We have recentl come back from a weeks voyage round the western carribean.
We still do not know why it happened to us but us and the other couple we went with stood in queue at immigration and to hand over my credit card details. Our friends had gone slightly before us and had moved on to the next queue to collect there sail and sign card / keys for the cabin. Next time I looked they were being whisked away by this woman. I knew they had bacardi in their suitcase and thought they had been cought and were being taken to customs. So we queued up and handed over our booking form at which point we were told to follow the lady to a lounge at which point she said our escort would be here as soon as possible at which point another lady appeared and asked us to follow her. We walked past everybody else for about a 150 yards. When we reached the Photo area everybody was asked stop and we then stood in front for ours. Then we carried on again walking past a long queue to the phot id and finger print point. Once again everybody was asked to stop and we were ushered to the front. then straight on to the ship and the lady then wished us a lovely voyage. We were also supposed to be in cabin 6210 and were now in 7238. Our sail and sign card was in an envelope marked VIP. Our friends had exactly the same treatment. If anybody could understand and would like to explain i would be very grateful.
What you described was indeed VIP Priority Check-in. And as retiredcruiser stated you either need to have 10 cruise or more on CCL or you booked into a Cat 11 suite (or better). You didn't say what ship you were on, so I can't verify that.
If you are standing in line with and cruising with someone else that has a Cat 11 cabin, then they usually let you go through "priority check-in" also.
On our Victory cruise out of Miami, we took my mother in law who had recently been through chemo therapy. We waited outside in the heat for about 45 mins until the wife went in to ask if the mother in law could wait inside somewhere for us to get through the line, because mom was looking pretty queasy from the sun/heat. She came back out and got us from line and we were treated to the priority check too. But they only let us past everyone else up to getting our Sign n Sail cards but we still saved a lot of time. We did have priority service on our Alaska cruise.
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007
Hello Darren, there is a little known procedure that Carnival does not advetise - sometimes when they accept reservations and "guarantee the room available" they sometimes overbook that category and automatically upgrade the oldest bookings into the next highest category.
It sounds like you got bumped from a Cat 8 balcony to a Cat 12 Suite - probably because of the size of your party.
Think of it this way - you book a seat in ecomony class with your airline, and the flight is overbooked, you show up at the ticket counter, and to your suprise, you now have a business or first class ticket at no extra charge.
I have heard of several cases of people getting free upgrades. I sailed on the Carnival Glory last year and I booked the cheapest room on the boat - a Cat 1A at the back on Riviera Deck. The ship came in 8 hours late from its prior cruise. When I finally got aboard I had a Cat 4B inside cabin - one deck higher than what I booked. If I specifically booked the room I got I would have paid an extra $300-400. Some people on our cruise booked inside rooms and wound up with a Cat 6 ocean view, while those people were upgraded to Balconies.
Looking on the deck plans your original room was indeed a balcony stateroom, but the new room you gave us is a Cat 12 suite. Like several other posters said, the pampering you recieved is strictly reserved for Carnivals exclusive customers -those in Deluxe suite accomodations or those who are "Platimun Members" with 10 or more cruises with Carnival.
Congratulations on the upgrade and hope you enjoyed your cruise.
Hello Darren, what the last poster was trying to ask - the multi coloured sail and sign cards are for 1st time guests, the all gold sail and sign cards are for repeaters, and in my previous post the platimun cards are for those who have sailed 10 or more times.
if someone in your party was a gold member than that may have triggered your upgrade or someone else may have phoned Carnival and paid for the upgrade without your knowing (did you celebrate anything recently that would caue your family to do that?)