If you think that while you are off an about on or off the ship the cabin steward and assistants are carefully cleaning your room and making towel animals, and that’s it, you are wrong. Unfortunately they also go through all your luggage and try to find anything they can take that you might not notice.
We have just returned from our cruise on the Carnival Glory and had lost (as a family) 500 USD in what I am about to describe as professional robery. My brother in law hides his cash in a bag inside his suitcase locked with a cobination lock. One of the cruise nights he took something out of his luggage and didn’t scramble the combination. After lunch the next morning he checks his Money and it is missing 300$. The crooks didn’t steal the full amount, they only took a portion of the amount so that we don’t figure if we spent it or it was taken. Their strategy would have worked except that they were unable to return the money to the same compartment it was in originally and they returned it in a different compartment. The bag my brother in law uses has a small compartment that he always uses that is hard to put things in unless you can see it. If you are feeling around you will be able to get something out but hard to put it back in.
The day that money was taken, we had returned to ship from Belize and rushed to catch lunch before the buffet closed. I ran off with my daughter and my wife followed us. Since I had the lock to the safe she ended up leaving her wallet in the closet where the safe is, right next to the safe. We returned after lunch to a made room, and napped. Woke up from the nap to the issue with my brother in law mentioned earlier, to find that 200 USD was missing from my wife’s wallet. It was only a 2 hour window and according to ship security only the steward accessed the room. Again we could have missed this except that the money that was taken was not ours. It was her mother’s 700$ (now 500) who had kept it with my wife, so we know that none of it was spent. If it was our own spending money, we might have guessed that we spent it somewhere. This is why I am saying it’s professional.
That being said, in the events that followed it became apparent that even if the full amount was taken, no one could have helped us at all. The security searched our rooms, to confirm that we didn’t misplace it, and informed us they would be doing the same to the cabin steward and that a report later the next day would be sent to our cabin. The next night we get a brief letter saying nothing was found. My wife, furious requests to speak to a security supervisor, who shows up angry and speaks rudely to my wife and her brother. He basically tells them that they can’t even say the money was stolen as they have no proof. She requests the matter escalated further and they say call customer service when you leave the boat. We essentially lost the cost of an additional cruise and they couldn’t care less.
Looking at this as objectively as I can, this was a learning experience. We learnt that those underpaid workers go through your entire room to look for anything. They probably go through your underwear and all your belongings. They don’t just do the bed and replace the towels and leave, they invade your privacy to the maximum. We learnt that we have to make sure everything is in that safe, even better take it with you off the ship. A police officer in Miami told us she doesn’t trust the safe either. We learnt that we can’t trust the ship security to do their job or find anything that you lost, even if the suspect is clear as day, they will search their bunk once and game over.
To be honest I am not sure we can blame these workers. They are getting paid less than 5$ an hour (they are not paid out of the money you buy the cruise with, they are paid using the mandatory gratuities you pay onboard which is a fraction of the cruise cost). So instead of paying them fairly, Carnival just turns a blind eye to what those employees can get their hands on. What a shame. I enjoyed the multiple cruises with Carnival as they seemed to be the number one family cruise ship. Moving forward I will be looking for a cruise that is more focused on fairness and true family values, as their is nothing family friendly about what happened.