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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2006, 09:44 PM
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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.
aadesmd@yahoo.com
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-21-2006, 12:28 PM
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Sorry to hear that your cruise was so BAD!!! My husband and I were on the Carnival Valor on March 5 - March 13 and we had an absoutley wonderful time.
We left our hotel at 12:00 and we in our rooms on the ship at 1:30. I thought that was great.
The food was great at Rosie's and in the Lincoln dining room both.
We had a great time. Sorry to hear about your experience!!!
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:35 PM
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I think as a health care provider or in my case one with alot of medical knowledge who takes special needs foster/adoptive placements we are hyper tuned to things like that. I have a degree in nutrition/dietetics but my sister has spina bifida and I spent about 12 years hanging out with her at Duke Hospital.
I also noticed the cross contamination issue and just chose not to eat at the grill. I know ships really dotake seriously that issue and I am surprised it wasn't addressed in a more agreeable fashion.
We have 4 kids with asthma so I totally understand how irritating that could be and I am sorry they did not address that issue, especially for your rooms.
We took kids in the dining room and the staff was wonderful to them. They even did magic tricks, fork tricks and had them dance with them at the front to keep them engaged with what was going on.
So Sorry to hear about your experience!
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03-21-2006, 08:54 PM
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I went on the same cruise and had a the best time ever. I think you would be better suited to go on a cruise more suited for snobbery.
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Old 03-22-2006, 04:35 AM
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In defense of aadesmd....once you have cruised several cruise lines you can start to compare each line more in depth. If you've only been on carnival, you know no different. I have been on 4 cruise line and now consider myself somewhat of a cruise critic... There are things from each line that i like and i also have my favorite now.. I only cruise on one line.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:22 AM
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I think a law suit is really extreme. I was puzzled to begin with why someone who has sailed on Radisson and Silversea would even book a Carnival Cruise. It clearly isn't in your league. I think there is alot of information missing in this story. You were kicked out of Scarlett's half way through dinner? Could it be the baby was fussing and crying disturbing the other passengers and you weren't courteous enough to take the baby out yourself? The lines were to long you gave up? Could it be you just have no patience? There are two sides to the outside buffet, two sides inside, the deli, the oriental, pizzeria, and the grill. With this many options I have not seen unbearable lines in years. The ship was claustrophobic? I have sailed on the sister ship Conquest and never felt that at all. As a matter of fact I think Carnival ships are some of the easiest to get around. You had to wait 80 minutes for check in? Again missing information. Was that from the time you entered the terminal until the time you got on the ship? They could have resold your suite? To Whom? Who would want to change rooms 1/2 way through a vacation and pay more on top of it?
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:58 PM
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We recently returned from cruising on the Valor, and I do not have one negative thing to say about our cruise, or the ship! We have cruised 3 other times before, and I would actually have to say that this was our favorite of the 3 ships. That is too bad however that your room was located within such a smokey area, I guess we were lucky enough to have an excellent cabin location. To be honest with you the only problem that I saw with smoke was in and just outside of the piano bar., nowhere else on the ship did I see smoking!!
We did not however go into Scarletts....with all of the excellent food being served on the ship, we did not feel the need to pay for a meal. I do agree that maybe, just maybe your 10 month old was not properly behaving and disturbing other guests. As mentioned before, there may be some of the story that is missing here.
Keep in mind that you did choose to cruise during "SPRING BREAK", So you had to know that you would run across quite a few college spring breakers. If you wanted to avoid that, you probably should have chosen another cruise lines! We had large groups of college kids that surrounded us every night in the dining room, some nights they were a little louder than other nights, but for the most part they were having a good time, enjoying their cruise....and being 21, or 22!! If you remember, you were that age once too...we chose to enjoy them, and had some fun conversations with them. Finding out that they were on a cruise and earning college credits while cruising....good for them!!
As far as the underage drinking going on, I will again say that I did not notice that either. Sure there were some college kids drinking, but I did not notice anything out of hand. Now, we did cruise Royal Caribbean last year.....and I will definately say that Carnival has a better policy on serving alcohol. RCC serves 18 yrs and older, Carnival's policy is 21 and older.
I have read your review a couple of times, and I find it very hard to believe that we were on the same ship, with 2 totally different opinions of the Valor. Did you find anything that you enjoyed of this ship??
I do suppose that that is why they have these threads, to get different opinions & views of one's experience. But, I honestly think that you chose from the moment that you embarked the ship {after waiting 80 minutes} to have a miserable time, and found something about everything to complain about! But, then again.....that is just my opinion
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:49 PM
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Wow. You sound really angry. I'm surprised. We just got back from the Valor today and I have nothing but positive things to say about it. Maybe I'm just "trite" but I actually liked the flag motif and eagle decorations. I found the service superb and the food downright yummy. There were a few lines in the buffet area but all you had to do was walk to the other side. I never waited for anything except the dumb pictures. (I have to admit they get on my nerves holding up the hole tender/port thing to take tacky pictures. But other people like them, so ...) I never found the need to go to Scarlett's for dinner. We enjoyed the whole dinning room experience so much that we just kept going back. I have to wonder, though, why you would take a 10 month old into a place like Scarlett's??? We cruised with our 4 children and when we discussed going there for a special dinner, it was to be without kids. As for smoke, we didn't have that problem either. We chose to be low because we like the stability and quietness of lower decks. Maybe that's also why we didn't have that problem. We did spend a lot of time in the public areas and never really noticed. I'm sorry you had such an issue with it. I have to ask though, does conjuctivitis really come from smoke? I thought that was an infection in the eye. As for embarkation, I don't have a complaint there either. We went through the entire process and were on the ship in less than 45 minutes. But then, we got there early for that very reason. We got off the ship just as easily by choosing to do "self-assist." We were off and on our way home by 7:20am. We were thrilled not to have to sit and wait for a tag color to be called. What exactly do you mean they could have, "resold your suites?" To whom? In the middle of a cruise? That doesn't make sense.

I have cruised other lines and was pleasantly surprised with Carnival. This was our first time with them,but I would not hesitate to go again. I'm sure it's not up to the level of Radisson, but I'm equally sure it doesn't aspire to be.

I have to agree...it sounds like you went looking for a bad time..and found it.
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:17 PM
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I was just recently on the Valor and had a wonderful time. She sounded like NOTHING could have pleased her. She started off by saying what a horrible decor the ship had and went on from there.

I can say that I was not bothered by the smell of smoke anywhere on the ship. I am not a smoker and hate being around people who do so if it was there I would have noticed.

I'm sure the reason they were asked to leave Scarlett's was because the baby was crying and making everyones meal miserable. I have been at a few restaurants where inconsiderate parents see no problem with their little darling screaming at the top of his/her lungs nonstop. It sure made my meal less enjoyable.

maybe aadesmd should stick to the high end lines and not slum it on Carnival...
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2006, 07:19 PM
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In response to all the people who posted, and having had another six weeks to contemplate things:

1) I would have to agree that this cruise was not a good mix for us, and for that reason we will never go on another Carnival trip.

2) I agree that this cruise may have been excellent for many people. The "snob" comment will go unanswered.

3) No matter who you are, you deserve to have your concerns addressed. This was not done.

4) The smoke was repugnant, and given the fire on another vessel, Carnival should take to heart that it is not a good idea to have drunks fall asleep in bed smoking or tossing lit cigarettes off of balconies.

5) There is no excuse for serving 16 year olds alcohol. I am amazed that people are making excuses for this.

6) There is no excuse for such disrespect for the potential for foodborn contamination. Fair warning for all. What happens in the open happens behind the scenes.

I again appreciate all the responses. I hasten to note that any subjective experience will differ on the basis of expectation. Interms of why we picked this cruise, we wanted a fun time. We wanted respect, and envirorment that was not hazardous. We did not get this.
 
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