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Exel Suites on Mardi Gras

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56 minutes ago, naxer said:

 

I am of like mind.  It will be interesting to see how the marketing goes.  On one hand, Carnival is the family oriented FUN ship with expanding family areas and activities.  On the other hand, it's dedicating more prime real estate to spaces where children and people with children are limited or not allowed.  Can you maintain both to everyone's satisfaction? or will the reputation for one, the other, or both, suffer?  I'll let the "beards" worry about that.

 

I think they are balancing areas pretty nicely and on Mardi Gras they are adding multiple pool areas that I think would help with the crowding.  I would expect that everyone will find their favorite spot.  From what I see, they already do that now. There are tons of family friendly areas including the water park and all of the pools except for the serenity area and Havana pool restrictions.  Even Loft 19 will allow children.  I am past the age of worrying about areas for my children to go to, but I for the most part enjoy watching the kids play and have fun.  I don't enjoy when unsupervised children overtake areas.  I know that families must dislike it when unruly adults don't watch their actions and language in a family area.  Perhaps that's a good reason to have separate areas to go to when that happens.   

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1 hour ago, RoperDK said:

 

I think they are balancing areas pretty nicely and on Mardi Gras they are adding multiple pool areas that I think would help with the crowding.  I would expect that everyone will find their favorite spot.  From what I see, they already do that now. There are tons of family friendly areas including the water park and all of the pools except for the serenity area and Havana pool restrictions.  Even Loft 19 will allow children.  I am past the age of worrying about areas for my children to go to, but I for the most part enjoy watching the kids play and have fun.  I don't enjoy when unsupervised children overtake areas.  I know that families must dislike it when unruly adults don't watch their actions and language in a family area.  Perhaps that's a good reason to have separate areas to go to when that happens.   

Well thought out post

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6 hours ago, jimbo5544 said:

OK, all this talk got me looking and we booked an LS aft wrap for a cruise in January 2021.

Oh you beat me!  I’m looking at April 2021.  

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We booked an Excel Aft Suite for 4/2021 and I can't wait!  I love RC Oasis class ships, but a suite similar to this was way out of our price range on RC.  I think the suite we got was an excellent value for the balcony alone!  Since we have done the Western itinerary, this cruise will be more of a relaxing, laid back famly time for us and we will utilize the suite/balcony much more often as well as try to experience all the ship has to offer. 

 

I'm happy that Loft 19 does not have any age restrictions!  I'm hoping we can actually get in some pool time with our daughter on this ship.  We typically cruise on school breaks, so as a result, ships are very crowded with kids.  On our last cruise, the pools were so crowded that my daughter never got to swim.  She could dunk in the pool to get wet and that was about it.  I think with all the pools and them being spread out onthe Mardi Gras, it will feel much less crowded.  We also love to sit in the hot tub after a long day and every hot tub we got in had 8 or more people in it on the Magic.   It will be extremely nice to sit in the hot tub on our balcony, just the 3 of us and watch the waves!! 

 

I really like the fact that Carnival is giving guests this kind of suite experience, but still being the same, fun Carnival that we like.  We got a crazy good deal on a spa suite when we went on the Magic and enjoyed the spa very much, but it was nothing like this is going to be!  We are just regular people that want to experience the "suite" life even if it is the only time we spluge like this.  And can I just say... gosh I can't wait for another Guy's burger.  Heck I may have to do a cruise next year just to get our burger fix! 🙂  

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It’s a delicate balance trying to offer exclusive “ship within a ship” amenities to certain passengers that are willing and able to pay for it, without sacrificing too much public space to the general cruiser.  This holds true whether it is exclusive lounges, bars and pools, or the growing number of specialty restaurants that charge a fee.  I think the cruise lines generally do a good job of this with the newer builds.

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17 minutes ago, elephant98 said:

It’s a delicate balance trying to offer exclusive “ship within a ship” amenities to certain passengers that are willing and able to pay for it, without sacrificing too much public space to the general cruiser.  This holds true whether it is exclusive lounges, bars and pools, or the growing number of specialty restaurants that charge a fee.  I think the cruise lines generally do a good job of this with the newer builds.

It does show they are listening

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15 hours ago, jimbo5544 said:

Sure it does, many suites have a capacity of 2 (aft wrap Vista suites on the Spirit class as one example).  They are trying to garner a different clientele for these rooms than the one of a family for five staying in that room.  

I guess that is the reason, but my sister and her two friends  for example - who have become suite dwellers because as adults they enjoy the space - wouldn't mind treating themselves to a suite like this. They have the money and can well afford it. But because they cruise as a trio, this is not possible.

 

I also don't agree with these huge suites being just for two. I love the whole concept otherwise although it's well out of my price range. They could have made them serenity suites, which is what I always thought the havana area should of been anyway. That would have ensured only adults book it instead of alienating anyone other than a couple. JMO. 

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2 minutes ago, cruizinisthebest said:

I guess that is the reason, but my sister and her two friends  for example - who have become suite dwellers because as adults they enjoy the space - wouldn't mind treating themselves to a suite like this. They have the money and can well afford it. But because they cruise as a trio, this is not possible.

 

I also don't agree with these huge suites being just for two. I love the whole concept otherwise although it's well out of my price range. They could have made them serenity suites, which is what I always thought the havana area should of been anyway. That would have ensured only adults book it instead of alienating anyone other than a couple. JMO. 

There are some that allow 5, I have not seen the deck plans to determine how many there and the capacity for them.  

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1 minute ago, jimbo5544 said:

There are some that allow 5, I have not seen the deck plans to determine how many there and the capacity for them.  

 

I don't know the capacity for all of them either. The presidential suite is for 2. That's the one I was referring to. Beautiful rooms though. I love everything about this ship. Too bad it's still a long ways away!

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On 4/10/2019 at 8:23 PM, elephant98 said:

It’s a delicate balance trying to offer exclusive “ship within a ship” amenities to certain passengers that are willing and able to pay for it, without sacrificing too much public space to the general cruiser.  This holds true whether it is exclusive lounges, bars and pools, or the growing number of specialty restaurants that charge a fee.  I think the cruise lines generally do a good job of this with the newer builds.

 

Well said. It gets tiring hearing the long-time cruiser complain about it because "that's not the way it used to be". If they start removing stuff like the lido pool area, yea I'll grab the pitchfork with you. If it's just an extra option, that the market wants, leave your tired "nickel and diming" complaint at the door. Cruising would have never gotten as big as it is today if everyone had the same, expensive, cookie-cutter experience from the 1980s.

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10 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

Well said. It gets tiring hearing the long-time cruiser complain about it because "that's not the way it used to be". If they start removing stuff like the lido pool area, yea I'll grab the pitchfork with you. If it's just an extra option, that the market wants, leave your tired "nickel and diming" complaint at the door. Cruising would have never gotten as big as it is today if everyone had the same, expensive, cookie-cutter experience from the 1980s.

Also well-said.

 

There are quite a few cruisers on this board who seem to think that these suites and the cruisers who genuinely want to book them are crazy. What’s wrong with having the best of both types of cruising worlds, as so many people have already mentioned in this thread?

 

Great discussion so far.

 

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Anything like this was not in our budget when we were younger, and now that we are retired, it is even less in our budget. But I am glad that they exist. For a few reasons, the main one being that, inflation adjusted, the cost of our cruises has actually gone down over the years. I believe that having more upscale areas in the ship help keep those of us with more limited means, still able to cruise. 

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Has anyone else noticed additional Excel suite amenities that haven't been announced but are listed on Carnival's website? I was looking at the Mardi Gras deck plans and clicked on our Excel Aft Suite. It opened a pop up that showed additional information including floor plans.  If you look under amenities it lists a few that I hadn't heard about before.  There were at least two (unlimited complementary on demand movies and a coffeepot) that were news to me.  Did I miss something?  I thought I'd been pretty thorough gathering details concerning the suites.  I know that Carnival doesn't always get their details out consistently.  I don't know if that is done on purpose or not.  Has anyone else heard about the movies and coffeepot and what do you think about them?  I like both amenities!

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Posted (edited)

It's interesting that Carnival is joining the fray of offering elevated and private spaces for suite guests.  One of the things that has set Carnival apart in the past is that they offered a shared experience available to all guests on their ships, regardless of the amount paid.  Yes suite guests were in a larger cabin, but that is pretty much the only benefit.  It was truly one-class cruising and that was a big part of Carnival's success.   

 

It's a whole new Carnival today, and they are truly embracing the segmented cruising concept.  Even more so than many other lines.  We now have the Havana, Family Harbor, Serenity, and Excel (Loft 19).  Lots of exclusive areas to selected guests.  I sort of admired how Carnival bucked the trend of these private areas, but they are obviously adapting to market demands, like it or not.  Unfortunately it doesn't make them much different than so many other cruise lines out there.  

 

The silver lining for me at least, is that Serenity on Mardi Gras will still have its own pool.  When I first read about the Excel Suites with private pool and deck, I thought for certain that it was taking over at least a portion of the Serenity Deck.  I'm happy it's on its own deck and won't detract from the Serenity dedicated space.      

Edited by eroller

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10 hours ago, eroller said:

It's interesting that Carnival is joining the fray of offering elevated and private spaces for suite guests.  One of the things that has set Carnival apart in the past is that they offered a shared experience available to all guests on their ships, regardless of the amount paid.  Yes suite guests were in a larger cabin, but that is pretty much the only benefit.  It was truly one-class cruising and that was a big part of Carnival's success.   

 

It's a whole new Carnival today, and they are truly embracing the segmented cruising concept.  Even more so than many other lines.  We now have the Havana, Family Harbor, Serenity, and Excel (Loft 19).  Lots of exclusive areas to selected guests.  I sort of admired how Carnival bucked the trend of these private areas, but they are obviously adapting to market demands, like it or not.  Unfortunately it doesn't make them much different than so many other cruise lines out there.  

 

The silver lining for me at least, is that Serenity on Mardi Gras will still have its own pool.  When I first read about the Excel Suites with private pool and deck, I thought for certain that it was taking over at least a portion of the Serenity Deck.  I'm happy it's on its own deck and won't detract from the Serenity dedicated space.      

There is certainly a movement towards more cruising options and some these have exclusivity to things (havana pool for one but not at night).  That said, saying they are more so then the other lines does not ring true.  As example, people buying into Loft 19 can be anyone on ship, can anyone go into Haven?  Can anyone go into Concierge lounges on Royal ships?  Family harbor is for those staying there with small children, hardly a feature that the masses on the ship want to partake in.  Serenity is age driven, not cabin or cost and they do not charge for like others (Princess).  

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On 4/10/2019 at 11:20 AM, SEABECK said:

We're booked in the Excel Aft Suite, Deck 12, for a 15-day out of New York.  I'm beyond excited.  I get to anticipate and dream about this vacation for a year and a half.  We love the Havana area on the Vista and Horizon, and I can't wait to enjoy the Loft 19 area.

We have booked an Excel aft wrap on deck 12 for a November cruise will be watching for your pics and thoughts

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On 4/10/2019 at 9:07 PM, jimbo5544 said:

There are some that allow 5, I have not seen the deck plans to determine how many there and the capacity for them.  

Deck 12 has one for 4

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On 4/14/2019 at 8:51 AM, jimbo5544 said:

There is certainly a movement towards more cruising options and some these have exclusivity to things (havana pool for one but not at night).  That said, saying they are more so then the other lines does not ring true.  As example, people buying into Loft 19 can be anyone on ship, can anyone go into Haven?  Can anyone go into Concierge lounges on Royal ships?  Family harbor is for those staying there with small children, hardly a feature that the masses on the ship want to partake in.  Serenity is age driven, not cabin or cost and they do not charge for like others (Princess).  

 

Good summary!  The "exclusive" elements that Carnival offers is not really excluding anyone, so much as catering to specific wants that many other cruisers don't want.  Much like how the Steakhouse is an extra charge.

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You forgot Cloud Nine as well, but I do like these new suites, though I wish they also had a private dining room.

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Hiya Jim !

 

Late to this thread, if only owing to the fact that (apparently) all aft corner excel suites for Pt Canaveral sailings seem to be sold out (I checked a dozen or so, and finally got the message)!

 

It would appear that the forward excel suites are still widely available - as they don't offer up all that the aft corners do.

 

So... any insight yet as to what aft corner deck appears to be preferred for the excel suite?... and.... any inkling as to when bookings will open of for 5/21 and beyond?  I think it's going to be along wait !!

 

That's OK though... I can see that at least Carnival has started to turn the corner w/regard to their suite offerings. It's been downhill since the Spirit class - but times are apparently a changin' 🙂

 

Tom

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On my first cruise booked the carnival miracle and we needed adjoining rooms - and the travel agent put us into the wrap around corner suite on deck 4 with attached aft room for 5 of us. I was spoiled!! 

 

If they were looking for different cliental for those rooms they should make sure there are no adjoining rooms near them.

 

Also  as of now this private area has no age restrictions - AS OF NOW are key words. 

 

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OK.. so I did a bit more reading on the subject - and discovered the Excel Presidential Suites... from the image, I just wonder if that area above is public space (where people can come up to the edge of the glass). I hope not!

 

I'm wondering if any level of Excel suite will finally be able to order (full hot breakfast) room service or not. Hard to picture being in (and paying for!) the Presidential Suite and getting basically a continental breakfast offering... 🙂

 

Tom

CL_MD_SV_Carnival_Excel_Presidential_Suite_Balcony_Evening_SPH-1170x780.jpg

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We have booked one of the excel suites for the 15 day re-positioning cruise.  We always try to book a suite and I'm happy to see Carnival is finally offering more perks for guests who do.  We enjoy the extra room, especially on the balcony and in the bathroom, so it is worth it to us.  It's all a matter of what you enjoy.

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19 minutes ago, Tom-n-Cheryl said:

OK.. so I did a bit more reading on the subject - and discovered the Excel Presidential Suites... from the image, I just wonder if that area above is public space (where people can come up to the edge of the glass). I hope not!

 

I'm wondering if any level of Excel suite will finally be able to order (full hot breakfast) room service or not. Hard to picture being in (and paying for!) the Presidential Suite and getting basically a continental breakfast offering... 🙂

 

Tom

CL_MD_SV_Carnival_Excel_Presidential_Suite_Balcony_Evening_SPH-1170x780.jpg

 

If you take a look at the deck plans, you'll see what is right above these Presidential Suites.

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On 6/16/2019 at 6:02 PM, Tom-n-Cheryl said:

Hiya Jim !

 

Late to this thread, if only owing to the fact that (apparently) all aft corner excel suites for Pt Canaveral sailings seem to be sold out (I checked a dozen or so, and finally got the message)!

 

It would appear that the forward excel suites are still widely available - as they don't offer up all that the aft corners do.

 

So... any insight yet as to what aft corner deck appears to be preferred for the excel suite?... and.... any inkling as to when bookings will open of for 5/21 and beyond?  I think it's going to be along wait !!

 

That's OK though... I can see that at least Carnival has started to turn the corner w/regard to their suite offerings. It's been downhill since the Spirit class - but times are apparently a changin' 🙂

 

Tom

Hey Tom, long time no time!  We are currently in Ireland with a group but daughter texted me that package arrived back home which may answer some of the questions you ask.  I can comment next week when we get back.  Doing another Azamara cruise  in the med next June.  

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