Online booking alert

Old Oct 8th, 2002, 08:26 PM
  #1  
Kelly
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Online booking alert

I've an unfortunate experience with Carnival Cruises to report.

I booked my Carnival cruise online through Cruise Value (a discounter). I tried to submit my request once, and got the message that the request was not available. I tried again, choosing a different room. That time, it went through.

*Luckily,* I happened to see on my bank statement that I was charged my $300 deposit twice! I called Cruise Value, who told me to contact Carnival. Carnival told me no; talk to Cruise Value. I re-checked with Cruise Value, who told me to note that it was Carnival that charged the payment against me, and that they had nothing to do with the extra charge.

Carnival ran me around on the phone and kept me on hold for a couple hours before I could finally talk to someone in accounting. When I did reach someone, I was treated to a lengthy lecture about how the whole thing was my own fault; I "did it all wrong," and actually booked two cruises. (Apparently, I am not supposed to follow the online prompts.) Finally, finally, they agreed to refund the extra $300 "in 5 days to 2 weeks" - a heck of a lot longer than it took them to get the money out of my account!

Just heard from Cruise Value - Carnival cancelled the wrong reservation. At this point, I'll just take what I get, I guess, and hope I can get on the ship. This is the worst customer service I've ever had. Maybe a new motto: "The customer's always wrong"? In any event: check your bank statement!
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 09:05 PM
  #2  
Paul Therault
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You really are not blaming Carnival for this, are you? Cruise Value should have taken care of this and you should not have had to take care of this yourself. Good thing you caught it in time or you would have lost one of the $300 deposits.

Make sure you get a paid receipt from Cruise Value with your booking number and all other important information. Then you will be assured of your cruise. Once you have a booking number you can simply call Carnival to confirm your cruise.

Another reason to book with a travel agent.

Paul

P.S. Another tidbit of information. If one is purchasing airfare make positively sure your name is spelled exacly as it is shown on your driver's license. Change fees are mighty expensive.
 
Old Oct 10th, 2002, 06:40 AM
  #3  
Sandy
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Paul is right. this is an excellent example of why it is better to book with a travel agent. This would never have happened if you had used a TA. i don't know whether you know it or not, but the prices online are the same prices that Carnival quotes to travel agents when they go to book it for their clients. Maybe Cruise Value does some further discounting, but was it worth it? You got a lot of aggravation for little or no savings. And it anything else goes wrong, you have no one to back you up.
 
Old Oct 10th, 2002, 05:02 PM
  #4  
Melissa
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I don't know of too many agents who would have said, take care of it yourself!!!! That is why I am not worried about losing my job to the internet.
 
Old Oct 10th, 2002, 06:43 PM
  #5  
Peter
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Sandy - how can you possibly make the statement that the prices online are the same prices Carnival would quote to a travel agent? Not only can you not know that, but you are wrong. There are many cruise prices offered thru .com cruise sites that travel agents can't get (unless of course they book thru the .com - which I understand some travel agents do - oh no!). Please do not continue to provide incorrect information to posters like Kelly that use .com travel agencies.
 
Old Oct 10th, 2002, 07:40 PM
  #6  
Kelly
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Okay - I don't want to defend Cruise Value too much, because I've not been thrilled with their customer service. But I'm not angry with them for not "taking care of it" for me, because, in fact, they're not a travel agency; they're just an online discounter. And in fact, yes I do blame Carnival very much for running me around, putting me on hold, and then lecturing me because somebody's software wasn't working right.

I have a lot to learn about travel culture - I didn't know this was going to get so political!! I was simply trying to give a heads-up to others.
 
Old Oct 10th, 2002, 09:33 PM
  #7  
Paul Therault
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What Sandy is saying is that a cruise line gives everyone the same price. It is called the gross price. Anyone can get this price by calling the cruise line. Whether one is a travel agent or a .com both have the option of discounting this price. In order to stay competitive most do. A travel agent will not co-broke with a .com unless they are associated with one. As a matter of fact Carnival strickly foribids it.

As for poor Kelly who had the unfortunate experience. Carnival is not geared to talk to passengers personally. This is why she was on hold for quite some time. Attempting to get to the correct department is tough and that is one reason why a travel agent exists. It is not like talking to the owner of a local grocery store. I imagine accusations were flying back and forth. Any cruise line simply processes the booking information they receive from a passenger or a travel agent. If someone books two cruises I am sure it is not an instant fix. One just has to be patient until the problem is resolved. Carnival is the best in the business in processing complaints whether it be from a passenger or a travel agent.

Paul

 
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 06:47 AM
  #8  
Kelly
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There's no excuse for poor customer service, Paul. Accusations were not flying back and forth. I was very calm, and repeatedly stated that all I wanted was to get my money back. Carnival was doing all the accusing, which I found utterly ridiculous. If I had my own company and someone was about to pay me $1000 for my services, I think I could find it in me to be polite to them.
 
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 09:00 PM
  #9  
Paul Therault
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My apologies Kelly. I just had an assumption.

They had no reason to bark at you no matter who was at fault.

Cruise Value also had no excuse for not going to bat for you.

Paul
 
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