Review by rickman76

try different ship or port

In response to review, ItaVero says ...

Cruise lines like to wash their corporate hands of embarkation/disembarkation snafus - which is stupid and dishonest - if they aren't responsible, who is? Is it hot? The cruise line could provide beverages. Is it slow? The cruise line could provide more stations. Is it confusing? The cruise line could provide personnel to work the lines (with a smile) and explain the glitch. Lots of negative reviews on Carnival lately...

Tags: Carnival Cruise Lines Caribbean - Western Carnival Dream

14 Answers

Why should the cruise line take over the port operation when each cruise terminal staffs itself and the cruise line "volunteers" that often help out are a minor factor in the process? Seriously, do you expect the airport to to provide a beverage if you are hot ,,, Do you fault the airline if there's issues at the airport? Sorry but I have to disagree with you on this one ....

No problem. Disagree away. I don't know who runs the embarkation process where you embark - but the cruise lines are all over it wherever I come and go from. Oh, there is port security, and maybe a customs person or two (or maybe not) - but everything else is the cruise lines - those goofy roped off lanes? Cruise line. The people behind the counters? Cruise line. And comparing airports to the waterfront warehouses is false equivalence. And - the airport could care less about your airline experience. The cruise line? They have a vested interest (or should have) in your level of satisfaction.

We noticed when we boarded the Dream in January that, a customs agent was monitoring the boarding process and would stop it when he felt the gangway got too crowded. I hadn't seen this before. We sailed hours late because the dock workers hadn't finished loading the ship, nothing Carnival could do about that.

Cruising isn't for everyone, I am sad the OP didn't find the trip he was looking for.

One thing I learned on my last cruise with Carnival is that if you sign up for the Faster to the Fun, one of the perks is bypassing the long line ups at the customer service desk as they have the VIP/FTTF line which is near empty every time. You also board the ship sooner and is totally worth the $50. It wont help with the rude waiters and such but there is some comfort in the little things!

I may be wrong, but I have always thought it's Customs that has the final say when to board and when to disembark and not the cruise line.‚

Also, those passengers that are trying to sneak contraband on board will also add to the time it will take to board.

Is it me or has anyone else noticed that these unhappy OPW when they post their negative reviews they tend to almost always go after the wait staff? Why is that? I've never had a bad wait staff or rude. I don't get it.

All cruise ships have to make what is called an Entrance and pay CBP Fees and USDA fees. Customs then looks over the ship if needed and also makes sure any crew still has a valid D1 visa of 29 days. They get restamped again for 29 more days since they did go foreign and now have returned. Once the ship is cleared the CBP officer then grants the clearance form 3461 to the master and says the ship is now cleared. That process can take perhaps an hour. That's why no one disembarks before 8am if the ship docked at 7am.

Actually, 99% of the workers in the ports (including the people checking you in) are contracted by the port. Although they may wear the ship's nametag, they are not employees of the ship (or line). The 1% would be possible security officers from the ship, and a couple of stewards to assist those that need help boarding.

When I enter the enormous warehouses that serve as most embarkation points (empty for the most part, until they "come alive" for cruise ship activity) - there are only a hand full of people not immediately identifiable as ship staff or at least ship-contracted "facilitators." Those mile long tables with the alphabet (or numerical) signage are staffed by platoons of ship staff, running ship laptops with ship software. The staff replenishing water bottles (when they provide them) are ship staff. The security at the bottom of the gang way is ship's crew. The photographers? Ship staff.

On my last two cruises (Princess) the wait staff at our assigned seating MDR were cooly civil - not particularly rude or "bad" - but cool (the water boy disappeared mid-way through dinner, at which time our waiter's service slowed down when he was forced to play cocktail waiter/wine steward, plate remover and server solo. If our MDR staff were cooly civil, the staff in the Horizon Court buffets were cooly distant once they found out you weren't interested in non-chargeable beverages. Again - not actually rude, but somewhere on the margins. The wait staff in the Specialty Restaurants were EXCELLENT.


Is it me or has anyone else noticed that these unhappy OPW when they post their negative reviews they tend to almost always go after the wait staff? Why is that? I've never had a bad wait staff or rude. I don't get it.



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