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Carnival Expands Layaway-like Payment Options

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The two hardest things about cruising are disembarking from the ship once your trip is over and paying for the vacation before you get to set sail. And while there’s not much that can cure the disembarkation day blues, Carnival Cruise Line is making it at least a little bit easier to pay for your vacation thanks to a change in EasyPay, the program they rolled out last year which is sort of like the cruise version of layaway.

How Carnival Changed EasyPay

Earlier this year, Carnival launched the EasyPay program, which gave budget-conscious cruisers an easy way to break the total cost of the trip into three automatic payments. Originally, guests booking their future vacation were able to select the EasyPay program and arrange to make three interest-free payments. If there was a flaw in the program, it was that there wasn’t much flexibility. EasyPay only worked if you were willing to make three payments, which could result in those amounts being pretty big chunks of money.

Now, however, they are expanding the program to allow for more flexibility… as long as, of course, the total amount winds up having been paid by the final payment date.

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How Does It Works?

To better understand the process, I did a mock-booking, deciding that imaginary me would need a seven-night Caribbean vacation right around September of next year. The total cost for my cruise, as shown below, was $977. There was a $500 deposit due at the time of booking. With the Easy-Pay option, I would wind up paying the remainder via six automatic, monthly payments of $79.50 each. The program figures out the number of payments based on the time between booking and your final payment due date. Since the final payment date on my imaginary cruise was July 3, which is six months away, EasyPay divided my payments into six payments. Were my cruise a year away, it would have divided the post-deposit amount into 12 monthly payments.

“This is something a lot of guests have been wanting to do for many years,” said one travel agent we spoke to. “Rather than getting stuck with a big bill, they can pay their vacation off in more manageable chunks. I’ll be very surprised if other cruise lines don’t create their own version of the program!”

What You Need To Know 

Not all cruises are eligible for EasyPay. This is only available for sailings that have a deposit and where there is at least 90 days between the time of booking and the final payment date. The first payment will be charged 30 days after the payment of the initial deposit.

Will you take advantage of Carnival’s EasyPay system?

Photo via Carnival Cruise Line

 

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June Special: Kids Sail Free to the Bahamas

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With summer around the corner, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has a special deal for families traveling with kids. Valid for all June cruises, those 16 and under will sail free if they’re staying in the same stateroom with two paying parents.

With the school year wrapping up and Father’s Day on June 17, it’s the perfect time for a quick escape to the Bahamas. Both of the line’s ships, Grand Classica and Grand Celebration offer a number of activities for guests on their way to the island. There are youth clubs divided by age, swimming pools, multiple dining options, a mini movie theater, mini rock climbing wall, a ball pit, and more.

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There’s also a number of shore excursions that families can take part in once they arrive, including snorkeling, a beach day, cruising the beach in an open-top Jeep, swimming with dolphins, parasailing, kayaking, glass-bottom boat tours, and more.

For more information, visit bahamasparadisecruiseline.com.

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Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Take Annual Photos on Cruise Ship

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The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have officially wrapped up their 2018 annual photo shoot, and this year a Miami-based cruise ship was the backdrop.

Over 20 of the cheerleaders sailed to the sunny Caribbean this month aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside, donning a number of clothing styles for the photos while capturing the ship’s iconic design. The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Annual is set to be released at the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Fashion Show this fall.

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The cheerleaders also took part in photo shoot in ports along the way, including St. Maarten, San Juan, and Nassau. During the voyage, the cheerleaders engaged with guests throughout the cruise during a variety of activities, including at the sail away party, hosting youth cheer clinics, posing for photo ops, and doing special performances to entertain guests. To kick off the cruise, they provided a warm Miami Dolphins welcome by taking over the terminal with mascot “TD” to cheer guests into their vacation.

The annual photoshoot onboard MSC Seaside came on the heels of the Dolphins’ first ever Fan Cruise onboard the same ship in March. The voyage included football legend guests of honor including Kim Bokamper, Terry Kirby, Sam Madison, Nat Moore, Joe Rose and Patrick Surtain, for a week of themed activities. The team will be hosting their second cruise in 2019.

The Miami Dolphins and MSC Cruises are in the midst of a three-year partnership, which resulted in the Fan Cruise. It will be hosted annually over the next three years.

Photos: Miami Dolphins

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Carnival Horizon Makes Inaugural Call in Canadian Port

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Carnival Cruise Line’s brand new Vista-class ship Carnival Horizon made her first-ever call in Halifax, Nova Scotia yesterday.

The day was a welcome change for cruise passengers; it was the first port stop after six days at sea crossing the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean. Ship officers as well as local officials held a traditional plaque ceremony in the Library onboard, where a plaque was given to the ship by the Port of Halifax and other tokens were exchanged, including a model of the ship given to the port by Carnival Cruise Line.

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Carnival Horizon is the sister-ship to Carnival Vista, which pioneered a number of new concepts for Carnival including the SkyRide bicycling attraction and the Dreamscape LED sculpture in the atrium. Some of Horizon’s unique new features include a sit-down barbecue smokehouse and brewery as well as a Cat in the Hat themed WaterWorks water park.

Click here for a video of the ship headed into the Port of Halifax.

Click here for our article on all of the free food found aboard Carnival Horizon.

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