Got off the Conquest yesterday, and was going to give it a pretty good review, until....
I had read on this forum, where previous Conquest passengers had claimed that false charges were added to their Sail & Sign Account. I wanted to give Carnival the benefit of the doubt, but this is my story.
Believe it or not, I went through the whole week without adding any charges to my account (other than the standard $70 in tips). I checked my account a few times during the week, and no charges appeared. I even checked it the night before debarkation, prior to going to bed. To my surprise, when I woke up in the morning and checked the paper copy of my S&S Account, there was a $7.00 (plus 15% s/c) charge on my account, listed as "in room beverage".
I went to the Purser's desk and had it removed. They didn't act surprised, nor did they question my demand that it be removed.
I am almost 100% sure that this charge was a deliberate act. It could only have gotten on my account by either the Purser adding it, or the Cabin Steward reporting that I had consumed $7 worth of in-room beverages.
As far as the Cabin steward doing it, I can not see where he would gain, and he knew that I had had the mini-bar remain locked throughout the cruise. Therefore, it almost certainly is a deliberate act by someone in the pursur's office.
I say that, and not lightly, because the charge only appeared after the on-screen account system was terminated, showed up on the day of debarkation when passengers are in a hurry to get off the ship, and was a small amount that most people would not waste their time complaining about.
Was it a small amount? I know that not every passenger had a false charge added to their S&S account, as a friend staying in another cabin did not have any extra charges. So, even if Carnival only charges 1/3 of the passengers an average of $10, that adds up to $10,000 a week, or over $1/2 million a year. Not chump change. In fact, that would be considered grand larceny in any jurisdiction in the U.S.
So, what can we do as Carnival customers?
1. Obviously, verify all your charges while on the Conquest, and complain to the Purser if you find any.
2. Write to the Carnival CEO letting him know that, unless he takes some visible, public action we will boycott all Carnival products.
3. If you are on a cruise and have a false charge added, I suggest (and I know it will be hard for most people) cancelling all automatic tips.
The only way this practice will cease is if either Carnival's pocketbook is affected, or Carnival employees start complaining about losing pay.
Well, that's my story. If you're going to be on the Conquest, be sure to verify all your charges.