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Insulting response from Carnival


Prince1

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Took my family on our first cruise, aboard the Fascination 4/17-21. When we booked it the itinerary was Miami-Key West-Cozumel. Several months before the cruise I recieved a formal email notification from Carnival that due to damage from the hurricane in Cozumel we were changing ports to Calica (copy of the letter attached below). Ok, I thought, so be it. I was impressed that Carnival had such a good pocess in place for notification of changes. We made shore plans accordingly.

 

Long story short, it turns out that more than a month prior to sailing Carnival changed ports BACK to Cozumel and NEVER made any attempt to notify me. It wasn't until we were actually on board that we found out we weren't going to Calica. So much for their good process for notification of changes.

 

After returning from the cruise I contacted Carnival customer relations asking one simple question... why was I notified of the first change, but not the 2nd? Yesterday I got the most insulting communications I have ever recieved from any company. It was a terse form letter reminding me that my ticket contract states that Carnival reserves the right to alter itineraries. It further said "When possible, Carnival notifies guests of any changes to the ports of call".

 

Excuse me, but that last statement is 100% patently false. There was clearly ample time for notification, and they most definitely knew how to contact me... they just simply didn't.

 

I guess I'll never know what happened, but a better (and more HONEST) response from Carnival would have said "you're right, we failed to live up to the high expectations we set for ourselves in communicating with our guests. We offer our sincere apologies and hope you'll give Carnival a chance to demonstrate our commitment to customer service excellence in your future cruising plans".

 

Yeah, fat chance!!

 

~~~Notice of itinerary change~~~

 

Carnival

The Fun Ships.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

FASCINATION 4 DAY CRUISES

JANUARY 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; FEBRUARY 6, 13, 20, 27; MARCH 6, 13, 20, 27;

APRIL 3, 10, 17 AND 24, 2006

CHANGING COZUMEL TO CALICA, MEXICO

December 16, 2005

Dear Carnival Guest

We will need to change our itinerary because Cozumel has sustained damage due to Hurricane Wilma. The Fascination 4 day cruises scheduled to depart on Monday, january 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; February 6, 13, 20, 27; March 6, 13, 20, 27; April 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2006 will call at Calica,

Mexico from Noon to 8 PM instead of Cozumel. From Calica, you will be able to visit nearby Playa del Carmen, the spectacular Mayan ruins of Tulum and other exciting options. We know you will enjoy this new port in Mexico.

Based on our “Change in Itinerary” policy, you have the opportunity to cancel without penalty, if the booking is cancelled by December 21, 2005.

Thank you for choosing Carnival for your vacation. We are looking forward to welcoming you aboard the spectacular Fascination.

Sincerely,

Vicki L. Freed, CTC

Senior Vice President— Sales & Marketing

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It was a terse form letter reminding me that my ticket contract states that Carnival reserves the right to alter itineraries. It further said "When possible, Carnival notifies guests of any changes to the ports of call".

 

Excuse me, but that last statement is 100% patently false.

 

You are 100% dead wrong. Carnival does reserve the right to change itineraries. And they DID notify you of the first change. As you quoted; "when possible" means that they will try to notify you but are not under any obligation to do so. If you figure that they have over 50,000 pax sailing on all their ships every sailing, they may have been just a little busy and didn't get the notice to you the second time. Other than that did you enjoy your cruise? Or did this lack of communication turn you into a poison pill?

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Took my family on our first cruise, aboard the Fascination 4/17-21. When we booked it the itinerary was Miami-Key West-Cozumel. Several months before the cruise I recieved a formal email notification from Carnival that due to damage from the hurricane in Cozumel we were changing ports to Calica (copy of the letter attached below). Ok, I thought, so be it. I was impressed that Carnival had such a good pocess in place for notification of changes. We made shore plans accordingly.

 

Long story short, it turns out that more than a month prior to sailing Carnival changed ports BACK to Cozumel and NEVER made any attempt to notify me. It wasn't until we were actually on board that we found out we weren't going to Calica. So much for their good process for notification of changes.

 

After returning from the cruise I contacted Carnival customer relations asking one simple question... why was I notified of the first change, but not the 2nd? Yesterday I got the most insulting communications I have ever recieved from any company. It was a terse form letter reminding me that my ticket contract states that Carnival reserves the right to alter itineraries. It further said "When possible, Carnival notifies guests of any changes to the ports of call".

 

Excuse me, but that last statement is 100% patently false. There was clearly ample time for notification, and they most definitely knew how to contact me... they just simply didn't.

 

I guess I'll never know what happened, but a better (and more HONEST) response from Carnival would have said "you're right, we failed to live up to the high expectations we set for ourselves in communicating with our guests. We offer our sincere apologies and hope you'll give Carnival a chance to demonstrate our commitment to customer service excellence in your future cruising plans".

 

Yeah, fat chance!!

 

~~~Notice of itinerary change~~~

 

Carnival

The Fun Ships.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

FASCINATION 4 DAY CRUISES

JANUARY 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; FEBRUARY 6, 13, 20, 27; MARCH 6, 13, 20, 27;

APRIL 3, 10, 17 AND 24, 2006

CHANGING COZUMEL TO CALICA, MEXICO

December 16, 2005

Dear Carnival Guest

We will need to change our itinerary because Cozumel has sustained damage due to Hurricane Wilma. The Fascination 4 day cruises scheduled to depart on Monday, january 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; February 6, 13, 20, 27; March 6, 13, 20, 27; April 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2006 will call at Calica,

Mexico from Noon to 8 PM instead of Cozumel. From Calica, you will be able to visit nearby Playa del Carmen, the spectacular Mayan ruins of Tulum and other exciting options. We know you will enjoy this new port in Mexico.

Based on our “Change in Itinerary” policy, you have the opportunity to cancel without penalty, if the booking is cancelled by December 21, 2005.

Thank you for choosing Carnival for your vacation. We are looking forward to welcoming you aboard the spectacular Fascination.

Sincerely,

Vicki L. Freed, CTC

Senior Vice President— Sales & Marketing

You have every right to be upset. If I were in your shoes, and the Capt. diden't come down from the bridge to let me know I would be mad also. After all I have been on 7 Carnival ships, and I let them know right off that I expect the Capt. to keep me informed on every thing that is going on the week I am on the ship. Once on a cruise the Capt diden't inform me that one of the diesel's were running a little hot. I told Carnival that I expect my next cruise free.

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Wow - i'm surprised by these responses, especially the one that says Carnival is really busy so it's ok that they didn't notify me. Sorry, but I don't find that excuse acceptable.

 

What i didn't go into was the genuine problem this caused for me. Having made shore plans to visit Xcaret I was now in jeopardy of not being able to get their. It took several hours of my time aboard ship to work out plans for my family to board the one tender going to Playa del Carmen. Had I been notified in advance of the change (again, there was plenty of time to do so) it could have been worked out before my vacation started.

 

For all who seemed somewhat defensive in their responses please note that I didn't once fault Carnival for making changes... I understand that's part of cruising. I did AND STILL DO fault Carnival for a complete and total lack of communication. Those with more allegiance to Carnival may have a different point of view, but then we'll just have to agree to disagree because I can't fathom a way to justify their lack of communication.

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I'm sorry you're port was changed and things weren't handled the way you think they should have been. But I'm even more sorry you let one detail ruin your entire cruise. Because if your still mad enough 2 weeks later to find a carnival board and start complaining with your first post ( seems like at least one every week ) then I'm sure you were mad your whole cruise.

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Did you book this cruise thru a TA or directly from Carnival? Maybe they did mail you a letter. It could have been lost in the mail or email could have gone to your spam folder, etc. If you booked thru a TA, they sgould have told you or maybe their notification could have been lost too.

 

Did you book this shore excursion thru Carnival or on your own? If you had booked thru them & port was changed....tour operator would have refunded your money as many independents would also do if intinerary is changed.

 

Get over it. Carnival owes you nothing.

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Hey people, relax. The poster does have a point. I spend a lot of time preparing for crusie. Which one of us does not reesearch the ports we are scheduled to go to and how many of us pre-book excursions - not through the cruise line. Isn't that one of the main reasons Cruise Critic exists? I think it is reasonable to expect a notification when the port schedule changes. A month's lead time is more than ecough time to send out a letter or an email.

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I'm sorry you're port was changed and things weren't handled the way you think they should have been. But I'm even more sorry you let one detail ruin your entire cruise. Because if your still mad enough 2 weeks later to find a carnival board and start complaining with your first post ( seems like at least one every week ) then I'm sure you were mad your whole cruise.

 

Actually, I'm not convinced that the OP would be here complaining if they had received a *real* response from Carnival instead of the canned "read your ticket contract" letter. The OP isn't complaining (much) about the changed itenerary and isn't even asking for a free cruise. They are just bringing to light the fact that Carnival either didn't read their letter or didn't care enough to send a non-form letter reply.

 

You people who are coming here to the "defense" of Carnival, I have to ask why? As I said before, the OP isn't even really blaming Carnival for anything except a lack of communication and isn't asking for a free cruise. Go back to the jeans in the dining room threads, ok?

 

Undrhil

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I think the OP has a point in that the cruise lines (ALL of them, not just Carnival) should do a better job of notifying of changes. In this electronic age, shooting out a bunch of emails is not terribly difficult. Perhaps they all need to invest in some better IT structure. Even snail mail can be generated with the push of a button.

 

Having said that, of course the CL can and do changes ports all the time; it is a fact of cruising and one of the "risks" of making non CL excursions.

 

Often these changes are posted on the web site, so everyone should be proactive in checking the site before sailing.

 

PS I didn't find the tone of the carnival letter insulting. But they should revise it to avoid saying "whenever possible" they notify, becuase clearly it was "possible" to notify. Something along the lines of "we're sorry you were disappointed, but unfortunately changing ports is something that does occur. We hope you otherwise enjoyed your cruise and hope to see you on another Carnival cruise in the future".

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"When possible, Carnival notifies guests of any changes to the ports of call".

 

 

They are not under any obligation to notify you of changes!

 

Was the rest of your cruise satisfactory? It's to bad that you seem to be allowing this mishap to define your vacation :rolleyes: !!!

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Prince - Y'know, it's a shame you didn't get the itinerary you wanted, but things like this happen. Ports get changed, and the possibility of that happening is in your contract with the cruiseline - any cruiseline.

 

For your very first posting here on the Carnival board, you really could have started out with something like you enjoyed your cruise, you liked this or that, disliked this or that - but you jumped in with both feet with a rant that was basically very trivial.

 

I hope you didn't let this ruin your entire cruise. What a waste of time and money that would have been. DID you enjoy any part of your cruise, or did this little thing fester and grow so much that you were angry the whole time?

 

You could have taken the "Carnival Guarantee", and gotten off at the first port of call if you were that upset. Carnival would have flown you back to the homeport at their expense.:)

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Ok, Carnival should have made an attempt to notify you of the second change. I'll agree wholeheartedly with that.

 

You never did answer....did you book through Carnival or through a TA? Many times Carnival notifies the TA's of changes and leaves it to them to notify the customer. Could this have happened?

 

As far as the insulting form letter, I think it is the frame of mind you are in, not the letter itself. Sure it is a form letter, and it is very accurate in its content, but it is not insulting to receive a form letter.

 

If this is the worst problem you had to overcome on your vacation, you had a blast. Right? Wrong? Or are you letting the little splinter of a problem fester into a big one? Don't go there, it isn't worth it.

 

Mark T

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Prince - Y'know, it's a shame you didn't get the itinerary you wanted, but things like this happen. Ports get changed, and the possibility of that happening is in your contract with the cruiseline - any cruiseline.

 

For your very first posting here on the Carnival board, you really could have started out with something like you enjoyed your cruise, you liked this or that, disliked this or that - but you jumped in with both feet with a rant that was basically very trivial.

 

I hope you didn't let this ruin your entire cruise. What a waste of time and money that would have been. DID you enjoy any part of your cruise, or did this little thing fester and grow so much that you were angry the whole time?

 

You could have taken the "Carnival Guarantee", and gotten off at the first port of call if you were that upset. Carnival would have flown you back to the homeport at their expense.:)

 

Why is everyone quick to assume that Prince1 had a bad cruise? As I said before, I doubt whether they would have posted on here if they had received a better response from Carnival *after* the cruise. It sounds to me from the original post that Prince had a good time, aside from some last minute planning and shuffling to make a shore excursion.

 

Undrhil

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To be honest, the letter I recieved from Carnival (yesterday) was the most annoying part of this whole experience. A lot of legalese about my ticket contract, with absolutely zero acknowledgement that they had plenty of time to notify me but didn't. Since this was my first cruise experience I'm obviously not wrapped up in the cruising culture which seems to be very forgiving about such things. It boggles my mind that Carnival (and apparently many members of this board) find it a perfectly acceptable to practice keep paying customers in the dark about what they're getting.

 

As someone who's travelled almost 3 million air miles I recieve email notifications all the time telling me when a scheduled departure time changes by even 5 minutes. How can anyone keep a straight face when saying Carnival shouldn't be held accountable for failing to notify me when they had more than a month to do so?

 

Did this ruin my vacation? No. Did I lose all confidence in Carnival enough to effect my choice of cruise lines in the future? Absolutely.

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Last year's Hurricane season was the worst on record. Carnival had a continued nightmare changing sailing and intineraries. To think you are the only one out there and Carnival is responsible for is nuts!

 

On my Hurricane Wilma cruise we did not find out where we were going until boarding the ship. Yes it was a pain because we could not book stuff in advance but we were flexible and had a blast. Carnival is not perfect as it is run by humans but I did find they do their best when you have a season like last year!

 

Maybe a Dude Ranch is for you rather than cruising. Less chance of interruption!:D

 

Maybe you could share your initial complaint to Carnival? Is it possible they responded in kind?

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We're on the 03 June Ecstasy and never received an email or mailing advising us of the change from Calica to Progresso. Am I mad .. No. Disappointed YES !! If it weren't for these boards I would have never known until we got our doc's or boarded. To me this trip is too important to let it ruin our time (10th annv. and NO KIDS ):D . Luckily I haven't made excursion plans, I can see how that could throw you off a bit. But sometimes you have to be able to blow things off and go with the flow.

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Why the assumption that there was time for notification?

 

Are you aware of excatly when the decision to change was made?

 

The original itinerary change was a long term plan. The most recent change could have been made as late as the morning of your departure.

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Why is everyone quick to assume that Prince1 had a bad cruise?

 

If you're going to quote me, please note that I ASKED if he had enjoyed any of his cruise.

 

It sounds to me from the original post that Prince had a good time..........

 

:rolleyes: Exactly WHERE in his first post does he indicate that he had a good time.....? It was all about the 'insulting' response.

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Just thought of something, the OP posted the first letter about the itinerary change but did not post the response from Carnival after the cruise. I would be interested to see what they really said!:eek:

 

  • TA or PVP?
  • Good or bad cruise?

Just interested in know a little more!

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Responses coming fast and furious. Trying to catch up...

 

- I booked through Carnival directly. This isn't a matter of the notification getting lost in the mail. If you're following this thread you'll realize that the communication channel was working perfectly since they did in fact send me the original notice of change.

 

- I booked the shore excursion myself, not through Carnival. For what it's worth, the entrance price to Xcaret I paid was $49 per person vs. $89 paid by those who booked through Carnival. I know some of you will point out that my experience justifies the price differential and you may have a point.

 

- I never said this experience ruined my vacation so not sure why so many of you make that assumption. Yes, it caused me grief and several hours of time to untangle the mess. It really had no impact on my family (wife + 3 kids), and once it was sorted out I went on to thoroughly enjoy the trip.

 

- All the above said, I hold fast to my position that Carnival screwed up royally by not communicating what they knew as soon as they knew it. For the few responders who justify it by saying Carnival has lots of customers, I'm just bewildered. They should fix their process, their IT systems, whatever... but excuses like that are just weak.

 

- Only one poster got me figured out. My complaint is that Carnival sent a form letter which utterly ignored my question and failed to address the issue. They gave no acknowledgement of their shortcomings and no indication of a desire to fix it in the future which is why I will not cruise with them again.

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I am absolutely amazed at the negative response Prince1 has gotten from most of the other posters. Should he have been notified of the change, if, in fact it was made a month prior to departure? Absolutely! We all do our homework making shore plans. Changing those plans from home is much easier than trying to do it once you board the ship when you have to pay outrageous fees to access the internet. I don't know if he prepaid for any excursions, but not cancelling could have cost him money. So I do understand why he is upset that he wasn't notified. And when you take the time to write a letter, a response that indicates that someone actually read your letter is expected, not a standard letter. As another posted said, he wasn't asking for compensation, just an apology.

 

And, before everyone says 'read your contract', I am well aware that a cruise line may change the itinerary. I have been on 15 cruises and have had ports changed due to weather. Have I been disappointed? Yes. Has it ruined the trip? No. But I think Prince1 has a point and he doesn't deserve to be beaten down by others here. (JMHO) I also hope that Prince1 will cruise again, with a different line, I would assume.

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