I was all prepared to say that this was one of the best cruises we've had so far. From the beginning, it was smooth and organized. I wish the parking had been a bit more reasonably priced, but otherwise there was very little to complain about... until the last full day.
On the last (sea) day, my son (16) was attacked in the arcade. Another boy was evidently out of credit and tried to steal my son's card, kicking him and hitting him and trying to wrestle the card (on a lanyard around his neck) away from him. Thankfully, he was able to get away and keep hold of his card, but this should NEVER have happened and Carnival could have done so much more to try and make up for it.
First, we got a bit of a runaround with who we needed to report this to. We were told to go to customer service, where the lady I spoke with tried to tell me he wasn't even in the arcade... essentially calling me and my son liars. Then, she informed me I needed to go to the casino, as the manager there would be the one who could handle the situation.
To be fair, the casino manager did his best to rectify the situation, refunding credits my son had used, where the boy who attacked him stole his prize - and then handing the situation off to security.
Security also tried to make the situation right. They attempted to locate the boy, even had my son come down and look at photos of passengers. However, they were never able to find the boy, and we were told to stay with my son the entire day for safety. The tension and worry that hung over us for the remainder of the cruise essentially ruined it for us all.
I have since spoken with customer "care". They've offered no refunds (even partial) or credit for future cruises. They will not even refund the money we've already paid for my son's passage on our next cruise. We booked it in advance and my son refuses to set foot on another cruise ship ever again... and who could blame him after being attacked...
Bottom line: we may still go on the next cruise... since we've already paid for it and Carnival isn't about to give us a full refund... But it may well be our last with Carnival.
3 out of 5
Mostly smooth and organized. I do wish the parking had been a bit more reasonably priced.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Not sure if it's because we did "my time dining" or not, but we were not very impressed with the menu, the food, or the service in the main dining room. Guy's Burgers were excellent as always, and we had EXCEPTIONAL service (Thanks Eddie) and food at the Lido buffet! Drinks from the casino bar were great, but the servers in the Blue Iguana Pub just ignored my daughter. Just because she's not ordering alcohol, doesn't mean she isn't worth serving...
3 out of 5
Our cruise director, Kevin, was hilarious! Trivia was great! This is the 1st cruise I've actually won a couple (Friends and Harry Potter... Proud nerd!) Karaoke was fun too.
If only my son hadn't been attacked and we'd not had such tension and worry follow us around the last 36 hours we were on board.
2 out of 5
Didn't care much for the DJs, but thats normal... Clue was fun, even though we didn't win. I only enjoyed 1 comedien (Joe), but the kids mostly liked both.
3 out of 5
My son (16) enjoyed the O2 club for the most part, though he barely got to attend his last day. My daughter (13) Didn't even attend Circle C... (not interested).
Service and Staff
1 out of 5
Eddie (Lido buffet) saved the cruise for us. He was friendly, personable, extremely helpful, and always there to help with a smile!
One customer service rep () was great. The second I dealt with...not one bit. She even sort of accused me of lying about an issue my son had in the arcade.
Both security and the arcade (casino) staff were outstanding! They went above and beyond to take care of a difficult and frightening situation.
I wish I could say that our only real complaint as far as staff is that our room stewards were unpredictable and impossible to find when we needed them. Our room did not get cleaned on day 1 (the first FULL day of the cruise), and towels disappeared without being replaced several times.
But after getting the runaround and being called a liar by the customer service rep, I'm thinking 1 star is too many.
People pay a lot of money for cruises, spend a lot of money on board. They do not deserve to be attacked, called names, and then treated so rudely by the people who are supposed to be there to help them (customer "care") deal with problems encountered during the cruise.
I would think a part of that whole "fun guarantee" would mean something. Evidently not.
3 out of 5
Everything was very clean. Carnival is really good about that. Tables are always cleared so quickly. You can't go the length of the ship without passing someone with a broom or a mop in their hand.
I am thankful Carnival has a similar layout for all of their ships, because it is always at least a little confusing, though there are plenty of maps posted and employees are usually helpful if you get lost.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Don't go anywhere alone. Apparently, even the ship isn't safe.
Crazy confusing and hot, but a great port mostly. Took a trip into the French quarter, which was pretty cool. Roads need a LOT of work, but well worth a look.
3 out of 5
Other than the fact that they started calling decks earlier than we were told they would, disembarkation was pretty well organized. The line moved steadily and quickly when you consider how many people were in it.
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