swsi

swsi
Third Mate

Joined: 12/04/2014
2
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1
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swsi's Past Cruises

Carnival Conquest

November 2015 - Carnival Conquest to Caribbean - Western

Carnival Conquest has some issues...

Overall Service / Food / Staff = Good to Excellent :)

 

Opening Balcony Divider Between Balconies NOT Possible as Promised when booked- We booked 4 balcony rooms, 3 of which were all "together/in a row" & were told we WOULD be able to have the Balcony Dividers Opened between all etc etc.. Well, turns out NOT Possible.. each Divider could have been unlocked & secured open, but.. it would have been Covering/Blocking the Door from the cabin out to the balcony!?!.. ie- NOT Usable.. further investigation revealed that some of the other cabin dividers on the ship could be opened up on & not blocked the doors, but it was random & we/Carnival couldn't find any Deck Plans/Schematics/Info etc that would properly show which cabins would work etc, so.. don't see how you could confirm/book this advance.. So, this issue kinda got our Family Thanksgiving Cruise off to a disappointing start... :(

 

The Conquest's Ship Layout on Deck 3 & 4 (Main Guest Service/Excursions & Pictures), & 5 (Casino/Shopping) is TERRIBLE / Very Inconvenient / Confusing due to Blocked/No Access by Galley + Restaurants..  Guests with Mobility / Disabilities have to try & make it all the way to the Front Elevators & then "come back" to the above listed departments areas..   Elevator Service = the WORST we have ever encountered on ANY Cruise Ship?!?!.. would frequently be only 1 of 6 Rear or 1 of 10 Mid/Front elevators operating?!?!.. and this during Main Dining Times where, due to the above described "Blocked Decks", ALL Guests were "TRAPPED" outside the Rear Dining Room for Excruciating LONG Lengths of Time...

 

Shops & Bars.. While having the identical on most other Carnival Ships, the same on the Conquest are MUCH Noticeably SMALLER than the same on even other "Smaller" Carnival Ships (ie- the Pride , which is our Favorite Ship)

 

Shopping / Alcohol - as previously on all other Carnival Cruises, there was never any "Sale" on Alcohol nor Souvenirs on the cruise, which makes purchasing from Carnival Uncompetitive + Undesirable..

 

Alcohol Pick-Up End of Cruise - In 20 yrs of cruising have always had purchased liquor DELIVERED TO OUR ROOM the Last Night of Cruise etc.. this cruise, & apparently "New Carnival Procedure" is for EVERYONE to pickup liquor from a rear restaurant between 6-10am the morning of debarkation.. thinking we'd be "early birds", arrived at location at 6:10am only to find we were the approximate 200th person in line, of a line that wrapped out into the common area, into - snaked around itself into a bar/lounge (which Reeked of Vomit Smell?!?) - back out the lounge & down a hallway?!?.. at NO TIME was there ever ANY Carnival employee "alerting/directing traffic" to this mad-house.. inside "pickup area" was also completely disorganized.. especially the confiscated "off-ship/shore" purchases.. Guests then had to stand in a 2nd Line if they also had purchased alcohol from the ship.. total time took an Uninformed/Unexpected/Unplanned 1 Hour 35 Minutes to complete!?!?.. we MISSED having breakfast with the rest of our Family & barely were able to make it to our debarkation transfer.. Elderly & Guests with Disabilities were Unable to Stand in this Long Line , were having to SIT/CRAWL on the floor?!!, & some Guests, also "blindsided" with this Carnival tactic, "Gave Up/Abandoned" their purchases as they had to also debark to make their Transportation/Flights/etc etc!?!?.. There had to be well over 1000+ passengers trying to pickup their already purchased alcohol.. at 1.5 - 2 hours per Guest, this is an Egregious Burden for Guests to have to Endure to save a "few dollars" on the same purchased in the States, to which.. if this procedure remains, we will definitely NEVER purchase alcohol from Carnival again &/or certainly consider if even to sail with Carnival again...

:(

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Carnival Pride

November 2014 - Carnival Pride to Caribbean - Western

Egregious Wheelchair/Handicap Service - Newly Renovated Ship Spiffy

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....

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swsi's Tips

Belize City, Belize - Weather precluded visiting but from prior visits shoreside rather "poverish" but more inland is senic
Tampa, Florida - See Terminal Handicap/Wheelchair Service Dissertation...
Cozumel, Mexico - 3.5 hour Shore Excursion of nearby Mayan Ruin + general tour of Island & stop at Northern Beach makes for nice day.

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reviewed their Caribbean - Western cruise on Carnival Conquest and gave it 2 stars!

added Nov 22, 2015 cruise on Carnival Conquest to their profile.

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Pride cruise review - Egregious Wheelchair/Handicap Service - Newly Renovated Ship Spiffy

shared a quick tip for Carnival Pride"Try the Lido Deck/Pool Side HAMBURGERS! "

reviewed their Caribbean - Western cruise on Carnival Pride and gave it 3 stars!

added Nov 23, 2014 cruise on Carnival Pride to their profile.