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By James Shillinglaw
BIG NEWS IN TEXAS…CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE TO ADD 4th SHIP IN GALVESTON!
Everything is bigger in Texas – including Carnival Cruise Line – which announced today that it will have four ships homeporting in Galveston year-round, beginning in 2021.
As the #1 cruise line from Texas, Carnival Radiance will join the Galveston-based fleet in May 2021 to carry an estimated 900,000 guests annually from Galveston – more than any other cruise operator.
In addition, Carnival Breeze will return to Galveston, becoming the newest and largest ship to operate a short 4&5 day cruise program from Galveston. Carnival Dream will shift to 6&8 day Caribbean voyages while Carnival Vista will continue its popular 7 day cruises.
Carnival Radiance to Galveston will launch a new schedule of 5-14 day voyages from the Port of Galveston beginning on May 14, 2021.
o 5 day cruises depart Sundays and feature the seaside Mexican ports of Cozumel and Progreso or Costa Maya.
o Three different 9 day options departing Fridays will be offered: Cozumel, Limon (Costa Rica), partial Panama Canal transit or Colon (Panama)/ Key West, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay & Nassau/ Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay (Roatan), Belize, Costa Maya & Cozumel.
o Two 8 port, 14-day Carnival Journeys cruises visiting top destinations throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America and the Panama Canal will also be offered departing Oct. 24, 2021 and Jan. 16, 2022.
o Carnival Radiance will undergo an extensive 38 day bow-to-stern $200 million renovation next year that will add all of the line’s food, beverage and entertainment innovations, bringing an exciting new option to the Galveston market.
Carnival Dream will shift to a new 6 and 8-day cruise schedule from Galveston beginning May 8, 2021.
o 6 day cruises visit Costa Maya, Cozumel and Belize or Mahogany Bay and 8 day cruises feature Key West, Freeport, Half Moon Cay and Nassau.
NEW Ships & Sailings Open for Biz!
We are excited to announce more ships and NEW itineraries are now open for business through April 2022. Get your groups ready NOW for the best deals!
Carnival Sunshine 4 & 5 day Charleston, Carnival Breeze 4 & 5 day Galveston, Carnival Dream 6 & 8 day Galveston, Carnival Radiance 5 & 9 day Galveston, Carnival Vista 7 day Galveston
Carnival cruise ship in the Bahamas (photo via iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus / Darwin Brandis)
The Carnival Vista is returning to service ahead of schedule, a Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson has confirmed to Travel Agent. The ship will sail from Galveston July 23, instead of July 27 as originally planned, operating a special four-day cruise to Cozumel. Carnival said it had opened bookings for the new sailing the night of Wednesday, July 17, and that it has been selling quickly.
The ship had been undergoing repairs to its azipod propulsion system, which had been suffering an issue that affected the ship’s maximum cruising speed. Carnival said that the repairs, which are taking place at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, have been using a unique, first-of-its-kind “floating dry dock” process on the BOKA Vanguard. That process has gone “extremely smoothly,” Carnival said, allowing the work to be completed almost five days ahead of schedule and allowing this special cruise to be scheduled for last-minute travelers.
The propulsion issue had forced Carnival to cancel three of the ship’s July sailings out of its homeport of Galveston. The sailings had been scheduled for July 6, July 13 and July 20; guests on those sailings received a full refund of their cruise fare and a 100 percent future cruise credit. Guests with airfare change fees and related expenses associated with new itineraries or cancelled trips were also offered reimbursement.
THEMED NIGHTS LAUNCH
Starting on June 1st, several ships in our fleet will have theme nights throughout the summer; White Hot Night and 80’s Night. These theme nights will offer our guests something a bit different as they celebrate in a series of events and are encouraged to dress-up and get involved!
Guests who are booked on the selected ships will be receiving pre-cruise communication about the event. The themed nights and ships participating in this launch are:
White Hot Night:
Teaming Up With The Harlem Globetrotters!
They dribble; they dance; they shoot; they score! We've partnered with the world-famous basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters, serving as the group's official cruise line sponsor worldwide.
Combining the Harlem Globetrotters’ high-flying athleticism, theatrical stunts and comedic acts with our role as the family cruise leader, we're bringing a new level of excitement to more than 150 of the team’s shows across the country.
Carnival's partnership with the Harlem Globetrotters is currentky focused on promoting Carnival shoreside to the Globetrotters' fans. Future plans are to integrate the Globetroters nto the ships. Stay tuned for when this will happen.
“For more than nine decades, we’ve used basketball as a means to bring laughter, joy and fun to our fans worldwide,” said Howard Smith, Harlem Globetrotters president. “When we heard about the opportunity to partner with cruise industry leader Carnival, we couldn’t wait to use our combined love of entertaining audiences to make our games more fun and memorable than ever.”
“The Harlem Globetrotters are synonymous with fun, helping families create wonderful memories – and our brands align so well together,” said Scott Becher, vice president, head of partnerships. “We look forward to seeing how everyone will ‘Choose Fun’ Globetrotters-style.”
Inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and known for their incredible dribbling, shooting and dunking skills as well as their crowd interaction, the Harlem Globetrotters have performed for more than 148 million fans in 124 countries since their inception in 1926. Now performing 400 shows each year, the team has become a worldwide icon and pioneer in the sports industry showcasing some of the best basketball players in the world.
After a two-month dry dock, Carnival Sunrise is making her debut today at Norfolk's Decker Half Moone Cruise Center.
This $200 million renovation added all of our popular culinary, beverage and entertainment offerings as well as a huge new water park, a suspended ropes course, and stateroom upgrades including two luxurious Captains Suites overlooking the ship’s navigational bridge. “The introduction of Carnival Sunrise brings an incredibly enhanced ship to our guests with all of the popular features from across our fleet,” said Christine Duffy. “We couldn't be more proud to introduce Carnival Sunrise in Norfolk.”
Carnival Sunrise now includes popular features, such as:
A huge kudos to everyone involved in this beautiful transformation and welcome to the Carnival Family, Sunrise!
Today we unveiled more details on the numerous accommodation choices on Mardi Gras, which will feature more than 180 suites across 11 styles, including the new premium category Carnival Excel suites with select amenities and access to a new resort-style, open-air enclave called Loft 19.
“As we continue to announce details on Mardi Gras, guests will see that this ship is going to have more choices to stay and more choices to play,” said Christine. “All of our accommodations have been designed to exceed our guests’ expectations, and the suite offerings will kick that up a notch or two for those who want an extra special Choose Fun vacation.”
New Premium Level Carnival Excel Suites
The new premium suite level on Mardi Gras includes 32 suites in four categories:
Exclusive New Suite-Level Amenities
All suites onboard Mardi Gras will include an amenities package that includes priority boarding and debarkation, priority main dining room seating, plush bathrobes and bottled water upon arrival.
Guests in the 32 Carnival Excel suites will enjoy standard suite amenities plus the following:
All New ‘Loft 19’
Located on the ship’s highest deck, Loft 19 is a brand new concept for Carnival – a secluded retreat modeled after the world’s finest resorts with full bar service, a private pool surrounded by sun loungers and spacious cabanas, available for rent. Cabanas are fully stocked with beverages, plush robes and chilled towels, fresh fruit, lunch delivery and dedicated concierge service. Carnival Excel suite guests will receive priority when reserving Loft 19 cabanas.
Additional Suite Options
In addition to the Carnival Excel class suites, Mardi Gras will also feature:
In good news for travel agents, Carnival Cruise Line is kicking off a new, year-long promotional campaign entitled, “WUATA – Why Use a Travel Advisor,” designed to help travel agents attract new clients and deepen the loyalty of existing clients.
This multi-faceted initiative will include everything from social media posts to high-profile WUATA Parties in specific cities. Those community events will bring clients and industry experts together to promote the travel agent community; they'll be co-sponsored by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
“The proof is in my tattoo that Carnival is deeply committed to the travel agent community, and by introducing WUATA we’ll be able to share our passion so travelers gain a comprehensive understanding of the benefits of using a travel advisor,” says Adolfo Perez, Carnival’s senior vice president of sales and trade marketing, who proudly sports a tattoo designed to show his support of travel agents.
“Through WUATA, Carnival becomes the first cruise line to dedicate a year-long campaign focused solely on promoting the value of travel advisors, and we’re excited to get on the road to support the growth and success of our agent partners,” says Perez.
Internally, "we started talking about this several months ago, and we had been doing the bus tour for several years and we wanted to change something up,” Perez says. “We wanted to talk about how valuable travel agents are.”
Certainly, the cruise industry’s portfolio of cruise products has become much more complex, which cruise lines say makes it critical that consumers sail on the right product -- the cruise that best matches their personality and vacation style. For first timers, in particular, the choices can be daunting.
Carnival wants to ensure consumers use a professional travel agent when booking their vacation. As part of the campaign, agents can expect to see social media promotions, contests, exclusive merchandise, giveaways, text alerts and WUATA Word, an innovative crowdsourced word cloud that will grow throughout the year as the movement expands.
How many travel agents does Carnival work with on an annual basis? Perez says that Carnival has 100,000 or so agents in its database. “There’s probably about 30,000 agencies" represented, he adds.
Revenue from each agency varies greatly. Some might not work with Carnival much, such as selling only one or so cruises a year, perhaps not the next, and then selling more the following year. Many others, though, sell many more cruises on an annual basis or are top Carnival producers. Perez says many are independent agents working with host agencies or home-based travel advisors.
Clients and travel advisors can opt in to receive text alerts about new features and tools from the WUATA program throughout the year by texting “WUATA” to 866-Go-WUATA. The alerts will also cover the latest news, contests, offers and more.
When you are looking for a great Travel Consultant/Advisor, be sure to contact Gino's Travel Agency.
Carnival Freedom Multi-Million Dollar Dry Dock Adds a Variety of On-board Experiences
Carnival Freedom has undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation adding a variety of exciting experiences, including the following listed below…
WaterWorks: Featuring a 203-foot-long AquaTunnel slide and Carnival’s signature 212-foot-long Twister slide along with a 75-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and SplashZone area for kids.
Bonsai Express: the success of the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurants has spawned this casual spot, featuring a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more.
Mini Golf Course: A nine-hole miniature golf course has been relocated to Deck 11, providing a fun and relaxing pastime for families to enjoy in the fresh sea air.
Re-Branded Deli: Located on Deck 9, the newly expanded Deli offers a tantalizing menu of piled-high sandwiches, paninis and traditional sides.
These complement the wide array of popular experiences on board Carnival Freedom, including Guy’s Burger Joint, the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar & Cantina, RedFrog Rum Bar, along with favorites like the steakhouse, Punchliner Comedy Club, the Alchemy Bar, and the RedFrog Pub.
Family-friendly options include Seuss at Sea operated exclusively with Dr. Seuss Enterprises that includes the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in The Hat and Friends and a reading venue called Dr. Seuss Bookville, along with fun supervised programming for kids ages 2-17.
Carnival's Partnership with Craft Store Michael's
Carnival has partnered with Michael’s, the largest arts and craft retail chain in North America, to bring creativity to the seas aboard our 26 ships! As our exclusive arts and crafts provider, guests of all ages will have the opportunity to engage and create together through the interactive “Make It With Michaels” experience featuring keepsakes they can take home.
Carnival first cruise line to can and keg own private label beer
In partnership with Lakeland, Fla.-based Brew Hub, we became the first cruise line to can and keg our own private labeled craft created by our in-house brewery teams aboard Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon, led by VP Beverage Operations Edward Allen and Brewmaster Colin Presby. Media and trade partners gathered in RedFrog Pub aboard Carnival Magic to celebrate this cruise industry first! The three beers, ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat, ParchedPig West Coast IPA and ParchedPig Toasted Amber Ale, are now available on all 26 ships and at all private destinations.
“With the success of our breweries on Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon the obvious next step was to let all of our guests fleetwide enjoy our refreshing craft beers and that’s where our partnership with Brew Hub began,” said Edward Allen. “To be the first cruise line to ever scale up its beverage operations by canning and kegging their own beer is unprecedented.”
The beers include:
Carnival's Newest Ship Mardi Gras is open for Bookings! The Carnival Mardi Gras will be the largest Carnival ship ever constructed, and the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG). Currently, Carnival is building a new ship terminal in Port Canaveral where she will be ported. Mardi Gras will also feature the first ever roller coaster at Sea BOLT...with Exhilarating Twists, Turns and Drops that are enjoyed 187 ft. above sea level. Mardi Gras has 6 distinctive theme zones: 1) Grand Central, 2) French Quarter, 3) La Piazza, 4) Summer Landing, 5) Lido, 6) and the Ultimate Playground.
- 9 day N Europe from Copenhagen 8/31/2020
-14 day Transatlantic from Southampton to NYC 9/9/2020
-6 day Canada from NYC - 9/24/2020
Carnival Journeys - 15 day Exotic S Caribbean from NYC to Port Canaveral - 9/20/2020
7 day Eastern & Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral starting 10/16/2020.
Gino's Travel Agency is currently talking reservations. Contact us today to get on board the Carnival Mardi Gras!
Carnival Breeze has replaced Carnival Valor with round trip sailings from Galveston, TX
Beginning May 2019 sailing 4 & 5 day cruises to Mexico. This is Carnival's largest ship sailing on short cruises. Carnival Breeze is a sister to Carnival Magic (another awesome ship)! Thirty of her 5 day cruises will go to Costa Maya and Cozumel, while the others will go to Progresso and Cozumel.
Gino's Travel Agency is currently taking reservations for Carnival Breeze. Call us today to get on board!
Hey Texas! We have Carnival's 2nd largest ship sailing from Galveston!
That's right. Carnival Vista (lovely ship indeed) replaced Carnival Breeze, sailing roundtrip with itineraries to include:
In addition, there will be a few unique 6 & 8 day cruises in April and May 2019.
Gino's Travel Agency is currently taking reservations for Carnival Vista. Call us today to get on board.
Carnival Beverage Packages Enhanced
Cheers! Beverage Program now includes a greater variety of non-alcoholic drinks as well as higher quality brand-name spirits and wine by the glass. Any drink that costs up to $25 per serving is included. Woohoo! Pre-purchase: $51.95. Purchase on board: $56.95. Cost is per person, per day, + 15% gratuity.
Bottomless Bubbles Unlimited Soda Program: Child rate (17 years and under) $4.95. Adult rate (18 years +) $7.50 per person, per day + 15% gratuity.