Is Carnival considering dropping the Sail & Sign card?



Could one of the most ubiquitous aspects of Carnival cruising be changed?

Anyone who has been on a Carnival cruise is familiar with the “Sail & Sign” card. This credit card-sized plastic slip is issued when you board the ship and is arguably the most important thing you take with you on your trip. It can be used as a room key to unlock your door or as a way to shop on board.

Carnival's Sail & Sign cards are everywhere, but are cruise lines considering offering passengers a different version (like a wristband)?

They also make a fashion statement, as many passengers hang them on lanyards and show off their colors, depending on your loyalty status on the cruise.

However, if several Facebook posts by Carnival brand ambassador John Heald are any indication, the cruise line may be considering changes to its credit card system.

Hield frequently asked his nearly 600,000 followers a variety of questions on Friday. asked a relatively innocuous question:

“Wristbands—more and more people are asking for them [sic] Replacement of Sail and Sign cards. Are you one of them?

Roughly 7,000 reviews Some people are in favor and some are against it. Overall, it seems like many passengers say they prefer traditional cards to wristbands, although this isn't an overwhelming result.

Usually this kind of question does not interest us. This is just one of the many questions Carnival ambassadors often ask. However, just hours later, Heard asked about the topic for a second time.

Take a look:

Carnival brand ambassador John Heald made two posts within a few hours asking fans for their thoughts on possible replacements for the Sail & Sign card. Each post generates thousands of comments.

To us, asking about cards vs. wristbands so many times in such a short period of time seems to indicate that this is at least something we're considering. What is certain is that no changes have been announced yet and will not result in any. Still, it's worth noting.

Of the more than 10,000 comments (people are very passionate about this topic!), the vast majority said they prefer the current card system or the wristbands. Yet the use of cell phones as room keys and consumer devices has been met with near-universal criticism.

“I'm no longer interested in using my phone on the boat. Taking photos with my phone is enough. one poster replied.

“I can't charge my phone and I don't want to [to be] Locked out of my room” Wrote another one.

If Carnival does switch from cards to wristbands, they wouldn't be the first to do so.

For example, Princess (owned by the same parent company) has long used “medals” worn on the wrist or necklace. The quarter-sized device reads through a scanner and works just like a card.

Carnival's sister ship Princess already uses medals instead of cards to gain access to rooms, buy items on board and track when you board/disembark.

Virgin Voyages also uses wristbands instead of cards. When you arrive in the room, simply press the strap against the door reader and the device will be read and automatically unlocked. It's the same method when you're making a purchase on board or entering/leaving the ship.

We're not entirely sure why some cruise lines prefer wristbands over cards. However, we do know that the badges on the Princess are capable of tracking passengers on the ship. For example, you can have drinks or food delivered not just to your room, but anywhere you are on the ship.

One thing to also consider is that many passengers like to collect their Sail & Sign cards as cruise souvenirs. Additionally, many passengers like to use the color of the card to show off their status on the ship. Even John Heald pointed this out in the comments:

At least one person responded that they wanted to know if the medals would be color-coded to reflect Carnival's loyalty status.

Again, nothing has changed at this time. If Carnival officially decides to switch from cards to wristbands (or any other method), we'll let you know.

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