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Jim Conte

Age: 42

Occupation:IT Manager

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Triumph

Sailing Date: November 4th, 2006

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

My wife and I have decided this will be our first and last Carnival cruise. Let's start at the beginning - we booked our air through Carnival with the idea that doing so would protect us in case of air problems. Carnival booked us a flight from Toronto to Montreal with about an hour to change planes and fly to Miami. Our flight was delayed due to a medical emergency and we missed the connecting flight, Air Canada was very good and had tickets for a connection to Fort Lauderdale, the new tickets were ready when we got off the plane. I called Carnival from the Montreal Airport and was told that the shuttle would be gone by the time we got to Fort Lauderdale and we would need to find our own way to the ship. They didn't offer any assistance at all, they just told me we would have to take a taxi at our expense. I was also told that I would have to contact the airline for re-imbursement. I did not book my air travel with the airline, I booked it with Carnival. Carnival should reimburse me and they should contact the airline for reimbursement. I then called the agency we booked with, they contacted Carnival and relayed to me that there would be a Carnival agent at the Fort Lauderdale airport who would try to assist us in getting to the ship. There was not, and we had to take a taxi to the Port of Miami at a cost of $75.

We arrived at the ship at about 3:15pm, 15 minutes before last call. I asked the taxi driver for a receipt but in the rush to get to the ship forgot to obtain it.

Once we were on the ship and in our room we discovered our television did not function. I told the room steward and she said it would be looked at by a technician. Later that evening the TV still did not work.

I went to the Information desk and explained the problems we encountered getting to the ship. They would not refund our taxi fare without a receipt. I offered our transfer coupon which we obviously did not use for the shuttle. I guess they think we walked from the Fort Lauderdale Airport because they still would not offer a refund. The clerk did say she would file a report and get me a reference number that evening. For the record, I did not get it until Monday morning.

I then brought up the TV problems we were having and was told the whole ship was without TV due to satellite problems. I accepted that and went back to my room. The next morning we still did not have any TV. We went for breakfast and my wife overheard another couple talking about using their TV to book shore excursions. I then asked several couples if they had TV and all said their TV worked fine, from the moment they boarded the ship. Now, I was upset at the experience we had the first day but being lied to left me extremely angry. I returned to the information desk and told the clerk what I had discovered. She seemed startled at the fact that I knew she had lied to me. She even said, why would I lie? I don't know why she would but she knew we had no TV and even if she did believe that it was satellite problems, she never followed up to see if it was working. So for a day and a half, when the weather was miserable and we couldn't be outside, we couldn't use our TV either. The clerk said she would have it looked at, and some time Sunday evening our TV was replaced. She also told me that she sent a message to Carnival's head office asking about my request for a refund but would not get an answer until Monday. To be honest I did not believe her. I think she just said that to try and make me feel better.

The night we arrived my wife went to the spa and was supposed to be given a 50 minute massage, I had hoped that it would make her feel better since we had suffered so much stress that day. She came back to the room from her 8:00pm appointment and was very upset. She said that the first 5 or 10 minutes the masseuse just talked, then for what seemed like 15 or 20 minutes at the end the masseuse talked again. Before leaving, my wife was offered a body scrub brush which she thought was a gift, she was never told there was any charge but there it was, on the invoice. Then my wife was told that the masseuse was not a Registered Massage Therapist, something we specifically asked before booking the appointment. The lady that booked the appointment said that all Massage Therapists on board were registered, why say that if it is not true? We are able to submit invoices for re-imbursement to our insurance company if it is from a registered massage therapist. Now we cannot do that.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying for something if I get what I am paying for. In the above cases I don't believe I am getting anything from Carnival. It seems that their staff just want our money and don't concern themselves with honesty and integrity. The way I see it Carnival owes us $75.00 for the taxi we had to take to the ship and $79.00 for a massage that we expected to be reimbursed for by our insurance company. There is nothing they could say or do to make us feel like we would want to cruise Carnival again, but being reimbursed for these added expenses would leave us feeling like somebody cared about the experience we had.

I sent the above to Carnival while still on the ship but they didn't reply. Things only got worse after the initial writing of this letter. My wife purchased from their spa, a treatment kit valued at over $400.00. After using it for a few days she felt there was not enough of one of the creams that she was given. She decided to visit the spa expecting to purchase the additional cream but was instead told that she was not using the product correctly and was wasting it. My wife explained that she was doing what she was told to do, but the manager became aggressive and insisted that my wife was not doing it right. This left my wife extremely upset and she was actually in tears when I saw her. Unbelievable that a person would go to a spa to feel relaxed and the spa on the Carnival Triumph made her feel the exact opposite. I took the kit that my wife purchased back to the spa and told them to take it back, they of course refused citing that it was opened.

Now, I am sure by this point that I was yelling and telling them how much I thought of Carnival, to which they replied they were not associated with Carnival. I was stunned, and replied "But you are wearing Carnival name tags". I returned the un-opened portion and left, just a little angrier then when I went in. I guess this could go on and on, yes there is much more. Mostly the little things that really wouldn’t have affected our vacation but these items above basically ruined a lot of the memories we hoped we would be left with.

Finally, a response from Carnival, they don't seem interested at all. The first line of their e-mail says to contact the agency I booked with. Not sorry you had so many problems, no, they don't acknowledge that.

NEVER AGAIN! We went on a Princess cruise 3 years ago and it was 100 times better, in every way.

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