Our family of 5 planned a cruise to Cozumel for 8 months. OUr oldest goes to high school in a different city and we only see her maybe once a week, so this was our chance to finally be together. We booked excusions (not through the ship), researched both of our ports of call (Key West and Cozumel) extensively. We booked plane tickets from Indiana to Ft Lauderdale.
Finally, the day arrived to embark on our cruise! We boarded at 11:30, spent a couple hours exploring and letting the kids swim, then I went to our cabin as soon as it was available (1:30) to unpack for the week. While I was unpacking, there was an announcement that the itinerary had been changed because there was an engine issue that would keep our ship from reaching maximum cruising speed. We were going to Nassau and Princess Cays instead. Everyone was given the option to either disembark for a full refund, or stay on for the new itinerary and get a $50pp onboard credit. We had one hour to decide.
We stayed on because we had promised our kids a cruise, and because we had no idea what to do for a week until our flight home. We would have rather disembarked, and if it had been only my husband and myself, we would have.
We had to contact the outside excursion companies for refunds, we had to try to re-plan our whole vacation in an hour's time with limited internet/cell service. (We didn't get very good reception once we boarded.) My husband and I spent most of the rest of the afternoon taking turns standing in ridiculously long lines at the guest services and excursion desks. All of the excursions in Nassau that the ship offered had minimum age of 6, 8, or 10 years old, but we have a 4 year old, so those wouldn't work. There was only one option (unless we wanted to spend the day on a bus, which would not have been fun for 4 and 8 year old kids), and it was a super ghetto "private island" with murky water and only one subpar food option with super high prices. It was so ghetto, in fact, that one of the shuttle boats that took passengers to this "private island" died in the water and had to be towed.
We spent the first 2 days of our relaxing cruise vacation stressed out and in long lines trying to figure things out. I tried to get a cabin upgrade (because many people chose to disembark), and the guy behind the desk was very adamant that he could not and would not do that. Then when we got home, I called about a possible credit or something since our itinerary was not worth the money that we had originally paid. It was like talking to a brick wall. At one point, the woman that I was speaking with said, "Ma'am, we can talk about this until we are both blue in the face, but it won't change the fact that there is nothing we can do for you. We are even discouraged from forwarding calls on to supervisors. So there is no one else that can do anything for you either."
Are you kidding me? What kind of customer service model is this? I don't want a hand out or a free cruise...I just wanted an acceptible compensation for the downgrade in experience. The Carnival mission statement reads as follows: "Together, we deliver joyful vacation experiences and breakthrough shareholder returns by exceeding guest expectations and leveraging our industry-leading scale." Well I'm sorry Carnival Corporation, but my expectations were not exceeded, they weren't even met.
Reason of review: Not as described.
Monetary Loss: $700.
Preferred solution: A credit for a future cruise.
I liked: Housekeeping, Waitstaff, Cabin steward.
I didn't like: Guest services, Customer service post-cruise, Itinerary change, Limited excursion options for young children, 50pp credit for complete itinerary change.