I read an article today that Carnival will be offering behind-the-scenes tours of its ships, starting with the Valor and Conquest, and spreading to all ships that offer a minimum of 7-night cruises. They're calling it the "Behind the Fun" tour.
The tour is limited to 16 people and will cost $95. It's a 3.5 hour tour to places normally off limits to passengers, such as the laundry room and galley, and several crew areas such as the crew's dining room, training facility and crew gym.
Tour participants will be given gifts to take home, including having your picture taken with the Captain on the bridge. You'll also get a baseball cap that says "Behind the Fun," as well as a book of photographs of Carnival ships and destinations, taken by the crew.
If anyone has been on a Princess cruise "Ultimate Ship Tour," Carnival's tour is modeled after that one.
Thanks for the news! I read somewhere they were going to test it on the Conquest and Valor. Now that you mentioned it, and I've finally had a chance to read some cruise news today - I read they are going to roll it out on 10 more ships by September. It sounds very interesting, I'm not sure I'd pay $95 for it though. I also read the tours have been selling out during the test phase on the Valor and Conquest.
I was tempted to do it on Princess, but have been lucky enough to have gone one quite a few tours before they started charging. I know 9/11 stopped most everything. I'm glad they brought it back, just seems a little steep on the price. I think Princess was even more, though.
Yes, I'd be curious which coffers the cruise lines place the profits from these behind the scenes tours. It's basically gravy money that can't cost the cruise line anything but a little time. It's amazing they've been very popular at what they charge. I guess people look at it as something unique and different.
This is one way to generate more revenue from experienced cruisers too, since we tend to spend less over time. I wonder what the crew thinks about it? "Oh great, now we can't even get away from the passengers in our own gym and dining room".
If it keeps the costs of passage low and affordable to future cruisers - it's a great idea- I am sure it will continue to have many takers! I hope the perks offered to more experienced cruisers won't be impacted since ship tours are one of those benefits (at no charge)
At $95 it isn't inexpensive and a family tour would take away a good piece of change!
On our 2000 Alaskan cruise on HAL Westerdam, we did both a Bridge and Galley tour - and had our picture taken with the chef in the Galley. On our next two cruises, passengers were not allowed ANY PLACE behind the scenes. Our 2006 HAL Zuiderdam cruise offered a Galley tour. It was not as extensive as the first one we did, and we were led through on a set-out path, with no pictures with the chef. With HAL - the tours were free. It will be interesting to see if it's still offered when we sail in November.
Susanmaz, I think the galley tours still are offered. But the behind the scenes tours are much more, the ones I've been on took you all over the ship. Engine room, laundry, portions of the crew quarters (like their game room and dining room), galley, and bridge. We went on the galley tour not too long ago. I'm trying to remember whether it was the Emerald Princess or the Royal, one or the other, but it wasn't too long ago. I know I couldn't help but think how small it was to feed all the people they feed.
We will be on the Conquest next April and I being a control room operator in a generating station,I'll pay the fee just to see the bridge and the engine room.Those 2 area's is something I have always wanted to see. The other area's will just be a bonus.
On our last three Royal Caribbean cruises they have had an auction to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The senior officers have put up tours of their areas as prizes to bid on. One has been a tour of the engineering spaces with the Chief Engineer. Last time he offered the tour for 4 people and I think it sold for $800. Dinner and a bridge tour with the Captain was over a grand when the gavel fell.