Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Destiny
Sailing Date: March 12th, 2006
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
My mother and a friend sailed on the
Carnival Destiny March 12-19, 2006. We had a generally okay time during most of
the cruise. The wait staff at dinner was excellent and the cake I purchased for
my mother’s 65th birthday was excellent. They even changed the wine I had
previously purchased with the champagne she actually prefers without giving me
grief. The cabin steward was friendly and made sure our room was clean and fresh
daily. Room service was prompt.
The food at the buffets was the same each day and just okay. Desserts somewhat dry. Breakfast was also the same each morning and hard to juggle due to no trays to carry plates and cups on. Very few healthy choices were available beyond some fruit. The drink dispensers frequently ran out of drinks save water.
Carnival goes out of its way to get every nickel and dime from passengers. Photos are costly ($20 for a single 8x10!). Everywhere you go someone is pushing some sort of product on you. The drinks are outrageously priced, too. Stick to water or sodas unless you like being gouged.
Entertainment was fine for the most part. Some of the comedians were funny. The first night’s dance review seems more like a 3rd grade dance recital though. A few games were offered here and there on board. Most of the entertainment is the same hackneyed bits cruise lines have been offering for years – art auctions, dance reviews, hairy chest contests, etc. The ever-present Baked Alaska was presented at dinner again too. I find the dancing waiters somewhat unnecessary as well.
The event that will prevent me from ever going on another Carnival cruise and compels me to tell everyone to avoid them at all costs is how I’ve been treated since the ship broke down and I was forced to purchase an extra plane ticket to get home.
The propeller broke after having to take an injured passenger back to Aruba. The captain and Cruise Director explained over the intercom that we would be very late getting back to San Juan. Nearly everyone missed his or her flight. We were given some replacement flights but mine was Charlotte, NC – I live in Wisconsin! Carnival told me that I was to go to Charlotte (3 days after we would arrive in San Juan) and find my own way home after that. They assured me that I would be reimbursed for this too.
That being unacceptable due to additional missed work and classes, I got online quickly and purchased tickets for the next day.
The ship arrived at San Juan about 7pm and we were hustled off the ship (at least our group was) and given a 3-hour bus ride around town to various hotels only to be finally dropped off about 2 blocks from the docks. I could have walked.
2 months later and many phone calls and mailed documents later I have still not, and neither has my mother and friend, received our promised refunds for the extra meals and plane tickets we had to buy to eat and get home. Furthermore, I have not received any promised letters and have been refused the opportunity to speak to a manager. The customer service agents have repeatedly lied to me and misdirected me. My husband has finally gotten in touch with Carnival’s attorney who flatly said, “Sue us”. Of course they know this will cost me much more than the $1500 plane ticket so basically I’m out the money.
I might have taken another Carnival Cruise in the future (despite it being not the nicest) due to the relatively low cost (unless you drink alcohol and purchase all the extra crap they push day in and day out). However, since they just don’t care one whit that I am upset about how they have handled this refund fiasco, I will not spend one more dime on any of their cruises or the parent company’s subsidiaries ever again.