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Old 09-03-2005, 08:30 AM
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Three Carnival ships go to Katrina relief
3/9/2005
Ecstasy, Sensation and Holiday will be pulled from service next week and deployed for six months to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, Carnival Cruise Lines confirmed.
Ecstasy, normally homeported at Galveston, and Sensation, normally homeported in New Orleans, will be pulled from service effective Monday. Initial plans are for both vessels to be docked in Galveston.

The Holiday, which is homeported at Mobile, will be pulled from service effective Thursday. Initial plans are for the vessel to remain docked in Mobile.

Carnival president and ceo Bob Dickinson apologized to guests whose vacations will be impacted. ‘However, given that Hurricane Katrina is the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, we trust our guests will understand that the decision to enter into these charters was the right one. This inconvenience to our guests will provide desperately needed housing for thousands of individuals affected by this tragedy,’ he said.

All customers whose bookings have been canceled will be offered full refunds and the opportunity to re-book their cruise on any Carnival ship. Those who re-book will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit. Carnival is protecting travel agent commissions on cancelled cruises.
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:06 AM
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It's true just got off phone with carnival and thats what they said. Also said you wont get your money back for 6 to 8 weeks which I think sucks
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:29 AM
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As dissapointing as this news may be to those who had cruises booked on those 3 ships during this six month time frame, I give credit to Carnival for making this decision to help those who are in desperate need of this temp. housing.
I say "God Bless" Carnival for having made this committment to help!!
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Old 09-03-2005, 11:20 AM
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jomike,

while I do agree it isn't great that it will take up to two months to get your money refunded, please remember what a great act of bureaucracy is required to refund all passengers.

Let's just assume that all ships were already booked 50% (a number which I personally consider far too low) for each cruise in the upcoming six months. That would result in at the very least approx. 72,000 passengers that would be getting refunds. Even an enterprise as big as Carnival Cruise Lines cannot refund all those people within a couple of days.
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Old 09-03-2005, 01:24 PM
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well my TA dosent think it will take that long I do understand I'm not the only one who will be getting their money returned but it would be nice to have to use on doing something since I'll be off from work anyways
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Old 09-03-2005, 01:47 PM
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jomike,

I will keep my fingers crossed that your refund will arrive, soon.
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:49 PM
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Maybe you could try to book on another ship for those days and just transfer the money over. Although it is not fun to have your vacation upset and my proud of Carnival for stepping up to the plate on this!!!!
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Old 09-03-2005, 06:04 PM
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Sure sounds easy. Why don't you try it. My cruise was to leave Monday. 48 hour notice is insufficient. The reservation staff is great at apology and has no solutions. Carnival is not being benevolent here. IT IS PLAIN GREED.
They get $200 million from us taxpayers, plus we agreed to pay for refurbishment when the tour is up. Short term was very tempting. Long term is very bleak. Lot's of cruisers will remember the lost airfares, wasted vacation time, out of pocket expense, etc. and not book future cruises with CCL. Plus every unhappy customer on average will share their displeasure with 20 other potential customers.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:20 PM
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mcastle,
I understand your disappointment and frustration, but in light of the devastation and disastrous circumstances that have been left in the aftermath of this hurricane it is important to look at the larger picture. Sure you were looking forward to your cruise on Monday, but Carnival is providing you full refund and the opportunity to re-book. If you purchased travel insurance your other expenses will also be reimbursed. The escalating consequences of a natural disaster of this magnitude are difficult to imagine, but I believe it is how we cope with them that define our character. Just be thankful that your loss is of a vacation and not your home, your family or your life.
Nancy
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Old 09-03-2005, 08:58 PM
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Amen to what Nancy said, and yet... I am so totally frustrated by what I am seeing on TV- complete breakdown of disaster response- it is almost incredible to watch. TV newsmen are shouting desperately into the camera, news trucks rolling by, and FEMA says it has no way of getting to the people? How about FEMA saying it had no idea until Thursday that there were people in the Convention Centre? Did they not catch the last 24 hours of CNN? I could go on here- I am sure we all could- but nowhere in my wildest dreams of where my tax money was going, never in my life, ever, did I think that we would be part of such a monumental failure that CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES would be a realistic option for emergency housing. It boggles the mind. If the Amish can build a barn in an afternoon, and military bases are closed left right and center and could easily be a housing option, and hospitals and schools are consolidated every day and could surely provide shelter, etcetera, then how is it possible that elderly people who have lost their homes and families are a good fit for a cruise ship? Can we all just ponder the insanity of that? What about the isolation factor for them?

I don't blame anyone for being upset- to say the least- that their cruise was yanked out from under them by fate. Hell, I would be, too- not really for myself AT ALL, but for my children. But don't be upset with CCL- be upset with the complete incompetents that are supposed to close the safety net around us. That's what we pay them for. So remember that the next time an 80 year old lady has to take her shoes off at the airport- your tax dollars, well spent.

I sure am glad that no 80 year old lady terrorists have decided to pile on this week. We seem to be even more vulnerable than we were even yesterday- 10,000 more troops being sent to Iraq as of today.

I am not stupid enough to engage in a discussion of the racial stratification in this tragedy- that is a no win argument either way. All I see is that the kids and the elderly get nailed again.

The hurricane is a huge, horrible disaster. It sickens me to look at the destruction of the coast, a place I know well. I was actually in Camille as a child- my Dad worked at the shipyard in Pascagoula. I remember well what Biloxi looked like then. But the real tragedy here is our preparedness, communication, incompetence- you name it.

I hear you. I would be completely bummed and frustrated if I were missing my cruise as well. It is possible to be grief stricken about what is happening with those poor people AND upset about missing one's vacation. Vacation- and cruise- seem like hedonistic terms here, but we all know that for most people on this site, a vacation comes along once a year and involves children or other family members. It is critically important for our well being, as well as for our family bond, to get away from the sturm und drang and relax and get to know each other all over again. Being upset about that does not make you LESS upset about the NOLA situation.

There are plenty of more suitable places to house these poor people, but apparently in the disaster preparedness summits no one ever thought of where that would be. So CCL stepped in. I think it is a great move. God knows what it will cost them. Raoul did the math a while back on the refunds, maybe he can take a stab at what the loss will be. It is a dicey PR move, however... the funnel will become the hallmark of three refugee ships. If you juxtapose elderly people being pushed through disgusting water in shopping carts with Formal Night it is bizarre to say the least. People keep talking about GI diseases, sewage, etc., and I wonder how that is going to fit with the CCL brand, you know? Who is going to want to be on the first cruise, post-diaspora?

Man, I hope I didn't flame you all out here. Just frustrated. CCL is doing a very very good thing. They are the first corp to help out in terms of catual roofs over people's heads. The other lines are now noticeable by their silence.
 
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