Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 2008 Cruise -- Room Safes, Carnival Glory

This is a rant about Carnival Glory's stateroom safes. Please pardon the interruption.

Here's a Carnival innovation so boneheadedly stupid one fears it may become the standard for all cruise ships and hotels: Carnival screwed with how one locks the room safe.

They took something simple and made it complicated. And inconvenient for the customer.

Carnival's Sail & Sign cardFirst you need to know about the "Sail & Sign" card, pictured at the left. You get it when you first arrive and use it to buy stuff on the ship, or even to give an extra tip to a helpful waiter. The stateroom info tells you, "All you need is your 'Sail & Sign' card."

Anything you buy and/or pay for on board, except for getting gaming money in the casino, is done with this card there's no need at to carry cash or credit cards. The point is, "There's no need to have anything else on you."

You can even bring a lanyard and have someone on the purser's office punch a hole in your "Sail & Sign" card. Just as this one was punched on middle of the right side. This way you can carry the card around even if you don't have any pockets. You never need a wallet or a purse except when you go ashore.


Unless -- you want to use your room safe. Say, for your passport, driver's license, cash, credit cards, FiloFax, jewels for formal night...

In recent years every room safe (yes, I remember long ago they sometimes had keys) uses a code that you make up and enter. You can give this code to anyone in your party who can be trusted with it. On Carnival, however, you have to use a credit card to lock the safe (there is no charge to the credit card involved, somehow it scans a code into the lock). No, you must not use your "Sail & Sign" card to lock/unlock the safe.

This means that you have to carry this credit card with you at all times, pockets or not. Should anyone else in your party need something from the safe they have to find you and get your credit card.

Hey Carnival! You took a simple system and ruined it.

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