Carnival Cruise Line Complaint - Vacation Nightmares
To Whom It May Concern:
The purpose of this letter is to apprise Carnival Cruise Lines of my extreme dissatisfaction regarding my recent sailing on Carnival Sensation on September 16, 2007 from Port Canaveral, Florida.
My Complaints are as follows:
• Cabin Configuration
In June 2007 I changed my cabin from a standard cabin to a wheelchair accessible cabin. Upon doing so I was told that there would be sufficient room in the cabin to successfully maneuver a wheelchair inside our cabin. However, upon entering our cabin, we immediately realized that this was not the case. The primary reason for this was the Roll-Away Bed. Once it was opened, it was absolutely impossible to open the wheelchair while in the room. There was not even enough space to get from the bed at the window to the rest room. Through out the duration of our cruise we were literally jumping over beds to get to the restroom. On the first night of our cruise, I was injured while trying to get from one bed to the other in order to use the restroom. In order to move around in the room, my mother and I had to push the two (2) beds together (upon suggestion from the Chief Purser on 9/17/07). Even with the new configuration I still had to jump over a bed to get to the restroom. This is completely unacceptable.
When we got to our room our Television Set did not even work. It took them several hours to finally show up to fix it and then we had to wait for someone else to come and remove our ceiling to get to the problem. We did not even get a Television Remote until 10:00 PM after I had called several times requesting it.
There was an unbearable cigarette smell in the cabin through out the entire duration of the cruise. Housekeeping had to continually spray deodorizer in the room just so that I could stay in the room because the cigarette smell was aggravating my asthma and my mother and sister’s allergies.
• Dining Room Service
On the first night of the cruise we did not eat dinner until almost 8:00 PM even though we were seated at approximately 6:20 PM. When they finally served our dinner, two 2 Steak Dinners had to be sent back because they were completely rare when they were requested as Medium Well. Three (3) baked potatoes had to be sent back as well for the same reason, they were undercooked. For the remainder of the cruise dinner services went on in a similar fashion. We never ate dinner before 7:30 PM. Two (2) of the nights my mother did not even eat her dinner because it took so long and we had to order sandwiches at around midnight.
Because it took so long to get dinner we were forced to miss the Captain’s Cocktail Party.
• Lack of Food Selection
There was an extremely limited selection of lunch foods available on the Lido Deck for Lunch and the Main Dining Room was not even open for lunch except for Wednesday, and the selection there was even worse.
• Lack of Activities on Board
There were hardly any activities for those who do not drink or gamble so often times we stayed in our cramped room. And when there were activities, they were planned extremely far apart so that we were often left roaming the ship with nothing to do.
The one activity we were looking forward to was the Midnight Buffet with Ice Sculptures as we have seen on your other cruises. We were severely disappointed when all the ship offered was a Mexican Buffet on the Lido Deck at Midnight. When I asked about the Midnight Buffet with Ice Sculptures, I was told that Carnival only has them on 7 Night Cruises. I was on a 5 Day Cruise and another 4 Day Cruise on Carnival and they offered the Buffet. I know that several other guests were disappointed by this information as well.
• Lack of Information/Assistance
On the last night of our cruise we apparently hit a rough patch of weather, because the ship began rocking back and forth rather violently. Every where we looked people were feeling the motion of the waves against the ship. Several people were visibly “Sea Sick” for lack of a better word. This horrible rocking sensation lasted from about 6:00 PM Wednesday until approximately 5:00 AM Thursday. We were extremely concerned and every crew member that we asked had no answer as to what was going on. We were so sick that we were unable to sleep. During this entire ordeal not once did anyone come on over the ships intercom to explain what was going on or ease our fears. It took several days after we got off the ship for the motion sickness to clear up.
As a result of the rough weather my mother became very ill and it took four (4) of us to get her back to our cabin. She was severely nauseous and it was apparent to all that we needed help, but instead of helping us, every member of the crew that saw us took one look at my mother and literally ran the other way. One crew member even made a comment to another co-worker that they should get out of the way before my mother threw up on them. If it had not been for the help of 2 fellow guests my sister and I would never have been able to get my mother to our cabin. This behavior from the crew was completely unacceptable.
• Lack of Debarkation Order
Instructions for disembarking the ship were clearly provided. However, there were no members of the crew to actually ensure that those instructions were followed, specifically when it came to people with disabilities.
Guests with wheelchairs were told to wait in the Internet Café on the Empress Deck. However, when we arrived there was no room for all the wheelchairs because others with out disabilities had decided that this would be a good place for them to wait to get off the ship, despite the fact that they had been given specific areas where they could wait until their section was ready to disembark. It was absolute chaos trying to maneuver the wheelchairs into areas that would not block the flow of traffic, and rather than correcting the situation, the few crew members that did pass us just allowed it, leaving those in wheelchairs to fend for themselves.
This “vacation” was such an absolute disaster from day one that if we had had sufficient funds we would have flown home from Freeport (our first port of call). I have never had such a horrific experience. I don’t believe that anyone should have had to endure what we went through. We paid for this “vacation” in expectation of this being a relaxing trip for us and instead it was an absolute nightmare.
I feel that the 10% Off our next Cruise on Carnival that was offered to us by the Purser on board is an insult. I am not certain that we will ever sail with Carnival again. Due to the obvious hardship that my family and I had to endure I am requesting a refund of $350.00. I would like this refund to be applied directly to my Visa (the same card used to pay off the cruise) at your earliest convenience.
I contacted Customer Service on 9/21/07 via the Carnival Website and have yet to receive a response. Quite frankly I am disappointed at Carnival’s lack of Customer Service when it is in regards to dissatisfied customers.