For all who have had similar experiences to "one trip only," that points out the value of doing your homework and/or booking through a travel agent who is familiar with cruising and willing to spend the time with you to get you acquainted with what to expect. I have a business acquaintance whose first cruise was chosen by his wife, who booked it online, and I believe his expectations were too high - they even chose a cruise line well known for excellent food, and he didn't like the food!!
It's all in whether your expectations were met. Mine have been, and in fact surpassed in many respects, on the cruises I have taken. But I did have some pre-trip "orientation" which helped me a lot.
I also agree with Sarge.....you're going on vacation to have a good time. When you go on vacation you can expect to tip and also should plan for it I don't think you should be threatened with having your baggage misplaced but if it happened to me I would on the spot complain to a supervisor, a cop, a manager, cruise rep...someone I would not allow myself to be intimidated into parting with my money. Cruise lines like airlines etc service thousands of people everyday and I'm sure they don't TRY to insult their guset but things happen....so like Sarge said if ALL you have to complain about is tips and photos...then you had a good cruise.
Overall yes it was a nice cruise...but it was due to other friendly people on vacation.
Based on the companies actions Carnival believes slowing down disembarkment and making many people frustrated and some angry is justified since selling photos creates more money. They could have easily set up photo ops on the pier instead of the gangway but there wouldn't be much money in that right? In my opinion it's simple tacky commercialism. Ship photographers were out every day and night doing their deed. But apparently that isn't enough. What is the threshold here? When is too much commercialism too much? Is this a big deal? Of course not, but cruise lines are becoming increasingly competitive and it's often the small things that matter.
I know there is a lot less commercialism on the Diamond Princess. The ship is newer nicer and the food and service is a step up from Carnival Victory....but the vacationers were a bit more dull and not as much entertainment as Carnival.
As for the tips, the bus driver who drove like a maniac didnt deserve one but made sure he got a dollar from eveyone. And the porter telling us to take care of him so he will make sure out bags get on the ship..........yeah sure.
Dave, yeah I understand it is the port of Miami and not just a Carnival problem.
Just wanted to reiterate that we went on the Pride becuase my husband was in a wedding. We are optimists, well-travelled, were looking forward to the trip, but were disappointed in the McDonald's-like atmosphere in so many ways. I agree, doing your homework before a trip is wise ... since this was a trip to take part in a friend's wedding, the cruise was the wedding couple's choice but were hoping we'd have a great time.
Alo, just wanted to reiterate that we weren't disappointed with everything ... were very impressed with the cleanliness of the ship and some other things.
Oh my !!! I just returned from my cruise on the Conquest. My transportation was booked through Carnival also. I waited 3 hours for my bus, along with about 150 people. Some people missed their flights. Other than that it was GREAT.
As some others have said... Expectation is everything! If someone gets aboard a Carnival Cruise with an expectation of refinement and elegance, they will likely be disappointed. If, on the other hand, they come aboard expecting good service, good "banquet quality" food and the OPPORTUNITY to have a good time, they're likely to be more than satisfied! This would apply to any of the mid-market cruise lines... not just Carnival. If a more refined cruise experience is your goal... Symphony, Crystal and Raddison cruises are willing to pamper and pander to your every whim.