Carnival Cruise Line

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1.6 out of 5, based on 13 ratings and
127 reviews & complaints.

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Carnival ships are not safe
Posted by on
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- On November 11th I embarked on a cruise with my husband and our best friends on the Imagination. We are all in our 40's and it was the first cruise for my husband and myself. We booked tickets on a special of 199.00 per person. Several months later, we were informed that we had to pay port fees and taxes and that was an additional 600.00....lesson learned.

The first night and next day were uneventful, the room was fine except it reeked of cigarette smoke. We are all smokers but the room was like a dirty ashtray.

The evening we docked in the Bahamas my husband, and our friends went to out to the clubs on the ship. In club Illusions, the 3 of them sat at the bar at around 11 and order drinks. Being that the club allows smoking, all of them lit a cigarette. Shortly after a group of 6-7 people came into the bar and stood behind our group. One of the women in the group began yelling and screaming that the smoke was "offending her" She was seated next to my husband. The bar is a designated smoking bar with ashtrays out and around 50 other patrons smoking. My husband turned his back on her when she pulled out a bottle of perfume from her purse and began spraying the back of his head and shirt with it. He turned to face her and she sprayed him in the eyes and mouth. At that point, he asked my friend (the woman) to switch places with him because he felt that would defuse the situation. The woman kept screaming and my girlfriend asked the bartender if it was OK to smoke there and she said yes. Her husband was trying to ask for a manager or security (they were actually in the club because of an earlier fight). The woman then began spraying my friend's head and face with the perfume. The woman then reached over to her husband to grab his shirt and that�s when the real assault happened. They drug my girlfriend off her chair and 5 girls began punching her. Her husband was scratched and punched. My husband jumped into the middle and was knocked to the floor. All were being kicked in the head by women in heels and punched by the men in the group. Security finally stepped in and escorted everyone to a questioning area. This is where Carnival goes so very very wrong.

My husband and friends were bloody and had bruises and torn clothes. None of the other group was injured because they were never hit. Statements were taken from all and my group made it very clear that they wanted to press charges. My husband wrote it on his statement in block letters. The security staff was not cooperative and gave no information other than the people would be arrested in Miami.

My husband was taken to medical and the report taken said he had 2 superficial scratches and smelled of alcohol. He has 6 punctures in his head, a concussion (we went to urgent care as soon as we left the boat) , a 4 inch cut down his face, multiple bruises. The ship had given him Tylenol.

My husband was insistent that he wanted them arrested and put it in his statement. Being our first cruise, we trusted Carnival to take care of the situation. They told security officer John Pynadeth to review the video and see that they were assaulted. He lied to them and said the club had no video. The next morning (after we left Bahamas) I had to seek out the security officer John Pynadeth with my girlfriend. My girlfriend was traumatized that morning. She was covered in bruises, crying and absolutely terrified. She was looking everywhere we went, thinking she would be jumped again. They were free to walk around and had passed us several times. I sought out Pynadeth because no one on the ship had contacted us to even inquire about our health. No care. No concern. No courtesy.

My girlfriend cried all through the meeting. I asked how they would be arrested and that the ship didn't seem concerned about us. I told him she was terrified and how did they plan to protect her? He shrugged and asked me what I thought they should do. He stated he had "talked to them and they knew they were wrong and wouldn't be a problem" You reasoned with a woman spraying perfume in other people�s faces? I confronted him about lying about the video and he admitted it was a lie. He said that if they came around to call you know how improbable that is? Where are the phones to call on Lido or in a stairwell? He also told me that they (the assailants) would not be allowed on Carnival again. My friend remained locked in her room for the last day.

When we docked in Miami, we waited for the police. Imagine our shock when the Miami-Dade police came to take our statements and inform us there was nothing that they could do, the incident happened in the Bahamas and the Bahamian police should have been notified and Carnival has enough incidents that they know that. They were very sympathetic and kind, everything Carnival was not. They told us we would have to contact the Bahamian embassy to pursue charges. The security officer Pynadeth was there but refused to give us the names of the people that attacked us based on "confidentiality of passengers". So Carnival has blocked the opportunity for justice and recovering damages. The police said that Carnival knew they should have called the Bahamian police but that they didn't because they don't like incidents on their record. One officer pulled me aside and said to pursue a case against Carnival and he would be there for us. That the handling of these incidents are poor and they have to deal with the aftermath. They stated it was clear we were wronged and would help anyway possible.

Now for the final insult. As we left the boat, my husband and my friend's husband were notified they would not be allowed on Carnival again. Policy. My husband hit no one. He is a 45 year old man. He's never been arrested or in a fight. My girlfriend stood there in a beautiful dress, covered in bruises and that was their parting concern for us. We spent over 2500 and they couldn't even say "Hey, sorry!".

I have never been treated so poorly. I'm devastated that this gift we planned for our friends was ruined by their policies and lack of care.

Several witnesses (we have statements, video and info) approached us later and said they would back us 100% in court if needed.

I contacted Carnival and they wanted to know how we see any of this as their fault.

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Nohandle on 11/22/2011:
I've never cruised Carnival but you were in a smoking allowed cabin and I expect it would reek of cigarette smoke. I don't think they are aired out at all.

I honestly never understood non-smokers going into a smoking situation, when there are many other options available, and then complaining about the smoke.

As far as the rest of your complaint well, that's a story for another day because I find it strange.
2inform on 11/22/2011:
Well written convincing details. Mark Carnival cruises off my list of things to do!
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Carnival Cruise Lines Destiny - Ghetto Cruise From Hell
Posted by on
MIAMI -- I've contacted Gerry Cahill CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines 3 times and have never received as much as a reply.

Dear Gerry Cahill President and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, Last year my daughter Laura sent Bill and I on Carnival\'s Inspiration Cruise Ship. It was such a wonderfully relaxing experience, we couldn\'t wait to go on another one. Well we just got back from the Ghetto Cruise From Hell. Carnival\'s Destiny Cruise Ship was doomed from the beginning. We were literally herded like cattle for nearly 2 hours without any water just to board the ship. Once onboard the stress really began. Once onboard the stress really began. We were given a different cabin than what we had been promised. I went to Customer Service and explained that I was told we would have a wrap around deck. They agreed with me that yes indeed we had and we were given a different stateroom. That was the end of our discussion. The balcony was filthy from the prior cruise. I had to ask four different people for wash cloths for our cabin. The ship was overbooked with loud and uncouth people. We never ate from the Lido buffet because the lines were horrendous. We didn\'t feel like standing in line a half hour just to have something to eat. Don\'t know what we would done without the Deli. Every day I had an arugula and mozzarella sandwich while Bill had the Pastrami and corned beef. The sandwiches were great, but we would have enjoyed having a variety of foods to choose from. Once seated in the extremely crowed dining area, we were subjected to loud, obnoxious people who thought nothing of carrying on conversations with other tables across the room. I have to say, the formal seating at dinner was much more enjoyable. The waiters were fabulous and the food delicious. The spectacular shows were awesome. The comedienne kept us in stitches. Both of these were the saving grace of our cruise. We tried relaxing pool side but that was a joke. First it was next to impossible to find a lounge chair. If we were lucky enough to grab one, we were continuously bumped by fellow passengers who were walking by. And if we weren\'t being jolted, we had the luxury of having half a dozen people standing over us. Although they provided a pool for the children, I think someone forgot to mention that fact to everyone. Being a swimmer I couldn\'t wait to get into the water. Unfortunately for me there were nearly 55 children and adults jammed into one pool. The whirlpools would probably have been great had it not been for the 25 children and adults in there at one time. There supposedly was music playing on deck. But the deck was so loud the music wasn\'t heard. We decided to give the adults only pool a whirl. In this area they absolutely refused to play music. The retractable roof was either partially or totally closed. And yes, it too was over run with unruly children. Between the two of us Bill and I have raised 6 lovely children. We adore children. But these kids had no adult supervision even when there was an adult present. I asked at the bar if they would play some music and I was told they weren\'t allowed to play music in this area. Being a Fun Cruise Ship I didn\'t believe what I was hearing. Surely there must be some mistake. So when I spotted our maître de in his dress whites I thought the nothingness in the air would be changed. To my horror, the maître de reiterated what the bartender had just told us. Now this is is SUPPOSED TO BE A CARNIVAL FUN CRUISE! I tried customer service, but again my expectations were dashed. \"Sorry that was their policy\" was what I was told. \"The main deck is where we should be if we wanted to enjoy music while relaxing and getting wet.\" Trying to explain to them what the main pool area was like was an exercise in futility. They could have cared less. Fortunately for us by day two our deck had been cleaned. So while Bill worked out in the gym I would run back and forth from our shower to our deck to try to enjoy the sun. On Carnival Inspiration they had miniature golf and a grand walking area. Carnival Destiny had a miniature walking area that was a total joke. The cleaning staff for our room was EXCELLENT! They were also the most pleasant people to be around. They were WONDERFUL! I tried on several occasions to find the cruise director but was told he was in his cabin. (I guess the noise and pandemonium was more than our cruise director could handle.) We dined nightly in the Universe Dining Room. Again, the waiters were superb. They were friendly, on the ball and could really rock at the end of our dining experience. They either sang or stood on tables to dance. This really involved the passengers. It was a most delightful experience. Again, the dancers in the spectacular shows were incredible, as were the singers and the comedienne. We took the Ultimate Beach Break At Dolphin Cove and Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The falls were a bit disappointing since this had been the reason why we chose this particular cruise. The falls we toured were not the falls seen in National Geographic. We declined disembarking in the Grand Cayman Islands as we had done this tour the previous year. Besides, one visit to HELL (that was the literal name of the place we had gone last year was one visit too many.) We thought with the majority of passengers going to the Grand Cayman Islands we would finally be afforded the luxury of a relaxing day around the pool. Yeah right! There were plenty of people left onboard to quickly dispel those thoughts. So much for that great idea. We were so amazed by our Carnival Inspiration Cruise we just couldn\'t begin to start our new adventure. The both of us had worked an entire year to save up for this. Also this past year had been a bit stressful. My husband found out he had Prostate Cancer. He had his Prostate removed. One week later he suffered a heart attack....unrelated to the surgery. This was truly the trip and time off we had been waiting in anticipation for. All in all we spent over $2,000.00 dollars and a week\'s worth of vacation days for pure agony. I sincerely doubt that Carnival Cruise Lines will be on our list of priorities for any future vacations. When you wait an entire year to save up for something this disastrous (not to mention the vacation days wasted) I definitely DID NOT find this cruise to be the relaxing one that I had envisioned. It was one of the most STRESSFUL 5 days of my life. Thank God I had the wonderful company of my husband. So all wasn\'t lost. After being on Inspiration last year there was no doubt in my mind that Carnival Cruise Lines was the way to spend our long anticipated vacation this year. As a post script, I had invited my sister Barb, her husband Doug, my brother Mark and his wife Jill to join us. I\'m thankful they couldn\'t make this cruise. I don\'t think I would have ever been able to forgive myself had I talked them into joining us. Regards, Linda Makofski Booking # 21QC62 Stateroom # 7327 CARNIVAL DESTINY Departure: 6/19/2010

Damage Resulting
My husband and I used our vacation days on a cruise from hell. Between that and the almost $2000.00 we spent on the cruise. I called Carnival as we were leaving Miami because things were messed up from the start. I complained at Customer Service on board Destiny.

Linda Loschiavo Makofski

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Slimjim on 09/29/2010:
While complaint specifics can vary, almost all against Carnival ships seem to always have one common issue, unruly kids running around. Carnival targets families for cruising their line and I have to believe, if you don't have kids with you, there are many better lines to go with when taking a cruise. To me, this is the line you use solely when either you have kids or are just on a tight budget, as they are one of the cheapest. If I wanted to cruise with kids, I'd bring my own. It's a whole different atmosphere (for the better) on ships where children aren't abundant.
rockfishing on 09/29/2010:
You pretty much got what you paid for. I don't know how you can expect Carnival to monitor the way parents parent their kids. Cruise ships are crowded noisy ships and that is what your trip sounded like. As Abraham Lincoln once said is " sometimes your as happy as you make up your mind to be."
momsey on 09/29/2010:
I read your whole review, and your cruise didn't sound like "pure agony" to me. You saw wonderful shows, you had fantastic food and had great wait staff. You can't control other people no matter where you are, and you just have to make the most and the best of everything. And, I'm no Rockefeller, but $2,000 for two for a cruise with a balcony is pretty cheap. I spent $1,500 just for myself for an inside cabin on a cruise seven years ago.
getoverit on 09/29/2010:
Well said. momsey. And the OP pointed out a lot of the plus factors in this whole thing. I think she's trying to point out opportunities for improvement.

My wife and I've have been on three Carnival Cruises. They weren't our choice but rather incentive awards from my wife's employer (tough job). I liked them but don't think I would choose Carnival, for a lot of the reasons that have been mentioned.

The takeaway for all of us is that you need to do the research ahead of time to make sure you're really getting what you want. It sounds like the second ship is set up a little different that the first one, and some of those differences were important ones.

I hope you husband is doing well and regaining good health.
unhappy999 on 09/29/2010:
Sorry you were not happy with some of the things about your cruise, the main thing it sounds like it was just too crowded and too many kids running around. This site has been getting a lot of complaints about cruises lately. However, I think that this statement "Ghetto Cruise From Hell" is offensive and should be removed.
PepperElf on 09/29/2010:
not sure what you can do about all the people. I mean they were all paying customers just like you. I suppose you could ask the ship to not rent so many rooms out but... well then the remaining passengers would be paying higher prices to make up for the difference I bet.
birdie1218 on 09/30/2010:
I'm confused. You started the letter off saying that your daughter Laura sent you on the cruise, but ended the letter saying that you "spent almost $2000 on the cruise". Did you actually spend $2000 while you were on the ship?
Linda Loschiavo Makofski on 09/30/2010:
I appreciate all the comments. My very first cruise was with Carnival and I absolutely loved it. That's why we saved up for another trip. It was something my husband and I were really looking forward to. I love kids. We have six between us. However we always did our best to keep the situation under control. Kids are kids and they love running around, being loud, etc. I'm not complaining about that. I want kids to be kids. My complaint is with the parents who have absolutely no regard for the rest of the people around them. Children can have a good time without being completely unruly. Carnival offered loads of activities for the kids. Unfortunately, all too many children didn't take advantage of those programs offered.
My reference to ghetto was in reference to the fact that many people were packed into rooms like sardines. I wasn't referring to anyone's race, color, religion or economic level. The fact that many rooms were packed with more than the usual amount of people designated for one room and the fact that there seemed to be a disregard for those around them is why I used the word. I did not intend on insulting any particular individual. However, I blame Carnival for allowing this. Carnival did lower their prices toward the end. I'm sure it was great for families who like us have to watch what we spend. We aren't wealthy. We have kids in college. My husband is 67 and I'm 61 and unfortunately we'll be carrying full time jobs for many a year to come.

We purposely booked in advance in order to choose a room with a balcony. I know for a fact that later on in the booking process they reduced their rates tremendously. I think this had much to do with the overwhelming number of people on board. I blame Carnival not the people for that.

The evening meals and entertainment were lovely. However, I paid for a trip that also included mornings and afternoons. I didn't sign up thinking I would have to wait in line an inordinate amount of time every day just to eat. I didn't think I would have to dine in an area where adults were obnoxious, loud and quite overbearing. There's loud and then there's LOUD. My job is one that allows me to interact with people all day long. I love my job because I'm a people person. I just found it hard to understand why there were so many people who were so insensitive to those around them. People can have loads of fun but still be courteous.

My idea of fun in the sun does not include a shortage of chairs, people clustered over me waiting for me to leave in order for them to grab my chair in order for them to enjoy fun in the sun. I can't believe a cruise ship would book that number of people if it couldn't accommodate them.

Again, I don't blame fellow travelers. People want to get as much as they can for their money. When I learned of the rate reduction I approached Carnival asking for a partial refund. I wasn't asking for the going rate, I was just asking for a discount. This was not a possibility.

All in all, we DID NOT get what we paid for. All we got was frustration and knowing we would have to wait another year before we were able to enjoy ourselves for a couple of days.

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You get what you pay for
Posted by on
You get what you pay for

I realize Carnival is what it is. And you get what you pay for but I was surprised at the rudeness of the staff from the very get go.
I drove from Ohio with 7 family members to celebrate the last of my children graduating from high school. Got a great last minute price from Carnival for 3 rooms all at around 3100.00 all inside cabins.

My drive was so long I wanted to get straight on board the ship since we got there and were checked in around 1:30.

We were told our rooms were ready and I was ready for a quick nap before the safety drill.

When trying to get onboard I bypassed the family photo thing that was set up but I was blocked from entry by a photographer.

Not a good thing to do to a guy who just drove 19 hours.

He stated we needed to get inline and get a family picture taken before we got onboard.

I told him no thank you because we were tired and I was sure there would be lots of other opportunity onboard for other pictures.

He insisted and told me I needed to have the picture taken still blocking my way.

I then told him that he would need to move now.

Hi then had a friend come over and state "So you are just traveling not cruising" adding insult to injury. My son was getting ready to step in so I told them I didn't want any trouble.

Can you believe a crew member blocking a passengers way onboard, acting aggressive and insulting a passenger?

We then proceeded to the Grand Atrium where a fight had broken out between a guy and a girl (who continued to argue and fight all over the place on the cruise.)

Wow and this was in my first ten minutes.

Not to be negative about Carnival but you get what you pay for.

I did speak to Guest Services about the incident and kudos to Ngonidzashe Mahasi who was a real gem and set up a meeting with the photo manager with me.

The photo manager told me he had tried to get ahold of me several times Hmnnn there was no indication of those efforts???

We discussed the incident. I asked him to comp one photo for me because of what happened.

He refused to do so but thanked me for my comments.


I have never had a inside cabin before (I'm a balcony guy) but I can tell you it was a very nice cabin. Lots of space as well.

I booked two other rooms for my two daughters and two sons plus one girlfriend and they were all nice rooms at a great price.

Here was another great surprise.

Ketut our room attendant was the best we have ever had and I have cruised on the Disney Dream and RC as well.

Ketut was great he knew our names and used them as well as our family members.

The food was good and they did have the Chocolate Buffet at noon one day which looked nice.

The food was every bit as good as RC not as good as Disney serves up though.

The shows..

Well the welcome onboard show consisted of some people shoving a spoon on a rope down shirts and down pants??

Not a very good way to start a cruise.

The last show Shout was very good and very well done with some really nice laser effects.

All the dancers and singers were spot on.

Again though the shows don't really don't compare to RC or even close to Disney.

But again you get what you pay for.

Debarkation is Carnivals greatest asset-well organized and easy. Better than both RC and Disney.

They may not be very good at getting you on the ship but they are aces at getting you off.

I noticed there was no guest survey on if I was satisfied with my cruise HMMMN??

The ships decoration was OK a little worn but not bad its typical Joe Farcus stuff plus the Water Park was pretty nice.

Carnival is the one cruise line I noticed that seems to like to say NO to guests.

Was in the dining room for only one meal.

My daughter didn't like the choice of desserts so I asked the waiter to please go get her a piece of cheese cake with some strawberries (I know they served this in the coffee shop).

At first I was told yes he then bought my daughter a piece of black forest cake.

My daughter does not like chocolate I asked him again for a piece of New York style cheese cake.

He told me he would not be able to get that for me.


I asked for some fresh pineapple at breakfast I was told know they were not serving that until lunch.

No one would get me a piece of pineapple I was told No


My son (only his second cruise) asked if he could take the rum he purchased to his room.

He was told No.

Now let me pan out on this one. My son didn't know the rules which are well established but the staff member was rude in addressing him and even made fun of my son to a co worker calling him a moron for not knowing the rules.


Are people still going to cruise Carnival?

Sure they will because its cheap.

Remember though you get what you pay for

What ever happened to good customer service on a cruise though?

Even if it is inexpensive?

Atlantis was great of course and I will go into that on my port review.

I would never cruise Carnival with just my wife and myself but again got a great deal for 7 people.

Did we all have a good time?

Yes pretty much

A cruise is what you make it.

Plus my kids have little cruise experience to compare it to but they did notice how so many in the staff were just rude.

Plus security on this ship was a joke.

Kids were running wild at all hours of the night and even during the day there was a group of kids pelting guests with ice on the stairwell and nothing was done about it.

The comment was made that the parents should take care of their kids.

True but what about the protection of other guests?

What happens to an elderly person if they get a hard piece of ice tossed at them from two decks up?

Both me and my wife and my two daughters were past guests of Carnival and there was zero recognition or zero coupon books for past guests.

I think the past guest thing will be a thing of the past for my cruise dollars.

Save your money and go on a better line.

Remember you get what you pay for.
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Alain on 07/09/2011:
I've had some friends that took Carnival cruises. They've never cruised with them a second time and don't recommend them. Thanks for a balanced and insightful review.
trmn8r on 07/09/2011:
You say that you discussed the incident with refusing to have your picture taken with someone. What were you told about the procedure and the fact that everyone had to have a picture taken?

I remember when I cruised they took everyone's picture. I didn't buy one, but it was posted with everyone else's. I read with interest that after this apparently uncomfortable disagreement over having your picture taken, that you wanted one after all.

If they aren't chopping up fresh pineapples for breakfast, and a certain dessert is not in the pantry of the restaurant I am sitting in, I personally wouldn't want them to go out of their way for me. Not with thousands of customers to handle. That's just me.

Overall, a balanced review that should help people know whether or not this is a cruise they would take.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
My Summer Cruise
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- On May 15, 2012, I purchased a cruise for myself and my nine year old son on the Carnival Magic Cruise Ship through vacation planner Mr. Michael [snip]. The dates for our cruise was scheduled for July 8th through July 15th 2012, the 7 Day Eastern Caribbean cruise. After scheduling and purchasing my cruise from Mr. Michael [snip], I asked him about documents I would need to aboard Carnival Magic Cruise Ship. I inform him that this was my first cruise ever and I was not familiar with anything on boarding a ship and/or travel. I asked him if I needed a passport for myself and my son and he assured me that I did not need a passport; however, I did need a birth certificate for my son because he was under the age of sixteen and I would need a legible state issued ID. I asked him to clarify, so that I could be sure, if I also needed a birth certificate and he told me "NO", that the ID was fine. He then said, "just make sure that ID was clear and legible". When going through embarkation/checking in to board the Carnival Magic Cruise Ship, I was denied boarding because I was informed that I also need a birth certificate or passport along with my ID to board. I only had my state issued ID and son's state issued birth certificate. They allowed me to go home and get it but I would not have time to make it back to board the ship on time. So I was denied the cruise and now the Carnival Cruise Group and Mr. Michael [snip] will not give me a credit, refund, or compensate me for anything but tax ($149.56) . The Cruise charged me ($2,127.56) minus ($149.56) taxes for the cruise which totaled all together ($1978.00) for the trip that I never took that was paid in full. The money is just gone according to them and they claim they have done all that they can do but they really did nothing but take my money because no trip ever existed for me. I am so upset about this because I worked too hard to pay for this trip that never took place. I am a public school teacher and I do not have a lot of money. I took on an extra job so that I could pay for my son and I a nice trip this Summer. I never in a million years thought something like this would have happened. It almost makes me think that trips like these are just not for poor people like me no matter how much and hard you work. I really hope you guys can help me get a refund or a credit on another trip.
D. Haddock
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Susan on 07/18/2012:
On Carnival's website under FAQ, Required Travel Documents, it clearly states "Carnival assumes no responsibility of advising guests of document requirements". Your complaint should be against the travel agent that gave you bum information but really, it was your responsibility to make sure you had the necessary documents for the cruise.
spiderman2 on 07/18/2012:
I feel bad for you, but a quick Google search would have answered your question. Always double check information!
CowboyFan on 07/19/2012:
It does not matter what is on Carnival's website, nor does it matter if the op should have checked. When the OP went to a travel agent, that agent was working on her behalf and had a duty to give correct information. He could have said, I don't know and check websites, but once he undertook to advise her as to what is required, he had a duty to do so correctly.

Go see a lawyer, sue the travel agent.
biomajor on 07/19/2012:
I don't see any mention of your travel agent's name, but I think that they are the ones that advised you incorrectly and not the Carnival Cruise Line
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Very Poor Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
On November 24, 2012 we took the 7 day Exotic Eastern Caribbean Cruise. As we departed out of Miami we noticed that one engine was running hard, we knew something was wrong. Our stateroom was at the back of the ship Upper Deck 6, our bed vibrated for 3 nights, so much so that we couldn't sleep. The Captain makes the announcement that we would not be going to St Thomas. I'm sure you can imagine how upset the passengers were, the problem a broken engine the ship had very little power to move so we sailed at sea for 3 days on a vibrating ship before arriving in San Juan late in the evening.

Very little was said to the passengers which upset everyone even more. Prior to arriving in San Juan the Captain makes the announcement that he would decide if we would leave San Juan at midnight or pull out the next day. This would mean 2 ports that we would miss. The following day the Captain announces we will be in San Juan for the day, this upset passengers even more as we could not book any excursions due to the lack of communication to the passengers on a timely bases.

Crew on the Liberty tried to avoid the conversation regarding missed ports, vibrating ship and the lack of communication. Finally with a ship of upset passengers the Captain announces we will all receive a $50.00 rebate towards our sail and sign, as you can imagine this just upset passengers even more.

I do understand that things go wrong however the customer service we received was very poor not only on the ship but from customer service. I did email Carnival and received no reply, when I phoned I was told they could do nothing for us the $50.00 we received is what Carnival pays. There was no compensation for our room vibrating for 3 days, it was too bad so sad mentality. I was told a ship would never leave port if there was problems with it, however it did just that. I think Carnival needs to realize Engineers also go on Cruises and they know when something isn't right.

I would not book another Carnival Cruise, check out BBB and Consumer Reports and you'll see how many complaints they receive and what their true rating is, I wished we would have done this prior to booking. I have gone on many cruises and have never experienced such a lack of communication or lack of concern for passengers. Carnival instantly went into protect themselves mode instead of making sure every passenger on board was communicated to and the service they say they give stays at that level. It's a shame when they forget a little customer service goes a long way, I know if I would have received good customer service I never would have written this letter.

Carnival isn't the top of the line for cruises however good Customer service doesn't cost anything but it sure keeps customers coming back, word of mouth and Internet is a great way to let people know how poor or good service was, loss of business doesn't seem to concern Carnival. I was glad to find that out prior to booking our next years 2 week cruise vacation.

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Churro on 02/12/2013:
My wife tried to talk me into a carnival cruise but after reading their contract I said ain't no way I'd enter into such a one sided agreement. Geeze, I'm pretty sure if you were on a cruise and the power went out leaving you stranded in the gulf having to sleep on the deck because the air conditioning didn't work they still wouldn't issue you a refund. Of course what are the odds of that happening.

I vowed a long time ago floating buffets are not my destiny.
clutzycook on 02/12/2013:
Churro, I'm guessing that you're referring to the Carnival ship currently floating out in the Gulf? From what I read, Carnival is giving everyone on board a full refund, flying them home for free, and credit towards a future cruise (although who would want to take a cruise after an incident like that is beyond me).

I've been on two Carnival cruises. They're "meh" at best. I've heard them described as the Walmart of the cruise lines. From what I've read and from what my parents have told me, Royal Caribbean is way better. But, Hubby and I decided after our honeymoon cruise that we wouldn't do it again. It's just not for us.
trmn8r on 02/12/2013:
When ships miss ports, there isn't usually compensation that overcomes the disappointment of passengers.

While a travelling engineer may have felt something was wrong with an engine, the fact remains the engine worked for three days. IMO, there isn't proof Carnival did something irresponsible.

Like clutzy, after a cruise I took back in the 80's, I decided to never to do it again. Not my cup o tea.
ok4now on 02/13/2013:
My very first cruise was with Carnival, never again. If you like lousy food this is the cruise line for you. As Clutzy commented Royal Caribbean is much better. I cruised with them twice and have no complaints. Spend the extra money and get the balcony room. Enjoy sitting out watching the sunset from your private room. Go cheap and they put you in a closet with a fake window in the bowels of the ship. Your vacation, your choice.
Alain on 02/13/2013:
I've had friends and relatives who tried Carnival and they were kind enough to warn me never to use them. You are actually quite fortunate. Your Carnival ship didn't catch on fire in the Gulf or sink on a rock in the Mediterranean (which brings up a consideration: it may be a good idea to check if Carnival owns a cruise line under a different name before you use it).
Old Timer on 02/13/2013:
Good review, it makes another case for staying far away from Carnival. We are not big on cruise lines. The few we have taken were on Princess since our first cruise was a Princess cruise and went well. We have been through the Panama Canal and some other places that a cruise made the most sense to see the sights.

One of the biggest problems I see with cruise lines is as is the case right now, you break down at sea you are pretty much screwed till you can get back to a port. I always try to have a plan B, on a cruise ship any plan B is pretty much removed from your options.
Dislike Carnival on 02/13/2013:
Carnival is the craps of Cruise, do not use them...each time I use them (2 time) it has full of BS and distrust with this company!!
tambo33 on 02/14/2013:
I have personally been on a total of 3 cruises 2x on Ecstacy & 1x on the Truimph. I honestly had a Great time on each cruise & the customer service was outstanding. I know everyone has their choice but to go on as to say its the worst is a little unfair. Things happen there's no certain time or not is it planned. This is exactly why they have Emergency backups as the one stated about the Truimph. Look no one has been injured and yes maybe they are living in a Nasty environment but it wasn't something done intentional. To go as far as to bash customer service is unfair, I have been following the story and they are crediting the entire cruise as they should, sail and sign on will be credited unless there are casino or gift shop credits,hotels & transportation had been lined up & they will have a free cruise the next time they decide to cruise. In my opinion that is great customer service & they are doing what they can from where they are standing. Although its unfortunate for everyone living in those conditions the last 3 days. It's totally not fair to criticize & bash the Cruise line for something they had no control of. Life's not perfect things happen its like buying a care having it for 3 weeks and there's a recall it the car breaks down nothing intentional just an unfortunate event. I personally enjoyed the cruise line & intend on exploring my next journey very soon(;
Alain on 02/14/2013:
Always good to hear a different opinion. Still, given the recent past of CCL corp. (Carnival, Holland America, Cunard, Princess and Costa): Carnival Triumph (2013), Costa Concordia (2012) and Carnival Splendor (2010) I think I'll take a pass on any Carnival cruises for the time being.
Dick on 02/18/2013:
Been on Carnival cruises in 1999 and 2000. Been through enough then to never use Carnival again. They did not maintain their equipment then nor now. They would fly a "mechanic" to the next port with duct tape and a can of three in oil and expect a miricle. Since then, look at their breakdown rate and on board fires. We have been using real cruise lines and enjoying the experiences!
Barnes on 02/18/2013:
My husband and I have been on two Carnival Cruises and have no complaints. We also cruised on the Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, Oasis of the Seas and those experiences were top class
Barbara N on 02/18/2013:
My husband and I have only been on Carnival once. Not for us. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean 3 times, but the last time was a Venice cruise. We splurged, got a suite, but unfortunately our stateroom was underneath a highly traveled, used part of the ship in the night/morning hours, complete with scraping chairs, etc. preventing us from sleeping! We complained sleepless night #1 to our stateroom attendant. She said the ship wa designed wrong...We contacted guest Relations repeatedly and were made to feel we were unreasonable but were promised contact with a supervisor. Never contacted. Finally a couple days before end of cruise, there was a vacant inside stateroom available for us (after we had purchased grand suites at over $5,000 each... Our concierge acknowledged a "continuing problem" with previous guests in our paid suite, and arranged for us to move into a family suite the night before our last day of cruise, and he suggested we take this up with Miami when we returned home. We did. We were sent two $650 certificates toward future Grand Suite reservations for the future. Lesson learned: Paying first class does not guarantee first class service...We loved exploring Venice...but were very sleep deprived. We haven't cruised since!
Cecil on 02/18/2013:
We have cruised about 15 times on many different lines (Carnival was the first). I am surprised several people liked Royal Caribbean. They are the worst and I would not cruise on Royal Caribbean if it was free. The Captain was very obnoxious and rude.
zeldaz on 02/19/2013:
Tambo33, do you work for Carnival? My 16-year old wondered why Carnival was not airlifting or somehow sending edible food and other necessities for the guests! If he could think of that, why couldn't they. As far as no on being injured, read the following reported by the LA Times - "A passenger was removed from the ship Monday for treatment in Mobile after suffering an unspecified medical problem, Thornton, Carnival vice president of planning, told a midafternoon briefing.

Thornton said he did not know whether the passenger was an adult or child, what condition the individual suffered or whether the person was hospitalized. Another passenger, a woman, had to be removed from the ship Monday for dialysis, Thornton has said." If there was no problem of disgusting conditions, I wonder if the medical problems would have occurred.

While the ship's staff were reportedly great, the cruise line's customer service from an executive standpoint was lousy. Compensation improved only when complaints were made about the initial offer. What you report was not the original compensatory offer.

Carnival, as long as I have heard about cruise lines, has had the worst reputation. It wouldn't if it didn't earn it!

Don't bash? Carnival needs a lot of bashing - enough to cause it to understand how its possible negligence affected those who worked hard for their vacation time and money. Who can find time to take another cruise in this economy? My bet is they only have a year to take the "free" cruise. (What about other fees associated with a cruise? Is Carnival paying for transportation to and from the "free" cruise"?)

If you do the research, this is not the first problem Carnival has had.
fred on 07/23/2013:
We won a $1000 promotional gift card from Carnival. Just booking the cruise has been a customer service nightmare. If we go, this will be the last time I consider Carnival.
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Poor experience out of Galveston
Posted by on
3655 N. W. 87TH AVENUE, MIAMI, FLORIDA -- A letter to public relations of Carnival Cruise Line is below:

March 5th, 2011

Dear Sirs;
We recently had a cruise on the Carnival boat Ecstasy which was originally scheduled to depart Galveston Port on February 19th 2011. As you must be aware, this cruise was delayed over 36 hours due to fog conditions in Galveston and also due to queuing circumstances in the Port behind two other scheduled cruises.

We purchased a Grande Suite for this cruise at a cost of a little over $1800 through American Express Platinum Travel services. This package included VIP boarding privileges. While the fog conditions were certainly no fault of Carnival Cruise line, and we well understood the challenges you faced in dealing with this weather event, almost every other aspect of the problems, including misinformation, lack of information, discourteousness, boarding confusion and near riot at the terminal were entirely the fault of your staff at the Port of Galveston and personnel at your phone center.

I will try to be brief. (Saturday the 19th)
We drove down Friday night from Austin and arrived in dense fog. The next morning, upon arrival for our schedule 12 noon boarding, we were told that our cruise ship was delayed but would nonetheless be in port by 6:00 PM. Having checked our luggage into the holding area we were told to leave and come back around 6:30 for boarding. With no hotel room, we walked around the Galveston Strand carrying hand helds for around six hours, and had lunch. We attempted numerous times to get updates from the Carnival website but there no such information. We even called the 1-800 call center to inquire and were told that the boat was confirmed to arrive that evening no later than eight PM. We found this highly unlikely as the fog had not lifted. We were also told that updates were posted on the website. This was simply not true. We attempted to get information from the Port of Galveston Authority, but it seems they are closed on the weekend and only have an automated answering cascade which eventually leads back to no information. Their so called “24 hour information line” offered no timely information either. At seven PM with the fog becoming even heavier again, we purchased dinner and returned to the port embarkation. We waited until around 9:30 PM to be told, finally, that the ship would not dock that evening, but would be in “first thing in the morning and to return after 7:30 AM”. Meanwhile we were told we would have to retrieve our baggage from the Port Terminal warehouse.

This process was nearly a disaster! They asked the thousands of passengers to line up at an overhead door. After a forty five minute delay, it was announced that access would be at another overhead door which was approximately 140 ft. down the sidewalk. Of course this resulted in a mad dash by elements of the crowd to the new location. This created a fairly dangerous situation in which people were at risk of falling and getting stepped on. Amazingly, after another twenty minute wait, it was again announced that access had again been changed to another location about a 100 ft. away, which caused a repeat of the last mad dash, only worse. At this point the crowd was caused to wait about thirty minutes more for access. Individuals began banging on the overhead door with fists and shouting. Eventually many of the passengers started chanting and yelling for access.

Finally the doors were opened and there were around three or four Port Authority security officers to greet us. They immediately began yelling at the crowd to back up and attempted to admit a couple hundred at a time. At this time the officer in the front physically manhandled several people including a woman who was stopped and separated from her husband who had already entered the warehouse. I myself became separated from my wife and party. During the next wait, with people completely out of patience, the Port Officers were literally screaming and threatening the passengers waiting for the next group to be released. At this point I would point out that the mistakes made by Carnival staff and the Port security officers was obvious. There was no announcement made about procedure to enter, size of groups to be admitted, caution against running, method of bag retrieval and so forth. It was a free for all and quite reckless. The changing of entry locations was seemingly arbitrary and the worst example of crowd management I have ever seen this side of the Egyptian uprising. Frankly this situation was on the brink of descending into a riot.

Inside the building the bags were arrayed by decks, but no one explained this, unless you personally approached a staff person for an explanation. Additionally the bags were in long rows, sometimes stacked atop one another with very narrow aisles between them. By the time I entered, I estimate 600 to 900 people were simultaneously trying to retrieve their bags without assistance, causing bags to be flung into the aisle area and generally jumbled. I finally found my bags in three different aisles and spent close to thirty minutes just to locate them. Of course there was no ownership verification going on. People were tripping and falling over one another, and it was generally chaos. I saw perhaps two or three Carnival Cruise personnel in their red coats and they were standing well away, trying to avoid interaction with your passenger/clients. In other words they were useless.
When we finally retrieved our bags, took a shuttle back to parking and reloaded our cars, it was 11:30 PM. Needless to say there were no hotels available on the island by this time and with great resourcefulness we finally located a room in Clear Lake, approximately 40 minutes away. By the time we checked into our room it was almost one AM.

At this point we have been unbelievably inconvenienced, been yelled at, shoved and misinformed or left uninformed every step of the way. Besides being exhausted, we were also out of pocket for lunch, dinner breakfast, hotel room, travel and incidentals. On Sunday we were told the compensation would be $35 for meals and some credit from Carnival for a future cruise.
(Sunday the 20th)

The next day we slept in, knowing full well that despite what we were being told by Carnival 1-800 information, that we would not likely be aboard before mid-afternoon. We spent countless hours on hold trying to talk to Carnival and when we eventually got through to a live person. We were told to go to the Convention Center in Galveston to await boarding which they estimated to be at 1 PM. They even told us around noon that the boat had arrived at the dock. This was a bald faced lie. We finally got to the truth of the matter by reaching a Galveston Port Authority executive through the automated personnel directory and randomly calling their personal cell phones. He graciously checked the situation out for us, and confirmed, that our cruise ship was not in port, the pilot had not gone after it yet, and that when the Ecstasy did arrive in port it would be queued behind two other ships, (Holland America and your ship, the Conquest, as they were still on schedule and had priority over the Ecstasy. In his estimate, we might board around 8 PM. We drove back to Galveston for another day of aimless wandering around and expenses out of pocket.

I will say at this point I wished to cancel, but our traveling companions, who, like us, had scheduled time off from work and already expensed two hotels rooms, and meals, were more determined to complete the vacation.
We arrived back at the Port at around 7 PM Sunday evening. Indeed the fog had lifted during the afternoon and all three ships had reached port, but the Ecstasy had been consigned to a remote dock which had no boarding facilities and would have to wait until last for service, baggage and boarding. By ten PM my wife and I became extremely frustrated and walked back to the Strand, with hand luggage in tow, to try to find something to eat and sit down. We had already spent two hours in 50 degree weather and mist on the sidewalk. There were close to 2500 people sitting on cold concrete and clamoring for any information. We personally spent hours on several cell phones trying to get honest information about our prospects for boarding and our so called VIP status.

At this point you might not think it could get worse, but it did, much worse.
The only Carnival representative at the port embarkation door was a clearly low level employee who looked to be around 19 years old, and clearly so far down on the totem pole as to have no information let alone authority. He was doing the best he could, but he was overwhelmed. Our attempts to get useful information by phone were equally unproductive. In fact I was told, after 45 minutes on hold, then another 40 minutes waiting for a “supervisor” to speak to, “that there was nothing he could do”. I pointed out that only one flunky Carnival staff person was at the door trying to deal with over 2000 increasing angry passengers and that no one of any authority had attempted to clarify the situation. I pointed out that inside the mbarkation facility was empty of any passengers and there must surely be 50 or more Carnival employees of various seniorities upstairs to deal more competently with the situation. After about a ten minute hold he informed me that no one would answer the phone at the Galveston port and that I would need to speak to a supervisor at the door. I pointed out no such individual would make themselves available despite repeated requests to the 19 year old, an older woman or the security guards. This situation went on for hours on end in the same manner. He eventually stated he could do nothing about the situation on the ground and we would have to make the best of it with the personnel at the door. (Presumably the 19 year old.)
For a brief moment an older woman with Carnival (Linda) came out and ordered those of at the door who foolishly thought we had paid for VIP check in, to go to the end of line of nearly 3000 people, approximately 400 feet down the sidewalk. She then instructed the security officers to enforce this. At this point I have to point out that there were about 18 or so individuals trying to get their VIP boarding privilege acknowledged, two of whom were in wheel chairs, two on walkers, a man on oxygen, and another suffering a diabetic attack. To her credit she did not discriminate (sic), but ordered everyone to the back of the line. She left and was not to be seen again. Finally a Port security officer allowed a mother and infant and one person on a walker to go in and sit down, but after an hour sent them back out on the sidewalk in the fifty degree weather.

As I previously mentioned, my wife I left to try to find a warm place to sit down and grab a bite. Turns out Galveston restaurants roll up the sidewalk on Sunday at around 9:30 PM. We found a small grimy bar and sat there for two hours, then returned at around 11:30 PM. The personnel at the door had changed. The 19 year old was gone and in his place were three large Port security officers. All Carnival staff had left the sidewalk. Most of the 2000 plus people remained on the cold sidewalk for what I estimate to have been four or five hours.

Finally we entered the boarding facility around midnight. I want to emphasize that at no time did anyone from Carnival try to inform the crowd of the estimated time we would be waiting or how soon we could enter. No attempt to get people off the cold sidewalk was ever made, even though the facility was clearly empty of all passengers for several hours. At no time was any updated information available on your web sites. At no time was anyone on the Carnival toll free phone center able to offer any help or even current information about the status of the cruise, and in fact acted as though the entire situation was out of their hands and their control, which it clearly was. In fact over forty hours the only information we could get by phone was incorrect, evasive or factual lies.

We entered the terminal only find out we would be walking back down stairs to take busses over to another dock. At a capacity of 42 people to a bus, loading two busses at a time, you can only imagine how long this process took. We were lucky, we got on the second bus, as we crowded in early. I estimate many people didn’t get into their cabins until after 3 AM without dinner. We got to ours after eating dinner around 2 AM.

(Monday the 21st)
We finally departed and were informed by loud speaker that there would be no ports of call. We sailed South for perhaps two hundred to two hundred fifty miles never really reaching warm weather or completely clear skies. We returned Wednesday night and waited outside the Port during the night, reaching port around 10 AM the next morning.

In conclusion:

This was not brief after all. I apologize. The Carnival employees we encountered on the ground at the Port of Galveston never missed an opportunity to offend and mishandle the situation. They were uninformed or unwilling to inform. They evaded all responsibility to their passengers in every way. They disappeared and deferred to security officers after antagonizing the crowd. In short they were more than incompetent; they were nearly criminal in their handling of the crowd.

Carnival (on the phone) was evasive, misinforming, and at times lied outright, for which it required infinite patience and cell batteries just to reach. The cruise itself had pleasant staff, but no acknowledgement or effort was made to ameliorate the inconvenience and abuse the passengers had endured. (Except we didn’t see our room steward for the first 30 hours and had to call repeatedly to get our room made up the second evening) The lame 250 mile South track merely illustrated how little concern Carnival had for their passenger/clients.

While the 50% credit for a future cruise and 50% rebate is appreciated, it begs the question; who in their right mind would ever book another cruise with Carnival again after having gone through this sort of mistreatment and inconvenience. After all, a vacation is something people strive to save for and make time for, and once frittered away in miserable experience, cannot simply be retrieved with a concession to offer a future discount. Your company seriously abused the passengers who were trying to take their vacations. In fact it was appalling.

I myself am a stock trader and Real-estate investor and can be more flexible. I also avoided some of the catastrophic waits by simply ignoring what Carnival was telling me on the phone. Otherwise I might well have spent all of Sunday either sitting around at the Galveston Convention Center or on a cold sidewalk at the dock. We might have well been standing around awaiting a bus to the ship for two more hours had we been more gullible. I feel sympathy for the ones who had to give up altogether or drive even further for a hotel, who could not afford all the added expenses of waiting around for essentially two days, and especially for those silly enough to listen to Carnival and actually arrived back in the morning on Sunday or sat on sidewalks many more hours than we did. Your company and CEO, and especially you supervisory staff should be ashamed of themselves. In fact your supervisors at Galveston should all be summarily fired.

I look forward to a meaningful response. I am an active user of social network outlets such as Face book and Linked-in. I frequently write reviews to Trip Advisor, and to my local newspaper. I am also a contributor to the Seeking Alpha stock market portal. In other words I blog research commentary and reviews frequently.

Quite honestly I cannot comprehend how your company can succeed after the experience my wife and I and our companions had.

John Cordes
Austin Texas, 78759
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 03/24/2011:
Hi. Althgough this was long, you did a great job telling about your plight. I felt like I was right there. Wow...I know that Carnival can not do anything about the weather, but I would have expected a lot more on their part. It sounds like you handled the situation really well and I hope that Carnival responds to your concerns.
Anonymous on 03/24/2011:
It sounds like the passengers were just as bad as the staff. I've never understood the attraction of being stuck on a boat when the main attraction is to gorge on food and drink.
bob932304 on 03/26/2011:
One of the best reviews I've read.
Alain on 03/26/2011:
Good review. You might want to contact an attorney for possible compensation (not a credit for a future cruise or partial rebate) from Carnival for this fiasco.
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Poor Service, the cruise has not even started...
Posted by on
January 31, 2011

What happened to resolving customer issues? Especially when the company brought the issue upon themselves, and now they are not willing to compromise or fix it. Let’s start from the beginning. My wife and I have been cruising for many years and have traveled on Celebrity, Norwegian, Carnival, and Princess cruises over the past 10 years. In August of 2010 we decided to take a cruise without 2 young daughters and invited their Great-Grandmother and a friend to join us. Considering we have cruised Carnival 4 times prior including a 40 passenger booking that my wife lead the charge on we naturally were drawn to re-book with Carnival Cruise Lines. This will be the first cruise for our family friend that is joining us. In August my wife and I booked our reservations and made payment on our deposits with the intentions of booking our daughters at a later date when we paid the cruise in full. At that time we informed Carnival of this so they noted it on our account and placed us in a room that accommodated the 4 guests.

About 2 months ago I called Carnival to make final payment on our cruise and to book our daughters on our cruise. At the beginning of that call I was informed by the agent on the phone that because we were past cruisers with Carnival we were eligible for a 5 category upgrade which would give us the option of a balcony room. Naturally, I was ecstatic and for a moment I could not wait to get off the phone and tell my wife the great news. As we got further into the call and booked the children I was then informed that since I was booking additional members in my cabin that I would not be eligible for the upgrade. The agent on the phone was extremely apologetic and explained that she had spoken out of turn before reviewing the details of the reservation and at that time there was nothing she could do. For obvious reasons I was disappointed and not because I expected something for free. I thought to myself wow; I am actually being recognized for my loyalty to a brand. Typically you hear these types of things happening but it never happens to you. In the end I thanked the agent for her help; we booked my daughters on the cruise, made full payment and ended the conversation. At that time the representative told me to continue to call back and check because upgrades become available on a regular basis. Not knowing this or expecting it I made a mental note and mentioned it to my wife.

About six weeks ago my wife made another call to Carnival to confirm a few questions about the cruise. Mainly we wanted to ensure our dining arrangements were in place to have dinner with our other party and that the seating time was noted on the account as we are traveling with small children and wanted the early seating. During this call another representative brought up the fact that we were eligible for a 1 category upgrade. Again, my wife was excited. To be not expecting something and then to be offered an upgrade is fantastic even if it is a single category. The agent went over options with my wife discussed actual cabin numbers on the ship and what was available within that one category upgrade. The two of them decided on a cabin with the recommendation of the agent as far as location on the ship and the vicinity to our other guests. According to the agent she was going to have to get the “Customer Solutions” department on the phone to finalize the process.

My wife waits on hold for several minutes, still excited about being offered something for being a past cruiser but that quickly came to an end. The agent returned back to the line and explained that she had made a mistake and that we were not eligible for the upgrade because we had paid an early booking rate and the rate did not apply to the upgrades. She was extremely friendly, sweet, courteous, and could not apologize enough for her mistake. The agent again told my wife that upgrades are constantly changing and to reach out to Carnival about a week prior to check on availability. Let down again my wife thanked her for assistance, ensured she her questions answered and ended the call. At the time my wife and I even discussed how ironic it was that both times the agent brought up the upgrades to us when that was not even the reason for our calls and both times we got our hopes up to be let down by gracious but ill equipped customer service agents that are incompetent in providing their customers correct information about the brand that they represent.

Tonight, 11 days from our cruise my wife calls Carnival Cruise Lines with the intention of asking about the possible upgrades available to us considering we are past cruisers with Carnival and the past two customer service agents have advised us to do so. The first agent flat out advised us that there was nothing available for an upgrade within our available categories. She also advised us that there were upgrades available but we did not qualify for them including the balcony rooms which 2 months ago we were told it was an option. She also advised us that no notes had been placed on our account regarding the previous conversations. We should have expected that they would not document their mistakes. At this point my wife is just angry.

Not because the people we have talked to have been rude or made mistakes but the fact is that we had been told on multiple occasion to contact Carnival to discuss our options, been given details about possibilities of alternate rooms and in the end nothing. We asked to speak with a supervisor tonight because it just seemed like nobody cared to address our concerns. We were given another agent (Guest Solutions) who explained to us the same thing and that there were no options available that they were allowed to upgrade us to and that there were no managers or supervisors at the call center. She could not recollect the agent who transferred our call to her. She offered to transfer our call to the Elite Services desk to handle our problem which is simply another area of customer service.

My wife asked for the name and number to reach out to someone tomorrow the agent became defensive until my wife explained to her we have every right to ask these questions to ensure our issues are addressed. In the end she provided us with the name [snip - no names please] but could not provide a phone number or email address. In the end we spoke with a Hilda at the Elite Services desk who assured us we would hear from a manager or supervisor in the next 48 hours. After she learned we already had [snip] name she said she would bypass the supervisor and send our inquiry directly to Sheila. We will see what the outcome is of this experience. In the end it is just truly unfortunate that a cruise line would rather a room go empty and lose a loyal customer than to do the right thing and take care of the customer. Our cruise has not even started and I hope this is not a sign of things to come.
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User Replies:
Alain on 02/01/2011:
They just were determined you weren't going to get any upgrade. Apparently Carnival just doesn't want you as a repeat customer.
unhappy999 on 02/01/2011:
It sounds like to me that the upgrades are for people who are paying more than what you paid since they said you got an early booking rate. This shouldn't ruin your cruise since you were willing to pay the price for the cabin you originally booked and you said yourself you were not expecting any upgrade. It is unfortunate that they led you to believe you might get an upgrade but it was an honest mistake and quickly corrected. Its not like you were booked into an upgraded room and then downgraded. In my opinion, this does not fall under the category of something horrible. I hope you can still enjoy your cruise with your family.
Anonymous on 02/01/2011:
I'm sure you will still enjoy your sucks getting your hopes up, but have a good time!
dan gordon on 02/01/2011:
it would be interesting to ask this question on Cruise which deals with forums for 'cruisers.'
Ytropious on 02/01/2011:
It sounded like you wanted an upgrade come hell or high water. The first two made a mistake and you were OK with it, then the third one is correct in tell you there are no upgrades and you're upset? I don't get it.
PepperElf on 02/01/2011:
Why is the employees full name posted here?

Now I understand why the company didn't want to give the OP the employee's name in the first place.

Perhaps it's a good thing the employee's email or phone wasn't given as well. The employee does have a right to work in a safe environment after all - and that includes being safe from harassment.
PepperElf on 02/01/2011:
though, ytrop I think you hit the nail on the head.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Can Service and Entertainment Get Any Worse?
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MIAMI, ILLINOIS -- Just two weeks ago, I went on the Carnival Inspiration 4D Baja Mexico cruise spanning Thanksgiving with my parents and my grand-aunt. Our experience was sub-par due to an amalgamation of reasons, and I sent this review to the Carnival executive office for future improvement, but received no response for the entire week, so have no choice but to start seeking other venues to voice my dissatisfaction.

This was our family's first time on Carnival Cruises, but we have been on your sister company Princess to Alaska and Royal Caribbean to the Bahamas, so have experience to contrast against. Traveling is one of my life passions and I do so fairly extensively (about 3 times internationally a year) and hope to sustain a recent tradition of cruising annually since my mother has especially loved cruise experiences.

For a Thanksgiving cruise that came at a premium for (and I even booked a suite for my parents - we were in V25 & M219), I expected all the services promised to us delivered, but they were not. One of my parent's key fascinations with cruises stems from the variety of nightly productions and comedy shows on board, and on this specific cruise, the Fiesta Latina show was cancelled Tuesday night with nothing to replace it, and then again Wednesday night, with "Showtime" to replace it. Unfortunately, that same "Showtime" was repeated Thursday night, leaving no real value-add.

This was a key letdown for us because in our minds, the 4 value foundations of a cruise are the floating hotel, the food, the service, the entertainment, and that last two were significantly lacking. We were never told what these "circumstances beyond our control was" and I feel that a great company has a contingency plan especially on such a big holiday cruise. Even having 2 separate, less glamorous shows instead of one cancelled and another repeat would have been a huge boon, and we had never experienced such low quality on Royal or Princess.

My next 2 issues deal with safety & hygiene on-board the ship. First, I recognize that Carnival is a family-oriented cruise, but better emphasis needs to be placed on parents to take care of the children or more attentiveness from staff members need be exercised. My aunt of age 77 was knocked over by 2 youngsters on the Lido deck the first day. Fortunately, she was fine, but had she suffered an injury, Carnival would have a potential general liability claim on their hands. I am an actuary in an insurance company, so I know this risk is simply too significant to ignore. Next, I noticed that virtually nobody on Carnival uses the hand sanitizer before meals. When we were on Royal & especially Princess, there was only 1 entrance to the buffet lines, always with a staff member there to request customers to use the sanitizer. Perhaps this is why Carnival is often on the news concerning norovirus outbreaks, as recently as May of this year. The fix in adopting models that have worked on other sister lines should not be onerous, so I strongly encourage this change on Carnival.

Service in some areas need improvement, and 3 small illustrations can highlight this well. First, when I was in line at the Fun Shops, I overheard a lady asking one of the staff members about their work schedules and environment, and she immediately groused about how they got no time off between cruises, how she worked 7 days a week with low pay, that as soon as one group disembarked, another boarded. Corporations have to maximize profit, but they can also do so in a way that their employees do not feel unsatisfied, and it was disconcerting to hear such an experience as a customer.

My time at the craps table in the Monte Carlo Casino was unsettling as well, because the young lady working my side was most inexperienced, and I caught her twice distributing incorrect winnings to me, and fear that I may have missed more. I recognize that being a craps dealer is not easy and I probably make more complex bets than many people, but the training needs to improve and again, I did not experience this at all on Royal or Princess. Finally, and perhaps this is due to over-heightened expectations, I expected a suite booking to come with more amenities. For examples, in other lines, VIP access comes with access to private clubs, private pools (which would've been tremendous given the number of kids in the Lido ones), fresh flowers, and more attentive service, but all my parents received were priority embarkation and de-embarkation, 35 more square footage of space, and a 30 square foot balcony for nearly double the price. I simply cannot find a compelling reason for clients to book in a Carnival suite, which is ironic because the high-end market when treated properly tends to be most high-margin as well, so a few extra courtesies could go a long way.

I want to highlight the positives as well on the cruise, so that Carnival can continue to improve its strengths. The mini golf facilities and waterworks available are great for kids and grown ups alike, since even my parents enjoyed trying the variety of entertainment on board. Food is wonderfully crafted, although the soups were consistently too salty. Our rooms were well-serviced and the dining staff top-notch in professionalism and courtesy. The many lounges, bars, galleries provided the multifarious environments we had come to expect on cruises. Shore excursions went smoothly and we enjoyed a fun time on them.

So, what is the consequence of all this? Well, we will not be using Carnival's services again and unless Carnival addresses this issue for us, will try to let the world know of our experience so that future customers know what to avoid.
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At Your Service on 12/04/2012:
Very well written review. I enjoyed reading it very much and find it interesting as my spouse and I are considering another cruise in the near future.

I will tell you that when we cruised Royal Caribbean, however, we were never 'requested' to use the hand sanitation by an employee. There were only signs suggesting their use.

Again, very articulate and well written review. Thanks for sharing it with us.
clutzycook on 12/04/2012:
Carnival tends to be the Walmart of cruise lines...
oldisgood on 02/12/2013:
We just got off a Celebrity and personnel were at the dining areas always with sanitizer in hand and they put it on you. Also the handsanitzer people were there when you can back from ashore and you DID use it. They were also always wiping down all handrails. Celebrity is a VERYYY clean cruise line. You never hear of one of their ships contracting the viruses.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Itinerary Change
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I am in the same boat as many of you (pun)who I have read are upset about the itinerary changes at some Carnival port stops.

I am a first time cruiser and agonized for a year over which cruise to take my family on as our fist official big vacation in 15 years. I settled on a Bahamas cruise out of Orlando on their ship the Sensation and was thrilled to see a full 24 hr stay at Nassau, then just got the email showing the itinerary had changed and cut the day down to 8 hrs.

I called customer service as well and it was explained to me that the Bahamas were no longer allowing overnight docking. So not Carnivals fault, no ill will towards them for that, but it still is not the cruise I expected. I Wasn't looking for an upgrade, comps, or discounts...which is good because I was not offered any, just an apology (Well had to call customer service twice to get an apology, the first time I called I was rudely told that I had no recourse and If I liked I could just cancel and lose a $700 deposit).

I see Carnivals point of view on this but still wished that I had not booked this cruise since the overnight stay in Nassau was the big draw for me. I understand that the itinerary can need to tell me..I understand some people think Nassau is overrated and that I am not missing anything by the loss of 16 Hrs..but that is a matter of perspective.

I thought about just cancelling the cruise but since I booked Early Saver I would be out about $700, not too bad but I am not used to just tossing several hundred dollar bills on the ground even for the purpose of a learning experience.

So here are my revised plans thus far: I will go to Orlando with the family and do the typical touristy things (Disney, Universal, SeaWorld), then I will go on the cruise. I was thinking about leaving my family in Orlando to wait the one day or so it would take me to get back, but I figured what the Heck..even 1 day on a cruise ship (since I did pay for it) may be worthwhile, plus the day in Freeport will add a little flavor to my vacation.

You see, I plan on using Carnivals Vacation Guarantee.

As long as I inform them that I am not satisfied before we hit our first non-US stop, I will get a prorated refund plus Carnival will refund me for airline tickets to get me back to Orlando. After doing the math I see that I will still end up paying Carnival $320, will get back the bulk of my payment, get to see Freeport until our plane leaves. Bottom line cost to me will be $320, cost to Carnival will be the price of the plane tickets minus the $320 or at the cheapest air tickets I could find..Carnival will be in the hole -$1,100.

As I said above, I understand things happen, and Carnival is not to blame, nor can I not expect them to not protect their interest. With that said, same thing applies to me and my interest. To be honest a polite customer service representative may have avoided all of this, but after reading the multitude of complaints against Carnival, add my own experience, and you get a customer who just doesn't trust this company.

If this option is available to you (using the Vacation Guarantee) you will need a passport to fly back to the US from the first port your ship stops at, and this guarantee does not apply to all of Carnival's cruises.

I called carnivals reps using all 3 phone numbers they give on their website and it was verified that yes I could do this per the vacation Guarantee, but call for yourself to see if this can apply for you if you wish to pursue this route.

I was amused when the reps stated they couldn't understand how it wasn't in Carnivals best interest to either refund my cruise price, or apply the amount paid towards a credit for a future cruise, since now they will actually be losing money in paying the airfare back to Orlando. I told them I couldn't understand it either, but as the first representative told me when I first called to say how disappointed I was in the itinerary change...them's the breaks.
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trmn8r on 04/26/2012:
You say that you understand things happen, and "[you] understand that the itinerary can change"

If this is true, it is time to accept what happened and make most of the new itinerary. There are complaints all the time about itineraries changing, and it is something like delays after booking air travel - you know that they are going to happen at some point, you just hope it doesn't happen to you.

You speak of your losses, but the inability to compensate cruisers completely when itineraries change is due to the business not being able to suck up losses due to no fault of theirs.

Their policy is very clear, and I believe that most if not all cruise lines have a similar one.
careteam70 on 04/26/2012:
Okay I should have specified my main complaint since I posted this under customer service.

The first carnival rep I talked to was very rude, not understanding, and had no empathy at all. I received a basic reply of too bad, sucks to be you (not in those exact words but close enough).
That is first my primary complaint.

My explanation of my situation was just that, to explain why I even had to call a service rep, and my current plans based on Carnivals own policies are my choice of solutions, which still doesn't fix poor customer service but does allow me to to lesson a $700 loss to $320. I added this so that others in the same situation could be aware of this option. As for making the best out of the situation..well I am. I had 3 choices, go on the cruise with the revised itinerary. Cancel and lose $700, or invoke the vacation guarantee and lose $320 after getting off at the first port.
I chose the last option since this seemed to be in my best interest.
FoDaddy19 on 04/26/2012:
"I chose the last option since this seemed to be in my best interest"

Funny, because in your complaint you mentioned
". I Wasn't looking for an upgrade, comps, or discounts..."

It seems you're looking to get a free flight out of the deal.
Churro on 04/26/2012:
careteam70, your complaint makes perfect sense to the average person walking the street. Not so much to the average regular my3cents blogger.

I like your plan although I'd caution you these cruise lines are viscous with tons of weasel clauses in their contract so it may not work out as you think. My wife wanted to go on a cruise but as soon as I read the terms and conditions I said 'no' because one would have to be crazy to enter into such a one sided agreement. I wish you well!
FoDaddy19 on 04/26/2012:
Here's the thing that leads to think that your cunning plan is disingenuous. You got a discounted rate when you book early, in exchange for the discounted rate, you have a larger deposit. This was your choice.

The itinerary gets changed, but it's not Carnival's fault, they had nothing to do with it. And you recognize that.

You asking about canceling the cruise, which is possible, but at the expensive of the $700 deposit, which you already knew about anyway.

So your plan now is the invoke the Carnival Guarantee. However you have decided to invoke the guarantee before you even set foot on the boat, which really isn't in the spirit of the guarantee. If they had changed the itinerary during the cruise, then yes it would be appropriate to invoke the guarantee, but in your case it's all premeditated even before you get on the boat.

trmn8r on 04/26/2012:
Was the first CSR rude because they would not discuss the matter beyond "there is nothing that can be done, this is out of our control"? That is the upshot of the policy. I don't see a long discussion, because it is a routine occurrence to have itinerary changes, and there is no compensation. The CSR should just state the policy, and say they are sorry there is nothing that can be done. Rudeness isn't acceptable.

As far as a subsequent discussion to barter against the cost of future cruises, etc, I don't see any reason for CSR's to entertain such discussion as it reflects that the change of itinerary policy is not being accepted by the customer.

I think this is a useful complaint in that it alerts first time cruisers to something that they may not have thought of - that itineraries often change outside the control of the cruise line. I don't think Carnival did anything wrong here, unless the CSR's were nasty.
careteam70 on 04/26/2012:
Good God man, who actually looks forward to an airline flight?
I wasn't looking for a free flight, this is what Carnival lays out as what I "have" to due to be able to use the vacation guarantee.

Look, some people may have still gone on the cruise, others would just pay the $700 penalty, I chose the option Carnival lays out that has me paying out $320. The fact I have to fly back from Freeport Bahamas to do this is not an added perk.

You seem intent on portraying me as customer that wants something extra, I did not once ask a customer service rep for anything beyond information into the itinerary change, cancelling my cruise, and info about the vacation guarantee.

I have had no further contact with Carnival and do not forsee any until the day of my cruise. I did try to post on Carnivals forum inquireing about the itinerary change, and so far they have not posted my post, so I came here.

Saying I am getting something from Carnival using their own policy is like saying I have no right to return an item to a store for a refund if it is not what I want, even if it plainly says on the receipt may return if not fully satisfied.
trmn8r on 04/26/2012:
As far as taking advantage of Carnival's good will guarantee to reduce your pain, that is your prerogative. I'm not sure the average cruiser is going to go to these lengths to minimize their inconvenience when life happens and an itinerary changes.

Companies have to make money or they go out of business. To do that, they have to be able to plan for X amount of customers. If customers start disappearing for reasons out of their control (eg cancellations), that is going to cause them to lose money. Think about what would happen if 8% of the cruisers booked on one trip suddenly cancelled because it turns out a port closed. And repeat this mutliple times a week or month. And each time the cruise line gives a full refund. OUCH!
FoDaddy19 on 04/26/2012:
"Saying I am getting something from Carnival using their own policy is like saying I have no right to return an item to a store for a refund if it is not what I want, even if it plainly says on the receipt may return if not fully satisfied."

In this situation it would be more akin to already planning to return the item with no intention of keeping it. Kind of like buying big TV to watch the Superbowl on and then returning it the following Monday.
careteam70 on 04/26/2012:
Yes, you Found me out Fodaddy, My master evil scheme against Poor Carnival cruise lines was to take a 1 day cruise as I no longer wanted to complete all 4 due to the itineray change (Heck lets get really evil and say it was me who convinced the Bahamas to force Carnival to make the itinerary change).
My big airline tickets from Freeport to Orlando (WooHoo!) and the chance to get groped by TSA (Does that count as a Perk?).

Aside from the flights back, and again if there was any possible way to avoid this and just pay the $320 and get refunded the rest right now as I sit at home and then I would be loosed from the cruise I no longer wanted, and poor Carnival would not have to worry about any once in a lifetime thrilling, my gawd how did I get so lucky coach airline tickets, I would be more than grateful to go that route.

I am still paying $320 for the one day cruise to get to Freeport, getting refunded for the days I didn't use, and as I said I am not looking forward to a flight back, but again THIS IS CARNIVALS own policy.
Slimjim on 04/26/2012:
I've been to Nassau and I think they did you a favor by letting you stay on a nice ship 16 hours more instead. That's just me and a bit tongue in cheek, but there is some seriousness to it. You said you had two options but I see three. The third is to go on the cruise you've been waiting for all this time and enjoy it. I really believe you would enjoy this cruise all the same, as there is nothing IMHO in Nassau that isn't anything you won't see at all your other Caribbean ports. In fact, I personally believe the Bahamas are the least appealing of many of those islands. Plus you have all the gambling options you need right on the boat. I think your current plan will be filled with aggravation throughout the whole process, and what little satisfaction you'll get from gaming them a bit, would be far minimal to the fun you would have had if you just do the cruise in full. I've cruise the Caribbean many times, and that's my opinion for what it's worth here.
Churro on 04/26/2012:
Dang Slim you knocked it clean out of the park with that one. That is absolutely the most reasonable and prudent course of action to take. If it were me I would not want to turn undesirable circumstances into an EPIC FAIL which is very possible if you start messing around with Carnival's gotcha clauses.
careteam70 on 04/26/2012:
Thanks Slim I do appreciate your input. I did just consider going on the cruise as is, until spoke with the first service rep. My experience with her led me to research Carnival on many sites that give reviews (I know, I should have done this before I booked). I think the website that had the most impact was Carnivals very own forum site. If anyone had any complaint they were pounced on by apparently very loyal and rabid fans of carnival with the main message being: suck it up, you have no choice. I never leave things at "you have no choice". There are always choices if they are looked for.
I can not go into words how important this vacation was for me and my Family, it will be myself, wife, and three kids aged 8-15. Timing was important, content of the vacation is important, and to be honest after waiting all this time, yes, maybe foolishly, I expected the often toted "Dream Vacation" where everything goes off without a hitch.
I do not gamble, or drink much, I was looking forward to spending time with my family and experienceing new things together. I am planning on using the additional days we will have in Florida to experience as much as we can to make up for the cruise fiasco, and I am still considering just going myself and saving my family the pains of boarding, disembarking and flying back...and then Carnival will only have to refund 1 plane ticket...unless they insist all cruisers in my party have to be on board to be refunded the part of the trip not used.
But again, Thanks Slim for your advice.
Slimjim on 04/26/2012:
Thanks Churro, you see what I see. There is no way IMO that Carnival is going to make calling in their guarantee easy or pleasant. Rudeness and indifference from the reps, a refund that take months to get, problems with the flight, all possible by-products of what may be a great hassle.
When we went to the Caribbean last year on Oasis of the Seas, we literally skipped every shore excursion and aside from a quick walking tour of the port docks, stayed on the boat the whole trip. Now we've been to these places before, and any first time cruiser should get out there, but I'm just saying this to a first timer as well from one perspective, unless there were special plans or events to consider, missing that extra time in Nassau has a very negotiable negative impact on the trip as a whole.
Slimjim on 04/26/2012:
OK, I posted above before your response. You're welcome careteam, and only you would know what's the best recourse based on what you want from the trip. Just wanted to make sure you didn't get over-sold on Nassau and make a hasty decision. Good luck which ever way you go on this.
careteam70 on 04/26/2012:
K Slim, the cruise is in October 2012, but I will reply to this thread to let everyone who may be interested know what obstacles I encounter when I invoke the Vacation Guarantee. At the very least it will be informative if any others think of going this route. At this point I'll be happy to be done with whatver the cruise line throws at me and to take a dip in the Atlantic with kids and maybe sport a pair of silly mouse ears.
FoDaddy19 on 04/26/2012:
I never said you couldn't do it. It's just my opinion that it would smack of hypocrisy to mention that you fully understand Carnival's position on the matter, only turn around and blatantly abuse their Vacation Guarantee. You want to have your cake and eat it too. Despite claiming that you aren't asking for compensation, but are apparently willing to be disingenuous about to get it (at least partially) anyway. If it were me I'd just put on my big boy pants,and just go on the trip anyway or eat the $700 deposit make a note to weigh the pros and cons of early booking in the future. This is just one man's opinion though.

The bottom line is, Carnvial aside from some apparent rudeness (which you really haven't gone into, and please remember, telling a customer "no" doesn't constitute rudeness in itself) has, by your own admission hasn't done anything wrong nor have they lied to you, nor have they tried to scam you or anything, but you seem to have no qualms about abusing their satisfaction policy. Seems hypocritical to me.
Luckhunter on 04/26/2012:
As a seasoned cruiser that has experienced the good and the bad, and try to make the best on each and every voyage.

I see snags coming your way from a couple directions...

1. Leaving family in Orlando - (Ft. Lauderdale is port of embarkation - but close enough) - Those that are not on the ship cannot possibly invoke the gty as they (Carnival) were not given the opportunity to satisfy or disappoint - those not on the cruise would have been no shows - or simply considered to have 'missed the boat'.

2. There is nothing stating that the flight back to US port will be immediate, what if there are no seats for 3 days? This isn't within CCL control... and you are responsible for any incidentals, food and lodging and activities until such time that a flight can be arranged. Surely a couple nights lodging is a possibility and at a premium last minute rate. This will be at your expense.

3. You will be fronting the air fare, for ALL members of the party that board the ship and I assume that all will need to actually be on the ship for the initial portion thus need to travel back. Last minute - very expensive! No mention of whether you would be reimbursed seat fees and baggage charges. I would guess not as they will be considered incidentals.

Just some things to think about...

No matter how you choose to enjoy this family time I wish you the best and hope it turns out the way you want it.
BigAl on 04/27/2012:
I am positive that if the OP does as stated the $700 problem will escalate into the thousands.
CowboyFan on 04/27/2012:
Let me clarify this: Changing itinery does not upset the op, but the customer service rep's statement makes her what to cheat and scam the company. Is there a disconnect somewhere, or is this "rudeness" simply an excuse to try to accomplish what the op wanted in the first place - money back.

That someone would think of using a guarantee before even stepping on the ship, speaks more about the OP than any statement they or the posters can make.
Wendy on 08/30/2013:
I too have had my itinerary changed in my up coming cruise o. Paradise nov 30 I understand that sometimes things happen but I would like to know why. No answers came when I called carnival. At least you were told something. I do think carnival should have given you the option of refunding your money. I do not think anyone needs to absorb 700 for something that is essentially their fault as the deal with the dock not you. I have been on this cruise and the extra hours at Naussa would not be important to me. They could fill your room with someone who doesn't care and save themselves an unhappy customer and they say one unhappy customer can affect more than 100 people. It also is odd to me that your responses seem like they are from the company. I personally will not be changing my cruise to cozumel and grand cayman because I have prebooked flights and the time change is not life threatening but I was disappointed I carnival and I feel they owe me the right to know why and give me an option to change ships
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Carnival Rude Workers
Posted by on
On August 25 2011, we boarded the Carnival cruise ship sensation, I am not giving them caps because they don't deserve it, we were supposed to go to Nassau and hurricane Irene was in our way, the travel agent (AAA) told us they may change to Cozumel, which is OK AAA called Carnival and we called they told us Nassau was OK and we were going 15 min before we boarded a man on his internet told us Carnival changed and we were going to the Keys, I got a passport for the Keys? They (carnival) did not tell us till last min., we have since learned that Carnival does this very often, can't they be honest.

Upon arriving at Orlando airport Carnival staff were rude an old lady at transfer bus grabbed my daughters ticket out of her hand when she was putting her luggage down and gave her a paper cut, the only nice lady was at the ticket transfer desk. Once on the bus that's when we learned about the change, got off the bus and into ports building well it got worse some people got plastic holders to carry their room key and others didn't that also happened in the casino once on board if the girl liked you then you got a lanyard. The ship was dirty, the workers not friendly, put charges on your tab that you didn't run up. The food was awful, how can you make a hot dog so bad that you can't eat it, room service took over 2 hrs to get a salad and sandwich. they automatically take out tips, we never ate at the dinning room and they took out the tips, when my daughter complained she was told "it is what it is".

There were other horror stories from mostly everyone, ships captain left docks earlier than we were told, we couldn't go to Nassau because of hurricane that didn't hit that part but he sailed so fast waves made most people sick, yes puke bags everywhere, and guess were he went to Nassau for administrative paper work? Did he think the whole ship blind we could see Nassau was beautiful and other cruise ships were there. Waiter dropped a glass on the floor by the slides (where people walked bare feet) he never picked it up my daughter and 2 other ladies picked up the pieces.

I traveled Carnival many times and never had this kind of poor treatment, the waiter for drinks only came around 3 times the whole trip, my daughter got our $15.00 drinks and yes they still took out their tips. The toilet didn't flush we were told to push the toilet paper in the hole. The complaint line was always long every day. They used to give you seasick pills free but now they charge you 3.49 for 4 pills, captain sails toooooo fast makes you sick then they charge you after you wait at least 1 hour in line.

Then, when it was finally over you had to fill out a paper about everything you bought overseas you HAD to fill it out, we didn't even leave the states. Someone should tell Carnival to be a lot nicer to customers, I will never sail with Carnival again, I am planning a Alaska cruise and it won't be with them. Yes I wrote Carnival many times and never received a reply, they took my money fast.
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jpr_jpr on 07/08/2012:
Carnival was once the industry leader. No more.
On cruise we paid extra $35 each for dinner at their superior private gourmet private restaurant sailing on the Conquest.
Service was worse than McDonald's. Food was terrible. Half raw pork chop was returned (unfortunately after it was tasted in the unusually dark dining area) and a "fresh" meal was brought 35 minutes later. After tasting again, and taking it to a light, discovered it was the very same one but they had microwaved it.
Chef was called out and he apologized and offered a new meal, but as all our table was finished eating, I requested a refund, and he agreed.
no refund ever provided, and by 1:00am that night I had food poisoning. Main desk phoned nurse on call to advise re cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. 20 minutes later, she sent up 2 Alka Seltzer tablets. Another passenger who saw my distress shared medicine he had brought on board.
On return, had extensive communications with different reps at Carnival.Promised but never received any refund.
A year later grandparents wanted to treat entire family to a cruise and Carnival's was the closest port for them; and years ago they did have a good cruise. I did not want to cruise again with them but family pressure persuaded me to contact them again.
This time, with the number of us traveling, they promised an upgrade meal for the family along with other on board credits.
When we attempted to retrieve these once on board, we were not only denied any upgrades or credits, but Carnival denied ever even speaking to us, let alone offering anything DESPITE the fact that I a had a copy of their email to me specifying it all.
After the ship's customer service supervisor sent a copy of this email to corporate, they acknowledged it on the last day of our cruise and once again denied any refund but magnanimously offered the same credits again for the next cruise.
Since then, by my best estimate, I believe I have persuaded at least 54 people who were planning a cruise to use another line. So far. Their refusal of the promised $35 refund has cost them approximately $45, 900. SO FAR!
Staff I had gotten to know all say it will only get worse. Their income was deteriorating. (Even their newest ship, Magic, was losing money.) Their solution was to reduce staff salaries and tell them to make it up on tips. What a fantastic business plan. Wonder how long they have left.
PS Remember that the Costa Concordia was a Carnival owned and run ship.
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