Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Spirit
Sailing Date: October 31st, 2005
Itinerary: Mexican Riviera
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Spirit Cruise Review
7 Day Mexican Riveria
This cruise had so many bad points its hard to know where to start and I really tried to keep an open mind. The checking process at the beginning was chaotic and there weren't enough porters to handle all the luggage.
Once on board there was no assistance in finding our cabin or being welcomed aboard. It was basically a mob scene in to main entry area. Then our luggage wasn't even delivered in time for dinner, so we could freshen up. When it did finally arrive it was just let unattended in the hall. This caused the halls to be to crowded and the luggage could have disappeared altogether. On most other ships it is delivered by your cabin steward and placed on your bed.
My first major disappointment was the experience on the lido deck, in the casual buffet style dining area. There was practically no service at all. Instead of having stewards hand you trays and assist you in getting to table, you were left to fend for yourself. Even then you were lucky to even find a clean, empty table. And forget someone coming around to ask you if you would like coffee or tea. Then there was the quality of the food. It was pretty bad. The quality of the food was slightly better in the main dining room, but still nothing special.
As far as the entertainment is concerned it was mediocre at best and the last night was a joke. They had a guest talent show on the main stage. It wasn't good at all. I can understand having a guest talent show for a smaller group in a bar/lounge area, but not as the main entertainment for the evening.
As far as the shore excursions, the ones in Ixtapa and Manzanillo were very nice and enjoyable. However, the one in Acapulco was the worst shore excursion I had ever been on. It was the city tour. The tour guide literally herded passengers into a jewelry shop, served drinks and had the hard sell jewelry people brow beat people until they spend money. I know jewelry fairly well and the prices were approximately 300% higher than full retail in the states. Then the guide took us to another jewelry shop and repeated the process. You almost felt like prisoners in these stores. My fellow passengers had similar experiences and were very upset. I wrote to Carnival and asked them to refund the cost of my shore excursion and take up the issue with their tour contractor in Acapulco. They very bluntly said they wouldn't give me a refund and that they didn't plan to do anything to address the issue with their subcontractor. Why should I have been suprised? The service was so bad on the ship, why should I have expected any better customer service when I returned.
Another problem was with a Carnival credit card they promoted on the ship. They advertised on the in room channel, that you would receive $250 off your next cruise if you signed up for their credit. Then I came across a Carnival representative on the ship who was asking people to fill out the credit card applications. Before filling out the credit card application, I asked her again, so do I get $250 off my next cruise for signing up on this credit card and she said yes that was correct. Well, when I got home and received the credit card I was told that was not the case and I would not be receiving the $250 credit. I again contacted Carnival customer service and again they offered no assistance and tried to blame their subcontractor, Juniper Bank, for the problem. I didn't deal with Juniper Bank on the ship. This was a Carnival credit card. The morale of this story, don't sign up for their credit card, expecting any type of bonus. I believe this issue rises to the level of fraud and misrepresentation on the part of Carnival Cruise lines.
My last problem had to do with the way you are treated when disembarking the ship on the last day of the cruise. My cabin steward rudely ordered me out of the cabin, even before my disembarkation group was called. Meanwhile the cruise director kept repeating over the intercom, that passengers were not to gather in the public areas. So were are you suppose to go. I feel you should be allowed to stay in your stateroom until you disembarkation group is called. As a side note, when we finally left the ship, the crew didn't scan our sign and sail cards as we left. This seems like an awful security oversight, especially in this 9/11 world. They should be able to check that all passengers have left the ship.
In conclusion, I really did try to keep an open mind on this cruise, but the service and oversights were pretty bad. The thing I find interesting is that other cruise lines such as Holland America, which is even owned by Carnival, and Celebrity have cruises similar to Carnivals that are priced about the same, yet the service and treatment of passengers is so much better on Holland America and Celebrity. It leaves me wondering why anyone would ever go on a Carnival Cruise? I hope this helps you in making your decision.