Find a Cruise

Pamela Franklin

Age: 42

Occupation:Photographer

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Glory

Sailing Date: May 27th, 2006

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Glory Cruise Review
Eastern Caribbean

Pamela Franklin

We returned from our fourth cruise on Carnival on June 3, 2006. We booked our cruise through CruisesOnly.com as a group cruise. We have previously sailed on: Fantasy July 25, 1999, Pride July 13, 2002, Conquest June 8, 2003 and this cruise Glory May 27, 2006. This was our worst cruise!

First of all let me point out the good things from this cruise:
1. Check in at Port Canaveral was excellent. No long waiting lines. We arrived early, around 11:00 am. They started letting us on board around noon, which was very nice. We were asked not to go to our cabins until 1:30, but we were able to walk around the public areas of the ship and have lunch in the Red Sail Restaurant while we waited for our cabins to be ready.
2. A few weeks before our cruise I contacted the Casino Host via email to let them know of my arrival. When we went to our cabin we were surprised by a Bon Voyage decoration and two Carnival key rings. That was a nice surprise.
3. The photo areas were great. Plenty of places for you to pick. Lines are not too bad.
4. The food on the ship was excellent. The menu choices were great! We especially liked our waiter in the Platinum dining room. His name is Nivash. The adults in our group ate at one table and the four boys in our group, who were on their graduation cruise, ate at another table and their waiter was Michael. We were very pleased with both of our waiters. They made dinner each night something to look forward to. Two of the boys had sailed with us previously and hardly ever attended dinner in the main dining room. They attended every night this cruise because they really liked their waiter Michael as well. He made things fun for them and they couldn't wait for dinner each day. The same for the adults. Nivash was outstanding and a definite asset to your cruise line.
5. The Glory Treasure Hunt contest was a lot of fun. Also really enjoyed the Make a Deal or Don't Make a Deal Bingo.

Now for the disappointing parts of the cruise:
1. When we asked to have our mini bar opened we were disappointed to find that the line no longer included snacks. We always appreciated the snacks that were in the mini bar after returning from somewhere and not feeling like going to the Lido deck for a snack when we would just like a candy bar or cashews to munch on. I don't understand the reason for this, you always charged for them when you replaced them so what is the problem with putting them there?
2. The "Las Vegas Style" show was laughable. The dancers were hardly ever together. There was always someone who was a count behind or just completely off. Even a simple kick line had one dancer off by a half a count. We have high school girls who can dance in unison together better than that. The show needed a lot of work. I was amazed to see so many errors in one show. The female vocalist, Charell Davis was horrible. Obviously, the songs were not suitable for her voice. She would have been laughed off American Idol. There has got to be more talent out there then that? I think one night of dancing on stage to the music played by the band would be great. Maybe on formal nights? You can go to the showroom and use the stage as the dance floor and let the band play. They were great! The stage is a much larger dance floor and after getting all dressed up that would be nice! I think a lot of the passengers really love to listen to the orchestra play and be able to dance along. It is just a suggestion.
3. Not a very good selection of activities to do while at sea. Bingo is something you could always count on but too much of good thing is bad! Got tired of doing just that after the first two days of it. There was bingo nearly everyday!
4. Need more late night parties on Lido deck! Everyone in our group really enjoyed the late night deck party. Unfortunately, it was planned on the day we had gone to St. Maarten. Everyone was really tired and thought that this would have been much better on the nights we didn't go onshore that day.
5. On the day we arrived in St. Thomas we were told that we would have to go through a mandatory US Immigration. No problem. But we were not told that it would take as long as it did. We had a shore excursion that afternoon at 1:30 pm. We thought we would be able to shop a little, grab some lunch and then go to our excursion. Unfortunately, we didn't get off the ship till nearly 12 noon! We arrived in St. Thomas around 9:30 am. I know that the folks who had early shore excursions were allowed to get off first. Which I understand. However, it should be said that ANYONE who has a shore excursion be allowed to get off the ship first. By the time we got off, all we could do was grab lunch right there at the port and then go on our excursion. By the time we got back from the excursion we were only able to shop about an hour at the port stores and then be back on board. Really disappointed with that!
6. The Newlywed Not So Newlywed show was something that we have always enjoyed on other ships. However, the way it was done here was no where near as funny. We were very disappointed with it. Of course we had told the people in our group all about it who had never traveled on Carnival before and they were wanting to know why we thought this was so great after they saw it. We had to explain to them that it was set up much different on the other ships. They need to do it the way it was done before.
7. This was also the same for the Gala Buffet. We had bragged about how incredible it was. We told them it was set up in the dining room, etc. Then we find out that it is in the Red Sail Restaurant! What a joke!!!! Only a quarter of the size of the one in the main dining room was, not really much to admire on it like there was on the ones in the dining room and if there was something you would like a photo of you really couldn't get a good shot because you are having to shoot under or over the buffet glass! I am sure that this makes it much easier for your crew but if this is all you want to do and call it a Gala Buffet you might as well not even do one at all!
8. The service on the cruise was nearly non-existent. I have had more personal service at a resort hotel than this ship! Is it because the gratuities are automatically taken out at the start of your cruise? I realize you are able to take them off if you would like, (which we did) and we give out our own tips on the last night. However, the crew seems to think that either they get it anyway or they don't get it at all so why go to the trouble. I feel like the crew was much more personal with the passengers when they got their tips from the guests on the last night of the cruise. Maybe that should be something to rethink for the future. I know that we hardly ever seen our cabin steward. The drink waitress at dinner was horrible. We waited forever on our drinks and she never did come back for refills until dinner was almost over! The bartenders at the bars were not friendly at all! I had a lot of problems at the Casino Bar in particular! I had a Fountain Card as did my husband, and every time we were there with our card it took us forever to get service. It was like they were only waiting on the people who were buying cocktails and only got to us after they were all taken care of! This happened on nearly every occasion that we were there.

9. I purchased post cards while we were in Nassau to mail to some friends back home. I didn’t get them mailed until we left St. Maarten. I purchased stamps for the post cards from the pursers desk and later I saw a sign on the mailbox in the main lobby that said to give mail to the pursers desk do not drop in box. So I went to the desk and tried to give it to someone at the pursers desk. They told me to go ahead and put it in the box and that it would be picked up later. I did as instructed. As of today, July 10, 2006, none of my three friends that I mailed those postcards to, received them.
10. My biggest complaint is this: I purchased two 1 Liter bottles of Crown Royal while we were in St. Maarten for $10.95 each. I also purchased two bottles of St. Maarten Rum at another location there and we brought them on board with us. (These were gifts for friends back home.) Of course when we got on board we were stopped by a crew member to hand over our liquor to be kept for us until the last day of the cruise. No problem. We gave both bags to him and I asked him was that all we needed to do? He said yes. I asked if we got a ticket or anything and he said no. He spoke very little English that I could understand but he just kept telling us that was all we had to do. So we left it with him. On the last day of the cruise we had the St. Maarten Rum delivered to our cabin but the Crown Royal never showed up. I called the Purser's Desk and he said that he would check with the Cabin Steward to see if he hadn't been delivered yet and he asked me if I had my receipt. I told him I didn't know but that I would look and call him back. I could not find the receipt in our cabin and we believed we left the receipt in the bag with the liquor. (Why that means anything is beyond me! We could have very easily just got a receipt from any one of our friends who purchased liquor and said it was ours. So why is a receipt going to help?) We went to the Purser's Desk and spoke with them again about it. They still didn't have any thing on our liquor. They acted like it was our fault that we didn't have it and that they really couldn't do anything about it. I asked them what were we supposed to do? They gave me a Carnival Cruise Line card and said to call them and tell them about the problem and they would consider sending me a check for the amount of the liquor. They handed me a card with a number on it and said to give them this reference number. I explained to them that I didn't want the money I wanted the two bottles of Crown Royal. I can't purchase two bottles of Crown Royal in the states for that amount, that was the whole reason we bought it here. They had bottles of Crown Royal on the ship in the gift shop but it was more expensive then what we paid for it in St. Maarten so we did not buy it on board the ship. The Captain Morgan's Special Reserve that we wanted to purchase on board was sold out! So we didn't get any liquor on board. I guess the crew had a party with the Crown Royal on the ship and I am just out! I didn't want the money I wanted the Crown Royal! Why could you not just replace what was lost? That was completely unacceptable. They ask that we leave liquor with the crew until the last day (in order for us to purchase their liquor to drink on board) and then they loose it and don't replace it! We had no way to prove that we gave it to the crew. They say that they have cameras on board, well I would think that they have them at the gangway so why don't they go back and search the camera and see that we did indeed give them two bags to hold for us when we got back on board the ship in St. Maarten. Their system of doing this needs a lot of work. Obviously the crew knows that it can't be proven so they just take what they want.
11. To top it off, the day we are getting ready to get off the ship we are standing on our balcony watching the crews unload luggage and load supplies for the next cruise. We are watching as a piece of luggage falls out of the cage and a tow truck operator pushes the bag across the dock with his fork lift! We then watched as several bags would fall off the top of the pile of luggage in the cages and they would just be thrown back on or pushed around by tow truck operators. It was horrible! Then we are finally called to disembark. Three of our family members have to go down one way to pick up their luggage and we have to go another. They are out nearly twenty minutes before we are! We still could not understand why it took us so much longer to get to our luggage. We finally get our luggage and find that one piece is damaged. A brand new American Tourister that we had just purchased the week before the cruise. The luggage looked as though it had been dropped from a high point and it landed on the bottom corner. The side of the luggage was caved in and the inside bar is bent in toward the inside of the luggage and the wheel on that side was broken and would not roll! Every time we tried to stop to check the damage and find out why it wouldn't roll we were told by security that we couldn't stop and must keep moving. When we tried to explain what was wrong they wouldn't listen to our explanation they only said keep moving, you can't stop here. We couldn't find anyone who could tell us where to go to report the damage. They repeated what everyone else said, Keep moving!

This was the worst trip I have ever taken. So much for your 100% money back guarantee. They make sure that everyone is happy till you get to the first port and then it is over because according to the rules of the money back guarantee you must request to be allowed off the ship before the first port in order to receive a refund. That is a joke! How many people have actually used that refund? However, I am sure that those folks who were on Ecstasy when it caught on fire would have used it had it been offered at that time!

I requested that I receive an apology for the inconvenience caused to me and my group for the damages caused to my luggage and for the misplacement of my liquor that we trusted with the crew to take care of as well as the REPLACEMENT of the two 1 liter bottles of Crown Royal that we purchased and the cost of our luggage that was damaged when it was taken off the ship in Port Canaveral. I felt that was the least that they could do for what we had to go through. A total cost of less than $100. A small amount considering we spent nearly $1700 just in onboard expenses while on the ship! Not counting the bingo cards and gambling that we paid for with cash! Also not counting the amount we paid for the cruise to begin with!

I sent a letter explaining all of this to the Customer Guest Relations in Fort Lauderdale, FL as well as copies of the letters to:
Mr. Mickey Arison - Chairman of the Board, CEO
Mr. Bob Dickinson - President, CEO, CTC
Mr. Michael Goldsmith - Group Account Executive
Cruises Only.com

I received a letter on August 5 from Carnival Cruise Lines Special Advisor, Office of the President, Aileeh Cortazar stating that they extend their apologizes for the problems that we encountered. They stated that my luggage would have to be reported prior to leaving the pier area as stated in their Terms and Conditions of Contract. (I guess it didn’t matter that we couldn’t get anyone to help us find where to report the problem.)

They apologized for the post cards not being received by my friends but they cannot be held responsible for individual port’s postal service.

As far as the alcohol was concerned they wrote: “Your additional comments regarding the delivery of your alcohol have been noted. We have taken the liberty of forwarding your comments to the respective department heads for their research and review. We apologize for any disappointment you experienced.”

They further wrote: “Because we value your business, we would like to extend to you and your cabin guest an onboard credit in the amount of $50.00 per person ($100.00 total). The onboard credit is valid for eighteen months from the date of this letter and is non transferable. The credit does not have monetary value and must be used onboard a Carnival Cruise Line Vessel.”

I don’t believe that they expect me to pay them more money to go on another cruise in order to get a $100 onboard credit for items that were lost or damaged while on a prior cruise with them!!!!

My advice is to anyone who will be traveling on Carnival to be extremely careful with your property that they require you to hand over to them until you disembark. You need to make them give you something that shows what you gave them. But I still don’t know if they would do anything to replace it then or not.

I never had any real problems on any of the prior cruises we had with Carnival and I was always an avid supporter of their cruise line. However, this was my last cruise with them! The problems that existed on this ship were the worst that I have encountered and ruined our vacation. In my honest opinion, I believe that the automatic gratuity that is added to all passengers accounts is a big cause of the lack of attention given to individual passengers from the crew and staff. They really seemed to be a lot more attentive when the tips were handed out at the end of the cruise individually. But that is only my opinion.

I realize that each ship is different, each with different crews, but when the main office tries to rectify a bad situation with a “onboard credit” for a future cruise, that is my limit. How dare them suggest I give them more money!

Sail another cruise line!

 


 

Was this review helpful?

Yes No Email this review to a friend
 

Ask questions and get advice from other cruisers on our popular discussion board,