Jason Landman’s stateroom on the Carnival Miracle vibrated from the moment his ship cast off in Long Beach, Calif., until it docked seven days later. “It shook and rattled literally from start to finish of the cruise,” he says.
She booked two separate balcony cabins for her 8-night Eastern Caribbean cruise for $3,440 each.
Turns out she and her travel agent were wrong.
“After researching the Internet, we found out that Carnival Cruise Lines had slashed the prices due to the fact of the many mishaps,” she says. “Yesterday I went online on the Carnival website and found out that the balcony cabins are now selling for $2,319. That is a difference of over $1,100 per cabin.”
Question: We were recently scheduled to sail on a seven-day Carnival cruise to Mexico. A few minutes after we boarded in Long Beach, Calif., I had horrible kidney pains. I couldn’t walk, and felt as if I was going to pass out.
My husband immediately took me to the medical doctor on board. He performed an ultrasound and I asked for something for the pain. All of a sudden he said you need to get off the ship because you have a kidney infection. Within two minutes we had three Carnival employees rushing us to get our bags and they escorted us off the ship.
All the while, I could barely walk. One of the employees told me not to worry, that I could cruise at a “later date.” Everything happened so fast. I was never given a choice of whether to stay on board or not.
Frank and Lucy Pirri are unhappy with their cruise on the Carnival Destiny, and they’re even more unhappy with how the cruise line responded to their complaint.
Sound familiar? Given Carnival’s recent Triumph troubles, it probably does.
But this wasn’t a short island-hopper with a bad ending. We’re talking 18 days in Europe, which was “poorly planned and poorly executed” from start to finish, says Frank Pirri.
How so? Let’s count the ways. (Warning: laundry list ahead.)
Bryan and Fola Nelson were excited about their upcoming five-night Bahamas cruise on the Carnival Fascination. It was to be their last vacation before the birth of their first child.
Then, not long before their scheduled departure, Carnival delivered some bad news: Not only would Fola Nelson be denied boarding, but the cruise line would also pocket her entire fare, minus port taxes.
Rina and Hasan Subhani disembarked from their cruise on the Carnival Glory with a sinking feeling. Along with a litany of complaints, one rises above the rest: The couple feels they were cheated from a day of their vacation.
“We paid for a seven-night cruise,” says Rina Subhani. “We got only six nights.”
Another day, another denial – this time, from Carnival Cruise Lines.
When Marilyn Sweeney bit into a serving of sweet potato casserole during her seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Valor she tasted something unusual. It was rubbery, with a faint mint flavor.
“I did not recognize it at first,” she says. “I thought it was food.”
It wasn’t. It was chewing gum. Used chewing gum.
Andrew Besterman’s eight-day cruise to the Bahamas on the Carnival Miracle was something short of divine. For the duration of the journey, he was annoyed by the odor of cigarette smoke which seeped into his mini-suite from the cabin next door.
“Every time the passengers in the next stateroom lit up their cigarettes the smoke came into our room,” he says. “Since our bed shared a common wall, we could tell exactly when our neighbors smoked.”
A few days after his cruise, Carnival tightened its smoking policy, banning smoking in all staterooms. But alas, not in time for his vacation.
Whenever I get complaint like Ashish Kapila’s, my first reaction is, “Oh no, not another laundry list.”
Companies almost never respond to laundry lists, because they look like pointless rants. (I always advise picking the most egregious offense, and focusing on it.)
But then I read Kapla’s litany of complaints against Carnival. And I understood why she couldn’t decide which part of her cruise was the worst. The whole thing was bad.
“This was the worst vacation any of us have ever taken,” she told me. “I have been on several cruises on Carnival and other lines, as have the others in our party, and none of us have ever seen something like this.”
What was so bad about it?