Age: 21 to 35
Number of Cruises: 6 to 10
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Jubilee
Sailing Date: November 19th, 1998
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
THIS IS A SHIP IN SERIOUS TROUBLE.
This ship is in serious trouble, due to known mechanical (vibration) problems, which are known to Carnival.
I would STRONGLY advise anyone considering this ship, or the others in the Holiday class, to look very carefully at where their room will be before accepting booking on this ship. Under no circumstances would I accept a room in the back half of the ship.
The problems I am describing ARE NOT typical noises you would hear by being at the rear of a ship. This was our fifth cruise and we've been in the back before... please believe that I know what I'm talking about on this one...
According to the five (5) cruise ship personnel I interviewed, there is a known problem with the Holiday class of ships. This includes the Jubilee, Holiday, and one other (I forget its name). When the engine is running at or below a certain RPM, a very bad vibration is felt along all rooms on the back of the ship.
This vibration can be felt on all decks at the rear of the ship, from approximately the last cabin on the deck, forward at least 10 cabins toward the front. There appears to be some stabilization from there on, perhaps part of the steel infrastructure of the ship. The vibration appears to end near the first set of elevators.
Rooms in the affected area are, in our view, uninhabitable. We were forced to sleep on deck two nights when the ship was travelling slowly (short-haul trips such as Barbados to St. Lucia, where there is no need for speed to arrive in the morning). The vibrations are unbearable when the engine is at lower speeds, such as when the ship is travelling at less than 9 knots (I checked and also talked to mechanical crew). This INCLUDES when the ship is 'idling'... the engine is running but the ship is sitting still, or the ship is maneuvering into port.
Unfortunately, the ship is usually maneuvering into each port around 6 AM or so each day, so our room was not usable during this time. We were normally forced out by 4:30 or 5:00AM, taking towels or blankets and sleeping in chairs on the pool deck.
The Carnival staff we interviewed said the problem had been very bad since the 'relocation cruise' coming back from Alaska in order to begin the cruise season in the Caribbean.
Our complaints to the Purser's Desk went completely unanswered for 3 days, at which time we were told that 'a letter would be forthcoming.' The snotty fake-British politeness only made the problem more aggravating. I mean no insult to the British... I am referring to the attitudes I've observed from British pursers on Carnival ships (that is 100% of the pursers on Carnival ships).
When the letter did arrive, a day later, all it said was 'we have forwarded your complaint to our Miami office.' During all of this, we could not sleep in our room at nights, even with earplugs.
A day after that, the Miami office replied that we had been given $400 credit on our sail and sign account in order to compensate us for our problem. Although there were rooms available on the ship, when we requested a room away from the vibration (offering to PAY FOR AN UPGRADE IF NECESSARY), we were told 'that would have to be cleared by the chief purser'. Of course, this purser never returned our calls or messages, and we were stuck in the vibrating room.
How bad were the vibrations? Well, the roof and wall panels (flexible sections) were flexing in and out visibly. The contents of the medicine cabinet were always thrown against the doors so that opening the doors caused a shower of medicine, razors, deodorant bottles, brushes, etc.
The closet doors hopped up and down and came unlatched constantly. The framing of the closets was loose and we had to jam blankets and clothes in them to stop their banging against the walls at night.
The television could not be heard when at 75% maximum volume, and it was impossible to carry on a conversation in the room without shouting, and I mean shouting loudly.
The final insult to all passengers was Carnival's refusal to compensate all passengers in the same way. Folks across the hall from us received nothing at all. One couple also suffered from the indignity of having all their deck's raw sewage bubble up over the top of the toilet, covering the bathroom floor completely. By their account, it took over 6 hours to get a response for cleaning it up, AND THEN THEY RECEIVED just $100 discount on the cruise even though they also had a room that vibrated as badly as ours.
They did report the interesting effect that the constant vibration caused the raw sewage (a dark brown ooze) to settle uniformly on their bathroom floor, causing the whole room to look like it was a large baking pan for brownies... I think that the more tragic an event, the more humorous people become. I felt very sorry for them.
A great deal of the ship was constantly out of order. This includes hand dryers in the men's rooms, one of the large glass doors leading from the pool to the Funnel grill, several slot machines in the casino, the ice cream machine in the grill (intermittent), fold-down seats in lounges that didn't fold-down, etc. Also, the Funnel grill closed down TWICE during dining hours so that the floors could be scrubbed. When we complained that this was being done during 'posted as open' hours, the staff shook their heads as if they didn't understand English.
PLEASE check into this ship before cruising on it, and DO NOT accept the
story that minor vibrations are 'part of the cruise experience.' This was my fifth cruise, my
fiancée’s seventh, and others who suffered had been on as many as 15 cruises... none of us felt
this was normal.