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Old September 14th, 2010, 08:49 PM
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Default Changed Itinerary - should I complain?

Have any of you ever had your cruise itinerary changed due to weather and how was it handled?

My family and friends sailed on the Pride out of Baltimore departing Aug. 29th (12 people in 5 cabins). We were informed after check-in, but prior to boarding, that our itinerary was being changed due to storms in the Atlantic. While I understand that safety comes first, it seems strange that nothing was said at any point until after receiving our sign-and-sail cards when being directed to where to wait for boarding at which point we were given a printed letter from the captain. We were scheduled to go to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Freeport. Instead we went to Port Canaveral and Nassau. Before pulling in to Nassau it was announced that we would be heading back a day early to allow extra time due to rough seas. While I understand safety comes first, I was a little surprised that all we were offered was a refund of $9.47 per person for our taxes and port fees from Freeport.

Since returning we have spoken to many people who had similar experiences, but were offered either an OBC or a percentage off their next cruise. We still had fun, but Port Canaveral is no Grand Turk. Nassau was OK, but it's no private island! And we lost our third port entirely! I also should mention that my bathing suit (as well as a friends) was ruined in the hot tub. A brown suit is now a sickening pea green color...and guest services generously blamed us, and then offered free dry cleaning!!! I have sent e-mails about the suit, and am considering sending one about the whole cruise. After this I would definitely think twice about sailing Carnival again. This was my fourth with them, but just didn't have the greatest customer service.

Any thoughts? My friend is really upset and has sent a pretty strongly worded email, but I'm just not sure it's worth my time. I know it's the risk you run sailing during hurricane season, but never expected the kind of treatment we received.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 09:31 PM
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A part of the cruise contract does state the changes in itinerary can happen and that other than refund of port charges the cruise line does not owe the passenger anything. And this goes for all crusie lines not just Carnival.

As to the bathing suit it sounds like the chorline that is used in the hot tubs may have caused the change in color. I know that some suits will change color very easy in chorline water.

I definitely want that chorline in the hot tubs and pools.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by nlb1050 View Post

I definitely want that chorline in the hot tubs and pools.
Why? What are you afraid of?

I hope you enjoyed your vacation even if many things did go as planned. If ya cruise during "season" you risk a higher likelihood of a change in itinerary.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 10:10 PM
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[QUOTE=7x57;1316863]Why? What are you afraid of?

QUOTE]
You never know what types of things can and would grow in that hot water so the chorline can kill off a lot of bad things.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 10:13 PM
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Everyone who cruises on a regular basis has experienced itinerary changes, especially during hurricane season. It's a part of the cruising experience.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 10:45 PM
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when you choose to cruise during hurricane season, you must be willing to accept the unexpected itinerary change. Missing a port and being refunded the port charges is common practice, and the only reason the captain would choose to omit any port is if it was a safety hazard that the captain feels is too great to chance. (we missed Cabo on the last cruise I was on that also sailed on Aug 29th)

I don't think I would be blaming Carnival, or expecting a perk from them because they considered the safety of the passengers more important than sailing into the path of a hurricane to make the scheduled ports.

did you have a good time anyway? How was the Lido deck band? Did they play lively music?
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Old September 15th, 2010, 12:20 AM
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Over my several years of cruising experience I've had itinerary's changed a few times and once or twice being advised of same at check in. A strong storm, especially a tropical storm or hurricane can create some very rough water and not just close to the storm itself. The captain has to consider many factors and make the best decision based on the best and latest info. available to him at the time of sailing or even during the cruise. He will, if necessary, err on the side of caution, although it may not be the most popular decision.
If you're going to cruise, especially in hurricane season, you have to expect that sometimes you may encounter some problems related to the weather-- remember --it's the ocean that's the ultimate boss--not the ship's captain.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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Would you rather sail into a hurricane?
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Old September 15th, 2010, 09:12 AM
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Your friend can complain all he wants, but the ships sail to get away from bad weather and its for the safety of the passengers and crew. It is not the cruiselines fault, as unfortunate as it is, there isn't much you can do.

Yep, it is the chance you take when traveling at this time of year.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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We all know,the Captain does what he needs to do, but,it is disappointing to not get to go where you want, for sure. I have been there and done that.. When you think you will be in Grand Turk,and go stateside instead, appreciating the ship time, is imperative.

What would have put me off, is the attitude of the person you told about your bathing suit.That was uncalled for. Also, the refunded money for the p.c. does sound low.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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While missing a port can be disappointing....that's cruising.

(especially when you booked during hurricane season)

lesson learned....

As far as the small amount refunded...that is the difference between what the port charges would have been at the other ports and the charge for the ports you went to....

What the Purser was trying to say about the swim suit is that IF you had soaked it in the sink with soap and water as soon as you took it off....it probably would not have faded.

I have had one fade, but that was because it was a cheap suit. My better suit ( and hubby's and son's) have not faded and have not had to be soaked....they will also turn a white tshirt yellow...but you can get that out with bleaching....
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Old September 15th, 2010, 11:05 AM
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I agree the captian needs avoid certain ports for saftey reasons. My concern in the OP post was this line:

Quote:
Before pulling in to Nassau it was announced that we would be heading back a day early to allow extra time due to rough seas.
Was your cruise a day shorter then it was suppose to be? Or did you have the same length of cruise with more sea days? I think I would be upset if my cruise was shorten a day and my 7 day cruise became a 6 day cruise with no OBC. I also think the cruiselines are aware of hurricanes and should have alternative ports set up. For Example; TC skipped Cabo (tender port) why couldn't they go to one of the other Sea of Cortez ports that doesn't tender?

There could be a bit of a game going on with the cruiselines. Because if a sea day replaces a day in port that is a potenital increase in revenue to the cruise line. You will buy more drinks on board, go to bingo, go to the casnio, hit the spa etc. While you are in port the port city is getting that revenue. It's in the cruiseline's best interest to have you on the ship as long as possible. I understand and respect the captian's decision to skip a port due to weather. However, I question the lack of alternative ports without OBC. The cruiseline can gain extra revenue without shell out anything more.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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I think switching ports may be a little more complicated than simply saying
" oh well, if we can't go here, we'll go there." The ports the ships visit are not under the control of the ship but under the jurisdiction, laws, and control of the countries where the ports are located. There could be a variety of reasons for not being able to make a switch on the spur of the moment. But you have to consider too that if one ship can't tender into a port because of the weather, the other visiting ships can't either so how many ships do you end up with trying to make last minute changes to another port, and how many can another port safely accommodate in a last minute change? All these things are part of the complications of trying to satisfy the customers, abide by the different rules and laws of foreign countries, safety issues, etc.
When you consider all the cruise lines, RCCL, Carnival, Celebrity, Princess,
Costa, HAL, NCL, and all the others haul approx. 12 million passengers or more a year just here in the U.S in all kinds of weather ( to which they have no control over whatsoever ) and the relatively low number of weather related incidents that involve itinerary changes, skipped ports, and very seldom a canceled cruise, I think you have to say they do a heck of a job. But no matter what happens, there will be a few out of that 12 million or so passengers that will find something to complain about, even if it is a hurricane!
In March I booked a Sept. cruise on the Freedom of The Seas out of Canaveral. We have two hurricanes and a tropical storm going on now.
I knew going in that I was booking in hurricane season. I always cruise in hurricane season. If we get an Itin. change, or into some rough water, that's part of it.
It's a ship--it floats--if the water moves, the ship will move. If it didn't it would sink--so roll with it baby!
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Old September 15th, 2010, 01:36 PM
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fourxbusymom,
We were also on a cruise the same dates, 8/29-9/6, and we were "notified" of our itinerary change at the Muster Drill by the Captain. So instead of doing an Eastern we were doing a Western Caribbean cruise. It was bad for the people who were doing back to back cruises :eek: (doing the same ports) but for us it was okay. The hurricane did hit St. Thomas the day we were suppose to be there. Our safety was important. We did not get any compensation and didn't expect any. We still had rain but it never interfered with our plans. We went parasailing & swam with the stingrays. In Cozumel, it was raining slightly and we were given the option of cancelling our beach tour & getting a full refund or go and chance it. We cancelled and went to the hotel at the port and had a nice beach day for $40/pp less. We had a wonderful cruise.

Having been to Grand Turk, ...I would say Port Canaveral, the things to see and do AND the beaches there are much better, but of course I grew up there :-D. Just my opinion...

The suit...try taking it back where you purchased it...they could/should help you.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 02:58 PM
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I thank everyone for their responses. We definitely understand why the changes, and knew it was a possibility - which is why I am asking for opinions. We did get an extra sea day, but with few activities. The Carnival not only raked in more revenue, but used much less fuel since we stayed so much closer that planned. We just felt/feel like they got a lot more out of the situation than the passengers did!

As for my suit, it did not just fade. The bottom was a dark chocolate brown and is now a khaki/pea green color! The top is splotchy, and the white areas are yellow. I didn't get a chance to rinse it out - it was this color when I removed my cover-up! Since it was late and a little cool on deck, we decided to run (quite literally) to our cabins instead of using the cold water in the showers by the pool. I didn't even get my cover-up off before I started freaking out because of the condition! I will post pictures.... Still fighting with them about that one. And I know about chlorine, as I have my own hottub (and yes, I maintain it myself with chlorine) and have never had a suit that has even faded - much less what happened here.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 03:39 PM
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opinions, Hummm, If it was that simple. I wounder how many people read their ticket contract ?
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Old September 15th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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If you feel that strongly about a weather related change that wasn't the fault of the cruise line and about a bathing suit fading, I would consult with an attorney. There's dozens of them out there that love to sue cruise lines at the mere mention of an unhappy customer.
Give it a try--who knows--maybe you'll get a free bathing suit and a free cruise too. Worth a try !!
You might enjoy Celebrity more so than Carnival for your next cruise. Just a thought.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 04:24 PM
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No, this hasn't happened to me on any of the three cruises I've been on, but I wouldn't be surprised, nor would I complain.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Aw c'mom..Four's complaint was simply stated, not overtstated, succinct,and simply asking a question. How does her post, in any way take the next step in suggesting she find a lawyer? And to suggest perhaps anopther line might be better suited for them? I just don't get this leap.

In another point given, to return it to the store,where it was purchased...I have been in retail, for years, and if someone brought the suit back to my store for the reasons stated, it would not be taken as a return.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourxbusymom View Post
I thank everyone for their responses. We definitely understand why the changes, and knew it was a possibility - which is why I am asking for opinions. We did get an extra sea day, but with few activities. The Carnival not only raked in more revenue, but used much less fuel since we stayed so much closer that planned. We just felt/feel like they got a lot more out of the situation than the passengers did!
Carnival didn't get anything out of the itinerary change. Cruiselines make a lot of their money off of shore excursions and the kick backs they get from Diamonds International and other stores they steer their passengers too. Believe it or not, the cruiseline would much rather make the port and get that money then have a sea day. Carnival probably lost money by skipping the port and staying at sea for the safety of the ship and passengers.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourxbusymom View Post
As for my suit, it did not just fade. The bottom was a dark chocolate brown and is now a khaki/pea green color! The top is splotchy, and the white areas are yellow. I didn't get a chance to rinse it out - it was this color when I removed my cover-up! Since it was late and a little cool on deck, we decided to run (quite literally) to our cabins instead of using the cold water in the showers by the pool. I didn't even get my cover-up off before I started freaking out because of the condition! I will post pictures.... Still fighting with them about that one. And I know about chlorine, as I have my own hottub (and yes, I maintain it myself with chlorine) and have never had a suit that has even faded - much less what happened here.
Check out the article on how to complain on this website http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/feature/ComplaintsPt1-081808.cfm#axzz0zdJAdYcL

Always write a letter the the appropriate person. Don't be dramatic. State the problem and in this case include pictures of the suit. State an expected solution. It would be odd that only your suit got bleached out, but who knows.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 05:14 PM
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Sorry if I misstated anything. We knew going in the change was possible, and have known friends who had this happen to them. We didn't just miss one port, we basically missed everything we had planned. We didn't get off in Port Canaveral because the beaches were all closed due to the rip currents caused by the storms. Same thing in Nassau. I was asking for opinions because others on the cruise have been talking about doing something as a group. I have only complained about my suit...and that's not being handled very well. They are asking for the original receipt...which I no longer have! I paid cash for the suit (which I usually don't do, but of course the one time I did it's coming back to haunt me!) and threw out the receipt just before the cruise. "I won't need this anymore." How many of you keep every receipt for every clothing purchase? I certainly don't. Yes, we had fun, but by day 5 the kids were bored.

Again, thanks for the feedback. I am the type of person who complains, but only when it's really warranted...and it usually takes a lot to get me to that point. Comes from many years in Customer Service myself!
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Old September 16th, 2010, 12:27 AM
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Okay, Trip--here's how I see it and how the " leap " came into play:
First, the OP stated they were not informed of a change until they had received their sail/sign cards and then got a letter from the captain regarding the itin. change. It's very possible the captain did not receive the needed info until a certain time and gave out the info. as soon as he could. I've been on cruises where we got notices of changes in the itins. and port changes after actually being well into the cruise by a few days.

Another point re / changing to another line and the " leap " to that: The OP stated they definitely would think twice about another Carnival cruise. Adding that to the fact they were unhappy about when they were notified regarding the itin. change makes strike 2 against Carnival, especially after the treatment she said they received.Therefore another line such as Celebrity might be more to their liking.

The " leap" to the attorney --The OP stated not only her bathing suit but her friends as well was ruined. If the bathing suits were so ruined by the water they were in and they had bought expensive suits that wouldn't fade after sitting in heavily chlorinated water, and if Carnival wouldn't discuss it with them and basically blamed the Op re / the bathing suits and only offered a $ 9.47 refund, then maybe they should have an attorney write a letter---strike 3 on Carnival.
So, the " leap" was not that hard to connect-- unhappy customer from check in until check out, unhappy about the port changes and unhappy about the customer service ( or lack of ) and unhappy with the handling of the bathing suit issue and unhappy about the $ 9.47 refund and unhappy enough in general with Carnival to the point that they would think twice about sailing with them again. So, the leap to changing to another line and having an attorney write a letter regarding the ruined bathing suits,especially if they were expensive , doesn't seem to me to be out of line.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 01:25 AM
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When my daughter's Carnival Cruise had to skip Cabo due to weather, she was disappointed. But she was so impressed with the way the crew put together several last minute activities to make sure it was an very enjoyable sea day. She appreciated the additional time and energy made by a crew of people, who were probably just as dissappointed to miss a day in port as she was.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron View Post

Another point re / changing to another line and the " leap " to that: The OP stated they definitely would think twice about another Carnival cruise. Adding that to the fact they were unhappy about when they were notified regarding the itin. change makes strike 2 against Carnival, especially after the treatment she said they received.Therefore another line such as Celebrity might be more to their liking.
The OP has kids that were bored by day 5 on the Carnival cruise. Celebrity has much less for kids to do, they would be bored on day 1 of a Celebrity cruise. If they were going to switch lines RCL makes more sense. One of the big ships with lots to do on it. Like Freedom of the seas etc. I took an Alaskan cruise on Celebrity Infinity and I was bored out of my mind on sea days. All the activities were centered around generating revenue. Teeth whitening, body evaulation at the gym, jewerly by the inch etc. Alaska is wonderful and I would go back in a heartbeat but not on Celebrity. I need action, Celebrity is more suited to people who want to relax and be pampered. The OP has kids and kids don't need to relax; they like to have fun.

I have found the OP's comments to be mild and not demanding. She understands the cruise contract that is why her main concern is the ruined swim suit. She doesn't seem the type to complain without good reason.

To blueliner I think you are mistaken. On a sea day the ship has shops open, spa open for treatments, bingo, and the bar. If there are not enough activities planned on this unplanned sea day. Then the passengers would seek out these areas and that would increase the lines profits. Sure they might lose a buck or two on shore excursions and diamonds international. But instead of a precentage of a jewerly purchase they would get all the money if the passenger bought from the ship's store instead of in port. I do understand it can be difficult for find alternative ports. However, this hurricane didn't come as a surprise to the cruise line. There are smaller less traveled ports that would love the revenue the lines could bring them. I enjoy cruising and I believe it to be the best value for the money. However, I understand this is a profit business and they will do what they can to generate income. Including covering the butts with the ticket contract. I don't cruise during Hurricane season, because of this very reason. I want the best chance to see the ports I booked.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 07:15 PM
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Old September 16th, 2010, 09:58 PM
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I had a change away from Cozumel in may of 09 due to the swine flu. We went to Key West instead. Passenger safety was the concern and I am Glad I didn't have to deal with the flu. Sometimes you have to trust the judgement of those in charge.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:12 PM
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This blurb, taken from USA Today,stated this, about NCL cruises being redirected to other ports. Guess it's common to tell cruisers at the last minute.

"At this time, all ships will depart their respective home ports according to the published schedule," the line says on its website in a statement posted at 12:30 pm ET today. "Guests will be notified upon embarkation if there are any necessary itinerary changes."
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Old September 16th, 2010, 11:33 PM
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I in no way meant to browbeat, belittle, flog nor make the OP walk the plank. I know she was disappointed in having the Itin. changed.--been there done that. She was concerned that she wasn't notified until after they rec'd their sail/sign cards. There's probably a reasonable explanation for that. Ok--that can be lived with.
However I think she was concerned about how Carnival reacted to her complaint regarding her and her friends bathing suits. If they were $10.dollar suits from Walmart I doubt that she would have complained , so one has to reasonably think she had purchased a pretty nice piece of swimwear. Something apparently in the water caused it to fade, maybe the chlorine mix was too strong--who knows-- at any rate to be rebuffed and basically have the blame laid on the OP for the swimsuit problem by the customer service ( or lack of customer service) people,aboard was a little much on Carnivals part. And where did they come up with a $9.47 refund? That would make me hotter under the collar than anything they apparently did or did not do. I think someone would have had to do a better job of explaining the refund of the $9.47 and explain how it was my fault my bathing suit was ruined because I used one of their facilities.
I may be wrong but I've been on over 20 carnival cruises and it seems to me that since Bob Dickinson retired and the new CEO took over, that Carnival has taken a step back in customer relations and service. I went on the Dream back in Jan. basically to see what it was all about, took another cruise in April but it was on RCCL and have one coming up in a few days, and again on RCCL. So, who knows--maybe it just seems that way to me
because I'm getting old and cranky !!
Hopefully the OP will continue to cruise and enjoy all the fun things that cruising can be and if unhappy with Carnival, try another line, which ever one it may be. Sometimes it just works out that crap happens in a series of steps that seem to mess up a vacation whether on land or sea.
Hopefully the next cruise for her will fall into step the way it should.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 08:34 PM
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When we sailed on Legend last year during the swine flu epidemic, we received an email from Carnival stating that they were going to be changing our itinerary (dropping Cozumel and giving us a second sea day, OBC of $20/person). Was I upset? Yes I was. But then again, I knew of the dangers that might crop up if we had gone to Cozumel (possibility of getting swine flu). We had the option of either cancelling our cruise and rebooking at another time, or going ahead with the cruise.

The cruise before us, the passengers also had Roatan knocked off their itinerary due to civil unrest. I had heard that there had been trouble on board because of this - not going to rehash - google it for yourself.

Things like this happen, and it's all spelled out in the Cruise Contract that each of us agrees to prior to completing our check-in process. The Captain, and Carnival, has every right to make changes that may affect passenger safety. Sometimes there will be OBC offered, sometimes not.

Hopefully the OP will be able to have a better experience on another cruise!
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