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Carnival Cruise Ship Rescues Stranded Sailor During Storm

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While we’ve all heard horror stories arising out of Hurricane Irma’s destruction, the Carnival Elation and her crew wound up heroes thanks to an unusual twist of fate. In fact, a potential tragedy was avoided thanks to the Carnival Cruise Line vessel being in the right place at the right time.

A Carnival Cruise Ship Goes On A Rescue Mission

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When Hurricane Irma hit, the Carnival Elation was in the middle of a scheduled dry dock in Freeport, the main city on the island of Grand Bahama. In order to safely navigate the storm, the ship had to be floated out of dry dock until it was safe for her to return. When finally the weather had subsided to the point that Elation could return to dry dock on Sunday, September 10, she picked up on a distress signal.

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It turned out that a United States citizen had been forced to abandon his vessel during the storm. His ship sank, leaving him stranded in a lifeboat. Despite strong winds, heavy swells and almost total darkness, the Elation responded to the distress call. The stranded sailor was brought safely on board and immediately provided with food, water and medical attention.

All’s Well That Ends Well

Unlike so many stories which have come out in the days following Hurricane Irma’s deadly assault on islands in the Caribbean and, later, most of the Florida coastline, this one has a happy ending. According to a Carnival Cruise Lines rep, the rescued part was brought safely back to Freeport. Since then, the Carnival CareTeam has been in contact with the man’s family and is working to help facilitate his return to the United States.

“We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to the captain and crew of the Carnival Elation for their exemplary and life-saving actions.”

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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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