Since retiring more than two decades ago, my wife and I have sailed on many Carnival cruises together. We’ve also experienced Royal Caribbean and Norwegian and always like to see ways these major cruise lines innovate new products to separate themselves from the competition and to make the cruise experience more enjoyable.
Carnival now offers something like a gift registry for cruisers, where friends and relatives can go online and purchase gifts for cruisers that are delivered or enjoyed during the cruise. Cruisers can also go and pre-order items for themselves. I look forward to trying out the system before our next cruise and think it would be fun to arrive onboard and find gifts waiting for me or discover some extra credit on my onboard account to enjoy.
It’s The Thought That Counts Whenever we boarded Carnival cruises, especially those when we were celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, we were often pleasantly surprised when we arrived in our cabin. We discovered that thoughtful friends and family members had ordered flowers, candy and other gifts to be there to greet us. Additionally, on other occasions, we’ve returned the favor for others and had gifts waiting for them when they were about to begin their cruises. Those acts of thoughtfulness always bring pleasant beginnings to any cruise and now the process is simple and easy via Carnival’s website.
Carnival Fun Shops Based off their brand as the “Fun Ships” Carnival has expanded the gift service with the introduction of The Fun Shops online products choices. It’s a complete, updated catalog of cruise-related items now available at the company’s website. Listings offer products for every taste, whether as gifts for others or for personal use. They’re in four categories: Cruise Cash, Cherry on Top, Funnel Gear and Portside Liquor.
Cruise Cash This service offers an easy method for giving money gifts to cruise passengers as prepaid credits to the cruiser’s onboard account. Valued at $25 and above each, they’re added to the cruise passenger’s onboard Sail & Sign account. Throughout the cruise, they can be presented for bar drinks, shop purchases and to buy personal pictures snapped by Carnival’s professional photographers.
Cherry On Top Shop A gift of sweets, cakes, fruits, party trays or flowers from this Carnival on-board gift shop is always a welcome surprise to cruise passengers when they first come aboard. It can be even more meaningful when it’s for a happy special personal occasion, such as retirement, honeymoon, birthday or anniversary. Additionally, display banners for the occasion can be purchased to decorate the cabin.
Funnel Gear These gifts include varieties of wearing apparel, and all displaying the Carnival logo. They’re a delightful surprise when passengers come aboard, and for many months after, they serve as reminders of fond cruise memories. They include hoodie sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, totes, toys and other items.
Portside Liquor Another category of great gifts for cruise passengers or for personal use aboard includes beverages. Carnival’s Fun Shops offer a wide range of 200 items, including juices, mixers, sodas, beer, liquors and wines. Additionally, for those very special moments, a shared bottle of champagne can begin the cruise with unforgettable festive moments.
Follow travel writer Ted Sherman on Twitter @travel4seniors and check out his blog, travel4seniors.com
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