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View Poll Results: What should Carnival have done differently?
Carnival should have provided free transport for all passengers from New Orleans to Texas. 115 11.59%
Carnival should have provided transportation options to Texas -- at a reasonable cost. 96 9.68%
Carnival should have helped all passengers with alternate travel plans from New Orleans. 159 16.03%
Carnival should have communicated more frequently with guests about the ship's revised itinerary. 190 19.15%
Carnival Ecstasy's five-night cruise should have been canceled when evacuations began in Galveston. 224 22.58%
Carnival's only responsibility was to rebook flights for passengers who bought its air/sea package. 208 20.97%
Voters: 992. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old September 17th, 2008, 07:13 PM
Erica@cruisecritic Erica@cruisecritic is offline
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Default What should Carnival have done better?

Ever since Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston this weekend, Carnival has been racing to make arrangements for Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy, the line's two Galveston-based ships. Now that the ships are finally headed for their temporary new home in Houston, cruise travelers are wondering whether Carnival could have handled the situation better. You can read more about the situation in our news item.

What do you think? Did Carnival do all that it could to help passengers in this unusual situation? Please vote in our poll.
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  #2  
Old September 17th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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I think they should have NOT left for Houston until the ship channel was open.

www.phastatus.com "Continued electrical outages prohbit the Port of Houston Authority (PHA) from opening for business operations Thursday, September 18 at the Barbours Cut and Bayport Terminals."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...s/6006021.html

"More than 100 vessels are waiting to enter the Houston Ship Channel to deliver goods but can't, in part because Hurricane Ike destroyed or moved maritime navigational aids.

Also, public terminals operated by the Port of Houston Authority remain closed because of cleanup efforts and no electricity.

"A range of serious complications due to the lack of electricity prohibits the Port of Houston Authority from opening for business operations Wednesday," the port said in a prepared statement late Tuesday.

The storm destroyed or blew away many navigational aids, and the Coast Guard has to sort things out before the Ship Channel can reopen, an agency spokeswoman said.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Victoria Bonk said 103 vessels ranging from oil tankers to container ships were waiting Tuesday to enter the Ship Channel. She added that it was impossible to say when traffic might start moving in again.

"They are trying to figure out how much damage has been done," Bonk said. "They have got to figure out the hazards."

Even in the best of times, the Houston Ship Channel is considered one of the world's most difficult waterways to navigate.

The Houston Pilots board ships, then bring them in to port.

The Port of Houston Authority is asking its maintenance, operations and Barbours Cut and Bayport terminal employees to report today.

<snipped>
"We are looking at Thursday as the first day to ship outbound cargo," he said.
bill.hensel@chron.com

Note: the article above was written before the new news release stating Bayport Terminal is closed Thursday, Sept. 18th.
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  #3  
Old September 17th, 2008, 07:45 PM
DaisyRose DaisyRose is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erica@cruisecritic View Post
Ever since Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston this weekend, Carnival has been racing to make arrangements for Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy, the line's two Galveston-based ships. Now that the ships are finally headed for their temporary new home in Houston, cruise travelers are wondering whether Carnival could have handled the situation better. You can read more about the situation in our news item.

What do you think? Did Carnival do all that it could to help passengers in this unusual situation? Please vote in our poll.
I think Carnival should have arranged bus transportation for all passengers to either the New Orleans airport, the Houston airport, or the Galveston cruise terminal. After all, even those who probably lost their cars parked at the Galveston terminal would at least want to go and check on them. The ship departed Galveston and was supposed to return to Galveston. Carnival should have gotten their passengers back there. I think it would have been OK to charge a reasonable fee for the bus ride, but Carnival should have helped everyone that wanted to go back to Galveston to get there.
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  #4  
Old September 17th, 2008, 07:46 PM
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Coast guard link: http://www.d8externalaffairs.com/go/page/425/22589/

Ship Channel
Release

Date: Sept. 17, 2008
Time: 3 p.m. CST

Contact: Public Information Officer

(832) 864-0002



Houston Ship Channel continues operations with restrictions

HOUSTON - The Houston Ship Channel is open at all times to ships with a draft of 16 feet or less, but will remain open for daylight transit only from the entrance of the Ship Channel to the Shell Oil and Chemical Facility in Deer Park, Texas, for ships with a draft of 38 feet or less.

Traffic is open for daylight transit only from the Shell Oil Chemical Facility to the Turning Basin for ships with a draft of 30 feet or less.

There are 118 ships waiting to enter the port.






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  #5  
Old September 17th, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyRose View Post
I think Carnival should have arranged bus transportation for all passengers to either the New Orleans airport, the Houston airport, or the Galveston cruise terminal. After all, even those who probably lost their cars parked at the Galveston terminal would at least want to go and check on them. The ship departed Galveston and was supposed to return to Galveston. Carnival should have gotten their passengers back there. I think it would have been OK to charge a reasonable fee for the bus ride, but Carnival should have helped everyone that wanted to go back to Galveston to get there.
Houston airports were closed and the whole island of Galveston is closed.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 07:50 PM
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I think Carnival did what it could with a difficult situation. Not only were that passengers having concerns but also the crew. Traveling during the hurricane season is always a risk and you never know what could happen. It is the passengers responsibility to be prepared should the need arise. We traveled with Gustavus heading toward us and our captain on the Holiday kept us as informed as he could of the situation. There are also tvs on the ships that are tuned to CNN and other stations you could watch. Passengers could find out the situation at any time and should have been aware on their own that they could not get back into Galveston. As far as Carnival going to NOLA I feel sure that it took a lot of logistcal work at getting that much accomplished.
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  #7  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:00 PM
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I think all cruise lines react in much the same manner in the event of an interruption to itineries, whether because of a natural disaster or a mechanical failure or whatever. And this stems from a) the modern attitude that someone is to blame and has to pay; and b) the corporate lawyer's reaction that if we admit anything, we will be sued. Unfortunately this results in as a little information as possible being issued. Consequently passengers are annoyed and sometimes scared because they don't know what is happening. Next result is an ambulance chasing lawyer is demanding ridiculous amounts of compensation from the cruise company, and the chain of blame and recriminations go on and on.

I suspect the only way to change this is for the cruise lines to stick by the letter of their contracts, especially where natural phenomena are involved, but they must and I repeat must advise passengers as to what is happening.

Just a frequent cruisers opinion
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  #8  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:02 PM
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I wanted to choose two options. I think the cruise on Ecstasy should have been cancelled when there was an evacution order and I also thought Carnival should have offered an option of a bus at a reasonable cost to return the passengers to Houston from New Orleans for those who were from the area or unable to change flight plans to depart from New Orleans.
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  #9  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:05 PM
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Carnival should have helped the ones that flew in by providing help with transportation to the airport in Orleans and changing their flights.
They should have also provided some type of transportation to the ones that drove. They should have also cancelled the next cruise when Galveston was being evacuated............

Also this poll is of no help......as you see there are multiples that should be voted on IMO............so I can't vote........

Last edited by Kurbanfan; September 17th, 2008 at 08:11 PM.
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  #10  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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I think Carnival should have HELPED people to make alt travel plans out of NOLA. NOT pay for the cost of getting them home or cost of flight changes rental cars etc.
But by HELPED I mean provide free internet & phone (from their staterooms)onboard so the passengers could make their own travel changes. And also provide shuttles (at a cost) to the airport.
I also think they should have debarked the whole ship in NOLA. Why go back to a port that has no electric?
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  #11  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erica@cruisecritic View Post
Ever since Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston this weekend, Carnival has been racing to make arrangements for Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy, the line's two Galveston-based ships. Now that the ships are finally headed for their temporary new home in Houston, cruise travelers are wondering whether Carnival could have handled the situation better. You can read more about the situation in our news item.

What do you think? Did Carnival do all that it could to help passengers in this unusual situation? Please vote in our poll.

They should have only taken care of their air passengers as air is an option to purchase from them,therefor their assistance would be with their paying passengers only.Everyone else should have been educated enough to have travel insurance.If not,need I say more,especially during storm season.
Steve
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  #12  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:30 PM
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Where the Conquest is concerned:

IF Carnival did not have intentions of going back to Houston...I believe they would have handled things completely differently.

IF Carnival was not going back to Houston and I was on this cruise, then I would have expect Carnival to bus me back to Houston.

However, since Carnival is returning to Houston...we would have been one of the 380 that would have cruised back with them.

If I did not want to do that, I would have gotten off in New Orleans and rented a car or flown home and would not have expected Carnival to pay for it. If I did not have travel insurance, I would have just paid for it.


For the Ecstasy:

I think Carnival should have given people the OPTION to cancel or sail.
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  #13  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:34 PM
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In my opinion I think everyone should have gotten off in New Orleans. The reason being is that I am not sure if the waters in Houston are safe to return to at this point. There is so much debris floating around that I would be scared to go back now. People are going to blame Carnival no matter what, but I feel this hurricane was at no fault of Carnival. I think they did the best they could with the situation they had. Ok so people are saying they should not have left Galveston when they had a chance of the hurricane hitting, but we are in Louisiana and we had the same chance. When people choose to cruise during hurricane season they know that they will always have a chance of a hurricane. We didn't get a direct hit here, but we have many homes damaged and flooded in Vermilion parish. It is only 5 miles from my house that it was completely flooded. This I might add is twice in three years to the same people. That is so heart-breaking to see. Please at a time like this let's not point the fingers at anyone because it was an act of God and not Carnival. I understand that everyone has an opinion and I am simply stating mine. I just want to send my deepest sympathy to everyone that may have lost a home, car or life.
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  #14  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:39 PM
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I voted that the passengers that didn't book their flights thru Carnival should have made their own arrangements. Carnival was just as much a victim as the passengers and that's why it's advisable to purchase travel insurance to offset some of the costs associated with a change in plans, especially during hurricane season. It wasn't Carnival's fault that the hurricane hit Galveston or any other place.

My question is...How far do people want Carnival to go? It's up to us to insure our vacations. I will be on Carnival in August 2009, sailing out of Galveston and hope that nothing like this happens, but I've purchased the travel insurance and I'll be praying for the best and expecting the worse. Will I be disappointed if it isn't the great getaway I hoped, sure but I don't know of anyone who can control the weather. If I had a choice to travel outside of hurricane season I would, but the Summer months are the only time me and my family can do it, so we take our chances. BUY INSURANCE!!!!
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  #15  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHP View Post
Where the Conquest is concerned:

IF Carnival did not have intentions of going back to Houston...I believe they would have handled things completely differently.

IF Carnival was not going back to Houston and I was on this cruise, then I would have expect Carnival to bus me back to Houston.

However, since Carnival is returning to Houston...we would have been one of the 380 that would have cruised back with them.

If I did not want to do that, I would have gotten off in New Orleans and rented a car or flown home and would not have expected Carnival to pay for it. If I did not have travel insurance, I would have just paid for it
You seem to imply that folks knew there was a choice of going to New Orleans, which we did NOT know when we got off the ship. Had we known that then of course we would have stayed on the ship. The only other port mentioned was Galveston in some vague way by Sunday .... maybe and we had visions of them trying to get into Galveston when we made our choice.

As for Carnival having no implied contract, I disagree. I bought a cruise to and from Galveston, not from Galveston to New Orleans. I believe there is a implied contract with Carnival to fullfill this obligation which is what I paid for.

Anyone know the Carnival address to write to. I do intend to write when I get the address to address my letter to. I will include the good and the things I think they should try and improve upon.
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  #16  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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Poll responses don't make a lot of sense in response to your question. If you are asking what their responsibility was, it is spelled out in the contract.

If you are asking for a moral judgement, there is no good answer.

If you are serious about asking what Carnival could have done better, why not wait until the verdict is in....we've heard a couple of negative comments and a couple of relatively positive comments from 4 or 5 people who were on the Conquest out of some 3000 or so.

Or, maybe of more value if you are intending to write a piece, why not ask Carnival themselves?
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  #17  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticks1 View Post
I wanted to choose two options. I think the cruise on Ecstasy should have been cancelled when there was an evacution order and I also thought Carnival should have offered an option of a bus at a reasonable cost to return the passengers to Houston from New Orleans for those who were from the area or unable to change flight plans to depart from New Orleans.
Why cancel at the time of evacuation? Hurricanes are notorious for not hitting where everyone thinks they might, and Ike could have moved to the east of Galveston, thereby sparing it completely from the damage it got. Cruise could have gone on as planned in that case.

Houston was, at that time and still to this day, a ghost town with limited electricity, water and sewer. Had everyone jumped on busses to Houston, there would have been no place for them to stay when they got there, no access at all to Galveston, and more misery piled on misery. Not a good choice.

Face it, Carnival tried to play the had it was dealt, and unfortunately they had too many twos to win.
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  #18  
Old September 17th, 2008, 08:58 PM
LHP LHP is offline
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Originally Posted by firefly333 View Post
You seem to imply that folks knew there was a choice of going to New Orleans, which we did NOT know when we got off the ship. Had we known that then of course we would have stayed on the ship. The only other port mentioned was Galveston in some vague way by Sunday .... maybe and we had visions of them trying to get into Galveston when we made our choice.

As for Carnival having no implied contract, I disagree. I bought a cruise to and from Galveston, not from Galveston to New Orleans. I believe there is a implied contract with Carnival to fullfill this obligation which is what I paid for.

Anyone know the Carnival address to write to. I do intend to write when I get the address to address my letter to. I will include the good and the things I think they should try and improve upon.

I think you meant to say Houston instead of New Orleans.

The press releases we were reading were saying all along that the ship would be returning to "Galveston" but gave no return date.

The same time that New Orleans was announced as a debarkation option, the option to stay on the ship and be returned to "Galveston" was offered. So I don't see how you can say you "did not know".

Monday when the letters that have been posted on this thread were received....it gave a specific date.

But the "intention" to return to "Galveston" was stated all along. There just was not a specific date.

Btw, the fact that 380 people are currently sailing back to Houston on the Conquest, I believe, shows that Carnival told everyone of their intention to return to "Galveston" . 380 people knew they were heading "home".
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Last edited by LHP; September 17th, 2008 at 09:05 PM.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Unfortunately this was a tough situation with no clear answer. With somewhere around 5,000 passengers between the two ships, there's no perfect course of action. Chances are that many passengers would (and will)be inconvenienced.

With that said, Carnival:

- Kept everybody SAFE at all times
- Brought everybody back to land as soon as they could figure out the logistics of it all
- Provided guest wishing to go back to Galveston the option of returning to Texas onboard the ship
- Made arrangements for air/sea passengers to return home from New Orleans

I know that some feel that Carnival should've provided buses (either for free or for a fee) back to Galveston. But how?? At the time I'm writing this, nobody is being allowed back to Galveston island. The place remains mostly without running water, electricity and UNSAFE. The health hazard with human sewage mixed with standing water alone was probably enough reason for Carnival to steer clear of this option. As much as I sympathize with those passengers whose cars are parked in Galveston, I believe that Carnival's course of action was once again the safest and most prudent.

Should Carnival provide "assistance" with airline re-arrangements or transportation to the airport? NO. When passengers choose to book their own airfare, or not to get insurance, they are claiming full responsibility for their travel plans for the sake of saving some dollars. Why should Carnival bail them out now? Sorry if I'm blunt.

As frustrating as all of this may be, I believe that Carnival has found a way to bring things back as close to normal as soon as possible, and found a new home for these two ships and minimized future cruise disruptions in less than a week! Carnival didn't drop the ball. I believe that they did a formidable job!
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Last edited by Tapi; September 17th, 2008 at 09:11 PM.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 09:09 PM
Markandrews Markandrews is offline
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I feel Carnival was obligated to take all pax back to Galveston. But what would they have been taking them to? Closed highways? Closed Public Transportation? Closed Airport?

Passengers that flew in for their cruise were better off leaving the ship in New Orleans. The airport was open, Hotel rooms were available, etc.

Carnival should have offered non Air/Sea pax assistance with air reservation changes. Tell the pax what amount will be due at the NOLA airport for the change and send them on there way.

It was a no win situation for Carnival.

Last edited by Markandrews; September 17th, 2008 at 09:12 PM.
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