Cruisin’

 

Loyalty, at times pays, I am and have been pretty loyal to Carnival Cruise Lines.  I have been cruising with them since 1981.  Every time I think about trying a different cruise line I start thinking about how many days/cruises/points I have accrued with Carnival and I hate to lose that and start over with a new company / system.  So I am sailing in 50+ days on my Diamond Status Cruise (more on that later).  Carnival is a very FUN company.    Do you know how they got that name?  Back in 1971 a man named Ted Arison had an idea and very little money, he bought a used ocean liner and started making runs or cruises from Miami to San Juan.  On his very first cruise the ship ran upon some rocks right outside of Miami before Mr. Arison could even get all his ideas off the ground.  Knowing there where several reporters on board following the “inaugural” launch of the Carnival Mardi Gras in March 1972 Mr. Arison had to think fast. And that is just what he did, he quickly opened the bars and had drinks for everyone as the ship waited for the tide to turn and the the Mardi Gras to return to Miami where she was greeted by even more reporters who snapped photos and took first hand quotes of what a “fun ship that was”!  And that my friends was how they became known as THE FUN SHIPS!

I’ve sailed on many, many of the Carnival Ships (starting with the Carnivale in 1981 and ending with the not even launched yet Horizon in May of this year).  Carnival Cruise Line currently has 25 cruise ships, with at least four more being added to the fleet in the next 5 years. Carnival Horizon will debut in the spring of 2018 and the 3rd Vista class ship is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

I’m all for getting your moneys worth for everything you can.  Squeeze every penny out of every dollar.  Find every coupon and cut every corner. So when I heard about the stock options when buying stock with Carnival Corporation I wanted to learn more.  What I learned is:

This benefit is available to shareholders holding a minimum of 100 shares of Carnival Corporation or Carnival plc. This benefit is not transferable, cannot be exchanged for cash and, cannot be used for casino credits/charges and gratuities charged to your onboard account. Only one onboard credit per shareholder-occupied stateroom.  You must provide by fax or by mail your complete legal name, reservation number, ship and sailing date, along with proof of ownership of Carnival Corporation or Carnival plc shares (for example, photocopy of shareholder proxy card, a dividend tax voucher or a current brokerage or nominee statement with your brokerage account number blacked out) no later than 3 weeks prior to your sail date to your travel agent or to the cruise line.

So if you purchase a minimum of 100 shares of Carnival Cruise Line (CCL)stock and supply the proper authorities with the correct information you will receive an on board credit.  Wow!  you still have the stocks and they have given you the credit to use on the ship – that is defiantly and win-win.  I purchased my stocks in 2002 and have gone on somewhere around 18 cruises that I have been able to use my stock option on.  This is more than paid for it’s self plus over the years the stocks have split at least once that I remember.

And then there is the VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) Club  aka Carnival’s Loyalty Program.  As mentioned earlier I will be crossing that all important DIAMOND line on our next cruise in May and I am so excited to see what all is on the other side!  I most defiantly will report here!

VIFP Club Blue VIFP Club Red VIFP Club Gold VIFP Club Platinum VIFP Club Diamond
My Benefits* BLUE First Sailing RED 2nd Sailing – 24 Points GOLD 25-74 Points PLATINUM 75-199 Points DIAMOND 200+ Points
*Itineraries featured on carnival.com.au may offer different benefits. no no no no no
Members-only offers yes yes yes yes yes
Member e-newsletter yes yes yes yes yes
Complimentary 1 liter bottle of water
(delivered to stateroom on all sailings)
no yes yes yes yes
Appreciation drink on 5+ day cruises (on the last evening of the cruise after 5pm no no yes no no
Gold VIFP pin on every sailing no no yes no no
Priority check-in and boarding no no no yes yes
Platinum and Diamond VIFP Party on 5+ day sailings (featuring complimentary drinks and appetizers) no no no yes yes
Complimentary beverage at Seaday brunch (on ships where brunch is not available, complimentary beverage at breakfast or lunch in Main Dining Room) no no no yes yes
“Chocolate Delight” strawberry plate
(delivered to stateroom on 5+ day cruises)
no no no yes yes
Unique, collectible pin (noting specific ship and year),
received on each sailing
no no no yes yes
Priority spa reservations no no no yes yes
Priority tender boarding
(ship to shore only)
no no no yes yes
Casino: Buy-one-get-one-free tournament entry (Blackjack or Slot only) no no no yes yes
$5 worth of complimentary arcade credits
(guests under 18 only)
no no no yes yes
Carnival logo gift on every sailing no no no yes yes
Priority Guest Services assistance by phone no no no yes yes
Priority line at onboard Guest Services desk no no no yes yes
Priority debarkation no no no yes yes
Priority reservations at Main Dining Room and Specialty Restaurant no no no yes no
Complimentary Wash & Fold laundry service
(2 bags on 3 – 6 day cruises,
3 bags on 7-12 day cruises, 5 bags on a 12+ day cruises )
no no no yes no
Guaranteed seating time requested in Main Dining Room for dinner only no no no no yes
Priority reservations at Specialty restaurants no no no no yes
Unlimited complimentary Wash & Fold service no no no no yes
Special event invitation from the Captain
on each sailing
no no no no yes
One-time free cabin upgrade OR third and fourth
guests sail free
no no no no yes
One-time donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® no no no no yes
One-time complimentary meal for two at Specialty
Restaurant of choice
no no no no yes
Dedicated toll-free number for sales and service no no no no yes

 

 So, yes, I am partial to Carnival.  I like them, I like what they do and what they stand for and and how they help others.  I have witnessed them (Carnival Cruise Lines) take linens and food items to islands that we were visiting – on vacation – that we were relaxing at -and having the time of our lives. – Carnival employees were taking pallets of linens to the people of the island that barely had shoes or shirts.  Carnival provided food after hurricanes hit ports that their ships frequented.  Carnival aided if not completely rebuilt the ports themselves.
Carnival goes further to show it cares.

Through all of their shared efforts, they have now raised more than $18 million to help St. Jude fight childhood cancer. And not to brag, but they have been on an absolute tear lately, hitting their last goal of a full two years ahead of schedule. Hand-in-hand, Carnival and their partners have passed milestone after milestone, setting their sights on ever-larger goals. Now they are ready to meet their most ambitious one so far: raise another $2 million in the next five years… for a total of $18 million.

Carnival Foundation oversees the many philanthropic endeavors of Carnival Corporation as well as its employee-driven service group, the “Friends Uniting Neighbors” (F.U.N.) Team.  See Carnival never gets very far from the FUN!

Carnival Foundation is dedicated to creating positive change through empowering youth, enhancing education and strengthening families in the communities where we live and work.

We believe that being a member of a community means giving something back. Carnival Foundation supports a broad spectrum of organizations that positively impact thousands of youth and families each year through charitable giving, in-kind donations and volunteerism.

I really am not trying to push Carnival down your throats but just wanted to educate you a little to what I have found to be interesting and FUN about Carnival.  I love selling Carnival cruise to people and hearing or seeing if I am lucky enough to go along with them, experience cruising.  Cruising is FUN.  Cruising is a way to see many places without having to pack up and travel to the next destination.  You don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to eat or entertainment for the evening either.  Once on board the ship you are at your “hotel” or “resort” for the week.  All your meals are included along with desserts and room service.  Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are extra but tea, coffee, juices and water are included.  Entertainment includes Broadway style shows, musicians and magicians, comedians and contortionist, games and movies!  And what is great is you travel to your next destination while your are partying or sleeping and when you get up the next morning you are there, ready to discover a new day in a new place.

 

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