by Roger from Boston
January 28, 2006
BACKGROUND of Writer and Co-Traveler. I have been on 10 cruise ships, she has been on 4, including several Princess, Royal Carribean, Costa, Norwegian, and Celebrity between us. Given the positive nature of Carnival's surge we booked a balcony stateroom only 1 week before cruise at similar cost to other ships, but chose to give Carnival a try.
WE DISEMBARKED IN BELIZE and FLEW to MIAMI to spend remainder of vacation in Florida. It was a disaster. Talking to other "Carnival" Cruisers for the 3 days we were on board, it was their worst experience.
-Bad Food, no, lack of food!! Buffet was all but ignored. On a purportedly sold out vessel, bars and restaurant alternatives were constantly closed. The buffet had no desert, but we were told we could go to deck 5 to buy desert for $2.00.
-Cabin not cleaned prior to arrival, in room safe was not working.
-Cardio Machines in gym in disrepair and water bubbler was broken in gym on Sunday and Monday. Tuesday we got off.
-Taking Carnival up on their "Guarantee" They left as at the port, and informed us we must pay $80 for a taxi to the airport and then $65.00 cash for departure at the Belize airport. At this point it was too late to turn back. We were off the ship with our luggage when informed that the guarantee covered our airfare back but not the costs required to get to the gate at the airport (i.e. transport to the airport and departure fees required by BELIZE)
-Deck chairs were tied up and unavailable for use while at Key West in the Sun.
-While there were free deck chairs during "Fun Day at Sea", no one would assist in lifting chairs to an available location. I could do this physically and I did, older people could not.
-Disembarking at Key West was unorganized and a mess. It took an hour to get off in line, as we followed directions getting in line on deck 3. Others could beat the system by taking the elevator to Deck 1 and cut the line, which the cruise allowed.
-Waiter staff was unfriendly, a first for either of us at sea.
-Night time noise was awful. We were on Deck 8 below the "Red Sail" Buffet where at 1am to 5am they dragged chairs, or whatever, cleaning. We could hardly sleep the 3 nights we were on the ship.
-DETAILS GO ON AND ON. OF ALL THE PEOPLE WE TALKED WITH THERE WAS ONE COMMON THEME, IF THIS WAS THEIR 1st CRUISE, THEY WOULD NEVER CRUISE AGAIN.
THIS MIGHT SOUND STRANGE, but I don't complain much, rarely, the list goes on and on. These are highlights after arriving home this evening and getting to a computer.