Carnival Cruise Line releases some changes that impact Platinum and Diamond guests booked on the initial cruises this summer just for the month of July.
Now that Carnival cruise ships will resume operations in the summer, the cruise line has released some details on the online check-in procedures and priority access during the cruise. There are also some changes to how Very Important Fun Person Club (VIFP) benefits are done to make sure guests and crew remain protected.
Carnival Cruise Changes
The cruise line has been very focused on ensuring it meets the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Conditional Sailing Order requirements. One of the newly announced changes is the check-in process which all guests will have to complete online.
The online check-in will open 14 days before departure, but it will be 16 days, a 48-hour benefit for Platinum and Diamond guests. As expected, the cruise line is also asking all guests to arrive at the terminal at their appointment time. Otherwise, they will be turned away. This allows Carnival to deal with all the extra procedures that need to be dealt with during embarkation.
Carnival expects high numbers of Platinum and Diamond guests and says it may not be possible to offer priority disembarkation. It really will depend on the cruise and the number of passengers at the time.
For those guests who embark early, it’s likely the staterooms would not be ready in time due to additional cleaning and sanitation. Carnival now says that guests can drop off their luggage before heading to Lido to eat or even complete the new e-muster process, which is yet to be detailed.
When it comes to water shuttle priority such as tendering, it depends on the local guidance of the port. No set plan has been announced, and guests will be informed on each port. This will likely be during the cruise and could change without prior notice.
When it comes to the onboard Casino, there will be no hosted tournaments, and guests will be given $25 for Casino FunPlay to use during the sailing. Carnival Cruise Line is not making any changes to the laundry perks at this time.
Certain VIFP benefits will be linked to the Sail & Sign card, and guests will see any items that come up on the account. Things such as the Chocolate Delight, a logo gift, and the popular ship pin will have to be arranged during the cruise to limit the contact with other passengers and crew members.
It is important to know that Platinum and Diamond guests will receive the full details of the procedures 16 days before departure, the same time online check-in will open. These were just some of the highlights posted by Carnival Cruise Line Ambassador John Heald on Thursday afternoon.
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More Changes to Come
More changes are still to come as Carnival works with the CDC on a safe return from the U.S., starting on July 3 with the Carnival Vista out of the Port of Galveston. There will also be departures with Carnival Breeze out of Texas starting on July 15 and Carnival Horizon out of Miami, and Carnival Miracle out of Seattle.
Carnival Cruise Line has already released specific health protocols for cruises out of Texas, which will be for fully vaccinated passengers only in July. The specific health measures for sailings out of Seattle to Alaska are also for fully vaccinated guests for July.
The cruise line is yet to release anything specific health protocols for August sailings or departures out of Florida. The Florida ban on requesting proof of vaccination is an ongoing issue that cruise lines need to deal with.
Royal Caribbean has already carefully detailed that those cruising out of Florida can voluntarily show their proof. If no proof is given, guests will undergo more strict protocols during the voyage than those who would have shown proof of full vaccination. It’s not yet known what route Carnival will take.
The VIFP club is Carnival Cruise Line’s guests recognition program that provides a number of perks depending on the guest level. The standard Blue level is for first time guests, there is then a red level for guests on their second sailing and up to 24 points. Passengers need even more points for the top three levels starting with Gold, then Platinum and finally Diamond level which is the highest.