On September 14th, during an 8-day cruise aboard Carnival’s “Miracle”, I was enjoying the day by relaxing at the pool with some friends. My alcohol consumption was minimal and the intervals between drinks were significant.
At approximately 4:15p.m., a waiter presented me with a 4th drink, one that I had not ordered; however, he assured me that I had ordered it some time ago. The color of this particular drink (blue/green) was much different than my previous cocktails (orange/pink), and was served in a plastic container, rather than my original “souvenir” cup. Foolishly, I accepted and signed for it.
After a few sips, I started feeling “funny” and decided to head back to my cabin to get ready for dinner. Luckily, one of my friends noticed that I was not feeling well and offered to escort me back to my cabin. I had graduated from soberness to a state of unsteadiness, vomiting, and eventually blacking out.
After my friend left, I was awaked by a telephone call. The male caller asked if I needed more towels for my room. The cabin steward had already cleaned our cabin and had provided fresh linens; therefore, there was absolutely no reason to deliver additional towels. Immediately said “No”, hung up the phone, and fell back to sleep.
I am a responsible adult, fully aware of when I have had too much to drink. This was not the case here! I believe a date rape drug had been slipped into my last drink.
On September 17th, the day after returning from my cruise, I contacted Carnival Cruise Lines to report this incident. I was informed that I would not hear anything from them for 4 – 6 weeks; however, I received Carnival’s response, dated September 20, 2007 (only 3 days after filing my complaint). The ‘form letter’ stated that although they take such allegations seriously, they regretted to inform me that since I had not report the incident in a timely manner, they were unable to properly investigate the incident.
How seriously did they take my complaint? Would their response have been any different, if I had reported being raped?
In addition to my experience and on two separate occasions, my friends’ 13-year old daughter had been approached by a cabin steward, who asked if he could escort her to her cabin and come inside. This child was terrified! Both incidents had been reported to the Purser, who attempted to calm down the child’s parents, hoping to avoid a scene in front of the other guests. The parents were by assured that the cabin steward would be quarantined to the ‘Crew Only’ section of the ship.
On the last night of the cruise, the young girl informed her mother that she saw the man again, wandering the ship; thus, he had not been secluded, as promised. Clearly, there was no difference in the procedure of reporting an incident while onboard the ship, than it was in reporting my experience immediately following the cruise.
Cruises seem to be a playground for sex offenders. I tend to doubt the thoroughness of background checks on cruise ship employees.
There appeared to be only 2 surveillance cameras in the pool area; however, the ship’s casino is equipped with multiple security cameras, leading me to believe that passenger safety is secondary to the cruise lines.
This was my third Carnival cruise… and my last!