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Old 12-23-2008, 12:01 PM
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Very interesting trip, I must say. I was notified by email AND a phone call from Carnival on Dec 12th about the Dec 15th sailing. I booked through my PVP at Carnival as I always do, I am confident that she has always taken very good care of me.

I booked the cruise (like nearly everyone else on board) because of the itinerary. My 2 sons had never been to the Panama Canal or Costa Rica and when we heard about the change, we decided to make the best of it. Too late to do anything anyway.

So with a positive attitude and family in tow, we set off. We were given an immediate $100 on board credit, and the people that didn't receive notification were fuming and yelling and really determined to make everyone feel like they did. All in all, out of 2,000 passengers, not more than 20 were very vocal that we heard. The rest of us grabbed a drink and concurred that ANY itinerary was better than a cancelled cruise.

Now for the interesting part. We were told the propulsion system was not working properly and the speed was kept between 14 and 15 knots. UNTIL THE LAST DAY. There was a medical emergency and we spent the next 12 hours cruising at 23 knots and arrived about 8 hours early back in Ft. Lauderdale. We checked aft and both engines were working. Didn't seem to be any propulsion problems then.

There were rumors (of course) on board that Royal Caribbean and Princess notified passengers that they weren't going to the Canal because Russian subs were being driven through the Canal and everyone wanted to stay clear. Other rumors were that it was cheaper to dock in Roatan (no wonder, what a horrible port) and since we can't DISPROVE that there were engine problems, wasn't much we could do.

Anyway, all in all, we were disappointed, but had a wonderful time. The weather was great, we had a terrific cabin steward and very friendly, efficient wait staff and my sons made some wonderful friendships on board and had a great time. We all won in the Casino, had 4 lazy fun days at sea, and tried our best to drain the ship dry of rum!

I did notice that the Captain was more visible this trip than any of my others, with his entourage in tow, and very willing to talk with everyone. Probably a PR move on his part. Still, a nice gesture.

I still can't help wondering though, if the propulsion problems were so serious that we couldn't take the planned trip, why is Carnival waiting until February to fix the problem. Are ALL the cruises going to be affected?

We are cruising again in January and March and will look forward to time with our family no matter what. We really do enjoy the entire cruise experience, it's just that other cruises do affect your trip when they are disappointed and mad and complain and then it seems to snowball. Everything starts to go wrong. So here we are in the middle of it all laughing, gambling, reading, going to shows, swimming, sunning, rumming...can't wait till January...

Mary
P.S. Hi Jenna & Ryan & Mom & Dad
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:10 PM
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Thanks for the report. I am just speculating, based on my experience with propulsion systems, but I think the affected azipod is probably for emergency use only meaning it will run but there is a higher probability of it completely failing if they use it all the time. In other words they took a calculated risk in answering a higher speed bell (23 knots) and may have allowed further motor degradation in the azipod to happen because of the medical emergency.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:24 PM
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You know, my Dad who travels with us, is 85 and I would hope that he would be given the same quick response if he was having a health problem. The first thing we did in Ft. Lauderdale at 11pm last evening, was get the ill passenger off the ship.

I agree about the speed issues. But boy, oh, boy, when she kicks it into gear, what a ride! Looked like we could have water skiied back there!

Mary
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:11 PM
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Welcome back Mary!!!!!

Thanks for the report. I'm so glad you made the best of it. I have thought about you and this cruise often the past week. And what the heck is really going on with the propulsion.

Dave knows his stuff, and his answer seems logical to me. I'm sure they put a PR spin on whatever they do.

Glad you had good luck in the casino. Did your Dad get his platinum card?

Speaking of kicking the azipods up a notch, I know what you mean. We high-tailed it out of Nassau once. It gave Jimmy Buffett's "Follow in my wake" a new meaning!

As you've probably read by now, they have re-routed all the Panama cruises until after the drydock.

Dwayne
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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Hi Mary,

So glad to hear you made the best of your cruise despite all the last minute changes. I'm going on the 12/31 sailing and looking forward to it!

Unfortunately, the most Carnival is willing to offer me for the change in itinerary is a $50 on-board credit (per-cabin). Given this is my 8th cruise in 8 years with Carnival, I consider this to be inadequate. At least give $50 per passenger and give it in the form of a refund not an on-board credit.

Adding insult to injury, I recieved a recorded message on my voicemail from Carnival telling me that the itinerary was being changed. I was taken back! How could a cruise line that's treated me so well for so many years make so many mistakes? I've never been treated like this by Carnival in the past. Guess I've been lucky!

I book my cruises based on number of sea days so I was dissapointed to learn that we will only have three on this sailinig instead of four. Plus, $50 isn't going to cover the extra costs to get off the ship on the 4th port day...guess I'll have to suck it up and sit on the beach for the day . Nothing seems so terrible after shoveling close to 2 feet of snow on Sunday.

Does the ship have a bad vibration?

Either way, I'm excited about this cruise as it will be over New Years. Hopefully, the propolsion system will fail completely and we will be stuck at sea for a couple extra days . Then I can spend my $50 on board credit on a couple of drinks
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:50 PM
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Something I failed to mention (my bad) is they had free drinks an extra evening for the entire ship in ALL the bars for a little over an hour. They weren't just free, they were given to you two at a time and as often as you could hold 'em. ANY drink you wanted. A great deal for the drinkers on board, we didn't have to buy any drinks that evening. Not so great for the non-drinkers, however.

They send a note to the cabins apologizing for the inconvenience and said they would be offering the drinks that evening. I suppose having free drinks doesn't make up for the changes, but it was a nice gesture and saved the 4 of us as I figured it around $100 or so.


Also, I was told that we were being given a $50 on-board credit, but when we checked our account, we were given $100. Nice gesture too.

Dad gets his platinum card next month and is really looking forward to it. He won over $2,000 this trip playing roulette and 3-card and said he'd never had such good luck on a ship. I played the slots and ended up $300. I wonder if they loosened the machines a little too. Can they do that? Would they?

Again, I think Carnival tried their best to appease the most people under the circumstances. The staff was probably a little apprehensive knowing that people would be upset and would take it out on them. In fact, the matre d mentioned that very fact, that it wasn't their fault and we should still tip them according to their performance, not punish them for something not under their control.

I'll stop rambling now, just wanted to mention again that even though people still make negative comments about Carnival (and did bad mouth them on this cruise), I still enjoy the Carnival experience and so does my family.

They are plenty good enough for me!

Everyone, enjoy your upcoming cruises.

Mary (still loves to cruise!)
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Old 12-24-2008, 05:17 AM
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Mary, you have the right attitude. Many people don't in these situations. Many people take it personally, as if the cruise line did this just to them! I think what amazes me most, is people that think they are "entitled" to something. The cruise line is under no obligation to reimburse passengers. But in most cases they do for the sake of Good Will. It's not based on the type of cabin your in, or number of cruises you've sailed; but a fair system to ALL passengers. I've been on 30 Carnival cruises. Should I get more than someone else? I think not.

It's also amazing when someone can sail numerous times with a cruise line, have perfect cruises, and then turn on them so easily at the first thing that happens. Things are going to happen. Think how in our own daily lives one small thing can throw your whole day off. Then think how it must be for a cruise line to coordinate all the logistics, mechanical issues, etc.

You have the right attitude Mary. I wish you many more happy cruises.
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Old 12-24-2008, 06:07 AM
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Mary, I have to say, I LOVED your message. We all know things happen. Sometimes cruise lines are capable of handling things better than others. It sounds like the real joy of the cruise was being with your Dad and other family (kids?), not having to work, cook or clean for a week, etc. Cruise lines never guarantee they'll visit any port, since "things" happen all the time that are beyond their control.

Speaking as someone whose father is 86, I really appreciate every opportunity we have to spend with him. Cruise Fanatic is right: you have the right attitude!

Thank you for posting such an upbeat message.

Sandy
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Old 12-24-2008, 06:08 AM
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You know the only thing I complained about? How many stupid thermos bottles does one person need?
They stopped giving the canvas bags on my 10th, since then, only the thermos' (what the heck is plural of thermos?).

Hey Carnival -- how about something new for 2009!!!!!!
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Old 12-24-2008, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
You know the only thing I complained about? How many stupid thermos bottles does one person need?
They stopped giving the canvas bags on my 10th, since then, only the thermos' (what the heck is plural of thermos?).

Hey Carnival -- how about something new for 2009!!!!!!
Mary, I know what you mean about the gifts. All I had been getting were the bags. This last cruise was the first time I got the thermos. They do need to switch it up a bit.

I also want to echo Cruise Fanatic's and Sandy's comments about you having a great attitude. It is always a pleasure chatting with you. I'm glad you got the extra OBC and the drinks. I also hope they get this problem fixed once and for all.

Dwayne
 
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