Thomas, as I read these messages, I think I found only one person who was happy with the cruise, and that is because he or she really liked Cozumel.
I was happy with the cruise to the extent that I enjoy all cruises, but this one certainly left a lot to be desired.
On the subject of the ship rolling a lot, early on the morning before we reached Progresso, the ship rolled so much several times that I was concerned about its stability. I have been in 55 foot seas on Vision in the North Atlantic, and the roll then was no worse that on Elation that morning. Perhaps there was already something wrong with the szipods, for the sea was certainly calm.
Yea don't diss on Carnival, I just sailed on the Norwegian Star to Hawaii and Missed Maui so don't cry about missing a port in Mexico. I did not get to dock in MAUI, only the best island (or so I heard) in Hawaii.
Missed Maui....oh, believe me; you didn't miss a lot. But, how will you ever know? See, that's one of the points some are trying to make here. I feel your disappointment, I really do. Was it due to mechanical malfunction? But I'm sure you all made the best of it, as we did on the Elation. The gay convention was quite entertaining.
Wow, I understand that the original post was strongly-worded but I never have gotten the fact that people take it personally or become offended when someone else has a bad cruise experience. My theory is also pretty much go with the flow, and that anyone can find something to complain about on a cruise, but the four or five people who have been put on trial here seem to have some legitamate complaints. I also agree with the poster who said that the cruiselines should somehow compensate passengers if mechanical difficulties ruin the cruise. To not do so is just bad business. Maintenance of the ships are the responsibility of the cruiseline, and it can be very frustrating when you have scrimped and saved all year to take your vacation and have it be a miserable experience. Perhaps the first poster did have some bad information, but instead of jumping all over it and saying that means the bad cruise was only a matter of perspective, maybe responders could have given him the benefit of the doubt and offered the correct information as a way to help him feel better. I think some of what he said was obviously while he was "in the moment," (like saying anyone who likes Carnival is in the minority) and can just be dismissed as hyperbole.
As for Carnival reps lying to your face, I have to say that while I am a fairly satisfied Carnival cruiser and will most likely cruise with them in the future, I have had this happen to me as well. Sometimes I think they do it just to shut you up. And yes, I do know it was a lie for a fact. On the second-to-last day of our cruise my husband and I heard a horrible buzzing in our cabin. The air conditioning wouldn't drown it out, it was even louder than the TV. Now I'm not comparing this problem to what the passengers of the Elation experienced, but it pretty much ruins the idea of a nice peaceful nap in our cabin after a busy afternoon, or even of getting ready to go to dinner. Being in the room 10 minutes became intolerable. We called the front desk and they sent a security guard (for some reason Carnival won't send engineering, they must send a security guard - who doesn't have any engineering training - to first verify there is a problem, they told us this is the policy). The security guard, a very nice woman, went to investigate the problem, my husband went to the front desk to keep in touch with her, and I stayed in the room to tell them when or if it stopped. My husband was on the phone with me when it finally did quit, and at that exact moment the security guard phoned the front desk to tell them "she had asked someone to stop doing something," and did that work. We said yes. When the noise returned at 4 am, my husband went to the front desk to see if they could get it to stop again, where he was told the whole thing never happened! That there was no record of the security guard doing anything and it was just a coincidence, and we should just change cabins in the middle of the night. This really ticked us off since he was standing right there at the desk when it happened. The next day we even tracked down the security guard who told us she HAD done something to back up our story but they wouldn't listen. Later they told us (after telling us engineering would not investigate) that engineering HAD investigated and was "working on it." While we cannot prove the second story a lie, we have a strong feeling that it was just a lie to get us off their backs since it only got worse and we did end up moving cabins and tipping a second steward to set up the room for us which was kind of inconvenient. I know mechanical difficulties just happen sometimes, but the way we were dismissed and ignored for two days was really irritating. I do plan to write Carnival about their poor customer service and will let you all know if I receive anything...
I hope the passengers of this Elation cruise have a better vacation next time, but one thing I have come to determine after cruising is that while it is a little less pricey than a resort/hotel vacation, when you're on a big moving vessel in the middle of the ocean, there is a lot more risk for something to go wrong that could affect your vacation.
I'm so sorry you had such a rough time - but I've been on four Carnival cruises - booked on my 5th (Glory 1/3) and LOVE Carnival! No company is perfect and every vacation has it's little glitches - but Carnival really is the best overall deal for a great exotic vacation on a budget. No land-based vacation comes close in a price comparison - and getting to see so many different places? Well, I disagree with your *minority* statement - being a first-time cruiser, your experience is limited and I am sorry is wasn't the best. Perhaps your next cruise will be better! It's all in the name of fun...
Just curious why you keep insisting that anyone who likes Carnival is a Carnival employee? I love CCL - and I'm a writer. A journalist no less. And not even a travel writer. I just have no money, so when I travel I have to make it stretch. Don't believe me? Go to my web site - www.amandawriter.com - there's your proof. Never worked for Carnival or any other cruise line - nor would I want - yeesh. You sound awfully defensive - here's a solution - don't cruise. In fact, stop taking vacations because in my travel experience, every trip has some kind of malfunction -and what some of these people suggest is true - it's all in how YOU handle it. Go ballistic or go with the flow....in this case you did the former. Next time maybe you'll choose the latter and your vacation - glitches and all wherever you go - won't be ruined. Good luck.
Too bad you spent your entire second day in Cozumel venting your anger. You missed one of most awesome places we have ever visited in the Caribbean in Chankanaab National Park. Excellent facilities with a great lagoon to dive in right from shore. Maybe its not Belize, but now you know that you should be more upset with yourself than with Carnival for missing this great oppurtunity. Like most people have stated, this is a great island to be "stuck in" for an extra day.
Too bad that you had this experience....my husband and I cruised for the first time ever in Feb 2003 on Carnival, we booked our flgt on our own for the same day the ship was departure - this was a big no no - our fault - - -we did stay in touch with Carnival as we tried to get to Tampa on time the flghts were delayed due to fog- we were informed by Carnival that the ship had departed on time -so we of course got a room for the night and had to fly out to the Grand Cayman in order to meet up with the ship - no insurance taken out once again our fault - first timers ya know!....however the ship did NOT want to come into the area due to once again bad weather at Grand Cayman (waves were crashing up so high on the dock).....HOWEVER.....Carnival was the ONLY ship that would allow us to get a tender to ride out to them and get on the their ship - SEVERAL other carriers left their passengers in Grand Cayman - informing them they WOULD NOT let tenders bring them out - these passengers had to fly out to the next port of call...... well, we make it on the ship with the assistance of about 15 people of the ship making sure we were safe as we had to jump from the small tender boat to the Carnival ship.......trust me it was quite nerve racking - we had NO life jackets and the waves were rocking so hard....anyway.....come to find out from our dinner guest that evening - as we were the talk of the ship----the ship had actually departed 4 hours later then we were told from Carnival - had we known this we would not have had to pay for the hotel in Tampa, a flight to the Grand Cayman and another hotel in Grand Cayman.....sounds pretty back huh??? well after contacting Carnival, we were granted credits for the period we lost on the boat (oh they did provided us a bottle of champayne and we were presented a cake at one of the dinner for all the problems) Well in ending even with all the problems, Carnival worked with us and needless to say we are scheduled to depart for another cruise come January 2004. Sorry you missed out - and there are tons to do in Cozumel - if nothing else get drunk at Carlos and Charles and remember you are on a CRUISE for gosh!
I totally can sympathize with you. We too were on the same cruise, and took it ONLY for the Belize stop. We had been with Carnival on three other cruises to Cozumel. I woke up on my birthday to a note under the door saying we were back in Cozumel. We had nothing to do, as we had done all of the shore excursions over the last three years. I was not offerred anything by Carnival and am still waiting since the 5th for a reply to my request for compensation.
I have had some good experiences on Carnival and some bad. The food is not great on their ships, but I don't go for the food. I understand they can't help problems, so if they come through and make things right for us on this, we will cruise with them again.
You sound like the type I would love to cruise with. I go with a group that goes on a cruise every fall, these are my "Cruise Friends" - most live in Indy, some in Phoenix, one in KC (just moved there) and myself from Rochester NY.
I had a similar experience ... missing departure, I had used Air Aweigh and noticed that Carnival was "one step ahead" with re-booking flights to try and get me to Miami on time, and when that didn't work they got me on a flight to Key West (1st port of call). Reimbursed me for hotel, meals and cab (I forgot about the cab, the purser reminded me).
Another trip I had to cancel at last minute because of medical reasons. No insurance. Wrote a letter to Carnival: "You know the phrase, 'It will never happen to me", ... well, it did happen to me ... would they consider some reimbursement." They gave me significant credit towards my next cruise."
So, my experiences with Carnival have been A-plus. It's hard to believe, from my experiences, that some employees are not up to that level - but, I can see it happens. Just wish their survey wouldn't have the choices "Exceeds Expectations", "Met Expectations" because the great service has raised the bar so high it is tough for them to exceed.
Anway, back to you. I like your attitude. So, if you are interested in joining up with our group, let me know.
I have cruised on Carnival six times, and I am not an RCI employee. However, the design, activities and service aboard the eight RCI ships I have cruised have been superior to those on any Carnival ship I have been on. The quality of food in the dining room has varied from ship to ship.
I will say it again, even though I enjoyed the Elation cruise, as I have enjoyed every cruise, it still was the worst overall experience I have had. If you were not on the Elation cruise, please don't tell me what I should think. You are certainly welcome to your opinions!
I've sailed on Carnival ... Royal Caribbean ... Disney and soon will sail on Norwegian. I like them each for different reasons. I've never had a bad cruise, but if I ever do I hope that I will make the most of the experience. I can guarantee that I will never say "I will never sail on this cruise line again." Maybe not a particular ship ... but I wouldn't blame the entire cruise line.
Have read the whole thread. Hardly know what to add (if anything).
I think Paul is just venting. He spent a lot of money. Expectations weren't met. Went to a message board to get it off his chest. These things happen! To paraphrase Knute Rockne when speaking about why he doesn't use the forward pass very much, "When you take a 70,000 ton something, schedule it to move at 20+ knots over an undulating surface in order to make port calls at certain times, all the time feeding and entertaining thousands of people, week after week after week, a lot of things can happen and most of them are bad."
To hear of this happening to my all around favorite cruise ship, The Elation is sad.
I just concluded my 11th Carnival cruise on the Glory and can't even imagine anything going wrong as it never has for me.
As far as "people that like Carnival being in the minority", as one poster commented that would have to be a "heat of the moment" statement, not backed up by facts. The most successful cruiseline in the World, profits exceeding a BILLION dollars last year and buying up other "less successful" cruiselines like it was a hobby, Carnival is doing many things very right.
The posts of DAN40 and JIM BRAGG are very succinct and to the point. They take a lot of the "mumbo jumbo" out of this thread.
I'm sorry, Paul, that your cruise was wanting. Saving up $3500 WOW!! only to have this happen I'm sure is disappointing at best. I know that Carnival management monitors these cruise site threads (especially ones like this one) and you can be assured there will be a lookout for a letter from Paul Beighley and I'll bet money it'll be treated with kid gloves. It may be your entire motivation. It would mine. :-)
Gary, you have gotten my postings mixed up with someone else's. I never mentioned $3500 anywhere. I only listed several things that were not of the quality that I have encountered on other cruise ships including Carnival ships. I also stated that on other cruises where a port was missed due to mechanical failure, the passengers were given something! Not on Elation.
I have never written a letter to a cruise line and don't intend to do so. You are entitled to your opinion, and so am I. I have cruised on Carnival six times and RCI eight times,
and the RCI experience has always been better. When I choose Carnival, it is because the port is sails from or because of the ports it might visit. Perhaps I will be able to find a different cruise line that includes Belize, so that I can have the tours I missed.
Carnival is successful primarily because is is cheaper and caters to a younger crowd. I may cruise Carnival again sometime, but it will not be soon. In the meantime, you might want to try one of the RCI Radiance or Voyager class ships.
Yopu might really be surprised.
We have our 5th cruise on Carnival booked for April 2004. Cant wait either. I do feel bad that youhad a bad time on the ship. I ahve never had a bad time with Carnival and I dont feel I am the Minority.... I make the best of our trips. I work hard for our trips. I intend to enjoy every moment of them.I guess a mechanical problem can happen to any ship at any time. Or the weather can turn out crappy too. But Hey I can still have a great vacation. I have been to Cozumel a couple of times. Could spend an extra day there for sure. Great place to visit..It all comes down to... To each his own.. If you dont like Carnival dont cruise carnival. But no need to tell us we shouldnt go carnival. We have had a good experience with them. Sorry u didnt but maybe try another cruiseline. I have been on others too. We keep coming back to Carnival. Happy cruising to all........ Char
My husband and I work "very" hard for our money. One cruise a year. We "have " tp make the best of our vacations. Get a life - If you are wealthy I suppose you can ***** all the time we can't. We have always enjoyed our vacations - no matter what - even if it has not been a cruise. You are together. Love the moments. Love each other and you will be happy. Almost 40 years and we have a fantastic time anywhere we go. Don't have to act our age and we are lucky enough that no one has any idea how old we are. Just love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You may beable to make the best of situations if you would just love each other!!!!!!!!! Do you have problems on other vacations. I'll bet you do.
Everyone has a voice and opinion on this thread and thats HIS opinion you certainly don't have to agree with it, but you don't have the right to jump down his throat and say something must be wrong with him or her. Let him have his opinion and you can have yours without taking apart his every sentence and BTW if i bought a new car,a rental car ect... I wouldnt be very happy if it broke down 2 days after i bought it just my .02 cents and im putting my soapbox away until next time.
There were a few things I need to address about your origional post. The Elation is not the only ship with Azipods, although it was the first ship in Carnival's fleet to use them. The Paradise, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, and Carnival Legend all use Azipods. Icebreakers and ferrys in Scandinavia used Azipods since arount 1990. The Azipods have several advantages over traditional propulsion systems. They take up less room, are more fuel efficent, and produce less vibration than a traditional propulsion system. The chances of a propeller breaking are the same on an Azipod system as they are on a traditional system. While Carnival did have problems with Azipods early on, they worked with the manufacture and figured out the engeenering problems and they have become quite reliable. Carnival also uses Azipods on their subsidiary Holland America's new ships, like the Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Oosterdam. Even Carnival's chief competetor Royal Caribbean uses them on their Voyager-class and Radiance-class ships. Azipods are said to pull the ship through the water because they found that the engines work better if the propellers are in front of the motors. If you look on the side of the ship mear the stern, you can see what looks like an old fashoned bomb inside a circle. This marks where the engines are mounted on the ship. The position of thrusters, by the way, are marked with an X inside a circle.
The ship generally maintains a speed lower than its rated cruising speed. The cruise line schedules plenty of slack time in the schedule to allow for late departures, medical evacuations, or minor mechanical problems. This is expecially true on the last leg of a cruise. The ship wants to get into the home port as early as possable to handle all the logistical issues involved in unloading over 2,000 passengers, their luggage, and their waste byproducts, and loading fuel, provisions for a week, and the next round of over 2,000 passengers and their luggage. Most of the cruises I've been on, the ship generally maintains a speed of 18 knots. A ship may have been maintaining a slower speed because of a current pushing the ship. I was on the Triumph and the Captain decided to add more speed on the last day to make it into Miami early to discharge a passenger who suffered a medical emergency. They debated sending out a helicopter from the Coast Guard, but they figured out that it would be better for the passenger to remain on board since his (or her) condition was stable. However, this made for a lot of vibration in the back of the ship, and it was too windy on deck to do many activites including opening the water slide. We did make it into Miami about 2:30 am, which is about 5 1/2 hours ahead of schedule.
As for the problem with missing a port, it is unfortunate that you missed your port call in Belize. I can tell you that is Carnival's policy that they will either substiture another port or provide you with $20 shipboard credit. It is also very difficult logistically to make shore tour arrangements for over 2,000 passengers on very short notice. Cozumel is an extremely busy port which can handle up to 16 ships in port on one day. Most expierenced cruisers I know usually forgo the ship's organized tours. I usually bring along a guide book, such as Frommer's, and make sure I know what the ports have in the way of activities.
I can understand why you are upset with Carnival, but other than the ship throwing a propeller, I don't see where Carnival could have done much more to help you.