Carnival Cruses is on a roll with its unique offers these days, likely part of the company’s image-rehabilition efforts following a series of snafus in 2013. It started in September 2013 when the line launched its Great Vacation Guarantee, which promise a 110 percent refund of your cruise fare plus transportation home if you decide to cut a Carnival vacation short. The company is now following up on that offer with a separate Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee.
Available on all Carnival ships sailing from North America, the offer was put in place to assure travelers that they are paying the lowest possible prices for their day trips away from the ship. The only offer of its kind currently available in the cruise industry, and it will be especially valuable to families and large groups traveling together.
Here’s how the guarantee works: first, book a shore excursion through Carnival. If you find that same tour offered by another excursion company for a lower price, Carnival will give you 110 percent of the difference in the form of non-refundable shipboard credit.
If you find a better deal elsewhere, you can invoke the guarantee. There are a few caveats, of course: If you book the excursion prior to embarkation, you must submit the claim at least seven days befoe your cruise departs. Also, the lower price must be available on the exact date of the one you’ve already booked. In other words, you can’t get low-season pricing if you book a tour during high season. Finally, the price must be advertised and available to the public at large. For more information, read the complete terms and conditions of the guarantee.
If you do find a cheaper excursion price, you’ll need to fill out a claim form to jump-start the process to get your shipboard credit, but that’s a small amount of effort in order to take advantage of this innovative new offer.
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.