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Carnival Splendor passenger: 'I refused to eat the Spam' [Updated]

It wasn’t two months trapped in a Chilean coal mine, but for 3,200 passengers who’d paid for a luxury cruise, four days aboard a dark, cold ship was an experience to remember.

They had plenty to say as they disembarked from the Carnival Splendor under blue skies Thursday in San Diego.

Newlywed Candice Van Leeuwen, 30, of Moreno Valley, was married Nov. 6 and emerged wearing her bridal veil: “My husband and I got to be together the whole time.... What’s wrong with that? Nobody got hurt on this ship.

"They did the best they could. They were giving free beer. I didn’t take any, but we took some of the free champagne. We think the marriage got off to a good start. Not the start we thought. But a good start.”

[For the record, 3:08 p.m.: An earlier version of the post misspelled Van Leeuwen's last name.]

Peg Fischer, 61, of Las Vegas, will go on another cruise: “I’m a mathematics teacher. What are the odds that this could happen again? This was my first cruise and I wanted it to be memorable. It was, but not in the way I hoped for. It’s good to be home."

Chris Harlan, a dental technician from Buena Park: “I refused to eat the Spam. I’m not paying this kind of money to eat Spam.”

Spencer Reeves, 15, of Huntington Beach, who was cruising with two dozen family members: “It got kind of boring. You have to make your own fun. I like bowling with ketchup bottles and cereal boxes. I can't wait to take a hot shower."

Tim Murray, 42, a tool salesman from New Jersey: “The food was the worst part. I come on these cruises to eat. My wife likes to sleep, but I like to eat. The cruise-ship people did the best they could. I’d never seen hot dog salad before or green bean sandwiches. They were really trying.”

 -- Tony Perry

Comments () | Archives (17)

Carnival Splendor passenger: 'I refused to eat the Spam'

I guess suffering is relative. If I heard someone sya, "I refuse to eat the Spam," I might be compelled to slap them.
How rediculous to complain about a poor cruise experience when there are people struggling to find water or Spam in Haiti or Africa.
Have people lost the ability to simply say, Hey, we got our money back, an apology, and it brought us closer together?
How could this ruin a honeymoon? People need to have challenges like this to remind them that many people in the world don't have the basics, much less a cruise.

This is sorta gross, but when I heard the toilets weren't working and everyone was eating spam, I thought, oh no. Not good.

“I refused to eat the Spam. I’m not paying this kind of money to eat Spam.”

Yeah, you're not paying that kind of money. They're giving you a full refund and a complimentary cruise in the future. Considering that, the Spam seems quite generous.

wow sombody did not want the spam? try eating what we eat in Afghanistan! Spam would a be a feast for us!,hey lady be greatful that food was offered ,typical spoiled American !so you didnt get to pigout! boo-hoo-hoo!

On this Veterans Day, try eating an MRE and then complain about the Spam!

Thanks to all of our Troops!

When are people going to realize that even when everything goes right, these Mega-Cheapo Cruises are nothing more than a combination floating ghettoes and old age homes.
"Splendor". A more forthright name would be "S.S.SHEEPLE".

I am sickened at the whiney attitude of these passenger-In the total scheme of world suffering-this pales in comparison.

JJ, danO, Lauren, claudio razzetti: have you ever heard of a little thing called a sense of humor? Just because the author of the article failed to mention that the guy was joking, I think most readers assumed it right away. Lighten up and learn to laugh.

Thought everyone was great except the person who just could not eat Spam. What a geek, just being able to have food is a blessing.

Refuse to eat Spam? GOOD FOR YOU! You deserve better. You paid for your cruise and buffet with your hard earned American dollars, but Carnival Cruises let you down and did not honor its obligation to provide you a cruise, entertainment, and tons of gourmet food. It is a disgrace what happened, and beneath you as an American, that you had to eat Spam or green bean sandwiches on a Cruise.

Lisa Byers, USC '81

This story making the front page proves that the LA Times is the TMZ of Responsible Journalism. You might think these misfortuned tourists were sleeping shoulder to shoulder on a slave ship or having to drink their own urine for survival. How will they re-integrate into normal American life after this traumatic ordeal? How will they possibly approach their bosses or cat-sitters to ask for more time off to re-do their holiday?

On Veteran's day, a day to recognize the soldiers that are put on ships so that their fellow Americans can flourish - please stop trivializing their sacrifices by glorifying the 'suffering' of these tourists.

Carnival Cruise Lines is trying to deny that they served the Spam, and says they didn't request it!!

Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!

I'll take the Spam.

Glad to have you home.

Things do happen when on vacation and weird things are expected through out. Deal with i.

God bless you all

To all the posters who feel compelled to write ridiculous, out of context nonsense about this story: It is apparent that no one on this ship is asking you to feel sorry or pity for them. It was an unfortunate circumstance that had the potential to be disastrous, and I am sure they just feel fortunate that it is behind them. No, they didn't walk through a minefield in Iraq, spend 2 weeks trapped under rubble, or drink their own urine, nor are they asking everyone to treat them as they did, so you can all stop with your holier-than-thou martyrdom.

I don't understand the whole Spam controversy. Spam is nutritious; entire Polynesian cultures are built around it. Older people, like myself, associate it with the hard times of World War II and naturally might avoid it for that reason. Many confuse genuine Spam with by-product packed brand X canned meats. Monty Python popularized the name in their Spam Song.; remember the British ate a lot more Spam than we did. I'm not associated with Hormel in any way. I'm just tired of the Spam references.


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