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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mayday, Spice Your Ship Is Sinking!?

So, remember the Carnival Cooldown Cruise Spice was offering as a prize, I wrote about it here "Get On Board With Spice" if you need to refresh your memory? Well, seems like the Travel Agency, Boodram's Travel, had to switch ships from the Carnival Victory to Thomson Dream because Carnival cruise lines sent them a "Cease and Desist" order! See following as reported by Caribbean News Now:

Carnival Cruise Lines issues cease and desist order to Trinidad charterer
Published on January 11, 2011

MIAMI, USA -- Carnival Cruise Lines has issued a cease and desist order to the charterers of two Carnival Victory cruises from Trinidad in April and August 2011 that have now been cancelled due to the charterer's failure to fulfill its financial contractual obligations.

The ship, which was chartered by Boodram's Travel in Trinidad and Cruise Ship Charter in Portland, Oregon, was scheduled to operate one four-day cruise and one three-day cruise from Trinidad.

Carnival has instructed the charterers to cease all sales and marketing of these voyages and is investigating legal action against the two companies. Carnival also instructed the charterers to notify any affected customers and refund their money. Travel agents and guests impacted by these cancelations should contact Boodram's Travel.

Strange that Carnival had to cancel this cruise AND is looking to take legal action when BOTH the April and August cruise were SOLD OUT; surely that money could have been used to fulfill "financial contractual obligations"! 

Boodrams is now claiming that the new cruise ( with extra days added on) will have more islands added to the itinerary as well, and since it is now leaving from Barbados instead of Trinidad , that they are paying return airfare for EVERYONE to meet the ship! They are also issuing refunds to all clients that wish to no longer go on the proposed cruise on the new ship.

Something just does not sound right or sit right with me in this whole Boodram's Travel fiasco. A press release was supposed to be issued today, since they only communicated the change of ship via FACEBOOK, I am yet to see it in the newspapers! I wonder what this means for Spice and the awesome prize of a cruise for a masquerader and guest offered for each section? If I were Spice I would jump ship before waters get too choppy!

Getting Your Boots In Gear

If you do not have your Carnival boots by now you are not only a procrastinator but you are probably facing the fact that Sizes and Styles are SOLD OUT! It is amazing but currently the pickings are slim if you are boot shopping and especially if you are looking for coloured boots. 

Carnival Basics and Carnival Kicks are still advertising availability of boots so check them out if you are still in the process of looking for boots. Carnival Basics has updated their inventory and Carnival Kicks is offering free shipping and Mas Camp pick up:

And if you are looking for someone to decorate your boots, Nicey's Custom Designs is still taking orders, prices and website listed below:

TnT Carnival Rates (prices in USD
(for those living abroad, SHIPPING IS NOT INCLUDED)

A) Basic - $40 - spray paint (if necessary), rhinestones and basic trim elaborately placed on each pair.

B) Feathers - $55 - spray paint (if necessary), rhinestones, basic trim, and feathers elaborately placed on each pair.

C) BLINGED OUT: $75 - spray paint (if necessary) and rhinestones (of different sizes) elaborately placed on each pair.

A) Basic: $60 each - spray paint (if necessary), rhinestones and basic trim elaborately placed on each pair.

B) Feathers: $75 each - spray paint (if necessary), rhinestones, basic trim, and feathers elaborately placed on each pair.

C) BLINGED OUT: $95 EACH - spray paint (if necessary) and rhinestones (of different sizes) elaborately placed on each pair.

A) Basic: $80 each - spray paint (if needed), rhinestones (or other stones depending on the costume) and basic trim.

B) Feathers: $100 each - spray paint (if needed), rhinestones (or other stones depending on the costume), trim and feathers elaborately placed on each pair.

C) BLINGED OUT: $125 EACH - spray paint (if needed), rhinestones (or other stones depending on the costume) elaborately placed on each pair.

For more info, check out:

Social Media Spotlight - UWI Fete Does Bollywood and Does It Right!

For the past few years I have noticed the growing trend of  some Carnival fetes having their own websites and Facebook groups or Fanpage. For instance The Vale Vibe, Sunny Side Up and Ultimate Lime all provide websites where you can purchase tickets to their fetes. And you can find a Fanpage or Group for Jamboree, Beach House, Island People and TRIBE among others where information about their events can be found.

 Though this use of Social Media applies to only a handful of fetes, it has to be one of the most effective, and underused, tools of promoting your event that is not being taken advantage of by many. I cannot tell you how many emails I get daily asking information about various fetes, it would be nice to be able to direct these questions to a website or online presence where all the information can be found!

Today I want to highlight one Fete Fanpage on Facebook where I am impressed by how much time, dedication, updates and relevant information is constantly, timely and accurately shared to it's members! All this is done without having to flood my in box with silly messages either, kudos to UWI Fete, already a popular staple on the Carnival Calender they are taking full advantage of Social Media on Facebook.

UWI Fete is getting my praise today for doing an excellent job at promoting their Bollywood themed  All Inclusive Fete on their Facebook Page. Regular status updates keeps everyone in the loop, from when tickets go on sale to who are the bands playing at the fete. They have also included video and photographs of past UWI Fetes on their page and when I thought I it was pretty cool how they were showing people examples of Bollywood style by putting together a clothing set, 

UWI Fete really blew me away with their special Bollywood Tab! The Bollywood Tab is an addition on Facebook that is wholly created for this fete, on this tab you have options to view an interactive page of sorts.  You can learn more about the Fete, Bands, Menu and Venue in detail:

click to enlarge

I also like that UWI Fete is running a promotion to win Fete Tickets and there are three different "competitions" that you can enter. To sweeten the deal the winners will be pampered by being treated to the "Maharaja Experience", full details of what that entails listed below, just click to enlarge:

I wish more fetes would get on board this trend! When one is spending so much money you really want to see what this money is giving you! It is nice to know the menu, what is on the drinks list, who is performing and about all the extras (in this case a free taxi service from the fete) beforehand. Not to mention as a possible  patron you have a place where you can ask questions, get timely answers and be interactive. So job well done UWI Fete, I am always impressed when those involved in Carnival use the world wide web to promote and market  all aspects of our festival.
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