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Big Day For Carnival’s New Cruise Ship

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Carnival Cruise Line is now the proud owner of their 26th ship. During a traditional maritime handover ceremony today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the company was given the metaphorical keys to Carnival Horizon with a slew of dignitaries and executives in attendance. During the ceremony, the shipyard presented Horizon’s captain, Luigi De Angelis, with a glass vessel containing some of the water into which the ship was first floated, as is keeping with tradition. (Luigi is a 22-year veteran of Carnival, having also helmed this ship’s sister, the Carnival Vista, during her inaugural season in Miami.)

What’s Next For Carnival Horizon?

Photo via Carnival.

Horizon will now make her way to Barcelona, Spain, where she will do four sailings in the Mediterranean (including her maiden, 13-night Mediterranean cruise) before repositioning to New York City for a series of sailings to both Canada and the Caribbean. While in New York City, the ship will play host to her Godmother, the legendary Queen Latifah, who will be joined by another celebrity, whose identity has not yet been revealed.

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The shipyard signed the ship over to Carnival Cruise Line. Photo via Carnival.

The ship — which will be joined next year by a third Vista-class vessel, the Carnival Panorama — is introducing several venues which will be brand new to the Carnival fleet. While Carnival loyalists are already very familiar with Guy Fieri’s poolside burger joint, Horizon will feature his first shipboard BBQ restaurant, Guy’s Pig and Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse, which will offer complimentary lunch options and for-fee a la carte dinner menu at night. You can see the menu and prices by clicking here.

Also new to Carnival is Bonsai Teppanyaki, featuring two 16-seater hibachi grills located inside Bonsai Sushi, which will offer three seatings a night. (This one will fill up fast, so it’s important to make reservations if you want to snag a table!)

Of course, you’ll also find items that are carried over from Carnival Vista, like the IMAX Theather, the thrilling SkyRide and ropes course, Seafood Shack, Alchemy Bar, BlueIguana Cantina and much more.

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line Reverses Unpopular Pricing Decision

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Yesterday, we reported that Carnival Cruise Line had boosted the price of their new Pixel photo packages… a decision which proved wildly unpopular. And in response to their loyal passengers complaining, Carnival has reversed the decision! There is, however, a modification being made to the program.

The New/Old Prices

“Effective today,” wrote Brand Ambassador John heald on his popular Facebook page, “Pixels pre-cruise photo packages are returning to their introductory pricing. To balance the strong popularity of the most premium package with the onboard photo center resources, there will be a cap on the number of copies guests can order of their unlimited photos to a maximum of 50 prints or 50 digital files. The other two packages remain the same.”

He added that another change would be made by popular request. “We are now making these packages available to guests onboard on embarkation day only at special rates.” Those who pre-purchased the package at the higher rate will be given an onboard credit for the difference in price. “We will also honor the original Pixels Plus Digital package for those who purchased it before today,” he added.

 

Pixels Digital Photo Gallery onboard Carnival Horizon

“We appreciate our guests’ feedback,” he concluded, “and are happy that we can provide the great opportunity to preserve their cruise memories with photo packages that meet their needs. So there you go!”

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Although the website had not yet been updated to reflect the change when Heald made the announcement, the original pricing on the packages was as follows, with the onboard-purchase price he mentioned listed as well.

  • Pixels: This package offers prints of 5 of your best photographs, plus 1 16” by 20” canvas portrait at a cost of $99.99. (The embarkation day price will be $119.98.)
  • Pixels Plus: With this package, you can choose as many of your favorites as you like and have them printed at a cost of $199.99. (The embarkation day price will be $239.98.)
  • Pixels Plus Digital: This option offers you all of the prints of your favorite photographs, plus a souvenir USB stick containing high-resolution digital versions of the pictures, and runs $249.99. (The embarkation-day price will be $299.98.)

Those picking the Pixels option have until the final sea day of their voyage to pick the five prints they want to have made. Passengers who purchase a package will receive a Pixels gift ticket, which will be left in their stateroom. That ticket can then be taken to the photo gallery for redemption (which must be done within two days of boarding).

 

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Raises Photo Package Prices

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Well, that sure didn’t take long! Only a few short weeks ago, Carnival Cruise Line introduced three different photo packages designed to make it easier and more economical for passengers to purchase the pics they have snapped around the ship. And this week, the cost of two of the three packages went up significantly!

How Much You’ll Pay Now

Pixels Digital Photo Gallery onboard Carnival Horizon

As was the case previously, there are three different packages for cruisers to choose from, all of which offer significant savings over buying individual photos while on board. It’s also important to note that these packages are only available for purchase pre-cruise in the Fun Shops on Carnival’s web page. Info on the three packages is listed below, along with the original price and what the package will currently cost. The packages break down as follows:

  • Pixels: This package offers prints of 5 of your best photographs, plus 1 16” by 20” canvas portrait at a cost of $99.99. The price on this package has not changed.
  • Pixels Plus: With this package, you can choose as many of your favorites as you like and have them printed at a cost of $249.99. Previously, this package cost $199.99.
  • Pixels Plus Digital: This option offers you all of the prints of your favorite photographs, plus a souvenir USB stick containing high-resolution digital versions of the pictures, and runs $399.99. Previously, this package cost $249.99.

Although all three packages must be purchased in advance in order to take advantage of the discount, those picking the Pixels option have until the final sea day of their voyage to pick the five prints they want to have made. Passengers who purchase a package will receive a Pixels gift ticket, which will be left in their stateroom. That ticket can then be taken to the photo gallery for redemption (which must be done within two days of boarding).

Most, But Not All, Photographs Are Included

There are, of course, exceptions and restrictions, although generally speaking, the packages do include all of the candid and posed shots taken by the ship’s photographers. But photos of people not staying in your stateroom aren’t included, nor are photos of large groups (such as those that might be taken for weddings or other special events) or generic ship images. If your group does a private photo shoot (or wants additional prints), those come at an extra charge. And it’s important to note that once you’ve disembarked, the photos will no longer be available! For full details on the packages, head to the Fun Shops at carnival.com.

Will you purchase a photo package for your next Carnival cruise? Does the price increase impact your decision whether or not to buy one of the packages? 

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The Cutback Carnival Guests May Approve Of

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Usually, whenever a cruise line announces that they are cutting back on something, people complain. But this week, Carnival Cruise Line announced a change that we suspect most cruisers will not only approve of but cheer. In the continuing effort to reduce their environmental impact upon the sea which their passengers love sailing on, Carnival is making a major change to cut back on the amount of single-use plastic being distributed onboard their ships.

“Please Support Our Efforts”

In a posting to his popular Facebook page, Carnival’s Brand Ambassador, John Heald, not only revealed that Carnival Cruise Line would stop automatically offering plastic straws with drinks, but explained the reasoning why in a heartfelt posting. “Let’s be honest,” it began, “and shout out loud that the pollution of the earth and seas we sail and the use of disposable plastic is shameful. It is, however, reversible.

“Plastic waste dumped on land and in rivers is finding its ways into the world’s oceans so fast and in such quantities,” he wrote, “that by one estimate I read today there will be more waste than fish in the sea, by weight, by the middle of the century.

“Did you know,” he continued, “that if you lined up the 500 million straws used and discarded each day just in the U.S. alone, you would be able to wrap them around the globe 2.5 times! Incredible, isn’t it? And I ask this. Why does anyone over the age of 3 (or in physical need of one) actually need a straw to drink with? So this is what Carnival Cruise Line is proudly going to do. We will no longer automatically serve any soda or cocktail (except frozen) with a plastic straw.”

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Guests Can Still Get Straws If They Ask

This does not mean that passengers who enjoy sipping through a straw won’t be able to get one, he was quick to point out, but simply that it wouldn’t be automatically given. “They will be provided by request,” he said. “If you want one, please ask. Please support our efforts to limit the amount of plastic that can be found in the seas today.”

Heald ended the post with a heartfelt plea. “I hope I can count on all of you reading this to support Carnival,” he wrote. “We will be doing more over time to limit the use of single-use plastic products onboard our ships.” He then asked people to show their support for Carnival and this decision by sharing the post with “at least one person.”

An Industry-Wide Change

Photo: Royal Caribbean

Carnival’s move comes as the entire cruise industry is making moves to decrease its environmental impact. Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line CEO Michael Bayley announced that the line had a “newly-formed plastics team within the corporation.” He added, “We manage our waste very well, but we have an exciting opportunity to play our part in the overall reduction of plastic which, it’s becoming clear for all to see, has such a negative impact on our oceans.”

Bayley indicated that Royal Caribbean was looking to not only eliminate wherever possible single-use plastic items, but also to “reduce the amount of plastic in the [operations side of] the business — chairs, bags, staff belts and shoes, for example. [We also] want to influence our supply chain, because we have to do this together.”

Do you support the cruise lines in their effort to reduce plastics? Would not being automatically given a straw be an issue for you when cruising? 

Lead photo courtesy of Carnival.

 

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