Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fun Ship 2.0, the Details, the Schedule

When the lights dimmed and Cruise Diva had some more time to examine Carnival Cruise Lines' Fun Ship 2.0 initiative, a few points became clear. Interestingly we received this comment from our reader Sharaz. "I think Carnival is updating their ships to what guests expect—fun vacation at a value price. Very smart to not charge extra for these amenities—it does differentiate them from other lines. Also, making the dining, entertainment options the same across all the ships is going to help their brand as well."

While the new features are indeed engaging (and mostly free!), unfortunately, there's a problem with the sameness. As I discovered while scrutinizing the Implementation Schedule, don't look for all the changes across the fleet right away. Once known for their consistency—for instance Carnival passengers could count on having 24-hour room service, plus great pizza and a water slide on every ship—that expectation met with a subtle change when enhancements were made to Fantasy-class ships in the past few years. While the "Evolutions of Fun" initiative introduced new features to some of that ship class, the ships themselves didn't all "evolve" equally. Balconies were added to some and not others.

So, when can you expect to see the Fun Ship 2.0 features aboard your favorite Carnival ship? And what will they be? Implementation begins with Carnival Liberty and when she emerges from drydock in late-October 2011 she will have some, but not all, the 2.0 elements. For instance Carnival Liberty will not immediately offer Punchliners Comedy Club and Brunch presented by George Lopez or have a Library Bar, although we suspect the entertainment features will be added as soon as possible. It will be a year before Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory emerge from drydock with even more of the elements, but still lacking a Library Bar. The program continues through 2015 and we have the Implementation Schedule on We also explain the Details with images of the new spaces.

We certainly agree with Sharaz that the new features will enhance the Carnival brand. The line is certainly getting a lot for their half-billion dollar investment and future passengers will reap the rewards.

Image: Guy's Burger Joint, Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

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