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Old May 30th, 2013, 09:54 PM
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Default Frustrated with Carnival!

My husband and I have cruised with Carnival many times. In fact, we turned some friends of ours on to the cruising world. Last year when they were running their Leap Year Sale, we decided that we would all take a fun trip together. Heck, the deals were great, they were offering OBCs and we really could not pass it up. We had another friend who wanted to go and she was retiring this February from the Navy and would be unable to go if we booked for 2013, so we booked for 2014 on the Legend out of Tampa since it was offered. Fast Forward to October, and we received a voicemail that Carnival would be putting the Legend in to dry dock the week prior to our sailing and it would not be back in service until the week after our scheduled cruise, so we had to change our dates, with them offering the week prior to dry dock, or the first cruise back in service. No problem! We rebooked with the understanding that everything from our previous booking would be transferred. Well, yesterday we received an email that the schedule had changed again, and it would be entering dry dock on our new sail date, but for our inconvenience they would not only honor our previous price, but give us an extra $50 obc in addition to letting us transfer ships and/or ports. So, I called our pvp and got our options. We were all happy and decided to take the Dream out of Port Canaveral. Here is the problem. When the person who rebooked us the first time (a direct call from Carnival...NOT our pvp) they did not transfer our initial obc. Now the only way they will honor it is if we pay a higher fair...$130 pp higher! Supposedly they can no longer access the code from that sale? Ok, now we did not CHOOSE to change our cruises, we had to because of Carnival changing the schedule. I am now trying to work with our pvp, but I feel like her loyalty is to the cruiseline, not us. I did send her an email letting her know how unfair this situation is, and that it might make us reconsider travelling with them in the future. I am not asking them for anything extra, just to honor what we were promised in the first place. That obc was one of the reasons we booked when we did!

I know this is long, and I apologize. I am just so frustrated with the whole situation. I have never had a problem with any of our previous bookings, so to have this happen to us TWICE, and then be told we are no longer getting what we were promised, is infuriating! Do any of you have any suggestions?

Terri
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Old May 30th, 2013, 10:19 PM
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It's reasons like this why it's best to book with an agent and not directly with the cruise line.

But since you did book with Carnival, I would suggest you first get in touch with your PVP and see what they can do for you. If they can't/won't help, then start working your way up the ladder. I would scan all your documents and try to do as much through email as you can. That way you have a documented path as to who said what and when, plus you can send them attached copies of all your documentation.

Unfortunately, the cruise lines are noted for making it difficult hoping that you will just get tired and give up. So be the squeaky wheel and don't get frustrated. Stick to demanding what's right and what you're entitled to.

I feel your pain and your frustration, but it really is best to use an agent because then they can be the one to spend all the time and energy dealing with the problem. It makes your life easier and less stressful, plus they have contacts not available to you to assist in situations just like this.

Let us know how it goes, but trust me when I say it's not just Carnival - there are other cruise lines who have forgotten about providing good customer service.

Pete
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Old May 31st, 2013, 08:35 AM
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Good luck. Carnival doesn't seem to want to help on situations such as these...the booking procedure is difficult if it's not a 'cut & dried' line item in the booking software. Supervisors can't seem to over-ride when needed either.
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Old June 1st, 2013, 01:54 PM
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The court of appeals seems to be John Heald's blog. You can try there (johnhealdsblog.com no www) also there are articles here on CM on how to complain to a cruise line. Check those out and document as much as you can.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 09:16 PM
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Have you reached out to Micshelle on FB, too?
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Old June 6th, 2013, 01:03 PM
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OK, things got worse before they got better. My friend Fred and I were both working on this. The PVP actually accused of 1)never having made the first booking at all, and 2) of having the booking cancelled because our credit cards were declined. When she told me I was lying about the original booking, I asked why someone would have called me to re-book a trip I was never booked on? Her response? "I don't believe anyone ever called you!" Both of those were patently incorrect. She called me and got really nasty on the phone. This from a planner that we had worked with many times over the years and whom I had recommended to several people. I also had written letters of praise on her behalf to Carnival! Well, she lost us as customers, I can guarantee that! No way will we ever book without the help of a travel agent ever again!

I then remembered that I had talked to this PVP about our booking in June of last year. She looked up our booking at that time because our 19 y.o. daughter wanted to join us. I asked how that would work, and she later booked our daughter in a room beside ours, something she would have not been able to do if we had no booking!

So, after supplying Carnival with that info, a very nice person called and apologized for the problems. They are now giving the two original cabins the original $150 OBC, plus an additional $150 from the "new" booking. That's $50 more than we were asking for! Plus, they are giving our daughter $150 OBC for her cabin, which is $100 more than we were expecting. I did tell the lady that the customer care in this matter was awful, and I gave her the PVPs name. We are more than happy with the outcome. We have learned some very valuable lessons, but luckily it all worked out in our favor. Carnival has retained us as customers! But, not the PVP...
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Old June 6th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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I'm glad it was resolved. You are fortunate.

I agree with the PVP statement, many may be good, but most have never been on more than one cruise and really only are only interested in the sale in front of them at the time. That's just my opinion. I'd do a computer booking before I'd use a PVP.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 05:23 PM
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That's great news! Glad everything worked out in the end. Just too bad you had to go through all that and put up with all the crap before you got what you should have gotten in the beginning.

As Snoozeman said, some of the PVP's can be outstanding, but they are far and few between. And after all, their main focus is on selling and not in wasting time on trying to solve problems. Plus, in the end, they do work for the cruise line, so they have the cruise line's best interest in mind and not yours.

But it's great you're finally over this mess and can concentrate on enjoying your cruise.

Pete
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Old June 6th, 2013, 06:06 PM
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I'm really glad this is all behind you,and now, booking with a travel agency, your next booking will go much smoother..enjoy your well deserved cruise!
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Old June 6th, 2013, 08:41 PM
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One of the main problems was that the original booking was made via the computer. I had tried to book through the PVP, even going so far as emailing her exactly when I would be available after 2 days of playing phone tag. She never called. We then decided to book online since we did not want to miss the great rate and the bonus OBC. Then when we had to rebook the first time it was all handled via voicemail. I think that is when the OBC was dropped, I just did not realize it at the time (another lesson learned). When she called me I told her I tried to book through her originally and that I should have called her for the first re-booking (accepted responsibility for my mistakes). She said that I never tried to call her or she would have called me back because she ALWAYS calls her clients! Not in this case. Like I said, I am now a big believer in using an agent now, and I will for every cruise from now on!

Thanks for the support guys! You are all awesome!

Terri
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Old June 6th, 2013, 08:56 PM
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Curious; and you don't have to answer if you don't want, but I noticed you're in Virginia. Whereabouts? We're in Ashburn.

Pete
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Old June 12th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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We live in Virginia Beach.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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Hope you get to take advantage of the occasional cruises out of Norfolk. Wish they would offer more out of there - they spent alot of money refurbishing the cruise pier and it's very nice.

Pete
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Old June 13th, 2013, 01:08 PM
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We haven't yet, but some our friends have. The itineraries don't do anything for us, and the rates haven't been that great. We are willing to drive or fly to get on a boat going to new ports!
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Old June 13th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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I feel your pain!

Pete
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