Following our initial report detailing Carnival Cruise Line’s significant upgrade to its booking systems, Carnival’s booking systems and website are back online.
However, the upgrade aimed at improving front-end and back-end booking systems has encountered a few road bumps since it went live.
Notably, some cruise prices appear to have doubled, and several potential guests have reported difficulties booking a cruise with a deposit. Website visitors have also reported that several cruises seem to be unavailable.
Technical Glitches Following Upgrade
Carnival Cruise Line’s upgrade of its booking systems did not go entirely to plan. Since the website came back online, numerous issues have been reported.
The upgrade, scheduled to take place on September 16 and 17, between 12:00 AM ET and concluding on the evening of Sunday, was aimed at enhancing the user experience for guests and travel agents.
Given that the cruise line’s website receives millions of visits monthly, the upgrades have been a significant event affecting everything related to bookings.
The issues ranged from guests finding cruises costing more than double the original price, an oceanview room costing more than a balcony cabin, travel agents being unable to make payments for cruises, cruises being invisible or unavailable, and it being impossible to book a cruise with a deposit.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Brand Ambassador, John Heald, addressed the issues: “The website is still having a few concerns. For example, the price shows double on the first screen, but when you click on it, the real price shows. There are also people trying to book with a deposit but cannot and there are some cruises that are not showing.
“I didn’t want you to feel you have to let me know or call the Mothership so please allow me to apologize and I promise I have let the beards know and they are working on this right now.”
In systems as intricate as Carnival Cruise Line’s, which links thousands of terminals globally, the likelihood of encountering a glitch is almost inevitable.
Despite undergoing extensive testing before launching, unforeseen issues can still arise. However, Carnival may not have anticipated glitches of this magnitude.
A Short Term Hiccup?
The downtime over the weekend of September 16 and 17 was significant, with critical functionalities of the booking system rendered inaccessible for nearly two days.
These Included pre-cruise functionalities in My Cruise Manager, such as online check-in and booking shore excursions or spa and dining reservations, but also new bookings, service management, payments, and access to the travel agent platform.
This comes after the website experienced a series of glitches over the last couple of years, the most recent being the beverage package glitch in August 2023, and another glitch where cruises disappeared from the website.
According to an official email to travel agents, the downtime was expected to affect various pre-cruise functionalities such as online check-ins and booking shore excursions.
The upgrade should also help Carnival’s efforts to cope with the increasing number of visitors to its website, which saw an almost 9% rise in visitor numbers in July 2023, up to 13 million visitors per month, compared to the same month last year. By comparison, all nine brands in Carnival Corporation combined see about 35 million visitors per month.
It’s clear that the transition could have been smoother. Carnival is actively working to rectify these problems as swiftly as possible.
Given the considerable implications for guests and travel agents alike, the cruise line will want to have this corrected as soon as possible, and it should be no more than a short-term hiccup.
For now, it seems best to wait for a short time while Carnival gets rid of the various bugs that have been introduced in the system.