They took away our only 2 ports of interest & refused to give us a refund until they had us on board!
This was supposed to be a wonderful experience. This was my niece's graduation present; our first cruise, that she had been wanting to do for years. We were going to Grand Cayman and Jamaica. Yay! On the way back, there would also be a stop at Cozumel. Okay. Excursions were booked ahead of time, since this took a lot of planning for everyone to schedule off to make this cruise and we were ready to go. Yet on June 12, 2019, just three days before the cruise, we get an email from Carnival telling us that there was a change of itinerary. This was not caused by the weather, or the government saying we couldn't go somewhere, like Cuba. No, it was a mechanical issue (which I read that someone posted Carnival had when they were on their cruise as well back as far as June 8th!) They said they couldn't go as fast as they would like, so instead of going to Grand Cayman and Jamaica, we would instead be going to Mahogany Bay, Roatan, and to Costa Maya, Mexico (to places that my family had no interest in going to.) Carnival decided that taking those two ports away from us was only worth a $50 onboard credit, and a promise to give us a 25% future cruise credit based on the fare paid for this voyage (excluding taxes, fees and port expenses). Well, since they had taken away the only two ports that we were really interested in, we would have preferred a refund so that we could book something in Grand Cayman and at least fly down there during the period that we had scheduled off for vacation. I spent close to 3-1/2 hours on the phone with Carnival, and they categorically refused to give a refund. They would only allow us to reschedule the cruise on or before December 31, 2020., and the only "refund" that they would give was for our pre-paid excursions, which would also be posted as a refund to our onboard account. I am writing this because I took issue with the article written by Cruise Mapper which stated: "Passengers who were due to sail on Carnival Vista over the weekend are being informed by the cruise company that due to a propulsion issue, they will experience a change to the scheduled itinerary." "Carnival Cruise Line sent a letter to guests on the June 15 voyage of Carnival Vista notifying them of the change. The letter explained, “the ship is experiencing an issue affecting its maximum cruising speed.” "It is not yet known if further itinerary changes will have to be made moving forward." "Due to the unexpected change, Carnival Vista will now enjoy 2 days at sea prior to stopping at Mahogany Bay, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and a final day at sea on the return to Texas. Ship's original itinerary included departure from homeport Galveston TX and 2 seadays before visiting Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, seaday and return to Galveston." "Passengers on the impacted cruise will be receiving US$50 onboard credit posted to their Sail and Sign accounts, along with a future cruise credit that is valid sailings booked by December 12, 2020, and equals 25% of the cost they paid for the current trip. Carnival also provides all bookings with the option to cancel with a full refund." The statement that "CARNIVAL ALSO PROVIDES ALL BOOKINGS WITH THE OPTION TO CANCEL WITH A FULL REFUND" is categorically incorrect. It was only after they got us on the ship on the 15th of June, and already unpacked in our rooms that by an announcement over the PA, they advised that there was another change to the itinerary, and that we could come to the 4th Deck to get more information. That is when they handed us a letter and told us we were no longer going to Roatan either, and that they were extending the cruise to 8 days, with only two ports on day 5 and 6 in Costa Maya and Cozumel. Only then, when we were already on the ship, having taken transportation to get there, arranging to have people look after our pets and home, taking off from work, in a metal ship with virtually no internet service, did they offered to give us a full refund if we wanted to cancel and arrange to get off the ship by 6pm. Carnival knew full well that most of us would not be able to schedule any type of alternate vacation at that point. I don’t believe that this was done by Carnival in good faith. With the later cruises that were canceled, Carnival allowed them a full refund, and it gave them time to book another vacation. Additionally, they gave them 100% credit towards a future cruise. For us, they took our money, refused to allow us a refund when we might have been able to make alternate plans after taking the two best ports away from us, and then after giving us a lousy cruise that cost me more to take care of my animals at home (which they wouldn't cover), they only offered us a 50% credit on a future cruise. If a used car salesman ripped you off once, do you really think you would go back to him to buy another car, even if he tells you he is offering you a really good deal? Of course not! This was my first cruise, and I now trust Carnival about as far as I can throw them (or can push the Vista), which isn't far! I just can't believe that Carnival should have the right to say, because of their own ship maintenance issues, (not weather or other safety issues) that they can decide to change WHERE you are going for vacation and then decide HOW LITTLE it really means to you, and is under no obligation to let you out of that agreement. That is like booking a flight to New York and Paris for a special occasion, and having the airline say that because they need to do some plane repairs they are going to fly you to Paducah, Kentucky, and Beaumont, Texas, instead (no offense intended to the lovely folks that live on those places), but they will give you a $50.00 credit and an extra bag of peanuts, and a discount ticket on the airline that must be used by the next year. Wouldn't you be thrilled with that? Or would you have preferred the opportunity to making alternate travel arrangements to get to New York and Paris for your special occasion? Carnival would not allow me or my family the opportunity. Additionally, the did give subsequent cruisers on the Vista not only a full refund and the opportunity to make alternate plans, but they gave them a 100% credit towards a future cruise, and those on our cruise were only given a 50% credit. So, I guess that I should say that the folks that were scheduled to sail on the Vista for July 2019 are the lucky ones. They actually got all their money refunded, and were not essentially forced to go on a cruise after the ports that were contracted for were taken away from them, and substituted for ports that were inferior, and then reduced down to two single ports with extended days at sea, dealing with unhappy guests, kids with cabin fever, and a crew that sometimes seemed like they were barely tolerating guests. The best thing I can say about the cruise is that the food was good, and that there were a few nice people that we met on board, and some of the staff were very kind given the situation. However, it was anything but a relaxing vacation. We were so disappointed.