Carnival “Best Price Guarantee” on Excursions is a Complete Scam

We just got back from a Western Caribbean cruise from New Orleans on the Carnival Triumph. We thought the cruise was lackluster and the service not very good compared to our prior cruise, ship was dirty, etc. We think Donald Arnold’s cost cutting is having a distinctly negative effect on the Carnival Cruise line.  

However this rant is not about the quality of the cruise but about the “Best Price Guarantee” on excursions. Prior to our prior cruise we had booked the Cozumel Beach, Snorkel and Wave Runner excursion with Carnival over the phone. We booked it for my wife and 17 year old daughter. My 10 year old son wanted to go as a passenger but we were told at the time of booking that we needed to get tickets on the ship and his excursion would be free according to the agent. I could not go because I had to work on the day we would be in Cozumel.

When we visited the Excursion desk to get our tickets we were told by Loyson Peneina that we would need to pay for our son - $49.99 "passenger" rate. We decided to just go ahead and pay even though we were a little upset at the “bait and switch” tactics.

On the morning in Cozumel I decided to walk with my family to the rendezvous point for the excursion. Upon arrival we had to wait for other passengersto arrive. I was asked by Edwin (the tour operator) if I wanted to go along as a passenger. I asked how much and he said $29. I told him I could not go because of work but did verify that indeed the “passenger” rate of $29 was for the same “passenger” rate that we had bought for our son.

The next day I talked to Minnie at the customer service desk and then to Loyson again at the Excursion Desk. I was told that it was “impossible” that I was offered this rate and that Carnival would not honor their low price guarantee. I told him this was true and my family were all witnesses. 

I sent an email to Icare@carnival.com outlining the issue thinking that they had to refund 110% of the difference as all their claims stated. I promptly received a an automated response

“Depending on the nature of your request, and the amount of research required, our response time may vary; however, a member of my team will be in touch with you within the next seven days. “

I did not hear back for 10 days so called. I discussed the excursion and the pricing. After some deliberation I was told by the customer service agent that the excursion that was offered to me by Edwin was not equivalent because it did not carry the Carnival guarantee that I would not be left in port if I was late back to the ship and that the only excursions that carried this guarantee were Carnival ones. I pointed out that my family was on the same excursion so I would return at the same time as my family and if we were late the ship would wait for them. I also informed the operator that I had insurance that would pay for me to go to the next port and meet the ship if I was late. The agent discounted both of my protestations and said that the best price policy was that it had to be exactly equivalent.

Do not waste your time and expect Carnival to make good on their Excursion Best Price Policy – it is a sham. Also do not expect your Carnival Cruise to be what it was 2 years ago. The cost cutting is having a profoundly bad effect.

Tags: Mexico

3 Answers

I'll take a guess on this one.  The price you received at the pier was not an advertised price that Carnival could verify.  Therefore, it wasn't covered under their guarantee.   Vendors want to fill their vehicles and often offer deep discounts to do so.  However, there are no guarantees on getting back to the ship on time, regardless of what they tell you.

Sorry, but these things happen all the time.  

 

Oh, btw, your son paying full fare, is standard.  I have seen people complain about being charged for toddlers.

It's unfortunate that any cruise line cannot be trusted when it comes to your money.  I do my own things and skip all the excursions.  

According to the Carnival price guarantee, it has to be an advertised price, not s verbal quote from someone at the rendezvous point. Sorry you misunderstood the policy. Hope you enjoy your next cruise even more. 

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