We booked with Carnival for a cruise that left this morning. . Carnival chartered a plane from Planet Airways to carry us from Albany NY to Orlando. Plane was due to leave at 7 a.m.. Planet expected 100 people--Carnival sent them 168. Flight crew actually walked the aisles asking EVERY passenger their weight for calculations. Pilot announced plane was at least 1500 lbs over weight. Seven of us got off and they thanked us and told us Carnival would get us there. Two hours later they were still on the ground and had unloaded 40 pieces of luggage to send on another plane. Apparently they needed another person off the plane as ten minutes later one of the FLIGHT ATTENDANTS got off and was flown to Orlando on Northwest. The plane finally took off at 10:20 a.m. without the seven of us. Our bags however were on the way to Orlando. . I called the 800 Carnival help line. The operator told me it wasn't THEIR responsibility---it was Planet Airways. Unfortunately all those guys were on the plane that had just left as Planet has no operations people in Albany. They did try to find other flights but as it's a vacation week it was impossible. We are sitting here at home disappointed and not on our ship. We have traveled with Carnival a number of times but apparently that didn't count . THANKS A LOT CARNIVAL. Hopefully none of you guys will get caught in this type of situation. This was the responsiblity of Carnival as I'm sure Planet Airways was going by the numbers and instructions Carnival had given them. The Carnival rep I talked with said they could do nothing. Why then do they call it a help line?
It is the fault of the airline. They contracted to get you there and failed. I am sure that Carnival will assist you as best they can as this is an unusual situation. Contact your TA and work with Carnival through them. I hope you had trip insurance.
BTW This is just another reason to make sure your flight leaves the day prior to sailing even if you have to pay more for it.
I agree, Jim, our TA has ALWAYS booked our flight the day before we board for our cruise. The last thing we would need on a relaxing vacation is to spend the day worrying about getting to our ship on time. Even if we arrived late, we would still have a night to catch up and relax before boarding...
Shame on Carnival tho, they definately should have been more helpful...I think the key word is SUPERVISOR, and then SUPERVISOR'S SUPERVISOR, etc., etc., etc.
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We are flying from Syracuse, NY to San Juan the day of departure, via cruise air arrangements. The ship sails at 10 pm so I assumed we would have plenty of time - even allowing for weather problems in the frozen north. Is it possible to change plans and fly in the day before ,after completing the booking - I booked through Travelocity.
Also do I need to panic about my decision to book air through Carnival - 2 TAs I spoke with advised doing this.
Frankly, IF we have all the facts, I'm appalled at Carnival's lack of help and action. You booked through the cruise line's air dept, and they were acting as your agent. Carnival makes money on every flight they sell. I don't think they can toss their hands in the air and say ... sorry, it wasn't us!
THEY contracted with the carrier, not you, and I think it's their responsibility! If the problem had been weather related it can be called an act of god.
In this case it sure sounds more like a case of incompetence. They chose a subcontractor who could not deliver all the passengers booked, and that was their shortcoming!
Why those who came off the airplane, weren't flown to Orlando along with the flight attendant, I really don't understand either.
At the very least, Carnival help desk should have gone to work trying to find alternate flights to get those left behind to Florida.
Naturally it's good insurance if you can fly down a day or even two early, but there are also extra expenses associated with that.
If Carnival can not deliver the product they are selling you for flights, they should get out of the air business entirely!!!
Personally if I lived in the frozen North I would travel a day early and get a hotel. It is much more expensive in SJ than in say Miami or Orlando but with the weather the way it is, I just would not chance it myself. You can call your TA and get a flight devation which should be a bit more but reasonable. Booking through the cruiseline isn't usually the best way as it is often cheaper going on your own. It is something that you just have to check out yourself and see what fits you for that particuliar cruise.
This is Carnival's fault Jim. There hasn't been a seat available into Orlando for the last three days. If Carnival contracted for 100 pax with Planet, and sent 168, they are screwed up. I would demand full refund AND damages. The insurer should not pay here, this is Carnival's fault.
I do not fault you for flying down day of trip. Why pay for hotel when Carnival has contracted to get you there.
"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."
F Scott Fitzgerald
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Courts would probably hold the airline at fault and not Carnival. That said I repeat that Carnival will most likely do the right thing if approached properly through your TA. They are in the business of making people happy and value good relations. I'm not here to argue, just advise the unfortunate cruiser to follow through on his options in the best order and calmly and not become a screamer making demands and threats, that never helps no matter how justified your anger is.
We were left at the Albany airport last year at this time for our Feb. cruise aboard the PARADISE. By the time anyone came to help get us on another plane they were all gone. We were sent back to Burlington at about 11:00 pm. No cruise, just 16hrs. in the Albany airport. They let three flights go to Miami that day with space, after telling us, all flights were full. We had the airline, Carnival, our TA, and the insurance carrier, all on the line at the same time, it did no good. Our TA went to work on Monday to see if she could get someone to pay off. She got Carnival to repay unused portion of air, and they offered us almost $1,800.00 toward a new cruise. She got Continental to give 2 credits of $250.00 each and a free pre-night in Miami (for our PARADISE 2/22/04 cruise). After making an appeal after the insurance said they would not pay, she got them to make a full refund, therefore we declined the $1,800.00 offer from Carnival and rebooked. I hope our cruise next week goes a little better.
Roger and Lois
I've advised the poster last night, via e mail, to get in touch with their TA, and have them go to work, and seek compensation from Carnival through the correct channels.
That is, off course, the natural starting point.
Weather related problems are understandable. If the airport had been shut down due to a winter storm, though disappointed, the poster wouldn't likely be here complaining.
However, in this case, weather had nothing to do with them missing their cruise!
As far as guessing who would be judged at fault in a court, I think that's difficult to determine. If IN FACT Carnival had contracted with the airline for 100 seats, and sent 160+ passengers due to even a "paper trail" error, I think their responsibility could certainly be in question. But, the fact is these types of cases rarely go to court, because of the high costs involved.
I guess this scenario certainly puts an end to the myth that if you book "cruise line air" the ship will wait for you, or they'll get you to the ships next port of call.
Personally, we RARELY book cruise line air, and if we do, we make certain to take advantage of air deviation, and choose our own carrier and flights.
I hope Carnival does indeed step up to the plate here and make good for their customer. Hopefully we'll be able to follow along and get progress reports from Bo, and hear the final outcome.
We got our luggage back today at noon and our travel agent is in contact with Carnival concerning our refund and other compensations and will let us know in the morning. I emailed a copy of our adventure to the Director of National Account Sales and the Vice President of Sales for Carnival and asked them to call me as I've got some unexpected free time this week. . Thanks to Kuki for taking the time to help and everyone else that has offered advice. I'll let you know if anything new happens.
I am so sorry to hear this. I had a similar experience with Costa Cruise Lines, which is under the corporate umbrella of Carnival. Costa had booked us on a Christmas vacation air and sea. They gave us a flight that took us into miami at almost 3:30 p.M. with the ship leaving at 4:30 in Ft Lauderdale. We did not like the times, we told them it was impossible for us to make the ship on time. they told us not to worry, they would even hold the ship for us. No need to tell you what happened, ship left without us. All our family on the ship, almost 40. They could not even get a message to our family for two days that we missed the ship. Anyway, caught up with the ship in Puerto Rico, wish I had just stayed in Puerto Rico, worst cruise or vacation for that matter I have ever had in my life. Carnival needs to get it together. You must demand the highest compensation available. Go to the top, keep barking at them, they will give in. And YES it is their responsibilty. They booked that flight, they made money from booking you on that flight. They must step up and take responsibility. Dont back down on this.
As a TA, I tried to get 2 clients from Kansas City to NOLA for the Holiday, and I could not find air that would get them to the ship in time for a 4pm depature, so then I contacted CCL and got air through them. They did not inform us or clients of air schedule until 3 weeks prior to departure, and then CCL had them arriving at the airport at 3pm, and the ship leaving 1 hour later. I called CCL and asked a couple of questions, I have not seen posted on the message boards, one of them being: If you buy transfers from CCL MAKE sure you find out what time is the latest the transfers shuttle bus leaves the airport heading to the ship, it seems there is a cut off, and this one was 245pm, which meant that my clients would have been looking for a CCL rep, and bus, and they would not have been there. So I got CCL on the phone, and they and I both looked for air getting to NOLA earlier, and this was going to end up costing CCL more money, and my clients ended up flying from K-City to North Carolina to NOLA, to catch that ship, luckly they did not mind, as long as they made the ship.
Make sure if you do your own flights, or they book them, find out about those shuttle bus times, and what is the latest you can arrive at the airport to catch those buses.
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Now I am really getting scared!!!! Leaving April 4 Carnival out of Jacksonville. (We are in NY) Booked through Cruises.COm. Do not know our flight yet. Does anyone think I should call and fly in the day before and leave the day after we come home????????
I am going to call as soon as I get off the computer and put a fire under them to tell me my flight info.
Carnival stepped up and did the right thing. Conversation WITHOUT threats or violence works better every time. Thanks for all your advice. Someone at the top listened and is helping me out. My confidence has been restored.
I think what has happened is the exception rather than the rule. However, I e-mailed my TA today to inquire about my flight arrangements via Carnival. I'm flying from KC to PR during spring break. Better safe than sorry
I didn't have any real problems with carnival as far as flight arrangements went. my problem was the amount of time we had to wait in between at the terminal for one of the shuttles to pick us up. we had an 8 am flight departure, 10am arrival and a 2:30pm pickup time, arriving at the ship at 3:30 with a 4:30 departure time. we got real familiar with bush international in houston. everybody, do yourselves a favor and get there a day ahead of ship departure, stay at a place nearby, and RELAX!
Re what I said in my posts. You just confirmed it Bo in that Carnival is willing to work to correct any problems that you encounter so long as you approach them in a reasonable an intelligent manner. They seem to step up and try to do the right thing for their customers and in some cases go above and beyond the call to help you out. Glas it worked out.
Gary, 99% of the time I think you would be better off booking your own. Unfortunately many people do not have the knowledge to make the arraignments properly themselves and some just don;t want to be bothered. Not a lack of intelligence either, just a lack of experiance.
We have taken Carnival air and had no problems except one time not being seated by one another. There were 4 of us and 2 was near the front and 2 in the center, no biggie though. We liked taking their air, we got a free night hotel and checked in at the hotel so there was not much to do at the cruise terminal. We got on the ship much quicker than those whose never got Carnival's air. Yes, we never found out about our reservations until 2 or 3 weeks before we left but that never mattered. We are going with carnival again this spring and have booked our air with carnival again. Have fun we are planning to!!!! Virginia
I have never used a cruiselines air except once for our Tahiti cruise and I still made our own arrangements to LAX. While I am lucky enough to live in Fl and very seldom have to fly to any port I have taken a half dozen or so that required I fly to somewhere. Those times I have found that booking my own air was a better option as it was more direct and cheaper. I have seen a couple of instances where it was better to use the cruiselines air while checking for other friends. Why?