Following this weekend’s announcement that Carnival Cruise Line is making the aft adults-only pools on several of its ships family-friendly, many travel agents criticized the decision in a discussion on our Facebook page.
“I, too, am a travel agent and this will certainly affect choosing Carnival for my clients or not,” says Mike MacKenna. “Just looking at the Valor I see that children already had the most opportunities for water fun with only one small pool that was adults only. Not every family has kids and there are even some couples that use a cruise for quiet time from the kids. Hence, Carnival is out of the running for a lot of my customers.”
Other agents pointed out that children already have their own dedicated areas, and argued that adults should have a similar option.
“As a travel agent, I hear the needs of my clients that don’t have or don’t travel with children, and they like having the adult-only area,” says Dawn Nelka Burdeaux. “If the children have Camp Carnival, then why shouldn’t the adults have their own area?”
Others pointed out that other cruise lines, even those that are billed as family-friendly, still maintain adults-only areas.
“Not a good move at all!” says Dana Ceglenski. “Yes, Carnival is a family friendly cruise line, but other family friendly cruise lines have someplace for adults to retreat and enjoy a pool and hot tub.”
“As a travel professional, and a traveler who prefers adult-only areas, especially pools, this will certainly impact how often I travel on Carnival and how I sell it,” says Joanna Kuther. “Disney has cornered the market on how to handle adult-only areas, Carnival should follow suit.”
“If Disney can provide a quiet retreat for adults, I don’t understand why Carnival will not,” says Dawn Williams Crowe. “It was my ONE true selling point with many of my clients who prefer not to travel with a lot of children around. Yes, they do have the ships for the ‘older crowd’ but I’ve been slowly encouraging them to give CCL a try.”
Affordability was also an issue for some agents’ clients, even those who would not normally be interested in a family-friendly line.
“As a travel agent, I am aware that there are cruise lines that cater to adults and are a better match for those that would prefer not to have their vacation overrun by children,” says Phyllis DiPaola. “However, not everyone can afford that option.”
One travel agent even suggested making an entire ship adults-only.
“Carnival has numerous ships. I fail to see why the can’t take just one ship and make it adults only,” says Vince O’Driscoll. “That one ship does not stop Carnival from being family friendly.”
Carnival brand ambassador John Heald shared the move during a discussion on adults-only versus family-friendly pools on Facebook over the weekend. According to Heald, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor and Carnival Victory have all made the changeover.
Additionally, Carnival Conquest is slated to get an adults-only Serenity pool deck during the ship’s upcoming dry dock, which is scheduled for October.
Carnival’s Serenity retreats are special adults-only areas with their own deck and bar. It is available on several of the line’s ships, including the upcoming Carnival Horizon.
Travel Agent has reached out to Carnival for an official update on the issue. We will post their response when we hear back.