I was thinking about making this a Tip for New Cruisers post, but I decided that since it is line-specific, I shouldn’t (as not all new cruisers are cruising with Carnival).
Anyway… For those of you who do sail Carnival, here’s a tip for you specifically. Maybe other cruise lines do this? Please inform me if they do. At the end of each sailing, you receive those comment cards to fill out. First, I’d like to say that you should fill them out, and be sure to mention any staff members who went out of their way to make your vacation memorable. Why do I say this? Carnival is noted for saying that they read every comment that goes there way. Well, as far as I know, it’s true.
This leads me to the 45-day letters. After your cruise, I encourage you to write a letter (either mailed or e-mailed) to Carnival. It is this letter that can possibly get you a coveted 45-day letter. So what should you include in your letter? Anything related to your cruise. If you had a great time, explain why. If you felt there was an area that could use improving, talk about that. Or if there a particular staff member that did a great job, talk about that person. I think it’s best to stick to one topic and not jump all around the place.
Several weeks to months later, you should receive a response. (You might not too.) If you do receive a response, it will be one of two things:
- A response simply thanking you for submitting your comments, your comments mean a lot, yada yada yada.
- Or you’ll receive a 45-day-letter. If you’re unfamiliar with this, you’re probably wondering what exactly this 45-day letter is. Well I’ll tell you. This letter will not only thank you for your feedback, but will extend a free gift to you! All you have to do is call Carnival 45 days prior to your next cruise (information on this is included in the letter). You will then be able to select a free “bon voyage” gift. This can be just about anything from Carnival’s Bon Voyage department. Chocolates, a bottle of wine, t-shirts, etc. I’m not quite sure of the exact list as I’ve never received a 45-day letter, sorry.
Another way to (possibly) receive a free gift — not of your choosing though — is by filling out the comment cards located on Lido deck. You’ll see these Carnival Cares cards on the tables near the buffets. Simply fill one out and drop it in the comment card box (usually near the purser’s desk). One year we filled one out and received a free bottle of wine. Of course, you might not receive something, but it’s worth a try.
So that’s my tip for today. Sorry it’s line-specific, but I hope someone finds it useful! If you have any questions, let me know.
By the way, the reason I kept mentioning to talk about a great staff member is because the staff on the cruise ships often come from poor backgrounds and are away from their families for months at a time. They work very long hours for bad pay (for the most part). From what I’ve heard, when a good comment is received about them, they do get compensated in some fashion, whether it be some time off, a bonus/raise, or otherwise. Hey, it’s a free way to help these guys out, so why not put in the good word for them?
Also by the way, one week!