I've just heard and embarking story from hell from my sister's 3 night cruise to the Bahamas. The biggest problem appears to be that her travel agent didn't warn her of any of these things so that she could prepare, but then again, my travel agent hasn't either. Apparently when she arrived in the airport someone from the transfer bus told her to sit by the phone while the other flights got in so they could transfer to the cruise ship. She said she had to wait an hour and a half on the floor because ther were no seats left. No one told her she had to tip the driver although she said the driver Shouted over the intercom " Don't forget to tip the driver " about 10 times on the half hour drive. She also didn't know she would need to tip people to carry her bags on board, and only had large bills with her. She decided to carry them to the ship so she wouldn't have to not tip someone, but the cruiseline wouldn't let her onboard with any luggage over carry-on size. So she had to walk back to the luggage guys with all her luggage and then try to explain that she needed change back from the large bill. They conveniently spoke no english. She finally gave up and let them have the money so she could get moving. She said the lines to embark took and hour and a half and it was hotter than hades. Then a photographer wanted to take their pictures when she was hot and sweaty and they wouldn't take "no" for and answer, even though she declined several times. By the time she got to her room she said she was ready to go home because she was so frustrated. She has been known to exaggerate, but I was wondering if this is typical or not so I can prepare for it and not let it ruin my FABULOUS DREAM VACATION!!! ( YEAH!!! I can't wait to go!!!)
did you not read any of your brochures frm carnival which explained what needed to be tipped to everyone from waiters to stewards madre d all this was included in your info from carnival it states that porters at pier need to be tipped from .50 to a $1.00 and they are not employees of ship line it also said that you could only carry the carry on luggage also any one cruising knows that sometimes it takes a while to embark........shighlander
I did read the brochures, however, under BAGGAGE ASSISTANCE, it read that this service was "available", not "required". It also said nothing about only taking carry-ons on board, only that Carnival isn't responsible for them or the bags you leave with the porters at the peir. Personally, I'm not comfortable leaving my bags with people not employed with Carnival cruise lines. I'm sure a seasoned cruise traveler knows the time required to embark, however, this is our first cruise. That's why I'm on the message board asking questions.....
didn't have any problem when we went to the Caribbean. At the Miami airport, there was a Carnival employee with a sign who took us right to the bus. It was a hot as heck walk to the bus, but once on was air conditioned and comfortable. The employees took care of our luggage and we were told ahead of time to tip. When we got to the ship everything went smoothly and by the time we got to to our cabin, our luggage was outside the door waiting for us. The best tip I can give you though, would be to fly to the city you are departing from the day before!! If you have any delays on your flight(s), you could miss the boat!! This almost happened to us! It's worth the extra money to get to the departing port the day before you leave, and just rent a hotel room. You'll be much more rested the day you board the ship!! Have fun
Your sister is right, embarking can be a big ordeal if you let it. We just returned from a 4 day cruise aboard the Imagination. It was wonderful. A few things to remember are that some things do take time and not everything can be rushed and welcome to paradise where everything is going to hot and humid. While waiting to embark you may want to consider chatting with those other people in line waiting for the exact same thing that you are and use it as an opportunity to meet new people. It does take a while but it is well worth it once you get on the ship. It is all part of crusing.
As for the luggage.... be prepared! Always carry singles in your wallet. Not only for the luggage but also for the things you do in port everyone will expect a tip for something they have done. We were picked up at the airport and immediatly handed our luggage over to the Carnival Rep. and didn't have to bother with it again until it was sitting in front of our cabin so there wasn't any tipping we had to do on the dock. Your sisters first mistake may have been not wanting anyone else to handle her luggage. One thing to consider, one of the biggest slow ups in getting on the boat are the people that insist on carrying their own luggage on the boat and end up holding up people behind them. It goes much smoother when all you have to worry about is your purse.
You will have your photo taken a number of times while on the ship. Don't try to fight the photo staff. There are many people that appreciate having someone else capture their trip for them. If you just take the two seconds that it takes to stop and smile and let them take the photo you can move on. Besides you don't have to buy the photo. All that arguing with them does is hold up the rest of the passengers that want their photo taken and to get on the boat.
It is too bad that your sister had a bad experience and hopefully you will have better luck. Just remember.....Crusing is not a typical vacation.
I was on the Carnival Triumph and I did not face any problems with boarding or leaving the boat! We took a taxi from our hotel ( we stayed near the airport) we went to the port of Miami, luggage carryers took our things. You can't carry your own luggage on board because they organize into the color of your luggage tags and people take it up to your rooms it makes it eaiser to go through securty and everything. That went smoothly you only have to tip them a couple dollars. We got our luggage at about 5:30 pm right before dinner. The disembarkation was also very smooth we just walked off the ship and our luggage was organized into decks, i suggest putting a bright peice of ribbon or yarn, so it makes it eaiser to see you luggage. Everything went smoothly with our vacation. I'm sure it will with yours too, ahve fun on your DREAM VACATION!!
I agree with Holly. Just got back from 4 days on the Imagination. We encountered a very pushy baggage handler at the Miami port. He refused my tip, put on V.I.P. tags (which I never asked for), then charged me $2 per bag. He asked for an additional tip for himself, and one for the person carrying the bags in the ship and into the cabin. I figured I was being scammed, but I was hot and anxious to get onto the ship. So I gave him the $2 per bag, but that was it. The good news is that we got our bags into the room right away. I understand that some people didn't get all of their bags until after dinner.
Don't worry about getting your picture taken. You don't have to buy any of the pictures if you don't want them. In fact, you don't even have to look at them if you don't want to. They'll be posted in the Photo Gallery for you to examine or ignore as you please.