I returned from my 17th Carnival Cruise on the Fascination about 2 weeks ago. It has taken me this long to begin to describe my experience. The first ever cruise when I was actually glad it was over. I am looking forward to my next cruise to help erase the memory of this one! How bad was it? Well, not enough to totally ruin the cruise, but just so many little things.
Three of us travel together; I (60), my Dad (87) and my son (24) and we canít wait to board. We catch that first sight of funnel and we all cheer! We love to be in our cabin, the casino, the dining room, the shows, the shops, the shore excursions, ALL OF IT Ė the whole cruise experience. However, we had the worst cabin steward we have ever encountered. He did the minimal amount of service in the cabin. We are not messy and donít leave stuff everywhere, just like clean towels, ice, fresh glasses and a Fun Times. After the first day, we didnít get clean glasses or ice except when I ordered them from room service. I left messages for him to call me or bring ice or glasses, but never a response. Never did see him again after the first day either. On the last night I saw his assistant, I did ask if we were supposed to call them every day if we wanted ice and clean glasses. He said ďNo, would you like me to get you ice and clean glasses?Ē Well, it was 11 pm on the last evening, kinda late donít you think?
Our Head Waiter was so insulting to me, the other guests at the table were shocked that he would speak to me the way he did. I ordered fried shrimp and he brought shrimp cocktail. I donít like shrimp cocktail, I donít and didnít order shrimp cocktail, and he brought me shrimp cocktail. I said very simply ďI ordered the FRIED shrimp,Ē to which he replied ďTHATíS WHAT YOU ORDEREDĒ real mean and so I kept them and sold them to my son who DOES like shrimp cocktail! And so it went the entire meal, him being VERY unfriendly (on the first night!) Ė guess he was having a very bad day or someone said something snotty to him that set him off, or he didnít like the looks of me, or thought maybe I was gonna be one of those pushy Platinum cardholders (you know the ones) who might expect Ďspecialí treatment. I really didnít think my chances of getting better service after that would improve by either confronting him or his boss. I guess it was just a bigger issue with me than it was with him. Why in the world would he not have taken it and replaced it with the shrimp I did order is beyond me.
Never went back to the dining room after that but really did fine at the buffet each night. Too bad they donít have a steakhouse on the Fascination or we probably would have eaten there at least a couple of nights. Just not quite the cruise experience we look forward to. Love to get dressed up each night and go out to dinner.
Had the worst ever neighbors (certainly NOT Carnivalís fault), but true to the nature of this cruise, just one more little irritating thing that made it hard to sleep. They slammed balcony doors, screamed and fought at and with each other, drank till 4 in the morning (I AM NOT EXAGGERATING) and were awful. One of the nights, I went out to the balcony and asked them if they could be a little quieter and one of them apologized and said they would. Another told me to do something to myself that I cannot physically do and told me to shut up. I apologized to them and said I was sorry I asked them to be quieter. Didnít cuss them out, didnít shout at them, wasnít rude. Believe me, I do not complain unless I have just had enough of a bad situation. I spent the next couple of hours planning my revenge, but never got it. Nope. They couldnít help it. They were on vacation and they had paid for a cabin same as me and they were gonna do what suited them. So there.
I visited Guest Services and expressed my disappointment with the Head Waiter and was told I should be speaking to the maÓtre d. Right. On the first night, confront him with a shrimp issue. We just chose to not go back. One other couple at our table didnít go back either, thought the Head Waiter was rude to me and didnít like the atmosphere after that. She didnít really have much to say about the steward issue. Said sheíd look into it. How far? Not really that important on the grand scale of things.
I have had 16 of the best cruises ever and I guess I was due one with some glitches. I guess itís because the others were so great that it made this one seem so disappointing. Donít get me wrong, we loved everything else about the cruise but the cabin and dining room play a bigger part in the cruise experience than one of the shows you didnít like or a shore excursion that was poorly organized, or any number of minor issues.
We were in Cabin U111 and the refurbishment is great. We sailed on the Fascination January 2009 and had a great time. We are all three Platinum cruisers so we have a vested interest in Carnival. We are definitely brand-loyal and will probably not cruise another line. Our day in Half Moon Cay was wonderful. Probably the best beach experience Iíve ever had. We spent my birthday there. Itís one Iíll never forget. Nassau was, well, Nassau. If youíve cruised the Caribbean on a Carnival ship, youíve been to Nassau. My Dad and son did find a great seafood restaurant and had a great meal and gambled a bit at the Atlantis. I had a good time on the ship people-watching, drinking, and reading!
You know, after thinking it all out, I do realize that some people have real problems on cruises like sickness and being confined in your cabin, serious mechanical or plumbing problems in you cabin, etc., but I guess when weíve been used to the best, anything less is disappointing. As I said before, I am looking forward to the next cruise more than ever now!