Carnival Cruise Line, the “NOT so fun” ships

I had been excited about taking my 5th cruise, (second one on Carnival), this one out of the Port of Miami and heading to the western Caribbean, finally when the day came, me and my mom and I are headed to the port , as soon as we are dropped off, we walk towards check-in when we were approached  by one port employees and asked us if we were dropping bags, once we did, we proceeded to walk to check in and the employee stopped and asked me “to show appreciation for the port crew” in a way that was not only intimidating, but threatening , as though “I’d better” give him a tip or something could happen to my luggage!!!!! Not the way I wanted to start this adventure, what this port of Miami employee did was not only disrespectful but should be illegal and not allowed; this left a bad taste and set a very low tone to was yet to come.

Our first day came with an announcement from the Capitan saying that a guest had fell ill and that he had to change course so the coast guard could come and air life and take him to land to seek medical attention, due to this, our arrival time in the first port would be delayed, ok, no problem, things happen and I must admit that I felt very  proud when the US Coast Guard came to the rescue of the ill passenger, which was not easy, as by this time the winds had pick up , which make the term “rock the boat” not only a literal term, but made for a very miserable day at sea. After the rescue, the Capitan proceeded to make the announcement that due to the change of course for the ill passenger and the fact that the high winds made the capital slow the ship down for safety, he made the decision to reverse our itinerary so we would not have to cancel any port days. The rescue efforts of the US Coast Guard were undeniably top notch, and made me feel proud to be an American. Watching this rescue take place was one of the highlights of this cruise.

Food and service:  we picked our time dinning , which means you Don’t have a set time  for dinning like your typical  1st or 2nd seating, instead you go at any time during a period of time, between 5:45 Pm and 9:30 PM for example, most days we went to dinner earlier and the dining room was not very busy, non the less, out service was consistently slow and the food was low quality and did not taste very good, we had to send food back several times because of temperature, or flavor.

We also attended Bingo one evening just to find a rude host who made not only made mistakes calling out number; she was condescending to the people that called her out.

This is just a small example of the unprofessional people working on this ship; we encountered time and time again employees that where not only unhappy, they were all too willing to spill the beans on working for Carnival. One employee from Mexico was complaining to us, (in front of other passengers) how Carnival paid her only $500 a month and she had to pay for her own trip to Cancun for an interview and pay for her own pre-employment medical exams. This conversation was disturbing and left my mother and I uncomfortable and not feeling very good about Carnival as a company.

Other examples of unprofessionalism and employees not having a clue of what to do (which is clearly a reflection of poor training and employees not feeling empowered or motivated to do the right thing) was when due to weather delays, we were arriving to ports late many times, this created havoc when excursions were cancelled and passengers had to go to the customer service desk to change tickets and there were only 3 people helping literally hundreds of passengers!. Why didn’t employees open the excursion desk to also help out? To add insult to injury, arriving late to ports created bottle necks with passengers trying to get off the ship to make there excursion pick up times , and Carnival did very little to make this process smooth .

One of the fun things to do on the ships when at sea is to go shopping at the stores, there is usually a large variety of merchandise to choose from, on this ship the merchandise was scarce, not displayed properly and the little merchandise available was low quality. One visit to the shops and you did not want to come back for more.

The last straw and bad experience on board this “fun Ship” was with Park West Gallery on board: I had the misfortune of attending one of the Carnival Glory’s on board auctions. On the first day at sea there was a champagne auction to which my mom and I attended allured mostly for the raffle and the free champagne, while we were there we looking at the art exhibited and were admiring a couple of Brito works as well as some other colorful flower art pieces, right then .

We were approached by park west employees and asked if we were interested, my mom and I kindly responded we were only looking because we knew we could not afford to buy Brito art at the moment. Instead of leaving us alone and understanding that NO means NO, this employee continued to hassle us asking how much money we could afford and how much do you think it costs, etc., etc., he continued to hassle us and telling us that if we applied for the Park West credit card we could get a bottle of champagne and an art piece for free, so we accepted and applied.  As the auction is taking place, my mom and I continue to be approached by a Park West employee going on and on , on why we should own art and trying to convince us to buy art we can’t afford to buy , finally my mom and I give in and  agreed to buy 3 pieces , for a total of $3190. On the last day on sea, park west held one more champagne and art unveiling event,  at this event my mom and I were admiring a floral piece , which the park west team were quick to pick up on and insist we purchase it, after we said no repeatedly , we said yes, but did not sign any paperwork , the next day, the team started calling our cabin to have us go down and sign for the new purchase, we went down to say we were not going to purchase a new piece and were received with some major attitude and feelings of guilt,  saying we had “agreed” to buy something and that we should reconsider our decision.  As a customer, I have the right to change my mind and that was exactly what we did, due to this , I decided I wanted to cancel my initial purchase ( I called and cancelled on 2/18/16 ), I will not tolerate being bullied into buying anything, let alone a high ticket item. I am very disappointed in this experience, I have been in several cruises where I have attended Park West events and was never hassled like in the cruise.  What a shame….

Needles to say, me and my family will not be cruising on Carnival again.

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