Carnival Cruise Line Complaint - My Letter to Carnival Cruise Lines That Has So Far Gone Unanswered
To Whom It May Concern:
I hate writing a letter of this sort, but I feel that I need to in order to defend my brother, xxxx and his wife, xxxx. For over a year they planned/paid for in full, a wedding on your Carnival Cruise Sensation. The wedding date was to be March 28th, 2010. Unfortunately, on this day a supposed disgruntled (as described by one of your crew members) passenger on the previous voyage made a drunken bomb threat. I understand and appreciate the severity of this situation and truly appreciate any safety precautions that occurred because of it. But the events that followed once your ship was cleared of any danger, was all entirely uncalled for.
(Please keep in mind when reading, we were told we had to be OFF the ship by 5:30pm). We were supposed to board the Sensation around 10:00am the morning of March 28th, because of the bomb threat we were told we had to wait until further notice. Around 1:00pm (ceremony time was to be at 1:30pm) we were able to board a shuttle that took the wedding party and most of the guests over to the port where the boat was waiting. We waited outside for quite sometime while your staff tried to figure out what to do with us. We were then bussed to another location, which seemed to be another terminal and were told we had to fill out a health questionnaire and would be cleared for entry onto the ship, also that the ship would was being repositioned and would pull up to the terminal we were at to pick everyone up. We then waited until 2:50pm before hearing anything else and were told we were to get on a “VIP” bus to take us back to the original terminal to board. This venture took over an hour due to heavy traffic and a drawbridge that we had to wait for. Once we entered the original terminal and made our way through the metal detectors, we were handed the same health questionnaire to fill out (why couldn’t we have just filled it out at the original terminal??). We did not get to board the ship until almost 4:30pm. When we boarded not only did the ship smell like stale urine, it had an overall feeling of being dirty. We were told we could get food in your main cafeteria as a courtesy since we had all been waiting around for so long and hadn’t eaten (mind you, breakfast was supposed to be served to the wedding party and guests at 10:30am on board that was paid for by the bride and groom). We noticed people swimming in the pool and lounging in the hot tubs and lounge chairs while being rushed through towards your cafeteria (and how long had they been on the boat for before we were able to board? Come to find out, at least 2 hours). No sooner did we get a plate of food were we told we had 5 minutes to get to the room that the ceremony was in so we could have the ceremony and get off the ship. So, we left our uneaten plates of food and rushed for the room. Well, here we did more waiting…. waiting….and more waiting. Finally at 5:25pm my brother’s fiancé was finally able to walk down the aisle in order to get married.
The wedding official spoke extremely fast through the entire thing so we could be off the ship by 5:30pm, which resulted in an over all feeling of being rushed. We were then taken to the room where the reception was supposed to be held. The reception was non-existent. It was a joke. The bride and groom were rushed through a bite of cake. The HORRIBLE piano player played Elton John’s “Your Song” twice in a row then stopped. Next, the announcement was made that the safety drills were starting. In filed the passengers that were assigned to our reception room, they made a beeline for our hors d’oeuvres table, hors d’oeuvres that we were not able to try for ourselves. When they were told that the food was for the wedding party more then one passenger said something to the tune of “oh well, the food is out and we’re hungry”. We also were not able to experience the open bar service that was paid for, so why could these random passengers indulge in what we were paid for and were supposed to enjoy ourselves but could not? And what in my opinion is the best part of any wedding; the cake; only the bride and groom were able to have a bite, just one bite. The ice sculpture on display that was paid for by the bride and groom was dripping all over because it was melting. Who knows how long it was really out for waiting for the reception to start?
We left the ship around 5:40pm. When we were off the boat, one of the security guards grabbed my arm and rudely said to me (because she over heard me talking about our experience) “get over it, no one got hurt”. Seriously? This had NOTHING to do with the bomb threat from earlier in the morning. The disorganization and lack of concern for a party that was paid for in full on your ship was very disheartening. This was supposed to be one of the happiest day of my brother’s and his wife’s life. Instead it was filled with stress and worry.
I feel that out of the $2,800 wedding package my brother and his wife paid for, the measly $1,111.30 is a slap in the face. The disorganization, lack of concern and rudeness by your employees was uncalled for. $1,000.00 refund for food? Seriously? You think that is generous? Especially after everything I explained. Then a $111.30 for the piano player who honestly, I do not see how you can charge anyone to listen to his horrible rendition of an Elton John classic not once, but twice in a row before he stopped should never have been billed for in the first place. Talk about a slap in the face.
I would hope that after you review all means of records from the day of March 28th, 2010, you would see that we were more then cooperative and tried to keep composure and a positive outlook on things. But what it comes down to is that it was just a mess based on Carnival Cruises part. A refund in full, not just part, is beyond expected and is just overall the right thing to do considering the mishaps on Carnival’s part.
Word of mouth is everything these days. Do you think out of the 27 guests, along with the bride and groom, any of them will have something nice to say about this experience? I already talked one good friend out of having a destination wedding through your cruise line after describing our issues. I have 391 friends on Facebook; I have already updated my status more then once in regards to thinking twice before using your cruise line.