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Carnival Cruise Line Opens Panorama Bookings

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If you’re the type of cruiser who looks forward to being among the first to board a new ship, this is your lucky day: Carnival Cruise Line is now accepting bookings for their newest ship, the Carnival Panorama.

What We Know About The New Ship

Although the ship won’t begin sailing until the end of 2019, people are already getting excited…especially since this will be the first new Carnival cruise ship to be based on the West Coast in over two decades! Better still, the Panorama be sailing out of a re-opened and expanded terminal in Long Beach, California. “The West Coast is an important market with vast growth potential,” said the line’s President, Christine Duffy, at an event back in February, adding that they were “very much looking forward to having Carnival Panorama homeported” on the West Coast.

Panorama will be the third Vista-class ship — joining sisters Vista and Horizon — and will continue to expand on the idea of allowing passengers to get as close to the sea as possible. Like her sister ships, Panorama will feature the innovate SkyRide (think of it as riding a bicycle through the clouds) and many restaurants which will offer both indoor and outdoor seating. It will also feature the wildly popular Havana section. And while Carnival promises that Panorama will also feature “innovations unique to” the ship, details about those will be released at a later date.

Where is Carnival Panorama Going? 

 

But for many cruisers, those details aren’t necessarily important… they want to know two things: Where is the ship sailing, and when can I take her for a spin? And this week, that information finally became available as Carnival released the initial itineraries Panorama will be sailing… even as she’s in the very early stages of construction!

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Carnival Panorama

Carnival Panorama, currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy. Photo via Carnival.

Once the ship arrives in Long Beach, her first voyage will be a one-time-only three-day cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada from December 11 to the 14th (keep in mind, this is in 2019). After that, Panorama will be doing a three-port, seven-day itinerary departing every Saturday. Her first stop will be Cabo San Lucas, followed by Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

As of now, the Mexican Riviera itinerary is the only one listed for the ship, although the possibility of her eventually doing other runs out of Los Angeles are wide open. She could even do an Alaska run, such as the 14-day Carnival Journeys trip offered out of Long Beach on the Carnival Splendor.  Interestingly, Carnival Panorama will go straight from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy to Long Beach, making this the first time the cruise line has not offered a transatlantic voyage in years.

The New Long Beach Cruise Terminal 

Long Beach

The newly refurbished Long Beach Cruise Terminal, which the Carnival Panorama will sail out of year-round. Photo via Carnival.

The state-of-the-art terminal was completed in just 10 months and now allows for 100% utilization of the site’s massive geodesic dome. Thanks to the renovations nearly doubling the space to 146,000 square feet, it also now boasts 34 check-in counters and a seating for 1,584 guests. Most importantly, Long Beach is now a two-way terminal, meaning it can operate both embarkation and debarkation at the same time.

“Carnival Panorama promises to be a spectacular addition to our fleet and we’re delighted to provide our guests with an opportunity to be among the first to sail” on her, Duffy said.

Bookings for Carnival Panorama are now open by contacting your travel agent or heading over to Carnival.com.

 

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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 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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