A large group of friends had the unfortunate experience of being on The Conquest cruise of 2/22/04. Please realize as you read this that I am a positive person, always trying to see the bright side of things, as well as an experienced cruiser. This cruise was truly the Cruise from Hell. I understand that Carnival had no control over the disastrous accident that closed the Mississippi --but their handling of the situation was appalling. As passengers, we were repeatedly given wrong information regarding boarding, partly due to the incompetence of shore personnel and partly due to intentional lies told to us to temporarily keep us pacified. Many people were forced to spend the night in the New Orleans terminal without food, water, or so much as a warm blanket. Many of these people were children or elderly. Boarding was finally accomplished at about 6 am Monday morning. Once under way, (at about 7 pm Monday night), we were told we would not be stopping at Montego Bay, due to lack of time. Meanwhile, food on board was poor and service was worse-- powdered eggs on the buffet and a very limited room service menu-- if room service even arrived within a reasonable length of time. After our cancelled stop at Montego Bay, the next port was Grand Cayman--whoops--couldn't stop there either. Port authority said it was unsafe to tender us in. We were left with one stop at Cozumel. By this time we felt like prisoners, not people having a fun vacation. Overall, the Carnival personnel seemed uncaring and very unprofessional. This cruise was a great disappointment as well as a total waste of a great deal of money. Carnival has refunded port fees ($25.00/person) for ports where we didn't stop. They said we will receive 1/7 of our cruise fare since we left a day late(we haven't seen or heard any more about that). That doesn't come close to being fair, due to the treatment we received. Oh, I musn't forget, they will give us 50 % off a FUTURE CRUISE. We have to spend more money to get what we should have had in the first place! We have written to Mr. Robert Dickinson, CEO of Carnival, expressing our unhappiness. We are waiting to see what his response is. My recommendation to anyone contemplating a cruise is to think twice before sailing Carnival.
I live in Ocean Springs near Gulfport where the Conquest had to make an emergency port... The local news (WLOX) reported that the Port of Gulfport had only a 2 hour notice..
You can imagine the hurried confusion... The Conquest probably could not load on its normal food supplies on such a short notice.... What made it worse was Maudigra had all the buses booked so it was hard to transport the passengers..... Life has it ups & downs, try to find good things during a trial..... Try to help others have a good time such as pleasant conversation, you will feel much better..... I think the Conquest is a great ship & has a great crew...
__________________ Bob & Kathy
Littleton, Colorado (near Denver)
Conquest .... Nov /03 (New Orleans)
Conquest .... Dec /05 (Galveston)
Celebration.. Sept /06 (Jacksonville)
Fantasy....... Dec/07 (New Orleans)
Splendor...... Nov. 29th, 2009
Please do not let the combination of misfortunes keep you from enjoying another cruise. We sailed the Conquest 9/03 and it is a beautiful ship, and the food and service were outstanding. Sounds like the accident,coupled with Mardi Gras festivities and bad weather made for a "worst case scenario". It is a bad idea to do anything near New Orleans around Mardi Gras time,(unless you thrive on chaos) as the chaos that is "Mardi Gras" only magnifys what would have otherwise been just a minor inconvenience. Keep in mind that you were among 2000+ unhappy customers, and that crew had to try to" make it better"...wouldn't want that job!! Try another ship, another port, or just another time of the year, and I am sure you will be quite satisfied with your experience.
I agree.......we were on the Conquest for the Nov 2003 sailing and it was FANTASTIC.....food, service, and the ship were first rate. It was very unfortunate what happened on that cruise, but it does happen at times and it is NOT the ships fault. They I am sure tried there best to comply with what they were told had to be done.
How do you think the people in New York felt who were vacationing the week of Sept.11th or any other diaster that happens when you are away.
I also was on that "cruise from hell" and I do feel sorry for the people who planned this cruise (like myself) far in advance -- etc etc. But, when we checked in, we were told we could get a 100% refund. Carnival did everything they could to make the trip worthwhile and what happened was beyond their control. Yes, I went thru all that hell too but -- They did not have to give us ANYTHING like 50% off another cruise -- but hey, they did. Good excuse to hop on board again..lol. If you think spending the night in a terminal was hard -- think about the families who lost their loved ones -- and didn't even know if they would be found. Don't give up on Carnival ------- they are great!
Not everyone was told that they could get a 100 per cent refund. We were on that cruise and were never told we could get a 100 per cent refund. I even called Carnival the Sunday morning we were scheduled to depart and never given that option. There was alot of misinformation being given out. For those of you who think that Carnival only found out about the situation on Sunday, you are mistaken. The accident occurred early Saturday morning, around 5:30 a.m. The media in New Orleans was reporting, by Saturday afternoon -evening, that the port would be closed until the victims could be found, which could be a few days. There was apparently a communication breakdown somewhere.
Sorry, I am not trying to highjack this post, but I keep hearing about this accident that happened and can't seem to find out exactly what this accident was... I am extremely nosey and curious, could someone fill me in....
Also I was on the cruise with Joie in Nov. of 2003 and it was a good cruise... My only drawback was Montego Bay and that's honestly just the tour we went on I think... other than that everything was good...
A supply boat was struck by a container ship and sunk. The boat's five crew members drowned. It took the Coast Guard several days to find all of the victims. A hearing took place last week concerning the accident. If you want additional information, go to nola.com and click on the Times-Picayune link. You can review a fourteen day archives for the newspaper.