CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums

CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/)
-   Carnival Cruise Lines (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/)
-   -   WORST VACATION EVER (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/365357-worst-vacation-ever.html)

mikkimmi June 16th, 2009 02:31 PM

WORST VACATION EVER
 
My Experience on my Carnival Sensation cruise from June 7th, 2009 to June 11th,2009.

1) The food – the food in the main dining room was very good and the waiter we had was great but the buffet was a different story. The Lido deck buffet was terrible I could get better food for the local $4 buffet. The staff was very rude and arguing with each other every time we were there. And the Midnight Buffet that everyone I talked to before the cruse said it was supposed to be fantastic and we have better food at a backyard BBQ, we were served Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, & grilled chicken with sauerkraut and chili for toppings and tat was all. No big chocolate fountain, or ice sculpture, or even any dessert ant all except the soft serve ice cream machine. The Pizza area was open 24 hours but I have had frozen pizza that tasted better.

2) Show and entertainment – The shows were good and we liked the 2 different comedians but for a family cruise more then half the area had an age limit. My 14 year old daughter like the Circle O area she said it was great but was very un-happy when she and my 17 year old son tried to use the water slid and it was closed 90% of the time. They would close it when it started to rain but when it cleared up never reopened it.

3) Hard sells – I went to the spa once and my husband & I went to one of the one on one seminars offered at the spa and both time we felt like we were at a timeshare. After the went through the seminar/spa treatment they tried to sell more products and that would have been fine if they would have stopped after the first no but we were there for another 10 min with “if you think that is too expensive how about this?” We herd that statement about 4 times before we could finely leave.

4) Alcohol – There was staff walking around the whole time trying to get everyone to buy alcoholic beverages which would have been fine even when they tried to get you to buy one at breakfast at 8 am but when they tried to sell one to my 17 year old and to my 14 year old I think they went too far. My daughter was eating breakfast at the buffet and was at the table alone while waiting for her brother and friend to get to the table a server walked up to her with alcoholic beverages on the tray and tried to sell one to her.

5) Double charged for everything – I used my sign and sail card for everything on the cruise and as I used the card the money was taken off my Credit Card on every transaction then I was charged the total amount again at the end of the trip resulting in a negative balance on my money card. Because of this problem we did not have any money to get home after the cruise, I had to call my parents and they paid for a hotel room for our drive home as well as sending us some money through the money gram system of Wal-Mart. And as for today Monday June 15th, 2009 at 9:30 am the money hold has still not been released.

So after this VERY BAD Carnival Vacation I feel like I was mislead and ripped off from all the information that was given on the website. I spent $1819.84 on the cruise itself plus the $699.80 in extras on the ship, it cost on an average $110 a night (1 night on the way down and one night each before and after the cruse in FL) at a hotel for the drive down to Florida an average total of $330, it was $480 for the rental car plus gas (About $200), then there was the money I had to have my parents send me some money $200 and a money gram fee of $12, they also paid for the room on the drive home ($113). Add the double charge of $699.80, so over all the total of my vacation was $4342.44 and that does not include meals on the way to and from the ship. I believe the best thing would be a full refund but after a lot of internet research I understand Carnival never gives refunds.

I Also talked to several other passengers that have traveled on carnival in the past one was even a Platinum member with them and she said this was the worst cruise she and her family had ever been on and would probably never travel with Carnival again.

So bottom line I will be contacting the Attorney General of the state of Missouri where I live. I will tell every one of the 300 employees at My International Company about my experience and well as all my family and friends. I also plan to have business cards made up with this bad experience and give them out to every person I can as well as having my friends & family had them out. My husband also takes business trips around the world for his job and has one coming up to Fl this month where he will let every one he can talk to know about our experience. Just in the 6 days we have been home there has been at least 25 people that were going to take cruises with Carnival and they will now be planning there vacation with Royal Caribbean.

Ron June 16th, 2009 03:21 PM

Boy--sounds like you had the works. :shock: Sorry for your spoiled vacation but don't put Carnival out of business before this coming Jan. as I'm scheduled on the new Dream !! Thanks, :wink: :wink:

ferrangi June 16th, 2009 03:34 PM

I'm sorry you had a bad vacation but that seems a little dramatic making up cards and such... :-?
Especially since you yourself have proof that this may have been an isolatied experience, since you spoke with a platumn member (which means she's enjoyed carnival enough to keep coming back to become a platinum member) and said this was the worst it's ever been.

I would not hold every ship and every crew member responsible for one bad cruise.

Again, I'm sorry about your bad experience, I hope your next cruise (which ever line you use) is much better. :wink:

marysed June 16th, 2009 03:42 PM

Well on my last cruise in Dec they had the water park shut down too most of the time. But I understood their reasons the it is on the top deck and they had it all shut down most of the trip because of rough sea. Yes my son was disapointed. But yet he still had a good trip and ready to go on another one next year. They even cancled the a lot of excursions because of the rough sea I have to say I didn't really hear too much complaining. I guess people understood it was the weather not Carnival.
I am sorry you had such a bad vacation......

mikkimmi June 16th, 2009 03:47 PM

Not just an isolated incident
 
Since I have been home I have been researching this and have come to find out that there have been a lot of people having the same problems for at least the last 3 years. See below just a few of the web links I found.
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/trave...l_billing.html
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/trave...l_badfood.html
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/trave...al_disorg.html
http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...nes-c4439.html
http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...e-c170910.html

green_rd June 16th, 2009 03:50 PM

Re: WORST VACATION EVER
 
Alas, I watched Sensation leave Port Canaveral on June 7th and was jealous of those folks sailing off in the rain.

Here is the one I don't understand.
Quote:

Originally Posted by mikkimmi
My Experience on my Carnival Sensation cruise from June 7th, 2009 to June 11th,2009.

5) Double charged for everything – I used my sign and sail card for everything on the cruise and as I used the card the money was taken off my Credit Card on every transaction then I was charged the total amount again at the end of the trip resulting in a negative balance on my money card. Because of this problem we did not have any money to get home after the cruise, I had to call my parents and they paid for a hotel room for our drive home as well as sending us some money through the money gram system of Wal-Mart. And as for today Monday June 15th, 2009 at 9:30 am the money hold has still not been released.

This sounds like more of a problem with the card issuer. Carnival will put a hold on your card but the hold disappears when the charge goes through. I have never heard of this being a problem.

WRT your pre/post cruise expenses, it is important to count the cost but Carnival or any other cruise line can not estimate what you will choose to spend getting to or from port. That is on you. [Of course there is a long thread under Cruise Gripes about the total cost of cruising, <sigh>.]

mikkimmi June 16th, 2009 04:03 PM

Double Charge
 
Double the amount was placed on hold for every transaction we did on the ship so by the end of the trip we had no money to get home. We spent $700 on the ship but a hold of $1400 was placed on our card and the hold was just released today (a week from the first transaction).

katlady June 16th, 2009 04:15 PM

Mikimmi I'm sorry you had such a bad vacation. It's sad to say but Carnival stopped having the Midnight buffet, it sounds like you were at a deck party with food. I agree it's a shame that Carnival stopped having this. I wish someone had let you know before the cruise so you wouldn't have looked forward to it.

It's a shame about the waterslide not being open. I stopped going to the spa because of the hard sells. The teeth whitening seminars are the worst. My only defense with your 17 year old being offered the drink of the day is maybe she looks older and they thought she was 21 when they offered to her. I don't know why they would offer alcohol to a 14 year old that is a concern.

They double charged for everything is a big problem. Carnival will charge $10 per person per day in tips. So for 4 people on a seven day it would be $280 on the sail and sign card to start. If your receipts don't match what your account says you could have spoken to the purser's desk to understand and remove charge made in error. I'm sorry this is to late to help you, but maybe it will help someone else. You can watch your account on the TV in you room.

Quote:

So after this VERY BAD Carnival Vacation I feel like I was mislead and ripped off from all the information that was given on the website.
I'm guessing the website you are talking about is the Carnival Site. It's a shame you didn't come here before the cruise. Because there are some "hidden" charges to cruising mass market lines. I have made a spread sheet to track these.

I drive to port so there is:
1. the cost of gas*
2. the cost of parking*
3. the cost of a hotel room
4. tips, taxes and port fees
5.Pet sitting fees (I have cats and dogs)
6. Travel Insurance
* If flying the gas and parking get replaced by airfare and transfers. If cruising out of Galveston the transfers can be a large cost.

These costs do not include shore excursions and misc costs on the ship (bingo, drinks, gambling, spa treatments etc.) The danger of a sail and sign card is the charges are easy to lose track of. I'm sorry to hear you trip ended so badly, I know what I have said is to late to help you. But maybe we can help someone else.

katlady June 16th, 2009 04:20 PM

Re: Double Charge
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mikkimmi
Double the amount was placed on hold for every transaction we did on the ship so by the end of the trip we had no money to get home. We spent $700 on the ship but a hold of $1400 was placed on our card and the hold was just released today (a week from the first transaction).

Wow that is strange I have not had the happen to me. I wonder if that is Carnival or your card.

patio daddy-o June 16th, 2009 04:53 PM

You don't know this but they also stuck their tongues out at you behind your back.

How were they pushing "alcoholic drinks" on your 14-yr old at 8AM when the bars don't open until 9AM? One post wonder. LOL

Aerogirl June 16th, 2009 04:54 PM

Midnight buffet ? I thought they did away with that???

april_4_us June 16th, 2009 06:02 PM

Lets see if I can explain this as a bank teller. Alot I mean alot of places put a "hold" on an amount of money and then like it was stated once it is actually charged the hold falls off. This is basically confirmation that they are going to get their money. This really isn't Carnival's billing it's the processor who did the processing. I am sorry you had a crummy time.
april

BobMiller June 16th, 2009 06:09 PM

Re: WORST VACATION EVER
 
Sorry about your bad trip Kim. I have hit a few similar snags on cruises but never so many on one trip. Almost all were eventually worked out or didn’t amount to much to begin with. Just a few thoughts though.


Quote:

Originally Posted by mikkimmi
And the Midnight Buffet that everyone I talked to before the cruse said it was supposed to be fantastic and we have better food at a backyard BBQ, we were served Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, & grilled chicken with sauerkraut and chili for toppings and that was all. No big chocolate fountain, or ice sculpture, or even any dessert ant all except the soft serve ice cream machine.

Carnival does not have the midnight buffet every night any more. I don’t know if they have it at all on the shorter cruises but it’s usual on the last “fun day at sea” on the longer cruises. I think even then some of the food sculptures and such have been reduced. Sounds like you hit one of the nights with some of the food stations open at midnight, just not technically the “Midnight Buffet”.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikkimmi
5) Double charged for everything – I used my sign and sail card for everything on the cruise and as I used the card the money was taken off my Credit Card on every transaction then I was charged the total amount again at the end of the trip resulting in a negative balance on my money card. Because of this problem we did not have any money to get home after the cruise, I had to call my parents and they paid for a hotel room for our drive home as well as sending us some money through the money gram system of Wal-Mart. And as for today Monday June 15th, 2009 at 9:30 am the money hold has still not been released.

Was this a Credit Card or Debit Card. I’ve seen this a lot with Missouri debit cards. The Kansas City FOX4 TV station ran a series of news stories were banks were putting a $100 hold on debit cards trying to use the pay at the pump features. Everyone complained to the gas stations but they had no control over it.

It happened at grocery stores and hotels too. People were running out of cash because the holds were bigger than the purchases they were making.

It would seem odd if Carnival ran your debit card more than once for the deposit then again for the pay off, but if your card shows activity for each transaction then they likely held the amount required to cover the final bill. Then when they charged the final bill the bank didn’t release the holds for the individual purchases.

I've never had my credit card charged until the end of the cruise and usually holds don't prevent me from making further charges.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikkimmi
So bottom line I will be contacting the Attorney General of the state of Missouri where I live.

Most people do want to try to ruffle as many feathers as possible when they have a bad experience but there is probably not enough evidence of intention fraud to get the Attorney General’s attention. Besides you would really need to work with the law enforcement in the state where Carnival has its business license.

Your best bet to get any positive action is to write a polite letter to Carnival Guest Relations outlining the problems you had and suggestions on what they could have done to see that you enjoyed your cruise. They will often investigate the problems and try to correct them, but sometimes they will also offer you an incentive to give them another chance. The key is to be polite and express exactly what needs to be fixed. You write rather well so I don’t think that should be an issue.

Guest Relations
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Place
3655 N.W. 87th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33178

IBCRUZIN' June 16th, 2009 07:43 PM

I quickly read your complaints. IMHO, I believe there is more to this feeling of all around dissatisfaction with Carnival than you are sharing. You are irate about everything.

I have cruised often on Carnival and have found that there is a big difference between service on a 3/4 day cruise and service on a 6/7/8 day cruise. The better more experienced workers are on the longer cruises. It is a lot of work and wear and tear to turn over the ship to get ready for new passengers. This is the hardest part of the cruise for the crew members. Therefore, as soon as an employee has to brownie points, they move over to the longer cruises. Hence, service on the shorter cruises is just a bit compromised.

As far as making up cards and blasting Carnival, have at it if it makes you feel better. Carnival won't care. They have millions of happy customers and are not too concerned with the damage one unhappy camper can do. One point to remember, once you leave the ship Carnival is not the most customer service friendly company in the land. Solve all problem on the ship if possible.

As for being double billed. You used a debit card. Therefore, Carnival had to keep pre-authorizing an estimate of what you would spend. This is to ensure they are able to get their money. In the future, you should either (a) use a credit card with plenty of credit; (b) use cash to secure your sail and sign account or (c) carry a separate form of payment to use when off the ship. Debit cards are a headache for the purpose you used it. It is not that Carnival double billed you, it is that your bank did not release the holds when the actual charges came through. Leaving you with nothing left after the cruise.

Sorry you had a bad time but maybe your next vacation will be better.

misguidedangel June 16th, 2009 08:50 PM

I really don't want to believe this is a real post as it is only post #3.

First of all--Midnight buffets went away Sept 2008. Bye Bye gone fleet wide. I was fortunate to be on the last sailing that they had a gala buffet on the Liberty. They have a small Mexican buffet on deck party night, but emphasis on small....

S&S--I have had a credit card forever, and for many years I was at or OVER the credit limit. I could go as much as $800 over my credit limit before I was cut off...yes, not so proud about that point in my life. DOuble charging--if you checked your S&S on the cabin tv you would see your balance. How can they double charge for every purchase made--that would be impossible!

I sense you just want to vent and make Carnival look bad.

I'm going on cruise #8 in September (and seventh cruise in under 3 years) and I have yet to have a single problem. Sure, the food can be a little off one day to the next, but overall, I never have the hungry feeling while onboard a ship!!!

ShotoJuku June 16th, 2009 09:05 PM

Venting sour grapes makes "sour whine!" :cry:

Dutchman June 16th, 2009 09:41 PM

Not doing your homework as to how CC/atm/etc. are charged with all cruise lines caused almost all your problems. They all operate the same. If you were double charged you should have been at the pursers desk to take care of it before you debarked. I'm sure out of the millions that cruise there are other people that have had the same problem. They didn't do there homework. But they know how to whine after the fact.

llb June 16th, 2009 10:08 PM

I'm aggrevated to read a long whiney message that ends badly. There is no need to sabotage Carnival and if you are going to, this is not the place to do so!

I was stuck in a hurricane, in Jamaica AI vacation, no running water, no electricity, limited food and no entertainment...**** happens.

Build a bridge and get over it...

cruisermeg June 16th, 2009 10:15 PM

debit cards are really bad on cruises....i think when merchants authorize them, the funds are frozen...whereas, i don't think this is the case with credit cards...or ours has a high enough limit that it doesn't matter.

next time, use cash or a regular CC as it seems you used a debit card......

i, OTOH will be on my 1st CCL cruise on saturday and i expect to have fun....some fun ship specials and fun.

Cruznut2 June 17th, 2009 07:37 AM

This has to be the most negative letter I have ever seen.
I doubt that everything about this cruise was as bad as you portray it.
Selling alcoholic drinks to minors? Did you ever stop to think that the servers also offer soft drinks? My feeling is that they were offering to get a beverage for your child. Not neccessarily an alcoholic one. Yes they often have drinks on their trays for sale. It is also possible that those drinks were on the tray to be delivered to other passengers. I think you assume too much.
As to being assesed twice for the same charges. Why would you let it go? Did you even attempt to go to the pursers desk to discuss it?
So you want a full refund because you did not like the food? I would imagine that Carnival would be deluged in claims for a refund if everyone that found something they did not like asked for a refund. Me, I did not like the bleu cheese cake, where's the end of the line?
Obviously Carnival is doing something right. they are the most popular cruise line in the world. They did not get there by selling a bad product.

Quote:

I drive to port so there is:
1. the cost of gas*
2. the cost of parking*
3. the cost of a hotel room
4. tips, taxes and port fees
5.Pet sitting fees (I have cats and dogs)
6. Travel Insurance
* If flying the gas and parking get replaced by airfare and transfers. If cruising out of Galveston the transfers can be a large cost.
So why should Carnival be responsible for this?
Somehow I do not think Carnival {or any other line} will please you no matter what.

Laura

Chris M June 17th, 2009 07:48 AM

I was on the Sensation for the 3 day cruise just before you sailed. This was my 24th cruise on Carnival. As someone posted previously, 3/4 day cruises are vastly different from 7 day cruises, HOWEVER, I did not experience any of the items you describe. I found that the ship was in great shape and the food was of the same standard of previous Carnival sailings. I did find that there was very limited staff in the Lido area and they had a very difficult time keeping up with cleaning tables. It was very difficult to find a clean table (stacked dishes) at any given moment. I make this point to say...on any vacation, you might find 2 or 3 things that are not up to your standard, but one just has to focus on the positives. It saddens me that you could not find one thing "right" with the ship. Had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat. This was my 4th time sailing on the Sensation. In my opinion, and based on my experience with other cruise lines, Carnival is still the best. Give it another shot!

Chris64 June 17th, 2009 08:00 AM

"My husband also takes business trips around the world for his job and has one coming up to Fl this month where he will let every one he can talk to know about our experience."

Let's see... Your husband travels all around the world, yet when you supposedly got overcharged by (rounding off) $700 you couldn't get home on your own without help from mommy and daddy? What does he travel with...monopoly money?

This and a lot of your other comments just don't add up. Sounds to me like possibly one thing may have went wrong and off to the races we go looking for whatever else we can whine about. Have fun on your future vacations, I'll be on my Platinum Carnival cruise in 64 days!

katlady June 17th, 2009 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cruznut2
This has to be the most negative letter I have ever seen.
I doubt that everything about this cruise was as bad as you portray it.
Selling alcoholic drinks to minors? Did you ever stop to think that the servers also offer soft drinks? My feeling is that they were offering to get a beverage for your child. Not neccessarily an alcoholic one. Yes they often have drinks on their trays for sale. It is also possible that those drinks were on the tray to be delivered to other passengers. I think you assume too much.
As to being assesed twice for the same charges. Why would you let it go? Did you even attempt to go to the pursers desk to discuss it?
So you want a full refund because you did not like the food? I would imagine that Carnival would be deluged in claims for a refund if everyone that found something they did not like asked for a refund. Me, I did not like the bleu cheese cake, where's the end of the line?
Obviously Carnival is doing something right. they are the most popular cruise line in the world. They did not get there by selling a bad product.

Quote:

Originally Posted by katlady
I drive to port so there is:
1. the cost of gas*
2. the cost of parking*
3. the cost of a hotel room
4. tips, taxes and port fees
5.Pet sitting fees (I have cats and dogs)
6. Travel Insurance
* If flying the gas and parking get replaced by airfare and transfers. If cruising out of Galveston the transfers can be a large cost.

So why should Carnival be responsible for this?
Somehow I do not think Carnival {or any other line} will please you no matter what.

Laura

Hi Laura,
I wrote the part you quoted. I don't think Carnival should be responsible for this. That part was just informative for other new cruises. This is a list of additional cost a cruiser needs to consider when deciding if they can afford a cruise. However, Tips, taxes and port fees will be charged by Carnival. That thing to me that gives this post creditability is the fact that she admits to liking the dining room food and the shows. I think it's a waste of time to make up business cards and I think she should not get a full refund. But I also believe she is upset and once she calms down she will realize the business cards are just a little silly.

green_rd June 17th, 2009 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by misguidedangel
I really don't want to believe this is a real post as it is only post #3.

Actually I think this was post #1 when the OP posted. But I don't discount their feelings. It seems it is often the case when someone has a couple of bad experiences on a cruise everything becomes bad. It seems that often when people have a bad experience they feel a strong need to "warn" others.

kseltzer June 17th, 2009 09:08 AM

Re: Not just an isolated incident
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mikkimmi
Since I have been home I have been researching this and have come to find out that there have been a lot of people having the same problems for at least the last 3 years. See below just a few of the web links I found.
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/trave...l_billing.html
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/trave...l_badfood.html
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/trave...al_disorg.html
http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...nes-c4439.html
http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...e-c170910.html

It appears cruise lines are cutting back on amenities. Maybe you should try a resort? Also bare in mind Carnival Corporation owns many other cruise lines. Do you research and hope for the best.

Pocono Pug June 17th, 2009 09:28 AM

I smell a BS story. Sounds like another bunch of sour grapes to make Carnival look bad. Like Ive said in the past most of the people who write bad reviews go with a negative attitude. If this story is true Im sorry for your bad time. It wont stop me from cruising on Carnival.

lhp June 17th, 2009 09:35 AM

Dudes...we are clearly being punked here.....

no one is really that uneducated.....

Dave Beers June 17th, 2009 09:50 AM

Google any cruise line for complaints and you'll find them written up in some consumer affairs website too. You boast about people you know switching to RCI. Go ahead and search those websites you posted for Royal Caribbean and see what you get. They all get hit with petty complaints made into a maelstrom by disgruntled customers.

On any voyage, Carnival and the other lines expect X number of passengers aren't going to be happy. It's a business reality. They will play ball to a certain extent but beyond that they will write you off and move on. Plenty of other people out there to fill those cabins. Personally I like Carnival and have never left one of their cruises feeling I was somehow ripped off. I've always been satisfied because I look at the overall cruise and not nitpick it death.

Two points of reality to offer...the state AG isn't going to do anything other than file your complaint in a file cabinet in the basement, and you might want to consult your own lawyer before handing out business cards with anti-Carnival stuff printed on them. That could be actionable on the cruise line's part.

cruisingrandma June 17th, 2009 10:24 AM

You Said it all Dave Beers. Plus I do believe that this is just a poster trying to see how many people he can get to believe him. Someone might just be playing games here. Happy cruising everyone.

briguy June 17th, 2009 11:43 AM

I think this poster is probably an employee of RCCL. I doubt the employees were arguing every time you saw them. Thats a stretch for sure. Water slide not open? Tough! Its for safety reasons. Frozen pizza better? I want stock in that company. Bottom line I am glad its your worst vacation. Now that I know you wont sail Carnival again I wont run into you. Spend your next vacation watching Jerry Springer at home for a week!


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:59 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1