We had an unexpected change of itinerary to Bermuda and after an intial disappointment we had a super time!
Loved Bermuda...the weathere was awesome, everything went great....
The $150 credit the ship gave got used for some great excursions...
Freedom of Seas 1/10, Carnival Freedom 1/08, Carribean Princess 1/07, Navigator of Seas 1/05, Voyager of Seas 7/04, Conquest 12/03, Explorer of Seas 1/02, Victory 12/00, Triumph 9/99, Paradise 12/99, Big Red Boat 12/94, Noordam 1/90, Volendam 5/82
I was on the same cruise. Itis amazing what 150 dollars will do for some people.They did not give you anything. The 150 was what you paid for port charges and tax. And also in case you dont realize it Bermuda is not in the Caribbean sea. If you knew the ship had problems in NY how would you feel. After speaking to Carnival they will not deni this FACT.
I was just on the Legend to the Eastern Carribbean in late July. Before sailing, I complained bitterly because we had lost the first day of the trip, because the ship was late arriving in New York due to a medical emergency on the previous cruise (causing it to detour to Bermuda). Carnival gave us $20 credit per person which I did and still do feel was inadequate. I realize that the the emegency was not their fault and that these things happen. But I really felt that more compensation should have been given and that since these kinds of things happen, it should be built into the cost of doing business.
This was my second cruise---the first one being my "trial" cruise to Canada on the Victory last year, which was only 4 days.
While I still do believe Carnival should have done moe for use from a money standpoint, I've softened a bit since a month ago. I now realize that if you are going to cruise somewhere, you better be prepared for the fact that the itinerary may change without notice. This just appears to be a fact for cruising. And cruising to Bermuda instead of the Carribbean is not a disaster under these cirucumstances. Had I booked a trip to the Panama Canal or Alaska, and eneded up in Bermuda, perhaps I would say I had the right to be angrier. But Bermuda instead of St. Thomas-----hope, it appears that this is just the way cruising works, and you'd better be prepared for this kind of thing.
If you really want to see a specific place and you are not flexible, then you should fly there. Even when the itinerary goes correctly, you are just getting a "taste" of the island. With cruising, the destination is really not the primary goal of the trip. The destination is secondary. Getting there and experiencing it is the primary thing. If you really want to see St. Thomas seriously, get on a plane and spend a week there.
Incidentally, despite all my *****ing a month ago about how I was not happy about Carnival's handling of the lost day, the trip was wonderful after the rocky start. The service on the Legend was great. The activities were great. The food and entertainment were great. And the ship and ammenities were very, very nice. I've read people's complaints on these message boards (and I listened to people complaining while on the trip), and I think some people complain just for the sake of complaining. I had few complaints about my trip.
Lastly, if given the choice, would you have taken a refund and not gone? I don't know about you, but I would rather have spent 8 days at sea and Bermuda rather than 8 days at work in New Jersey!!!!!
SnowWhite: Glad to hear you had a great time and was not disappointed at all, but here are my thougts (cross-post from another website)
Hi! My husband posted from the Legend to let you all know we had a malfunction on the ship and that our ports were changed to 1 port - Bermuda.
Here is my take. First of all, Bermuda is one of my favorite islands - however that being said, I have been there before and would not have paid over $1200 per person to go there again - especially since we paid almost half that on what I consider to be a much better cruise line a few years ago (RCCL).
Second, we also made the best of the situation and had lots of laughs despite our many issues with this cruise. We knew going into this that we were sailing on Carnival and not Celebrity or RCCL and we kept our expectations in line. Although we did have numerous issues with the level of service on the ship (and in particular, the dining room, where although we were on time for our main seating every evening we rarely received coffee service before being kicked out of the dining room to allow the crew to set up for the late seating) we will not go into great detail on those issues here. Just because someone has complaints does not mean that they were "overly critical" or even that they had a bad time. It just means that they have complaints.
Third, I have cruised a number of times before, most recently on the NCL Dawn from NY to FL and Bahamas. (I absolutely LOVED that cruise and would not hesitate to take it again!!!)
Now, my major issue with Carnival itself and some posters on this board is how we are defining what happened on the ship. This was not an act of god type weather issue that Carnival had no control over. This is without a doubt a "Carnival" issue. The ship that we paid thousands to cruise on and more thousands once we boarded had a malfunction. In short, it broke down. It seems really clear to me that this is Carnival's responsibility. We paid top dollar for a cruise out of New York to specific ports. Carnival did not provide this. The passengers deserve more than $150 per person - the tips alone cost us over $160 together.
Why should passengers be penalized so that Carnival can repair their own ship? We had to sacrifice our planned itinerary so that Carnival could dock at a port of their convenience and fix their broken down ship???!!! That makes absolutely no sense to me. Furthermore, Carnival will likely make a claim against their insurance for business interruption - money that the passengers will never see. Why should the financial burden of the repair rest on the passengers and not the cruise line? Carnival got the benefit of a full ship of full fare paying passengers who were still a captive audience (who were also notably using their sail and sign cards for 8 days) and got the benefit of repairing their ship. What did we get? A itinerary we did not bargain for and no significant compensation for our loss.
In addition to the paltry compensation the passengers were given, we found that Carnival was terrible about communication. The officers were very slow at communicating. For example, during the early seating one night, there was a blackout in the dining room for about 15 minutes and there was never even an announcement apologizing or assuring us that everything was okay. There were alot of passengers that got very worried about the functioning of the ship itself b/c of the engine problem. Couple that with a blackout in the dining room and some people were really, REALLY worried. There were a number of incidents like this - too numerous to recount.
Also, although we were okay about going to Bermuda, we were not okay with the amount of time spent there. One poster said we had 2 and 1/2 days. I'm not sure about you but, in my mind we had 2 days in Bermuda + maybe 2 hours which does not constitute a half day. We had to be back on the ship by 11:30am on the day were were leaving, that is not a half day IMHO.
Although it is true that if you ran the numbers we probably had the same, if not more, time on land than was promised on the original itinerary, that is not IMHO the correct calculation. Typical cruises from NYC to Bermuda give you 3 and a half days on Bermuda (and on the last day the cruise leaves at 3 pm giving you almost 4 days). To be blunt, most passengers believe that we got shafted. My husband and I booked Carnival's San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola itinerary knowing that we had a number of days at sea - but those days were not meaningless - they were necessary to get the ship to the islands we were supposed to go to. Instead, in our case we were stuck on a faulty ship circling the Atlantic. If Carnival just stayed in Bermuda an extra day the passengers would have been a lot happier. Yet again, we received no explanation as to why we were leaving Bermuda so quickly.
As a person on the cruise ship, regardless of whether you were personally offended with the way things were handled, it was tremendously obvious that there were hundreds of people on board who were quite upset. In my mind, even if Carnival intended to remain resolute about refusing to refund any portion of the cruise fare, they had ample opportunity to assuage the unhappy passengers in any number of ways - there were no such efforts made (no open bar, free drinks, discounts on activities, etc.)
In short, we feel that we paid a premium not for the cruise ship but for the Eastern Caribbean itinerary. When that itinerary was changed due to the shipís malfunction, the value of our cruise fare decreased considerably. Carnivalís efforts to compensate us for that decrease were disappointing. We say this as part of a group of passengers who still had a good time but felt they grossly overpaid for the experience. We are not part of the group of passengers who were irate for whom no efforts on Carnivalís part would have made a difference.
"Ship happens," but I shouldn't have to pay for it!
I totally agree with you. I really do. We passengers should not have to pay for this. But I've come to learn that the reality of it is that we DO have to pay for it. This is just the way it is. When our delay occurred back in July, I read the contract on the back of the ticket (which I'm sure nobody reads unless an issue comes up), and the fact is that they don't do anything for you that they don't HAVE to do. Do I think thats smart business???----NO WAY!!! Cruise Lines depend on repeat business and this is certainly no way to get repeat business. But unfortunately, this appears to be the way they operate. And you just have to be aware of that that going into it. Would I cruise with Carnival again? Probably yes. But I would set my expectations differently the next time.
As a side note---I found when shopping for this cruise that it was definitely more expensive than other similar cruises. I'm not sure but I think it was because of its unique length. I wanted to go on a 7 day cruise and I found that all 7 day cruises leave on a weekend. Because of my own personal sitiuation, I couldn't do that. I had to travel from weekday to weekday. And the only way to do that was with an 8 day trip. I was even willing to fly to another city to find something, but I found there are very few cruises that are 8 days. . Your choices are much more limited if you want to do that. And I think this raises the price (supply and demand).
BTW-----since I've only crusied on Carnival, I'd be curious to know if other cruise lines handle these itinerary change situations in a similar manner? Perhaps Royal Carribbean and NCL and Celebrity are a bit higher end, but their ships break down, too. How do THEY handle this?
Forgot to ask----you mention the "blackout" in the dining room. This happened on our cruise too. The servers all came around and lit little birthday candles. They told us about it in such a way that I still, to this moment, don't know if it was really a blackout or just a goofy joke (to go along with the little "show" that the servers do during dinner). They made lite of it such that you really couldn't tell if they were serioius or not. It lasted less than 5 minutes.
If I understand you correctly, you are saying that due to a medical emergency on the cruise before your cruise, you lost a day of your cruise? And you only got $20 for that?
Of course a medical emergency is not Carnival's fault, but it is the cost of doing business. They take out insurance. I would think it is pretty standard to have business interruption insurance which basically should cover most if not all of its lost income due to the business interruption. This should mean that you, because you lost a day of your cruise, should receive the pro-rated portion of that day back.
I just don't understand how a company can continue to operate in such an unreasonable manner without losing any goodwill in the marketplace. They failed to provide you ,the passenger, with a portion of the services you contracted for - therefore, they should have to refund you that portion of your cruise fare.
This amazes me. Carnival is getting bad press (see 8/19/04 CBS news report) and doesn't care at all.
I'm not sure I would trust Carnival with my money or my time again. Both are valuable to me and should be valuable to Carnival if it wants to continue to generate business. All Carnival needs to do is to demonstrate its goodwill with its dissatisfied passengers - either by compensation or a significant discount on a future fare. (Unfortuntely, Carnival could have demonstrated goodwill for even less money while we were all still aboard the ship - i.e. more than 2 days in Bermuda, adding in another port, discounts on board, free drinks etc. It did none of these things.)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Back from Legend to Bermuda!!!
You are preaching to the choir. I completely agree with you on this. I think Carnival should have given us a substantial credit. In fact, I told them that since they were crediting me with $20 for the last day, the trip should have only cost $160 per person. I was being sarcastic, but I was trying to make a point. Obviously they disagreed.
I had a huge discussion on this board at the time of my trip, and most people tore my head off. "How dare I ask for more from Carnival?----It wasn't their fault-----Someone's life was at stake".
Of course I understood it wasn't their fault. And of course I understood that a man's life is more important than anything else and they must do whatever they must do and I would want them to do the same for me.
However, I explained on the board that I still believe that this should be built into Carnival's cost of doing business. Certainly this must have happened other times, and they should just build it into the price----even if it costs everyone a few extra bucks for their trip.
Sure, I got my 8 nights on the ship. But cruising is not just about a place to sleep for the night. Its about the whole experience. I was supposed to board at around noon and the ship was supposed to sail at 5PM. Instead, some people were still boarding after midnight and the ship sailed at 1:45AM. Had I boarded at noon, my vacation would have started then, even with the ship sitting at the pier in NY harbor. Instead, all they really provided me with that night was a very expenisve room to sleep for the night. So my vacation ended up being a 7 day vacation, not an 8 day one. If you would have read the replies I got on this board at the time, you would have thought I I was asking Carnival for something completely unreasonable. I don't think I was being unreasonable, but most people disagreed with me.
In the end, I had a great time. I didn't let it ruin my trip (though some people were still complaining 8 days later). But I did pay for an 8 day trip---not a 7 day trip. Some people wanted to withhold one day of tips. But I felt that was wrong. It wasn't the fault of the people who work on the ship----and they likely don't make that much money to begin with. Why penalize them? But Carnival certainly owed us more than they did.
At the end of the day, this is apparently the way the cruise industry works. Apparently they don't give you anything more than they are legally required to.
I don't know if this will chase me away from Carnival in the future. But it certainly will make me think about it.
I am aware of where Bermuda is located...I don't care where it's located as long as the trip there was smooth and the weather was beautiful ( which it was - in fact the weather was gorgeous all but the first day out of NY).
The weather was lousy where we were scheduled to go...
Even if Carnival knew the engine was a problem before...I don't care...I was scheduled for vacation that day, those 8 days...I would have flipped if they had cancelled the cruise all together....my husband gets two weeks vacation period...he could not have just rescheduled and showed up at work the next day...he doesn't fly, we would have been stuck at home...for all I care we could have sailed to nice weather where ever it was....
Sure I was disappointed at not going to our 3 ports...is it the end of the world...after losing loved ones and living thru 9/11 I'm sorry just can't get worked up about it...could Carnival have done more?done better by us all? Sure,but based on the contract they don't have to do much if anything...Do I think other cruise lines might handle the situation differently?Maybe, maybe not....
Bottom line...we had a great cruise...the $150 was appreciated and we will be using the 15% discount Carnival offered when we book next year on the Legend...