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Carnival Cruise Line to Absorb P&O Australia


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Interesting, although as Carnival Corp already owns them, it may just be re-badging, and shuffling deck chairs. May mean changes to service and crew as well.

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My initial reaction is to clutch my pearls, metaphorically speaking. 
 

DW and I have grown to appreciate the "cheap and cheerful" P&O cruises. We’ve actually been quite impressed with them lately even though my first cruise with them almost turned me off them permanently. We’ve not been back on a Carnival ship since our 2022 transPacific cruise as part of our infamous "Are We Mad?" trip. Along with many of the Australians onboard we were less than impressed with that cruise. 
 

I have lots of questions:

 

1. Will Carnival commit to multiple ships sailing in Australia year round? We currently live within driving distance of Brisbane so a ship based in Brisbane is important to us. 
 

2. Currently P&O cruises count towards us edging towards Elite Status on Princess but Carnival cruises don’t. Are they going to change this policy?
 

3. Recently Carnival fares seem to have risen significantly while P&O fares have remained reasonable. What pricing structure are they going to implement going forward. 
 

4. We enjoy sailing on slightly smaller ships even if they are a bit older. Will they be replaced with Mega ships?

 

5. Is there any chance they will tone down the garish decor for Australian tastes? I’m really not a fan of pink donuts on the walls and fried eggs on the ceiling. 
 

6. Carnival wants me to carry my mobile phone with me around the ship. P&O is happy to accommodate a Luddite like me. What are the chances?

 

7. P&O still cleans staterooms in the morning AND offers a tuner down service. Is Carnival going to reinstate this?

 

I fear I already know the answer to most of these questions. 🤷‍♂️
But at least I’ve had an opportunity to vent. I guess I'll get over it. 
 

 

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Q. How many cruisers does it take to change a lightbulb?

 

A. Change?! Who said anything about change?!

 

Blesséd are we who can laughter at ourselves as we shall never cease to be amused. 

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22 minutes ago, Astro Flyer said:

My uninformed American view of P&O Australia is much better than for Carnival’s party ships

 

My only experience with Carnival has been on Luminosa. I was not impressed.

 

I've been on and off P&O Oz for over 10 years now and I think I've gotten to the stage that I don't ever need to cruise with them again. I would put the two lines on par. Both of them advertise themselves as party ships, but P&O Oz definitely has the heavier drinkers. 😵

 

It makes sense to take your two disappointing budget cruise lines and amalgamate them into one disappointing budget cruise line. They aren't even particularly budget any more.

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For all the links, here is the one that says the same stuff from the horses mouth.

Carnival Corporation to Strategically Align Portfolio and Absorb P&O Cruises Australia into Carnival Cruise Line | Carnival Corporation & plc

 

@Sparky74 

1) Yes. Not commit, but they will have a ship there year round. Also a summer ship that may run longer into the shoulder season, then getting about the country. Read this as a ship, like Luminosa, being here full time to replace Pacific Explorer.

 

2) Carnival cruises will not count towards Princess Captains circle. The other part of the question is whether past P&O cruises are still going to be honoured by Princess Captains Circle, and/or will past P&O cruises now be recognised towards VIFP status instead? 

 

3) Carnival pricing. After all, they need to pay for the pizza, burgers, eggs benny somehow. 😉

 

4) Same ships, for now. It would be nice to see a bit of a rotation with other ships of the fleet.

 

5) Eggs Benny on the ceilings

 

6) Carnival also caters for luddites

 

7) Carnival branding = Carnival spec

 

Now, I do wonder if Luke Mangan will get the opportunity to move over to at least the local Carnival ships, or whether it is a Carnival steakhouse? He has been promoting new ventures, so I think I have a hunch on that too.

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9 minutes ago, Sparky74 said:

Q. How many cruisers does it take to change a lightbulb?

 

A. Change?! Who said anything about change?!

 

Blesséd are we who can laughter at ourselves as we shall never cease to be amused. 

Blessed are the cheesemakers

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2 minutes ago, SinbadThePorter said:

 

It makes sense to take your two disappointing budget cruise lines and amalgamate them into one disappointing budget cruise line. They aren't even particularly budget any more.

Nailed it! This could have happened any time in the past 10 years.

The costs of running two competing operations in North Sydney must be the only thing that isn't low budget, and it was just a matter of time till that was seen as low hanging fruit.

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1 minute ago, arxcards said:

This could have happened any time in the past 10 years.

 

I suspect that Carnival HQ may not have realised that they still had P&O Oz.

 

I can see them back at the office in Miami some guy in a cubicle turns around and says to the guy behind him, "Hey Joe, I've been reading the fine print on that Princess purchase contract, did you know that there are two P&Os?". 😝

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I'm shocked. But a little excited. 

My hope is that they will bring over the whole Carnival product such as included burgers, pizza, icecream, and Eggs Benedict. If anyone reads anything to that effect, please advise. 

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14 minutes ago, SinbadThePorter said:

 

I suspect that Carnival HQ may not have realised that they still had P&O Oz.

 

I can see them back at the office in Miami some guy in a cubicle turns around and says to the guy behind him, "Hey Joe, I've been reading the fine print on that Princess purchase contract, did you know that there are two P&Os?". 😝

I thought it was a strange arrangement for Carnival to send Spirit here to compete with P&O's Pacific Jewel in the first place. As soon as they were competing, I suspected P&O was to become Carnivoz within a couple of years.

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15 minutes ago, arxcards said:

As soon as they were competing, I suspected P&O was to become Carnivoz within a couple of years.

 

The rate that Carnival has been consuming Costa ships, Carnivore probably fits too.

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2 minutes ago, CDaze71 said:

I'm shocked. But a little excited. 

My hope is that they will bring over the whole Carnival product such as included burgers, pizza, icecream, and Eggs Benedict. If anyone reads anything to that effect, please advise. 

Carnival branding should equal Carnival product, but it would have to be ad hock until they can cycle through a drydock. I wonder what they will do with all those milk bottles from the Waterfront?

 

The stuff I am wagging my tail about:

The opportunity to have a bit more variety of ship cycling through the Australian ports, not a cast-off sent for their final 5 to 10 years of service. That should end up with another ship to replace Explorer - eventually. Yes, eggs benny would be nice, as well as sea day brunch. 

 

The stuff I have fingers crossed for:

VIFP credits for past P&O cruises - hey, I can dream. They could be stingy, but they also need to attract rusted-on P&O cruisers to embrace Carnival instead of jumping ship.

 

Disappointed:

There will no longer be a choice during winter cruising here. While it is false competition, it also holds the prices down a bit too. 94 years of a local connection is gone, as well as a Sitmar legacy. True, it is local in brand only, but it isn't Carnival Australia replacing P&O Australia. Fahrenheit 555 is nice enough, but a shame if Luke Mangan is gone.

 

 

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One news item on this topic says that

"While we plan to make some technology upgrades and other small changes to the two P&O Cruises Australia ships, they will continue to be geared to the unique Australian market with a familiar feel and much of the same experiences for P&O Cruises Australia guests."

 

and    Carnival said P&O customers will be invited to its own loyalty program.

 

It will be interesting to see if Carnival imports our P&O Aust cruising history into their loyalty programme.

 

We cruised on Carnival many years ago but don't seem to have a loyalty number for Carnival. Maybe I will have to follow that up.

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34 minutes ago, arxcards said:

Carnival also caters for luddites

On our Carnival Splendor transPacific cruise in 2022 the staff were continually telling me to use the app. When I explained that I’d left my phone in Australia they would grudgingly find a workaround. From knowing what was happening around the ship to looking at a menu, everything seemed to require the app as default. Even each morning when I went to the dining room for breakfast they wanted me to book in with the app. Eventually the maître de cottoned on and would see me coming and book me in but it took several mornings to train them. 
 

I must admit a certain amount of smug satisfaction when the system fell over and whole ship reverted to paper. I think the system may have crashed when we crossed the international date line.
 

Anyway, the general attitude of the staff seemed to be that I was an inconvenience. There were lots of other minor annoyances on the ship. It was the first Carnival ship to return to Australia post pandemic and I think at least part of the problem was that it was run as a US cruise rather than an Australian cruise. But the Aussies onboard were far from impressed with the cruise. We ran into a couple of "old hands", previous Carnival staff, who had been brought on to help train the staff for the Australian market. One of them was almost in tears at the attitude of the crew. We've not sailed with Carnival since but hopefully they’ve lifted their game. 
 

After we disembarked the Splendor in Sydney we had one night at home before boarding the Pacific Encounter in Brisbane. The contrast was astonishing. Better food, better service… We sailed P&O several times last year, have two booked for this year, and will possibly do a third in November. They’ve become our "go to" and the fact that they sail out of Brisbane year round has been a bonus. But I guess all good things must come to an end. 
 

Anyway, thanks for reading the ramblings of a grumpy old man. 😁

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3 minutes ago, arxcards said:

The opportunity to have a bit more variety of ship cycling through the Australian ports

 

If they send Jubilee, I'm on onboard.

 

But I don't see Carnival sending out their good stuff.

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4 minutes ago, SinbadThePorter said:

 

If they send Jubilee, I'm on onboard.

 

But I don't see Carnival sending out their good stuff.

We were on a previous 'Carnival Jubilee' that later became the Pacific Sun.

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4 minutes ago, Sparky74 said:

On our Carnival Splendor transPacific cruise in 2022 the staff were continually telling me to use the app. When I explained that I’d left my phone in Australia they would grudgingly find a workaround. From knowing what was happening around the ship to looking at a menu, everything seemed to require the app as default. Even each morning when I went to the dining room for breakfast they wanted me to book in with the app. Eventually the maître de cottoned on and would see me coming and book me in but it took several mornings to train them. 
 

I must admit a certain amount of smug satisfaction when the system fell over and whole ship reverted to paper. I think the system may have crashed when we crossed the international date line.
 

Anyway, the general attitude of the staff seemed to be that I was an inconvenience. There were lots of other minor annoyances on the ship. It was the first Carnival ship to return to Australia post pandemic and I think at least part of the problem was that it was run as a US cruise rather than an Australian cruise. But the Aussies onboard were far from impressed with the cruise. We ran into a couple of "old hands", previous Carnival staff, who had been brought on to help train the staff for the Australian market. One of them was almost in tears at the attitude of the crew. We've not sailed with Carnival since but hopefully they’ve lifted their game. 
 

After we disembarked the Splendor in Sydney we had one night at home before boarding the Pacific Encounter in Brisbane. The contrast was astonishing. Better food, better service… We sailed P&O several times last year, have two booked for this year, and will possibly do a third in November. They’ve become our "go to" and the fact that they sail out of Brisbane year round has been a bonus. But I guess all good things must come to an end. 
 

Anyway, thanks for reading the ramblings of a grumpy old man. 😁

In the early era post-covid, they were very sensitive about paper menus, as were P&O. I had the Hub app, and previewed some menus on it, but we had printed menus handed to us by default on Splendor in December.

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2 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

We were on a previous 'Carnival Jubilee' that later became the Pacific Sun.

I was thinking the same. Based on the past Jubilee, we won't see the new Jubilee until 2042.

 

For now, I guess it will be Carnival Adventure & Carnival Encounter joining Carnival Splendor & Carnival Luminosa.

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2 minutes ago, arxcards said:

In the early era post-covid, they were very sensitive about paper menus, as were P&O. I had the Hub app, and previewed some menus on it, but we had printed menus handed to us by default on Splendor in December.

Well that’s good to know. When the waiter came to rake our order on the first night we said that we hadn’t seen a menu yet. In condescending tones he told us that we should have looked at it on the app. (One of the many things I enjoy about cruising is that I disconnect from the Interweb and my devices. It’s getting harder though. 🤷‍♂️) We had further issues with him and in the end, reluctantly, asked to speak to the head waiter. Things improved after that although I never did get a tablecloth on the table, but that’s another story. 😬

 

I've probably got a big black mark on my Carnival file now. 🤣

 

Anyway, we'll have to wait and see what Carnival offer going forward. 

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