Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by cruisedaddy61: Carnival Platinum Just Another Guest Nothing Special!
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Platinum Just Another Guest Nothing Special!
Destination: Southern Caribbean
My wife and I are Carnival loyalist Platinum members. We have been on 22 Carnival cruises and only have 8 more ships in the fleet to go to have been on them all. We just sailed on the Carnival Freedom for an 8 day cruise out of Ft Lauderdale June 22, 2014.
We used to feel and get special service with Carnival as Platinums. Now we're just another guest and here's why I feel this way:
This cruise started with me emailing the Matire'd asking for a table on the main floor with other guests as we like making friends in the dining room--not too demanding of a request I thought. Ian promptly emailed me back to tell me that those tables were taken by "large groups" and my request couldn't be accomodated. We like the center tables so we can enjoy the dances, etc at dinner which we enjoy. 1st night of the cruise we were placed at a table for 4 (just our family) in the corner behind a shield where you couldn't see anything. After getting upset at the assistant Matire'd the next More night a table for 8 in the center of the dining room mysteriously became available! Why did I have to get upset day 1 of the cruise to get a simple request for a loyal Carnival customer? Did really try to accomodate my request or just email me the easy answer of 'NO". Too even though we did finally get a center table, we still weren't able to meet as many new friends as we could have if had granted the specific request I asked for. Platinum didn't matter. Additionally he never once came to our table during the 8 nights of the cruise, didn't sing, or anything else.
Next we took the Dolphin Encounter in Curaco from Carnival. This was an over priced shore excusion as there was little interaction with the dolphin and they get there so late that we missed several of the shows at the sea aquarium. I complained to the Shore Excursion Manager who immediately started reading me the description of the excursion from their phamplet. After again getting upset, he agreed to "talk to the tour operator". They refunded half of the price. I told him, " if a Platinum guest complains about an excursion and they've never complained before then it should be a refund no questions asked policy instead of having to get upset to get them to act." I absolutely don't mind paying for what I get but I don't want to pay for something I don't get!
The final straw was trying to get a check cashed at the Pursar's desk. You would have thought I was trying to book a trip to the moon! Pursar's desk said they couldn't cash a check that their machine was down. They called the casino who told them they could cash my check. I went to casino and they looked at me like I had 4 heads. The asst casino mgr said they could do it but wanted 5% to do it. In the past I've gotten personal checks cashed many times on many Carnival ships with no up charge, but not on the Freedom! he was VERY RUDE and because I told him all of this run around told me that he was calling security on me for being "abusive". I told him I was Platinum and had cruised with Carnival numerous times. He said, " I don't care how many cruises you've been on!" I went back to Pursar's desk and asked for a person in charge only to be told the Chief Pursar wasn't in tonight. I came back in an hour to talk with the casino manager. This was a good conversation and I relayed all of my concerns with the like of service especially for Platinum guests.
We cruised with Royal Caribbean in April on a 4 day cruise out of Tampa. It was wonderful and they have absolutely figured out how to get guests on and off the ship. Again as Platinums we used to at least get on the ship fairly quickly. On this last cruise, Carnival is "selling" so many "priority" boardings that it took nearly two hours for me and our family to board. It was the preverbial cattle call. Some perk for Platinums!
Final point: I am convinced Carnival upper management doesn't value their loyal and best customers. If they did, then a much better service minded attitude toward Platinums and Diamonds would permenate throughout the ranks. It doesn't.
As a Platinum on just this recent cruise I had to get upset three different times regarding VERY simple requests. Here's my opinion which by the way Carnival upper management could give a rip about:
1) When a Platinum or higher emails the Matrie'd wanting a certain area for a table then its granted no questions, if's, and's, or buts. There were 6 Diamonds and 163 Platinums on this cruise out of 3300 guests.
2) When a Platinum or higher complains about a shore excursion or any other paid for event on the ship their money is refunded--no questions, if's, and's, or buts. This is not for habitual complainers where everything is refunded for every reason or meant to get out of paying. Check their record, if they've received a refund already then thats it and they get no more.
3) When a Platinum or higher asks for a personal check to be cashed for a couple hundred dollars then cash the check! Whats the chances a Platinum or higher's check will bounce when they've spent tens of thousands of dollars with Carnival already. Cash the check--no questions, if's, and's, or buts.
4) Our son in law cruised first time with us last year and got 20% off future cruise all because he spent time in casino! I've NEVER gotten any incentive from Carnival to take a future cruise. NEVER a call with "we're not fully booked in two weeks if you can cruise then we can give you a great deal". NEVER " we know you booked inside room on deck 2, but we upgraded you to lido deck because of your LOYALTY".
For these reasons and others, my family has decided to start cruising with Royal Caribbean, Norweigean, and others to see how we're treated. Frequent cruisers with Carnival aren't given perks, discounts, or even appreciated on the numerous cruises we go on.
This CUSTOMER who has spent thousands and thousands on cruises and been loyal to Carnival.
Unfortunately, the loyalty is a one way street. Carnival wants their CUSTOMERS to be LOYAL, BUT they have NO INTENTIONS of being LOYAL to their CUSTOMERS! Less
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