I just found this website 2 months ago and I have learned so much already. I love reading about others experiences both good and bad, because it's really helpful in making decisions about travel. My question is for any cruisers out there that have taken many Carnival ships and also others for comparison value. I have only taken one and that was Destiny June 2001 with two teenage grandkids. I loved the ship,loved the ports, and would like to go on it again for the great itinerary and the happy atmosphere.
The one fly in the ointment was getting off the ship on the last day. We had a shore tour booked with the ship and were left sitting in the theater for quite a few hours. I understand that you can carry your own bags off now and get off sooner, but for a 65 yr. old 98 pounder, that's not a viable option. What I'd really like to know is if it's always like that on Carnival ships or were they having a bad day? Are any of Carnival's other ships more organized? They have so many new and beautiful ships now and I really enjoyed the friendliness of people and staff and would like to book another with them sometime this year, either out of Miami or back on Destiny. Thanks for any help.
We've been on two Carnival cruises and are going on the Valor in July. Carnival is about average with the rest of the industry on disembarking. It sounds like your experience was a bad one because I don't remember it being unreasonably long. It is usually a waiting game to get off the ship though. Carnival could definitly take a page from Disney's book on disembarking. It was the fastest we've ever had. However, for the price and fun it's hard to beat Carnival.
If you are looking to book another Carnival cruise out of Miami I'd go with the Valor. It's a brand new ship and sails out of Miami. Although you might be able to get a better deal on another Carnival ship. Good luck and Happy Cruising.
Have tried Carnival's self-service disembarkation this past October. Personally, I'd rather wait an extra hour and let our turn come around. Stood in line for a solid hour and a half, shuffling our bags along, the line was FOREVER long - seems that a lot of the other passengers also decided to do the self-service disembarkation. By the time we were to go get in line, tens upon tens of people already were in line with ALL of their multitude of bags, trunks, suitcases, carry-ones, boxes, etc. etc. There is something to be said for letting the cruiseline move your bags off the ship for you. Unless we are really pressed for time, next time, I think we will wait until our color is called and proceed off the ship. Let the cruiseline staff haul off the heavy stuff. It was crazy and pushing all of our bags through a winding, long line was difficult. I felt sorry for those that had children to keep up with. Of course, we might feel different if it took us several hours to disembark, but that has never been the case. Have never waited more than a couple of hours to get off the ship. Have heard, also, that Disney disembarkations go very smoothly.
Thanks so much for the input.I know I couldn't handle those bags for too long. Disney is incredibly organized. Did that once with grandson and it's terrific for families. Entertainment is almost completely for kids though, all shows and no casino, so I'll wait till the great-grandson is old enough to go there again. Actually, Norwegian has the best disembarking of all because you can stay in your cabin until your color is called which is easier, but I don't really like the cruise line. Oh well, can't have it all I guess. I'm thinking of Valor in the spring, maybe with a single group for daughter and I. Thanks again.
On the two NCL cruises I have done, Majesty to Bermuda and Dream to the Western Caribbean, you could go to breakfast and then wait in your cabin reading or watching TV until your color was called. It was much more relaxing than waiting in a public area like most of the other cruise lines I've been on. This was one of the better points of this cruise line along with free style which I really do like a lot. Other than those things and the price, there are many things I wish they would change.
The ships we have been on with RCCL and CCL all made us go to the public areas to wait for disembarkation. Interesting to read that NCL will let you stay in your cabin. That would be great! I guess not practical for the cruiselines as they are getting ready for the next group of passengers as we are leaving?
When we were on our Fantasy cruise in December, they called our tag color to disembark. We were having breakfast at the time, as were alot of people. We finished breakfast, they proceeded to disembark the ship. We were in a penthouse suite, so our color was called first. We had no problem getting our luggage and getting through customs. We were off the ship around 9:15 am.
If your not at breakfast, you need to go to a designated area to wait. On this ship, as I'm sure with other Carnival ships, the better the cabin category, the quicker you were left off the ship. When you go to get your luggage, it is separated by tag color.
Thats why I am such a big NCL fan. You are more than welcome to wander the ship, eat breakfast, etc. but you can leave your bags in your cabin while you are doing all that and then you may return to your cabin to wait for you color to be called. The stewards will come in and clean while you are there but they ask that you keep it tidy while you are waiting. They also do not have assigned seating and times for dinner. You eat when you want ot eat and with who you want to eat with (even a table of two!). Its great!
On the Paradise, we had to be out of the cabin by 9am and couldn't leave the ship until about 11:30. It was a bit boring waiting in the public areas all that time. I did hear that you could request early debarkation if you had a flight that left early (I think before 1pm?). Wish we had done that! We only had to carry what we did not put out the night before for pickup.
Carnival does not decide when to start disembarkment. It is all in customs hands, when customs clears the vessel then they can start disembarkment. From what I learned from our cruise director this past week is that customs decides who gets off first, second, etc so it is not Carnivals fault. We were booked on a tour in Tampa after disembarkment and so were given special tags to get off first and were off before 8:45.