenruary South America itinerary. It also appears that the Carnival Miracle may be repositioning to Los Angeles for the Alaska and Mexico Riviera itineraries starting in March of 2013.

     There is still nothing I can find regarding the Carnival Spirit after it repositions and ends an itinerary in Tahiti in October 2012. There had originally been plans to operate Australia itineraries but there may be issues with the availability of the pier needed for this size of ship.

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     One of my sources to check on fares and on occupancy of a cruise itinerary has been
I cruise with Carnival and the link I use to check the current fare for my Early Saver program is