November 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Splendor
Let me start with the ending: My husband and I wash our hands religiously and use the hand sanitizer so often it seems nothing could live on our hands. Yet I left the ship Sunday (Nov 29, 2015) morning with the NOROVIRUS! By 7pm that night I was taken by ambulance to the local ER. I am still recovering 3 days later. God only knows what my hospital bill will be as my health insurance doesn't cover at 100%. The day before we got off the ship we spoke to a young gal who said she was sick all the night before. Then, as we were getting off the ship, in the elevator a guy was vomiting in a bucket, clue #2. I was tested for the "flu" in the ER and it was negative. ER doctor said Norovirus. I wonder how many others ended up sick. On our drive to the ship we drove through some Biblical rain. Just stormed and stormed. The rain made the drive longer so we didn't stop for lunch. We arrived at the port at 1pm (wanted to arrive at 12) The ship was sold out and there were so many people that we spent 2 1/2 hours in line and didn't get on the ship until 3:30. Lunch was closed down and then came muster station so we didn't get to eat till late. Upon arrival to our cabin the A/C wasn't working at all. Couldn't get anyone there to repair it by 8:30 pm (part of why we ate so late) and we were concerned as we were informed the ship was sold out and no other cabins were available to move to. We went to Guest Services where the rep didn't believe us that it was hot and went to check for herself, with someone from maintenance (she managed to get them to respond). It registered 80 degrees in the inside cabin. It was repaired and the cabin was cool by 11pm. For our troubles, Helene from GS gifted us a complimentary bottle of wine at dinner the next night. Not being avid drinkers we asked the bar to save it for us for additional nights. The 2nd and last time we asked them to retrieve the bottle they didn't save the 1/3 bottle and insisted we drank it all.(we had a 2 beer bar tab the whole cruise that's how much we drink) I was more angry at being accused of lying than the loss of the wine, actually. They comped us a glass each the final night. The second night we waited 1hr and 10 minutes for dinner after we were told 30 minute wait. (We were comped a small gesture of fudge for that inconvenience, as were many others I learned.) We spent I'll bet about 1/3 of our vacation time in long lines for everything, food, to get on/off the ship,events etc. After a port outing on the 3rd day we headed up to the grill for a burger just in time to watch the sprinklers douse a small fire on the grill. Scary and smelly as our cabin was almost directly below the grill. Although I am accepting of the gay/lesbian lifestyle our nerves were grated by the flamboyantly gay Cruise Director's voice for 7 days. We both felt he was the worst one we've met on all our cruises as he didn't even seem a genuinely happy person but rather caustic. During a (supposed to be a family) skit in the theater one actor in nothing but a pair of skimpy briefs ran from isle to isle, jumped up on the seats and girated in womens' faces at close range. Children were present! Then, if that wasn't bad enough the cruise director dressed as a Ballerina and paraded around the stage. Consensus around us was that it was creepy and people were walking out. No fault of Carnival but due to rough seas and bad weather the last two days, all theater shows were cancelled as was our only snorkel excursion we had planned, that was very disappointing. Often those last two days the pools and jacuzzi's were closed as well. All the ship's activities were limited and way too much trivia, no creativity or diversity of activities. Never got to putt putt or table tennis too many people in line. They just want you in the bar, the gift shop, the spa or the casino spending money. Even Bingo isn't free. Bridge/Galley tours are $95 per person! Serenity is just below the putt putt and basketball court, not a well thought out design. We always heard people talking and yelling, it was not, in the least, serene. If you are hungry during non meal hours your option is pizza 24/7 or deli from 11am-11pm. And last, not having sailed out of Miami in a while with having to park, we parked in the terminal. Bad choice. Neither of us saw a sign of how much it was to park per night. We figured 10 bucks. No, it was $20 per night! Cost $140.00 for 7 nights. Outrageous. They need a bigger sign telling you the parking rate. Awful trip, worst ship experience we've had.