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jtdlmc

Is Carnival trying to monopolize excursions??

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I received an email this morning from an independant tour guide I am booked with in Roatan. It is a very long walk with a large hill from the ship to the other end of the port in Roatan. Apparently if you had a disabled, elderly, child in stroller, etc. person in your party, the independent tour guides could go to the port gate to pick them up. As of yesterday, Carnival will no longer allow that.

 

++ As of November 25, 2010, the Carnival Corporation (owner/manager of Mahogany Bay Cruise Center) requires all guests to walk the route shown above to meet independent guides. There are no pick-ups at the pier gate. No Exceptions will be made for wheelchairs, the elderly, children in strollers, mobility impaired guests, etc. Any guest not on a Carnival ship excursion will be required to walk outside the port property to meet thier Independent Guides.

 

To contact Carnival/Mahogany Bay management directly regarding this policy, please email: GCahill@carnival.com -- Gerry Cahill, Carnival CEO, gdavis@carnival.com -- Graham Davis, Director of Port Operations, director@mahoganybaycc.com -- Michael Reimers, General Manager of Mahogany Bay, or pfso@mahoganybaycc.com -- Hubert Bodden, PFSO of Mahogany Bay. ++

 

I, for one, think it is a deplorable move on Carnival's part. I'm sure they will give some safety issue or such as their reasoning, but I won't believe that!!!

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They are not trying to do it. They are doing it.

 

We were in Roatan last May and booked an independent excursion. We had to push my mother up that hill in her wheelchair. The driver was allowed to drop off inside the Carnival owned area after the excursion.

 

BTW, this is not the only port Carnival tries to take over. There are many excursions that can only be booked through Carnival, ones that are not owned by Carnival, but they have a contract and do not allow self-bookings when the ship is in port.

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Iv never seen independent guides in the port area there, everyone went out to meet them.

 

If Carnival allows private tour guides inside their private area, then there is the chance they will start trying to sell their tours to you as you walk off the ship. Traditionally the port area is not a hard sell area, high prices yes at Mahagany Bay, but not hard sell by private tour guides. No one wants that either.

 

This has been true of all ports ..private guides are not allowed in. Im surprised they were ever allowed into the port area of Mahagany Bay .. and yes Iv been there, and walked up and down the little hill outside the gate just to see what I could see.

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i noticed this on the glory when we docked in boston which had a very very long walk till you can reach an area outside of the cruise ship terminal area. To make the walk even longer, the glory was the last ship at the pier with her aft almost sticking out from the pier

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If people quit using Carnival facilities they will stop building them and the problem is solved.

 

Do not go to Mahogany Bay, do independent excursions, or go to Tabayana do not go to anything inside the gates at Grand Turk, etc. If Carnival is not making money they will open things up but as long as people patronize them they will continue to do what they do now, which is be a bully.

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Costa Maya.....Grand Turk (or so I am told) are also more Cruiseline ports..

sort of "Caribbean Light" or "Disney Caribbean" ??

 

RCI is doing the same with their artificial port of Falmouth in Jamaica, the only place the huge Oasis and Allure can port there

 

with larger ships, lots of ships at the same ports....and frankly some "bad" incidents on some of the islands that get blown out of proportion, it seems the cruise lines are creating these "sponsored" ports

 

Almost like the private islands...but without the free buffet...LOL

 

The good thing about Costa Maya is it is flat so you can get out of the port easier ?

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Mahogany Bay has been this way since it opened.

 

We were there this past January on the Legend and took a private tour with a local tour guide. The walk to the gate to meet the private tours is a bit of a steep incline at the end of the walk but well worth it in price and the quality of the tours offered by the locals.

 

My view on Mahogany Bay is that Carnival has decided to build mini Disney-Worlds at ports where they can buy up land cheap and develop. If I want a Disney experience, I will sail with Disney. When I cruise to a Caribbean island I want to experience the true flavor of that island and not disembark the ship in a made up fairy like port area.

 

Roatan is a beautiful island. Have visited the island 6 or 7 times on cruise ships. The local people who own the Mom & Pop stores and are just trying to make a living through the tourist industry are being hurt financially through pier areas like Mahogany Bay.

 

Take the climb. Meet up with local tour guides and enjoy Roatan as it's meant to be enjoyed.

 

Dianne

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Costa Maya.....Grand Turk (or so I am told) are also more Cruiseline ports..

sort of "Caribbean Light" or "Disney Caribbean" ??

 

RCI is doing the same with their artificial port of Falmouth in Jamaica, the only place the huge Oasis and Allure can port there

 

with larger ships, lots of ships at the same ports....and frankly some "bad" incidents on some of the islands that get blown out of proportion, it seems the cruise lines are creating these "sponsored" ports

 

Almost like the private islands...but without the free buffet...LOL

 

The good thing about Costa Maya is it is flat so you can get out of the port easier ?

 

I too have found CCL's policy of herding cruisers into their "shopping corrals" and onto their own beach areas and excursions to be deplorable. There is no room for island culture in these artificial environments.

That said, it seems the majority of CCL's pax will head directly for the nearest chain store/bar/beach that CCL puts in their path. My opinion seems to be in the minority, so it's live and let live....and for me, soon to find a different cruise line.

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we just did this walk on the Dream in September. It sucked, for sure, but I don't want strangers on my property it doesn't bother me. If you feel strongly about it, send an email to Mr Cahill.

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Quick question...how much of that property does Carnival actually own? Do other cruise lines dock at the same pier? If so...it sounds like Carnival has pressured the port authorities into adhering to this new policy on the port authorities property...not Carnival's.

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No one has mentioned that only one ship could stop at a time at the old port in Roatan, and Carnival wanted more ships to go there .. still dont have enough imo .. great port, except for Mahagany Bay.

 

It wasnt really just because Carnival could buy up cheap land .. it was because they had no other real choice other than to take turns with the RCL ships, one ship a day.

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Yes, Mahogany Bay is a blatant monopoly and I am not happy about it:mad: I love Carnival, but all their port nonsense is annoying, and MB is deplorable! OK, put all your cookie cutter stores in the port area...we've all seen them 100 times already:rolleyes: But to make it a physical challenge to be able to CHOOSE what you want to do while in a port just makes Carnival look really bad. We were just in Roatan on the Legend and I really miss the old nothing concrete port that we docked at in 07. That was Roatan...simple, poor, beautiful. Now the port area is just like all the rest. I prefer to get out and see that gorgeous island and spend my money with the locals who desperately need it. If it means climbing that God-awful hill, and back down the other side (with my bad hips and knees), I will do it again. I WILL NOT go to their so-called beach which was made by blasting a coral reef and give Carnival more of my money for a fake experience:mad: We always have a great time on this island and buy from the locals. While some of you may be in much better shape than I, my legs were in pain for 2 days after that hill, and every time I felt the pain, I was angry with Carnival. Perhaps next time I visit Roatan on a cruise, it will be with a line that docks at Coxen Hole...much better there!;)

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For anyone in ok condition ...........the walk 'up the hill' is not a big deal

 

I agree. And even if you are not in ok condition, as long as you take your time and stop along the way, the hill is doable.

 

It's not a mountain, just a steep slope.

 

Good thing is once the private tour operators leave you off it's all ``down hill'' to cruise ship.:cool:

 

Dianne

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I think some are missing the OP's point. Yes...if someone is in an ok condition, yes...they can walk up the hill. The point as I saw it being made was that Carnival is doing what it can to try to make it harder for anyone who does not have a "Carnival excursion" scheduled and I can see how that is probably true. It is obvious that the newer docks at ports of call are being built around funneling everyone through the cruise line's "recommended" vendors before you can ever get to the place where you can get your own cab or meet a 3rd party excursion company. Such was the case with Puerto Maya last week. No signage of where someone could go catch a taxi or meet another vendor. We walked quite a ways until finally we saw the area that outside vendors anc cabs were staged.

 

Comparing that to somewhere like Grand Cayman where, once you tender in, you are close to taxi services, other excursion vendors etc.

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A quick question - IF you booked an excursion thru the cruiseline, would you still have to walk that slope???

Nope! Hence the monopoly. Give your money to Carnival at their inflated rates and you leave from the other side of the shops.:rolleyes::mad:

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Of course they are.

 

They have taken a lesson from Disney. Orlando used to have great areas for nightlife. Disney created Pleasure Island and put the word out that Orlando was not a safe city. The tourists stayed on Disney property and our nightlife area (Church St. Station) died off.

 

Now Pleasure Island is also gone.

 

Universal's City Walk is all that remains and with no real competition, is quite expensive.

 

A lack of competition leads to higher prices for the customers.

 

I have noticed that the ship sponsored tours are now much closer in price to the independent tours.

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It's one thing for CCL to not allow the independent operator on to the CCL owned property. Don't like it, but do understand it.

 

It's a whole other thing for CCL to have a monopoly on the local tour operators and not allow any of them to accept cruise passenger reservations unless booked directly through the ship. We visited Freeport, Bahamas on CCL Conquest recently. I researched private excursions prior to our trip. I was not able to find a single excursion to book outside the cruise ship. EVERY operator I spoke with said I was required to book through the cruise ship.

 

It's absolutely inappropriate for them to have a monopoly on ALL local operators. To have an arrangement with a few select operators, fine. To monopolize everyone, WRONG! For that reason we purposedly booked no excursions! We refused to give CCL our money on principal alone.

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Nope! Hence the monopoly. Give your money to Carnival at their inflated rates and you leave from the other side of the shops.:rolleyes::mad:

 

 

Honestly, like it or not, can you blame Carnival? They are not a non profit organization (although some on this board thinks they should be... lol).

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Quick question...how much of that property does Carnival actually own?
Carnival doesn't own any of Mahogany Bay...but they have a 30 year lease on it from the local businessman who does own it.
Do other cruise lines dock at the same pier?
I understand that NCL is using it when there is room....I think that Celebrity uses the old berth at Coxen Hole.
If so...it sounds like Carnival has pressured the port authorities into adhering to this new policy on the port authorities property...not Carnival's.

 

Not really any port authorities....it is built on private property as noted above.

 

As a side note, if you ever wondered why Belize doesn't have berths for large ships, my understanding is that the local authorities do not want to give total control to anyone except themselves. Someone seems to realize that a monopolistic arrangement will stunt the growth of their tourist industry.

 

Either that, or no one has ponied up enough $$ to have their way. ;)

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You are going on a carnival ship to carnival sponsored ports. Of course they are protecting there interests and there money. They would prefer you to take there offered excursions etc. It is basic business.

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I think some are missing the OP's point. Yes...if someone is in an ok condition, yes...they can walk up the hill. The point as I saw it being made was that Carnival is doing what it can to try to make it harder for anyone who does not have a "Carnival excursion" scheduled and I can see how that is probably true. It is obvious that the newer docks at ports of call are being built around funneling everyone through the cruise line's "recommended" vendors before you can ever get to the place where you can get your own cab or meet a 3rd party excursion company. Such was the case with Puerto Maya last week. No signage of where someone could go catch a taxi or meet another vendor. We walked quite a ways until finally we saw the area that outside vendors anc cabs were staged.

 

Comparing that to somewhere like Grand Cayman where, once you tender in, you are close to taxi services, other excursion vendors etc.

 

Royal Caribbean did something similar to Roatan's original port in Coxen Hole. When we first set foot in Roatan in 2003, Coxen Hole was the only port area.

 

DH & I both said at the time, it's one of the only ports yet unspoiled by Diamond's International, Del So, etc. etc. A few years later RCI changed all of that and DI, Del Sol and all the other ``ship recommended'' business arrived on the island.

 

Carnival followed by building their own pier that's a mini Disney experience.

 

Wonder what is next?

 

Bottom line is that the cruise lines found an island that cruisers enjoyed visiting due to the coral reefs, beautiful vegetation and friendly people and decided to make it look like every other island in the Caribbean that the cruiselines have changed through the years.

 

I'm so thankful that I visited Roatan several years ago before the cruise lines changed it.

 

Dianne

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Carnival doesn't own any of Mahogany Bay...but they have a 30 year lease on it from the local businessman who does own it. I understand that NCL is using it when there is room....I think that Celebrity uses the old berth at Coxen Hole.

 

Not really any port authorities....it is built on private property as noted above.

 

As a side note, if you ever wondered why Belize doesn't have berths for large ships, my understanding is that the local authorities do not want to give total control to anyone except themselves. Someone seems to realize that a monopolistic arrangement will stunt the growth of their tourist industry.

 

Either that, or no one has ponied up enough $$ to have their way. ;)

 

So it seems again that Carnival has pressured those "businessmen" into adhering to "Carnival's" policy. It is not a case of Carnival "owning the property" as some have said

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