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Canival Cruise Line / safety

PA, United States

We went on our first cruise in December 2007 on board Carnical legend. let me start by stating that our entire cruise was wonderful. We had great service from almost all personel. Even now, comparing this cruise with other cruises, I still think we had the best service on Carnival. However, we had one very frightening experience. i was on the upper deck track with my 3 year old son. He was sitting on a bench with a glass of water. I was jogging toward him, saw a man come up a side stair case, looked away for a few seconds, and looked back to see him missing and his glass of water on a bench. I immediately thought he must have ran to the other side of the track in which was out of my view despite the simple fact that it didn't make sense that he could dissapear that quickly. I ran to the other side, to find only my husband. I asked him if he saw our son. he replied no, I thought he was on the bench. we circled the small track again. no sign of him. We each ran down one of the two stair cases to find people at the bottom of each shuffle boarding. They claimed to not see him...so what could have happened to him. My husband started to strategically search this deck with all of the pools from compartment to compartment. I on the other hand started to panick. i frantically ran to the spa, as this was where i knew i could find personel. I told them to notify security at once that my 3 year old went missing. they did not do so...instead they put me on a phone to the persurs desk personel who could barely speak english. what i made out of the call was to go to the persers desk on the other side of the ship, with a picture of my son. This took 5 minutes to figure out since she spoke broken english. I felt like i was in the Twilight Zone. I began to freak out more. I felt as if nothing was being done. I asked them to put me through to security...and this request was not fulfilled. I also wanted a notification overhead via intercom...but nothing was done. I was crying hysterically at this point, and other passengers were offering to help me search. so now me and a small group of passengers began searching for a missing 3 year old, but no staff assisted us. Almost 20 minutes later, I saw a security personel and he asked me a few questions. Finally, I took the One security personel to the last place i saw my son. As we walked up the stairs, there was my three year old jogging out of the fog on the track. He would not tell us what had happened. There were alot of doors that only personel could get in or out of on the track level. The worse thoughts went through my mind that a worker stole my child, and next port was a 3rd world county. Or...he climbed the side of the railings...ect. I was so happy to have found him, and angray at myself for losing him. I realize that losing him was our fault, however, we were shocked and appalled to find out, that no sytem exhisted to find a missing person, especially a child on this cruise line. My only wish from this complaint is that possibly, some sort of system gets set up to locate missing persons on board in a quick manor. Our son later revealed to us, that he saw a stranger come up the stairs and climbed behind a solid wooden bench chained to the wall, that was slid out and had apparently enough room for him to hide.

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