Unsatisfactory Carnival Cruise

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Mar 24, 2019
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Dear Sir, I booked a Carnival cruise from Galveston to Cozumel. We departed on January 1, 2019 and returned February 4, 2019. Booking number xxxxxx This cruise was a present to my wife for her to rest and relax before her scheduled surgery on February 11, 2019. We selected room 6371.
After we were aboard ship we learned this room is directly above one of the clubs located on level 5. Each evening we were bombarded with sound. It was impossible to sleep. The noise lasted from approximately 7 pm to midnight or 1 AM. The major problem was the amplified base coming from a keyboard, organ or a CD. I guessed it was a keyboard because the same beat was repeated over and over. It was impossible to avoid as you could put your hand on the walls of our cabin and feel the vibration. A pillow over my head did not help as the sound was coming up through the floor and bed.

An obvious solution would be to sleep later. Not possible, we are in our 70s and have been rising at 6 am for 50 years. You can’t change that cycle in a day or two. We did take naps but an hour nap does not compensate for 4 hours of missed sleep every night. We sleep walked through every day of the cruise. I complained to customer service on board with no improvement.

Upon my return I contacted Carnival to complain about the noise and our room. Your representative stated there had been previous noise complaints from that room. She offered me a $200 credit on a future cruise plus $150 for excursions. I stated that was not adequate however she stated the $200 was her maximum authorization.

For this cruise we paid, $1,907, $1,428 to Carnival, $404 for air fares, and $75 for parking. The offer of $350 was not adequate. We were more tired when we returned then when we left. You had and have a duty to warn passengers booking rooms on the 6th level that those rooms tend to be nosier since they are directly above the clubs. Let your customer decide if that is where they want to be. I cannot make an informed decision if you keep important facts from me.

Under the circumstances I think a request for a replacement cruise at no cost with a comparable room (but not above any club or noise making activity) is reasonable. You can contact me at this email.

Edited by moderator to remove booking number.
 
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Neil Maley

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You say you chose the cabin. Unfortunately, when you choose a cabin, you need to look at what is above and below your cabins . Never book a cabin under or over public spaces - this is why.

These cabins are often priced lower than others because of what is above and below.

You aren’t due a refund or a free cruise since you chose the cabins. I would suggest using a travel agent experienced in booking cruises in the future because they know to look for these things when booking a cabin.

Carnival made you a good offer giving you a credit towards another cruise. They didn’t do anything wrong. You may not have been on a cruise before to know what to look for when booking a cabin.
 
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VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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Choosing appropriate compensation, if any, for this situation is difficult at best:
  • Noisy or not, you completed the cruise. They delivered you to each port on time (you have not said otherwise)
  • As Neil just posted, you are responsible to research the cabin you are assigned for its proximity to ship activities and facilities
  • Cruises are always an adjustment. You frequently begin and/or cross time zones that are different from yours. Hawaii is 6 hours ahead of PST. Passengers are crowded into small areas with even smaller cabins for most. And children . . . and partying . . . and . . .
  • The noise was extreme (your statement). Should you be compensated? I don't know. If so, how much?
  • I relate to the age/early rising. It's the same for us. But when we cruise, we calibrate ourselves so our expectations are realistic
That said, you can reach out to Carnival using the Company Contacts link at the top of this page. . Please read this first: . How to Present Your Case

An exception to their refund policy is your only recourse with Carnival at this point. I expect a request for a replacement cruise will not be successful. Given that the cruise was over 30 days, I recommend you discuss a more moderate sum to ask for . . .
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Choosing appropriate compensation, if any, for this situation is difficult at best:
  • Noisy or not, you completed the cruise. They delivered you to each port on time (you have not said otherwise)
  • As Neil just posted, you are responsible to research the cabin you are assigned for its proximity to ship activities and facilities
  • Cruises are always an adjustment. You frequently begin and/or cross time zones that are different from yours. Hawaii is 6 hours ahead of PST. Passengers are crowded into small areas with even smaller cabins for most. And children . . . and partying . . . and . . .
  • The noise was extreme (your statement). Should you be compensated? I don't know. If so, how much?
  • I relate to the age/early rising. It's the same for us. But when we cruise, we calibrate ourselves so our expectations are realistic
That said, you can reach out to Carnival using the Company Contacts link at the top of this page. . Please read this first: . How to Present Your Case

An exception to their refund policy is your only recourse with Carnival at this point. I expect a request for a replacement cruise will not be successful. Given that the cruise was over 30 days, I recommend you discuss a more moderate sum to ask for . . .
"Hawaii is 6 hours ahead of PST" Hawaii is 6 hours ahead (or behind, depending on your perspective) of EST. Hawaii is two hours different from PST, and 3 hours for PDT.
 

Neil Maley

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They went from Galveston to Cozumel. There may have been a one hour time difference if anything on the cruise.

We actually had the same thing happen to us on our first cruise so I have been where the OP has been. We never tried to ask for anything back but that’s exactly how we learned to look at the deck plans before choosing a cabin.

Larry, did you by any chance ask the crew if they could move you to another cabin? If there are available cabins they will move you if you pay the difference in cabin cost.
 
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VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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To further the point Neil has made, I looked at Carnival cruises from Galveston to Cozumel. One of the ships they use is the Valor. I then pulled up the plans for decks 5 and 6, and "moused over" the cabin, and what was directly below. The picture below shows the comparison.

1553466352015.png

You can see that the "Dream Bar" is directly below cabin 6371. It takes a bit of poking around, but can be done without too much effort.

However, I respect that the age of our guests might make this challenging. Of course a Carnival agent should be able to see this quickly and recommend other accommodations . . .
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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To further the point Neil has made, I looked at Carnival cruises from Galveston to Cozumel. One of the ships they use is the Valor. I then pulled up the plans for decks 5 and 6, and "moused over" the cabin, and what was directly below. The picture below shows the comparison.

View attachment 2362

You can see that the "Dream Bar" is directly below cabin 6371. It takes a bit of poking around, but can be done without too much effort.

However, I respect that the age of our guests might make this challenging. Of course a Carnival agent should be able to see this quickly and recommend other accommodations . . .
Carnival agents sell inventory and they aren’t there to make recommendations unless you specifically ask what is over and above. If someone tells the agents how much they want to spend, those agents are there to sell you that cabin. Someone has to take the lousy cabins and their job is to sell them.

Many times people buy on price only- you actually have to know what to look for.
 
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VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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Agreed. On our last cruise, the agent said "I can book you into cabin XXXX for that price. While on the phone, I looked up the deck plan to verify the location on the ship BEFORE saying yes. And even then, the room was at the front of the ship on the same level as the jogging track. Fortunately, jogging hours were restricted.

We accepted and had a mostly quiet trip. No bars or entertainment nearby, but of course, noisy neighbors (very loud conversation in the stateroom hallway). Bottom line: expect noise and crowds when cruising . . .
 
Aug 29, 2015
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Hi LarryJames,
Did you complain to guest services while in board? I’m not a fan of Carnival cruises, but they do offer their Great Vacation Guarantee. If you complain to Guest services while on board in the first 24 hours, they are supposed to offer it to you. They will assist you in leaving the ship and returning home rather than suffering through a cruise you are not happy with. https://www.carnival.com/about-carnival/vacation-guarantee.aspx
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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Agreed. On our last cruise, the agent said "I can book you into cabin XXXX for that price. While on the phone, I looked up the deck plan to verify the location on the ship BEFORE saying yes. And even then, the room was at the front of the ship on the same level as the jogging track. Fortunately, jogging hours were restricted.

We accepted and had a mostly quiet trip. No bars or entertainment nearby, but of course, noisy neighbors (very loud conversation in the stateroom hallway). Bottom line: expect noise and crowds when cruising . . .
What is it with people in the hallways? We were taught to talk quietly in hallways at hotel and in ships- they doesn’t exist any more.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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I don't know. I told them to take their conversation elsewhere. It was 2:00 AM. After all, cruisers have the common areas to make all the noise they want. But this is what we tell ourselves to expect. It eases the frustration . . .
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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What a shame ... such a lovely idea before her surgery and gone so wrong. Your experience, Larry, is why we are always jumping up and down telling our OPs to use a travel agent. Inexperienced travellers don't know what they don't know; a cruise-expert TA would have helped you find a cruise line more to your liking plus a cabin that was (hopefully) more quiet ... at least well away from the parties that go on every night. Rude, ignorant people are everywhere but at least you wouldn't have been in a cabin with music vibrating the walls. I hope you can obtain some consideration from Carnival and are able to book another cruise when your wife is all recoverred. As for morons having loud conversations in hallways in the middle of the night ... whether on a cruise ship or a hotel ... I open my door and bellow at them to shut up. It's quite effective. They're dumb, and/or they're drunk, or both, and they usually go away. This is another reason to use a TA ... s/he'll advise you to book way forward to way aft so there are fewer chances of these little annoyances.
 
Mar 15, 2018
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Ditto to what everyone else has said in here. The OP has not come back to the thread, but I do hope he reads it. Many great lessons in here.

A few more thoughts that may be useful to the OP:

You just cannot EVER assume there won't be noise when you're traveling, regardless of where you are. Hotel rooms can end up next to a late-night club. An AirBnb can have noisy neighbors. Even a cabin in the woods can be plagued with howling coyotes keeping you up all night!

But of all of the travel options out there, cruises are probably the worst for noise. Keep in mind that ships must be built with lightweight material, so you just can't get decent sound-proofing. It's nearly impossible to find a cabin that doesn't have some kind of noise issue - next to the elevators, or beneath the pool deck, or above the anchor, or next to a cabin with loud children.

While I realize this doesn't work for everyone, I personally never travel without a supply of ear plugs. Another option is a white-noise generator of some kind. Won't help with the vibrations of a deep bass, but it's something. :)

I might also suggest that if you are looking for relaxation, a Carnival cruise is probably one of the worst choices you can make. They are considered the "party" cruise line, with activity-packed itineraries, crammed with families with young children and fun-seeking adults boozing it up. You won't even find relaxation at the pool, where it's nearly impossible to snag an open lounge chair (unless you go out at 3 in the morning and save chairs with personal items), and where you will often find loud bands and raucous activities like belly-flop & hairy-chest contests.

If you choose to use your cruise credits and go with Carnival again, I would encourage you to follow the earlier advice and use a travel agent. But beyond that, do some research of your own on both the ships and the cabins. A great resource is Cruise Critic, which offers thousands of very detailed reviews (both professional and from passengers), and even offers detailed reviews of individual cabins so you know what problems others experienced. Also be sure to look at the deck plan so you know what your cabin is near. Look above, below, and all around! Watch out for elevators, passenger laundry rooms, restaurants, jogging decks, kids clubs, theaters...anything that will generate noise nearby will likely be heard in your cabin.

Hope this helps!