Carnival Cruises is considered a semi-budget big ship product, so it was interesting to learn that the company is moving on up with some of its shore excursions (which come with an added fee in case you didn’t know). For instance the company just announced some new offerings among which is a luxury tour La Casa en la Playa (Cozumel) a luxury experiences that takes passengers on a five-hour long trip to an exclusive beach house which offers five-star service that includes a personal chef and wait staff, cooking class and lessons in making margaritas and mojitos. Heretofore tours such as this were only found on Silversea, Seabourn, Regent, Crystal and the like.
The cruise line announced a dramatic reinvention and expansion of its shore excursions via email today, July 13 that includes luxury options such as the above as well as family-friendly outings. It’s amazing to note that Carnival now overs almost 1,300 off-ship trips in more than 50 ports throughout the aribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Bahamas, Canada, New England, and Central and South America. “Shore excursions are an important part of the Carnival vacation experience and we’ve gone to great lengths to provide our guests with even more choices and offer families unique value-added services and pricing options that are exclusive to Carnival,” said Erika Tache, Carnival’s director of product development.
One of its more ‘spirited’ offerings is the Eat, Drink & Dance (Ocho Rios) – which marches to an island drum and presents food, music and a little culture. A tamer, but still upscale, option is called Jamaican Home for the Day (Ocho Rios) which is just like it sounds. It take an entire day, so really think this over as sometimes this is overkill for many passengers, but it sounds interesting. You get your own place for the day with a home-cooked lunch,secluded beach and spirits.
There’s a whole lot more from photo safaris, to more eating and drinking excursions, family beach time tours and island escapes by catamaran. The family outings include services such as stroller storage as well as hosted fun activities like beachside games, and arts and crafts, along with play areas and water slides and toys, all available on a complimentary basis. Offered in all of Carnival’s Caribbean ports, the new activities are designed to keep kids entertained while offering parents some much-needed “we” time.
Big budget blow-out options include exclusive private tours – operated via custom motor coaches, sailboats, yachts, and even helicopters – that take guests on off-the-beaten-path excursions tailored to the guests’ specific preferences. These excursions showcase non-traditional sightseeing sites typically not available to other guests, all under the guidance of an experienced local who provides an “up close and personal” view of the destination.
Carnival now offers a convenient on-board lounge where our operators come on board to escort passengers from ship to shore. This is a very savvy service considering how many time you see confused passengers wandering around a port looking for their tour guide who holds up a sign with a number on it and you’re lucky if you can see it in the usual crowds in most ports. So bravo Carnival.
I suggest you check out Carnival’s revamped the shore excursion section of its web site that provides more in-depth look at the choices.