Egregious Wheelchair/Handicap Service - Newly Renovated Ship Spiffy
Carnival Pride Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Sail Date: November 23, 2014
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 5250
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 2 years ago
6 People / 3 Balcony Suite Cabins, Family Thanksgiving Week Cruise.. Had several days of bad/rainy weather that affected 1 port-of-call and had 2 others Canceled (the "tender-in" ports of Belize & Grand Cayman).. in all fairness, not holding any negatives about the weather in my review.. sometimes that's just the way the universe spins & the Crew actually did a great job in scrambling to handle an impromptu "extra at sea day" & a rescheduling 2nd Day into port Costa Maya (we never had been to, or frankly even heard of CM but it did feature a decent list of Shore Excursions including some Mayan Ruins + Other Jeep/Exploring Adventures/etc (although they were 10-25% more expensive than comparable other tours from "bigger/more popular" ports), CM also features a large concrete pier that at least 3-4 modern cruise ships could be docked at simultaneously & a tram that constantly shuttles passengers to/fro the shore, at shore there is one of these newer "tourist" villages with lots of shops/eating, a large fresh water wading pool surrounded by sand/beach loungers, and a oceanside "dolphin encounter", overall really nice/well done but the vendors there were the MOST Bothersome/"Hounding"/& Belligerent of any we encountered on the trip (maybe anywhere for that matter?!? :/ ))... anywho, as for the Carnival Pride.. normally we find Carnival ships a bit, mmmmm, "used", but.. this ship was only a few weeks out of Multi-Million-Big-$$$ retrofit with many New Lounges, Restaurants, Comedy Club, Sushi Bar, Big Water Park/Slides, Several Large Pools + a Serenity/"adults only" pool area, etc etc etc.. there's dedicated rooms/space for all generes, ie-Library, Card/Games, Art, etc etc so there wasn't that constant "shuffling around" of people/tables/chairs to get ready for the next event, etc.. All Food was EXCELLENT (especially the Poolside Hamburgers! ;p ).. this ship hold approx 2100+ passengers which may seem "small" by today's standards, BUT.. the design of the Ship, the decor, etc etc made it feel like the Largest/"most roomiest" we have ever been on!?! :) So as for the Carnival Pride Ship we'da picked 6-Stars if possible/Highly Recommend!!!..
Now for Bad of the ship.. 2 of our 6 family members are handicap & require mobility assistance/etc.. we had pre-called Carnival to alert them of such/be scheduled of needing Port Embarkation/Debarkation Wheelchair Service = "no problemo".. upon arriving at the Tampa, FL port/pier, with Handicap Sign prominently displayed & a fleet of Rollators strapped to the back of the vehicle, we faced near incarceration arguing with the security guards to allow us into what was clearly the Handicap Loading/Unloading Zone & actually never to the proper nearest curb that they claimed "wasn't allowed" (but yet later on after we/other handicap passengers complained FINALLY allowed next arriving/deserving passengers to use).. we were forced to unload our Handicap Passenger & Luggage about 150yrs away from the Terminal Entrance at the curb of a Busy/Active Main Street, to which.. then the Terminal folks said they weren't allowed to take the wheelchairs past the mentioned above "Obvious but Unallowed" by us/many Handicap Zone.. after 30 minutes more arguing/pleading we finally got our handicap passengers inside the Terminal, but.. since one family member was still parking the car they wouldn't take/split us up for processing so we had to relinquish our 2 wheelchairs & got "dumped" with about 8 other similarly treated handicap service passengers in a small.. 6-chair.. waiting area.. the wheelchairs we had to give up got used forrrrrr.. yuuup, now shuttling passengers right from the proper Handicap Unloading Zone, right up the Elevator to Check-In & on-to the ship!?!.. we attempted to explain to any/all employees, that pretended to listen, that we should be next/etc.. as an empty wheelchair(s) would come down the "current supervisor in charge" Wayne, who refused to give his last name but is prolly in his 70's, tall, balding with white hair/mustache.. kept forgetting about us/etc etc.. & to try & summarize.. it took another 2-hours!?!?.. to get 2 Handicap Passengers.. up 1 floor.. & onto the ship.. :(
Debarkation was much "less worse" only because we were the 2nd/early-birds to get to the Wheelchair service that morning.. On all previous cruises, the ship always got the wheelchair passengers off 1st/early along with Diamond Members/etc.. on this ship, they wanted us to go at the same time as all other "checked luggage" passengers from our floor.. the problem was is that most of the Wheelchair Service passengers was 1 spouse/member of a Couple.. & the other non-wheelchair spouse could handle the bags ("self-assist") but just needed someone to push the other's wheelchair.. overall there looked to be about 40 people needing Disembarking Wheelchair assistance (with spouse + other traveling passengers, maybe 100 folks waiting!?), annnnnd.. there was 4 Wheelchairs/Pushers available :(...
..and this is why only 3-stars.. we never had/encountered any experience like this before on any other Cruise/Line, and this was our 5th cruise in just the last 2 years.. Understandably there are several different groups of Employees/Unions involved, ie- Local Police, Port Security, Terminal Personnel, Carnival Cruise Personnel, etc, however.. this whole "it's not MY job/responsibility" attitude/mentality tainted our vacation experience from the get-go, & still lingers today.. Unless some personal acknowledgements/assurances are made, we will not return to the Tampa Cruise Terminal &/or Carnival Cruise Lines....
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Try the Lido Deck/Pool Side HAMBURGERS!