Maybe I should have had the mashed potatoes instead? When Marilyn Sweeney bit into a serving of sweet potato casserole during her seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Valor she tasted something unusual. It was rubbery, with a faint mint flavor.
“I did not recognize it at first,” she says. “I thought it was food.”
It wasn’t. It was chewing gum.
Used chewing gum.
Q uestion: I was supposed to be going on a cruise for my honeymoon. Then my fiancé — make that my former fiancé — walked out on me. I came home to the house that we both owned together to find all of his stuff gone and a letter not explaining anything except that he didn’t want to get married.
The reason I am writing is that I called Carnival to cancel the cruise and was told that even considering the circumstances, I can’t get any money back, except taxes. Can you please help me with this? —
Jennifer Tomes, San Antonio, Texas
Answer: I’m sorry this happened to you. On top of the pain of having your fiancé walk out on you just before your wedding day, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your honeymoon.
Q uestion: We need your help with a Carnival cruise that went nowhere. Earlier this year, we booked a Western Caribbean cruise directly through Carnival, including airfare and shore excursions.
On the day we were supposed to travel, our nightmare began. Our plane was delayed because of mechanical problems. So was the next flight. We missed the boat in Miami.
We wanted to reschedule the cruise, but Carnival suggested that we catch up with the ship in the Cayman Islands. We had to pay for new tickets to the Caymans. But when we arrived in Miami, a Carnival representative asked us for passports — and we only had passport cards.
We had to turn back to Cleveland. There were more mechanical delays. We made a claim with our travel insurance, but were only reimbursed $500 per person. Carnival says they should be able to give us something for the missed cruise but said we first had to fill out the insurance claim.
We booked the cruise, shore excursions, balcony upgrade and the missed flight all through Carnival. We want a vacation and we don’t have the money because Carnival is holding us hostage. Could you help us? —
Denise Frantz, Cleveland
Answer: This cruise just wasn’t meant to be. But it might have been — if you’d gotten a passport instead of a passport card.