Carnival is not going to budge. After our first letter outlining everything that happened to us, I took many of your advice and focused my second letter on the construction going on outside our cabin. I included the response letter we received during the cruise when we complained about the construction and everything, but Carnival didn't find it persuasive. They said they regretted we did not have a pleasurable cruise, but feel the 50% discount on our next cruise (which they offered to anyone that was on the boat when it beached) was "compensation enough" and "would not make any further concessions." I feel like I've been dismissed, but don't even know if there is anything else I can do. What a way to end this.
I'm so sorry for your frustration over the outcome of your cruise situation. I know this may sound crazy- but - have you considered getting your local television station involved? I know here in the NY area the "consumer" reporters do a remarkable job in bringing all kinds of problems to the attention of the viewers (potential Carnival cruisers?) - and because of the publicity, usually get the complaining party a satisfactory outcome. No business wants bad publicity!
Did you document the construction with photographs? Do you have photographs of the ship stranded? I'm betting this would make a great human interest story and one the Consumer Affairs reporter could really dig his teeth into.
Letters to the editors of all your daily newspapers, cc to the Carnival management of course.
Maybe a human interest story in the local daily paper?
Just get the word out there - on every cruise web site....etc. If nothing comes of it- at least you had an outlet for your frustration and will probably cost Carnival some customers.
I believe that no large service orgainization would want this kind of bad press, not to mention the controversy it has the potential to stir up.
I really hope you get to enjoy a cruise in the future. It really is a wonderful way to vacation.
Again, I'm so sorry you had such a horrendous experience. I hope you can get the satisfaction you want when all is said and done.
booking soon - 10th anniversary cruise in August....
Do anything that doesn't cost you money or much time, and keep doing it. The suggestion to call your local TV consumer reporter is a GREAT one. We have '7 on your Side' here in the Bay Area, and others I'm sure.
Also, buy 10 bucks worth of stamps and keep writing letters until it's gone, attempting to escalate each time. Fred Smith responds, you ask for Fred Smith's boss and keep going up.
You have one of the most valid complaints I've ever heard. I'm amazed they don't realize it.
Kathie, I am sure there are horror stories on every line, lord knows I read some here and not just CCL. Granted the poster had a horrible experience and I can't blame them if they never want to take another cruise on CCL but I, like many others here, have cruised CCL many times and still will continue to do so. The rates are good and they have come a long ways and are even better in some areas than other lines. Maybe you ought to give them a try, you just may like them!
I know that they had a bad time. But not everyone does. I have always had a good cruise from Carnival. They are our favorite line. Dont not go on them just because someone else had a problem. I ahve never had a problem on there line. Just go , Cruise, And enjoy. It is wonderful! Char
It appears that you had the cruise from H**L. You are not the first I have heard of this
about Carenvil Cruise Line. Yes I am sure people do enjoy crusing on them and they are entitled to do so. Thank God our Travel Agent did not recommed them to us. If they
did & we had a cruise like that I don't think we would cruise again.
I sent a email when we arrived home. Teling Carnival that we ahd a great cruise. and our entire group was fully satisfied. Well they didn't hesitate to give us all(10) a $30 certificate off of excursions on our next cruise. Why woul they give us that when we had a great time and not want to give anything when someone had a bad experience. i dont understand the logic here. Maybe we are not hearing all the story. I have always had a great cruise with them. If i ever do have a problem with them. i guess i may feel different. But to say every Carnival cruise is a disaster. Well Not true... To each his own!!
I just bumped into this thread and am astounded that it all started in January and Carnival have yet to reimburse the cost of the cruise and offer compensation. How anyone would consider going with them again after such an experience is completely beyond me so the offer of a free cruise would not be that attractive at least not to me. I would point out that I am English and am probably more used to what happens over this side of the Atlantic. Holidays from Hell do sometimes happen (we even have a T.V. documentary series with that exact title!) and almost always reimbursement AND compensation is offered especially for such a catalogue of disasters as this. I don't know what clause in what contract another poster was referring to but, under English Law, the cruise company could not use any clause to escape their Common Law obligation to provide what was paid for ie. a holiday not a disaster.
Carnival is not marketed very much over here and, from what I have been told and read, I am probably happy with that situation. I did find a "brochure" in one travel agency but you could not even request a cabin number so I binned it!
I can only suggest that if legal process can be avoided, the only real winners in such cases being the attorneys, then publicity is your best bet in the search for satisfaction. Anyone in advertising/marketing knows how much companies spend on building up a good name and it can all be wasted if such bad experiences as this receive even a small amount of adverse publicity. Write to anybody and everybody; your senator and congressman, your local paper and the one where the cruise originated or even the Washington Post. If you have any consumer bodies contact them.
I cannot believe that somebody reading your story is not a lawyer so come on whoever you are and offer the guy some help. Meanwhile best of luck to you pvcbuilder.
I think those of you who focus primarily or solely on the construction factor are giving Carnival a pass on the rest of the debacle, as described by the poster (and as stipulated to be true for purposes of my response).
Yes, Carnival knew about the construction, and that's inexcusable and valid grounds for a complaint.
But their behavior after running aground is equally reprehensible. Can you hold them in contempt for running aground? Maybe not. Maybe the charts were old, or maybe the sandbar had shifted unexpectedly. Without knowing the reason, assume for a moment that running aground was beyond Carnival's control.
However, EVERYTHING from that point on was well WITHIN their control to either resolve or to at least mitigate, neither of which they apparently did. That, too, is inexcusable as far as I'm concerned, and is worthy of a complaint and the expectation of some kind of reparation.
Hold Carnival's feet to the fire for the construction, sure, but don't give them a pass on the rest of the clusterf*ck that they perpetuated. They ought to be taken to task for ALL of their transgressions.
Sorry to hear all the problems you guys had, that is awful! If you decide to go again, with your discount pick one of the new ships. I have wierd feelings about going on older ships. We have been on the Imagination and Paradise. They are both very nice ships, and no construction!! Good Luck, I think they should have given you a free cruise, but thats me!
I've been on the Carnival Fantasy & the Carnival Pride, and never had one thing to complain about, but knowing how impatient I am, if what happened to you happened to me I would have the same feelings!!! I can't say my cruise on the Celebrity Galaxy was better or worse than the Carnival ones, I have LOVED all three cruises. I am greatly lookin forward to the RCI Serenade this November.
In 2005, (senior year of college) my friends and I want to cruise, and are really thinking about Carnival's older ships because the rates are SO low much of the time. The Fantasy was old, and it was still in pretty good shape in 1999, so I'd imagine the Inspiration and Elation are doing OK too. We'll see.
One thing is certain, don't give up on cruises for this one bad experience!!!
I can't imagine taking such an awful cruise. I have been on many cruises with several cruiselines, including Carnival, and have always had a great time. Since that is the case, I am unable to engage in any cruiseline bashing and besides I just don't get any kicks out of joining the hanging mob. Obviously, there is no way to guarantee a great cruise, but there is one thing that can be done to lessen the possibility of those problems. I always travel on the newer ships. It is very unlikely any construction will be taking place on them. Also, the best and most senior captains and crews are always assigned to the newer ships and the more experienced personnel generally mke fewer mistakes. As a general rule, most of the cruiselines employees prefer working on the newer ships and since the competition is so fierce, only the best are chosen. The bottom line is, generally speaking, the crew is more efficient and the food and service are better because everyone takes pride in a new ship. In addition to that, the entire ship is generally in pristine condition, which just makes everything seem even better. Smooth Sailing.
we had a BADDDD BADDD trip on the Holiday years ago too, we too had MANY things go wrong, we did complain,and we complained more when we got home, the person at customer service actually wouldn't do anything more than a 10% discount off our next cruise, with a $50.00 ship credit, well after a really bad experiance,I wasn't all ready to go on another Carnival cruise,The customer service rep actuallyt told me I should have complained sooner, and I should have complained more, I told her that complaining is not something I should have to wait inline to do while on vacation, especially more than once. when I ask to talk to her supervisor she would NOT transfer me, she would not tell me her name and she actually HUNG up on me when I insisted she let someone else help me. This really made me think highly of Carnival,I actually was very calm considering all that had taken place, I E mailed Carnival directly and stated all that had happened, and stated that they need not contact me again, because on my next cruise... and there will be a next cruise I will choose a quality cruiseline that provides customer service, so I wouldn't be choosing carnival.
Over a year and a half passed, then I got a call from the new Vice President of customer service. she said she had gone over some of the complaints from the past and did not think my case was handled very well, and she wanted to try to make it right, just the fact that someone called and acted sincere and concerned shocked me, pleasantly..., they had some problems in the customer service area and they were/are trying to fix them.
We are trying carnival again in 3 weeks on the Pride. I know sometimes things go wrong,I also know how you handle your complaints will effect the outcome, I was not rude, I did not demand a free cruise,nor our money back, I was simply letting Carnival know what our experiance was,and I am glad to report that they do want our experiace to be a good experiance, and they're customer service dept. has improved greatly.
thank god this was not our first cruise or it may have been our last, and thank god that they have improved the quality of service.
I can't wait for the cruise on the pride, I have heard so much good stuff
try again, and have fun
It is normal for most people to just shrug off a problem they had because most people want to avoid any confrontation or uncomfortable situation. So when customers have complaints, a lot of the time, the business doesn't know of it.
I often tell customers after they have complimented us on a great dinner that I appreciate their compliments, however I would appreciate it even more if they would tell me of any problems they had. That we cannot get better unless we know where we need to improve.
Believe me, the leadership of companies WANT to know of the problems. The customer service people rarely do.
What an AWFUL experience, I'm so sorry that it was your 1st cruise, most cruises are so fun.
We too have cruised on Carivnval(twice) and although we enjoyed our cruise there were some issues, and yes the staff were rude, and condesending. So next time we just put "our money where our mouths were" and took a different line.
Some cruise staff just have NO IDEA how to treat the public they serve. I don't know if this is because they have poor training or if they are poorly paid and just don't give a hoot. It may be a bit of both, in which case vote with your wallet and take your $ elsewhere.
I personally think from reading pvcs posting that every thing was handled in a very unprofessional manner. Things do go wrong, fair enough, but how the customer is treated should be with an eye to smoothing things over and making the best of a bad situation. It does sound like Carnival dropped the ball big time there.
Being told to go phone a 1 800 number is just tacky. The customer service rep. was not doing his or her job. Period.
I had an issue with Carnival as well - although it wasn't even close to your experience!! We would try them again given the right situation (price/ship/itinerary etc) but our personal favorite is RCCL (11 days to Enchantment!!!!)
I wonder... My husband will not fly on an airplane. No ifs ands or buts about it will not step foot on a plane. This is why we love to cruise so much, we can drive to the ports and see places he can't go to by driving. I am just curious how they would have accomodated us? What do you think?
Hey, Carnival is a great line. I've been on Celebrity too, and both are fabulous. I am trying RCI for the first time in November, and I'm looking forward to it as well.
I have been on the Fantasy, and the Pride, and had no complaints on either. Yeah, it sucks when something goes wrong on a cruise, but its not just Carnival things happen to. Think of all the problems Celebrity is having with its mermaid pod propulsion system, etc...
I hear people put down Carnival or say their travel agent tells them not to book through Carnival let me just say a few things:
I have a couple of complaints I sent to Carnival and here's their responses
1. We had a horrible time our first cruise trying to get a coke with the soda cards and most of the time the soda's was flat. Carnival sent us a 10 percent off our next cruise letter. On that same cruise an independent agent that Carnival dealt with was suppose to make copies of the Daily Video diary tapes and send it to our house within 6 weeks. After 3 months and the run around from the Florida based company. Carnival's president called me and said they was not going to use that company anymore and returned my money in full.
Now that's out of 3 cruise and that was the only problems and I did get satisfied. On another note:
Last cruise I took a few weeks back, a lady from my home town was on it and the second night of the cruise Carnival notified her that her family had contacted them because her father died. When we got to Cozumel, Carnival arranged for them a ride to the airport, got them air fair to New Orleans and made sure they got back to the port to get their vehicle. Carnival paid for all of this and they didn't have too. So next time you knock Carnival Cruise lines you think about that.
Carnival is our very favorite cruise line. Thanks Sheila for the great input. Not everyone has a problem with there cruise. But I think they will help you out whenever they can. I come home from our last cruise on the Inspiration and emailed carnival to tell them We had a wonderful time. We are a group of 10 who cruise together. They didn't have to, but sent us each a certificate for $30 off any excursion on our next cruise. I thought that was great. You see I didn't complain I was letting them know how much we all enjoyed our cruise. Go Carnival!!!!!!! Sorry for those of you who have had problems. But I look at it as I am going to enjoy every minute of this vacation. And i do.... Char
Sorry bud but what did you expect? Untill you pay about $1500 each per week you are stuck with all of these middle class cruise lines. They are catering to the working class poor with visions of wonderful high class cruise holidays. The reality is more like Motel 6. They get all of their help from third world countries and pay them nothing. They mass market the cheap cruises and then expect you to subsidize their employee's low wages. We all remember the high society stories of cruising, that's why we go but sitting on a deck chair with a tuxedo clad waiter at your beck and call doesn't happen on these low class cruise lines. There are so many disapointed first time cruisers who expected the quality of a Crystal cruise but booked it on a Carnival type ship. Sorry but they conned you with their advertising. I wouldn't expect much response from Carnival, they could care less. There are a million more cruisers behind you who can't wait to give up a ton of money for a truly crappy cruise line. Oops CCL ,Crappy Cruise Line.
You think $1500 per week gets you on a high class cruise line????? You think Carnival is equal to Motel 6 ??????
My workmate is leaving in November on RCI Voyager, booked a year in advance, with Crown and Anchor (gold) membership discount for a week for $1900 pp for a standard balcony room. I wouldn't consider RCI a high class line, as you are inferring. As though $1500 per week gets you on the top of the line cruiseship. I like RCI, I just wouldn't put them in the high-class line category.
Then you say there are a million cruisers behind you who can't wait to give up a ton of money for a truly crappy cruise line. A ton of money? A ton of money? What is a ton of money to you? If $1500 dollars buys you something top of the line, then something less than that buys you Motel 6, which sells for a "ton of money." You are confusing me.
It is simply impossible to get to be the leader in any industry without being good at what you do. You have more business than the competition because of a reason. Customers are buying.
I agree with Thomas and Char. As someone who just returned from a Crystal Cruise and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I'm embarrassed by bigboy's attitude. Believe me, I saw none of it on board the Harmony. What I did find was a friendly, well-mannered group of people who seemed to genuinely care about their fellow passengers. Just as an example, a gentleman who had difficulty walking came up to me in a buffet line and asked if he could please go first. I started to invite him, then turned around to see if there were any objections from behind. To my surprise, everyone was smiling and waved him on ahead. It's rare to see such courtesy nowadays. The whole time I was on board, I never heard any negative comments directed at Carnival or any other mainstream line. I think bigboy would feel completely out of place on a Crystal ship.
Can we agree that each cruise line has it's own personality? It is not so much how much you spend as it is what you are looking for. We will be going on our 30th cruise this November. We have sailed almost every line and have formed the following OPINIONS. Carnival is for the young folks who want to party til they drop,and don't care so much about the service or quality. RCCL is a high energy, fill every minute, line. Their ships are beautiful and they are a cut above Carnival. NCL has always been a bit different. The food is ok. Great Entertainment. Great Pool areas. Princess, (we don't like) The ships are beautiful, but to us food and service is not so hot. The entertainment is ho-hum. They seem to be geared to group cruising, so that a party of two or four is lost in the shuffle of the 1000 IBM employees. Costa is a wild time. Mostly all European cruisemates, so as an American you are "Odd Man Out". Holland America is a lovely line. Much older cruisers. Very Quiet everybody's in bed by 10pm. Awful entertainment (but it appeals to the older generation). The food is bland. Celebrity is our favorite. Great food, great ships, not too loud, not to quiet. Cruisers on this line seem to be 40-65. Classy. Cunard in a word a bit "stuffy", old world.
So-------- the point is---------- know what you are looking for!!!!!!!!!!!! If I was really young and wanted to party for a week, I'd do Carnival. If I wanted to sleep and meditate, I'd to Holland America. If I wanted to dress up and have a nice but not "wild" week I'd do Celebrity. NCL, and RCCL come in between Carnival and Celebrity.