Carnival Cruise Line announced a significant upgrade of its website designed to enhance its online services. Scheduled for this coming weekend, the update will have extensive implications for both front-end and back-end systems, particularly those that handle bookings and payments.
As more people turn to Carnival’s website to book their cruises and given the significant amount of sensitive data processed daily, regular maintenance is essential for a smooth booking experience for guests. Guests and travel agents should expect the booking pages to be down for most of September 16 and 17.
Carnival Cruise Line Website Downtime Details
Maintenance on the Carnival Cruise Line website, as well as GoCCL Navigator, and My Cruise Manager, is slated to begin on Saturday, September 16, at 12:00 AM ET and will conclude on the evening of Sunday, September 17. Certain key functionalities will be unavailable for guests and travel agents during this period.
This includes new bookings, service management, payments, and access to GoCCL Navigator—Carnival’s portal for travel advisors.
An official email sent out to travel agents by Carnival Cruise Line provides further specifics, mentioning that other pre-cruise functionalities in My Cruise Manager, such as online check-in and booking shore excursions or spa and dining reservations, will also be affected.
Therefore, the work being done on the various websites could bring some inconveniences for guests planning to set sail on Carnival cruises next week.
Adding to the challenge is the fact that Carnival’s Contact Center teams will not have access either to the systems, and won’t be able to provide assistance during this period.
Those who plan to access the site for these functions should complete their business before the start time of the downtime or risk being shut out for the weekend.
It’s common for industries that rely heavily on online systems, such as cruise lines, to schedule maintenance downtime. While website maintenance will usually be limited to a few hours, the fact that Carnival expects the website to be down for nearly two days, with significant impacts to guests, it is likely a considerable upgrade that will bring several improvements.
Why Maintenance is Necessary
Carnival Cruise Line’s website draws in millions of visitors each month. In fact, in July of 2023, the website saw visitor numbers increase by nearly 9% over the same month the previous year, with traffic at 13 million visits.
With this much traffic and the vast amount of personal data that the cruise line handles each day, safety is paramount. Downtime, such as announced for this weekend, often includes implementing new security measures or updating existing ones. In some cases, new laws or industry regulations may force changes in how customer data is stored or processed.
Another reason could be to implement system upgrades. These could include improvements to user interfaces or introducing new features to make the booking process smoother and more efficient.
Like any complex system, Carnival’s booking and payment portals may experience slow load times, glitches, or even outages as they age.
Over the last couple of years, Carnival Cruise Line has seen some glitches, with the most recent beverage package glitch being the most recent. This glitch, which slashed prices for drinks packages in August, 2023, forced Carnival Cruise Line to give guests a discount on beverage packages.
While relatively minor, and Carnival did offer some form of refund to guests, many were still left disappointed that Carnival did not honor discounts of nearly 90% on a seven-day package. Something that Royal Caribbean International did honor in a similar incident in 2019.
Although the downtime is less than ideal, guests and travel agents can minimize disruptions by conducting their transactions before or after the scheduled weekend maintenance. This should help avoid any complications on September 16 and 17.