Carnival Cruise Lines - San Juan, St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbados, Aruba, San Juan - poor cruise experience

Posted on Thursday, August 1st, 2002 at 12:00am CDT by 9d80359e

Company: Carnival Cruise Lines - San Juan, St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbados, Aruba, San Juan - poor cruise experience

Category: Other received the following consumer message on July 30, 2002:


RE: Carnival Cruise Lines - San Juan, St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbados, Aruba, San Juan - poor cruise experience

Carnival Cruise Lines


Departure May 19, 2002

San Juan, St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbados, Aruba, San Juan Last year my wife and I decided we wanted to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary by taking a cruise as we had done on our 20th anniversary. On that cruise we met 2 other couples, from Texas, who became our very good friends. As they had helped us celebrate on our previous cruise we asked them if they would like to accompany us and help celebrate our anniversary once again, they jumped at the chance. Two other friends of ours, a husband and his wife from Canada, who had never cruised before asked if they could join us also as they had heard about the wonderful time we had on our previous cruises and we of course said “Yes”. We had previously been on Caribbean cruises and visited several of the islands plus vacationed at some “all inclusives” on other islands so we searched the internet/brochures to see what itineraries the cruise lines had to offer. The Destiny offered several ports of call which we had never visited such as Barbados. Martinique and Aruba, so we decided to go on the Destiny. On Sunday May 19th my wife and I, along with the couple from Canada, flew from Toronto via Philadelphia to San Juan. Upon our arrival in San Juan we, along with other people on the flight, went to the first baggage carousel we came upon. There were no signs indicating which flight it was for or any Carnival representative to help us. The carpeting was water soaked and smelled of mildew. We just stood around waiting for our luggage along with the other people. After a period of time I overheard someone saying our bags were actually coming in at another carousel. Once we located the correct carousel we noticed several Carnival representatives. After retrieving our luggage we lined up with the other people who had been on our flight and were going on the cruise. After standing in line for between 15 to 30 minutes, the representatives finally made their way to where we were standing in line and informed us we didn’t belong in this line as we were Canadians and all we had to do was take our luggage outside and board the bus to the cruise terminal. At NO time were there any indications of any kind such as signs/announcements as to what “Non US Residents” should do. Once at the terminal, we were directed twice into lines which were not meant for us. There were no signs to indicate where “Non US Residents” should go. It would seem Carnival Cruise Lines does not get many people on their cruises who are Canadians. Once in our cabin I was pleased to see there was a safe for our valuables but it could not be locked so I called Information and they said someone would be there shortly to fix it. This gave us time to look around the cabin. The walls were dirty and dented, the bathroom sink was chipped and there were cracked tiles in the shower floor. After about half an hour one of the crew appeared and attempted to fix it with no success. I was told I would have to call Room Service in order to have someone else come to and try to fix it. We elected to do this later as we were expecting our friends from Texas to arrive and we wanted to do some exploring. While reading the newsletter regarding our first port of call we noticed, in order to board the ship after going ashore, a photo id would be required along with our “Sail & Sign” card. Luckily my wife and I had brought along our drivers license. As it turned out, the photo id was never asked for. Early the next day I wanted to book a scuba diving excursion in Aruba so I left my wife on the Lido deck and went to the Information Desk. After approximately 30 minutes of standing in line I was told I would have to go to the Excursion Desk on the other side of the lobby which I did. The gentleman seated there advised me it was closed and would be open between 7:00 and 9:00 PM but I could book excursions through the ship’s “Fun Vision” system. As I didn’t want to miss out on the excursion I went up to our cabin to reserve it. After numerous problems with the system such as no video, computer error messages, etc. I was able to book it on the 8th try. Starting the 3rd evening, the Captain’s Night, until the last night of the cruise it was virtually impossible to use any of the staircases in the “Flagship Hall” during the evening, due to ship’s photographers posing passengers on the stairways. One evening, while seated at our dining room table, after finishing our meal the waiter approached us and tried to sell us some Carnival Cruise recipe books. I was not the only one at the table who felt this was almost an invasion of privacy. On the Wednesday morning while enroute from Barbados to Aruba, one of the islands we had never visited, the ship lost power at approximately 7:35 AM for approximately 7


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