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Posts posted by Petersonfcu

  1. On 5/11/2024 at 4:32 PM, daveo6313 said:


    Do you get $200 OBC with that room?  That would make it a free room.  I booked cruises with the free ocean view room but I upgraded to a balcony so the OBC is less than the cost of the cruise.  I am hoping that will enable me to get the credit.


    Thanks to all of you who have replied.



    Yes, all of the many "free" casino room offers I have require you to put down $100 per person as a deposit and than you get the deposit back as on board credit.   And I have upgraded my "free" oceanview offer twice to a balcony cabin and applied for the shareholder benefit on both.  The first time, awhile ago, I did receive the shareholder benefit.  On my more recent "balcony upgrade" cruise, however,  I was denied the benefit.  Let us know what happens with your more recent application.

  2. 7 hours ago, TheLargeFamily said:

    My offer noted my activity in purchasing pixils, spa, dining and shore excursions.

    The casino folks (Ocean Players Club) couldn't care less about non casino spend.  I have used more than a dozen Carnival casino offers and never seen a reference to spend outside the casino.  So I think you are right, you got an offer that was not a casino offer.  First I have heard of a free room non-casino offer from Carnival.

    • Like 3
  3. I have used multiple "free oceanview" offers.   I have always been denied the benefit when booking an oceanview cabin.  However, Carnival lets you take the "free oceanview" and upgrade it to a balcony for a (usually reasonable) payment.   I have sailed in the upgrade twice.  I was given the shareholder benefit once when I applied, and denied on the second sailing.   It all seems pretty random.

    • Like 1
  4. On 4/9/2024 at 6:57 PM, jvteach77 said:

    I used some gift cards on my last cruise.  I was asked if I had more than 2k in gift cards.  I was then told they had to send the cards to corporate if I had more than 2k to have them verified and applied to my sign and sail account.  Luckily for me I only had about $1100 in cards.  They never said there was a limit that I could or couldn't use. This was on the Horizon last week. 

    This exact same thing happened to me a couple of years ago, but the trigger was $3k instead of $2k.  And the ship was not able to "verify" the additional cards so I had to bring them home for next time.  I don't know how the specific dollar limit might vary, either from ship to ship or for the entire Carnival universe over time.  I think one way to increase the limit is to set up your account and your spouse's account as totally separate (e.g, not backed by the same credit card and not cross-chargeable).  Since we have done that we have been able to put up to $2k in GCs on each account.  Perhaps we could have done more, but we didn't need to do more so we didn't try. 

  5. 4 hours ago, Doribeans said:

    Peter - does Carnival have a service charge for charging your slot account to your room? I was recently on an NCL cruise and they had a 3% service charge for charging your slot play to your room account 

    What mitsugirly said.  Carnival charges nothing for you to fund your slot account from your room (sail and sign) account.  Strangely, Carnival does charge you 3% if you try to buy table chips using your room account.  I find this dichotomy odd because the other cruise lines under the Carnival Corporation umbrella (e.g., Princess and Holland America) have no charge at all when using your room account to fund either slots or table chips.

  6. 44 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

    Anyone know if we apply gift cards to our account, can you use the account for playing slots in the casino? Does it charge to the room? Or do you have to have cash? I can't remember.

    Yes, when you first go to the slot machine and set up your account, it will ask you if you want to charge the funds to your room.  You do that, and the gift cards on your sign and sail account will be used to fund your slot account,.

  7. 48 minutes ago, Knights on the Beach said:

    I was just able to pay our gratuities for our 4/14 cruise using 3 AARP gift cards.


    From Booking & Order Details, I clicked on View Invoice Details, then next to Prepaid Gratuities, I clicked on Add which took me to the payment screen showing the Gift Card option.










    Yes, this is how you prepay your gratuities with a gift card, at least when you are past final payment date (90 days before cruise) and have already paid your cruise fare in full.

  8. 3 hours ago, ab19902 said:

    You can add the gift cards when on the ship, even the digital ones. Then you can go into the casino and add to your players account by charging your room. Whatever is left in your players account can be cashed out at any time. But I would make sure to at least gamble a little bit. I’ve done this with OBC, so I don’t see why gift cards would be any different.

    One more Carnival casino tip.  If you are a table game player, Carnival will charge you a three percent fee for using your sail and sign account to buy chips at the table. But Carnival does not charge any fee when you put money on a slot machine from your sail and sign account.   So go first to a slot machine, set up a slot account, fund your slot account from your sail and sign account, pull the money out of the slot account at the cage, and then use the cash to buy your table game chips.  OK, if you are just spending $100 or $200 at the tables, maybe this is a hassle not worth it.  But that three percent fee can add up.

    • Like 3
  9. 2 hours ago, ab19902 said:

    You can add the gift cards when on the ship, even the digital ones. Then you can go into the casino and add to your players account by charging your room. Whatever is left in your players account can be cashed out at any time. But I would make sure to at least gamble a little bit. I’ve done this with OBC, so I don’t see why gift cards would be any different.

    I have run into a limit as to how many gift cards Carnival will let you post to your sail and sign account on any particular cruise.  I think this limit changes from time to time . . . but I am sure that $1,000 is below the limit.  In one past cruise, I had them tell me that they needed to get approval from their headquarters to exceed this limit, but then the approval did not come.  So I had to hold that gift card until the next cruise.

    • Like 1
  10. 7 hours ago, KaiBlue said:

    In my very limited knowledge of how Princess does things (working up to our first Princess cruise next year and starting to do some early planning), you can't use their cards for extras (no option to use them for excursions, wifi, gratuities that I wanted to pay now to lock in the rate).  Seems like you can only pay the cruise portion itself with gift cards.   But I do find the entire Princess online/app experience to be completely nonintuitive so perhaps I'm missing something.  

    You can definitely use Princess gift cards to buy all those things you mentioned if you wait to get on the ship, buy them on the ship, and then load the gift cards to your onboard account to pay for them.  The princess app (known as the Medallion app) has a horrible reputation, and I use it for as little as possible.  I also don't usually buy other things (e.g., wifi and gratuities) in advance on the Princess website so I don't know much about that.

  11. 23 hours ago, wareaglefan444 said:

    Thanks for letting me know, i will look into this

    I do exactly what n6uqq does:  buy the Carnival GCs with my BofA Cash Rewards card where it codes as an "online purchase."  You can get an even better return if you keep $100k in an account at BofA (in my case, I have a no fee self-directed IRA with Merrill Lynch, which is owned by BofA), and then all your BofA credit card cash back is bumped up 75%.  So I get 5.25% cash back on my BofA Cash Rewards purchases of Carnival Gift Cards.  10% discount plus 5.25% cash back. . . what is not to like about AARP Carnival Gift Cards!

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1
  12. 15 hours ago, krissyj89 said:

    I had this same issue a couple months ago. Couldn't buy any gift cards, no matter what I did or how many credit cards I used. I contacted them through chat, they asked all the usual questions, and eventually told me they would send my complaint to their "elevated team". After a week, they emailed me and said they fixed the issue. The email said if I had any issues, to contact them:  "If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reply to this email (consumercare@aarp.org) or telephone a member of the Consumer Care Ombudsman team at (877) 634-8313." But I haven't had any issues since.

    +1  I had exactly the same problem, with the exact same resolution, over the course of the last few months.  When every one of my credit card stopped  workinging  on AARP, I had  to get ahold of a live AARP customer service rep, then had to convince them that all my credit card data matched my AARP membership data, and then they "elevated" the issue,  and then my credit cards started working again to buy AARP gift cards.  It took over two months though from problem to solution.

    • Like 1
  13. On 1/11/2024 at 6:44 PM, MagnoliaBlossom said:

    Can the credits from the card be applied to daily service charge/gratuities?

    Carnival gift cards can be loaded to  your onboard account and used to pay for any charge to that account, including gratuities. 

    • Like 2
  14. 58 minutes ago, cbr663 said:

    Remember that there are 2 advantages to booking CO and the complimentary upgrade:


    1.  The upgrade level itself, and

    2.  Being able to select your actual cabin.  At times HAL can charge quite a premium for this option.

    Yes, I was just thinking about the ability to pick any open cabin within category -- and realizing I needed to do research.  Based on the comments above, I started with the aft Verandahs, and found that there are some people who don't like how small the balconies are for these Pinnacle aft verandahs.  And that led me to the realization that we would probably prefer VB category on Beethoven Deck, and a couple of very specific cabins within that VB category.

  15. 12 minutes ago, YourWorldWithBill said:

    Note: you don't have to be an AARP member or a certain age to buy the AARP HAL gift cards, at a 10% savings.

    True.  But I am already a member of AARP because there are other discounted gift cards I buy that require membership, including Albertsons (Safeway) and Carnival cards.

  16. 1 hour ago, SDARCH said:

    If you are an AARP member, you verify on the HA website and get some OBC.  Be sure to pre-verify and mention this when booking.  I do not think it can be applied after booking is complete.



    Thank you for this.  I will now be going for the triple stack of OBC:  AARP, Military, and Shareholder Benefit!

    • Like 1
  17. 3 hours ago, SDARCH said:

    Recent booking experience (28-day N. Statendam): FIRST...confirm that C.O. is available.  Then booked cheapest Obstructed Verandah.  Next step, pay for C.O.  Finally, get Obstructed Verandah upgraded to Aft Verandah.

    When I did that booking, it involved a call to Ships Inventory to verify availability of C.O.  

    On a booking last week, it seems they have a new reservation system (Windows vs. DOS) that allows them to check C.O. availability from their screen.  Getting Military and AARP OBC did require a call to a Supervisor however.

    I call HA directly and do not use a TA.

    Thank you.  This is very helpful.   

    Can you tell me what AARP OBC is?  I am familiar with buying discounted HAL gift cards through AARP, but is this OBC something else?

  18. My wife and I love the Club Orange dining experience on the Pinnacle class ships.  We are uncertain, however, how to best use the in-category cabin upgrade that comes with a Club Orange purchase.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?   Which Pinnacle ships and associated cabins offer particularly good value for using the Club Orange cabin upgrade option?  Depending on the itinerary and of course the fare we might buy anything from an inside cabin up to a signature suite.  Thanks!

  19. On 12/5/2023 at 9:57 AM, Steelers36 said:

    Does not matter which DR you choose.  On day 1, show up early and ask if you can have your table blocked for entire cruise.  Did anyone try booking in DMW using web version or Princess App?

    My wife and I are sailing on the Crown Princess in four weeks.  We like to eat early and at a table for 2 ("private table").  I have tried to use the Dine My Way function on the Medallion App to take care of this, but when I try the "Reserve Same Time" function it gives me nothing earlier than 8 PM.  When I try to book separate reservations for each night, it only gives me an early private table option on two of the ten cruise nights.  Based on what I read in this thread above, I went to Princess website and logged in only with my reservation number, which didn't do anything other than refer me to the app.  I then removed the Medallion App from my phone and downloaded whatever passes for the current Princess app, but it didn't give me any new Dine My Way functionality or options.


    So I guess I will just show up early on the sail away day at one of the dining rooms -- without a reservation -- and try to get a table for two.  I assume I will succeed, even if have to wait awhile.   And then I will tell them on the way out that I would like same time/same table the rest of the cruise.  Does this make sense?  Any other suggestions?  BTW, I just turned Elite last cruise, don't know if that will help at all.

    • Like 1
  20. The Panorama also has the Poker etable in the Hero's bar.  I don't think it is the PokerPro brand, but it works almost the same.  One thing I would really like would be for Carnival to bring back the annual poker tournament that ran pre-COVID.

    • Like 1
  21. 8 minutes ago, Pansy2801 said:

    I just used this offer for a final payment that was due in few days and I received email notification that I used this offer from Amex and will get $175 back. I asked the agent to use the $700 for the fare. I used a different credit card for the rest of the payment. I guess that the offer will be applied in the end but it worth trying if you have it . 

    I am not surprised that your final payment on an existing cruise booking worked.  I do not read the terms and conditions as limited to new bookings.

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