GaryClarkson
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Carnival Cancelled my Booking for being 3 days Late and having to pay extra $600

Anybody had this happen and any advise to in getting a refund or on board credit, at least?  Booked through expedia who sent me reminder emails but they got lost in my hundreds.  No call, no letter, no email or any contact from Carnival directly which seems a bit off.  A 2 minute phone call would've resolved the situation but instead they auto cancel me and I have to re-book at extra $600 or lose my $600 deposit.  Strange the $600 extra ticket price is the same amount as the deposit huh?  Very unfair...speaking the "supervisers" at both Carnival and Expedia I am left thinking I will have to dispute the original $600 deposit via my credit card company on grounds of a completely unethical business practice.  They didn't even offer an upgrade or credit of any sort whatsoever. Great service from the fun ships.

Tags: Carnival Cruise Lines

14 Answers

noname111
Contributor Level: Captain

I don't agree w/Carnival by any means. There could be some sort of a grace period. But that said, (and I mean to sound harsh but...) the balance and payment information is stated in the cruise booking contract. I think in accepting the booking terms, Carnival binds customers to the contract... and assumes each customer reads and understands the terms.

This brings up a few points to think about though...

- It sounds as if you booked this through Carnival directly. It may be worth considering booking through a reputable and experienced TA in the future. TAs can be critical to keeping you notified as to due dates and such. They also monitor for price breaks which may work out in your favor.

- Mark your calendar(s). We have gotten into the habit of putting reminders in our calendars a few days prior to payment due dates. We had a close call once because we neglected to note a due date... and that was our wake up call.

- It may be worth a bit of your time to call Carnival and see if there is anyone who can give you some relief from the higher payment, especially if there were extenuating circumstances. Sometimes you can luck out with an understanding customer service agent... not often but you may get lucky. I caution you to not call when you are angry/upset about this. Blaming the poor schmuck on the other end of the phone isn't going to get you anywhere. It isn't their fault - literally.

Cruise line commercials portray a "carefree perfect world" sort of experience but don't ever forget that this is a highly competitive business and every penny matters because their margins are thin.

I am sorry you had this experience and hope it works out for you. Don't give up on cruising but maybe consider a different line next time.

noname111
Contributor Level: Captain

Wow... this should have read, "and I DON'T mean to sound harsh but...."  my bad for not proofing more carefully.

 

GaryClarkson
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Thanks for your reply, I'll probably use some of those ideas on my next cruise. We actually booked it through Expedia and Carnival say they leave all the emphasis on the travel agent which, clearly, will result in many people having this happen to them. I'm sure they don't like when people book through online agents and I'm of the opinion that they purposefully do not contact the customer as they know the chances of missing final payments would increase. I mean, it's the only logical reason as to why a company wouldn't just pick up the telephone. They blame expedia, It's my fault for missing an email, but in the interests of fairness and service I would have expected to be treated a little better. It's as though I'm Expedia's customer, not theirs. Don't think Expedia sail cruise ships. No expedia, no Carnival from now on. I'll book direct with Norwegian.

CrusinTim
Contributor Level: Cruise Director

I usually agree with CM on most things but have to take a different attitude in the posters case. Seeing on how you booked with Expedia, they "may" be the only entity here to offer relief but don't count on it. I also use and have used a cruise agent for my past 12 cruises and in the event I am not paid ahead of final date, they do send me an email about the approaching due date. But, that would have not helped you anyway since that email would have gotten lost in your "100's" of emails. It is not Expedia's nor the cruise lines responsibility to hold your hand in finalizing your cruise. Sorry, it's an adult responsibility thing. There are MANY way's you could have avoided this. You could have set a pop-up with your computers calendar as a reminder prior to the due date, had a separate email account for personal emails where Expedia could have sent you the reminder and you would have seen it or you could have used the old school way and went back to paper by using an actual calendar! ALL cruise lines have a final payment due date (usually 70 - 90 days from sail date) and the booking passenger is contractually bound by this. Yes, a 2 minute call could have resolved this. So why didn't YOU call? You knew your cruise was approaching. Cruise lines have thousands of people booked on upcoming cruises and don't have the time or personnel to make calls to remind people of payments coming due. There is no unethical business practice here. The cruise lines want to sail with a full ship. If all of a sudden you decided not to or couldn't go for some reason such as being hospitalized or getting a divorce, yes they would have your deposit but they would also sail with an empty cabin which is big to the line since they would be losing out on more money than just your deposit. Also, by your not paying for the cruise, Expedia looses too because they buy blocks of cabins (as do all agents) and are the ones ultimately responsible for selling your cabin to you. Not the cruise line. You also blocked the cabin from being resold by Expedia or the cruise line by not cancelling or making your final payment. I wouldn't count on any refund nor even your credit card company being able to resolve this for you as there is a contract involved in which you failed to be bound to. Did you have cruise insurance? There are many forms of insurance now where you can even cancel for any reason. That may be your only recourse (if you bought it). Next time, if your life is too involved to stay focused, pay in full when booking your cruise.

glomarrone
Contributor Level: Admiral

So sorry that this happened to you.  It is too bad that the cruise line couldn't t have been more accommodating.  Hard lesson leaned for you.  

Bubba54
Contributor Level: Captain

I learned a lesson not long ago booking directly with Norwegian. Long story short mostly my fault where I did not pay close attention to detail. When I saw it and tried to fix the problem NCL representatives said sorry. Nothing we can do. Mistakes on both ends of the booking. I had a great cruise.  But NCL's condescending attitude left me saying I will never book directly with NCL again. 

GaryClarkson
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Thanks, I know how to use a calendar. My fault for being 3 days late, absolutely. But its 68 days away from the cruise, they'll fill the cabin. I'm mid 30's and all into tech stuff but when companies I spend money with (Yes, I still believe Carnival is my company, not expedia) treat me in this manner it is pretty obvious I'll not do business with them again. I'm stupid for not remembering but they're more stupid for delivering astoundingly bad service. 5000 people x 30 seconds = 2500 minutes. That's 41.66 hours to make one call per passenger on a cruise ship and at least leave a voicemail.  One member of staff per week at minimum wage = $300 per week per cruise.  They lost quite a number of customers this week, given I will hopefully live to my mid 70's they lost a fair amount from me along.  Not counting all the additional people I've spoken with about it.

 

Yes, my fault, 100%, absolutely.  Does not, in no way, mean it's a fair process and, yes, I believe they do it intentionally.  

GaryClarkson
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

That's a shame, I wonder why they're so difficult to deal with? Someone talked about small margins but that makes no sense as surely your margins get tighter when you start making your customers angry, right? The margin I pay on a beer suggests they should be paying me to come aboard! haha

GaryClarkson
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Thanks for your words, it's my fault, of course, just a bit of a harsh fee to pay and not terribly happy that the cruise line wouldn't have a process in place to be a little more accommodating of these things.  I have been called several names on the Carnival cruise forum, much worse than here, haha.

Typical response from a cruise line pacifist.  As a long time loyal cruiser, it is clear that they make the rules in favor of their position.  While caveat emptor rules apply, they cruise line lawyers are more savvy than the average cruiser, and they use all loopholes to separate cruisers from their money.  Cruiselines are wildly profitable.  They do not lose because of a cabin error.  EVER.  The house always wins.  Except this is not Vegas, where there are reasonable odds!

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