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Carnival pilots ship app, flat-fee social media package

Carnival pilots ship app, flat-fee social media package
Carnival Cruise Line launched a new free mobile app that provides Carnival Breeze passengers with a variety of information and features like a chat function that allows cruisers to exchange messages with their traveling companions using their mobile devices. The cost for the voyage is $5.

The line is also piloting enhanced Internet access aboard Carnival Freedom, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine that dramatically increases bandwidth and speed and includes a social media package providing unlimited access to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other popular sites for a fee of $5 per day or $25 per voyage during the testing period.

'We recognize the increasingly important role that technology plays in people’s daily lives and the launch of this application and new Internet packages provides us with a strong platform for introducing additional innovations and ways to use technology to enhance our guest experience even further,' said Carnival's Gus Antorcha, svp guest commerce.

Currently being piloted on Carnival Breeze, the new, free Carnival Hub app is designed to provide a convenient, at-a-glance view of shipboard facilities and features along with updates on events and happenings on board.

The app includes a day-by-day schedule of hundreds of events, a 'favorites' feature that allows users to see what events and activities their sailing companions are participating in and information on dining and bars.

Searchable deck plans with key areas highlighted provide a comprehensive layout of on-board offerings, and other features are itinerary details, including current ship time and arrival/departure times for upcoming port calls. Plus, cruisers can see their 'Sail & Sign' shipboard account balance.

The app is currently available for the Carnival Breeze for iPhone and Android users via their respective app stores, with fleetwide rollout planned in the next 18 to 24 months. During this time, the line will continue to add more features such as the ability to purchase shore excursions, view photos taken by the ship’s professional photographers, and more.

Carnival is also piloting new Internet access and plans on Carnival Freedom, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine that include the social media package.

This gives a convenient, flexible and affordable option for updating favorite social media pages during the cruise at one low price.

Cruisers can upgrade to a 'value' package that includes unlimited access to the Web for checking email, sports scores, weather updates and a wide range of other applications.

A 'premium' package provides the fastest available connection speed allowing access video calling sites like Skype.

The mobile app and enhanced Internet packages will roll out to additional ships following successful completion of the initial pilot programs. Additional features and functionality are in development and will be phased in over time.

'While we trusted the plans and the app would be well received, we are stunned by how quickly and widely they have been embraced during the pilot period,' said Carnival's Gabriela Gonzalez, vp guest technology and photo. 'We’re excited to bring these innovations to more ships over the coming months while we continue to work to make them even better,' she added.