Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Jubilee
Sailing Date: September 21st, 2002
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
As a customer sailing on the ill fated
9/21 Jubilee cruise out of Galveston, originally
scheduled to call on the ports of Calica and Cozumel, I would
like to report that Carnival Cruise Lines refused to honor the following
policy on 9/20 when the itinerary was changed to Vera Cruz.
If Carnival Cruise Lines ("Carnival") has adequate notice prior to sailing that a vessel will deviate from the published itinerary, it will promptly upon making the itinerary change notify passengers of the change through their travel agents or directly, in the case of a direct booking ("the Notice"). The Notice shall offer passengers an opportunity to cancel their booking without penalty within 24 hours of the delivery of the Notice. Carnival shall not be liable to guests for any charges, fees or expenses paid or owed to third parties (such as air travel booked by a guest directly with an airline) in connection with a cancelled booking or substituted port. In the event a passenger does not cancel his or her cruise on a timely basis, no additional compensation for the itinerary change will be offered to the passenger at a later time.
I called customer service 2 times on 9/20 requesting to cancel, and was told that they would not do so. I was not comfortable sailing in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of a hurricane, as were many passengers who were rejected in their request as I was. The Carnival customer service rep told me that if I did not go on the 9/21 sailing, then I would loose my $, or that I could sail, and take them up on their guarantee which states that if you are not satisfied with the cruise, then you may request to disembark prior to reaching the first port, and Carnival will fly you home and make a pro rata refund. She further stated that Carnival would in no way, put us in harm's way! I reluctantly boarded the ship, thinking that Carnival knew what they were doing, and would be able to offer me the quality cruise that one expects. However, I was still upset that they would not let me cancel, as their policy stated.
The ship sailed out of Galveston, with Isidore heading towards the Yucatan Peninsula, and very likely into the Gulf of Mexico. After the voyage was into its 3rd hour, the captain announced that the ship was going to turn around and head not back to Galveston, but to New Orleans. The next 24 hours, were by the account of veteran crewmembers, the roughest seas they had ever encountered. Most guests on the ship were irate that the ship did not return to Galveston. Instead, all were left to endure the "Cruise to HELL". A large percentage of passengers spent the day with extreme seasickness, as the boat was lined with barf bags throughout. Certain areas of the ship reeked from vomit hastily cleaned up by what crew was still able to work, and approximately half of the passengers opted to disembark in New Orleans and return to Houston. I personally was in the Pursers office moments after the ship tied up at New Orleans and wanted to know when we could go home. After much confusion, our schedule was delivered to our cabin. We left the first thing Tuesday morning not knowing how we were to get from Houston back to Galveston. When we arrived at New Orleans Airport and showed our voucher for our tickets, we learned that there had been a mix-up and two of our party’s tickets had not been paid. Continental said they would correct this and to go on the gate. After we had been screened and arrived at the gate, we heard an announcement for all our party to return to the ticket counter. This means we would have to go back through security. When we got to the counter, Continental had not been able to get the mix-up corrected. We were told that we would have to contact Carnival and see if we could straighten it out. Off to the payphone. 35 to 40 minutes on hold and still not cleared, the ticket agent motioned us back to the counter. She had been able to get things cleared, so off we go again thought security and we get selected for screening. By the time we made it to the gate our flight was boarding and we barely made it. When we got to Houston, there was no one there to tell us how to get to Galveston. I called Carnival and was told to look for the USA bus counter. After much confusion we finally boarded a bus and taken to Galveston and dumped in the parking lot where we had left our vehicles.
This is trip that should NEVER have taken place. Carnival should have postponed or cancelled and let everyone cancel or re-book for a later date. When someone books a Caribbean Cruise, they certainly don’t expect to be taken New Orleans. This is not a place to take a family that was expecting to get to swim with the dolphins and snorkel and have fun at the beach. Carnival should be ashamed of itself for not having the guts to do the right thing since they claim to be the worlds largest and best fun ships afloat.
NO MORE CARNIVAL FOR US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!