Maybe you've never been on a cruise before and aren't sure what to expect. Maybe you went out on a limb and booked something totally new and different. Whatever your reasoning, Carnival Cruises is so sure you will have fun on their cruise ships, they've launched the Great Vacation Guarantee—a unique promise of a 110% cruise fare refund plus free transportation home if you end up hating life at sea.
Sound good? Carnival says it carries 4.5 million travelers each year and is confident in the quantity of the vacation they provide on board their 24 ships that it designed a certain set of assurances for new cruisers. Here's the deal. Book a Carnival cruise and get onboard. If you realize within 24 hours of departure that a cruise really wasn't for you, just go to the guest services desk. If they can solve your issue, they will do so. If not, let them know you want to invoke the Great Vacation Guarantee. They will issue a refund for your cruise fare plus 10% and arrange for complimentary return air transportation from the next port of call. If necessary due to scheduling, they'll also provide free ground transportation and hotel accommodations. If your disembarkation in a US port incurs a "Jones Act" penalty fee, Carnival will pick up that tab as well. The last part of the guarantee is a $100 shipboard credit that can be used on a future Carnival cruise.
If you do invoke the guarantee, you will not earn VIFP (Very Important Fun Person Club) points for the sailing. (Which seems only fair.)
Carnival's Great Vacation Guarantee applies to US and Canadian residents only and is only valid on three- to eight-day itineraries to Alaska, the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Canada, and New England departing through April 30, 2015.
Andrea M. Rotondo is a freelance writer based in New York City. She covers cruise news and luxury travel trends for Fodors.com and writes for a variety of outlets, including her website Luxury Travel Mavens. Follow her on Twitter: @luxtravelmavens.
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Carnival