Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Victory
Sailing Date: June 13th, 2006
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Victory Cruise Review
I came off of the 6/13/2006 sailing of the
CCL Victory this morning, and was extremely dissatisfied with the service, and
quite happy to be back onshore. Several instances occurred which made me feel as
though I should have saved my money and stayed home instead of taking a much
needed vacation. I now need a vacation after this one. The crew was rude,
impatient and offensive. The cruise director was crass and lewd in his jokes,
which were somewhat racist. The food was mediocre at best, and I lost weight on
this cruise due to the quality of food as well as the lack of ship maps to find
where anything was. Half of the games in the game room were broken. I witness
several guests experiencing the same treatment I had experienced which proved to
me that it was not my attitude that provoked the crew. The ship itself always
had a musty smell as if the toilets were always clogged, and the
pools/bars/grills never seemed as though they were open. When they were, we were
immediately forced into a defensive attitude by the looks on the crew member's
faces. I have never had so many people show looks of annoyance when I enter a
restaurant or bar, yet the Victory staff had a permanent expression of annoyance
as if it were part of their uniform. I have a few instances that are in the
forefront of my mind I'd like to share, in the hopes of someone looking at what
I say (as an experienced cruiser, guest onboard, and a person who has a job in
customer service) and maybe giving a once-over to the service being presented
onboard the CCL Victory.
I ordered a coffee from the specialty coffee lounge, for which I had to pay, and was asked if I wanted milk or cream. I answered milk, and was given nothing. I thought maybe it was self service, so I asked where it was, and the response I got was, "Well I asked if you wanted milk..." Instead of just giving me milk, she had to argue with me about it? So I answered that I did need it. I asked my husband if he heard me ask for it, thinking maybe I never asked, but he said I did. Oh well, I let it go.
That night, I asked for a second chair for our balcony, and was told by the person who answered the phone (11pm at night, apparently room service takes all the calls?) to call back in the AM. For some reason, someone thinks it is a good idea to have two different types of chairs on the balcony, and my husband and I could not sit together. I called the room steward to ask for a second chair, and I was told that all the rooms have a small chair and a large chair, that was the setup. I said I understood, but could we have another chair so we could sit together, and she proceeded to tell me how the only rooms that have extra chairs were the wrap around balconies b/c they were bigger. Not understanding why I was getting an argument on a yes or no question, I said is it possible for us to have the chair or not, and she said she'd see what she do. If I could have predicted this was going to be an issue, I'd have brought the chair from the Lido Deck myself. I ended up getting the extra chair - on the third night, when it was raining too hard to even sit outside. Looks like the joke was on us.
The night departing Halifax was very rough, the weather was bad and many people were nauseous. One passenger asked a bartender in the Aegean bar for a towel with ice for her neck. She was older, and the ice would have helped her, but the bartender said she had nothing. The passenger asked for a paper towel, and again was told no. She then asked for cocktail napkins, and some ice, and the bartender told her they were too small. At this point, we watched the woman practically beg for some ice for her neck, and the bartender finally went and gave her a few pieces of ice.
On June 16th, we went to lunch in the Pacific dining room, because the buffet was horrible quality and we were sick of pizza. We asked for a table for two, and the waiter rolled his eyes and sucked his teeth! Then he sat us, and gave us menus. We didn't have a chance to look at them because of being asked for bread, water, ice tea, and another waiter told me how to sit at the table, apparently I was sitting too far from the edge. I hardly understood them all because they spoke too softly. When I asked the waiter to give us a minute to look at the menu before we ordered, he replied, "You have to hurry. It is busy here, and if I leave it is going to take me a long time to come back." I said fine, I ordered something in haste, as did my husband, and we didn't even eat it because it was not very good. We left to get pizza. Apparently, the waiters had other things to do during lunch that prevented them from service guests? I don't know what the problem was, but the table next to us left after the same thing happened to them. Maybe a 2 hour window wasn't enough for lunch? Maybe the wait staff wanted a break?
None of my requests were unreasonable, but from the crew member's reactions, they were.
During the debarkation talk, the cruise director Dana was apparently trying to joke around, and I did not find it funny nor appropriate to use a time for important information for his offensive humor. He joked about the wait staff's language by mocking how they sing Happy Birthday, and then claimed he had permission to make that joke on their behalf. I am sorry, I had a problem understanding our waiters, but I never made fun of them, nor did I think it was appropriate to use them as part of your shtick with people who were complete strangers waiting for important info on debarkation.
There were signs in our bathroom advising how to conserve water by reusing towels, yet we always had extra towels even though we hung the ones we used to dry. At one point, on the third day I noticed we had 9 towels in our room.
No one was enforcing the formal dress code, and I was shocked to see people sitting next to us (while we were wearing our formal evening wear) wearing khaki shorts and jeans. If I knew it was optional in the dining room, I would have dressed down.
No one was enforcing the "adult only" rule in the one open jacuzzi onboard the ship.
I will not sail with CCL in the future. I did not take a free cruise, this was my 5th cruise, my 1st on Carnival. I feel like I paid basically for use of my room, without use of the balcony because of the chair situation. We barely ate, we had the dinner only twice in the restaurant, and once from room service. The one time we tried to have a nice sit-down lunch, we were reprimanded for trying to sit down. I think the crew needs a lesson in customer satisfaction. The cruise director Dana had an anecdote about a past passenger who was difficult (again, how inappropriate to talk about guests and how they inconvenience the staff) and in his words "you never say no". Well, I was not difficult at all, I never complained and none of my requests were out of the ordinary, yet I was made to feel like I wasted my money. I will never recommend this cruise line to anyone looking to feel like they are on vacation.
Not for people who are used to Royal Caribbean's quality of activities and entertainment, Norwegian's food, and Princess's or Celebrity's excellent service. This was just if you have a few bucks, never been on vacation, and want to go away anywhere.