While many cruise lines have created dedicated apps to bring guests all the updated information about activities, entertainment, dining, and more during their cruise, some passengers prefer the more relaxed, traditional vibe of a paper newsletter. Carnival Cruise Line is now bringing back its classic Fun Times newsletter, to be delivered to guests’ staterooms on each evening of their cruise.
Fun Times Newsletter Returning
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald has announced the return of the delivery of the Fun Times newsletter, a feature many guests have missed in recent years.
Prior to the pandemic industry-wide shutdown of cruising, many cruise lines had already begun slimming down onboard newsletters to save paper and reduce waste.
Instead, cruise lines introduced digital apps for guests to use. Carnival Cruise Line was no different with the Carnival Hub app, which includes detailed information about onboard activities, dining, and entertainment, as well as useful features such as deck plans and safety information.
Many guests, however, continue to prefer the printed newsletter for the convenience of having daily schedules at their fingertips without carrying around a cell phone or mobile device.
Printed newsletters have always remained available, but were no longer delivered to staterooms as part of pandemic precautions to have fewer people entering cabins and to reduce the possibility of disease transmission.
Instead, guests could pick up a printed newsletter at the Guest Services desk, public cafes, or other public venues. Now, the Fun Times will once again be delivered to guests’ cabins to inform them of the next day’s onboard schedule.
“In the days and weeks ahead we will provide a printed version of the Funtimes in the cabin mail box the night before,” Heald said.
Cabin mailboxes are located outside each cabin, usually near the door or where the cabin numbers are seen. Older ships may not have dedicated mailboxes, but papers can be folded and either slipped underneath the stateroom door or tucked behind the stateroom number sign.
The Carnival Hub app will continue to be available, giving guests their choice of how they prefer to be kept updated about what is coming up on their cruise.
About the Fun Times
The Carnival Fun Times (called the Carnival Caper Paper in years past) offers daily information about cruise activities, along with other useful details such as sunrise and sunset times, operating hours for different dining venues, highlights for top-tier entertainment, emergency phone numbers to call, and retail special offers and sales.
During port days, the newsletter also includes information about when guests must be back onboard the ship, as well as tips for going ashore.
One of the most popular features of the Fun Times has been a tear off, quick reference schedule of onboard activities, which many guests will carry to refer to throughout the day rather than toting along the whole newsletter. Some guests even bring special highlighters or pens to mark up the newsletter to ensure they don’t miss any excitement throughout the day.
Onboard Newsletters – Pros and Cons
Paper newsletters are convenient for many guests, especially those who prefer to “unplug” during a cruise vacation and do not want to constantly carry a cell phone or other mobile device.
The newsletter can be similar to a “morning paper” ritual to review and plan out one’s day. Also, a paper schedule does not require recharging one’s phone or adjusting the brightness when outdoors to read it easily.
Printed newsletters, however, cannot be updated without using even more paper and ink, and if there are last-minute changes to a cruise itinerary – such as being unable to visit a port of call due to poor weather or canceling a show because of crew illness – the electronic apps can be updated much more efficiently.
Occasionally, the online apps and printed newsletters don’t always show the same information, which can be confusing. When in doubt, it is more likely that the electronic version has been updated and is more accurate.
Apps can also offer more interactive features, such as setting reservations for dining or entertainment, messaging other guests, and reviewing one’s onboard account.
Do you prefer a printed newsletter, or are you committed to using a cruise line’s app instead? Share your preferences on the Cruise Hive boards!