Occupation:Nursing Home Nurse
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Triumph
Sailing Date: October 7th, 2006
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
I traveled with about 30 family members to celebrate a reunion. Booking the cruise was a disaster. We never had any idea who our representative was, as they kept changing. Also the price kept changing (increasing of course), and no matter how much more we paid they always came back claiming we still had a balance. After threatening to cancel the trip entirely, Carnival offered us a free bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for each room. When we arrived, there was quite possibly the cheapest bottle of champagne known to mankind, and unripe strawberries with several long black hairs on the plate.
Our luggage did not arrive to the room until after dinner time, and it was carelessly left outside our door where anyone could have taken it. We never received one of our bags. The steward suggested that we "go look over there," pointing to a huge pile of bags thrown in a corner of the hallway. We found our bag, which had been badly damaged with holes torn in it, handle ripped off, and all ID tags missing.
Food was mediocre at best. The buffet lines are extremely long, and most empty tables had dirty dishes on them with no busboy clearing them. I noticed that food is frequently "recycled" -- whatever is served in the dining room one night magically appears on the buffet the next night. I have a medical condition that requires special food preparation, which Carnival told me would be easily accommodated and to simply tell the waiter. Unfortunately the waiter was either not aware of this policy or unwilling to follow through, and refused to make dietary modifications. Considering most of the food is very heavy, greasy, fattening, there was very little that I could eat the entire cruise.
San Juan was a waste of time. The ship did not get there until the evening, when everything was closed except for the bars. Only the drunkards seemed to enjoy this.
St Thomas was okay, although the snorkeling excursion was over priced and a waste of time. Basically we were taken out on a small boat and told to jump off and swim "over there where the reef is." After swimming for 30 minutes, no one in the group found any kind of reef, and before we knew it the captain was indicating that it was time to get back on the boat.
St. Maarten was okay, although we were once again ripped off by Carnival on another excursion (Divvy Beach excursion). They charged $45 for a day on a private beach, including lunch. First, we were charged to rent beach chairs and umbrellas on top of what we already paid. Lunch consisted of hotdogs cooked outside on a grill. Other cruise goers simply walked over to the beach from the ship and hung out all day for free. There was really no point in paying that much money for this.
Even the spa tried to rip us off. They advertised a special drawing to be held at 8 pm, which we all attended. Of course we did not win, but as a "consolation prize" the spa offered $30 off any service to everyone present at the drawing. I immediately went to the counter to receive my $30 credit for the massage that I had already booked for later in the cruise. I was told that I did not qualify for the $30 discount they had just offered, since I had booked my massage the day before. I was so upset I just wanted to cancel the entire thing, to which they informed me I would be charged for the massage regardless since they require 24 hours notice.
Several members of our party came down with colds, probably due to the stale re-circulated air in the cabins. They went to the infirmary and were charged $5 for ONE DOSE of over-the-counter cold medication! Considering there is nowhere else to purchase medication, they had no choice but to be ripped off $15 a day for 3 Tylenol cold tablets (normally around $4 for 30 tablets at any drug store)!
I will never again go on any cruise with Carnival. They tried to rip us off at the beginning, and later succeeded in ripping us off every minute of the week-long cruise. This was not the kind of service that we appreciate or expect from a somewhat reputable cruise line.