October 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Magic
This is the fifth cruise we have taken on four different cruise lines and this far and away was the worst cruise we have ever been on. Here are some of the reasons why.
There were waiting lines for nearly every meal throughout the cruise. Breakfast and lunch wait lines ranged from 10-15 minutes. For breakfast, the buffet lines were set up such that you might have to go to three or four different lines to get what you wanted and each line was 10-20 people long. Most unorganized mess I've ever seen. Our wait for "Your Time" dining one night was over an hour and two nights later we waited for over 30 minutes. When I went to the desk to see how much longer the wait would be, I was informed that they already showed that we had been seated. obviously we had not.
On our first day, we asked four different staff members on the ship for directions to the video arcade so we could take our grandson there. We got four different answers none of which were right. We finally asked a young ship passenger if he could help us and he told us exactly where to go. We experienced similar responses from staff two or three other times during the cruise where ship's staff had no clue where things were. Pretty unbelievable quite frankly.
The floors in the lido dining area were slick all the time. We saw one lady fall. It was like a skating rink most of the time. I'm surprised that different floors coverings can be put down to mitigate this risk. It was worse coming into the dining area from the pool areas on both ends but was also bad all the way through. On one occasion, I observed on of your wait staff carrying a tray back to the kitchen area and a glass full of ice and drink fell off onto the floor. He just kept on walking. Several other staff members were in the areas but no effort was made to isolate the area to keep someone from falling while it was cleaned up, which by the way, took quite some time.
For shore excursions, you were pretty much on your own to find your way. There was very little guidance given as to where you were to go, when and when you asked ship staff, they could not give you a clear and concise answer.
Finally, the debarkation process was the worst I have ever experienced. We elected to do the self assisted debarkation process as we had another commitment that we needed to get to. The instructions provided to us told us that we needed to be out of our room by 8:15 and that we were to go to certain designated waiting areas to be called. Elevators were pretty much out of the question as everyone on the ship was trying to move to these areas and the elevators were in total gridlock. We carried all of our bags down four floors of steps to make sure that we didn't miss our designated debarkation time. The schedule showed starting the debarkation process at 8:15 for Priority members and decks 1 &2. Decks 6&7 were scheduled for 8:30 and decks 8&9 for 8:45. We were on deck 8. We were in our designated waiting area at 8:00 and the debarkation for priority members and decks 1&2 were called at around 8:00. No other announcements were made until after 9:00 when they finally called for deck 6. I asked on the ships staff when our deck would be called and was told just to wait, it would still be quite a while. Finally at 9:15, out of total frustration with the whole process, we took our bags, went to deck 3, got in line and left the ship. No one questioned the fact that they were still on deck 6 and that we were from deck 8. I have to assume from this, that there are absolutely no controls in place to monitor the debarkation process and therefore it is first come first off. Had I known that, we would have went immediately to deck 8 to disembark the ship rather than waiting for over an hour and a half. I also have to assume that had we followed the process that had been provided us, that we would not have been off the ship until after 10:00, over an hour later than the schedule said. If you have rules to follow, you need to put controls in place to make sure that they are followed. You also need to be honest with the passengers about the times. Finally, people were sitting everywhere, in the halls, elevator lobbies, on the steps, etc. waiting. Not only is this frustrating to your passengers, in my opinion, it poses some significant safety risks.