February 26, 2006
I simply don't know how to warn people any other way, than to share this very traumatic experience with one and all:
Today was the best day of my life: we got OFF the Carnival ship, the "MIRACLE" and were able to return home, out more than 3,000.00, and traumatized by having been held -- not just at gun point, but MACHINE GUN-pointed at me and my 10 year old son!!!
This entire cruise was a disaster, from start to finish. Let me begin at the beginning, and try to list all our complaints.
The ship was not clean. Food was worse than expected to be served in a prison galley. Cold, greasy, tiny portions, pretty much unedible. As to "Service" there is NO SUCH THING aboard the Carnival Cruise Ship: "MIRACLE" (though it IS a miracle if you actually get served by anybody the entire time you are onboard) These "Service Staff" are miserable, and have absolutely no desire to make your hard-earned vacation pleasant. Or safe. Or even bearable.
In the dining room (btw: your ONLY choice for the final night of the cruise so that you can tip these lazy and unhappy workers. One gets the impression they aren't paid by the cruiseline at all, but solely by the drunks who seem to dominate the public rooms). If you aren't a two fisted drinker, you are pretty much out of luck for the duration of the cruise on this ship.
Even the hope of getting tips couldn't make these people "serve". They never smiled, were out and out unpleasant, often rude, and our cruise director? Mark? Apparently he doesn't have to actually show UP or participate and trust me, you can't find him no matter how hard you try. He's "unavailable" to people who are complaining. So are the front desk staff: they simply pretend you aren't there anymore, or get involved in conversations amongst themselves.
I was frequently misdirected by staff in getting directions to say: the infirmary. And when I'd ask them again, they'd get darn right nasty about it, and were very unhappy that I'd interupted their conversation with another employee. These are not happy people.
I WILL Credit the woman who cleaned my room: "DENIA" was the only person to ask me how my day was going, if I'd had fun, etc. I only wish I'd tipped her separately, and not given a dime to any of the other bums who "work" for Carnival.
A 7 day cruise for 2 people isn't cheap. We didn't have the cheapest cabin, and we'd signed up for shore excursions onboard (because: they actually say they GUARANTEE that way, that they will hold the ship and wait for you.) Let me explain: when you leave the ship, you swipe your card, so they know exactly who's not onboard, and you are swiped when you return, so: they actually KNOW if they have left someone behind.
We took a (costly) shore trip on our COZUMEL day: to a theme park -- and while it was costly, it was fun. When we'd gotten on the bus to go there, our guide (CASPER) said: "There are 38 bodies ON this bus, and by GOD there will be 38 bodies on this bus when we leave."
There was not. I heard later that one of the other guests (drunk) wanted to leave a bit early, so he out and out lied and said he'd seen me and my son take a TAXI and leave!!!
So: we're stuck, not anywhere near the docks, and: without cash. No way to get anywhere.
A gentleman was kind enough to give us 2 free tickets for a ferry that would at least head us in the right direction: whereupon, a police officer (Carrying the biggest machine gun you will EVER see) accosted us and accused me of being a thief, of having stolen those tickets, and he harassed us, menaced us (all in Spanish.
I Still have no idea what all he forced me to agree to, in order to prevent him from hurting my son or I)
Finally he "let" us go, and we ran to the tender (boat) to get to the ship: and they SAW us coming, and they HEARD us screaming to wait, and they STILL pulled out -- laughing and waving at us as if we were having a wonderful time.
By the time we got back onboard, my trip had been ruined. I never left the cabin again, for the remainder of the 4 days til we gratefully got OFF that ship.
I also couldn't use the ship to shore phone system -- to check on my mother, just out of the hospital, or even to let her know that we were ok. The one time they "let" me call, I KNOW the call was being monitored, and they'd specifically asked me NOT to say "too much". (What this was about, I have no idea, but it was creepy.)
They were passing out "freebies" to keep the crowds from turning ugly, but we were literally the first OFF; they couldn't have given me anything that was worth what they'd put us through.
I'm exhausted, I'm sure I've missed other things specifically to complain about, and will add them as I can; but overview:
There is NO ONE who will listen to your complaints onboard.
We were put at a table in the dining room, so small, and so poorly located, we'd get hit by passing waitstaff (who do NOT say excuse me).
They charge extra for literally EVERYTHING (water in your room, for example) ==
The food is the worst I've ever tasted. Bland, tasteless, served cold and greasy.
I had sea-sickness the first 24 hours, and simply didn't eat onboard the rest of the time.
Room service? Sure. But they don't bother clearing away the trays, so you could end up stacking them yourself by Day two.
There is no entertainment outside of drinking, paying for drinking, watching other people drinking, and standing in line.
The ship is beyond tacky, it looked OLD and cruddy (and was only commissioned 2 years ago! Can't imagine what their older ships must be like).
They do NOT honor their own contracts, and bluntly: once they have your money, they don't care if they ever see you again.
Ironically, on arriving home? I had an email from Carnival, offering me an "8 category upgrade" if I book another cruise this coming Thursday. They couldn't give me a penthouse for free, for life, to make up for the machine gun (and yes, I have photos of said machine gun and my son). Sad to say, I've learned that it's highly unlikely they'll do anything to try to make it up to me: so I will spend a great deal of energy letting other people know before they go: Carnival Cruise is HORRIBLE; a waste of hard earned money, potentially the most dangerous thing a person can do, and employs workers who would rather be anywhere else in the world than there, helping YOU have a "fun ship" fun time.
Save your money; go Anywhere else. Float boats in the bathtub, at least they don't usually have armed guards there.