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
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.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I would like for you to share this story with your readers. It is something all potential Carnival cruise customers should be made aware of so they too do not fall victim to what I view is an under handed scam.
Is Carnival canceling cruise bookings the day the final payment is due so they can charge more when you rebook? Are they preying on their passengers to generate more revenue for CCL? It sure seems this way. When I booked on September 1st for my January 9th cruise I was told by the CCL booking agent that my balance would be due in November. He assured me I would receive an email with my booking confirmation which I received shortly after I hung up the phone. He also said that sometime before the final balance was due I would receive an email with a notice to pay the final balance. He said that in the body of the email there would be a hyperlink that would take me to the CCL website where I could pay off the balance online.
A few days later, I received another booking confirmation from CCL except this time it was for a different passenger and not even on my cruise ship. I noticed that the passenger had the same first name as me “Vanessa”. Although we had different last names and were booked on different cruise’s I decided the right thing to do is to alert Carnival and I did so by emailing them to make sure that they did not send me this person’s information anymore. Four days later I received another email for the same family even though I alerted Carnival of the mistake.
During our Thanksgiving dinner this past Thursday the discussion about the upcoming 70th birthday cruise for Grandpa came up. My mother in law mentioned that she received notice that the balance was due and that she had paid for her two cabins. I told her I had not received any emails from CCL relating to final payment. So I decided to go online to pay the balance. When I logged in to CCL my booking number came up invalid. I decided to email them and received an auto generated email response to call in to their call center.
I called the call center this morning and they instructed me that they had cancelled my reservation and if I still wanted to take the cruise they would have to rerate my fair, the new fare would now be 20% more than the reserved fare I had previously booked. The woman explained that they had sent numerous emails to remind me that my final payment was coming due. She also said that they even sent a letter to my home warning me that if not paid that the cruise would be cancelled. I explained that the only email I had received was for the original booking on September 1st and the two other emails I had received were for Vanessa Gomes a family that had no relation to me.
She had me look at my original booking confirmation and low and behold it said Final Payment due on November 11, 2010. However, nowhere did it state that if not paid by this date that the reservation would be cancelled. I explained that I had not received any emails from CCL requesting final payment and offered the chance that perhaps the other party I did receive emails for was perhaps receiving mine. She said that she does not have the permission to honor the old reservation even with the email mix up and that a supervisor would be able to help resolve this. She also agreed that the email mix-up could be the reason I did not receive any emails from them, she offered no explanation for the letter never being received.
When Mr. Orion Mendes from Guest Solutions came on the phone he made it very clear that CCL does not have a policy or a standard procedure in place that would alert passengers that their final payment is coming due. He also said it is not Carnival’s responsibility to warn customers that they need to pay their final balance by email or letter. He also told me that they do not owe me anything and that it was my fault solely that they cancelled because I did not pay by November 10th. He also said that they never know when a reservation will be cancelled and that CCL does not need to provide any of this information to the customer. He stated that Carnival can cancel a reservation at anytime they choose including the day it is due solely at their discretion - all without notice. In my case they cancelled my cruise on the day it was due according to Mr. Mendes. He also did not see that any letter was sent (even though the previous Carnival representative said one was sent) but he did say an email reminder to pay the final balance was sent to me on the day it was due November 10th and then a cancellation notification was sent the very next day on November 11th stating that my cruise reservation was cancelled on November 10th.
He said the only thing he could do for me was to re-price the fare as my cabin was still available. He said the new rate would cost 20% more than I my originally booked fare. I told him before I shelled out more money for the cruise that I would like to verify that I truly did not receive these emails. I told him if they truly were sent and it was my oversight that I would call back and pay the additional fare. I searched the company email server and confirmed that none were received from Carnival on the subject dates in any folder, received, deleted including the spam folder. Mr. Mendes did say that if I could confirm with the other passenger Mrs. Gomes that she was receiving emails relating to my reservation from Carnival that then he could accommodate me. At this point I was scratching my head - and how will I reach Mrs. Gomes? Calling Carnival back appeared to be a mute at this point.
I am completely baffled about this situation especially on the heels of the recent bad press received for their Carnival Splendor disaster. My only guess is that they are trying to recoup some of the refunded monies and free cruises they had to give away as a result of the Splendor.
One would think in an economy like this where people are very cautious about their spending that Carnival would institute a much more customer service focused process and less self absorbed approach to their customers. I still have not decided if we will go on this cruise or not. I must admit it really is a disappointing experience as a past cruiser on Carnival and at one time a cheerleader for them.
I am hoping you will write about this undocumented cancellation policy Carnival has with your readers as I think this is important information.
I received a call from Carnival Cruise today. They have decided to honor the fare I was originally promised. They apologized for the inconvenience caused. I am content with this action and am hoping they will develop better customer resolution processes.
CARNIVAL PLACE, 3655 NW 87 AVENUE, FLORIDA -- I am very upset with the utter disrespect and discriminatory treatment my group received from Carnival Cruises. We had so many issues on this trip itâs shocking. As there are so many issues I will list them by location and then by day.
Monday night several members of our group were in the Rex Lounge. There was an incident that began with the DJ. When J approached the DJ booth the security guard allowed her to enter the DJ booth to request a song. When she approached him to request âBirthday Sexâ he told her âback up b#@ch!â I cannot imagine what could possible happen that would cause this type of response. The group was sarcastically told that it was the end of his contract, which apparently meant he didnât care about repercussions. Regardless of the length of his âcontractâ he is still a representative of Carnival.
The next issue that even was also in the Rex Lounge, J was dancing proactively in the adult club and while dancing became overheated and removed her upper shirt revealing a sports top underneath. This prompted security, Franklin A, to demand they leave the club due to this incident. I do want to call attention to other similar incidents we videotaped in the Rex Lounge. There were some homosexual men that removed their shirts revealing only their bare chests and proceeded to lick one anotherâs chests. This same evening there were women scantily clad with very revealing tops that resembled bandeau bras.
On Tuesday evening there was a bachelorette party in the Rex Lounge between 12-2 am who were performing pole dances and erotically simulating sex acts on one another on the dance floor in front of the DJ. Shortly thereafter there was a man sitting along the wall across from the DJ bar who removed his shirt and began giving a lap dance to another male. After this incident a member of our party was sitting at the bar and another member climbed on to the stool she was on and was hugging her from behind. Interestingly enough they are sisters. Immediately the security approached our group and advised that Jessica would need to leave the bar immediately because by climbing on to the stool she was âendangering the safely of the other travelers.â I can certainly agree this was not safe behavior but I do not feel it was handled appropriately. In a normal bar setting this type of display would result in the bar staff warning the culprit. However in this instance Franklin removed her from the bar. I find it disturbing that the ethnic individuals in my party seemed to be discriminated against. I donât know if this is race related because the bachlorette group were all composed of Caucasian female and the males that were performing oral acts on one another were also of Caucasian descent. Yet another example was during the Carnival sponsored hairy chest contest when a contestant, at the direction of the Carnival staff, told to parade down the stairs and upon performing he nearly fell from the middle of the stairs. Not only did our group capture this on film Carnival has included this in the DVD from the sailing.
On Tuesday I wanted to request a song, but felt very worried about the complaints and reports I had received about the DJ. I gently approached security and asked if the DJ took requests, he smiled and said yes. I asked where to go and he told me to enter the DJ booth. I stepped about 2 feet into the DJ booth and politely said âexcuse me, may I request a song.â At this time the DJ glanced to his side at me with nothing but distain and turned back around. He was incredibly rude and didnât have enough respect to nod or give me any kind of acknowledgement. After he played the wrong song I returned to the booth and again tried to have a song played. He was visible angry for some reason. Certainly employees have bad days but Carnival is advertised as the fun ship and is marketed as a vacation getaway. All of the internal issues within Carnival should be invisible to guests.
On Thursday my group was to have a happy hour. I gathered my group of 37 cruises and one member entered the Rex Lounge and asked where to go. My group member was told that the staff member didnât know what he was talking about. A moment later I received the report from my group member and went into the Rex Lounge personally. The bar staff member yelled at me stating, âI donât anything about your group, that is Lindaâs party, they are old ladies.â I was furious and left the lounge to retrieve the letter from Carnival placed under my door the day before. Upon returning I spoke with Lancelot, he saw that my group was on the list and Emil was just being lazy. I demanded to speak with Clarke the contacted listed on my paperwork. Prior to Clarke arriving the F & B Manager came. I spent additionally time retelling the story. I was assured my group would get their full hour as we agreed to with Carnival. I was trying to enjoy our get together but found myself running around calming everyone down over yet another issue and rehashing the issues with the various members of the management staff. The F & B manager assured me my group would get a full hour, however our time was cut short due to the issues. Yet again I had 37 upset travelers.
The staff working with the Paris Restaurant all seemed to be unhappy; none smiled or acknowledged the cruisers. I saw numerous travelers trying to get some attention from the staff for ketchup, mustard, or assistance. I personally was in the buffet line on Mexican night at 11 pm and there was a female employee preparing the tacos who was involved in a very intense conversation with another staff member regarding how upset she was that another employee was not back yet to help her and apparently she was supposed to have a break. The traveler in front of me stood there for several minutes waiting for her attention. This held up the entire line. Also waiting for her conversation to finish I attempted to get serving of the taco meat for my plate and I was immediately reprimanded.
Destiny Dinning Room:
I arranged for my group to have a bottle of red wine during the cruise. On the first night there were bottles of wine on the 4 tables assigned to my group in the Destiny. As members started being seated some bottles were opened. As the wait staff was opening the bottles we were asked to sign a document acknowledging receipt. During the dinner bottles were taken from some tables and given to other tables I believe because not all members of attending the dinner. At the end of dinner I was approached by the headwaiter advising he was missing one signature and he was unable to locate the 1 bottle of wine. He approached me and other members of our group many times. So much we felt uncomfortable and just signed the slip. Due to the issues on Monday night 33 travelers in the group did not attend dinner in the dining room two nights. On Thursday night I returned to the Destiny for another try and I was again approached about the bottle of wine because one couple did not get their bottle. I was so frustrated, irritated, and embarrasssed that he would continue to draw attention to this issue I finally just told him to give them a new bottle of wine and I would pay. I believe that if there was a bottle of the wine missing it was the fault of the wait staff for failing to get the signatures or paying attention while opening the wine. The entire group complained about the headwaiter but wanted to make note of the other waiter, although we cannot remember his name we do remember he is from St. Vincent. The maitre de and this gentleman from St. Vincent was the only redeeming quality of the dining room.
Pool Side Bar / Bar Staff
The bartenders at the poolside bar and the America bar were clearly bitter and uninterested in refilling sodas or performing any form of customers that did not yield a tip. We were all educated on the âslave likeâ wages they were paid and how dependent the wait staff was on the tips. These are terms and opinions that were articulated to several of use. There was many times the poolside bartender (an older gentleman on the smoking side with glasses) that members actually had to wave him down and plead for his attention. J was unable to receive any assistance on Monday that she finally gave up and went to her room to retrieve soda. This same evening S, L, D, and myself had to stand up and wave our arms around to get his attention. I would understand if he was helping another customer or performing any of his job duties but flirting with a few drunk bachlorettes should be done on his break or personal time, or if anything have a helper at the bar.
Each member of my group ascribes the continual agonizing, annoying, badgering from the wait staff to buy the drink of the day as harassment. It became so bad nobody wanted to be near the pool and we opening joked that a restraining order may be necessary. I am also very concerned with the alcohol beverages that were served to a 16 year old.
Lastly, I believe her name is Melanie who conducted the section E Musterâs drill, the game show on Monday night, helped with Bingo, and introduced the comedian made it a point to tell us at each opportunity that it was the end of her contract. I can certainly understand being eager to return home but the emphasis that was placed on her leaving certainly made it abundantly clear the ship was not the fun place we were sold on. This behavior does not seem to be appropriate and certainly got travelers to talk and discuss the unprofessional staff.
I want to draw attention to the fact that each member of my party became so resentful of Carnival all gratuities were removed from each traveler. Many had planned on making various purchases in the duty free stores but opted to forgo the savings because they were so bitter about the ongoing disrespect they received from Carnival staff. You will see that each member of the group also took significant time to fill out the comment cards in great detail. I would also offer you the photos and video we began taking of the issues. We were all so frustrated that we began recording some of the issues that we saw as evidence.
My group ranges from 35-53 individuals and we book a group cruise once a year. In the past we have always traveled with Royal Caribbean and had no complaints. We have all raved about being treated like royalty on the Monarch of the Seas and the Pride. However, on the Paradise we feel like we were treated like trash. We selected Carnival this year due to its reputation and price. We were all very upset with how poorly we were treated. I would request that each member of the group is personally contacted and receive an apology.
Mobile on 12/14/09 (12/15/09)
Carnival Cruise Lines:
We are writing to inform you about our experience with your cruise line. First, let me explain that back in 1998 my family, and fifty of our guests, sailed with Carnival for our wedding. We had a great time and most everything went as planned. We took this shorter cruise (12/09) as we were seeing if our children (6 and 8) are ready to begin to vacation as cruisers. We were hoping for a great cruise so that we could begin a yearly summer tradition of taking Carnival cruises.
We were extremely disappointed in this cruise and the way that Carnival handled it. As I am assuming you are aware, Mobile had heavy fog on 12/14/09 – our day to begin cruising. We were told through our hotel that Carnival had directed us to drop off our luggage as typical and at the luggage drop off we would be directed somewhere else. After calling Carnival, well over 20 times over the next 2 days (as I was instructed “We don’t know anything, call us back in an hour”), I didn’t hear the same thing consistently, so we did what all the other passengers seemed to be doing, and dropped off our luggage and then were directed to the Civic Center in Mobile. We were traveling with my parents and our two small children. Even after the flashbacks of the Katrina people being shuttled into a civic center, we were pleased to see that Carnival seemed to be trying to handle a bad situation well. This was at 11:00 AM. After many hours and no updates, things didn’t seem to be going well.
Then the official spokesman for Carnival got on stage (about 6 or 7PM) and said we weren’t going to be sailing out and that Carnival would provide hotel rooms and transportation for us. We would just have to wait for an official list of hotels. He also said we could cancel our cruise for a full refund. After hearing that one out of the two ports would be canceled, and that the one port we arrived at would be shortened, we seriously considered this. Our children and parents (and ourselves) were not doing too well after being left in limbo for over 12 hours.
Then the spokesperson got on stage about 30 minutes later and said, “No, Carnival would not offer refunds, just a credit toward another cruise. AND there would be no hotel room provided. If we waited around, we could get group rates that may drop the price 10 or 20%.” Well after people were yelling and shouting (oh- and upset that they were told they could get their luggage, but then turned away by the police after getting a taxi or shuttle to the dock) and throwing things at your spokesperson, we saw the police presence WAS necessary. Our children saw a man get carried away in handcuffs and more yelling and screaming was going on.
Fearing for the safety of our family, we took our children and walked (as we had no car and no money left for another shuttle service) through the streets of Mobile and luckily found the hotel we stayed at the previous night. So instead of enjoying a cruise we paid and additional $40 for shuttle fees earlier in the day, $ 40 for dinner, $10 for breakfast, and $158.46 in hotel fees. We lost over 50% of our cruise (as we consider the ports the reason why we booked our cruise) and the one fabulous private excursion we booked in Calica. Fortunately, the hotel was wonderful and allowed us to use their computer to cancel our excursion and hopefully he was able to rebook with other people.
The less than $200 we are supposed to receive back from Carnival does little to make up for the misinformation that Carnival officially provided to us. We paid well over that amount to stay the extra night in Mobile. We suffered through a very difficult day in the Mobile Civic Center where we were given little information, and while did patiently wait for your spokesperson to update us – you then lied to your passengers and did not back up what your spokesperson said. This is a true disappointment to us. We would love to begin a Carnival cruise each summer; however, if this is how you treat your passengers, I will never book another cruise again through Carnival. We were planning a “reunion type” cruise for our wedding and will not consider Carnival if this is the end result of our 12/09 cruise.
Also, once on board, no one ever mentioned our previous day’s challenges or even apologized. We left Mobile late, even though the ship arrived earlier that typical. It was past 5:30 (not 4 as we were told) when we left Mobile. One worker told us it was because Carnival was trying to rebook the canceled cabins. If this was true, I do not feel it was appropriate to punish us even more.
The rest of the cruise was difficult as you may know. Our “Fun Days at Sea” were confronted with two major cold fronts. On our return the pools and top decks were closed down and “sickness” bags were full and throughout the ship. That did not help seeing when you were already sick.
Luckily, the few hours on 12/16 that the slides where open (the only time by the way) my children went on them. The water was gray/green and we asked why and the attendant said it was because of something with the engines. My daughter did come out with a huge black grease stain on her suit. I would be happy to send you pictures of this water. Is this typical? It sure doesn’t show that in your website pictures. Another cost for us to incur – a new swimsuit??!!
What we would like is for Carnival to do as promised. We would like our hotel and meal to be repaid. We also incurred additional cost of shuttles back and forth between the hotel, dock, and civic center totaling $60 (or $40 additional as we would have paid $20 no matter what). We also feel we received less than 50% of our cruise because you canceled one port and shortened another. I wonder if we had left Mobile on time if we would have had additional time at Cozumel or even a stop at Calica. We have yet to receive our $199.02 back as promised, but we feel we should receive $498 (1/2 of our cruise), plus hotel and other expenses.
While we all understand that you were not in control of the weather, we do however expect you to stand by what your official spokesperson in Mobile said. You are/were considered a reputable cruise line and we will make sure we tell our friends, family, travel agent, and web review friends your response to this letter.
On a positive note, most workers (most elderly) in Mobile were helpful with whatever they could help with. They were kind and understanding.
We look forward to your response,
To Whom It May Concern:
The purpose of this letter is to apprise Carnival Cruise Lines of my extreme dissatisfaction regarding my recent sailing on Carnival Sensation on September 16, 2007 from Port Canaveral, Florida.
My Complaints are as follows:
â¢ Cabin Configuration
In June 2007 I changed my cabin from a standard cabin to a wheelchair accessible cabin. Upon doing so I was told that there would be sufficient room in the cabin to successfully maneuver a wheelchair inside our cabin. However, upon entering our cabin, we immediately realized that this was not the case. The primary reason for this was the Roll-Away Bed. Once it was opened, it was absolutely impossible to open the wheelchair while in the room. There was not even enough space to get from the bed at the window to the rest room. Threw out the duration of our cruise we were literally jumping over beds to get to the restroom. On the first night of our cruise, I was injured while trying to get from one bed to the other in order to use the restroom. In order to move around in the room, my mother and I had to push the two (2) beds together (upon suggestion from the Chief Purser on 9/17/07). Even with the new configuration I still had to jump over a bed to get to the restroom. This is completely unacceptable.
When we got to our room our Television Set did not even work. It took them several hours to finally show up to fix it and then we had to wait for someone else to come and remove our ceiling to get to the problem. We did not even get a Television Remote until 10:00 PM after I had called several times requesting it.
There was an unbearable cigarette smell in the cabin threw out the entire duration of the cruise. Housekeeping had to continually spray deodorizer in the room just so that I could stay in the room because the cigarette smell was aggravating my asthma and my mother and sisterâs allergies.
â¢ Dining Room Service
On the first night of the cruise we did not eat dinner until almost 8:00 PM even though we were seated at approximately 6:20 PM. When they finally served our dinner, two 2 Steak Dinners had to be sent back because they were completely rare when they were requested as Medium Well. Three (3) baked potatoes had to be sent back as well for the same reason, they were undercooked. For the remainder of the cruise dinner services went on in a similar fashion. We never ate dinner before 7:30 PM. Two (2) of the nights my mother did not even eat her dinner because it took so long and we had to order sandwiches at around midnight.
Because it took so long to get dinner we were forced to miss the Captainâs Cocktail Party.
â¢ Lack of Food Selection
There was an extremely limited selection of lunch foods available on the Lido Deck for Lunch and the Main Dining Room was not even open for lunch except for Wednesday, and the selection there was even worse.
â¢ Lack of Activities on Board
There were hardly any activities for those who do not drink or gamble so often times we stayed in our cramped room. And when there were activities, they were planned extremely far apart so that we were often left roaming the ship with nothing to do.
The one activity we were looking forward to was the Midnight Buffet with Ice Sculptures as we have seen on your other cruises. We were severely disappointed when all the ship offered was a Mexican Buffet on the Lido Deck at Midnight. When I asked about the Midnight Buffet with Ice Sculptures, I was told that Carnival only has them on 7 Night Cruises. I was on a 5 Day Cruise and another 4 Day Cruise on Carnival and they offered the Buffet. I know that several other guests were disappointed by this information as well.
â¢ Lack of Information/Assistance
On the last night of our cruise we apparently hit a rough patch of weather, because the ship began rocking back and forth rather violently. Every where we looked people were feeling the motion of the waves against the ship. Several people were visibly âSea Sickâ for lack of a better word. This horrible rocking sensation lasted from about 6:00 PM Wednesday until approximately 5:00 AM Thursday. We were extremely concerned and every crew member that we asked had no answer as to what was going on. We were so sick that we were unable to sleep. During this entire ordeal not once did anyone come on over the ships intercom to explain what was going on or ease our fears. It took several days after we got off the ship for the motion sickness to clear up.
As a result of the rough weather my mother became very ill and it took four (4) of us to get her back to our cabin. She was severely nauseous and it was apparent to all that we needed help, but instead of helping us, every member of the crew that saw us took one look at my mother and literally ran the other way. One crew member even made a comment to another co-worker that they should get out of the way before my mother threw up on them. If it had not been for the help of 2 fellow guests my sister and I would never have been able to get my mother to our cabin. This behavior from the crew was completely unacceptable.
â¢ Lack of Debarkation Order
Instructions for disembarking the ship were clearly provided. However, there were no members of the crew to actually ensure that those instructions were followed, specifically when it came to people with disabilities.
Guests with wheelchairs were told to wait in the Internet CafÃ© on the Empress Deck. However, when we arrived there was no room for all the wheelchairs because others without disabilities had decided that this would be a good place for them to wait to get off the ship, despite the fact that they had been given specific areas where they could wait until their section was ready to disembark. It was absolute chaos trying to maneuver the wheelchairs into areas that would not block the flow of traffic, and rather than correcting the situation, the few crew members that did pass us just allowed it, leaving those in wheelchairs to fend for themselves.
This âvacationâ was such an absolute disaster from day one that if we had had sufficient funds we would have flown home from Freeport (our first port of call). I have never had such a horrific experience. I donât believe that anyone should have had to endure what we went through. We paid for this âvacationâ in expectation of this being a relaxing trip for us and instead it was an absolute nightmare.
I feel that the 10% Off our next Cruise on Carnival that was offered to us by the Purser on board is an insult. I am not certain that we will ever sail with Carnival again. Due to the obvious hardship that my family and I had to endure I am requesting a refund of $350.00. I would like this refund to be applied directly to my Visa (the same card used to pay off the cruise) at your earliest convenience.
I contacted Customer Service on 9/21/07 via the Carnival Website and have yet to receive a response. Quite frankly I am disappointed at Carnivalâs lack of Customer Service when it is in regards to dissatisfied customers.
NEW YORK -- After having an amazing cruise on Royal Caribbean one year, my family (husband, 2 kids, parents & brother) decided to try out the other cruise lines out there... like Carnival. Maybe we were spoiled on Royal Caribbean or maybe Carnival "Fun Ship" Cruises just take no pride in quality of service. Before we even got on board the Victory, we were handed a change of itinerary stating that we would not be going to Nova Scotia Canada as intended, but instead, St John's New Brunswick. OK, no problem seeing as there was a slight tropical storm in the way and we'd never been to St John's Canada anyway.
First off, let me just say that as we boarded the ship, it just seemed so unrefined. The interior was decorated in such a tacky way, it reminded me of a gambling resort type, not so much Las Vegas, but maybe Atlantic City. Right off hand, you can smell the cigarette smoke, that emanated throughout the entire ship. It was disgusting to say the least.
That night we were looking forward to dining and having a good meal. Yet, another disappointment. The food was horrible and cold. My husband had ordered the NY strip steak with potatoes and green beans, what came on the plate was basically a rubber steak with a side of fat and grizzle. My chowder was warm at the top but ice cold towards the bottom. The chicken saute appetizer was so dry and tasteless. They tend to concentrate more on quantity rather than quality.
The next morning, we had a full day at sea, the ship was moving at such a slow pace like 15 knotts, that most of the passengers on board, including my mom got terribly seasick. Everyone rushed to the doctor on board for those Dramamine pills. We didn't understand how a ship this size created so much rocking, people were swaying from side to side, it was awful. Not once did we feel any kind of swaying on our Royal Caribbean Cruise.
We thought that there would be at least something to do on the Victory besides drinking at the bars (there were several by the way), we tried to go play ping pong, but there was only ONE table that was placed in an enclosed area by the stairwell the size of my closet!! Of course there was a line of people waiting to play so we checked that off our list. Next, we headed to the arcade or should I say "money eating machine". Almost every games we tried to play with the exception of the surfing and the car racing games were broken. It cost $1 to play each game and once you put your tokens in, they don't start up and you don't get your money back. Carnival Cruise Ship attendants don't bother to put an "out of order" sign. What to do next? We opted to work out at the gym for a while, of course, why did we even bother? Their freestyle weights were either too light like 7 lbs or too heavy like 25-30 lbs. There was nothing in between. Their running track was mediocre as well. Their pool slide was closed half of the time and when they did decide to open it, the water was icy cold. The Jacuzzis would have been nice if only they enforced the "no children" rule. It was crawling with kids under 12, even at the "adults only" Jacuzzis. Some kids were even eating in the Jacuzzis and that was just plain nasty, but no one did anything. Even late at night, there were still kids in the Jacuzzis and we had to wonder, where are their parents?? Getting drunk of course! After all, Carnival Victory is basically a "Floating Bar" designed specifically for people who just want to drink, get drunk, leave their kids unattended to do whatever they please even if it means upsetting the other passengers, and for people who are too wasted to even know what the food should taste like. I think that's why the food is so awful, most of the people are just too drunk to realize it tasted like crap. For instance, on our last night, we ordered pork chops and out came this pork chop with some green juice oozing and bubbling out ( I kid you not). We were appalled and afraid to eat it. The food by the 4th day was still cold and we really dreaded dinner time. We opted for pizza and burgers instead. Luckily the only thing this ship had going for them was the 24hr pizzas and the late night burgers and fries. Their 24hr soft serve ice cream was the only treat worth having, as the desserts they served during their dinners tasted like cardboard. We were really hoping the dinners and meals would be gourmet and just tantalize our taste buds, but it was far from that and it just left us with a bad taste in our mouths. It's pretty sad when pizza is the only thing worth looking forward to, and I am not a big pizza fan.
The service was also mediocre, the room attendants and waiters looked like they hated their jobs and wanted to jump ship. Our room attendant did however, do an OK job in tidying our rooms and placing extra towels etc., but he didn't go that extra mile with the towel animals every evening. He made us one freaky towel animal that didn't look like anything we've seen, more like a towel mutant which scared the kids. Maybe that was his intention, who knows. Our waiter forgot our salads one night and the asst waiter totally ignored us and forgot to serve us any bread, as he just stood there chatting away and laughing with the other waiters. Karma works in mysterious ways as that asst waiter tripped while the ship still swayed from side to side.
This was truly a disappointing cruise ship experience. We will never step foot aboard a Carnival "Fun Ship" ever again. Our travel agent was so right when she said that if you want a family friendly, adventure-type cruise choose Royal Caribbean or Norwegian, but if you want to just party and get intoxicated, choose Carnival. We should have listened, but we live and learn.
KREBS, OKLAHOMA -- To Whom It May Concern.
The following is a list of complaints lodged by me, Katyisha Martin, my fiancÃ©, and a host of other people we became acquainted with on this excursion due to the HORRIFYING experience of using Carnival Cruise lines.
Experiences on Carnival Cruise Line "Sensation"
Krebs, OK 74554
As of April 18, 2006 I was informed that they would send me a letter of apology, and would love to offer me a $50.00 credit on my next cruise. That is just enough to cover my $50.00 mandatory on board gratuity. Now, there is a slap in the face.
My husband and I recently returned from a Carnival "Fun Ship." We were on board the Sensation out of Port Canaveral, FL March 27-April 1st, 2006.
This cruise was anything but fun. It was supposed to be our honeymoon.
The problems started before we even boarded the ship. We were standing in line to go through security before boarding the ship when a letter was handed to us by an employee notifying us that our itinerary had changed. We were no longer going to Grand Turk in Turk & Caicos. The only reason that 90% of the passengers booked this cruise was because of its itinerary.
Once on board the ship, we were not allowed to take our carry-on bags to our state rooms. We were told that the rooms still were not clean, and they we were to get something to eat up on the Lido deck. We went onto the deck and of course we felt like sardines. Everyone was in line for food. The food was not very good. The hamburgers were well done and crunchy. It was very difficult trying to find a seat when over 1,000 people were on the deck at one time. After 2 hours, we were told we could drop off our bags, but please don't stay in the room if it still needs to be cleaned. To our surprise, our room was clean and the Happy Honeymoon decorations that I had ordered were actually up.
That evening at our first dinner, the food was awful. Anything but gourmet, however, our waitress Martina was very sweet.
The next day was our one day at sea. There was nothing to do. The decks were jammed packed with people, so trying to get a hold of a chair was near impossible. The water slide on the deck was not working, and didn't work during the whole trip.
There was very little entertainment available on board unless you consider the hairiest chest contest entertainment. We attended dinner again Tuesday night, and again it was a disappointment.
For nightly entertainment they offered a comedian. We did not attend, but heard he was quite good. He was the entertainment for 3 nights straight. If you saw him the first night, there was no entertainment for the next two nights. We received letters in our staterooms informing us that they were shutting off the water supply between 1:00am-5:00am. That night, we hung out at the disco. I set my drink down on a table and it slid right off onto my lap. I was wearing white pants, and my drink was red. I went to my stateroom to clean my pants and change clothes when I realized it was after 1:00am, and that I had no water to clean them with.
The letter only informed us that we would not have water for that night only, except they shut our water off every night without informing us of it.
The next day we were finally going into a port. Nassau. It was nice. We had booked excursions on Pearl Island. The excursion had lasted an additional hour, so when we returned to the ship, we realized we had less than 2 hours before most of the stores were closing. We had to rush to change and eat and then run to the straw market in order to do a little bit of shopping. Once we ran out of money, we returned to the ship. We received a preliminary statement of our account. It turns out that Carnival charged our Sail & Sign Card for excursions that were purchased weeks before our cruise ever left port. They ended up crediting back our account, but it put a hold on my credit card for that amount, so money was tight when it didn't have to be.
The waves that night caused the boat to constantly sway back and forth. You could hear plates and glasses falling in the dining room and the kitchens. Isn't there supposed to be some kind of contraption to prevent these kinds of things?
Again dinner was awful. Not once were we happy with the food.
The only food that was made available to us 24 hours a day was pizza. Tombstone frozen pizzas were better than the pizza they were serving.
On Thursday evening, we were in the disco again and ordered the drink of the day, which were Bahama Mama's. We were told that there was only beer and whiskey available. When we then ordered Corona's were were told that they were out of them. Now the funny thing is, that we went to another bar and were able to get the things we ordered. How do you run out of alcohol on a cruise? After being upset at the disco, we wanted to go to the Mexican buffet. The buffet was supposed to be open from 11:30pm -1:30am. We got up to the deck at 1:15am, and it was completely empty. The food was gone and everything was cleaned up. It looked as though they didn't have a buffet at all. We again, were stuck eating nasty pizza.
On the last day we went to Freeport, Bahamas, which was the substitution port for Grand Turk. When we got there, they docked us in the industrial port. Nothing around us but construction, steamship lines, and ocean containers. In order to go anywhere on the island, you had to take a cab for at least 15 miles. There was absolutely nothing in walking distance.
The last night at dinner, was probably the worst! The food was still awful.
On Saturday when we came back to Port Canaveral, passengers were being kicked out of their staterooms in order to clean them for the cruise later on that day. Not one person received compensation on board our cruise.
We were seated at dinner with a couple that was married on the boat. They paid an additional $1,000.00 to have their wedding on board. They were guaranteed access to the boat at 11:30, their wedding at 1:30. They couldn't get onto the boat until 12:45. The bride had to rush to make her wedding. Once the wedding was over, they were told that it was going to cost them an additional $1500.00 to receive their pictures, the photographer was included, but not the actual photos. The bride was not allowed to keep the top to her wedding cake, because food like that was not allowed off of the boat. She was guaranteed an upgrade to a suite, however, the boat was full, and no upgrades were available.
We then heard from another guest on board that she had found a letter in her stateroom for change of itinerary. However, this letter was for the week before. They too were unable to go to Grand Turk, however, they were given a different excuse as to why they could not go. It turns out that the Sensation can never sell out because it was one of the oldest boats in the fleet and the ports it sails to are not all that great. Carnival is selling Grand Turk in order to sell the boat, and when you get to the boat, you then find out that you don't get to go to Grand Turk. This cruise was more expensive because it was going so far south, and then we didn't even get to go. Not one person was compensated for that reason alone. When we talked to guest services at Carnival's Corp office in Miami, we were told that Carnival does not accept complaints, and they don't issue refunds. What kind of customer service is that? Word of mouth is the best advertising that a company can receive, and I can guarantee you that if enough of us get the word out, Carnival will be filing bankruptcy in the near future.
I will NEVER set foot on a Carnival "Fun Ship" again or any of it's sister boats!
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.