July 26, 2004
Just caught website - 2nd carnival cruise. First one was on the Pride to Bermuda. Same exact ship just different name. Cruise delayed back in port my medical emergency. They called our home Sunday 8pm to tell us boarding would not happened until 8pm on Monday (was supposed to board noon). Got there at 8pm to a disaster area. They told us to walk up to the next pier and wait to board. We walked up to the next pier to be told we had to take our luggage back to the pier we just left (husband also walking on a broken foot). Walked back to the waiting pier. Stood there and stood there and stood there. Personel checking our drivers licenses in dark areas (that made me feel safe). Then they decided to board us in group numbers. We wound through lines and lines waiting to give credit card info and get sail & sign card, then waited in a large area to board. Got a hard time because I had two bottles of wine which I was told I could have. One other lady passed me through with the wine and told me to enjoy it. Then after calling our group number we went through more weaving lines like we were going on a ride at Disney. This second set of lines had us walk back to the pier where the ship was docked. This was about 11pm. One carnival employee saw my husband limping and asked if he was OK. He said "no, I'm not OK I've been walking and standing for 3 hours on a broken foot. Did anybody then put him in a wheelchair or put us on the ship right away? NO.
We did not board until midnight; we had a cocktail and went to bed. At 1:30AM they were knocking on the door with our luggage. Their compensation was to give us a $20 credit for missing lunch. We also did not get dinner, which they never compensated for. They left their pursers at the mercy of extremely angry passengers. No one made an announcement while we were waiting to board to say the company would offer any compensations and they hung their employees out there to bear the brunt of hostile, hot and aggravated passengers. They did not even offer us bottled water to bide the time with. I wrote a letter to Carnival and they simply offered us 15% off our next cruise. whoopie dooo!!!
The staff on board were wonderful. Our room was kept immaculate by our room steward. We felt so sorry for all the employees who were still getting hostile comments from passengers all week. Food was good. We were only in Puerto Rico for 3 hours because of delay which did not bother us. This was our 1st visit to St. Thomas - thought it was lovely.
Do not go on a cruise ship mid summer if you do not like screaming children and teenagers. We found ketchup sprayed all over the inside of one of the elevators. A security guard told us they found several teenagers damaging surveillance cameras one night. We were awakened at 2am one morning by teenagers running and screaming on the floor above us. Cranky parents were yelling and screaming at their toddlers who had been swimming all day and were tired and needed a nap. Personnel had allowed a child into the adult's pool and that caused a bru ha ha in what we thought was the quiet adults area.
The good points were the ever gracious employees, the great shows and we were fortunate to spend some time with one of the entertainers, Melinda Chatman. She spent several hours each day chit chatting with us and we got a front row seat to her terrific show.
The bad point - they should have had a better plan implemented for scenarios such as ours. Total chaos and mismanagement. Subsequent contacts made by our travel agent did not get us any money back, and we did not even consider them for our 2005 cruise.