Jennifer and her husband went on a cruise for their vacation last month, but it wasn’t all that relaxing. They ended up less healthy and more stressed at the end of the vacation than at the beginning. It began with an asthma attack-inducing smoke-filled stateroom, and somehow actually got worse from there. Worse how? There was the food poisoning, accidentally being double charged for everything, and a ship employee who was almost comically insensitive to the fact that Jennifer uses a wheelchair.
My husband and I went on a three day cruise in July with Carnival Cruise lines, and it ended up being hell.
- The room we’d been assigned was so smoke-filled that smoke came out when we opened the door. We’re both asthmatics and had to use our inhalers to keep from having an asthma attack. It was so bad that we spoke to Guest Services onboard AND called their 800 number while still in port, and we were told they would be doing nothing until we sailed. The 800 number told us we weren’t allowed to leave the ship.
- We did a special meal that was offered to 12 people, tops, called The Chef’s Table. It was on the last night, which we then spent puking our guts up from food poisoning. We had to hightail it to the port’s ER after we got off the ship.
- On the Sensation, which is gigantic, there is one tiny area where children are not allowed. There are postings that it’s 21 and up all over. Parents ignored this. The attendant in the area said he couldn’t do a thing about it. I went to find someone else, who eyerolled me and said “I’m busy. Get someone else.”
- I’m disabled, and need a wheelchair. We mentioned this when we booked. We filled out a form for them over it. Yet they sat us at dinner in a spot where I’d have to climb stairs.
- Their dining room hostess also decided that I somehow didn’t need the wheelchair, and questioned me one night. “Why are you in that? You look too young to be in that. I think I saw you without it earlier. So do you really need it or what? Are you okay? Your face looks REALLY BAD. Seriously. You look terrible.” And on. And on. It was formal night, and I had made a special effort to look pretty; this girl’s speech put me in tears.
- The ship itself is VERY wheelchair inaccessible. There are steel bands all over that are very hard to wheel over, which means you have to run over them at speed and risk getting ejected from your chair. It’s also impossible to navigate any room with tables in it, as they’re too narrow to get through. I did a lot more getting out of my wheelchair than I should have, which left me in considerable pain.
- On top of ALL that, Carnival doublecharged us for EVERYTHING. We got off the ship and found out that our bank account had been wiped out by it, and we were in the negative. It took a week for all the false charges to go away.
I used the channels that Carnival asked me to. We asked for a partial refund for all our troubles, and said that we’d accept a credit for a future fare; if they’d work with us, we’d give them one more chance.
They rejected me. Big time. And they pretty much told me I was lying about the food poisoning. We got a “thanks for complaining, now go away”. We were treated like shit, and I do NOT want to go away.
Take it to the top. Here are some numbers and e-mail addresses to get you started.