Carnival Cruise Lines Simplifies Pricing

October 15, 2013
(11:33 a.m. EDT) -- Less than a year after Carnival Cruise Lines complicated its fare structure by upping its price categories to six, the line is backtracking to three options.

The line's past passengers, as well as cruise sellers, have been complaining for months that the six-fare structure was too complicated, making Carnival sailings more difficult to book.

"Based on input from our travel agents, we modified the core fare structure to include those fare codes that offered the customer value and choice," said Brenda Yester, senior vice president of revenue management for Carnival. "By offering three fare choices instead of six, it simplifies the decision-making process."

As of October 31, Carnival's fare categories will be comprised of: Fun Select, Early Saver and Super Saver.

Here's a quick rundown, made as simple as possible:

Fun Select: Fun Select continues to be Carnival's standard rate with which passengers can select their own cabin. The fare also comes with free cabin upgrades that allow passengers to be upgraded up to two categories. The fare is fully refundable before final payment.

Early Saver: Early Saver fares are the lowest available rates with which passengers choose their cabin assignment and are only available for bookings on cruises of five days or less made more than three months prior to sailing or cruises of six days or more made more than five months prior to sailing. The fare includes a non-refundable deposit and $50 administrative fee for changes to the reservation, made before final payment date. The fare includes price protection, meaning that if the going rate of the cabin category you've booked goes down, you qualify for a refund in the form of onboard credit.

Super Saver: Super Savers are the lowest fares Carnival now offers and do not include an advance cabin assignment. They require a non-refundable deposit and are typically available for bookings made more than three to five months before sailing. Cabins are assigned by Carnival shortly before sailing.

Specialty fare categories, including past guest, resident and military, will continue to be available.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor