Carnival Inspiration cruise – Sept 13-> 16, 2013 to Ensenada, Mexico
First a little about me. This is my tenth Carnival cruise – yes, I am now platinum. This is my 23rd cruise overall. I have been on one Fantasy class ship before, the Carnival Paradise, before it was upgraded, so now I can compare the two ships, as the Inspiration has been fully upgraded. This is my first time on the Inspiration.
The cruise started off on a bit of a sour note for me. I booked this cruise last year on an Early Saver rate. However, I booked the cruise for September 27 -> 30, 2013. Carnival sold that cruise to full ship charter, so I had to move. That was no big deal, until I found out Carnival would not honor the old rate. It was Carnival’s decision to move me, not mine, and I was supposed to have a protected rate. The new cruise (this cruises) was $100 higher. Eventually the price fell until it was only $20 more. Then there was another price drop. However, rather than give me the $20 price drop Carnival gave me a $25 on board credit (OBC). Then there was another price drop. I asked my agent to see if I could take advantage of the new price drop. Turns out that if I did, I would lose the OBC, so my agent told Carnival to keep it were it was. However, the Carnival representative that my agent was talking to had already changed it, and because the old fare was no longer available, could not change it back. Though my agent asked a supervisor to put me back in the same position I was in, the supervisor refused.
Neither incident by itself really bothered me. After price reductions I am only out five dollars and as things worked, the new date actually works out better for me. But the whole thing has left a bad taste in my mount. As a result, I not saying I will not cruise on Carnival, as there are at least two more Carnival cruises I want to go on. However, I not going to reward such poor customer service with the same loyalty. It took me thirteen years to get ten cruises on Carnival. It will take me a lot longer to get my next ten. My next three cruises at least will be on Royal Caribbean, which will give me eleven cruises on Royal Caribbean.
As it turns out, a friend called me around July and asked about my cruising schedule, which I e-mailed to him. Then he asked if he could join me on this cruise. Of course, and since I had already made final payment, I just put him in touch with my agent. It cost an extra $30 to add him. Then two of his friends joined us. It is always a lot more fun when friends join me (or I join them).