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Marylovestocruise 08-14-2010 06:20 AM

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!


LHP 08-14-2010 12:40 PM


I do think that a well worded letter to Corporate is appropriate.

It does make it a little more difficult if there was not a complaint on file from the ship, because their first thought is going to be "why didn't they say anything?"

However, I can understand that each incident alone may not have been enough to complain about...but you put them all together and it adds up.

Sadly, "bus riders" are usually the biggest disappointment with Carnival. And you never know when you are going to have them as your neighbors.

In all our cruises, I too have had one that was just off (on the Holiday years ago)....

Dave probably remembers we writing about you are not alone. It happens.

If you want to write a letter to Gerry Cahill, I would start off with all the good parts of the cruise and then say "however, the reason for my letter is ..." and then give him the bullet points.

The address is:

Carnival Cruise Lines
3655 NW 87 Avenue
Miami, Fl 33178-2428

Hope your next one is back to the "good ole days" !!!

Dave 08-14-2010 01:07 PM

Ironically, we had cabin U111 on the Elation last month and the people in the cabin next to us (U115) were more "noticeable" than we normally experience. Lots of smoking which also seemed to get into our suite through leaks in the ventilation. Late night noise a few times. Kids screaming and fighting with each other. Fortunately the noise was always short-lived.

The prize still went to the people on our other side (U107), who were drunk all the time and verbally discussed tipping the room service steward with a piece of fruit as we passed by their open door one evening. The poor steward was standing there hearing this discussion. I felt like tipping him myself just to end it.

"Bus riders". I like that, Linda. I also like "starfish" for those who complain about everything (and I am not talking about you, Mary!).

Marylovestocruise 08-14-2010 03:50 PM

Understood, Dave! I love Carnival. I brag about Carnival to EVERYONE. This will not deter me from cruising. The memory of it will fade (like just about everything else these days).

I hope to NEVER be the kind of neighbor on a ship that has people talking about (unless it's good) and I did love the 'bus riders' description!

I did write a letter to Gary Cahill and even though he probably won't read it, someone will. And my point is that the three of us have 44 cruises with Carnival under our belts and if this had been my first, we would have had 3. Even though I know better and that all cruises shouldn't be judged by one, we have done exactly that. We judge them all by the 43 prior cruises and expected it to be perfect. But alas...we will cruise on!


tim c 08-14-2010 07:50 PM

1st.. I hope you udjusted your tips to the waiter to $0.00 I have before.matter of fact that was on my last cruise.
2nd We had problems like the neighbors on the last Carnival Holiday.. We called security and they handled it.. Write carnival a letter

Dwayne 08-14-2010 08:19 PM

Mary, I am so sorry to hear of your experience. I am glad you wrote them. They need to hear about these issues in order to make improvements. I've had a few off cruises too. Most notably the Celebration. The most indifferent crew ever. I almost wrote a letter, but since I walked off the ship with $2000 in winnings I soon forgot about it.

We are all different in nature I understand. I for one am not going to be treated rudely on a Carnival ship without consequence. I simply like you, have spent too much with them and sent them way too much business over many years for that. I would have asked for another waiter.

Come to think of it, I had to straighten a couple of the crew out last year on the Fascination. I was beginning to think it was a training cruise because half of them acted like they were new. One young lady at the casino cage told me they don't cash traveler's checks. I explained to her that it was Carnival's policy to cash traveler's checks at the cage. So she changed her tune to "we don't like to". My eyes are rolling now. So I go down to the GSD to cash my check.

I later told the casino manager about this, and he confirmed that there were a bunch of trainees on the ship and that particular cashier was new. He bought me a drink and apologized.

I'll probably regret saying this, but it is an observation of mine that JAX port attracts a certain demographic of cruisers. Of course not you or me Mary. At the same time it seems the ships they put there also have a "different" crew attitude. Just my personal observation and opinion.

I guess we all have an off cruise sometimes. I really hate when it happens to others as well as myself. I for one shall cruise on though with Carnival.

PC GUY 08-14-2010 08:20 PM


1st.. I hope you udjusted your tips to the waiter to $0.00
Someone once told me if you leave a $0.00 tip, it may not have the desired effect because a lot of cheapskates leave no tip. If you leave a $0.01 tip then they know that you have been offended

Marylovestocruise 08-15-2010 04:42 AM

Well, the deal is that we all know that the offending crew member or two are not the only ones affected by removing the tips.

I did remove the tips from our account and in spite of how angry and disappointed I was, felt very guilty about affecting the money earned by everyone else involved in feeding and cleaning for us. However, I did personally tip the bar staff, two of the barristers in the coffee shop, and the sandwich makers. They all served us well, and although I excluded many of them by removing my tips, I just had to make some kind of statement that would hurt where it mattered.

I know this is a real bone of contention with frequent cruisers and removing tips is one of the great sins, but I was just so frustrated to be treated like I was, I guess I just reacted the same way they did -- poorly.

Anyway, I'm going to book another cruise for December and this time out of Tampa. Hopefully this will never happen again or at least not on the next cruise. That would make me really sad.

Dwayne 08-15-2010 05:23 AM

Well said as always. I surely hope they apologize to you for this. It is unacceptable behavior. I hope you filled out the comment card and named names. If it was me I prolly would have gotten two and left one on the ship and mailed another to Miami.

macmom111 08-15-2010 05:57 AM

I think I must be one of the quiet people that love JAX. Enough said about that.
It seems like society is going the way of doing just what it takes to get by or not doing it at all and expecting to get paid and rewarded for it. Look at the very rude flight attendant. People are making him a hero.
I am sorry for your bad experience and appreciate the fact that you know it is not usual for carnival to treat their guest that way. I would have done just as you did and adjust the tips where it should have been.

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