Carnival Cruise Lines, LLC
3655 NW 87th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178
Re: Serious Customer Complaint
Monday, October 6, 2008
To the Executive Staff & Guest Relations Administrators,
My name is Dr. Ifeanyi Ufondu and I am writing with deep concerns for the horrific cruise experience my family, friends and I encountered this past week on the Carnival Destiny departing out of Miami, FL. I am a seasoned traveler with Carnival Cruise Lines and in the past have had the most incredible and enjoyable experiences with your company. I have had the pleasure to take my first cruise in 1996 on the Paradise out of Los Angeles, CA. to my most recent cruise on the Destiny. This has been the worst overall travel experience, hands down! Never once have I, nor my family, experienced the type of customer service insensitivity, disrespect and extreme condescending tone by a majority of your staff, primarily the Purser’s desk “ Annelijn Vemonden and Christina” whom were both patronizing, scornful, contemptuous, demeaning, and arrogant. The laundry list of complaints are below:
However, there were many disappointing factors on this cruise. I would like to itemize many of the problems that occurred while on board the Destiny.
- From the moment we arrived in our stateroom on Lido deck (#9172), we were appalled by the terrible odor inside. The most horrific stench of excrement inundated our room to the point we had to make several telephonic & in person complaints, as well as, by leaving a note with the Purser’s desk. We were absolutely stunned by the staff member “ Annelijn Vemonden” who was more accusatory, as if the stench was our own fault or just simply a fragment of our imagination, rather than being compassionate or concerned by our serious complaint. After several calls and in person complaints to Annelijn Vemonden, she blatantly lied to us by stating that someone had come to the room already and adhered to our problem and found no such issue. Well, when I told her that my wife and I weren’t feeling so well and that we had not left the room for six (6) hours, she stated, “Sir, why would I lie to you…I have no reason to lie . The plumber said that he had come to check out the situation and he wouldn’t lie either!” I was completely shocked and furious now! Her assertion was clear that we were the ones lying about this reeking odor. I incessantly asked for a room change, but Annelijn Vemonden stated that the ship was booked and no changes could/would be made. So we were stuck with that CRAPPY (literally) room!
I immediately asked to speak to a supervisor and she stated before I could even finish my request, that she in fact was the supervisor and that no one above her could/would assist me. She then proceeded to state that she would herself, not a plumber, come see what the issue was in our room. She stomped from behind the Purser’s desk with a frown, to tend to the matter and as we stepped inside our room she immediately and almost scripted, claimed that their was only a small odor from the pipes, and that the matter was tedious and that all staterooms have some form of pipe issues, which are usually taken care of when the ship is docked at our first port of call. Her answer was then to send a cabin steward (not Vlad) to tackle the problem with air freshener. Now our room is completely uninhabitable, due to the combination of excrement, old piping and flowers! At this point my wife and children are absolutely frustrated, angry, disappointed, and perplexed by the treatment, customer service (lack of) and the guarantee of a fun and fantastic experience usually provided by Carnival Cruise Lines. I am most certain that Mr. Arison’s intention and concept building his brand and continuing his legacy, was not to treat his customer’s in this manner. Even after numerous attempts to get this matter resolved, we encountered a second individual at the Purser’s desk, who started off nice, warm and compassionate, but after examining whatever Annelijn Vemonden placed in her notes, also struck us as rude and unconcerned. It was not until we encountered Heidi Cannell that our concern was acknowledged by an extremely sincere apology and a promise that she would look into our concerns. It was not until our fourth day on board that we received a letter from Annelijn Vemonden (ref# 0014922815) and a cookbook…WOW!!!
- The pool frequently was closed and the staff could not tell us when it would
be open on scheduled basis so we could plan to be on deck.
- The cabin steward Vlad failed to keep the room in good order. I had to show
him the lint that was accumulated in the bathroom vent. There was sizeable
amount, the size of my fist that needed to be cleaned. The vent was hanging
down. He only prepared the queen sized bed and not the two draw down beds for the kids.
- The shower nozzle was split and should have been replaced as requested, but
- Room service was a disaster. I ordered peanut butter & jelly for a snack. The
service came more than 45 minutes later with a coffee pot, but no coffee cups.
A salad and a plate of cookies…which I did not order at all! They had to return
with the correct order a half hour later.
- On the day of disembarkation, there was an assault on an elderly African American couple by a younger, Caucasian couple and the staff and security saw the incident but did nothing. The younger couple continued to verbally assault the elderly couple and even physically pushing the elderly man against the disembarkation bridge, tunnel walls screaming, “ Get out of my you F&%king ###, some of us have planes to catch to Russia!” That just topped off our experience the most! Especially since my wife, son and I are African –American, but our son’s companion KEATON HEAD is Caucasian. The entire cab ride to the airport and throughout our flight home he asked over and over again, “Dr. Ufondu, I thought people didn’t use the words and act like that anymore…I hate being white!” How do you console a child after experiencing this?
I reiterate that this was our first bad experience with your cruise line, and I hope it was just a one-time problem on the Destiny. I suggest you investigate the conditions stated in this report. I expect that remuneration or replacement compensation is in order for the problems encountered. Your staff completely ruined my family’s annual trip and moreso, our companion Keaton Head (whose ticket I paid for), his first and only cruise experience. I hope to hear from you immediately at (817) 886-0044 or via mail, email.
Dr. Ifeanyi Ufondu, Ph.D.
YOU RUINED OUR ANNIVERSARY!!!