April 2015 - Carnival Ecstasy to Caribbean - Western
I thought booking flight and cruise together would make this more convenient, however, there was only one benefit which I will go into later. From the start, I contacted customer service when I noticed they had us booked on 3 flights on the same day our boat was departing from Miami. The last leg gave us less than 30 minutes to meet our connection. On a normal day, that would be tough to make. When I called to try to make the change, with more than 6 weeks before the cruise was to take place, I was informed it would cost me between $400-600 to change. I coordinate air travel as part of my job and I would NEVER make these types of arrangements whether it be for an employee and definitely not for a returning customer! What you might have thought you saved on the front end has now cost you an additional hotel cost, transportation expenses, the price of lunch, dinner and breakfast for two, drink vouchers, and credit for laudry due to the fact that our luggage was never rerouted when we were switched from landing in Miami to catch up with the boat in Key West. We then had to purchase over $400 in clothing and toiletries. We also missed our excursion in Key West, which you also had to credit. Our luggage did not show up until yesterday, even though we called every day with promises that they would show up in Key West, then Cozumel, then home, only to confirm that they never left Miami until Monday... three days after the cruise was over.
I rarely take vacations and as a special treat I decided to take my 15 year old niece on her first international experience and her first cruise. I have a very stressful job and decided sharing a few days in the sun with my niece during her spring break would be the way to relax. I can tell you that I doubt that since last Monday I've had 24 hours in which I was able to relax. The people on board the ship, at the hotel, and during the excursion in Cozumel were wonderful and tried to be accommodating. However, after already going through several back and forth conversations as to whether or not I'd be responsible for paying an additional $600 for the "Jones Act", due to boarding in a port other than the originating port, it was determined that the ONLY benefit of booking airfare and the cruise together was that I didn't have to pay that fine. Then, I wake up in the morning looking for my excursion tickets only to find a note saying I'd have to pay. I am not joking when I say I almost had a nervous breakdown. I confronted Isabel, pursor on the ship who'd initially helped us, and she admitted it was an error by the customer service people on board.
So not only am I awaiting reimbursements to be issued for someone trying to save money by booking ridiculous flight arrangements that I'm sure will cost you way more than you initially "saved", but you've also lost a returning customer and future returning customer. As a sales rep, I conduct post-mortems on special promotions to see if they were indeed profitable. What do you think the analysis would be on this one?
I've been sure to thank those people who tried their best to appease us, but the name Carnival leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth and as a sales rep we strive to get referrals and returning business. Thank goodness for social media that I can share every detail of my experience and hopefully people with reconsider using , Carnival and US Airways.