Carnival Hub App – Vacation Impossible Podcast

Carnival Hub App – Vacation Impossible Podcast


what is the carnival Hub app this is an
app that you can download onto your Android or Apple device prior to getting
onto the ship you cannot download it while on the ship you have to get it
through your own Wi-Fi or wireless connection you download it and you don’t
need to do anything until you get on the ship after its downloaded you put in
your folio number which is the four-digit number on your sail and sign
card and your birth is it month and day and then it logs you in and it links to
your account and it has a bunch of wonderful functions so it links to your
account you can see in real time the charges so for example one of the ways
I’ve used that is I’ve been at the the main dining room and I’ve ordered a
beverage and it’s been a little while and I’m wondering if they forgot about
my beverage I can go into the app and see if they’ve
charged me for it even if you have the bottomless bubbles and it’s a drink
that you’ve ordered that’s included with your package it’ll show up as a zero
dollar charge assuming they’ve done it correctly and so I can see oh no they
did not totally forget about my drink because they ran it through their
computer and so I’ll know it’s coming that kind of stuff is nice with one or
two days left on the cruise if you hadn’t prepaid your gratuities that’ll
show up as a line item I’m sure we all really enjoyed seeing that 90 dollar
charge appear on our account yesterday for this cruise and you can also see if
things have been charged inaccurately or what have you
now it’s not necessarily completely real time with gratuity I’m not talking about
the the set gratuities but if you give a 50 cent tip to somebody who brought you
a drink that can often take like a day and a half to get entered in because you
write that down and they have a stack of them and it’s just when they have time
they go through and they data enter them and so if they’re very busy I’ve noticed
up to a two day lag on like a 50 cent tip for a free drink that I gave to
somebody who brought to me in unusual circumstances or did a very good job and
so that could even happen after you leave the ship so that’s one thing to
watch out for is that additional gratuity if it hasn’t already posted you
might see the charge to your credit card be you know a dollar dollar 50 more it
might have been those last couple additional gratuities being charged but
by and large the app is a really good way to keep an eye on that however
especially when you get into platinum and you start getting some freebies how
it displays is a little weird so for example as a platinum person you get
free laundry but to a limited amount depending on the length of the sail so
on this 7 day we would have been able to three free bags of laundry done now if
we didn’t have that they could cost $15 each yes so the way it displays in the
app is a starts off with a $45 non-refundable credit and it’s
intentionally just to be zeroed against $15 charges for the laundry that goes
through it’s a little complicated but but for people who haven’t yet got to
the Platinum level I think the way displays is fairly intuitive and so no no? Absolutely not, no alright you can look at your account it may or may not be clear
depending on what you have going on in the complexity but at least it’s a place
you can check in near real time there is the chat function which I think when it
works is fantastic yes it’s five dollars per person per cruise so no matter how
long your cruise is if there’s say three people in your cabin and you want each
one to buy that chat function it’s going to be 15 dollars for the three of you to
stay connected regardless of duration or if only two of you want it you can do
it that way not everyone in the cabin has to get it and then you can add
people and you can search by name and I think it does search everybody on the
ship yes it does and so that you can add them that way and so you can chat with pretty
much anyone but they will of course will not receive a message unless they’ve
paid for the chat program as well yes and so depending on the size of your
group the size of the ship and the duration of your sail it can be a really
good thing to do and so we’ve been using it quite a bit but there have been the
odd messages being delayed by an hour or a day and so one thing that we figured
out here on our last day of the trip is what we’ve taken to doing is putting
time codes at the end of our messages so that we know you know how long has it
been sitting there because the way that it displays you can tell very easily who
it’s from but you can’t tell when it was sent or received yes sometimes you can sometimes you can’t yea it depends if there is a kind of a huge string or not or if there isn’t you can kind of tell, it’s not super clear. Yea.
tell it’s not super clear yeah you know You have a general idea as to when it was it sent yeah
and I mean I’ve encountered this in other programs from time to time in
different iterations to BBM, whatsapp whatever where if you’re having
a back and forth it won’t give you a time code for each message but if
there’s been a gap with no messages and then a message comes in it’ll have a new
time code but I’m not sure what that threshold is and it’s and it’s hard
like it’d be nice if you could just hover over the message you know and it
would display information yeah about when it was sent or received that
would be nice but they are constantly updating the app just the other day we
updated the app a lot of us did when we had free Wi-Fi because they did release
an update that actually put a little carnival icon at the top funnel with the funnel
which is cool it looks nice but at the same time you can’t make it go away
so it’s one more icon there’s this notification stay connected with the hub
app you can’t make that notification go away it’s there always so I’m hoping a
subsequent update maybe they’ll make that a setting that you can turn off or
dismiss the notification but the point is they are constantly updating it and a
while back we were on the glory when they were first testing it out a beta test
and they let us use it for free and it was super buggy with the chat then it was
constantly logging us out but it was free so we couldn’t complain but it had
facial recognition software and it was trying to tie that into your pictures so
the pictures that the crew take it you know from your profile picture it tried to
use facial recognition to figure out what your pictures were Sam and I it
thought were the opposite person which was kind of funny because we’re not a
lot alike visually speaking I haven’t seen it
before or since so I’m thinking that they decided not to do it for one thing
they put watermarks on it but you can still screenshot it so we’re people kind
of trying to steal the pictures that way I don’t know but for whatever reason it
seems like Carnival is not pursuing that but there are other things it can show
you all the different events going on like the fun times and you can go in and
you can favorite them and then you can look at all your favorites so it’s
basically built a custom itinerary and it’ll give you a 15-minute notification
prior to each one of those favorites occurring so it’ll give you some warning
oh I gotta get to the comedy club now the comedy club specifically you’re
gonna want to go earlier depending on the popularity and the size of the ship
yeah you generally want to go about 30 minutes early yea 30 minutes if you want to guarantee a seat but if you’re willing to risk it
yeah 15 maybe depends on the size of the ship your mileage may vary so but
that’s really quite nice and it includes things like when all the guests have to
be back on the ship or when the last tender leaves port so those are those
can be very useful notifications so that’s really good you can look at
what’s open at any given time here’s all the food places that are open right now
all places you can get a drink here’s the here’s the menu for the main dining
room tonight you can look at that so a lot of those functions are really good
and one thing I’ve noticed since the hub app has become more and more
popular the fun times has been getting a little smaller I don’t know if you’ve
noticed it used to be two full pages with a fold over on each side yes I’ve noticed that and it’s
getting smaller and and so for example the other day I was curious whether or
not it was cruise casual or cruise elegant for the dress code and I want
and my phone I was charging so I wanted to just look at the the fun times and it
wasn’t on there the dress code wasn’t on the fun times except a little bit the
front page I was able to find it but it used to have the full blurb on the fun
times explaining what it was the blurb wasn’t there on the front page it just
said cruise casual but it didn’t explain what it meant and so information like
that you know smoking areas and open times and stuff like that it seems like
they’re moving more towards the digital but they’re not getting rid of the paper
by any means so you know if you have if you don’t have an Apple or Android phone
you’ll be ok with the paper copy but it does seem to be a shift just paring down all the extraneous information
yeah and so you know from an environmental standpoint I can
appreciate that because you’re using less ink and less paper but at same time
people whose phone battery could be dead or might not have a compatible phone or
just not want to have the app maybe a little less for them so a little bit
more value in doing research if you’re not gonna have the hub app with you
before you go you can buy your excursions on the hub app which is
interesting yeah on the splendor cruise that we went
on not too long ago we were coming in to it was the night before we went to Cabo
San Lucas and we were thinking about different excursions that I wanted very
desperately to see Lands End because we had been before and I didn’t
get a really good look at it and there was an excursion it looked like there
only had one thing remaining so Glenn and I because Glenn wanted to do it as well
we got into we got into the app and we were basically we didn’t know if we
could both book at the same time or if one truly meant one or what and so we
were like 3 2 1 click 3 2 1 click trying to coordinate and I got it and he
didn’t and I had a wonderful time but when the app says only eight remaining
only one remaining they mean it they’re not being cute about it there doesn’t
seem to be a buffer there so but it’s really cool because you could be at dinner
just decide you want tomorrow I’m doing this and I mean that’s what we did for dinner yea exactly and then and then the
tickets are delivered to your cabin overnight if they’re not you can just go
down to guest services and give them your sign and sail card they’ll
see you were charged and they’ll reprint the ticket for you so that because I had
to do that one time because I had ordered some tickets they arrived Sam
put them somewhere that made sense to him but not to me and I thought we never
received them and I got up early I went and got reprints and everything was fine
so there’s a lot of great functionality built into the hub app it can be
frustrating they are constantly working on it and so hopefully they’ll get to a place
where the chat is a little bit more reliable yeah but again just like hey
I’m going up to Lido and then just like put like – 138 p.m. so people know when
I sent the message for now that’s a workaround that works well I still think
it’s a lot better than writing notes and knocking on doors and phoning cabins
not knowing way better not knowing if people are awake I don’t want to wake somebody up
maybe I don’t wanna go to breakfast by myself this solves that problem well I’m
not totally reliant for those of you that have children who have cell phones and
who are a little bit on the older side you know maybe you whatever you decide it’s good in that respect so you can kind of keep tabs on them without having
to kind of you know have a GPS tracker on them and and it works on the Wi-Fi on
the ship so even if you don’t have a SIM card if they use it as a Wi-Fi device no
cellular network connection no problem. There other thing that I like about it I mean it’s kind of obvious it’s kind of like any other social media and
chat but I mean you can have all these different groups like we have like there’s eight of us yeah so so we have a group for all eight of us and then you
know I have a group with just with you another with Glenn and Tova and and so yeah I
really like that yeah yeah and but it is funny because it isn’t consistent
because most of the time I can’t use emojis but sometimes I can and you can’t
send pictures or files no and so you know that would be nice yeah that would be nice even if they just compress
them quite a bit like you know everything to no more than half a meg so
you can’t send a 14 Meg picture or you know a 300 you know whatever meg a
video or something but some ability to send screenshots or small yea small images
would be helpful but no by and large it’s quite useful in fact it could have been
so useful on our first breeze trip because oh wow when we were coming back from Nassau we’re coming back and there were so many unofficial unlicensed retailers
let’s call them people like trying to be like they put
something on you and want you to pay for it basically super aggressive sales just
outside the port in Nassau The Bahamas and so in an effort to avoid or just
wade through those waters which felt like swimming upstream we got separated
and so there was a serious concern where Mindi thought that I hadn’t made it
back on the ship and the ship was leaving when I had made it back to the
cabin put my bag under the bed and went to go get a snack and she’d actually
come on after me and she was really concerned calling guest services it was a
it was a concern and so the app would have completely prevented all of that it
would have been like a quick message hey you back on the ship yep I’m getting a
drink come join me would’ve been a way better experience
so carnivals definitely headed in the right direction they’re not a hundred
percent of the way there yet yes but we definitely applaud their efforts
personally I like the app quite a bit even though it has this frustrating
aspects and I’m very excited to see what they can do in the future

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