MOBILE, Al) April 1 - Many passengers aboard Carnival's Holiday cruise ship returning from a cruise to Mexico say they had a terrible time.
The ship, said to be newly refurbished, has been on loan to FEMA to house hurricane Katrina evacuees in Pascagoula.
"The best time I had on this ship was this morning getting off of it." Angry passengers returning from a vacation aboard Carnival's Holiday cruise ship share horror stories about their experience. Allen Moore of Indiana holds a poster board full of names of other passengers dissatisfied with the cruise ship. "The hot and cold water fluctuates. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't" he says.
The ship, now back in Mobile to pick up even more passengers, took its first voyage to Mexico since being chartered by FEMA to house hurricane evacuees. "Hot tubs...they were out of service which is ok, but they were welding on them, working on them with my kids right there" says Moore.
Before the ship took off, Carnival officials stated improvements would be made to make this vacation a comfortable one for passengers. But some say even the basic necessities were not available, like working toilets, flushing their idea of a vacation down the drain. "It was like sewage. It was brown, green, disgusting. We have video" says Melissa Clemmons, a Panama City resident.
Meanwhile, crew members work to prepare the ship for another five day cruise, a cruise so many others, including the family from Panama City, wish they had not taken. "I don't want that ship to leave today with another group of two thousand victims" says Clemmons.
Many passengers aboard the ship did receive letters from carnival stating a guest services representative would contact them sometime this week.
from a TV news report in Mobile.....
Sounds like Carnival is rushing these ships back into service before they are ready to go..... What is going on at Carnival???? I have a booking set for later this October.... hope they get their act together soon.... the cruise industry doesn't need any more bad press.
I was on this trip from @#$@. please read the sum of horrors I wrote to beachbumsam for his post. Do not sail on this ship until it is repaired and even then i'd have resevations. The public restrooms were worse than any truckstop or pot o let you've ever been in. Unless you like roughing it stay off this boat!
We called our travel agency today. We conveyed our concerns about the Holiday. They were not aware of any problems, they contacted Carnival, said that there were none.
I told the TA about the comments stated on this website. She checked into Cruise Critics board also. We asked about possibly changing our reservations to the Inspiration( same length,same dates) she said if they could it would be for about 85.00 more a person. She contacted Carnival again, they would not do the change :evil: We are not flying so we have no airplane problems.
As of this moment we are still going on the Holiday 4-15 and hope for the best. I am to contact the Travel Agency's manager, to see if she could give us any good news.
I can be a very loud mouthy person if there is any problems, I hope I will not get kicked off the ship like the poor people on the Sensation. I have to use some self control. Maybe we could get compensated with a discount on a future cruise.
I will let you know...
Carnival Holiday Eastern Caribbean Feb 1986
Carnival Valor Eastern Caribbean Nov 2005
Carnival Holiday Mexican Riviera April 2006
Princess Sun Princess Alaska May 2007
It is disappointing when Carnival makes an error like this. The Holiday and the Sensation were obviously put back into service to quickly.
A possible explanation is that this was a first time experiment with the ships being "docked" for 6 months. If you take a complicated huge piece of equipment that already has some 20 years of service under its belt and change its routine for 6 months, things that normally do not break ...will!
Clearly Carnival should have extended the dry dock time by at least two weeks, since it was dealing with an unknown element with this dry dock.
All that being said, there are things that cruisers have a right to expect to be in good working order. The toilet and showers, hot water, and the amenities that were advertised (hot tubs, ping pong etc.)
IMHO, Carnival should be issuing 50% refunds to anyone who had a toilet and shower not fully functional. (not on future cruises, but 50% refund of actual money). With the amenities issues not being up and running, then future discounts of up to 50% (depending on the amount of services the folks were deprived of) should be issued.
To those currently booked, these are my words of wisdom....
hopefully all will be fixed ASAP, however if you encounter difficulties..
For major valid complaints like toilets, showers or lack of water - document it. Then nicely (let me restate that...nicely) go to the Purser's desk and ask for on board credit. Have reasonable expectations for the
amount of credit. If that request is denied, then keep your documentation to write a letter when you get home. Again, don't threaten anyone, if the Purser's desk doesn't sufficiently attend to your request. They all wear name badges, simply note their name so that in your letter you can state that you tried to get settle this on the ship and was unable to do so.
For other amenities (kiddie pool closed, Camp Carnival not up to par, no ping pong tables etc) again document those items which you were looking forward to and that Carnival did not deliver on to list in your letter to corporate when you get home.
If it is necessary to write a letter when you get home, keep it short and to the point. Start off with the good things (and I promise there will be some - even among the worst of cruises unless you are packing a starfish)
then write - "however, the reason for my letter is..."
Keep the complaints to the point. Don't exaggerate or generalize (like all the food was aweful).
I can assure that a reasonable letter will receive a reasonable response.
Don't have unrealistic expectations. They are not going to give you a free cruise, short of the ship sinking.
In all the years of cruising, I am only "type" from personal experience. No cruise has been perfect, but Carnival has always been fair with us whenever we had an issue.
Throwing a childish fit may make you temporarily feel better, but it will not achieve any of the results you really want. (just watch any episode of "Airlines".)
Go and have a good time. And deal with any issues, if and when they happen. And come back and let us know how it went.
COMPLETES THE FLEET
If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!
Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
I am suprised that Carnival reps were unaware of the issues that were encountered with the water lines and plumbing on board, especially since it did make news. But I guess if they are in the dark... .then they cannot comment. Since it doesn't sound like your getting to change your itinerary/ship... try to enjoy it and have a good time. Hopefully things will be fixed and all amenities up and working.
Great suggestions for anyone going out in the next few weeks. Until they get things straightened out... document what is wrong so that you have something to support your claims. This is perfect not just on these fresho out of drydock carnival ships... but any cruise line.
to all cruisers...
Most importantly.... just have fun. Everything won't be totally bad... so enjoy the things that you can enjoy. Nothing ever goes as planned on any cruise and there will always be a bump in the ocean to deal with.
Another suggestion for those with upcoming cruises - take pictures of non-functioning things to send with your letter. Sometimes a picture can speak much louder and better than words.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
I have to ask, if things were as bad as people say, why did they not ask for the Carnival Vacation Guarantee
"Notify us before arrival at the first port of call and you may debark at your ship's first non-U.S. port of call.
Carnival will refund the unused portion of your cruise fare and pay your flight back. "
Age of the ship shouldn't matter... .yes.. it may not be in the best of conditions... but things should be working.... like toilets and plumbing!!!
I think what it comes down to with the drydocks/refurbs of these old ships that Carnival leased out to FEMA..... they just wanted revenue from them ASAP. Even if they return half of the passengers fares... they still made money off them via alcohol/casino/tours etc while they were on board the ship!