My wife and I prebooked a New Years Eve cruise with Carnival with full payment due by Oct 16, 2012. We have cruised prior on Carnival and a few times on Royal carribean as well. Prior to the Oct. 16th due date, a customer service rep at Carnival extended my due date to Oct. 26th, 2012
Sometime on Oct 25th or early Oct 26th I called Carnival and spoke to a male customer service rep. Unfortunately I did not get his name. As I was waiting on 2 checks I received to clear, I asked him specifically if it was ok if I made 2 payments on the approx. $2900. balance. I already had $1500. cleared, but did not want to trigger a cancellation by not making the payment all in a lump sum.
He very clearly stated that I could make multiple payments till balance was paid in full, and that the computer would NOT automatically cancel my trip without an email. I asked numerous times, but kept getting reassured that this was ok.
I paid the $1500. online earlier on Friday Oct. 26th, and waitied for my other check to clear. It did, but when I attempted to pay the balance later that night(after 9p PST), I stated to get a "ERROR" page saying that Carnival was having technical difficulty and I could email the technical services department with any questions. Over the weekend, I did email them twice asking how I can pay the $1400. balance and received NO response back. My cruise still showed on my account, so I assumed it was Hurrcane Sandy related.
I get going on Monday, Oct. 29, and still cant get anywhere online, so I call Carnivals 800 number and wait 15 minutes till I get Peta, who informs me that my cruise has been cancelled. I am in shock, as I was assured by a Carnival rep that this could not happen without an email notice first. As I pass up the line to James in Guest Solutions and then to William Gonzalez in a Supervisory department, I am told the only way to reactivate is to pay an additional $273.00. I informed them all that I had more than ample funds that I could show in my account on Friday Oct. 26th, that I had constant communication with them and received no response back whenI was attempting to pay the final $1400.00
My assesment is that Carnival is not customer friendly at all if they get you in a postion to squeeze more money out of you. They just kept blaming me and avoiding any responsibility on their part. I mentioned over and over how I felt completely betrayed by one of their staff for misinforming me and handled completely unprofessionaly. They were like stone walls. They just wanted the extra money. As I have been in business for myself for over 30 years, with at least 15 years owning restaurants and nightclubs, this is NOT good business. Its not the $273.00, its the principal.
We are frequent travelers and cruisers, and I would recommend the Buyer Beware of CARNIVAL Cruise Line. DO NOT TRUST ANYTHING UNLESS YOU GET IT IN WRITING FORM THEM!!