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The Carnival Conquest cruise was the worst experience of my life. This cruise was a nightmare and the customer service on the cruise ship and off was even worse. This was my second cruise, my first and last with Carnival.
On the 4th day of our cruise, I paid $14 for a lobster BLT from the ‘Seafood Corner’. I was with fiancé, who does not eat fish so I was the only one who had the sandwich. Not to mention newly engaged, he proposed a few days before we left on the cruise when we arrived on vacation in Fort Lauderdale. So the cruise was kind of a celebration, one that took a terrible turn. But back to the ‘Seafood Corner’. It took surprisingly long, especially since no one else was waiting for food. We were the only ones there. I ate the sandwich and fries and we went about our way to lay back out at the pool. The sun goes down and we went back to the room to get ready for dinner.
While getting ready I became deathly sick: propel vomiting, shaking and sweating, lying in bed crying (when I wasn’t running to the bathroom to throw up). It was so bad my fiancé just sat out on the balcony for hours because he didn’t want to keep hearing me puke. This went on for 4 hours. I have never been so sick in my life.
Once I gained enough strength and now furious that we missed dinner and all of the shows (this was the evening with the big shows that I was so looking forward to), I went down stairs to guest services to tell my story. Mid story about my food poising, ‘Serena’ corrects me and says ‘you mean ALLEGED food poisoning’. I lost it, after being sick for 4 hours only eating the food Carnival is giving me she is going to state either I’m lying or I just randomly became sick? If I did randomly become sick it was more likely of uncleanliness from the old cruise ship that I was on or it was food poisoning. And I know some might go to sun poisoning, but I am Italian and already have a very dark complexion and wasn’t near sun burnt (nor were we out in the sun all day), so sun poisoning was not the cause.
So then Serena says first I need to call for medical, so she calls and I speak with them. They tell me that if I need medical it will be $250 to see a doctor because they were closed (I finished puking at 9pm), in addition to any tests and medicines being billed out of pocket. I almost laughed and said that I no longer needed medical; I threw up and was no fine. Anything that poisoned me is now out and the damage is already done. So I give the phone back to Serena and told her what they told me. She then tells me that since I ‘denied medical’ there is nothing else she can do for me.
At this point you can imagine how upset I am becoming. All this girl had to say was ‘I am so sorry your sick, let me look into the food for you’. I mean she didn’t even have to admit guilt, but her showing some kind of sympathy would have been nice. I mean I don’t know how some doesn’t feel bad for someone claiming to be this sick, (I physically looked terrible) at least just on just a human level. It was just like I was an inconvenience to her. Now not only am I upset about being food poisoned but also how I am being treated. So I explain all of these points. I even told her that she could stop repeating the prewritten lines she memorized, that’s how inhuman this woman was. She then says that the best she can do is make a report to look into the food. She said she would send up the paperwork so I could file everything out and get a copy of the report and the contact information for corporate once I get back from the cruise. Even though I wasn't happy with this outcome since I saw it as just more work and inconvenience on my part for an injustice outside of my control, it was the only response I could get out of Serena.
Day 5 comes and no paperwork. Late that night we received a voicemail in our room after we came back from dinner/shows late asking for Sal, my fiancé, to call the dinning manager back. The message was to make sure that Sal was feeling better. Nice right? After all that, no one could even get my name right. Not to mention a female was standing right in front of the women who made the report. Nonetheless, it was late, so I decided I would call back in the morning.
Day 6 comes and I called dinning back. I told them I was returning the message from the dinning manager, gave them our room and contact information and was told he would call me back. We went about our day, came back to the room and we received a new room voicemail from Room Service/Hospitality checking in again on Sal to make sure that he was feeling okay and asking him to call him back so he could stop by our room. We also received 4 chocolate covered strawberries left at our door from this manager. Out of everyone I talked to, he was probably the nicest but still not very helpful. He arrives at the room and I tell him my story. When I told him that I was told there was nothing that could be done since I denied medical because I denied paying $250.00 to see a doctor after the fact, he even gave me a face (shocked). He kept apologizing and he told me he was taking off the lobster BLT: a whole $14 charge. I told him at that point, I had no intention on paying for the food that made me sick but thanked him anyways. He basically said there was nothing else he could do, but to tell the manager of the dinning hall we were assigned to and maybe he could do something at dinner.
So we go to dinner, within a few minutes of sitting, the dinning manager comes over to check on Sal. I almost feel over, I said I was the one who was sick and that it just shows how bad the service here is that no one can even get the story right. At this point, every ‘manager’ that I am talking to is just making it worse and me more irritable and enjoying less and less of the whole vacation experience. The manager then states that I never called him back, almost like he was trying to make two wrongs make a right. I told him I did call him back, that maybe he should find more competent employees to relay messages. He apologies for everything and offers me a glass of wine. I declined, as I wasn’t drinking since I had to pack for deportation that evening and leave early in the morning. He says sorry and that he hopes we enjoy dinner. I enjoyed my dinner even more frustrated than I arrived.
The next morning, on day 7 (deportation day), I return to guest services since I never received my report or the contact information for corporate. Serena failed me yet again. A ‘Samuel’ looks into my report for about 30 minutes before he gives me the card for Carnivals ‘Guest Care Department’ and says he updated the notes. I asked for a copy of the report or a number so I could have it for when I call. He tells me that there isn’t a number or a copy he can give me, that when I call they will be able to look it up. I still insisted I have at least something, because I wasn’t going to start all over after this already terrible experience. We argue about another 10 minutes, and I complain more. He says he will be back, after another 10 minutes he gives me a letter and signs it. I take the letter and leave upset yet again, not even reading it. I just wanted to get off of that terrible ship and continue my vacation.
Once I return from the trip, I read the letter to find this: “We apologize for the inconvenience regarding your onboard issues with the liquor and beverage policy involving your two bottle of wine”. I then had the contact information for Carnival and my case reference number. I almost fell over. After days of complaining and being treated terribly, I had a letter about wine and Carnival still concerned about Sal (as that was still what corporate asked me, if Sal was okay)! I talk to the first lad from Guest Care and I have to tell the whole story over again, meanwhile waiting for her to ‘update her notes’. I even had to get a new case number under my name and not Sal’s and in a different category since it didn’t involve their wine policy. 30 more minutes wasted. She then tells me she will update the case and have someone call me back once the results on the food investigation have been conducted. This is now almost two weeks after my cruise. I insisted something be done now; I was done with this aggravation and mistreatment. She said she would she if something could be done and has to talk to her manager for confirmation. At this point, it sounded like some kind of justice would be had. 25 minutes more of a wait and she comes on to tell me there is nothing she can do. So I request I talk to her manager. I tell the story again (30 minutes) and express how I now have a food complaint and a customer service issue and she tells me again emotionless now that I am off of the cruise that there is nothing she can do. The best that could be done is for them to send a care package with wine to the room on my next cruise. I said I would NEVER cruise with Carnival again, that if that was the case they should have sent that on the horrible cruise I was just on. She said they should have done that but since they didn’t that there was nothing she could do. Funny how no one could do anything. When I was on the ship I was told only corporate could help me. At corporate I was told only the ship could help me. I was at there mercy believing them, only to be lied to and violated. I told her that I would be writing my disgust in a review anywhere I could post about Carnival and she said that was my right to do so. So I am utilizing that right.
I normally don’t do things like this, but after everything I went to and how small I was made to feel, I think it is necessary. I was supposed to be celebrating my engagement and the whole trip I was aggravated and made to feel insignificant. I work hard for my money and treat my clients like how I would like to be treated. So how I was treated really upsets me. I don’t believe anyone should be treated like that, no matter how big of a company you are. All they had to do was just say ‘I’m so sorry your sick’, maybe give me a bottle of wine (I mean Barefoot is $12 in normal stores!) or maybe a credit to the casino (you know they would have made that back). I mean just something to show a courtesy or some human sympathy. But no, nothing, but lies, frustration and wasted time. All I can say is never again!

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