Could You Be Banned For Life?

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I just ran across a story about a passenger on the August 15th sailing of the Carnival Freedom (the same sailing I was on) who was actually banned for life from the cruise line.  Could this same situation happen to you?

Anyone who has ever rented a car knows the first thing you do before signing the contract is check the cars for any dent’s dings or other forms of wear and tear.  Maybe its time to check your cabin for those same issues.  This is a cautionary tale about a passenger who was in fact banned from Carnival for damage to a room that they did not cause.  You can read the full store here but here is the gist of the story.

Traveling aboard the Carnival Freedom, Chris Harvey was set to have a great family vacation.  After what I am sure was a great week on board the cruise ship, a member of the cleaning crew noticed nicks in one of the counters.  Upon finding an empty Bud Light bottle, the crewmember deduced the nicks must have come from someone using the edge of the counter to open the beer bottle.  Never mind the fact that all bottles of beer are served pre-opened the crew was convinced that a member of the Harvey party caused the damage.

Of course Mr. Harvey would not confess to something he did not do, who would?  The cruise ship employees decided that absent a confession the only other course of action was a permanent ban from all Carnival ships.  Not only was the action taken by the cruise line inappropriate but also time consuming, the entire ordeal lasted several hours.  Eventually they were allowed to leave the ship but not until they signed a document acknowledging the lifetime ban.

Luckily, when the Harvey’s arrived home they found there were pictures pre-dating when the supposed damage occured which allowed their name to be cleared.  The photos which are posted here would be impossible to fake since they clearly take place in the stateroom.  Once presented with this evidence Carnival did apologize and rescind the ban, but what would have happened if those pictures didn’t exist?

The message here is a clear one.  When you arrive at your cabin it would be wise to report and take pictures of any damage that you notice in your stateroom.  The chances of you ever needing the pictures are probably pretty slim, but the alternative is a pretty severe consequence.  You know what they say, its better to have and not need than to need and not have.

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