Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has issued a reminder to the cruise line’s most loyal guests about the extent of one of the most popular benefits, the ability to access one’s cabin immediately upon boarding the ship. This can be a confusing benefit to some, but it is important to know exactly what it means and not abuse the privilege.

Loyalty benefits are designed to give extra privileges to a cruise line’s most frequent cruisers, and one of the most sought-after benefits of Carnival Cruise Line’s VIFP (Very Important Fun Person) program is the ability to access one’s cruise ship cabin right away when boarding the ship.

This benefit is also extended to guests who have booked suites, as well as those who purchase the exclusive Faster to the Fun (FTTF) program.

It must be noted that this benefit is described only as “once on board, you will be able to drop your bags in your stateroom until your room is ready.”

This does not mean that guests may remain in their cabins from the moment they board the ship. Instead, they do not need to be encumbered by toting bags around the ship for lunch, checking in to their muster station, and getting oriented before staterooms are made available to everyone.

Unfortunately, some travelers misinterpret this benefit and the confusion can lead to an unpleasant beginning to one’s cruise. Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has issued a reminder to guests, hoping to clarify the benefit and encourage proper use of the privilege.

Carnival Cruise Stateroom (Photo Credit: dkroy / Shutterstock)

“You can go directly to your cabin to drop off your carry-on bags. Please can you leave straight away,” Heald said.

This is essential because before the overall stateroom availability time – usually at about 1:30 p.m. – cabin attendants and other crew members are very busy turning over the rooms so they are clean and stocked for new guests to enjoy.

“I am asking you this on behalf of the crew who are doing everything they can to make sure that the room is ready to the very highest of standards,” Heald explained.

In addition to stateroom cleaning, crew members may be restocking towels and toiletries or attending to minor maintenance concerns, such as a broken showerhead, burned-out lightbulb, or other small tasks that are nevertheless necessary to ensure that each guest has a great cruise.

Unfortunately, some passengers prefer to remain in their cabins with this early access, despite being asked not to. Heald has noted that different guests have tried a variety of tactics and excuses about why they need to stay in their staterooms.

“Some have tried to have a shower, some have tried to unpack, and one gentleman literally decided to show his loyalty card very close up to the housekeeping staff demanding she leave the cabin, which was yet to be prepared because, ‘he needed to take a nap,’” Heald described.

All the early access benefit permits guests to do is enter their stateroom to leave their carryon bags in a safe place before they get started on their cruise vacation fun.

Ideally, guests should have just one or two travelers take their bags to their room – rather than a whole large family going to the stateroom – and the bags should be placed out of the way in the closet, under the bed, or in a far corner so the luggage is not in the way for the cabin attendant’s continued work.

Read Also: What a Cruise Ship Cabin Steward Really Does

Guests should then leave their cabin right away, heading out for lunch, to visit their muster station for the mandatory safety check-in, or to enjoy numerous activities such as spa tours, embarkation day trivia, a first dip in the pool, or a trip down a waterslide, and much more.

Some Carnival cruisers have responded to Heald’s reminder with concern that if abuse of this very convenient privilege continues, the benefit may be removed, and no stateroom access may be permitted before all rooms are open for guests’ use.

Heald has hinted in the past that a revamp to the VIFP program is likely in the near future, though no timeline or other details about such adjustments have been released. At this time, there is no discussion about removing the early cabin access benefit, but it is possible that such a step might be considered.

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