As a Carnival Cruiselines fan, I never thought I would be writing this! After a nice cruise that had been extended by 2 days due to hurricaine Jeanne we were DUMPED. Our ship, the Glory, was unable to make port at Port Canaveral, so we were taken to Port Everglades. Those of us that made our own travel arrangements were told that once we reached port, represenative from the airlines would be available to assist us. No one was there. Once we were able to contact our airlines all flights had been booked up for 3 days. All Carnival would offer was a "complimentary" 4 hour bus ride to Orlando Airport where we could wait for 3 days for a flight. No assistance in finding a hotel, no other options. We had no idea what we would face once reaching Orlando. Would there be an available hotel? We declined the bus transportation offer and stayed in Ft. Lauderdale , made our own flight arrangements from Ft Lauderdale and got home earlier than we would have if Carnival had "helped" by carting us to Orlando. This still took us 3 days. 3 days of lost wages, extra charges for parking, boarding animals, babysitting, hotel charges, meals, car rental.
The Airport Sheraton was much more accomodating and helpful in the 3 days we spent there than Carnival was after 9 days and thousands of dollars we spent with them.
I am not giving up on cruising...NEVER!!!.. But next cruise I think I will give another line a try.
Oh please. I'm so sick of seeing this stuff now. I just don't know or understand what it is that people want from Carnival. Carnival had all the ships docked in MIami and Port Everglades because of Canaveral being closed and the Port of Miami being closed on the weekend. Do you realize how many thousands of people that amounted to? Not only were those people there that were getting off the ships you also had the other people who were now getting on the ships. You chose to book your own air so in no way was Carnival obligated to find you a flight home. That was the AIRLINES that should of helped you. Of course all the flights were booked, the airports had been closed and flights canceled so there were a lot of people ahead of you to get onto flights. You did at least get the two extra days of accommodation and meals for FREE.
Carnival did their part by getting you back to where you departed whether by ship or bus you had an opportunity to get there!!
Just chalk it up to hurricane season and get on with it. Life is far to short to keep on and on and on and on about this stuff.
Sounds like cruzinRN tried to save a few bucks by booking their own air--- then expected Carnival to come charging to the rescure in an emergency. Carnival really didn't owe you the bus ride, much less anything else. In addittion to Carnival, factor in Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America ,Princess and the other lines and you may get the picture that you weren't the only one having difficulities. Overall, the cruise lines did very well considering airports closed, port facilities closed, emergencies declared, etc. etc.
Carnivals first duties were to the people who had booked air through them, not the ones who had willingly decided to go their own way in order to save a buck. Had Carnival dropped everything and catered to you, then someone who had booked air through Carnival would have had to wait. Would that have been fair ? Hardly.
As I stated, the cruise lines did very well considering the mess they had and the thousands of people they had to handle. You were inconvienced--- not by Carnival but by the way you chose to handle you air arrangements and by mother nature.
Kuki:..I feel it would have been just and fair to give us access to telephones so that we could get in touch with our airlines. Or maybe offer internet access to take care of arrangements. Our cell phones were useless until we reached port. Would a phone bank after debarkation been unreasonable? Or even an update on the status of flights out of Orlando. At the port we did not know if Orlando airport was even open . If not for the kindness of a stranger lending his cell phone for use (very generous) we would not have known we could change our air to fly out of Ft. Lauderdale. I understand they were dealing with a large volume of passengers in a bad situation., but at the time we really felt lost. I did not expect cabin credit or cruise discounts, but the cruise director did use that example in his welcome aboard speech when he was reassuring us that we would be safe and taken care of aboard ship.
Ron and Phoebe...Unless you were there you couldn't possibly understand. How would you feel about possibly sleeping in an airport or a shelter for 3 days? That is not a good feeling to be dropped off in a place you have never seen before and have no idea if you could get a hotel and no way to find out when and if your air transportation could be re-arranged. A phone at the port would have been nice. Also we were PROMISED that represenatives would be in port to help those of us who had made our own arrangements reschedule.This did not happen. Thanks to the generosity of a stranger with a cell phone(ours was dead) we were able to make some arrangements. As for booking with Carnival (airfare) $59 to book our own vs $274 for Carnival to book it. Some of the Carnival people waited days for flights as well. They just paid Carnival $200+ to make that phone call. And two free days..We were automatically charged for additional gratuities(which the crew deserved) we also gave our stewards and waitstaff additional gratuties on top of that,(it was not fair that they lose the income they depend on )so it was not exactly free.
Waiting days for flights was not the cruiselines fault it was the airlines fault. It really boils down to being the hurricanes fault for everything. It wouldn't have mattered if you'd been on a cruise or staying un an hotel you still would not have flown out if the airports were closed. and flights were canceled. I'm sure there are pay phones at the port, there are in every port I've ever been to.
Another thing, Carnival is a cruise line not an airline they only make flight reservations for the convenience of passengers. They are iin no way obligated to do anything for you as far as flights go. You can read this in #13 of your cruise documents
"13. (a)Guest acknowledges that all Shore excursions/tours (whether conducted in the water, on land or by air), airline flights and ground transportation, as well as the ship's physician, nurse and on board concessions (including but not limited to, the gift shops, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, golf and art programs, video/snorkel concession) are either operated by or are independent contractors. Carnival neither supervises nor controls their actions, nor makes any representation either express or implied as to their suitability. Carnival, in arranging for the services called for by the physician or nurse, all on board concessions, all shore excursion/tour tickets, all pre and post cruise airline flights or other transportation off of the ship and its tenders, does so only as a convenience for the Guest and Guests are free to use or not use these services. Guest agrees that Carnival assumes no responsibility, does not guarantee performance and in no event shall be liable for any negligent or intentional acts or omissions, loss, damage, injury or delay to Guest and/or Guest's baggage, property or effects in connection with said services. Guests use the services of all independent contractors at the Guest's sole risk. Independent contractors are entitled to make a proper charge for any service performed with respect to a Guest."
Whenever we cruise we ALWAYS take our cell phone charger with us 'just in case' so that again is not Carnivals fault.
Two days of tips was only $20 per person. You wouldn't of found a hotel and meals for two days for $20 each.
If this had been me I would of tried to rent a car and drive to an airport that had flights rather than sit in an airport or shelter for 3 days. I live in Florida and I do know what it's like to have no power for days, your house to be damaged and everything else that goes along with hurriccanes.
I can understand your feelings. Its bad not knowing what to do. Hopefully your next cruise will be better at the end. We have cruised once during hurricane season and had wonderful weather, but I dont think I would do it again. This has been a bad year. Best time to cruise is February and March. Beautiful weather, plus we enjoy getting away from the cold
Song of America Dec '90
Starship Majestic May '89
Sovereign X 5
Majesty Jul '01
Enchantment X 4
Regal Empress Dec '02
Mariner May '07 April '08
Grandeur Feb '08
Inspiration Oct '08
Radiance of the Seas Oct '10
Hey even Mickey Mouse wouldn't have been able to help you leave DisneyWorld.....it was a hurricane for heaven sakes NOBODY's fault......well maybe the weatherman, we could blame him I guess. That's the risk you take traveling in hurricane season....that's why the prices are cheaper !!!!!
Lesley, I am truly sorry your trip didn't live up to your expectations. I know you were really looking forward to it and must feel disappointed. I'm also glad to hear you aren't giving up on cruising and if you feel Carnival was wrong, then you *should* try another line.
I disagree with you and think that Carnival did what it could to accomodate you. It was certainly not the responsibility of Carnival to get an airline reservation, or hotel reservation for you.
But that being said, I hope your next cruise goes better.
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
Whoa...don't misunderstand..I didn't expect $$ or reservations. I just wanted what I was told would be available. I don't feel telephone or internet access would have been unreasonable to expect, since the represenatives we were told would be there were not available. I would never ask for gratuities to be removed from my account (many did) and I enjoyed my cruise. I was just unhappy about the way we were herded toward buses, implying that going back to Orlando was the best option. (it was not). The debarkation could have gone more smoothly for many if more information were available. We are midwesterners with no idea about what a hurricane can do. We were a little frightened and had no idea where we were going and when we would get home.
As for renting a car and driving home, it is a grueling 2 day (26+ hr) drive,and finding a vehicle for 6 passengers and a ton of luggage isn't an easy task. It took a large SUV and a trailer just to get us to the airport!
I have sympathy for those that lost much more than a couple days of work in the series of terrible hurricanes. We did find hotels and are grateful that we have the resourses to pay the $600 it took to get a hotel and car and meals while we waited for a flight. I feel sorry for those that did not.
I do feel bad for the troubles you had when you got off the ship. I'm certain any one of us would have been upset faced with the same situation.
However, I do believe Carnival was probably doing whatever they could under very unusual circumstances. Even communication for them with their head office, or airlines would have been a mess, because the hurricane was hitting Florida. Offices, ports, airports were closed until the day before ALL the ships returned.
It was simply an overall MESS, but I don't believe you can blame the cruise lines. In the short time they were operational after the hurricane, their first obligation would in fact be to those who booked air with them.
We don't (and won't) know... but perhaps the airlines told Carnival they'd have representatives at the pier to assist passengers, and then couldn't get their staff there.
There were also likely all sorts of people travelling that week, stuck in the same sort of situation because of cancelled flights etc who hadn't been on a cruise, but were vacationers, business travellers etc.
You all got caught in an almost unprecedented situation, and unfortunately had to deal with it as best you could.
I think Kuki made a point most people don't even consider and that is that in addition to the thousands of cruise ship travelers, there are thousands of others such as families vacationing, business travelers, etc that are also trying just as hard to get flights and get back home, wherever that may be. Consider too if you will, that there are hundreds of people that work directly for the cruise lines and airlines that have had their homes and life directly affected--- many couldn't get to work, many are off work trying to salvage their belongings, making arrangements for shelter for their families, etc thereby making for a less than full work force for the air and cruise lines.Many things have to be considered before starting to be critical of the cruise or air lines.
Being upset because one had to be inconvienced for a couple of days getting home kinda pales when you consider that there are thousands with no homes at all, homes that are damaged too badly to live in, some injured and hospitalized, some peoples businesses destroyed, people out of work and even some with no power as of yet.
I concede..It is hard to see the other side when you are in the thick of it. I am thankful to be home safely. Next time I will bring an extra cell battery and maybe look into a cruise at a time other than hurricane season. or Maybe we can talk mother nature into moving hurricane season to another time. I really do like to cruise with DH on our wedding anniversary! We certainly will not forget our 15th !
Considering all the people in Florida had to go thru, I am sure that Carnival had prepared for arrival the best that they could. It is kinda hard to get employees to feel sorry for someone who has to wait two to three days to go home, when the employees may not even have a home to go home to or have themselves been sleeping in a shelter for three days.
I see no reason for any complaining or reason to blame CCL for anything. You got two extra days onboard the ship because a hurricane had closed the ports. Nothing CCL could do about this, that's all Mother Nature. They did offer to take you to Orlando which is where people fly into for cruises out of PC anyway. It is not the fault of CCL that 'your' airline rep was not there to talk to you. I have no doubt that CCL asked all airlines to help out those that were booked on their flights and see if they could help them with something out of FFL, it is not CCL's fault they did not. You were not dumped, you were offered a free ride back to the airport you would have been flying out of and you refused this offer. CCL did nothing wrong as far as I can see and tried to help everyone out as much as they legally could.
I was also on the that same cruise on the Glory and didn't have a problem. We had booked our own transportation and when we were told on Saturday morning that we would be at sea two more days I called Delta from the ship and simply changed my flight from Saturday till Monday.....no problem......When we arrived at Port Everglades we were taken to Orlando airport in a painless and comfortatble bus. Yes it is a long ride to the airport (3 hours) but that is not Carnivals fault..It just amazes me how everyones opinion differs. We arrived home on Monday everning the same time we would have arrived home had we gotten off the ship on time. I think you complaint should be with the airline you booked through and not Carnival....In my opinion Carnival had the safety of the passengers in mind.
In all this discussion, I thought about the family's that drove to the port and parked there personal cars there. They went on a fabulas cruise, and when they returned, there was a possibility that there vehicles where gone or damaged, Or possibly damaged so they where undriveable.
I guess I thought about this because, we cruise in the hurricane season, and take my chances. Not only for the prices, but thats when the wife and I can both can get away from our jobs together. And most likely, I would drive to Port Canaveral, or Fort Lauderdale.
Cruzrn, I understand where your coming from. When your 100's or 1000's of miles away from home, you react to things differently. Then after you get settled down, you can look back and then you see what you could've done, or should've done to make things easier. ( if possible ) Well, hopefully your luck will change with your next cruise.
Just think, oneday, you'll laugh about that !
JeanS.. I paid and additional $40 per cabin for auto gratuities plus the additional gratuities to my steward and dining staff that they would be missing out on since they did not board new passengers. I didn't have to, but it wasn't free. I DID NOT HAVE A COMPLAINT about the extra days on board, I loved them.
Next time you make a snide remark about cruising in hurricaine season..think about what would happen to the price of your premium season cruise if no one cruised August thru November? Did you consider that not everyone gets to pick and choose when they vacation?
We are already laughing about it. We had 3 fun days in Beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, which we would never have seen otherwise. The best(and only) Apple Marguarita I have ever had. I also learned that marguaritas and surf don't mix and it is very difficult to stand up when that combination is messing with you. I learned that real friends will erase video tape of the above if you whine enough. I learned that Rocco's Pizza on Hollywood beach is the best italian food I have ever had! AND I learned to tke time to cool off before you post on CruiseMates! : p
We sailed on the Glory on the following cruise - the one that was delayed 2 days because of the Hurricane.
Carnival handled our group (10 of us) very well considering the circumstances. Communication on the port changes and itinerary changes was timely and accurate.
We booked our own airfare, knowing the "risks" involved - it is very clear in the Carnival brochure that if you book your own airfare, you are basically on your own in getting to and from the ship/port. We took a Carnival provided bus from Orlando airport directly to the port. Once at the port, they did an excellent job of processing everyone, especially considering they do not normally use this terminal (i.e. had no computers, etc.). We were onboard, enjoying the food and drinks in under 1 hour!!!
They offered us a full refund if we cancelled, however we were adventerous and decided to make the best of it. So we got a partial refund, onboard credit, and $100 per person for revised travel arrangements.
We have nothing to complain about and are already planning our next Carnival cruise for next year. (Yes, again in hurricane season, but we know the risks, and realize the price savings!).
FYI...this was the first cruise for several in our party and they all had a great time and all think Carnival handled the hurricane extremely well.
Booked: CARNIVAL DREAM!
Carnival Spirit '09, Liberty '07, Spirit '05, Valor '05, Glory '04, Pride '03, Destiny '02, Elation '01, Tropicale '91, RCCL Viking Serenade '93, Pacific Princess '78
sounds like ron and phobe are two peas in the same pod, or maybe the same person. we just returned from a cruise on the holiday. most of the cruise was great,but all is not well. before i make my complaint on this or any forum we will wait a reasonable time to see what carnival offers. this was our first cruise but not our last,we're hooked now.its a wait and see thing now.
i think 6-8 weeks is to long though.