The coveted “Behind the Fun” ship tour aboard Carnival cruise ships is a top activity for many guests, but the online booking for the tour has hit an unexpected snag.
When reservations are made, guests are being mistakenly notified of the wrong day for the tour to take place, but the cruise line is aware of the glitch and has addressed the issue so no guests miss their exclusive reservations.
Behind the Fun Tour Online Booking Glitch
Carnival Cruise Line’s Behind the Fun tour is a very popular option with cruise fans as it offers a behind-the-scenes look at crew-only areas onboard. Previously, the tour was only able to be booked onboard, and the limited spaces would quickly fill up on embarkation day for many ships and sailings.
In December, the cruise line announced that online pre-cruise sales of the tour would become available fleet-wide in early January 2024, permitting guests to make their reservations well ahead of embarkation day craziness.
Yet as those pre-cruise sales have begun, guests have noticed a confusing glitch. Traditionally, Behind the Fun is offered only once per sailing, on the last sea day of each cruise itinerary. This lets guests get familiar with the public areas of the ship before they go behind the scenes, and ensures no port time is lost for the 3-4 hour tour (times vary on different vessels).
With the new online bookings, however, the tour is booked as a shore excursion listed on embarkation day, the first day of the cruise. This has made it difficult for travelers to find the tour to book for their upcoming sailings and it can be confusing to understand exactly when the tour takes place onboard.
“There is still a glitchy thing going on where the excursion says that it will be departing on embarkation day,” said John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line’s Brand Ambassador. “This is not the case , obviously. I do apologize and wanted to let you know the Behind the Fun look behind the crew-only doors will leave on the last sea day and information will be sent to you on board.”
The tour’s description on Carnival’s website also clarifies that Behind the Fun happens on the last sea day. If there is only one sea day on a particular itinerary, the tour takes place on that day – even if it is the first full day of the sailing.
As embarkation day is never a day at sea – it’s very challenging for guests to board a cruise ship at sea – Behind the Fun will never be offered on embarkation day.
The tickets for the tour will also include the day and time of the behind-the-scenes adventure, as well as where guests are to meet for the experience.
Why Not Embarkation Day?
Some travelers are wondering why Behind the Fun cannot be offered on embarkation day, as it could be a fun and memorable way to start a cruise vacation.
While this may be true, there are logistical challenges on embarkation day – which is also debarkation day for the previous cruise’s passengers – that make it impossible to offer a behind-the-scenes experience that day.
First, there may be security concerns while a ship is docked that would prohibit guests from going into certain areas that might otherwise be available during a sea day.
A ship’s crew is exceptionally busy whenever the vessel is docked as well, making tour groups less welcome as they may interfere with ongoing duties. This is especially true on embarkation day, when all staterooms must be thoroughly cleaned, bedding changed, supplies loaded, luggage delivered, and other tasks that do not happen during sea days.
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Finally, guests who are just boarding a ship have other considerations on embarkation day as well. They must complete their muster drills, unpack for their cruise vacation, and get familiar with the ship as they figure out where their stateroom is, when and where to eat, and how to find their way around.
Furthermore, with different guests having different boarding times, it could be difficult to schedule the Behind the Fun tour to ensure that all guests are able to enjoy the experience on embarkation day.
Have you taken the Behind the Fun tour? Do you think it should be offered on a different day? Share your thoughts on the Cruise Hive boards!