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ShakyBeef

I will NEVER buy FTTF Again!!!

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19 minutes ago, xDisconnections said:

I'm a big fan of annual re-qualification with a milestone target to hit that will provide lifetime status. It has worked well for me in the former Starwood program and kept my benefits from being devalued by kettles.

 

OK, Google didn't help me find the answer, so I gotta ask: what are "kettles" in this context?

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5 minutes ago, ShakyBeef said:

 

OK, Google didn't help me find the answer, so I gotta ask: what are "kettles" in this context?

Infrequent travelers; typically found in the airline industry and hotel industry.

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5 minutes ago, xDisconnections said:

Infrequent travelers; typically found in the airline industry and hotel industry.

 

OK, thanks.  Why are they called kettles?

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2 minutes ago, ShakyBeef said:

 

OK, thanks.  Why are they called kettles?

According to Flyertalk:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickinson View Post
Short for Ma, Pa and all the little Kettles. Used to describe inexperienced, infrequent travelers and their antics. Named after some old movies about the misadventures of some rather unsophisticated folks. I'm sure Wikipedia has an entry for Ma and Pa Kettle.

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9 minutes ago, xDisconnections said:

According to Flyertalk:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickinson View Post
Short for Ma, Pa and all the little Kettles. Used to describe inexperienced, infrequent travelers and their antics. Named after some old movies about the misadventures of some rather unsophisticated folks. I'm sure Wikipedia has an entry for Ma and Pa Kettle.

Thanks.

 

Charming.:classic_rolleyes:  So, I suppose, based on your provided definition of  "Infrequent travelers; typically found in the airline industry and hotel industry",  that this derogatory term applies to my husband and myself.  We fly less than twice a year and stay in hotels (if you don't include our "regular" resort in Abaco) less than half a dozen times a year, generally.   

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9 minutes ago, ShakyBeef said:

Thanks.

 

Charming.:classic_rolleyes:  So, I suppose, based on your provided definition of  "Infrequent travelers; typically found in the airline industry and hotel industry",  that this derogatory term applies to my husband and myself.  We fly less than twice a year and stay in hotels (if you don't include our "regular" resort in Abaco) less than half a dozen times a year, generally.   

😮

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8 hours ago, ShakyBeef said:

 

Wow, you've really put some thought into this!😊  They might end up doing some of this.

 

BTW, the hypothetical "Reardon Metal" level was a slightly obscure reference to one of my favourite books, Atlas Shrugged.  I was having trouble coming up with a precious metal (so as not to mess with their Red-and-Blue-and-Precious-Metals theme) between the value of gold and platinum.  So I chose this fictitious metal as a kind of joke.  But I think I see what you did there with Reardom Gold - at the "rear" end of Gold, right?:classic_wink:

I am personally not an Ayn Rand fan, but I was wondering if that was where your term came from. I liked the sound of it and ran with it. As an Autistic person, my ideas for restructuring of the VIFP program are MUCH more detailed than what I posted. Also, I am super excited to turn Platinum on the November 2nd Journey Cruise!

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20 hours ago, Lee Cruiser said:

Carnival did not downgrade people from Platinum the last time.  They were grandfathered in to the new system.  As a matter of fact, if someone was close to reaching their 10th cruise (which was the old system) they were given a period of 18 months to do so under the old system and would be platinum under the new system.

 

We became Platinum on the 1st leg of a B2B on our 9th cruise back in 2013.

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Hi

 

This is a big if, because people start talking about changes a month after the last change. So it could take a few more years before anything happens.

 

There is no question, Carnival likes the income stream from those purchasing FTTF. As already said, the longer the current tiers are left in place, the more people who would be moving to Platinum and for that reason will no longer be purchasing FTTF. Of course, worse still for Carnival, it also affects how many FTTF spaces can be sold. 

 

It's not rocket science, they will need to move up the number of nights required to qualify for those perks significantly. So, it will be an either and/or, knock the number up a whole bunch for both Platinum and Diamond, and/or get rid of the FTTF perks entirely for those levels. They could offer some other perk. It won't satisfy anyone, but it will be painful once and after that it will a steady stream of money for the company. After all, they have been steadily raising the price of FTTF and people still have been anxiously anticipating availability. Selling FTTF costs them almost nothing. The longer they wait, the more money they are losing. At this time, when they are concerned with future profits, it could be the option they choose.

 

 

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1 hour ago, vicky3vicky said:

I am personally not an Ayn Rand fan, but I was wondering if that was where your term came from. I liked the sound of it and ran with it. As an Autistic person, my ideas for restructuring of the VIFP program are MUCH more detailed than what I posted. Also, I am super excited to turn Platinum on the November 2nd Journey Cruise!

Interesting thread...we turned platinum years ago..but actually not cruising a lot anymore...but a definite Ayn Rand Fan...but actually didn't get the connection!!  brought back some memories though of reading the book several times in my younger years!

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Carnival doesn't have to make any changes to the number of levels or to the number of days, and likely should not. It really doesn't matter how many are at any given level. The benefits become self limiting and the program stays within budget.

 

Carnival has indicated in the past that they don't want cruisers who cruise for perks - they want cruisers who like the brand, and there are plenty of them. 

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1 hour ago, BlerkOne said:

Carnival has indicated in the past that they don't want cruisers who cruise for perks - they want cruisers who like the brand, and there are plenty of them. 

 

Your comment is one of several reasons why I believe Carnival is going to significantly raise the number of days to reach Platinum and Diamond, along with possibly adding additional levels.  Most importantly, and this directly relates to your comment about perks, I don’t think they will grandfather people already at the D&P levels. 

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26 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

 

 

 

Your comment is one of several reasons why I believe Carnival is going to significantly raise the number of days to reach Platinum and Diamond, along with possibly adding additional levels.  Most importantly, and this directly relates to your comment about perks, I don’t think they will grandfather people already at the D&P levels. 

 

It is why Carnival really doesn't need a loyalty program in the first place. I think they would more likely do away with it, than do as you suggest. The number of complaints would be similar, but the cost much lower, and perhaps savings could be passed on to the customers who like Carnival.

 

I see no value to Carnival for raising the number of days, or increasing number of levels, and there would be no need for grandfathering.

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8 hours ago, BlerkOne said:

 

It is why Carnival really doesn't need a loyalty program in the first place. I think they would more likely do away with it, than do as you suggest. The number of complaints would be similar, but the cost much lower, and perhaps savings could be passed on to the customers who like Carnival.

 

I see no value to Carnival for raising the number of days, or increasing number of levels, and there would be no need for grandfathering.

 

My comments related to the VIFP program are mainly based on what I have heard from crew members and other guests at Diamonds and Platinums parties over the past few years. The comments I hear most often lead me to believe they are the most likely to happen, although ultimately I take everything I hear concerning changes to the VIFP program with a grain of salt.  However, I have never heard from anyone that Carnival is considering eliminating their VIFP program. 

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On 6/22/2019 at 5:52 PM, ShakyBeef said:

FTTF finally became available for the first leg of my January 2020 Elation BTB out of Port Canaveral, about 200 days out from sailing.  I booked the cruise(s) 400-and-some days out and have been checking for FTTF several times a day, every day, for 200-and-some-odd days, now.  I was starting to worry it wouldn't be made available for my sailing.  Then, the third time checking that day, it suddenly was there in the Shore Excursions.  I grabbed it.  It's still not available for the second leg of the BTB, but that's OK, because for that leg, and forever after (hopefully), DH and I will be Platinum.:classic_biggrin:  So, I have just bought my last FTTF.  Not what you expected when you saw the thread title, huh?  Sorry to disappoint. 

 

But here's something I've been wondering: with the rumours floating around about possible changes to the VIFP program due to the inordinate number of Plats and Diamonds, might those of us about to become Platinum, or having just turned Platinum be bumped back to Gold, just as some Golds were bumped down to Red (my daughters among them) in the last VIFP shake-up, when the Red level was introduced? 

 

It would suck to have this BTB booked for so long, have my cruise docs showing us as Platinum for the second leg (thus knowing I don't need FTTF for that leg), and then having our Platinum status yanked.

Why you want or need FTTF on the second leg of a B2B. You leave the ship for 10 maybe 15 minutes and are escorted back on. You do not have to take your things off with you. In fact, if you have the same cabin on each cruise, then you stuff is still in that cabin when you get back on. If you are planning to stay off the ship for a while, them you can get a B2B pass that allows you to get back on right away when you get back to the ship.

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On 6/22/2019 at 7:08 PM, ShakyBeef said:

 

Thanks.  That's what I thought (and hoped!), after reading several reports to that effect here on CC.  But Carnival said it was not the case.  I called my PVP and asked him.  He didn't know and so he transferred me to the VIFP department.  The very nice lady there also didn't know, and looked deeply into all her literature / whatnot, and still couldn't find the answer.  So she put me on hold while she called some higher-up muckety-muck who finally gave the answer that I would not have my Platinum status until the first day of my second leg, despite what others had experienced.  I was disappointed, but accepted it and resolved to buy FTTF one last time. 

 

My sailings are definitely linked as a BTB - I confirmed this with my PVP when I booked.

In reality, a B2B is 2 separate cruises even if they are linked. The second cruise of the B2B is the one you are turning Platinum so it will be your first Platinum cruise. Now if you were on a 14 day Journey cruise and were turning Platinum during the second week of that cruise, you would be Platinum the whole cruise because it is only 1 cruise, not 2. 

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Just now, Retired_to_Cruise said:

Why you want or need FTTF on the second leg of a B2B. You leave the ship for 10 maybe 15 minutes and are escorted back on. You do not have to take your things off with you. In fact, if you have the same cabin on each cruise, then you stuff is still in that cabin when you get back on. If you are planning to stay off the ship for a while, them you can get a B2B pass that allows you to get back on right away when you get back to the ship.

 

That's all true and went into my decision to not buy it for the second leg even if I do end up getting bumped out of Platinum.  The only thing I'd be missing out on is the VIP line at GS.  I really like that VIP line, but I don't think it's worth $72 to me on its own.  We have the same Suite both legs, we're staying on the ship as long as we can on turnover day,  we have no tender ports on this itinerary, and we've already got our preferred dining time, so if it turns out we get bumped back to Gold, we'll have to survive without the VIP GS line for this cruise.:classic_smile:

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Just now, ShakyBeef said:

 

That's all true and went into my decision to not buy it for the second leg even if I do end up getting bumped out of Platinum.  The only thing I'd be missing out on is the VIP line at GS.  I really like that VIP line, but I don't think it's worth $72 to me on its own.  We have the same Suite both legs, we're staying on the ship as long as we can on turnover day,  we have no tender ports on this itinerary, and we've already got our preferred dining time, so if it turns out we get bumped back to Gold, we'll have to survive without the VIP GS line for this cruise.:classic_smile:

On turnover day, you have no choice about how long you stay on the ship.You will receive a letter that tells you to meet at a certain place and time on the ship. All of the B2Bs will be there. They will have juices and pastries for you. They will take you old S&S card from you and give you your new one for the second week. Once they check you off the ship they will give you the old one back. This means that your folio is closed and a new one opened. Then, in most cases, they will take you off the ship and to a spot in the terminal. A customs person will come to where you are and check each persons ID. Then they will take you back to the area where ship boarding is going to happen and you will get back on the ship with you new S&S card being scanned. They will have mimosas waiting for you at the Atrium bar. And you change over is complete. You are now on the second cruise. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Retired_to_Cruise said:

In reality, a B2B is 2 separate cruises even if they are linked. The second cruise of the B2B is the one you are turning Platinum so it will be your first Platinum cruise. Now if you were on a 14 day Journey cruise and were turning Platinum during the second week of that cruise, you would be Platinum the whole cruise because it is only 1 cruise, not 2. 

 

Right, and that is what Carnival says, and what I am perfectly content to go by.  But according to many accounts from those that have experienced it over the years, the new VIFP status is very often awarded on the first day of the first leg, even when it won't actually be achieved by VIFP point count until some time during the second leg.  It's just so difficult to get a consistent, reliable answer.  I'm OK with the situation, though.  I got my FTTF for the first leg. 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Retired_to_Cruise said:

On turnover day, you have no choice about how long you stay on the ship.You will receive a letter that tells you to meet at a certain place and time on the ship. All of the B2Bs will be there. They will have juices and pastries for you. They will take you old S&S card from you and give you your new one for the second week. Once they check you off the ship they will give you the old one back. This means that your folio is closed and a new one opened. Then, in most cases, they will take you off the ship and to a spot in the terminal. A customs person will come to where you are and check each persons ID. Then they will take you back to the area where ship boarding is going to happen and you will get back on the ship with you new S&S card being scanned. They will have mimosas waiting for you at the Atrium bar. And you change over is complete. You are now on the second cruise. 

 

 

Yes, thanks, I know all this already.  What I meant about staying on the ship as long as possible on turnover day was that I was not going to be off the ship any longer than I was absolutely required to be by Carnival, Customs, et al.  In other words, I'm not going to hang out in the Departure Port at all.  I'm sorry, I should have worded that more clearly.

Edited by ShakyBeef
clarity, I hope

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When Carnival changed their VIFP program a few years ago, the levels were all grandfathered.  Plus, they gave you a certain amount of time to achieve that level before the program changed so if you were at 8 cruises, you had by December of that year to take 2 more cruises and you became Platinum prior to the official change.  I cannot imagine Carnival not grandfathering peoples' current status.  When you have ships like MSC matching statuses to entice you to travel them, it just wouldn't make sense.  

 

Having said that, I can see them changing the "perks".  A change they made a few years ago is that Gold Status no longer were invited to the Gold/Platinum/Diamond party as there were simply too many Gold passengers.   More than half the ship was attending and that is alot of free alcohol.  Other than the party, a little gift and a few chocolate covered strawberries, there are really no other perks that cost Carnival any money (getting on the ship faster, your own line to the guest services desk, tendering faster, etc has no monetary value for Carnival).  

 

FTTF is big revenue for Carnival.  When it started, it was $49.99 per cabin.  Now it is around $89.99 (or maybe even more but I am now Platinum :) so I don't really look at it any longer).  That would be 100% profit as it doesn't cost them anything to offer that service.  Many of the 7 day cruises have hundreds of Platinum passengers so they probably don't sell as many but the short 3, 4 and 5 days cruises have hardly any Platinum passengers in comparison and so if you can sell many on those sailings (twice per week), it is a huge money maker.  Also the short cruises (less than 5 days) don't have the Platinum/Diamond party so that is a great saving for them as well.  

 

 

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Yes, every year there are more and more Platinum passengers but that doesn't mean that every year there are more Platinum passengers on each sailing.  People who travel often like to try new experiences whether it is on another cruise line or land based vacation.  I love Carnival myself and until my teens are done travelling with me, I intend to be loyal.  When it becomes just my DH and I, we have sailed HAL and would definitely sail HAL again.  People's interest change.  You get tired of the same activities and menus.  I am sure that Carnival has analytics on all of this.  They also can tell if you are sailing on their other brands.  They can probably predict how many people are going to level up in the next 5 to 10 years and how many people will continue to sail on Carnival.  

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8 minutes ago, cdm289 said:

When Carnival changed their VIFP program a few years ago, the levels were all grandfathered.  Plus, they gave you a certain amount of time to achieve that level before the program changed so if you were at 8 cruises, you had by December of that year to take 2 more cruises and you became Platinum prior to the official change.  I cannot imagine Carnival not grandfathering peoples' current status.  When you have ships like MSC matching statuses to entice you to travel them, it just wouldn't make sense. 

 

I agree with a lot of what you said in your last two posts, but this is definitely not true.  In the last shake-up, when Red Level was created, the levels were not all grandfathered.  Both of my daughters (and many, many other Golds, some of whom have posted on this thread) got bumped down from Gold to Red, and lost perks in that process.  I can imagine Carnival not grandfathering peoples' current status, because it has happened before

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On ‎6‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 7:05 PM, crzndeb said:

Just an FYI...if you are doing a B2B, you should show Platinum on both legs. If not, give Carnival a call and tell them to link both sailings. I am turning Diamond on 2nd leg of cruise this year, and both of my legs show Diamond. You should be able to get a refund of that FTTF.

 I thought you wouldn't need FTTF on a second leg of a same ship BTB as long as you're in the same cabin.  They walk you off and bring you back on with fellow BTBers.  But the other "perks" might get lost.  "Those wouldn't matter to the OP anyway if he's Platinum on leg 2.

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