I have been on ten cruises, the last one on Norwegian Dawn, and also Radisson, Silverseas and Princess. This was the worst cruise that I have ever been on.
We were all excited. The reviews were good, and we got two suites, 7268 and 7266. There were a total of six, four adults, a six year old and a ten month old.
Embarkation- A disaster for those not reserving suites. We got “VIP” check in, still poorly managed, and still taking 80 minutes. Others averaged over 2 hours.
Ship- New, but absolutely trite with eagles, red white and blue colors, flags, rooms named after Presidents, etc. The entire ship was rather claustrophobic, broken up, with poor access through many decks. It was clean and well lit.
Crew- Our waiters and stewards were wonderful. In fact our waiter came from an area of Guatemala where we set up only the second endoscopy unit for a country of 30 million people. They could not have been better.
Food- Not at all bad. The dinners were well prepared, the food warm, and the variety great. HOWEVER, there was a line everywhere, an at times we just gave up.
PROBLEMS- Where do I begin?
1) There was smoke everywhere, in our stateroom, the decks, the corridors, our balcony, the restaurants (it came in from the atrium), bars, etc. What happened- my wife developed conjunctivitis, my mother had an exacerbation of her COPD, and my poor ten month old Noah developed acute asthmatic bronchitis requiring inhalers every four hours, and is still not well, two weeks later.
2) I left 8 messages to meet with the Hotel Director of the chief purser. No response until my brother, the lawyer, called the corporate headquarters of Carnival. The head guy, Jose, said that his staff told him all our problems were addressed. Why did we want the meeting? No upgrade. No refund. We wanted to get off this ship from hell. They could have resold our suites.
3) We were kicked out of Scarletts. My 10 month old came with me when we made reservations. I checked twice to tell them that we needed a high chair for our tenth month old. In the middle of our meal, we were asked to leave, and handed the bill to sign. No refund. Callous, callous behavior.
4) BEWARE- There was cross contamination from grill cooks touching uncooked hamburgers, then rolls and lettuce with unwashed hands. I am amazed, as a gastroenterologist, that there was not a salmonella, E-coli or Campylobacter outbreak. When I told Jose about this, he responded that “They must have been busy” This is the head guy on the ship, mind you.
5) Security was lax. I saw many teeny boppers served alcohol, people throwing cups and cigarette butts off the balconies, etc.
6) Not Carnival’s fault, but a significant minority of the passengers were drunk for a preponderance of the cruise
This will not end here. I am filing a suit against Carnival. I hate lawsuits and most lawyers, but the total disregard for our health was unacceptable. We tipped all the waiters, etc way beyond the required. I fear for their health.
At least we got off.
Alain Ades, M.D.