The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Carnival Cruise Linesoverpaying for gratuities and changing the itinerary

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a verified customer
Verified customer

We just got back from the carnival paradise that left from Tampa on July 31, 2017. Going to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. This was the one and only reason we booked this cruise. It was our very first cruise and now I'm sad to say our last! It was not a good experience at all!! We got charged way to much gratuities, we prepaid ours when we booked our trip. Still everything we got had extra gratuities added!! What a rip off! Then on top of this, after we had booked our excursion to Grand Cayman, they changed the port of call because of technical issues? To only find out by some staff that this has been happening a lot this year. We were told carnival knew we weren't going to Cayman before we ever set sail! And then we couldn't get our money back until we got home, by check. What a way to treat your clients. The food was pretty pitiful also! The only thing worth eating was the Mongolian grill. We will never step foot back on this cruise line! Such a disappointment!! It's a big money racket and rip off!! Sincerely, Kim Harwell


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Carnival Cruise Lines's response · Aug 11, 2017

    Good morning:

    Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to respond to Mrs. Harwell’s concerns. We appreciate that she chose Carnival for her vacation this year.

    We work hard to provide our guest’s with a memorable vacation, so it’s really disappointing to hear that things went awry this time.

    As she mentioned about the service gratuity charge, yes; we do see that she prepaid this on her reservation. To clarify, the majority of the tipping amount goes to employees such as the cabin steward, assistant steward, dining room waiter and assistant waiter. A small portion goes to a mix of other personnel who are in guest-facing customer service positions within areas such as culinary and hotel services, along with certain key positions in entertainment and guest services. Everyone in the tipping pool serves in a guest-facing, service role and we feel it is well-deserved and important for them to be included.

    Regarding her beverage purchases, fifteen percent of the bill is automatically added to the Sail & Sign charge for her bartender and service personnel. Room Service staff may be tipped as service is rendered.

    Each guest has the discretion to adjust these gratuities based upon the level of service received during the cruise. This includes the option to adjust gratuities (up or down) for any individual on the Dining or Housekeeping staff. In order to do so, the guest will need to contact the Guest Services Desk in person. We are unable to do so after the conclusion of the voyage.

    Like her, we were disappointed at the last minute itinerary change. Our engineers found that the propulsion system needed attention. They were working until the last moment with the hopes that the itinerary would stay the same. Since this affects the ship’s speed, we had to choose a closer alternative. In our efforts, we replaced Grand Cayman with a visit to Costa Maya; and we also added two hours to the visit in Cozumel. Although we typically do not compensate for matters of this nature, we are glad that Mrs. Harwell and her family were able to take advantage of the onboard credit which was offered to all guests, and posted to her Sail & Sign account on August 1, 2017.

    Furthermore, we are also concerned to hear that the quality of food was below par; that is indeed upsetting when our guests are looking forward to a lovely meal with their loved ones each day. We have shared her comments with the Food & Beverage management team who will take prompt action to ensure our guests continue to enjoy tasty food in all of the dining areas onboard.

    It is always discouraging for us to learn that our guests have returned home disappointed. We do hope that she will reconsider her position in the future and allow us an opportunity to welcome her back onboard in the future.


    Carnival Cruise Line

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