I bought into the club at the very lowest level. I like the VIP perks, and have enjoyed them on the cruises we have taken since we joined. Couldn't use the airfare at all since our last 3 vacations were Hawaii, Aruba and San Juan. But WAS able to actually use my resort certificate in Aruba. I had been checking OTHER ISLANDS and low and behold, one day ARUBA was available for just one week. The resort was very nice and a steal at $299 a week, as it normally costs over $200 per night. So that helped ease the pain some. We have taken 2 cruises with our points so far, and I worked really hard to find the cheapest ones. I have enough for at least one more cruise, but will not likely be able to get the FOUR from my package that we expected. I keep checking resorts and the next time I find a good one, we are going to book our vacation for that time slot. Working from that angle seems to help. But I too was very disappointed in how many points each cruise needed compared to how much I could book it for outright. The early debarkation and Skipper's club were the main reason we bought into the package, since we have only twice in the past (before joining)booked suites that gave us those perks and liked them. That part of the promise has been upheld so far. While the chocolate covered strawberries they sent to the cabin last cruise certainly were a nice treat, they don't make the investment worthwhile. I am resigned to getting the biggest bang for the buck, and then being done with the club. I have always enjoyed our Carnival cruises, but find with the club I am taking cruises on ships I normally wouldn't, just because they are cheap enough in points so that I would be able to squeeze out at least 3 cruises.
Carnival Pride 10/01/2006
Carnival Destiny 4/10/2005
Carnival Conquest 9/12/2004
Carnival Pride 5/10/2003
Carnival Paradise 9/02
Golden Princess 02/2002
Carnival Triumph 09/2001
Carnival Sensation 9/24/2000
Carnival Facination 9/18/1999
I strongly warn anyone thinking about this vacation club to stop & research it FULLY before joining. My wife & I are VERY disappointed in their approach & in what they actually offer. The sales people were all wearing Carnival Cruise line uniforms, but they have no real connection (see their fine print).
I can't believe Carnival allows the scam to continue on their ships.
We have had numerous problems with this club since we joined in July 05. We only recently received our airfare vouchers, and it took several phone calls to even receive those. We haven't been able to book a single resort stay, For any of the dates we have tried. We have sent letters to the club and also to Carnival. We can't believe Carnival is allowing them to continue this scam!!
As someone who knows first hand about the Carnival Vacation Club, I strongly recommend you research this membership fully before signing anything. It is very hard, if not impossible, to get the manager to do anything to help when problems arise.
We joined last March. The cocktail party, VIP baggage service, early debarkation were OK. The salesman was a charmer. We opened up a Carnival Mastercard as well to get "sea miles". When we went to use our "free" week in Mexico found a limited number of places were available, none by the expiration of the certificate. We want to checkout the other places that were available on our other certificates and no longer can find CVC on the internet. I think the whole thing is a lesson in life...there are no free rides... things are never as good as they're portrayed when the "hard sell" is going on...Don't get caught up in the moment....Never give thousands of dollars away on a few promises made at sea!!!
I would gladly support a lawsuit...
We have been trying to use our first Resort Vacation Certificate. EVEN in February it is nearly impossible to find something available that is acceptable. This program is AWFUL !!! We are not going to get the value for our money that we put up.
Carnival needs to quit dealing with that sub contractor & refund our money or let us use ALL the money for cruise points.
Thank goodness we got up and left when the rep that was talking to us left the room for a minute. It sounded like a scam, and he was using high preasure tactics trying to sell it to us. We were not a bit impressed
We joined Carnival Vacation Club while we were on the Pride in August 2004. We were excited by everything that was promised. However, as soon as we were back home we found things were not as advertised and we had past our 3 day right to cancel.
We couldn't cancel our credit card too late. We contacted the company no response. After approximately 6 weeks and threats to sue and contact the Attorney General we finally got a letter from some representative from Carnival, basically saying nothing we can do.
So we have tried to use it for what it is and ignore the freebies. After all they were freebies, and you get what you paid for.
We have found things that work great and are well worth the cost.
The way we look at it, we prepaid for 5 cruises and get VIP service.
As part of the VIP service is Embarcation.
We just got back from a cruise and we were 2nd on the ship. We got to the ship walked to the front of the line, showed our card and were led to a private room with about 25 other families, sat down in a leather chair, signed the credit card slip and were off. The entire process from drop off to our room took 30 minutes. When we got to our rooms, they were already made up and ready for us. We put up our carry ones, and went to lunch on the lideo before the people who arrived with us were out of line.
Not all ships have the vacation club on them so some ships don't have all the perks. We were just on the Victory which doesn't have the club. We did have a concerige and had chocolate strawberries delivered to our room, but that was all.
We booked a 9A balcony and were upgraded to a 9D. We booked a 4A inside for our two teenage girls traveling with us and they were upgraded to a 4E. Very nice interior room.
As for the points themselves, we figure we prepaid for approximately 5 cruises with our 2 silver memberships. Now that Carnival owns so many of the lines we can go anywhere and get treated as though we had sailed everyone at least 20 times. I have checked prices with travel agents and then with Carnival Club to see how the prices shake out. Carnival Club's prices may appear to be a little higher, but remember they always quote their prices including all port fees and taxes, not all travel agents do that. Also, if you don't book for an exact room you can get a pretty good upgrade.
The concierge on Victory said she had someone in the vacation club very uphappy on the cruise we were on. The booked a 2A room (just up from crews quarters) and were expecting to be upgraded to a suite. GET REAL. Book a room you want, and if you get an upgrade great.
As for the coupons, we too have been disappointed in attempting to use them. The website isn't very helpful. They do appear to be work this way. A one week stay at a hotel or condo that would normally be $600.00 you can stay at for just $299.00. If you want an upgraded hotel you pay the $299.00 plus anything over $600.00. Not much of a deal.
I have gotten our airplane ticket coupons. I haven't been able to use them. We live in Bangor, ME and apparently these are only good out of Boston. The one time, I was going to fly my daughter and myself to Los Angelos from Boston, I called the specified number to use a coupon. The company was able to get me a better price with better connections than if we had used the coupon. I recieved an additional coupon for future use in the mail from them as well.
Overall our original reaction was that this was a complete scam. It's not, remember you get what you PAY for. We have not had any difficulties getting good rooms with points at a comperable price that other travel agents have. We have gotten nice room upgrades, a little welcome gift, and VIP service getting on the ship. Everything after that is a freebee and not worth much. I think the coupons will make great gifts to young couples who want a trip but can't afford much and who aren't looking for much.
We are off on our next cruise, paid for through points, on March 1, 2006, to St. Maartin, Barbados and Martinque. We booked a 8A room (regular balcony)and have been upgraded to room with an extended balcony (one about 1/2 again as big). We can't wait. So look for us on our big balcony a few minutes after noon on March 1 when the rest of the guest are still standing in line.