Review by Mahos

Worst vacation we've ever had

In response to review, CrusinTim says ...

Not to put salt on your wound about this cruise but I would like to point out a couple of things. Carnival has ABSOLUTELY no control over U.S. Customs. So, if they were the reason the Paradise was delayed in boarding, it's on Customs, not Carnival. The ship would not be permitted to leave port until Customs clears them to do so. Them forcing you to leave your dinner for the Muster drill, as required by the U.S. Coast Guard is ALSO not on Carnival. This is a maritime regulation that MUST be performed as part of the sailing, no if's, and's or but's about it! You could have always ordered cabin service for food. There is ALWAYS food to be found on cruise ships. Being held in Port until 3am, (also not under Carnivals control) that is under the control of the Tampa harbor master, if he say's the ship isn't cleared to leave for what ever reason, the Paradise doesn't go. As for your itinerary change, good thing you didn't get off the ship because I can guarantee you you would get NO refund for YOU cancelling your cruise after you had already boarded. I'm sure you got a refund for your cancelled snorkeling excursion especially if you booked it through Carnival. These excursions are run by 3rd parties at that port-of-call and it was THEM that cancelled the excursion, not Carnival. It's unfortunate that many events took place that caused you much disappointment on your cruise, but the reasons are NOT the fault of Carnival, just unfortunate luck. Hope your next cruise meets your expectations better.

Tags: Carnival Cruise Lines Caribbean - Western Carnival Paradise

7 Answers

I hate to say,  but this does not look like the fault of the cruise line.   Read your cruise contract,  the line can cancel ports for weather and safety.  If you booked a weekend at a resort and the weather turns bad,  would the resort refund your $  the day of the booking ?   NOPE,  these things are beyond control of the cruise line.  A air liner can not take off in bad weather,  is that the air lines fault ?

For your next cruise I suggest that you research the port and weather before you book.  If you had done research you would have found out that fog can be a big issue with some ports in winter,   delaying departure.  Research would have also told you that you were going on an older ship.

I hope your next cruise is all that you want it to be.  I'm glad that you did enjoy the staff and children s programs.

I agree with the above comments.  It seems that most of the problems were do to customs and poor weather.  I do hope that your next cruise is better for you.  Thanks for sharing with all of us. 


If I am on a cruise ship I am happy, I don't care if we never leave the port, I'm having fun.


I agree!!

My wife and I had to chuckle at your experience in Tampa Bay as we had the polar opposite. In April 2011 we sailed from Tampa on the Ryndam heading for Europe, never had been in Tampa before. When we arrived, the day before our cruise departure, the transfer people met us at the gate and took us down the terminal aways, put us on an elevator going up to a super great room, we stayed smack dab in the middle of the airport, 360 degree panoramic view. We had no idea, thought that as usual we would wait on a bus until everybody else arrived then head downtown to a hotel. Next real neat experience there was the sail-away, in the late afternoon after a quick and uneventful check in. Quietly and slowly sailing through those narrow channels heading for the Gulf with all the good people on shore waving, in front of their homes, us bon-voyage. Very memorable port. One of the best if not the best initial sail-aways we ever experienced. Very sorry you couldn't have enjoyed the same.        

Kennicott...we live in Tampa and have cruised from the port twice. It is all of a 30 minute drive for us. I love the slow sailaway through the narrow and various channels (takes about two hours) before we get to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that marks the opening to the Gulf. When we sailed on the Brilliance of the Seas in 2013, it was her first time sailing from Tampa so we had two fireboats escort out with fire cannons blazing almost all the way!!

Thank you for posting your review.

I agree that the issues which seemed most aggravating for you were completely outside of Carnival's control - weather, customs, excursion cancellation.

As another responder noted, instead of focusing on the downside... "If I am on a cruise ship I am happy, I don't care if we never leave the port, I'm having fun.".


* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top