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Carnival Victory Cruise Complaint
Posted by PWee on 08/05/2006
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! Afterall, 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.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-05:
Pwee writes: "Afterall, 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."
So everybody was happy but you? Or are you including yourself in this lofty description?
Posted by PWee on 2006-08-05:
Everyone else was not happy, we spoke to other cruisers who had previously been on Norwegian and Celebrity Cruiselines and they too were appalled with Carnival's lack of quality and service. I'm sure the people who intended to booze it up on this cruise were VERY happy with the conditions. The food really wasn't good at all, they didn't enforce any kind of rules for children in the hot tub areas, the games in the arcade were broken but you didn't know till you put your tokens in. When you have all those things working against you, and all that is left are the smoke-filled bars and kids running around in the casinos, it's hard to find a silver lining. I wouldn't have had a problem if Carnival took the care in preparing the food right, made sure the games were fixed prior to embarking, perhaps let the parents know that their kids should not be in the adult only hot tubs. This was just our experience. I'm sure some people enjoyed the cruise, to each his own, but after being on a wonderful cruise the first time, surely you'd want to have the same experiences with your next. Unfortunately we didn't have that with Carnival. I've read many reviews on here that said all there was to do on Carnival was drink and gamble, so I know I'm not alone in this. This was our first Carnival Cruise, in a way I am glad we endured it, that way we're able to compare other cruises.
Posted by DORCAS on 2006-08-05:
PWee:I have read some of the same complaints from others as you have wrote. But not as well as you wrote them. I was laughing so hard (not because of your bad experience)but because of the way you write. It's great! I love how you decribed the towel animals and the towel mutant and it scaring the kids. And how the attendants looked like they wanted to jump ship and you followed it with "our attendant did"..but you said it about something else. I am so sorry for your bad trip and I thank you for sharing. I do think you should start writing for a newspaper or magazine as a critic. You do a good job. I myself had an offer to go on a Carnival Cruise in October but after the bad reviews and illnesses and dissappearences I read abou and listen to in the news I think I'll stick to dry ground.
Posted by JBeeson on 2006-08-05:
I can empathize with you. My fiance and I had a similar experience especially the part about the kids in the hot tubs specifically for adults only. Our dinners were cold as well, sometimes lukewarm if we were lucky and it was like eating at a Sizzler's or Golden Corral ~ not impressive. Maybe they didn't fix the games on board and had limited activities so that you would have to spend your money in the bars and casinos? Just a thought.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-05:
Some of the bargain/lower priced ships don't police patrons or their kids. It's turned into a "get what you pay for" kinda thing. (tr)
Posted by PWee on 2006-08-05:
In regards to 'you get what you pay for', I've gotta say that for a 4 day cruise, it really wasn't as cheap as you would think. It was approx $550 per person. If it was under $300 I would have just brushed it off. Our 5 day Royal Caribbean cruise was much cheaper @ $409 per person and it was definitely more enjoyable, go figure.
Posted by misstina on 2006-08-06:
PWee-I went on two Royal Caribbean cruises before I went on a Carnival one and let me tell you, RC wins hands down overall. I had so much fun on the RC cruises. There was hardly any fun things to do on the Carnival cruise. The food and service on the RC cruises was amazing. I was disappointed that the formal nights on Carnival were less than formal. Hardly anyone dressed up, the food was horrible, and the service was just "ok". One day on the Carnival cruise, our ship was parked next to a Royal Caribbean ship. I couldn't help but sit on my balcony in complete boredom and scream "I wish I was on that boat with you!" to the other RC guests. I have to say though, with all the stories that I've been hearing lately about cruise ships and disappearing guests, I probably won't be taking another one for a LONG time.
Posted by PWee on 2006-08-06:
Misstina, you're so right about formal night on Carnival being less than formal. One couple two tables away from us were in bermuda shorts and capris. My brother was like, "See, I could have just worn my board shorts instead of this monkey suit!!" (hehehe) That's so funny about the RC ship docking next to you guys, I would have felt the same way too ~ might even go as far as jumping overboard towards RC and pretending I belonged on their ship. :)~~
Posted by Slimjim on 2006-08-07:
There isn't much comparison between a Carnival and RC cruise. Carnival reminds me of a cruise line you use if you're single or on a really tight budget. It's just not the same service or ambiance. That's why it's cheaper.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-09:
Typically, these days, Carnival is catering moreso to the singles and spring-break crowd. We haven't cruised them for years, it's just not the same experience as the pricier ones. (tr)
Posted by PWee on 2006-08-09:
Finally got a hold of a friend of mine who used to work on Celebrity Cruiseships. I told her about my experience on Carnival to which she replied, "Oh I forgot to tell you that we all (meaning she and the crew) know that Carnival is the "Dirty Ship". I guess it's an inside joke between the crews of other cruiseships. Ok, I'll admit that I was a bit embarrassed and mortified when she said that, but at least I get to leave and never go back on Carnival... however, the poor crew is now known as the "people who live & work on the Dirty Ship" ~ (sigh)
Posted by Pagann on 2006-09-25:
Has any one any email contact for the CEO or similar, for Carnival - I had a bad fall on Victory and following the total indifference whilst on board ship to my accident, I have written and emailed their so called customer care with out the courtesy of a reply. Help appreciated. Thank you.
Posted by Zkish on 2007-08-05:
I've Taken Valor,Victory and Fantasy Both Valor and Fantasy was excellent.. Yes Fantasy is the mother of all the party ships in Carnivals lineup followed by Victory. But I have also Taken Royal Carribean and they are Top Notch I can support this article 100% cause of my past experiences.. As for Crusing For anyone NEVER Take Carnival unless it's Carnival Paradise the Non Smoking one most old people take that ship but if your young and happy and like to party Carnivals for you if you have a Family with kids or young and old and want some R&R away from it all go Royal Carribean
Posted by pigmom on 2008-01-02:
I just went on the Carnival Paradise for a 3-day cruise to Ensenada. I have no interest in taking another one. I should have just driven to Ensenada with my friends. The cruise takes 36 hours to go the 90 miles from Ensenada to Long Beach on the return voyage, which they bill as the "fun day at sea". There isn't anything fun about having the boat wallow at anchor in choppy seas for 24 hours. Same ping pong story, which is the only thing my husband wanted to do. We tired quickly of the wander-the-boat. We don't drink, but you could buy a soda card, then beg the servers for a drink or refill. It was cold and windy, so you couldn't hang out on the upper deck, which you wouldn't do anyway due to the screaming unattended children.
Our room steward was actually quite good and our team head waiter/assistant were really fun. They looked after us and were quite specific about what "not" to order. Clearly, they've eaten the food. Very bad food. Icy shrimp in a little glob of cocktail sauce, undercooked lobster tail on the big night, and inedible breakfast and lunches in the main dining rooms--along with surly service. The Lido Paris buffet had better fare, but that isn't saying much. I don't eat much pizza and that's about all that was edible.
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Carnival Cruise Lines/Sensation
Posted by Katyisha on 04/18/2006
KREBS, OKLAHOMA -- To Whom It May Concern.

The following is a list of complaints lodged by me, Katyisha Martin, my fiancé, 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"

1. Destination changed, after being promised by travel agent and checking to ensure that our party would indeed be taken to Grand Turks Islands. This did not happen. (I have researched and found that this is common with Carnival Cruise Lines. We requested to go to Grand Turks, and it was the only reason we agreed upon this cruise.)
2. Boarding of the ship was to be early because we were with a wedding party that paid extra, so that we would have ample time to dress and prepare for ceremony. (Did not happen). Wedding scheduled for 1:30 p.m. By the time we boarded we had 20-45 minutes to get make up, hair, dressed etc. Some of us dressed in bathrooms that were not clean, and in hallways with vomit on the floor, because our rooms were not yet ready.)
3. Non-sailing wedding party guests (the bride's mother and friends) were all rushed off the ship without being allowed to take photos with the bride, resulting in a depressed and irritable bride the entire cruise.)
4. Wedding coordinator told us to talk to information desk about any issues we had. (They were VERY rude, and told us there was nothing we / they could do about it, so the best thing to do was try to enjoy ourselves.)
5. Pool was dirty, mildewed, unsanitary and disgusting.
6. Water slide was broken the entire trip.
7. Ice-cream machine was broken. (Which was one of the only things we felt may be safe to eat), being the other food was completely inedible).
8. Nightly buffet closed early, when there was food available.
9. Extra and miscellaneous charges on sign and sail card with no explanation.
10. We were told by staff there was to be a $10 per day gratuity fee. We were also told we could tip as we saw fit. Upon observation of our bill there was a 15% gratuity added for everything that we purchased. Even when the drinks were made incorrectly and returned to the bar, also the bar staff was rude.
11. No beer at Half Moon Cay. (We were told they ran out and although we received someone else’s bill and the wrong ticket, (which we accidentally signed) we were told too bad.
12. Charges on my sign and sail card from a bar that we never were in. (Was told that they had to take care of it on the last day of the cruise. Now I know why they took them off and added them directly to my boyfriend’s card because we shared a cabin.)
13. Freeport was completely disgusting and unacceptable. (To replace this with Grand Turks, which is the only reason we booked this cruise, was never discussed with us or any of the other passengers we came into contact with, and, was an unacceptable presumption by your Cruise Line to think that we would agree to this.)
14. We were told this boat was completely renovated. (Well, that was a lie all in itself, because there was rust and mildew in our windows. The bathroom vents were disgusting, our shower, mirror, and first and foremost OUR linens were dirty. We were told we were the second voyage on this boat. Found from a previous itinerary that this was also a lie and was given another list of different lies as to why we would not be going to our promised destination, and we found out the boat had been used by survivors of Hurricane Katrina for emergency shelter and residency for several months, (information from a news article).
15. We were then asked for additional tips for poor service, and even for asking too many questions on the boat.
16. Shower head was broken and disconnected from wall in shower, only for the hose to beat me excessively in my back and head.
17. I watched a carnival cruise advertisement for 5 days about how my experience would be great. It was not.
18. I even asked previous to our boarding (because things were going so badly already) if there was anyway we could cancel and just stay in Florida. We were told no.
19. The snorkeling excursion. (We should have never gone), the alternator belt broke; all of the life saving devices were cut up and damaged. We were told that when we booked excursions there would trained professionals aboard to ensure that we were safe, not to mention that we tried to book other excursions and they would not accept them, then turned right around and said they were all sold out.)
20. I could go on and on, and upon request I will give further information. But the biggest upset ever, was to find that my boyfriend of 3 years, fiancé of six (6) months had planned to set a wedding date, but after seeing how horrible an experience I was having, he DID NOT; he waited until we got home because he was going to surprise me with A CRUISE!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME, THIS IS LIKE A HUGE NIGHTMARE! THANKS, CARNIVAL.
I do want to recognize that out of 5 days on the HELL SHIP, I had 3 people that were actually polite. At table #158 Martina, our waitress. This lady was as sweet as could she could be. Even though she was apologizing for some kind of mess up every evening about 15 times per table visit, she was sweet and concerned. Another lady at the information desk, the last night of our cruise was very polite. (I will give credit where credit is due) If she documented anything her name will be available (she had long brown hair, and Barry, the guy in the piano bar.) But out of this 5 day horrifying hellish nightmare the only thing I can state is this was totally unacceptable and I will NEVER encourage anyone to use Carnivals services until something has been done to compensate for the Twilight Zone adventure!
I work and have worked with the public for many years, and if I received one of these complaints I would no longer be employed and if in charge of operations I would immediately fire anyone who provided such ill service.)
As I write this I become upset and ill just by reliving this series of incidents on what should have been an enlightening and memorable trip for all involved. I have emailed people from our trip and we all feel and know to be offered some kind of partial credit is completely unacceptable. I hope someone will take the time to look at the overall picture and situations that were forced on all of us. You can look at your books and see how much money we spent in just our cabin alone. I implore you to make this right. All this money to be treated in such a manner and to be starved to boot! This was not a pleasure cruise; it was a floating death sentence! We were just lucky enough to escape.

Katyisha Martin
Krebs, OK 74554
(918) 470-5775

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.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2006-04-19:
Boy, that's no way to start out a marriage.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-04-19:
What a mess! Lets hope that your marriage goes better than your wedding.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-04-19:
P-dub if we can get a name do you think a call from you could help?
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-04-20:
Dunno, but let's hope her marriage lasts longer than yours. (tr)
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-04-20:
*rivers* (TIR)
Posted by Noneill on 2006-07-18:
Well I am trying to figure out why the destination was changed. I know if the weather is bad that can make them go somewhere else. No one can control the weather. I hope you will try another cruise sometime, possibly with another line. My only carnival cruise I have been on was fantastic. It would be a shame to never know how fun they can be.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Can Service and Entertainment Get Any Worse?
Posted by Prodigiouswizard on 12/04/2012
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 At Your Service on 2012-12-04:
Very well written review. I enjoyed reading it very much and find it interesting as my spouse and I are considering another cruise in the near future.

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

Again, very articulate and well written review. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-12-04:
Carnival tends to be the Walmart of cruise lines...
Posted by oldisgood on 2013-02-12:
We just got off a Celebrity and personnel were at the dining areas always with sanitizer in hand and they put it on you. Also the handsanitzer people were there when you can back from ashore and you DID use it. They were also always wiping down all handrails. Celebrity is a VERYYY clean cruise line. You never hear of one of their ships contracting the viruses.
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Smoking And Drug Use On Board - No Help From Customer Service/Security
Posted by Teressa on 01/29/2009
GALVESTON, TEXAS -- We took a family cruise over the Christmas break choosing Carnival for its ports of call, and three person and balcony cabin availability. It was such a mistake to have chosen Carnival. On day one we waited for 7 hours to board with no information provided from the cruise line even after numerous phone calls to the emergency line. Finally we boarded - too late for the late dinner seating. The next day people were smoking everywhere on deck around the pools. Our youngest has severe allergies and is asthmatic to the smoke was a real problem. We moved five times trying to find a smoke free spot before giving up to go inside and at least enjoy our balcony. Wrong - smoke there too from the adjoining cabins. This pattern continued all through the cruise with the addition of drugs being regularly smoked on the balconies following our stop in Jamaica. Security, customer service and even the cruise director were informed and contacted numerous times to no avail. We could not use the public areas or our balcony for the duration of the cruise. Carnival refused to enforce their smoking rules continuing to serve drinks to guests smoking in unauthorized areas. I called Carnival headquarters again as soon as we got home and was told how "concerned" they were. It is now several weeks later and still no follow up. Corporate "concern" obviously is well matched with the shipboard "concern" for our safety and well being.

Having cruised many times before, I know there are different levels of service and safety available I feel as if I have been cheated out of our vacation time as a family not to mention thousands of dollars. We had never cruised with Carnival and will not entrust our care to them again.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-29:
Which ship was this? 7 hours is excessive. On every cruise(all Carnival) I've ever been on, they typically didn't open the ship for boarding until after 11am, and we set sail at 4pm.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-01-29:
I think based on your complaint that they are obligated to giving you at least a partial refund for failing to enforce their policies that you should have been protected under by the terms of the purchase agreement. I would consult a lawyer to see what your options are.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-01-29:
was this a smoke free cruise?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-29:
"Smoking" eh? On a cruise to Jamaica, eh? Mon, you got a free contact high! Kwitcherbichin. JUST KIDDING. You have a serious complaint, I hope you get some satisfaction.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-01-29:
Being an ex-smoker, I'm pretty aware of where I could and couldn't smoke on the many cruises I've taken. Around the pool deck and on your private balconies, smoking was always permitted. If you can't smoke in these areas (and/or the casino), then obviously you wouldn't be allowed to smoke anywhere on the ship. That would classify it as a smoke-free cruise. Clearly this was not and considering how sensitive your situation was to smoking, it honestly sounds like completely smoke free cruises are what you need to seek out.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-29:
Slim, the last cruise I was on was with my parents, and my sister and her husband. My dad complained that he hardly saw us..he was the only smoker in our group.

Posted by teressa on 2009-01-29:
Thank you for your comments. No the cruise ws not listed as non-smoking, but I cheked before booking with our travel agent and investigated the smoking policy which according to cthe contract would be stringently enforced limiting smoking to the casino, one mid ship deck area and one small area by the adult only pool. We tried several different spots by the kid pool with the 2 story slide and other less populated places on deck inly to be chased away by smoke again and again. On the first day at sea I finally resorted to asking people to please not smoke or we would have to get up and leave. Most complied politely, but then someone else would just come along and light up. Day two I started asking for help from the Carnival staff to no avail. As to the wait to get on the ship yes, it usually begins boarding at noon I think and sets sail at 4:00 but we were not able to board until after 7:00 and that was after standing in line for hour upon hour at the cruise terminal with no word as to what was going on or what to expect from Carnival. The people who staffed the ememrgency line said that no one was answering the phone at the terminal because they were "too busy". She tried to email them to find out for us what was going on, but had no success.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-29:
Teressa, thanks for coming back and commenting.

I'm guessing we were lucky that the smoking areas were enforced (which is why I almost never saw my dad). On our last cruise, out of Port Canaveral, from the time we got in line to board, until we were at the lunch buffet, was less than 40 minutes. I was amazed.

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The Cruise from HELL
Posted by Fancy on 02/23/2006
INDIANA -- Hello to start thing off it took us a year to plan this vacation, The Victory, I can totally understand why we couldent dock bad weather ok i got it.BUT they should have been prepaird for such an event .# 1 we were some of the first to get on and the last to get luggage.#2 the food was well below our expectation, If you ate in the formal dinning room one night ,and the buffet the next you got leftovers,OMG youve got to be kidding.Room sevice sucked cold food only and you could pick from 5 or 6 things.Bottled water and soft drinks were outrageous.No matter what it was they try to get more money out of you dident i pay enough to begin with.The first time we were to dock at Costa Maya well the weather stopped us from docking ok i can deal with it. They were nice enough to give us $25.00 our port charges back on ship credit only. Still nothing to do but drink, gamble,bingo and again all cost money. second stop Grand Caymen,very very disapointed by now. again they gave us our 25.00 back ship credit only,then told us to go to the ships library get a book or go to the gift shop and buy a deck of cards.What is wrong with this picture.Remember weve been on the boat for 5 days now.finally we docked at Ocho Rios Jamaica Finally we can get off the boat for a mere 7 hours ,then it was back to Miami. Saturday the last full day on ship {thank god} I went to the salon for a massage,and again they tryed to sell me something else at an outragiuos prices after giving them 100.00 .they want me to buy a 75 dollar bottle of lotion, get real.I have already turned them into the BBB , i dont know what else to do. This has got to be the worse case of false advertising i have ever seen .I have called ,written, emailed and all i got was sorry about your luck,sombody needs to do something about these people ripping hard working people off. Its not just unfare treatment, Its illegal and there is nothing we can do. I forgot to mention we did go to karaoke that was another joke ,the man running it was the rudest person on the ship he was upset also because he had to work another day [because of not docking} and he let everybody know he was pi--- Nancy last time cruiser with Carnival
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Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-02-23:
You admit the weather was the reason you could not dock, but you still blame the cruise line? You said they should have another plan - well what do you suggest? They gave you $25 per day to spend on the boat for each day you couldn't dock.

As far as your other complaints, did you not do any research before you booked your trip? Carnival is known for inexpensive cruises - and lots of add on charges. For your $199, you got your 4 days and 3 nights and your money's worth.
Posted by KenPC on 2006-02-24:
Did they try to sell you a Spell Checker? If they didn't, add that to your list of complaints!
Posted by CandyPickletoes on 2006-02-24:
Carnival Cruise line is a terrific cruise line. I cruised Alaska on the Spirit and it was a vacation I will NEVER forget, not only for the landscape but for the service on board, right down to the very last moment. Your angry that you weren't able to dock, but like you said, it isn't the cruise line's fault. Now, you say they refunded your dock fees, on both days (which I don't believe they should have had to do). When you do the math with approximately 2,500 people on board that comes out to approximately $125,000. I'm thinking that Carnival would have preferred to dock on those two days, don't you think? Cruise lines have many activities (all day long, all over the ship) that are included in your trip. There are free beverages (coffee, tea, juices) that you could have drank. There is such a thing as a "coke card" for which you pay a certain amount for on day one but then get unlimited amounts of soft drinks and water (totally worth the 40 or so bucks, I think).

Anyway, I'm sorry you didn't have a good time but cruising really is all about what you make of it. If you don't take advantage of the free activities offered on board, I think you are not getting your money's worth. JMHO!
Posted by CandyPickletoes on 2006-02-24:
*****Your angry should say You're angry***** oops!
Posted by ejack053824 on 2006-02-24:
Well said Candy! For the poster...shut your trap and be better "prepaird" the next time.
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Carnival Rude Workers
Posted by Coconut742005 on 09/01/2011
On August 25 2011, we boarded the Carnival cruise ship sensation, I am not giving them caps because they don't deserve it, we were supposed to go to Nassau and hurricane Irene was in our way, the travel agent (AAA) told us they may change to Cozumel, which is ok AAA called Carnival and we called they told us Nassau was ok and we were going 15 min before we boarded a man on his internet told us Carnival changed and we were going to the Keys, I got a passport for the Keys? They (carnival) did not tell us till last min., we have since learned that Carnival does this very often, can't they be honest.

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

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

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

Then, when it was finally over you had to fill out a paper about everything you bought overseas you HAD to fill it out, we didn't even leave the states. Someone should tell Carnival to be a lot nicer to customers, I will never sail with Carnival again, I am planning a Alaska cruise and it won't be with them. Yes I wrote Carnival many times and never received a reply, they took my money fast.
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Posted by jpr_jpr on 2012-07-08:
Carnival was once the industry leader. No more.
On cruise we paid extra $35 each for dinner at their superior private gourmet private restaurant sailing on the Conquest.
Service was worse than McDonald's. Food was terrible. Half raw pork chop was returned (unfortunately after it was tasted in the unusually dark dining area) and a "fresh" meal was brought 35 minutes later. After tasting again, and taking it to a light, discovered it was the very same one but they had microwaved it.
Chef was called out and he apologized and offered a new meal, but as all our table was finished eating, I requested a refund, and he agreed.
no refund ever provided, and by 1:00am that night I had food poisoning. Main desk phoned nurse on call to advise re cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. 20 minutes later, she sent up 2 Alka Seltzer tablets. Another passenger who saw my distress shared medicine he had brought on board.
On return, had extensive communications with different reps at Carnival.Promised but never received any refund.
A year later grandparents wanted to treat entire family to a cruise and Carnival's was the closest port for them; and years ago they did have a good cruise. I did not want to cruise again with them but family pressure persuaded me to contact them again.
This time, with the number of us traveling, they promised an upgrade meal for the family along with other on board credits.
When we attempted to retrieve these once on board, we were not only denied any upgrades or credits, but Carnival denied ever even speaking to us, let alone offering anything DESPITE the fact that I a had a copy of their email to me specifying it all.
After the ship's customer service supervisor sent a copy of this email to corporate, they acknowledged it on the last day of our cruise and once again denied any refund but magnanimously offered the same credits again for the next cruise.
Since then, by my best estimate, I believe I have persuaded at least 54 people who were planning a cruise to use another line. So far. Their refusal of the promised $35 refund has cost them approximately $45, 900. SO FAR!
Staff I had gotten to know all say it will only get worse. Their income was deteriorating. (Even their newest ship, Magic, was losing money.) Their solution was to reduce staff salaries and tell them to make it up on tips. What a fantastic business plan. Wonder how long they have left.
PS Remember that the Costa Concordia was a Carnival owned and run ship.
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On the verge of another cruise
Posted by Tony the parts man on 09/08/2010
I have spent the past month researching my next cruise. This time around I am married and we have a baby. I found this site by accident quite frankly, but I have to admit, after reading most of these stories, my plans are now up in the air. I am wondering how many of these complaints are economy based?

I know a few things can be taken with a grain of salt. People lie, or at least stretch the truth. I also know companies that entertain 100's of thousands of people annually cannot be expected to be perfect. And it is reasonable for a person to expect a full refund in most cases. Granted the cruise lines are about profit. And if you read this completely, you will see my tips, tricks and hints to cruising at the bottom of this post.

Because of these facts, I felt I would throw in my three cents on this subject. So let me start by saying I am not an employee of Carnival and everything you will read is 100% true and of my honest opinion.

As I stated above, I came across this site while researching my family's first vacation. Mainly I was looking into the Carnival MasterCard to see if the point's are worth the trouble. And in my opinion, it's NOT. The biggest reason that lead me to this conclusion is: I simply cannot Google a single positive comment about the card, the issuing company, detail to exactly how many miles = a cruise. So I have decided risking the ole credit rating for a measly $50-$100 discount would be stupid on my part.

As for my cruising history. I sailed on the Jubilee back around 2003. I enjoyed the cruise a lot! It was exciting and there was plenty to do to keep me busy and happy. Everything was perfect, even my tiny bottom of the boat room. I cannot recall a single complaint from that cruise beyond having to pay $27 for a soda card. I will touch on this again later...

So atlas! My opinions, views and advice on cruising with Carnival!

The food was fantastic! The service was what you would expect, perfect! And on top of perfect, they are (excluding those you have to come in contact with) mostly out of sight. Yes, that includes cleaning your room 2 times a day and you never catching them in the act! I don't know how they do it either, but they pull it off!

What you will learn on the boat is that there are so many things going on at one time, you will find yourself trying to decide if you want to go to "this" or "that" because most of the events overlap. You will either chose to miss a few things, or catch the opening of one, and the closing of another. Don't get me wrong, this is a GOOD thing! It beats walking around a boat all day with nothing to do.

Now I did get sick the night of the Formal, just my luck. I was taking my motion sickness pills but I am a seasoned fisherman and I don't believe that was the cause. I think I just had a bug and it went away by morning. Nothing to blame on the cruise, food or anything beyond nature.

On this particular cruise, a 4 day out of Galveston going to Cozumel. I was a bit disappointed that the stay in Mexico was only 7 hours. We had time for 1 excursion, a bit of shopping and we had dinner at a local "cafe". (No, I was sick BEFORE we ate there, so don't ask).

Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about my trip. It was low budget, entertaining and I spent 4 days on a big boat in the middle of nowhere. :)

The Good, Bad and the Ugly

The ugliest part of of this trip was being sick. While it was short lived and I was back in action, it was miserable. Mainly because there was NOTHING onboard to be purchased or given for flu like symptoms. No common cold meds, NOTHING! Ended up bumming something off a neighbor who had cruised before. The Bad: The time in port is short and seems to work in warp speed. 7 hours seems like 3 and the desire to check your watch with every step you take seem to speed things along rather than to slow them. The Good: It was a great time and an experience I will never forget.

Now, my last cruise was 5/08 on Ecstasy out of Galveston. This is the cruise my Girlfriend (soon to be wife) decided to go on. Once again, the people were great, room service was marvelous and everything went off without a hitch. EXCEPT!!! The food service had slipped. BADLY. The 24 hour pizza place is open 23 hours. I understand they have to clean, but the pizza was hardly edible. Unlike my first cruise, the pizza was great! Not this time around. And not only did the pizza suck, but all the meals in general seemed lacking. I will add this one note, I ordered a BLT delivered to the room and I tell you they can make a BLT. It must of had a 1/2 pound of bacon on it. My arteries were hardening just looking at it. I actually had to take bacon off to eat it.

This was a 5 day cruise with a stop over in Cozumel and Progresso. Cozumel had come a long ways since I had visited 5 years earlier. Progresso was in about the same shape Cozumel was back in '03. Not that is a bad thing, we had a good time in Progresso, and did the city tour excursion and enjoyed it.

The Good, Bad and Ugly: The ugliest part of this trip was simply the food. Nothing more. The Bad: Granted we had an Ocean View room and the window was dirty (from sea water I assume) we still has some awesome views of the ocean. It wasn't a big deal, but for $100 person more, you might expect a clean window. I did call and ask them about it and they made a valid point they have a lot of windows to constantly clean. I can see the labor burden plus the potential for evasion of privacy. They did offer me a nice gift on my next cruise but I told them I wasn't complaining, just inquiring about it. The Good: It was a good cruise and we had a wonderful time! I learned a lot of secrets and details on this cruise that I wish I had known before hand.

So with that out of the way, let's get to the the part that counts! The tips, hints and tricks!

I will start with the soda car. Since I hear it is now up to $40 per cruise, her is how to beat the price. You are allowed 2 drinks per trip with the card. You can also share the card since the employees rarely have time to do anything more than look at it. So if you have a party of 4 or more, pass that puppy around! And share the cost of it. ALSO note, Carnival will NOT tell you this but you are allowed to take a 12 pack of sodas on board at embarkation!

You are also allowed a case of bottle water! You have to put it in a suitcase, but who cares! it's nice to have bottle water in Mexico. not because the water is bad. Matter of fact, most of the tourist towns now have water treatment plants. But the peace of mind given to those who worry, bottle water is priceless. And in our case, we use it to mix baby formula.

Another net trick is to get to the terminal EARLY!!! If you depart at 4pm, they usually open the doors at noon, be there at 11, if the cruise is a sellout they open the doors early. Just don't expect luggage to be there when you get there.

Something else I found useful, once you are back home, they prefer you stay in your cabin and wait to be called. This is ok, you can catch an extra hour of sleep if you have a long drive ahead of you. BUT if you head down to the galley an hour before disembarking, you can get in the front of the line and to hell with all that waiting. This is great if you have a tight airline schedule.

Things to get use to on a Carnival Cruise. Cozumel. Almost every single cruise goes to Cozumel. So if you plan to cruise a lot, remember, they shut everything down when in port. If you are bored with Cozumel, stay aboard and SLEEP! Read a book, do something, do nothing!

Carnival provides soap and shampoo in the showers (as well as razors if you need an extra, just ask and they'll get you a couple), this is great if want to smell like you work in a hospital! I suggest bringing travel sizes of everything. Shampoo, toothpaste, old tooth brush, travel deodorant, soap ( I use the stuff I steal from hotels). The reason I use the travel sizes and the old brush is because I can just toss everything when I am done. No need to bring that mess home.

LESS IS MORE! At the beginning of your cruise they make you feel like you are on vacation. They help you with this and that, here and there. You can park and a bus will take you and luggage to the terminal. What they fail to mention is after the cruise, you have to carry all your baggage through the terminal to the buses that take you back to your car. A far cry better than the old days when we dropped people and luggage at the terminal and then drove 1/2 mile to park only to have to hike back to the terminal!! But none the less, do NOT expect any help with luggage AFTER the cruise.

Why do laundry on a cruise? Because it allows you to pack light! Read above for more details!! Plus it gives you something to do while you are in Cozumel for the 3rd time and not interested in going to port. Stay back, relax, do laundry and take some personal time.

The is a safe in the rooms. This is good and bad! It is good in the sense you can lock things away from other passengers, but don't confuse this for safety from the staff. Also, note that there is a lip on the bottom where the safe door closes. You can run your fingers in this crack. I suggest you do it. I found a. 5 carat diamond pendant some poor soul lost. And if you drag your jewelry out, you too could lose something of value.

My 2 cents on passports. Take them! The passport card is nifty, but if you lose it you are toast! Keep your passports in the safe and carry your passport card. If you lose the card you have a back up. You cannot fly with a passport card, its for auto and cruise travel only. So if an emergency arises and you don't have your Passport Book, chances are you not going to get anywhere fast. Also, on this note, EVERYONE is now required to have a passport, not just adults. if they are old enough to breath they are old enough for a passport. If you have kids, get theirs now! And get the pass port card as well. And go ahead and get a state id card. TX has no minimum age and I don't believe there is too much positive ID when you are not in your home country.

You should also note that Mexican hospitals DO NOT accept US Insurance. At least not as of my last sail date. They are cash money, you can't pay they don't work. Research foreign travel insurance polices before you cruise. Carnival offers one with restrictions. Something is better than nothing.

Pre-Payment. Don't pay in full. Do anything you can to pay as little as you can. Meaning DO NOT pay the tip in advance. If something goes wrong and you don't cruise, they get tipped for doing nothing. And getting your money back is about as likely as... well. It's not. Pay the deposit only then pay the rest. if something come sup last minute, bail out and keep more than half you money. Always put your cruise on a credit card. You might have something to fight back with if you use credit card, or even better some credit cards off trip protection.

You can Google trip insurance and find a bunch of companies willing to write cheap insurance. I found one that covers the three of us on our trip for $110. And that is 80% of paid up amount. Not too shabby.

And my last piece of advice.

Rooms. If you got the money to spend, by all means get the suite! Its spacious, you get VIP check in and a few other little treats. If you can't afford the suit, the balcony is nice so is the Ocean View. If those are out of your budget too, remember this. All you need is a place to sleep. So the smallest place is good enough far as I am concerned. You still get to do the same stuff as those in the fancy over priced rooms!

My BIGGEST complaint with the cruise lines: Infants don't travel for free. I have to pay $200 for my 6 month old to travel with us. Now, this would not be a big deal IF they provided diapers, formula and such. They don't even offer daycare during the day, just baby sitting after 10pm and it's cost an extra $6 an hour! Makes one wonder why you have to pay the $200 and whether I am interested in the cruise all together.

Hope this helps someone.

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Carnival FunPoints Mastercard is a dishonest company
Posted by Eric B on 08/25/2010
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE -- I have a Carnival FunPoints (reward) Mastercard issued by Barclays Bank Delaware. I realize that this credit card is not issued by Carnival Cruise Lines, but it does reflect poorly on Carnival when con people as this company is apparently allowed to use the Carnival name and has established a business relationship with Carnival.

Anyway, FunPoints are to be redeemed for statement credit AFTER booking a Carnival Cruise. I called Barclays before I booked my cruise and asked questions about the process. I was told to book any cruise with any travel agency, then to apply for the statement credit AFTER the cruise was booked. I had over 95,000 points at the time which converted to $1,590 in statement credit using their calculator (see http://www.mycarnivalMastercard.com/ ). I booked a suite on a Carnival cruise for $2,119.44 directly through Carnival. I waited a few days for the charge to be posted to my account, then tried to redeem my points online. Barclays only offered a statement credit of $1,200 in exchange for 96,000 points. I have called numerous times and was finally promised by a supervisor that the credit of $1,590 would be issued manually within 1 billing cycle. Although this "supervisor" declined to provide her last name or extension, she assured me that this was taken care of and noted in my account. I was informed today that I will not receive this credit and that there are no notes in the system saying such. I have also been trying unsuccessfully to resolve this with email and have an email from Barclays stating that I have enough points for the $1,590 in statement credit that was promised to me.

My history of trying to resolve this:
July 10th - called Barclays regarding use of FunPoints
July 12th - booked Carnival cruise for $2119.44 directly with Carnival
July 16th - charge posted, began calling for statement credit (called 5 or 6 times total)
July 22nd - finally spoke with female "supervisor" on the phone. She said $1590 credit would be issued manually within 1 billing cycle... said this was noted in the account
July 23rd - billing cycle ended
August 23rd - billing cycle ended
August 25th - now I am in my 3rd billing cycle, and have been told by a male "supervisor" that there are no notes about the statement credit of $1590 and that only $1200 can be issued unless I acrue a total of 126,946 points which will cover the entire $2119.44.

I have also emailed Barclays - July 16, July 19, July 26, July 27, and today.

I am furious and will not just drop this. The booklet that came with my rewards card states that the redemption amount increases at 75,000 points, which is worth $1250... but they only offer me $1200 for 96,000 points!!! Every person in customer service is in India. While they do speak fairly good English, they do not seem to understand and do not seem to have the authority or desire to resolve complaints. I was told that $1200 is their final offer and the supervisor had nothing more to say.

Please do not make the mistake of booking a cruise, then expecting the proper statement credit. I spent almost $100,000 on this rewards card to get a fair amount of credit and they refuse to honor it. I am NOT happy!!

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Posted by Alain on 2010-08-26:
Keep working on them and keep us updated, if you would, please.
Posted by oldisgood on 2010-08-26:
for the $1200 do they only deduct 75000 points and you still have 21000 left. That is how the Choice Hotel one works
Posted by Eric B on 2010-08-26:
they want the full 96,000 points for a $1200 statement credit. Using their own calculator at www.mycarnivalrewards.com, 96,000 points equates to a $1,601 statement credit.
Posted by Dee Dee on 2012-04-12:
I too have had the very same problem. I called Barclay and they quoted me $1,000 towards my cruise using my over 118,000 fun points. I am now trying to redeem the points and they want to give me $500. I have emailed Carnival CEO and whatever advise would be appreciated!
Posted by Rickey Smith on 2012-12-12:
I also tried to redeem my points as was told by the carnival rep about the mastercard funpoints but was not successful. Paid off the card and closed account, will not deal with Barclay/Carnival ever again! Scammers!!!
Posted by Tillie on 2013-07-14:
I had a similar encounter with Barclay also. I talked with everyone I possibly could until I had enough and contacted Better Business Bureau through internet. I figured it would still not make that much of a difference but to my surprise, it did. Barclay then credited my account for the amount that the points were suppose to be worth using their calculator.
Posted by Ryan on 2013-07-25:
I have a Barclay card and have around 80,000 points towards Carnival. Thanks for the info, I am very concerned about their dishonesty in honoring the points as promised.
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Be careful for water charges
Posted by AventuraFL on 01/04/2010
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Be careful, there is a scam with the water bottles. In the room and in the dinning room they place water bottles and no indication that there is a charge. Only on the 3rd night I was asked to sign a receipt in the dining room and realize that by then I was charged for 6 bottles $4.65 each. Service desk doesn't even want to talk to you. They are there only to sell more Carnival product. If you want the water, enjoy. Otherwise just ask them not to put it in your room/table.
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Posted by grandma005 on 2010-01-04:
What are you suppose to drink for water?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
Tap water on the ship is free. I know of no one that doesn't charge for bottled water.

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
Yeah. Most places that offer a bottle of water is going to charge you. Any hotel room I have stayed at, has a bottle of water sitting at the table. Of course they are going to bill you for it if you drink it. Its common sense. Same with restaurants. Didn't you even bother to ask anyone if they would charge you before you drank them? Seems like the smart thing to do, before guzzling 6 bottles.
Posted by redmx3racer on 2010-01-04:
Next time you are out to eat at a restaurant, order a bottle of water. You will most likely be charged for it.
I travel fairly often for work-while not on a cruise, anytime I see any "foodstuffs" in my hotel rooms I assume I will be charged for it unless it says complimentary on it.
The one and only cruise I ever went on we were informed we could drink from the tap as the water is filtered or whatever. I'm not sure if that is common or not.
Posted by memoryx57 on 2010-01-04:
$4.65 a bottle is sky high! However I don't think I'd want to be drinking water from a tap that comes from some holding tank on a ship. Of course you're probably stuck once you're on a ship tho.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
Well, if the water is filtered, then whats the difference? That or I would bring my brita filter with me....Last time i went on a cruise, I had one fll suitcase packed with drinks & snacks since I knew its going to cost a fortune for anything on the cruise.
Posted by Sparticus on 2010-01-04:
Bringing a water filter is a pretty good idea. I would not trust tap water from a Cruise ship.

There should have been a sign or something saying the water was not free. Just leaving it there is open to interpretation. I know that generally in hotels it is not free, but they always post a sign or note.

Since I have never been on a cruise, I might assume it was free since water is not so easily available on a ship. Especially since there was no notice posted.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
The water is just fine on the cruise ship, I've survived 4 of them.

In the buffet areas (avail 24/7), water is served just like you would get out of a self serve soda fountain, along with iced tea and juices (at least on Carnival).

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
"Next time you are out to eat at a restaurant, order a bottle of water." Therein lies the rub. The OP did not order the water, it was placed on the table. I'm not sure I wouldn't have assumed it was complimentary also, especially given the recent spate of shipboard illnesses.
Posted by Sparticus on 2010-01-04:
So maybe a good idea would be to bring your own water bottle and keep it filled via the filtered fountains in the buffet areas...
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-01-04:
Agree with MM. I doubt any bottled water is filtered and purified any better than tap water from a cruise ship, and you can get that free in the dining areas. Normally I'd call common sense absence but if those bottles were on a table in the cabin, as oppose to a frig, and no sign stating differently, I think I too would suspect they were a complimentary gift, like room coffee.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
I believe the water price is listed on the minibar menu/price list in your cabin.

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
You would think that the water in their tanks would be cleaned and filtrated well....I mean it only makes sense, if you have 2000# people using the water to drink, and shower with.....
Posted by Inat on 2010-01-04:
i wonder how often they clean their potable water tanks? I've never been on a cruise but if I did, I would drink the bottled water or just live on rum. Likely, the latter. Oh and... Norwalk virus - most common source is fouled water.
Posted by Class Advocate on 2010-01-04:
I am probably the only person responding to this OP that agrees with the point: If a hotel, cruise line or any venue is charging you for bottled water, then it should be clearly disclosed. Many places do not charge. Water bottles, not in a mini bar, should have a card next to the water bottles if there is a charge.
Posted by goduke on 2010-01-04:
I agree with you Advocate. Anything that's going to be charged should be disclosed somewhere.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
Same here. Anything (especially on a cruise ship) that will be charged for should be clearly marked with a price. Sodas and alcoholic beverages are charged for, but you must ask for them. The same should apply to the bottled water.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
They charge for just about everything on a cruise ship, I would never just assume that something is free.

Before my first cruise, I did my research and knew that the bottled water was not free.

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
PC, my minibar was magically restocked everyday if I drank pop or consumed liquor from it, I didn't have to ask.

Posted by Ytropious on 2010-01-04:
Wasn't there someone you could have taken the water to, unopened, and asked "hey is this free"? Would have solved the problem.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
I would think a price label on the bottle would be in order here just like you find on the water bottles in a lot of hotels. Probably not going to happen though because it would certainly cut down on the $4.65 per bottle water sales. I gotta think that water money is pure profit.

OP you did a good thing sharing your story with the world. Perhaps your lesson learned will save somebody else a 'lesson learned'. Good review.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
Ms. M. was there a price list on the mini-bar or an in room menu that listed the prices? I've only cruised once and we didn't have a mini-bar. Probably a good thing, too. :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
PC, yes there was a price list for the minibar, which included the price for the bottled water.

I only had minibars on Carnival. Princess didn't have them for balcony stateroom guests.

Also and interesting FYI to others : the minibar is locked and you must ask your room steward to unlock it the first day after boarding (if you plan on using it).

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
Posted by momsey on 2010-01-04:
I'm going to guess that the price of the water was posted somewhere. Carnival does this every day. They know the rules and they don't want people like the OP getting irate that they got charged for something they didn't know about.

I went on a cruise once and it was clear that the bottle of water was not free.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
You could be right, Momsey. It was probably listed in the in-cabin menu for room service. Who knows?
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Carnival happy to leave mother and daughter behind while rest of family cruises!
Posted by Never again on Carnival on 08/22/2009
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- We recently booked a cruise out of San Diego with Carnival. We booked in late June through Expedia.

We worked with an Expedia agent over the phone and he also worked with a Carnival agent over the phone because we needed two cabins near each other. We are a family of five, including three kids (ages 12, 12 and 15). After forever on the phone, we gave our credit card to the agent and our reservation for two cabins was confirmed.

Fast forward to August 3rd. After flying from our home in Florida to the West Coast for the Mexican Riviera cruise, we learn *the morning* of embarkation that we actually only have one room for three (husband and two sons) booked and that the room for my daughter and I was cancelled in late June because the payment "was declined".

Interesting in that we gave our credit card over the phone at the time of booking and when we hung up, our reservation had been fully confirmed.

The Carnival agent we spoke to the morning we were supposed to embark on the cruise said:

1. "We sent an email informing you of the cancellation." --> False. The agent actually gave the husband my email address. It was correct, but there is nothing in any email folders including the Spam folder from Carnival - or Expedia, even though the agent said Carnival had emailed us.

2. "Your credit card company denied the payment transaction." --> False. Our credit card company has confirmed that there was one successful charge from Carnival (which turns out to be only one of the rooms - God only knows why). There were no denied transactions against our card, nor any other attempts from Carnival to charge the card. We have now called our credit card company twice to verify this and have asked Carnival for the unique transaction ID related to this charge. Carnival has yet to provide that information.

3. "Sorry. We are fully booked and have no solution for you. Call your travel agent." --> How's that for customer service? There wasn't even an attempt by the Carnival agent to get us on the ship as a family.

So, Carnival Cruise basically gave us the bird. The agent knew full well that for some bizarre reason half of a reservation had been cancelled and now - *two hours* before embarkation - there is a situation where a mother and 12-year old daughter are going to be left 3000+ miles from their home while the father and two sons cruise for 5 days to Mexico.

We called Expedia. They managed to find a room on the ship that Carnival agents told us was 100% sold out. Of course, we had to pay Carnival $570 more due to an increased room rate and the loss of $150 in shipboard credits that were a part of our original reservation price. Of course, Carnival won't refund even one penny of that.

At this point, our options were:

1. Cancel the cabin reserved for my husband and two sons and lose $1300+ that we know we'll never see again. *And* scramble to find - and pay for - a place to stay for 5 days in San Diego until our August 8th flight back home to Florida.

2. Pay $570 more so that my daughter and I can be with my husband and sons on what was to be the highlight of our summer vacation, our "family fun cruise."

3. Wave goodbye to Dad and the boys and then hope that my daughter and I can find a place to stay in San Diego while the boys are on our family vacation (would have been miserable for all involved and, of course, costly.)

Repeated emails with Carnival's "Customer Care" representatives have gotten us nowhere. We still don't even know why this happened.

I requested the transaction ID of the supposed failed credit card attempt and the representative sent me a denial code that is in no way unique to "my" transaction and one that my credit card company doesn't even recognize. I have a feeling that Carnival knows exactly what happened, but prefers that we do not.

How does only one of two cabins in a reservation get paid? How is half of a family reservation cancelled? How does no one find the time to notify the family that their vacation has been ruined? We still don't have any answers to these questions. We are repeat Carnival "cruisers" and Carnival had all the information for our family on file.

Bottom line is we will NEVER cruise again on Carnival or any of their sister companies and will advise all friends and family to do the same.

It's a shame as my husband and I were planning to take a Yachts of Seabourn cruise for our upcoming 20th anniversary. But, that's another Carnival company so we'll be going with another cruise line.

Fortunately, there are many other cruise lines that I'm sure would be happy to have us as customers.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-22:
I have a question: was your credit card billed back in June when you made the reservations? if so, you could have seen the issue immediately.

What about the emails tha snail mail carnival sent couple weeks before the cruise? did you not notice at any point that the reservation was not accurate?

Posted by Doctor Charlie on 2009-08-22:
I don't get it - didn't you see that they didn't bill you the full amount?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-22:
What about an itenerary? Where is it? All reputable companies provide one after payment is received.
Posted by Eloise on 2009-08-22:
Didn't you notice that your credit card balance was no wear near as high as it should have been?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-22:
I hang out on the Redneck Riviera. It's awesome.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-08-22:
Were these two reservations booked together or separately, and were they booked directly through Carnival or through Expedia?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-22:
Soaring, read the first two sentences again. That'll answer your question.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-08-22:
Thanks John but it still doesn't say if the two cabin reservations were processed together or separately.

Seems like a situation where Expedia didn't pay Carnival for one of the reservations.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-22:
I dont see it that way Soaring. The first two sentences stated they booked through Expedia. Why would a mother who is booking a vacation for her husband and three children book at two different times?

Anyway, an itenerary would have spelled it all out. I'd like to know what happened to it and what it said.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-08-22:
It may have been setup by the OP at the same time as one booking, but behind the scenes, Expedia may have booked the two cabins as two separate reservations, and one of them fell through.

Needless to say, as the acting travel agent, Expedia is the one that needs to make it right and refund the difference in fare.

Here is contact information for Expedia:
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-22:
I hear what you are saying, Soaring. If that is what happened and two seperate bookings were made behind the scene, that is not the OP's problem. She made the reservations and has no control over how it is processed by either Expedia or Carnival. I'd still like to know what was initially charged to the credit card (one room or two)and what the itenerary showed.
Posted by Never again on Carnival on 2009-08-22:
Wow. I'm surprised at the speedy comments. Reasonable questions and I'm happy to answer them.

Yes, our credit card was charged in June for the reservation. There was one charge from Carnival, which is what we were expecting as we thought we had made one reservation (with two cabins).

Yes, we should have caught that it was for $1300+ but should have been a little over $2000. We didn't catch that, though. To be honest, I look for charges I'm *not* expecting and I didn't even think to compare the amount of the charge to the reservation when the credit card bill came in. I probably would have noticed two charges, though, and questioned it.

When we made the reservation, we called Expedia because we wanted two cabins close to each other. So, we did the entire reservation over the phone with an actual person (!) and, at that time both cabins were booked. The Expedia guy kept putting us on hold to talk directly to Carnival to get this all worked out.

In my mind, that's one reservation. At the very least it should be "referenced" or "tied" to the other room, shouldn't it? But the bottom line is, as the customer, we made a reservation for two cabins.

We gave our credit card over the phone and all appeared to go through fine. To our knowledge, we were confirmed and paid in full as of the day our reservation was placed. Because the cruise was only 5 or so weeks away, we had to pay in full immediately at the time of booking - so, I'm not even sure how we could get off the phone with them and then some days later not have a reservation!?

My husband was actually the one on the phone making the reservation. I was sitting at the table beside him the as I was concerned about the location of the rooms since we had to split up the family. When the reservation was finished, we had the actual room numbers and confirmation code.

Although I didn't think anything of it at the time and assumed we were booked under one reservation, we did receive a confirmation code along with each room number. I had programmed all of our vacation plans into TripIt and had this recorded.

We didn't receive anything in the mail from Carnival (snail mail or email to my knowledge) regarding the cruise. Not for either room. I work full time, had three kids home for the summer and, honestly, didn’t even think about it. I guess I figured we were paid and good to go. Never in a million years did I expect such a mess – I’d never set my family up for that.

We did go to the Carnival website several days prior to the cruise to print our documentation, but it was down for maintenance. Then we went to print it the night before the cruise, but couldn’t because it was within a “24-hour period”. Since we had cruised once before with no trouble at all, we figured we'd be fine - we had all the documentation we needed (passports, conf #, etc) and we also already had "accounts" with them. But, we did call them first thing in the morning just to see if there was anything special we needed to know – that’s when we learned we only had one room booked.

Regarding the actual charge and money -- I don't know exactly how the billing works and how Expedia is paid by Carnival, but I do know that the charge on our credit card was processed by Carnival and not Expedia. Carnival is the one holding the actual funds, including and especially the $570 additional we were forced to pay.

Either way, Carnival won and we lost. What I don’t know is why they don’t really tell us what happened with the charge – they told us it was “decline code 0117” which tells us nothing at all. Our credit card company doesn’t recognize the code, but assures us there was never a declined charge (to Carnival or otherwise). We use this card all the time and pay it off each month – it wasn’t an issue with our card. I just can’t figure out how one room got paid and the other didn’t.

Whether it was Expedia’s issue or Carnival’s issue, I don’t think we’ll ever know. But, what really gets me is that the Carnival agent didn’t even attempt to fix the issue. Not even a solution like… “Well, I do have one cabin, but it is going to cost you a few hundred dollars more.” Nope. They just said, “Sorry. We’re full. Call your travel agent.”
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-08-23:
Well like I said, it isn't over, as since it happened through no fault of your own, you are owed a refund of the difference in fare you had to pay.

If the contacts in my link from earlier won't help, then I suggest writing for help from Christopher Elliott. He is a good travel troubleshooter and should be able to help you isolate the issue and assist you with a resolution.
Posted by Never again on Carnival on 2009-08-23:
Thanks, Soaring. I will definitely take your advice and try the links/contact info that you sent.
Posted by sensualspirit on 2009-09-07:
Sorry to hear of the nightmare you went through.

Carnival doesn't care about their customers. That is what I experienced in this cruise. They are highly incompetent & their attitude is "you have to prove to us we made the mistake" even if the circumstances show the logic to be on the customer's side.

I will NEVER sail with Carnival again & will be posting my experience (not the 10 pages LOL) so others don't book with them.

Let us know if Elliott helps you.

Also, can someone list all the ships/companies Carnival owns so I can avoid giving them my money in the future.


Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-07:
I've cruised with Carnival 3 times, with zero problems. I'm not saying that someone else didn't have an issue. We used a travel agent.

Good luck Michelle, Carnival owns many ships.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-07:
This might help, Michelle.
Posted by Never again on Carnival on 2009-09-09:
Here are cruise lines owned or partially owned by Carnival:

Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn Cruise Line in North America; P&O Cruises, Cunard Line and Ocean Village in the United Kingdom; AIDA Cruises in Germany; Costa Cruises in Italy and P&O Cruises Australia in Australia.

It's quite a long list, but there are other cruise lines. I know that my family will be avoiding any and all cruise lines with a tie in to Carnival.

They were never even willing to provide us with information as to what happened to our "missing" reservation - all we asked for was a transaction ID so our credit card company could locate information on the supposed transaction that failed. My credit card company knows there was never an attempt to charge the card and Carnival knows it, too, but insists the card was denied.

If they could even provide a transaction ID, I would believe there was an attempt to charge our credit card, but they can't (or won't) provide any information and don't even give a reason as to why not... "We consider this issue closed. Sorry."

The lack of concern shown has been interesting to say the least - and we were repeat Carnival cruisers.

We'll spend our travel dollars with a company that appreciates the business and I will urge all friends and family to do the same.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-12:
Never, I have one question...did you book through Expedia for your previous cruises?
Posted by Barty on 2009-10-15:
Wow.. I feel bad for you on this one.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-10-15:
bet your hubby and the boys would have had a great time alone, lotsa chicks to scope out! LOL! just kidding.
Posted by Never again on Carnival on 2009-10-16:
LadyScot -- yes, we used the exact same service for the previous one. The really odd thing is that this time we didn't receive *any* information from Carnival prior to the cruise (no mailing, no emailing, etc - nothing). We were so busy with kids out of school, work and getting ready to travel that I didn't even realize it until we got back. I do know we received all that info - via snail mail - for the first cruise we took. Not sure why we didn't for this last Aug09 cruise, considering they did have one cabin reserved for us. I really feel this was a Carnival issue and they don't want to recognize it.
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