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Insulting response from Carnival


Prince1

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keeping up with questions -

 

- I posted the original letter because it came to me in an email and I could paste it in. The letter I recieved yesterday was hardcopy and i chose not to type the whole thing in. If you're interested I'll do that but take my word, it's classic form letter with no personalization whatsoever.

 

- I know for a fact that the 2nd change occurred more than a month before the cruise because I spoke directly with the Chief Purser and he told me so.

 

My sincere apologies if I've come off in this thread as an over-reacting, under-informed whiner. It would be inaccurate to describe me that way. I believe I had a legitimate beef, I informed Carnival asking for NOTHING more than acknowledgement and didn't even get that. If my "complaining" helps Carnival and/or the cruise industry improve so this doesn't happen in the future I'd feel good. Apparently that's asking too much.

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Wow - If the type of aggresive responses this poster received is typical for the Carnival audience, I think I better stick to cruising Celebrity.

 

I think it makes perfect sense to be unhappy if you are not informed of a port change after you have invested a lot of time in arranging a private tour. I also think it makes perfect sense for a cruise line to reserve the right to change the itinerary. The solution is customer communication.

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To the OP - I am sorry that you received a "form" response. Unfortunately for large companies....sometimes that's the easiest "first response". Perhaps instead of giving up on Carnival completely, try another letter (I can't remember if you sent via snail mail or email). Sometimes a different type of communication will get a different response. I agree that nowhere did you say you were looking for any type of compensation.

 

I don't remember reading on this board where they changed the port back to Coz. I know in your post it says it was more than a month before sailing, but where did you get that information. The PVPs at Carnival are not always the most well informed. If you call and ask another, you may find they tell you it was changed the morning of departure. Usually port changes are all over the board...literally 5 or 6 new threads. I could have missed it though as I don't spend every minute of my day on here. (OOPS>>>>I missed thie answer to this in your response earlier...sorry.)

 

I do hope that you won't write Carnival off for this one response, and I'm afraid that other lines would have responded the same way too. JMHO.

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Wow - If the type of aggresive responses this poster received is typical for the Carnival audience, I think I better stick to cruising Celebrity.

 

I've been on the other boards too and have see just as harsh repsonses over there. I've actually been scared to ask questions on the Celebrity board because I've seen some of the "higher class" responses.:o It can (and does) happen on all these boards, not just Carnival.

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Prince1,

 

Is it possible that the response you just received was a "canned" response and that a more personal response will be forthcoming? You really haven't been home that long.

 

Also, email notifications can get lost!

 

It has been my experience that often you will get a form letter when filing a complaint just to let you know they received your complaint and then will receive a more detailed response at a later date. I had a problem with my new Buick and this is what happened to me. Then I couldn't get rid of them! They kept calling and writing to see if they handled things correctly!!!

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"If you can't turn the corners of your mouth UP, at least let the middle DROOP!":)

 

I've tried this before and it doesn't work. I end up looking like a sad, lost puppy begging for a bone. Well, not *literally* looking like a puppy, but you get the general idea, I hope. :)

 

Undrhil

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- I know for a fact that the 2nd change occurred more than a month before the cruise because I spoke directly with the Chief Purser and he told me so.

 

 

You are correct, The itinerary was changed back on the 6th of February. The itinerary change is on the Carnival website.

 

http://www.carnival.com/CMS/static_templates/weather_update.aspx

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I think it makes perfect sense to be unhappy if you are not informed of a port change after you have invested a lot of time in arranging a private tour.

 

Ok......WHAT?:eek: ......That's the "risk" one takes making private tours....I do it all the time and I deal with it...SOOOO...."I" check constantly with Carnival and Port Authorities to see the updated changes....Most of the time the Ports know first and then it has to go thru the channels of Carnival (BTW CCL is HUGE) and we've known of our changes a few weeks before Carnival was able to let us know.....we call Carnival daily when it gets down to the wire...........(Just a little info for next time;) )

 

FYI....if they notified you of the change a month before...they still could change it back an hour before they arrived at the port.....I guess then it would have been hard to change plans,,,huh?......again, it's the risk of making private tours.

 

The form letter wouldn't bother me as I know how large CCL is and I'm sure they get tired of people complaining about something that is written as much as us CC Host get tired of people complaining about how we moderate posts and move threads etc......(read the CC guidelines)

 

Anyway....hope you'll be able to put this behind you and use this board for your next cruise......BTW....Welcome to Cruise Critic.:)

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Westernmom, i'm pretty sure the letter i got yesterday closes the books on this from Carnival's point of view. The last line says "We hope you will consider joining us on a future Carnival cruise and should you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us." i.e., they plan no more contact with me unless I initiate. Message recieved.

 

My experience with car companies is the same as yours. They seem to have gotten the message that customer relationships are worth the investment. I took my BMW in to get a simple lightbulb changed under warranty (for free) and recieved a phone call from the service manager, a letter from BMW and an email all thanking me for my business.

 

I won't be sitting by my phone waiting for a call from Carnival. But the funny thing is that if they did extend me the courtesy of a phone call to discuss, I'd probably have become a life-long Carnival customer. Why they don't get that just boggles my mind. Oh yeah - I've owned 4 BMW's... go figure.

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As I said earlier, most independent tour operators will refund paid in advance shore excursions if the cruiseline changes ports & does not port at their location. OP could have used the internet & contacted the tour operator & asked for a refund on the ship.

 

Always blame Carnival. Never think that maybe mail could be lost by Post Office or email did not go through. It's always Carnival's fault.

 

I agree with Cotton. OP might have gotten a better response if they had posted something positive along with their complaint. If OP feels that passionate about a minor communication problem, they should contact Carnival. We all know, you can talk to 10 people & get 10 different answers. Keep trying until they get the response they want to hear.

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I've tried this before and it doesn't work. I end up looking like a sad, lost puppy begging for a bone. Well, not *literally* looking like a puppy, but you get the general idea, I hope. :)

 

Undrhil

 

I am trying to picture this! For some reason I see a hound-dog......

 

It was always a "rule" around our house that we all get up in the morning and start the day with a smile so my dd found this quote and posted it everywhere!

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>>The form letter wouldn't bother me as I know how large CCL is and I'm sure they get tired of people complaining about something that is written<<

 

You've missed the point. My complaint was that they didn't communicate what they knew. They had sent me an email the first time and nothing at all the 2nd time. The VERY best you can say about their process is that it's provably inconsistent. If they "get tired" of paying customers pointing out ways they could improve then... then.... then - geez I don't even know how to respond to that.

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I believe that the adhesion contract that we sign when we pay to go on a cruise is outrageous. We accept it because we don't have a choice. Well, we do have a choice. I lost Istanbul and Ephesus on my last cruise because Princess couldn't keep the engines running on the Grand Princess.

 

My last cruise was on Princess - My next cruise could have been on Princess. Instead, my next cruise is on Carnival. Revenue difference to Carnival is minimal since they are the same company. But, I feel better by not spending money directly with princess.

 

I don't expect to be given enough information to make the decision about changing destinations. But, I do expect to be informed of the decision when it is made.

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>>Always blame Carnival. Never think that maybe mail could be lost by Post Office or email did not go through. It's always Carnival's fault. <<

 

Sorry, you're not paying attention. I booked through Carnival directly and have evidence that their notification process works. They emailed me with the first notice of change. They didn't do squat the 2nd time. All these responses fall into the category of lame excuses and there's really only one right answer; they could have notified me & they should have notified me, but they didn't notify me. They screwed up. Why is that so hard for so many people to own up to?

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>>The form letter wouldn't bother me as I know how large CCL is and I'm sure they get tired of people complaining about something that is written<<

 

You've missed the point. My complaint was that they didn't communicate what they knew. They had sent me an email the first time and nothing at all the 2nd time. The VERY best you can say about their process is that it's provably inconsistent. If they "get tired" of paying customers pointing out ways they could improve then... then.... then - geez I don't even know how to respond to that.

Oh no, I get it...not a problem....and for the record, even though I love Carnival, they are lacking in some communication areas:rolleyes: ....but I've learned to deal with it.....It's funny I was talking to someone at CCL trying to find some info out and she told me that Cruise Critic will know before CCL :D ...This board is very valuable and had you come here before your cruise it might have saved you some grief.....but 20/20 hindsights probably not helping you now....OH well, I always say it could have been worse on just about everthing.....keeps me in check.:)

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>>Always blame Carnival. Never think that maybe mail could be lost by Post Office or email did not go through. It's always Carnival's fault. <<

 

Sorry, you're not paying attention. I booked through Carnival directly and have evidence that their notification process works. They emailed me with the first notice of change. They didn't do squat the 2nd time. All these responses fall into the category of lame excuses and there's really only one right answer; they could have notified me & they should have notified me, but they didn't notify me. They screwed up. Why is that so hard for so many people to own up to?

Ok......clear up one thing I'm missing....How again did you know Carnival knew a month before?

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Prince, I just wanted to tell you that I too would have beern aggravated with the way the changae was NOT handled. Especially when we cruise with the family (5 kids) I like to know what my options are in port and do alot of research , and make plans. When DH and I cruise alone, it not that big of an issue, we can change plans pronto.. however, with family in tow there are alot of other issues to consider. I dont know why Carnival didnt let you know their change in plan.... on the 4 cruises we have taken w/them in the past 2 years our itenrary changed twice, and we were never notitified. I have also found that when I call Carnival for a question, it depends on which agent I get as to the answer. Now before anyone decides that I am complaining and bashes me let me say, we love cruising, take changes with a grain of salt, and choose to have fun. Hope your next vacation is what you dream it will be prince. :) Sophie

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Westernmom, i'm pretty sure the letter i got yesterday closes the books on this from Carnival's point of view. The last line says "We hope you will consider joining us on a future Carnival cruise and should you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us." i.e., they plan no more contact with me unless I initiate. Message recieved.

 

My experience with car companies is the same as yours. They seem to have gotten the message that customer relationships are worth the investment. I took my BMW in to get a simple lightbulb changed under warranty (for free) and recieved a phone call from the service manager, a letter from BMW and an email all thanking me for my business.

 

I won't be sitting by my phone waiting for a call from Carnival. But the funny thing is that if they did extend me the courtesy of a phone call to discuss, I'd probably have become a life-long Carnival customer. Why they don't get that just boggles my mind. Oh yeah - I've owned 4 BMW's... go figure.

 

Did you write or call Carnival? I would follow up with your concerns with a written letter - not email - to them. What the heck, give it a shot. I haven't cruised before so haven't had an experience yet!

 

As a personal assistant to an owner of several businesses, if we receive written letters of complaint we address them individually. Phone calls and emails get lost in the food-chain!

 

I would assume BMW would be top-notch in customer service. You will probably get flamed about this because Carnival serves about 3.5 million customers at around $1500 each per year and BMW sells around 1.3 million cars at an average cost of $70,000!

 

But, when you come to expect good customer service in everyday life (heck, even WalMart refunds with no questions asked) then it's hard to handle in other situations.

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To the carnival supporters

 

Remember that the carriage contract states that Carnival doesn't have to give you anything for your money. If carnival decides to cancel the cruise and not go anywhere, they have to give you something like $20 per port. They can sit at the dock and give you bread and water because the kitchen caught fire and you would have NO recourse.

 

If Carnival wants to change the cruise from a caribbean trip to novia scotia trip, that is their right. They don't have to refund anything.

(That happened recently)

 

The fact is that Carnival Princess and others could make us a lot happier with a minimal amount of work if they would treat us as paying customers who simply want a fun vacation. They don't have to give us our money back because an engine overheats. They simply have to make us feel better about the trip. They need to do this because our only option is to buy a trip from a different cruise line.

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>>Ok......clear up one thing I'm missing....How again did you know Carnival knew a month before?<<

 

I was standing eyeball to eyeball with the Chief Purser and he told me so. I believe a poster above in this thread has confirmed that the change was made in February through other sources. For the eleventh time, Carnival found the time to notify me of the first change, but had over a month to notify me the 2nd change and didn't. I'm a simple man... there's right and wrong and that's just plain wrong.

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The problem here is not that you may or may not have a legit beef. It's the tone of the rant you started the thread with. People have responded in kind. Please return after your next cruise on another line and let us know if you had a better experience. I hear RCI has really good "customer service" (:p ) and communication with customers. And just as a word of warning, be very afraid of the HAL, Celebrity and Cunard boards. Meanies.

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I'm a simple man... there's right and wrong and that's just plain wrong.

Oh I get it....and I certainly wouldn't handle my business that way...but then I'm not as big as them....If it were my first cruise and I wasn't aware of their lack in this area, I guess I'd be bothered as well....so I see your point....again use it as a learning tool if you cruise Carnival again.....they're not changing anytime soon in some areas....but I know how to make up for their short comings and I enjoy sailing Carnival the most.

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Prince...I'm sorry this happened to you. I'm glad you were able to enjoy your cruise.Everyone has been a first-time cruiser before. I think we all tend to forget that we were not always as informed about the "ins-and-outs" of cruise planning as we are now. I would have never though of doing all of the things I do now when I first cruised. Heck, I didn't even have a computer! :eek: I trusted that whatever paperwork I received was a "done-deal." Luckily I had no port changes on my first cruise. I'm sure that the OP never thought there would have been yet another change, since CCL had contacted him for the first one.

 

also, I hate when people automatically throw "1st-time poster" comments out there.(#3) So what?? All of us had a 1st time post. So?? Some people look for shiggity to try to throw out these so-call "cute"(NOT) comments. come on now, it's not cool.

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Prince

 

With all these people telling you to read the contract and standing up for Carnival, ask them to read where it says it's ok to smuggle in alcohol..There is a whole thread here for tips on smuggling in alcohol and you get blasted for asking a question.GIMME a BReak.It seems people only want to read and obey the rules when it suits them.

 

You should have received an apology, without a doubt or at bare minimum, an acknowledgement that your letter was received and read by a human.

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Prince, you are really preaching to the choir. These sorts of situations get my goat too. Unfortunately these days so many large companies (their employees) are such lousy communicators and have terrible conflict resolution skills. Would it kill people to put themselves in the customer's shoes, show a little empathy and say "hey you know, we could have and should have done a better job for you, our valued customer. I understand how you feel and we're going to do something to try and keep this from happening again."

But unfortunately, people just don't care anymore. No one wants to be accountable, and I applaud your decision choosing not to reward this sort of behavior with your repeat business.

If the person who handled your complaint at Carnival had anything on the ball and had handled this situation in a different manner and actually showed a little bit of concern for you and your issue, it sounds like they could have retained you as a customer.

I say keep complaining LOUDLY! Its people like you who yell the loudest that hold these companies accountable for their actions and force them to change and provide better service to all of us (including the posters who criticized your post).

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