Carnival Cruise Line Removes Benefits for Maiden Voyage

Not all the most popular VIFP loyalty benefits will be available aboard Carnival Venezia's first transatlantic sailing.

Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked aboard the maiden sailing of the new Carnival Venezia that certain loyalty benefits will not be available due to the overwhelming number of most loyal guests on the momentous voyage.

Diamond and Platinum guests will not have access to priority embarkation or debarkation during any part of the sailing, nor will their staterooms be available immediately upon boarding.

VIFP Benefits Adjusted for Carnival Venezia

Diamond and Platinum VIFP guests aboard Carnival Venezia‘s maiden voyage, departing Barcelona on May 29, 2023, will not be able to take advantage of some of their most popular loyalty benefits. Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to notify guests of the operational change.

“Due to the high number of Diamond and Platinum guests joining us on this voyage, we will not be able to provide priority embarkation or debarkation (including at any of the ports of call),” the email explained.

Diamond and Platinum are the highest loyalty levels in Carnival Cruise Line’s “Very Important Fun Person” (VIFP) loyalty program, earned after 75 cruise points for Platinum guests, and 200 cruise points for Diamond guests.

Carnival VIFP
Photo Copyright: Melissa Mayntz / Cruise Hive

The benefit of being the first to board a cruise or the first to exit the vessel, including at ports of call where applicable, is one of the most sought-after perks of the high loyalty status.

Read Also: Carnival Cruise Line Hints at Loyalty Program Overhaul

Another much-desired perk is for the most loyal guests’ staterooms to be ready immediately upon boarding, but this is another perk that will not be available during Carnival Venezia‘s first sailing. These guests can, however, drop off their bags in their stateroom right away, before heading to enjoy lunch at one of the ship’s 15 amazing dining venues.

“This operational change is consistent with other Carnival Journeys cruises where we have a very large number of Diamond and Platinum guests,” the email continued. “We apologize for any disappointment and thank you for your understanding.”

The standard VIFP benefits will still be applied to later Carnival Venezia sailings; at this time, the adjustment of privileges is only for the inaugural cruise.

Inaugural Popularity

The very first sailing of a new ship is always a momentous occasion, and the debut of Carnival Venezia is especially exciting as the ship has undergone extensive renovation and refurbishment to transform from the former Costa Venezia into a unique and exciting Carnival ship with distinctive Italian flair.

The ship’s first sailing is a 15-night transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to New York, calling on Malaga, Spain; Gibraltar; Lisbon, Portugal; Ponta Delgada in the Azores; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The cruise departs Barcelona on Monday, May 29, and will arrive in New York on Tuesday, June 13.

Carnival Venezia Cruise Ship
Carnival Venezia Cruise Ship (Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line)

The first cruise will be filled with special events and even more special guests, as Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy and Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse will also be aboard for at least part of the sailing.

A variety of VIP events are already planned, including a cooking demonstration by Lagasse, a special Sail Away Party, a special Fireside Chat, and more.

Once homeported in New York, Carnival Venezia will offer 4-night Bermuda cruises as well as 8-night Eastern Caribbean sailings and select departures for Canada and New England itineraries, longer Southern Caribbean explorations, and more extensive Eastern Caribbean cruises.

The ship will remain homeported from the Big Apple through November 2024, when she will reposition to Port Canaveral to offer Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean cruises from Florida, as well as special Panama Canal sailings.

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