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Travelers are getting used to (although they don’t like) ancillary fees that are common on airlines. Those fees are charges for checked luggage, overweight luggage, food, movies and more on flights. Airline profits are up, not because more people are traveling, but rather because of the ancillary fees they are charging. And those fees are here to stay.
At one point, when My Vacation Lady started in this business, cruising was a pretty inclusive product- not all inclusive, like many resorts in the Caribbean, but you didn’t feel like you were getting nickeled and dimed. Yes, you always paid for your alcoholic beverages, tips and spa treatments but you didn’t get charged extra for fresh squeezed orange juice and better food and service if you went to the specialty restaurants.
Today is a new day in cruising and Carnival is trying out a new “fee” to see if it flies. As of today, August 20, 2012, Carnival is launching a new Faster to the Fun program on the Carnival Imagination and later this week on the Carnival Liberty.
For $49.95 per cabin, passengers can get a premium package of services that includes early embarkation and cabin availability and express baggage-delivery service to their cabin. Also included are priority dinner seatings and tender availability, and choice of early or late disembarkation.
These perks are already available to Carnival’s most loyal cruisers (Platinum and Diamond status cruisers) and some feel that it is Carnival’s way of making the other guests feel special. It will supposedly be capacity controlled so not all passengers on the ship can take advantage of the benefits.
What do you think about this? Would you pay?
Keep in mind, all of the other cruise lines are likely waiting anxiously to see if this will fly and if it does, My Vacation Lady will anticipate that a number of other cruise lines will follow suit.