Carnival Cruise/Port Of Charleston - Sink or Swim
Carnival Departure From Port of Charleston - Complaint
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- 2 months ago my husband and I booked a cruise with Carnival leaving on May 19th from Port of Charleston, South Carolina. We booked online and never spoke with a human being except when final payment was due. No one ever explained to us as first time cruisers that proof of citizenship could only be an ORIGINAL birth certificate or a passport(which you cannot obtain without ORIGINAL birth certficate). Upon arriving at port which was a four hour drive, we were pulled aside and detained while they decided to let us sail or not. My husband did not have his bc but he showed driver's license, voter registration(proof of citizenship) and any other legal documents that we thought would help.
After about an hour, we were told that we could not sail. The lieutenant at port authority even cracked jokes about maybe if my husband worked for homeland security he could let us slide. We were ushered to the terminal at which point "Kaye" actually made a copy of his drivers license(for this she did not explain) and told us there was no way he could board..Now of course we were humiliated, embarrasssed and distraught and were given a paper to sign stating that while he wasn't allowed to board I could still go WITHOUT him but that I had refused and therefore could not receive a refund of the almost $1000 dollars we paid for this trip.
Now tell me why would I board a ship with 500 strangers for 5 days without my husband?? They were rude and uncaring and when I called to speak with an actual Carnival agent, she was just as short and rude despite my stress..what I want to know is why couldn't we board and have a bc faxed to port authority during our sail (as this was a Saturday and no offices were open upon departure date)? Why didn't someone just out of the goodness of their heart say ok you paid all this money you have forms of i. d., boarding passes etc.? Why can't Carnival at least reimburse HALF our money or offer to reschedule us for another time? No one did ANYTHING to try and ease the pain of having been denied access to a trip we looked so forward to!
I was devastated and defeated with nothing to show for it. I've never met people like this in all my 43 years..I felt like I'd lost a close family member when we left that port. Carnival certainly needs to retrain their customer service and at least give a courtesy call to first timers to make sure they understand the rules because no where in the copies I made from registration did it say anything about birth certificates.! Very distraught, depressed and disappointed and out of $1000 dollars of hard earned money..