Saturday I was contacted by a Guest Solutions 3rd tier manager who was more than helpful at not only clarifying Carnival's policy, but understanding of my situation. She offered a few diff. options which I won't fully disclose but needless to say, she went the extra mile to make sure we were taken care of.
As I explained to Michelle, said manager with guest solutions, having two people under her repeat over and over that there was absolutely nothing they could do and taking my situation up the line was futile and "pointless" was not the right way to handle things. Had one of them simply said they didn't have authority to do anything but could put me in touch with someone who could, or had the final say so, it would have come off a lot better.
Kudos to Carnival for taking care of a 1st timer with their line and even though I won't be cruising with them, I'd definitely consider them in the future.