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Old July 16th, 2001, 02:52 PM
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Default Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked off

Author: Sheila (---.clt.bellsouth.net)
Date: 07-16-01 13:32

This is our 12th cruise and most of the cruises have been with Carnival Cruise Lines. This was the once in a life time cruise that involved the entire family a total of 14 paying passengers and also my parents 54th wedding anniversary.

This situation concerns my hushand, my daughter age 3, my son age 9 and myself. I have attempted to contact Carnival Guest Relations with no results. If you have any input please contact me at caribnsol88@hotmail.com.

We enrolled our children in Camp Carnival as we had done on every cruise. Our 9 year old was eager to participate as he had done in the past. He talked about how much fun he had and the special things he got to do when he went. This was a different cruise this time.

When we walked into the Camp Carnival, which was a very small room, it contained the minimum "to get by" toys for small children. No nap area and one disgruntled care giver. We had pages of paperwork to complete and then we were told that my 9 year old could sign himself out anytime without parent supervision. The care givers at Camp Carnival required us to wear a pager due to our 3 year old daughter. We understood this was a good idea but if we were on a shore excursion how were we supposed to contact the ship? We were told that the children could only stay in Camp Carnival for only 6 hours each day and that we were required to pick them up for meals. If we were on a tour we copuld make arrangements for a fee to have the children taken to the buffett for lunch. This was not what was published in the brochures and definitly not what we had imposed on us in the past.

Day 1 - We picked up our children after 5 hours and 49 min. The care giver was rude and very short in responding to our questions concerning what type of day our children had. Our son stayed in the room with his sister as we had asked him to do. The care giver stated that "we encourage the older kids to come and go and we have other activities for them to go to in other parts of the ship." I explained that I did not want my son running loose on the ship with out adult supervision. I was told that was a responsibility of the child and parent.

Day 2 - My son asked that he not have to go back to Camp Carnival. He also stated that he was not allowed to participate with the other kids in the age group because he was told that he had to sign himself out to be able to participate. He knew that this was not acceptable by us. We did not use the services of Camp Carnival on this day.

Day 3 - We were in Dominica. We took the children to Camp Carnival due to having a shore excursion at 100pm. We told our son that if he had to sign himself out to be able to participate in the activities for his group that he could do so. We arrived back at Camp Carnival at 515pm as soon as we got in from the shore excursion. We were then fined by the camp care giver. This was a fine of $8.00 for extra child care due to not being back from the shore excursion by 500pm. My husband signed the fine and I took this up with the Purser. The purser verified that the shore tour did return late and removed the fine from our sign and sail card. This was not over the 6 hour limit that had been set by Camp Carnival Staff.

That evening my son stated to us that we had been discussed by the care givers and that the care givers had been "mean" to our daughter. By screaming at her and making her stay within a closed area and not being able to play with the other children. We went back to the pursers office and attempted to get to the bottom of this. The purser stated that he would check into it and get back to us.

One of the care givers called our stateroom and said that there had been a huge misunderstanding. She also stated that the fine for being late had been removed for our sign and sail card. She stated that our daughter was a delight and there was not a problem with her staying at Camp Carnival. Then 3 young girls came to our stateroom and asked to speak to me. The young girls were the care givers at the Camp Carnival. One young lady handed me the pager that my husband returned to he when he had picked up the kids. They said that the pager had already been charged to our sign and sail card ---amount $75.00----that we were responsible for it until Friday. My husband stated that we would not be using their services anymore. I then explained to him that we had no choice but to use them because of the shore tours that did not allow children. My husband agreed to keep the pager and stated that he would bring the kids in the morning before the tour. He also tipped each of the girls $5.00 each and asked that they take good care of our little ones.

Day 4 - We took our children to Camp Carnival. Our son and daughter did not want to go back. We took them against our better judgement. The shore tour that we had scheduled would not allow our children to participate. We arrived back at our ship at 420pm.

My husband went to Camp Carnival to get the children. He found that we were being fined for the second time this was the amount of $5.00 due to picking our daughter up after 400pm. Our son had signed himself out and no one knew where he was because the group he was in was not at the location stated in the paper.

He was demanded to sign the fine and that he could not take our daughter until it was signed. He was not to bring either child back to Camp Carnival because they were not being picked up on time whether it was the tours being late or not.

He refused to sign the fine and the care giver refused to give him our daughter until this was signed and handled. My husband then went past the care giver to get our daughter from behind an enclosed fenced area. The care giver called security. This story esculates from here.

My husband makes his way back to our stateroom and informs me of the situation. My son was there and stated that the care giver had "smacked" our daughter. I proceded to remove her clothes and found an adult hand print on her back and well as fresh bruises and scraps on her legs.

Security knocks on our door when my husband opens it the security guard grabs my husbandby the left arm and forced him into the hallway. The security guard stated that the hotel manager wanted to see him NOW!

My husband, myself and my daughter went to the pursers office in the main lobby where the situation became even larger. The hotel manager was not there so we took this up with ther purser. The purser made several calls but did not locate the hotel manager. We waited approx an hour with the security guard until the hotel manager finally came to us. The hotel manager stated " he was very busy and had a ship to run that he did not have time to deal with this issue." He also stated that he would talk to my husband the next morning. When I spoke up he put his finger in my face and told me that this was not my issue and he would not talk to me. I continued to try to explain to him about the hand print and bruises on my daughter. The hotel manager turned and went into his office and slammed the door behind him.

At this point the pursers lobby was full of people and the security guard had my husband by the arm again. We were then escorted back to our stateroom where a guard was stationed by our door or following us anywhere we went on the ship.

Day 5 - 730am The pursers office called and spoke to my husband. The hotel manager wanted to see him in his office in 5 minutes. We went to his office. The security guard was waiting outside our door where he had been all night. He escorted us. We arrived and I was told by the head of security that I was not allowed in. My husband stated that he wanted me in this meeting.

The hotel manager stated to my husband that he was not welcome on the ship and at 1030am we would be docking in St Kitts that is where he would be disembarked. My husband wanted to know why the action was being taking and why his daughter had marks on her from Camp Carnival. The hotel manager said that he had his orders from Miami and that it was the end of the discussion.

I spoke up and wanted to know the reason he had these orders from Miami and what was the crime that my husband had committed. The hotel manager stated "You are not involved in this and he did not deal with females! I am a very busy person with a ship to run. If my husband wanted me to know he would have to tell me."

I interupted him and asked what he was going to do about the marks on my daughter. He stated that I would have take it up with the office in Miami. The discussion was over.

He turned to the head of security and asked him to escort us back to the stateroom and to return with my husbands passport.

I interupted again. I stated that he was not getting my husbands passport without legal representaion. The hotel manager stated that he was all that he needed and that he strongly recommended that I keep my comments to myself or I would be the next one gone.

We were escorted back to the stateroom and we packed my husband while under the supervision of the guard. The guard stated that we would have to take the passport to the pursers office so that we could have the arrangements made for my husband to fly from St. Kitts back to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Escorted again we returned to the pursers office. The first Purser explained that she did not know why all this was happening and that she needed the passport so that Carnival could make the arrangements for the flight for my husband and that we would be responsible for the cost of the airfare.

We ended up paying for the flight and meeting with customs officials to completed the paperwork for my husbands disembarkment. I rode to the airport where we had to pay a tourist tax for flying out of St Kitts.

I returned to the ship and paid my taxi fee. The next morning when we got back to San Juan I received the bill for my sign and sail card. I had the child care expenses that had been removed and then added again and also the transportation for my husband to the airport had been added.

I have not had any luck with Carnival as far as getting satisfaction for the WRONG that was done to both my child and my husband. PLEASE HELP if you can.
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Old July 16th, 2001, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Well, I have to say this is the most bizarre story I've heard in quite some time. Unfortunately, there is not much anyone here is going to be able to do for you.
You have to follow up this episode with Carnival's head office in Miami. I'm sure they will investigate it thouroughly. Reading your "side of the story" it would seem wise to have an attorney represent you to be certain the entire story is brought to light!

You don't mention which ship this incident occurred on, but I assume that Camp Carnival is run pretty much the same on all their ships. I can't understand why this time the Camp Carnival experience would have been any different than on your previous cruises.

We'd certainly like to be kept advised as to how this develops.

I don't really want to start a flame war but I believe this displays how cruising with a toddler can present problems for the family cruise experience. I don't know what the "magic age" is for making it a great experience, rather than a bad one. But I think there is most definately an age that's too young to cruise.

And I think that it's dangerous for parents going on any of the cruise lines to expect the "kids programs" to accept the responsibility of entertaining the kids for full days.
I've been cruising with my kids since they were 8 and 13, and I've yet to encounter a situation even remotely close to this type of incident.
Regards,
Kuki
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Old July 16th, 2001, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Just my $.02 worth but I know of no ship that has only one worker in the Camp Carnival area. They usually have close to a dozen on Fantasy class ships and more on the larger ones. Although I have never had my kids in Camp Carnival as they are too old I have heard nothing but good remarks about these people. I HAVE inspected their area and found it to be very well stocked with interesting things to do and play with. Your older son would have been required to stay with his group when they left the secure area and is not allowed to wander around. Doesn't sound like he gave you the full information or he was confused about what was going on. Striking a child is, and should never be tolerated. Did your daughter confirm what your son said happened? Any of the other kids there have any problems? I really am quite shocked by your report to say the least. I know that CCL will investigate any and all charges.
Jim
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Old July 16th, 2001, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Wow, talk about the ultimate bad cruise experience!! IMHO though, if my kids were having that bad a time in the "kiddy" area, I think I would have cancelled my "adults only" shore excursions. The kids clearly seemed uncomfortable, maybe removing them from the situation would have avoided the ugly confrontation with the hotel ogre.
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Old July 17th, 2001, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

This occurred on the Holiday. The Camp Carnival areas on the other ships we have been on are well maintained and supervised. This one has 4 care givers.
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Old July 17th, 2001, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Clearly the behavior by the Carnival staff was atrocious. There is clearly no excuse for the treatment your husband received. I hope you took pictures of your daughter's back with the handprint on it. It would have been good evidence.

But what I find just as atrocious is the fact that the parents felt that their excursions were more important than the children. I agree with Poocher. If my kids were that uncomfortable going to Camp Carnival I would have cancelled my own excursions and spent the day with my kids doing my own thing. After what you described, I wouldn't have left my kids there. The staff had already displayed a bad attitude toward the parents.
If this wasn't supposed to be a "family" vacation why did you bother to take the kids along? And it sure doesn't sound like a "family" vacation to me.

There is NO excuse for the behavior of the staff. But...the parents need to accept the fact that they too had a part in this. I will probably be assaulted for this opinion but I don't care. The CHILDREN should have been the parents FIRST priority, not the adult excursions.
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Old July 17th, 2001, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Becky, you are correct...if you are going to have children, and take them with you when you travel, you have a responsibility to them first and foremost...I was flabbergasted to hear about this happening, but also surprised that the parents didn't step in earlier when they first saw how the care of the children was being handled. I hope you can resolve this with Carnival.
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Old July 17th, 2001, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Becky, You are 'right-on-the-money' with your statement. Children are only with us for a little while. They grow and mature and very quickly have a family of their own. Yeeks.....We raised our 2 boys and now have grandbabies......BUT when those 2 boys were young and we took family vacations, we did things 'with' the boys. Maybe I am just old fashioned but a family vacation is time being spent as a family. If mom & dad want their time alone and do things without the kids, it is great to plan a vacation with lots of adult 'stuff' to do, but why bring the kids along when you have adult activities planned. It seems to me that there might have been a bit more going on with Sheila and her family than what the post describes. A cruise vacation is a wonderful opportunity for children on any cruise ship IF the parents are willing to give their time to the 'family'...........I sure wish that we would have had enough extra money 'way-back-when' the boys were growing up that we could have vacationed on a cruise ship. Hubby and I cruise a good bit now and do plan a cruise, in the very near future, with our granddaughter. I just cannot wait to watch her eyes 'light up' when we introduce her to cruising. I would not consider placing her in a 'care givers' situation. She has lots of play-mates here at home and I could not leave her in the hands of someone who may, or may not, be gentle and kind to her. A childs life is very short and should be filled with lots of love and many different experiences.........
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Old July 17th, 2001, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

This reminds me of an experience I had in 1994 on Celebrity's Horizon. Although it does not deal with childcare problems it does deal with the abusive treatment towards my husband and I by the ships Hotel Manager. My husband got very sick and needed to be hospitalized on the ship. The ship in my opinion was not set up to handle an unknown infection and a fever of 105 in a 28 year old healthy male. They did not try to troubleshoot the problem and just put him on penicillan via IV. I was left to use a pay phone in Bermuda to talk with infectious desiese physians at Mass General Hospital. I am not a doctor but my husbands life was at risk and the ships doctor was not working to solvethe problem. I was told what medicsation to try. The ship told me I had to pay $50.00 in advance to send the ships doctor to a US millitary base to source the medication, a small price to pay but I felt the request for payment in advance to be inappropriate. The ship had no system to feed my husband in the hopsital. I was running food to him from the buffet. The nurse fell asleep during her duty and I found my husbands IV filled with blood with him lying behind closed doors. The worst part was that the ships doctor was asking me out!! He knew my husband was out of the picture and was calling my cabin asking me to join him for drinks! If I told him to take a hike I was afraid he would kill my husband(by accident of course) I demanded to see the Hotel Manager who had me stand in front of his desk while he was seated. He told me I could not take my husband off the ship to fly him to Boston until I guaranteed payment of the ships medical bill and signed an IOU. I told him about the mis treatment in the hospital and he berated me for complaining about the treatment.

We did break the cruise and I flew my husband home and directly to the hospital with an ambulance meeting us at the airport. I wrote Celebrity a detailed letter and they did refund my money but I will never forget the attitude of the management on the boat. They do not have any respect for the customer and they made a difficult situation worse. I do not think that many of the people on the cruise ships are empowered to make decisions. The management on these ships become controlling and disrespectful. I can definately relate to Sheila's frustration but I think that when confronted it should have become apparent that the cruise ship management had all the power. I think fighting the battle at home might have been a better choice.

Let us know how this turns out!

Deb
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Old July 17th, 2001, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Hello,

Yes this is a terrible story as to the beating/discipline of a child.
I would like to agree with Poocher and Becky though that i would have cancelled my excursion. In no way am i saying what Carnival did was right, but after the first late excursion and fine and bad story from your son.....would have been cheaper for you to hire a nanny and pay her way on a cruise. It also seems funny that your husband REFUSEd to pay a $5 fine the second time. Should have paid it or signed for it and then disputed it later or when your credit card bill came in. All this for $5 ?....can't understand that rationale....

Hope you get a lawyer and have already taken photos of the abuse.

WOW
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Old July 17th, 2001, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

As I stated previously I hope ALL the details of this episode come to light eventually. We're certainly all very supportive of any issue involving abuse of a child in the care of a cruise line employee (or anyone for that matter).... However, we should take into account that we may not have all the facts!
I'm not certain it's believable that the cruise line would place a guard outside of someone's cabin door, and put them off the ship, for not paying a $5 fine.
That leads me to believe there is MORE to this story than is posted.

Regards,
Kuki
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Old July 17th, 2001, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

The facts are as I have stated. The reasoning we received from the security guard was: "I have been asked to stand by their door this evening due to "the gentleman" made a scene in the main lobby and the hotel manager does not want to have the other passengers disturbed." In other words the hotel manager did not want the situation spread to other passengers.

I have spoke to Carnival Guest Relations Dept. The incident report has not been received and we were put off until next Monday.

We have contacted an attorney and we did take pictures of the hand print as well as the bruises. Granted the bruises could have come from playing BUT----- the adult hand print is a different animal.

I was also able to talk with a grandmother the same day my husband was removed from the ship. She was by the kiddie pool with her 19 month old grandson that had been kicked out of Camp Carnival the previous day by the same care giver-----the reason was he made too much noise and would not take naps as the other children did. I did get her name and personal information. She also stated that she had never had such a bad experience with Camp Carnival. She and her husband bring their 6 grandchildren, ages 19 months to 15 years, on a yearly cruise.

I would like for everyone to understand that we did not just drop our children off and expected the care givers to have them for 8 - 10 hours. We spent our time with our children both on board the ship and exposed them to each port. We went on this cruise with other members of our family so the children were well taken care of in addition to the Camp Carnival. The Camp Carnival on the Holiday was in no way the same quality like other other ships.

We did consult the first purser after the first incident. We did feel confident after talking with the care givers supervisor and the first purser was a witness to the conversation. We felt that our children would be in good hands for the 3.5 hours of the excursion.

I would like to thank everyone for their interest in our situation. Your comments and suggestions have helped make our choices easier.

I will keep you posted as to the outcome.
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Old July 18th, 2001, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

I thought children had to be over 2 or 3 for Camp Carnival....19 months sounds a bit young from what I have read.
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Old July 18th, 2001, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

There are services provided for children under the age of 2 years for a fee. Ages 2 and above are free of charge.
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Old July 18th, 2001, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

The facts are as I have stated. The reasoning we received from the security guard was: "I have been asked to stand by their door this evening due to "the gentleman" made a scene in the main lobby and the hotel manager does not want to have the other passengers disturbed." In other words the hotel manager did not want the situation spread to other passengers.

I have spoke to Carnival Guest Relations Dept. The incident report has not been received and we were put off until next Monday.

We have contacted an attorney and we did take pictures of the hand print as well as the bruises. Granted the bruises could have come from playing BUT----- the adult hand print is a different animal.

I was also able to talk with a grandmother the same day my husband was removed from the ship. She was by the kiddie pool with her 19 month old grandson that had been kicked out of Camp Carnival the previous day by the same care giver-----the reason was he made too much noise and would not take naps as the other children did. I did get her name and personal information. She also stated that she had never had such a bad experience with Camp Carnival. She and her husband bring their 6 grandchildren, ages 19 months to 15 years, on a yearly cruise.

I would like for everyone to understand that we did not just drop our children off and expected the care givers to have them for 8 - 10 hours. We spent our time with our children both on board the ship and exposed them to each port. We went on this cruise with other members of our family so the children were well taken care of in addition to the Camp Carnival. The Camp Carnival on the Holiday was in no way the same quality like other other ships.

We did consult the first purser after the first incident. We did feel confident after talking with the care givers supervisor and the first purser was a witness to the conversation. We felt that our children would be in good hands for the 3.5 hours of the excursion.

I would like to thank everyone for their interest in our situation. Your comments and suggestions have helped make our choices easier.

I will keep you posted as to the outcome.
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Old July 19th, 2001, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Shiela ..

I have been in touch with Carnival about this issue. Please let me know all details, names, etc. in e-mail and I will pass it all on.

I'll do my best to help.

pamda
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Old July 20th, 2001, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

While the cruise line did not act properly, I can only echo what some other folks have mentioned: If I had the slightest doubt that my child had problems with children's programs, I would cancel whatever excersions I had planned. I would also reconsider the idea of even bringing children younger than 5 or 6 on a cruise. They may be simply too young. Sue & Bill have it right in that children are only children for a shor time, so enjoy each age and stage while you can. I have been following this thread with interest as I have a six year old daughter, whom we will be taking on her first cruise. (It only seems like yesterday that I was taking her home from the hospital. I will probably be saying that on her wedding day as well!) My original plan was to have her with us most of the time, including excursions. We would use the children's programs only as an occasional break for her. After all, kids will want to hang out with other kids, not their parents all the time. After reading all this, I am begining to reconsider.
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Old July 20th, 2001, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Tom...
Its been my experience that 6 or 7 year olds enjoy the kids programs about the most of all the age groups.
The activities seem to be a hit with them.. and at that age they are normally very social, and enjoy playing with the other kids. The face painting, scavengers hunts etc. seem to loose something for the 10 -13 yr olds.

Reminds me of the time I put a 200 piece puzzle together in 1 day.. and proudly showed Mrs. Kuki. She asked what was so special about that. I replied.... It says right here on the box 5 - 7 years <G>

Regards,
Kuki
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Old July 20th, 2001, 07:57 PM
Sheila (a different one)
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

Tom:

I agree with Kuki in that your 6 year old will probably have a great time in the kids program on the ship. My 7 year old had an awesome time in the kids' program on the Disney Magic last year -- he never wanted to leave!

As for traveling with children younger than 6, I disagree. When we sailed on the Disney Magic last year we also took along our 16 month old son and our 5 month old daughter. We had the little ones with us the whole time except for a few hours a day when they went to the Flounders Reef nursery on board. We loved having our babies with us but those few hours a day away from them also made it a more enjoyable vacation for us.

We love spending time with our children and I think a family vacation should be just that: you spend time with your whole family, no matter what age your children may be. We tend to get so wrapped up in our day to day lives sometimes that we forget what it's like to just "spend time" with our kids and enjoy them for whom they are.

If a cruise line can provide quality childcare by caring providers in clean, child-safe areas, then I think there is no reason to leave our little ones at home. The Flounders Reef nursery on the Disney Magic was a clean, safe environment with many toys, and the caregivers were exceptional. I think my children benefitted from the time they were there.

As for what happened to Sheila and her family, I am shocked and hope that the matter is fully investigated.

Nevertheless, I hope you and your family enjoy your cruise together.
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Old August 28th, 2001, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Camp Carnival Abuse results Father gets kicked

I was shocked by your story! I have 3 children, and I hope you sue Carnival! For abuse, for discrimination (the"I do not deal with females" comment) and for the money you spent fot the trip.

I hope your children can get over such a horrible experience.

Good luck, and let us know what happens.
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