BEWARE- Did you know you can take your suitcases off the ship yourself instead of putting them out the night before........
I have held off writing about our family experience on our Christmas cruise out of Tampa on the Inspiration. Our family (14 of us) planned this vacation a year in advance. My family taking Carnival Cruises before had no problem recommending Carnival again. We had 5 outside cabins on the empress deck, and for the most part enjoyed the cruise - until the last day!
As everyone knows, the night before you leave the ship, everyone is told to put their suitcases out the night before, my sister-in-law, also called to double check on this, and was told to have it out by midnight.
The next day, we all relaxed while waiting to get off the ship, waiting for our color to be called. Many of us had belongings with us that we were not able to pack as we needed them the next morning. As we got off the boat and all went to find our suitcases in our color coded section, my nephew who is 21 opened his to put in his belongings (shoes, etc. from the night before)-----Well, what happened next, was a nightmare,,,,,,,,
Most of his clothes, I mean, his bathing suits, dirty underwear, dress shirts, shorts were all missing......his mother's sweater set she wore the night before and put in his suitcase was missing.....seeing this, my brother opened his suitcase to see 2 suits missing also. Well, all the guards, people from customs and carnival employees did not want to know anything, they just wanted us to get out of there, after being persistent, they finally sent over a carnival rep that gave us her business card and took information from us.
We had limos waiting to take us to the airport and we had a plane to catch home. Thinking that Carnival would work with us, and a witness being there from their cruise line,,,,we felt all could be resolved.
Well, to make a real long story short, all that Carnival offered after many letters, documentations showing the receipts for the clothes, photos etc. all they offered them was $500.00 - now this was a Christmas cruise, we all had our best clothing for photos - the suits were brand new....and his clothes were from expensive stores...
Well, what I really want everyone to know is that CARNIVAL TOLD MY BROTHER,,,,,,it is up to your DISCRETION - if you want to put your bags out the night before,,,,,,I could not believe this,,,,,my brother tried to tell them that if everyone took off all their own bags, they would never be able to board new passengers the same day......no one I ever talked to had heard of this before....so, if you really have clothes that your value, insist on not putting them out and take them off yourself....I will never recommend Carnival again, they want you to go through your homeowners insurance, which I do not think is fair. This happened while in their hands - they were probably hoping this is not discovered until you return home and then blame the airlines!!!