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 thatÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s 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 peopleÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s 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 security....do 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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Carnival Cruise Lines Destiny - Ghetto Cruise From Hell
Posted by Linda Loschiavo Makofski on 2010-09-29
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 maÃ®tre de in his dress whites I thought the nothingness in the air would be changed. To my horror, the maÃ®tre 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
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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You get what you pay for
Posted by nogoofyzone1 on 2011-07-08
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.
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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My Summer Cruise
Posted by Desiree on 2012-07-18
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.
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Very Poor Customer Service
Posted by redwine on 2013-02-12
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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Poor experience out of Galveston
Posted by John on 2011-03-24
3655 N. W. 87TH AVENUE, MIAMI, FLORIDA -- A letter to public relations of Carnival Cruise Line is below:
March 5th, 2011
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 â24 hour information lineâ 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 âfirst thing in the morning and to return after 7:30 AMâ. 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 âsupervisorâ to speak to, âthat there was nothing he could doâ. 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 didnât 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.
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 didnât 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.
Austin Texas, 78759
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Poor Service, the cruise has not even started...
Posted by Jason on 2011-01-31
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. Letâs 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 âCustomer Solutionsâ 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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Can Service and Entertainment Get Any Worse?
Posted by J on 2012-12-04
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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Posted by Jason on 2012-04-26
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 change...no 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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Carnival Rude Workers
Posted by Coconut742005 on 2011-09-01
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.