We have re-booked most of our group on the Carnival Splendor for Feb 20. It has taken us several hours of phone calls to Carnival, and several heart pounding moments, wondering if we were going to be able to help everyone stay on board. Some have decided to take a later cruise in March and others are going in May, but with our help, we have been able to get them scheduled and taken care of...except for one family and extended members.
The challenge that comes with having to change travel plans are the psychological disappointments that come with.."I gotta wait how long to go on vacation?" I have been feeling the same way, since Barbi's and my last vacation in May (a transatlantic cruise aboard the beautiful Crown Princess for 2 weeks, visiting Gibraltar, Spain, France, and Italy). That seems like a lifetime ago. I have been working myself up for this Mexican Riviera cruise with the whole family (A first for us), and counting down the days. I was about to send out a facebook update, this past Wednesday, to tell everyone "HEY..Only 45 days to go", when the trouble began.
The family I mention are associates in another industry, and they enthusiastically encouraged some other friends to come along. Now, all of a sudden, calendars are not working for Feb 20th for everyone. They are torn between coming with us, their friends, and taking the vacation sooner -- OR -- Waiting til later and going with the other friends. "I want to go now" or I want to be with you guys". They have looked at all kinds of options, but it really comes down to now or later.. AND .. which friends do we choose to be with. I don't envy their decision, and I hope they choose to go, rather than NOT go AT ALL. After all, Friends are Friends. We'd love to be with them, but it is ok if they go with the other friends.
Carnival has certainly been in a tough situation with the Splendor. The equipment needed from the Ship builder has to be manufactured from scratch, thus the longer delay. Though the agents we have talked to have not been consistent in their answers, they have been excellent to work with and have done much to accommodate all passengers affected by this delay. Carnival has a long and excellent reputation. I know many who will sail with no other cruise line. The safety record of the cruise industry as a whole is remarkable, which is one reason I am such a huge fan. If I had more time off available, I would take the lead of my Australian Friends, the Stewart's, and cruise to every destination I could...Rather than Fly. It is so much more comfortable and relaxing getting there. When heading westbound, you even get to enjoy 25 hour days (One Time Zone per day). No jet lag there.
Your Friend, Marty