Passengers Unhappy with Millennium Cruise

Delays, plumbing problems and other mishaps raise questions over New Year cruise

(Everything2000) It was suppose to be the cruise of a lifetime. Carnival Cruise Lines Millennium Trip advertised 11 days of fun in the sun. Several tourists say it wasn't fun, and they didn't have much time in the sun because of port delays.

For many passengers the 11-day trip was plagued by problems. In fact, some tourists even called their travel agents hoping they could get off the ship and celebrate the New Year at home. The voyage into the year 2000 was making them want to go back to 1999 and make new plans.

The cruise ship "Holiday" carried 1,452 passengers and 660 crewmembers. The ship departed after Christmas with plans to stop in Mexico and the Caribbean. Passengers say the problems began before the ship even left shore.

The "Holiday" was six-hours late leaving Los Angeles. The delay meant the boat and the passengers would miss their first stop in Cabo San Lucas. Passengers were upset about that right off the bat, but Carnival said they would stop on the way back. They did but only for a short time, say passengers, not the day trip planned in the millennium package.

Jennifer de la Cruz, a spokesperson for the Miami-based Company, told the Los Angeles Times that there were no any major problems aboard the Holiday. She said, however, that the crew received numerous complaints from passengers about delays getting ashore at two Mexican ports.

Passengers say they waited in line several hours just to get off the ship to visit ports of call. De La Cruz said the destinations are not heavily visited by cruise lines and therefore don't have good tender services that ferry passengers to and from ships.

Other passengers say they had plumbing problems and their rooms had a bad odor and that the staff members were rude.

"It was all pretty disgusting. The toilets were always out of action. Nothing seemed to work," Myra Craddock of New Zealand told reporters from the Los Angeles Times . "We just wanted off the ship."

During the trip, Craddock sent an urgent message to their travel agent about conditions on board and the possibility of getting their money back.

Carnival's De la Cruz said they did receive two complaints of clogged toilets during the millennium trip, however that isn't many complaints on a ship with 725 cabins. According to Carnival, there were no breakdowns in the Holiday's plumbing system. De la Cruz said they received more complaints about a broken ice-cream machine than plumbing problems.

"Hundreds of people are upset," Meagan Spence of Seattle, "and all the crew can do is come on the loudspeaker and ask the passengers to consider this 'as a camping trip' not a cruise ship. We had fun for the first couple of days. Then the millennium turned into a total bust."

Carnival says it is committed to making sure everyone has a wonderful time and is taking all the complaints under consideration. In all 14 Carnival cruise ships took millennium cruises and the "Holiday" seems to be the only one with customer complaints.

(Source: Los Angeles Times)

DATE: 1/10/2000

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