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Butterbean1000

Why Do You Purchase FTTF?

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I like passing all those "general" boarders.  It made my husband feel like royalty the first and only time we've done it so far.  Early embarkation and debarkation, having the room ready so we can get 100% unpacked (we do all carry on), drinking and napped all before safety drill.  

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I buy it for all the perks that come with it.

#1 is not having to stand in that long line and getting on the ship as soon as possible.

#2 is being able to go straight to my room and put my luggage down and not have to carry it around the ship for several hours. #3 is getting my checked luggage sooner so I can unpack and enjoy getting to know the ship before sail away. 

#4 is not having to stand in the long complaint line when all I want to do is get a room key changed or add cash to my account. 

#5 is priority tender 

#6 is early debarkation if I want it.

I could see being a platinum or diamond and being annoyed when you have to wait in line behind on of those other card holders, especially if their complaint is something trivial. However, Carnival has made it available at a price to a limited number of non P&D guest so you just have to roll with it or make your complaints to them and hope they hear you. Being it's lucrative to them to keep offering FTTF I doubt it's going to change. 

 

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2 hours ago, quickrate said:

Or, standing in line at guest services behind someone with FTTF who is there to remove either their gratuity or demand a refund because their cabin wasn't ready when they boarded or it took too long to get on the tender. I have had it happen many times. 

Pat

I would also like too point out what d and pc's get that FTTF can't buy.  Free flowing drinks at the Reunion party, free laundry service and a free gift.  There are other things that I can't remember at the moment.

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First off, it's sad that it took such a short amount of time for a couple people to come to this thread just to attack FTTF purchasers. And somehow we're the problem? The things they're complaining about are done by everyone. The color of their cards has absolutely nothing to do with it. If you look down your nose at other cruisers just because you've reached Platinum, you don't become that way just because of a colored card. That's already inside of you. I can guarantee, without a shadow of a doubt, that if I ever become Platinum, I won't treat Blue/Red/Gold any differently. Because that's who I am. And if that time ever comes, I will do my best to show newcomers and other VIFP members that not all Platinums look down on others. If someone does something that I think is wrong, it's a fault I see in them as a person, and not based on the color of their (or my) S&S card. 

 

Like most others, I like FTTF for the priority boarding, immediate cabin access, and Guest Services line. Those three things alone made it worth it last year. I loved being able to drop off our bags and get my Guy's burger fix before Lido buffet filled up. We were done eating by 11:25. Granted, we did buy it at the old, lower price, though. When they raised it, we said we'd have to think about it next time. Next year's cruise is with a few members of my wife's family aboard the Horizon. This makes the price increase even worse because they charge $20 more for it on Horizon. Surprisingly, FTTF became available a year out from the cruise. We hesitated too long, debating on whether or not to buy it, and it quickly sold out. We've decided we do want it, but now we're stuck trying to catch it when someone cancels or hoping they open up more. It'll probably be several more months if that happens.

 

We drive (a very long way) to get to our cruises, so priority debark is nice as well. I like to get off the ship and hit the road.

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3 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

First off, it's sad that it took such a short amount of time for a couple people to come to this thread just to attack FTTF purchasers. And somehow we're the problem? The things they're complaining about are done by everyone. The color of their cards has absolutely nothing to do with it. If you look down your nose at other cruisers just because you've reached Platinum, you don't become that way just because of a colored card. That's already inside of you. I can guarantee, without a shadow of a doubt, that if I ever become Platinum, I won't treat Blue/Red/Gold any differently. Because that's who I am. And if that time ever comes, I will do my best to show newcomers and other VIFP members that not all Platinums look down on others. If someone does something that I think is wrong, it's a fault I see in them as a person, and not based on the color of their (or my) S&S card. 

 

 

Agreed!!

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15 hours ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

 

Just wait until you have been Platinum for awhile or on your way to Diamond and your attitude will change. It happens to everyone.  Not sure when it will happen, but one day something will happen that will change your view, like spending 20 minutes in line at GS behind a Blue card with FTTF who is not happy because they don’t use real glasses at bars located in pool areas. 

Sadly, they do seem to sell too many FTTFs; I've been Plat for a while now, and don't begrudge FTTFs at all - I don't like sitting around in long lines either, but at some point (as noted on another thread about priority room access), with staff reductions, something's got to give. In hindsight, I don't think I necessarily got my money's worth out of the FTTF before hitting Platinum status. 

I do think that at some point they'll monkey with the VIFP Tiers again, there seems to be more Platinum than the system can accommodate at this point. I did the Vista maiden trans-Atlantic a few years ago, and more than half the passengers were Platinum (including me!), which had the effect of...diminishing the value of that tier. 

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1 hour ago, Butterbean1000 said:

I would also like to point out what d and pc's get that FTTF can't buy.  Free flowing drinks at the Reunion party, free laundry service and a free gift.  There are other things that I can't remember at the moment.

Or an Australian Shepherd dog! Love your avatar.

Honestly, I made a commitment to achieve Platinum status at some point, and by golly, through diligent savings and keeping my work life from interfering with my 'life-life,' I made it.  The laundry and party is nice, but mostly it's nice just to cruise so many times with all you nice people.  

 

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15 hours ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

 

Just wait until you have been Platinum for awhile or on your way to Diamond and your attitude will change. It happens to everyone.  Not sure when it will happen, but one day something will happen that will change your view, like spending 20 minutes in line at GS behind a Blue card with FTTF who is not happy because they don’t use real glasses at bars located in pool areas. 

I'm Platinum and have been for a while.  People with bad manners come in all card colors.  I can't bring myself to care that much about people purchasing a service that Carnival makes available to them.  If people have the means to purchase it, more power to 'em - I'd gladly chitchat with them in line if they are interested in meeting a nice, non-judgemental lady

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32 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

First off, it's sad that it took such a short amount of time for a couple people to come to this thread just to attack FTTF purchasers. And somehow we're the problem? The things they're complaining about are done by everyone. The color of their cards has absolutely nothing to do with it. If you look down your nose at other cruisers just because you've reached Platinum, you don't become that way just because of a colored card. That's already inside of you. I can guarantee, without a shadow of a doubt, that if I ever become Platinum, I won't treat Blue/Red/Gold any differently. Because that's who I am. And if that time ever comes, I will do my best to show newcomers and other VIFP members that not all Platinums look down on others. If someone does something that I think is wrong, it's a fault I see in them as a person, and not based on the color of their (or my) S&S card. 

 

👆 THIS!!!

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Platinum and Diamond passengers board before FTTF and also exit the ship before FTTF, so this should be a non-issue for Ps & Ds.  I have never seen a long line at customer service for FTTF/Ps & Ds.  I can't imagine it's a huge problem that FTTF people are hogging the line only to complain.  I should reach platinum next year and there is no way I will ever get upset about FTTF people using the same guest services line.  That is so petty, IMO.  

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I have only purchased FTTF once, because we were traveling with our 5 year old and 2 year old.  I knew they might grow impatient with long lines  for embarkation/debarkation.  But the number one reason was because I wanted immediate access to our room. With young children, we had lots of carry on stuff we didn’t want to lug around the ship and I knew my 2 year old would need a nap.  I will say, that if you no longer get the immediate access, it might be a deal breaker for me purchasing it again.  I know lots of people are happy just to drop things, but we actually needed to use our room for a quiet nap before muster, so it not being ready would make FTTF much less valuable to us.

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1 hour ago, MauiWowie57 said:

Or an Australian Shepherd dog! Love your avatar.

Honestly, I made a commitment to achieve Platinum status at some point, and by golly, through diligent savings and keeping my work life from interfering with my 'life-life,' I made it.  The laundry and party is nice, but mostly it's nice just to cruise so many times with all you nice people.  

 

Thanks,  she's a border collie and all that implies. 

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We really enjoy getting to drop off our drinks at the room. We typically bring 4- 12 packs of soda with us. Not trying to save money on the drinks, but I prefer Diet Mountain Dew and pepsi products. I hate lugging them around. I love getting my luggage early although that did not happen in January on the Conquest. Once I am unpacked, I feel more relaxed and ready to enjoy. 

As for guest services- definitely one of the best perks for me. The last cruise we were at guest services at least 5 times, adding gift cards, getting charges removed that were not ours, and getting a double charge removed. Sometimes we are not in a hurry to get off the ship and sometimes we are. If we are renting a car, it is nice to get off and get one of the rental company shuttles before the lines get bad. We travel in groups with 3 or 4 cabins so getting all of us on a shuttle is challenging. 

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I don't usually buy it but I wish we had had it on the Vista in Galveston a few weeks ago.  The lines to embark were horrendous. People had no problem with cutting the line either. They just merged in when they wanted to.  I realize we are all on vacation, so we chilled about it but geez, have some manners. My sister did remark to one of the men, "you must be one of those people who merges at the last minute in traffic?".  He was a coward and sheepishly blamed the women in the group.  He was just following them.    So yes, jumping to the front would have been lovely with FTTF. 

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1 hour ago, MauiWowie57 said:

Sadly, they do seem to sell too many FTTFs; I've been Plat for a while now, and don't begrudge FTTFs at all - I don't like sitting around in long lines either, but at some point (as noted on another thread about priority room access), with staff reductions, something's got to give. In hindsight, I don't think I necessarily got my money's worth out of the FTTF before hitting Platinum status. 

I do think that at some point they'll monkey with the VIFP Tiers again, there seems to be more Platinum than the system can accommodate at this point. I did the Vista maiden trans-Atlantic a few years ago, and more than half the passengers were Platinum (including me!), which had the effect of...diminishing the value of that tier. 

 

How many FTTF do they sell for each cruise, on average? Here's the thing...we as passengers don't know that. And that number actually changes depending on the number of P/D's booked. So if we don't know that number, no one can truly say they sell too many.

 

I don't know how accurate this is, but one number that gets tossed around a lot is that Carnival initially releases 30 FTTF packages for a cruise. That small of a number isn't even a drop in the bucket of the number of priority passengers on board any given cruise. Despite what some believe, FTTF is capacity controlled based on the number of P/D's booked. So whatever that initial number is that they release, there's a chance they don't open any more for that cruise. Even if that initial release was more than 30, it still doesn't compare to the number of P/D's on a cruise. Not even close. You said yourself that there seems to be more Platinum than their system can handle nowadays. That's certainly not a case against FTTF. If the number of priority passengers per cruise is increasing overall, then it's because the number of Platinum are increasing, not FTTF.

 

FTTF was already in existence when Carnival made the big change to decrease the number of stewards, which in turn increased the number of cabins they're forced to service. That's why some cabins aren't completely turned over in time. So if anyone wants to point fingers, point them at Carnival, not FTTF passengers.

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2 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

How many FTTF do they sell for each cruise, on average? Here's the thing...we as passengers don't know that. And that number actually changes depending on the number of P/D's booked. So if we don't know that number, no one can truly say they sell too many.

 

I don't know how accurate this is, but one number that gets tossed around a lot is that Carnival initially releases 30 FTTF packages for a cruise. That small of a number isn't even a drop in the bucket of the number of priority passengers on board any given cruise. Despite what some believe, FTTF is capacity controlled based on the number of P/D's booked. So whatever that initial number is that they release, there's a chance they don't open any more for that cruise. Even if that initial release was more than 30, it still doesn't compare to the number of P/D's on a cruise. Not even close. You said yourself that there seems to be more Platinum than their system can handle nowadays. That's certainly not a case against FTTF. If the number of priority passengers per cruise is increasing overall, then it's because the number of Platinum are increasing, not FTTF.

 

FTTF was already in existence when Carnival made the big change to decrease the number of stewards, which in turn increased the number of cabins they're forced to service. That's why some cabins aren't completely turned over in time. So if anyone wants to point fingers, point them at Carnival, not FTTF passengers.

What you said makes a lot of sense.

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19 hours ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

 

Just wait until you have been Platinum for awhile or on your way to Diamond and your attitude will change. It happens to everyone.  Not sure when it will happen, but one day something will happen that will change your view, like spending 20 minutes in line at GS behind a Blue card with FTTF who is not happy because they don’t use real glasses at bars located in pool areas. 

First world problems.

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8 hours ago, Theosprey247 said:

Why do I buy FTTF?  To piss off Diamonds and Platinums.

The best reason of all! 🙂

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I like getting our luggage faster ( I know it doesn't always happen, but it has for us) I can't relax until I see our suitcases unpacked!! No lines is a great perk too!! We've sailed without it too! Always had a great time no matter!

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People being impressed with the color of their card.............Priceless. Just relax and enjoy the cruise. And those that have reached the lofty status congrats and those that haven't you are still on a cruise so everyone wins.

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I have never even noticed the color of another cruisers card before.   I'm just a lowly gold, but I did purchase FTTF for my cruise next December.  The price was right, it's a tender heavy itinerary, i'll have  young kids with me and it will be my last cruise on Carnival....before I turn Platinum :)  so, i guess i bought it to see what all of the fuss was about and it will be my last opportunity to try it out. 

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I am assuming that the dreaded blue card is for first timers on Carnival...so as a lowly blue carder. I bought it because I want to get to vacation sooner so early embarkation is the main reason. We like to grab lunch going to try one of those guys burgers and pizza everyone raves about. On Horizon the reviews said that 12:30 embarkation means not able to find a table on deck 10 to eat at. better to board early and get to the fun,  lunch and water slides. 

 

2nd reason is early debarkation since we have to meet our shuttle to the airport.  We like to self carry off but with FIL traveling with us thats not a option so this works in its place.  

 

Being able to get early luggage( maybe) is a wash because it comes early or it doesn't. But being able to drop off our carry ones is great and to change into our swim suits means the first day makes it worth it. We don't explore the ship until after dinner. Its Lunch, swim, slides, change, muster,  dinner at specialty , explore. 

 

As for GS line that is a plus but hope to only need it 1x when we get extra cards for the rooms. 

 

I will proudly wear my blue card and enjoy my vacation. 

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We usually sail in 2 cabins and buy it for both. BUT - when it was $50 a cabin I didn't hesitate. Now that it is over $100 per cabin, I may think twice if we sail in multiple cabins again.  For my family of 4 ,$100 is ok but not $300 for example.
 

I like boarding as early as possible. We travel far and it's the first day of our vacation. I'd rather be on the ship than in the hotel.

 

I like priority tendering. We also use private tour companies often and we need to get ashore too.

 

I like the guest services line. If I need to go there, it's usually something minor but necessary. I don't want to stand in line 30 min.

 

I like our room being ready when we board. I want to drop off stuff, wander the ship, eat lunch, and upack. All before muster drill.

 

Agree with an above poster.....if FTTF is advertised as something is specific and then you don't get that (I had trouble with an early tender once) then I will complain. We bought that service. Period.

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21 hours ago, Donoiv11 said:

The best reason of all! 🙂

does it really hurt so bad to be so jealous of those two words?

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