Carnival Cruise Line Complaint - Sensation is not so sensational
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!