Mahos

Mahos
Third Mate

Joined: 03/23/2014
2
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2
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1
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Mahos's Past Cruises

Carnival Paradise

November 2014 - Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

Worst vacation we've ever had

Bad time of the year. Temperatures were supposed to be in the 70s so we decided to go for it. Boarding was a complete disaster. 3 hours standing in line to get through customs and board. Instead of everyone being on board and sailing at 4, boarding finished at 8. They sat us for dinner, only to force us to leave our food on the tables and go for the safety briefing. By the time that was done, everyone was hungry and tired and wanted to go to bed. Then the ship was held up in the Tampa port until 3am since fog started coming in. Had they managed boarding property, and left on time, this would not have been an issue. The next morning we were told that due to leaving late, they cancelled our visit to the Cayman Islands. Had they told us that the evening before, we would have gotten off the ship and asked for a refund! Of course they knew and did not say anything to avoid losing money!! We headed straight for Cozumel. The weather declined and we could not spend any time at the pool due to the wind and rain. Got to Cozumel early (who cares?) and had to spend an extra evening there. Of course the only thing one could do is walk around the port since it was already dark and not safe to go anywhere else. The next day we had a snorkeling trip prepaid through Carnival. It was cancelled due to winds. We could not even go to the beach on the island, it was too windy and low 70s. Ended up taking a taxi into town and walking around the boring cookie-cutter jewelry and souvenir shops. Other than 2 hours of walking around, we spent the entirety of the trip no the ship. Nothing to do, nothing interesting, complete waste of time and money, definitely a memorable Thanksgiving but all for the wrong reasons. I wish they had been honest and told us they were scrapping the visit to the Cayman Islands, we would've stayed home instead!!

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Carnival Victory

March 2013 - Carnival Victory to Caribbean - Eastern

Great value but the crowd is sub-par

These cruises are always a blast. We have two kids, 9 and 6. This was our second Carnival cruise and it helps to know the ships and tricks ex. where to go eat, what shows to aim for (comedy for kids always a huge hit). Our first cruise was with experienced friends so they helped us figure our way around. The ship gets complicated, you can't just go front to back, you have to zig-zag and go up and down the decks to get to your destination. But after a couple of days you know where to go for everything. Both our kids got sick during this cruise, with minor belly aches and fatique, each only lasted less than a day and was nothing serious. You just have to be very careful with kids not to expose them to too many germs or let them get cold in a wet swimsuit up on the windy decks, especially mini-golfing after being at the pool/waterslide. The pools are not what you expect. There are 3,000 people sharing 3 20ft by 20ft pools. Those pools are UTIs waiting to happen and we generally avoid them. They did not seem to be at all chlorinated and the tile surfaces were dirty with algae. The water slide was fun but crowded, and the kids would freeze up on top while waiting in line. It is expected during springbreak, but the crowd on the ship was majority college kids out of control. Day partying was ok on deck, but there was little respect for the fact that there were families. The poolside dancing and contests were reaching the limits of obsene at times. Carnival makes their money by selling alcohol, and those not interested in that kind of cruise, suffer for it. We opted for the late dining to give ourselves time to enjoy the activities during the day. On our second night, there was a table of 8 young people, all completely drunk on the table next to us, using profanity and being out of control. Everyone around was complaining and instead of kicking them out of the restaurant, the management moved all of us who complained. There was another group of young people drinking heavily where they moved us, and they also used profanity and got loud. The management kept apologizing but did not address it, other than move us to the early dining schedule which was a good idea after all. We were very disappointed that there were things to do only on two nights. The other two we watched their feature movie in the cabin tv, which was from the 80s. The food in the main restaurant was truly excellent, all across. The waiters were outstanding. Very friendly, took care of us very well and knew our names from the get-go. Taking a pre-booked tour in Jamaica was chaotic but you have no option since it is so dangerous a place. Our balcony cabin was small for 4 people, but the balcony offered privacy and it was a great perk to sit outside in the evening and enjoy the sea, or to take pictures from as we got to each port. The lines at the buffet restaurant are always so ridiculously long. You stand in line for over a half hour and if you are a little late, they close them down and send you away. The cabin attendants are always friendly and helpful, and always around to address your needs. The kids love Camp Carnival, the staff there is outstanding and they have plenty of interesting activities. Our kids never wanted to leave. Gives the adults a chance to hit the gym or spend some time without them. The gym was impressive and not too crowded. Some treadmills were broken but nothing different than a typical gym. It would've been nicer if there was a separate pool with the water slide away from where the loud partying took place, like the setup they have on Carnival Ecstacy. The night shows, especially on the last night, was very impressive, very professional and a true entertainment. The kid-friendly early comedians were good, the first was excellent but the second was hard to understand and the kids had no clue what he was saying.

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Mahos's Tips

Tampa, Florida - Horrific. What a bad experience. 3 hours to get onboard, 2,000 people lined up on the street. 3rd world country port!
Carnival Paradise Carnival Paradise - Thought it would have been convenient to sail out of Tampa, but the customs was horrific and completely messed up the trip itinerary. Dishonest of Carnival not to say anything when they knew ahead of time that they would leave late and not give us the cruise we paid for.
Carnival Victory Carnival Victory - Opt for early dinner to avoid the drunken younger crowd. Must get to pooldeck early to get a spot.

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received a helpful vote on their Carnival Paradise cruise review - Worst vacation we've ever had

reviewed their Caribbean - Western cruise on Carnival Paradise and gave it 1 star!

added Nov 24, 2014 cruise on Carnival Paradise to their profile.

shared a quick tip for Carnival Paradise"Thought it would have been convenient to sail out of Tampa, but the customs was horrific and completely messed up the trip itinerary. Dishonest of Carnival not to say anything when they knew ahead of time that they would leave late and not give us the cruise we paid for. "

reviewed their Caribbean - Eastern cruise on Carnival Victory and gave it 3 stars!

shared a quick tip for Carnival Victory"Opt for early dinner to avoid the drunken younger crowd. Must get to pooldeck early to get a spot."

added Mar 9, 2013 cruise on Carnival Victory to their profile.