We just sailed on the Triumph, March 15-22 2008. The reason we booked this specific itinerary was the evening port call at San Juan. We wanted to take the Bioluminescent Lagoon Kayak tour. We booked well in advance, paid in advance, and booked the tour online as soon as we could. We appeared to have 4 tickets for the 6:15 tour.
My sister-in-law also booked this cruise, and when she booked the tour, she was put on the 5:15 tour. The tickets we got onboard reflected this - theirs said meet in the lounge at 4:45 for a 5:15 departure, mine said meet dockside at 5:15 for a 6:15 departure. This would lead most people to think there were two tours, an hour apart.
We arrived dockside at 5:15 to find out there was only one tour and it had already left. After hemming and hawing for a few minutes, they offered us a horseback riding tour. Since my daughter loves horses, she and I decided to do that tour. As we were leaving, my wife and other daughter were told there was two spaces left in the kayak tour, so they rushed off to do that. Had we been given time to think, my wife and I would have swapped places.
The shore excursion desk on the ship had no adequate explanation - they blamed the tour operator for miscounting the people on the bus and saying they were full when they still had 4 spots left. They could not, however, explain why my printed tour tickets were different from everyone elses.
To Carnival's credit, they did give us a full refund, plus did not charge the two of us for the horseback tour nor the two of us that actually got to go on the kayak tour. Sadly, the horseback tour was not especially satisfying, because 1) it was dark, and 2) it was miles from the rainforest, more in the suburbs of San Juan than in a rainforest.
So I guess the moral here is - check and double-check your tours. And then check them again the day before.
They also cancelled our St. Thomas tour and Half Moon Key tour due to heavy seas, and since it's a safety call, I have no problems with that. We did finally get a great excursion on the last day, when we did the Atlantis Aquaventure in Nassau.
Now I'll have to go back to San Juan to do that tour...this time we'll schedule it for a week that's not a full moon...
I'm sending a registered letter to Carnival's president with all the details, but dont' expect anything to happen.