Numerical conclusions will show a gap from the Carnival Paradise cruise as the Carnival Splendor Journal, although done, was not posted on Cruise Critic because it was a Cruise Critic Group Cruise but was sent to many of those in the Group.
As expected we had a great time with great friends, new and old, and 2 members of our family.
Caesars, Monkeys, Coconuts and a Buddy (and a Red Dress)
The Why? and How?
In June of 2008, thanks to the rumors flying around on Cruise Critic and a “definite maybe” from our PVP at Carnival we booked a Carnival Glory 7-Day Exotic Western Caribbean Cruise for January 23, 2010 out of Port Canaveral, Florida with the hope that the Carnival Dream would be taking over that itinerary. We thought this would be a great way of getting on the Carnival Dream at a cheaper rate.
As much as were looking forward to our April, 2009 Carnival Paradise and Carnival Splendor Cruises out of Long Beach, California Dee and I really wanted to return to the Caribbean. We booked a Balcony Guarantee for the 2 of us for $1907.98 including the Federal Taxes, Port Fees and a Fuel Supplement of $7.00 per person per day.
On July 1st, 2008 our ‘Dream’ was realized when we received an e-Fax from Carnival stating that we had been switched to the Carnival Dream. The Fuel Supplement had increased to $9.00 per person per day and the Federal Taxes and Port fees had been decreased by $20.24 so Carnival gave us a Credit for $7.76 so total pricing remained as originally booked. When Carnival eliminated the fuel Surcharge our total fare was reduced by $126.00 to $1781.98. During a trip to Nova Scotia in the summer of 2008 to visit my family we mentioned the Cruise to my niece, Jeanette, and her fiancé, Eric, and they showed some interest. On April 1st, 2009 Jeanette and Eric decided they wanted to join us so I phoned our Carnival PVP and gave her Jeanette’s contact information, and they booked Spa Balcony Cabin 12203.
In the phone conversation with our PVP I discussed the fact that we had originally booked a Balcony Guarantee on the Carnival Glory which would have guaranteed us a minimum Category 8A Balcony or a higher category if we were lucky enough to get an upgrade. With us now cruising on the Carnival Dream the Balcony Guarantee started at a Category 7A which is a Cove Balcony. As much as we thought the novelty of the Cove Balcony was appealing we decided we didn’t want to be in one. Our PVP did not have the authority to guarantee we wouldn’t end up with a Cove Balcony so I began a series of phone conversations with several different Carnival employees. It looked for quite a while that Carnival was not going to budge regarding the possibility we would end up in a Cove Balcony. My argument was that we booked a minimum 8A Category Balcony and felt that we should not get anything less than that. It took quite a while until I was satisfied with their solution and this is what their solution was:
as of 04/01/09
We can't wait to welcome you onboard your Funship Cruise.
CARNIVAL DREAM 01/23/10
We were happy with the agreement we came up with. And we did understand that our Balcony would be overlooking the Lanai Promenade which circumvents the Ship on Deck 5.
We were also very excited that Jeanette and Eric would be joining us on the Carnival Dream. Next up were our Back to Back Cruises on the Carnival Paradise and the Carnival Splendor which would see us departing for Long Beach, California on April 20th and returning to Victoria, BC on May 3rd. On April 14th our PVP called to wish us well on our cruise which we thought was a nice touch.
11 days after our return from the Carnival Splendor cruise we received the following e-mail:
I want to take this opportunity to welcome you home and to thank you for sailing with us on the April 26th sailing of the Carnival Splendor.
I realize many vacations are chosen because of a specific itinerary and I sincerely regret we were not able to deliver the itinerary of your choice. The H1N1 influenza situation occurring in Mexico escalated quickly and the CDC advisory issued on Monday, April 27th left us with no alternative but to take immediate action and cancel the port calls in Mexico.
I empathize with your disappointment and want to extend my sincere apologies for this disruption to your vacation. I recognize many guests were unhappy with the manner in which we handled this situation. Guest satisfaction is very important to us and we regret we did not meet your expectations in this regard. I want to assure you, however, that we made our decisions with your best interests in mind given our commitment to the health and safety of our guests and crew. Considerable time was spent by my team researching port substitutions. Regrettably there were virtually no other warm weather port of calls available to us and given the duration of the cruise, we felt that a call in San Francisco would be a welcome diversion versus no stop at all.
I now realize these changes had a more substantial impact on your cruise experience than I had anticipated, and it was not the memorable vacation we had hoped to provide. We value our relationship with you and hope we can win back your confidence. We would welcome the opportunity of having you sail with us again and hope you will accept our offer of a 50% cruise fare discount on a future 3-7 day Carnival vacation, departing before December 2010.
Please make your reservations in your usual manner and inform your agent (or Carnival) of the discount at the time of reservation.
Most importantly, I want to thank you for choosing Carnival and look forward to having the opportunity to welcome you back on one of our ships.
President & CEO
Conclusion # 241: Bonus. I immediately contacted our PVP and she applied the $50.00 Welcome Home Credit from our April 20th – 24th Carnival Paradise cruise and the 50% cruise fare discount from our April 26th – May 3rd Carnival Splendor cruise to our Carnival Dream booking which left us with this fare for the 2 of us:
CRUISE RATE $ 804.00
FEDERAL TAXES/FEES $ 131.74
CREDITS/COUPONS $ 7.76
Conclusion # 242: Thank you Carnival!
We emailed REALITYBREAK and ChairDancer as soon as we got the ‘50% cruise fare discount’ email to see if they got the same e-mail and to see if they’d be interested in joining us on the Carnival Dream and much to our pleasure they agreed and booked Cabin 7456 cause as we know Sue “likes it in the Aft.” So now we had Jeanette, Eric, Terry and Sue, joining Dee and I. Conclusion # 243: Sounds like a Party.
We booked our flights on May 15th using Aeroplan Miles (50,000 Miles) and we booked the Radisson Resort at the Port for January 21st and 22nd as well as a rental car that we would pick up at the Orlando Airport and return in Cape Canaveral on the 22nd. Terry and Sue booked the same nights at the Radisson while Jeanette and Eric booked flights arriving on the 22nd. The 6 of us booked the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando for the night of the 30th.
We all booked the Costa Maya Exclusive Beach Break through www.costamayacruiseexcursions.com and the Cozumel Bar Hop through www.cozumelbarhop.com . On December 14th Terry, Sue, Dee and I decided to book a private tour for the 4 of us through www.ronystours.com in Roatan as Jeanette and Eric had decided to dive there. The excursion we booked for Roatan was described on their website as a do “what we want” type of day so we jumped at the chance to have a ‘freestyle’ day to do what we wanted, where we wanted, when we wanted. We planned to play Belize by ear. Conclusion #242: We are ready!!!
1.Carnival Mardi Gras - April 2 - 5, 1987
2.Carnival Freedom - January 19 - 26, 2008 : The Journal - Martinis, Seals, Frogs & Rays(and a Piece of Luggage)
3.Carnival Paradise - April 20 - 24, 2009 : The Journal - Margaritas, Horses, Slides & Chiclets(and a Halter Top)
4.Carnival Splendor - April 26 - May 3, 2009
5.Carnival Dream - January 23 - 30, 2010 : The Journal - Caesars, Monkeys, Coconuts & a Buddy(and a Red Dress)
6.Carnival Splendor - October 17 - 24, 2010 : The Journal - Tequila, Dolphins, Microphones & a Bar Card(and Cabo Wabo)
7.Carnival Spirit - September 20 - 23, 2011
8.Carnival Spirit - November 13 - 18, 2011 : The Journal - Cabo, Cabo, Shots With Benefits, Wings and a Water Taxi(and a Bottle of Dom)
9.Carnival Miracle - February 14 - 22, 2012 : The Journal - VD at Sea : The Miracle Cure
10.Carnival Conquest - January 20 - 27, 2013
11.Carnival Victory - October 10 - 14, 2013
12.Carnival Victory - October 14 - 19, 2013
13.Celebrity Constellation - January 20 - 25, 2014
14.Carnival Sunshine - August 16 - 23, 2014
15.Celebrity Infinity - October 5 - 15, 2015
16.Carnival Inspiration - October 3 - 7, 2016
17.Carnival Miracle - October 8 - 15, 2016
18.Carnival Splendor - April 9 - 16, 2017 : The Journal - An Amber, a Thomas, a Juan, a Turk, a Dee and a Jim (and a Wallet)