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Old March 15th, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Default My FIRST disappointing cruise

just returned from a six day cruise on Carnival's Freedom. Though we enjoyed much of the cruise (it's my fave thing to do) there were a few things that left us with a bad taste for cruising.
First of all, never let anybody tell you the "sofabed" in the suites will be comfortable for sleeping. It's miserably uncomfortable. There's a foam top you can call for but these are usually reserved early and supply is limited, I learned this too late.
Secondly, don't plan on the availability of a deck chair unless you sleep in it every night. Though the ship info states that deck chairs are not to be "reserved", this rule is not enforced. I was chewed out by a "desperate housewife" lookalike because I sat in a chair that had been vacant for an hour except for a Carnival towel thrown over it. When she finally showed up on deck, she informed me quite loudly that she had paid $25.00 to reserve this chair for the entire day !! I went to the purser's desk and asked how I could reserve one and was told "we do not allow deck chair reservations". Each morning I came on deck and each morning every deck chair had either a ship's towel, a personal beach towel or some personal object as a sign it was reserved. Ship's info states that any chair left vacant for over thirty minutes will be cleared of any personal items to allow those who are waiting to use them. This doesn't happen.
I could have packed much lighter had I known just how casual cruising on this ship would be. At dinner the first night there was a twenty something looking guy at the next table in jeans and a ball cap which he never removed during dinner. Actually I felt overdressed in the dining room because I packed suitable (but not formal) attire for dining. At another table near us, a man wore jeans with his shirt tail out on two nights.
It was obviously Spring Break for some though nobody in my home area is on Spring Break yet and I had no clue others might be. These kids were up all night, partying in the hallways. . . some even doing school cheers at 2:00 A.M. !!
I'm aware that Carnival sells itself as "the party ship" and I have absolutely nothing against partying and having a good time but this should not infringe on the peace and quiet of others. I learned a valuable lesson on this cruise, I've either gotten too old for Carnival or they've gotten too young for me. From now on I will sail a ship that caters to those who just love cruising for the wonderful views, the peace and quiet and wonderful dining experience.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 01:20 AM
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Imshirlee, I had some of the same issues on a 6 day cruise on the Carnival Liberty. I did not like the way the area around the pool is set up, and the deck chair hogging was rampant.
So from now on I am not cruising on Carnival.

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Old March 16th, 2009, 01:47 AM
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For my part, I am an early enough riser that I can beat most people to the deck chairs, though I will probably spend little time in the pools or even near them. I much prefer to sample whatever I am interested in. Never run out of energy either.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 06:42 AM
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I hate the chair hogging also, but having just sailed on the Celebrity Solstice I believe it's on all ships.

I walked around 2 decks from front to back and never found a deck chair available on the Solstice. Many had just towels on them for hours but no bodys.

When you find a cruise line that enforces the "no chair saving", let me know.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 06:48 AM
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Problem is there are always some people who feel entitled to have it all to themselves.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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Thanks for your review. Sorry your cruise did not turn out the way you would like.

I myself am considering this cruise in July.

I think there might be chair hogs on all ships and on all lines. I usually just go up to the pool around 11am of course all the chairs are taken by this time however I find a spot where I would like to sit and then I tell the pool attendant and he gets me a lounger and puts it in that spot.

Did you complain about the kids hanging around in the halls at all hours of the night?? I'm a very light sleeper kids partying and doing cheers in the halls would bother me.

Hope your next cruise will be a better experience for you.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Girl
I hate the chair hogging also, but having just sailed on the Celebrity Solstice I believe it's on all ships.

I walked around 2 decks from front to back and never found a deck chair available on the Solstice. Many had just towels on them for hours but no bodys.

When you find a cruise line that enforces the "no chair saving", let me know.
I would like that also. Let's hope someone from the cruiselines reads these threads.

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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:30 AM
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Carnival did recently relax their dress policy. So no one you saw in the dining room was in violation. Unless the jeans were in bad condition. I can understand you surprise as this is a recent change. I'm sorry to hear you didn't in enjoy the Freedom. I really had a great time on my cruise. Here is the current dress policy for Casual nights.
http://www.carnival.com/CMS/FAQs/Din...uirements.aspx

Cruise Casual Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen - Sport slacks, khakis, jeans (no cut-offs), dress shorts (long), collared sport shirts; Ladies - Casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts, jeans (no cut-offs). Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Casual dinner for ladies and gentlemen: gym shorts, basketball shorts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans, and sleeveless shirts for men.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:27 AM
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Default not my cup of tea

Katlady,
I was aware that the dress code had been "relaxed" but having dinner in ANY restaurant without removing a ball cap is just too relaxed for me. (part of my upbringing). Wouldn't surprise me if this continual progression toward casual dining and casual dress eventually lead to service on paper plates. Could possibly be relaxed to the point of allowing swimsuits in the main dining room. In my opinion, there are some rules that just should not be changed!
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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:36 AM
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I'm sorry, but reserving deck chairs is my biggest beef when cruising. Its something I never do and will not. If everyone just went to the pool when they were going to stay there, and not put their personal stuff on chairs, there wouldn't be the problem.

Unless the cruiselines start to enforce this, it will continue to be a problem...Lets hope they start to do something about it.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:43 AM
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Default I'm not a shouter.

bobsfamily,
sure wish I'd had you with me to handle "desperate housewife". I'm assertive to a point but not to the point of getting in a shouting match with someone like this. Everybody within two levels could hear her ranting.
There were two other chairs "reserved" next to the one I sat down in but they had personal towels on them, not the Carnival towel which was on the chair I took. A nice lady who had been waiting for quite a while as I had for a chair asked the attendant to remove the items so she could use the chairs, he refused. There's no doubt he knew these people had not been in these chairs for hours, he was serving drinks all around them.
Also, at that point I was not absolutely sure that she had not in fact paid $25.00 to reserve the chair for the day though I'd read it's not allowed. Was later when I inquired at the purser's desk that they told me this was absolutely not allowed. yeah right!!
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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:46 AM
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First of all I am very sorry that you did not enjoy your cruise. I know we all work very hard for our time off and it is meant to be spent in an enjoyable fassion. And it is regrettable that you wont be taking any more Carnival cruises. I hope you find a cruise line more to your liking.

I too am an early riser, and typically have had few problems getting a chair on sea days. But the chair hogging is very noticable. Both on Carnival and RC. I agree with Bob on this one, that lady would have needed to show me some sort of reciept or have an attendant come tell me she paid for the chair. Otherwise its my chair, per the no chair reserving policy, and you can find your stuff in the corner.

The casual dress is just part of cruising now. People just dont care to dress up anymore. I highly enjoy getting dressed up, but apparently not everyone does. I learned some time ago not to let things that others do affect me or my vacation experience. To each there own.

Now as far as the Spring Breakers go, that was just a bit of bad planning. College Spring Break starts the 1st of March and lasts the whole month. Though that does not excuse their behavior, its not surprising this time of year. Thats why its important to do some research in your trip planning. Thats why we dont travel to the beach, cruises or Cancun durring March or the 1st 2 weeks of June (College and High School Graduation). Thats like traveling to the Caribbean in September and being surprised there was a hurricane.

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Old March 16th, 2009, 10:50 AM
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I was just on the Carnival site and I couldn't find a policy regarding reserving pool chairs. Does anyone have a link to this? I think that would be a good thing to print and have with you at the pool. My only question is: I put my towel on the chair and take a swim, when I get back from the pool will someone have moved my towel? I don't swim long, maybe 20 minutes. Then I sun myself and head back to the cabin.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Read here to see what my girlfriend and I experienced last year on Glory:
http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/vie...069&highlight=

The end result was that we were compensated for our negative experince and on our most recent cruise (Liberty) the signage was both prominent and plentiful in the pool areas regarding the policy on deck chair saving. However, the enforcement was not there and we still struggled to find a chair if we waited past 8AM.

As far as your other issues I will say, respectfully, that yes, perhaps you are getting too old for Carnival.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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there is signage regarding the pool chairs... however on ALL lines it is ignored; man that lady would have upset me if she had pulled that one on me... wait I had that happend on Royal Carribbean's private island, I was TOLD I had to give up my lounger and I was still sitting in it!!! apparently I was using it longer that allowed and this lady attorney from Turkey decided my time was up and was going to bully me; well attorneys don't scare me, I worked for them for years : boy did she walk away a little embarrased.... and I enjoyed my lounger

re: I agree with the poster about cruising during spring break, I am a live and let live person, but I do have issues with very young teenagers getting hammered drunk and being just obnoxius, loud, and hurling all over the darn ship, I too learned the hard way and won't go on a ship during spring break or near Memorial Day weekend when schools just get out (it isn't just a Carnival issue either).
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Old March 16th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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I would have been on the phone to the purser about the cheering. They will send security for things like that. Although, during spring break, I imagine the security folks are kept hopping!
Chair hogs can yell at me if they like. I can go deaf at will.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 03:39 PM
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Default daily posting of rules on reserving deck chairs

Katlady,
the policy regarding reserving deck chairs was printed in each (and every)day's list of scheduled events that we received in our cabin each evening.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 03:40 PM
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Go deaf at will? I would probably be in a trance.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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Sorry to hear about your bad expierence.


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Old March 16th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Just hearing about chair hogs drives me mad ! On one of the cruises, my mother was in a line waiting for the deck chairs to be set up when another woman butted herself in and began to grab chairs as the staff was laying them out. When my mom began to move one of the chairs back so she could use it, the other woman flipped out and got into a verbal argument with my mom. The security guards didn't reprimand the woman or my mother for the ordeal.

For me, I avoid spending my time out on the pool and sun decks during sea days. Too many people are trying to enjoy their vacation at the same time. I prefer using the pool and getting a deck chair during port days. On port days, you don't have to worry about finding a deck chair. In addition to that, you may be able to get the entire pool and/or whirlpool to yourself. And this can be done on a 100,000+ GRT ship!. You may only need to share the pool and the sun deck with maybe 1-20 other cruisers depending on what time you use it and the intended users for it (i.e. adult pool, spa pool, family pool,etc.). The experience of using the pool and sun decks on port days can usually be an intimate and relaxing experience, free of loud music and chair hoggers.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:08 PM
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For me it is not the deck chairs, rather it is the nice blue rockers they have on the stepped up deck space. I was on the Valor in January of this year. It was painfully obvious that many schools didn't go back until a week after schools went back where I am from. There were kids everywhere and the deck chairs were everywhere, so much you had to dance around them to avoid them!

I wanted to watch one of the late night movies on the screen and went to go sit on the blue rockers, only three or four were occupied and when I went to go sit down one man said that ALL Of them were reserved for his large group of people. I went to the other side and the same thing!!! It seems four of them say down on each end and basically saved all of the chairs for their wives, friends, or whomever they were with! At this point I have to say there was a very large hiullbilly car racing group of at least 100+ people and then six, seven, or eight other large groups of 20-50 people. These people travelling in the groups really cheesed me off because no matter what time of day, I NEVER was able to get a blue rocker, in seven days, not even for five minutes. This doesn't apply to the early morning when all they show is news, but from 9am onwards, forget it.

One woman who wasn't able to find a deck chair decided to use TWO blue rockets for her to sun tan with. I wanted to sit on one, but heaven forbit she give one up.....I got back, I knocked over her drink....unfortunately, I saw she had a soda card.....ya, wished it was an expensive frozen drink or a DOD....

It isn't going to ruin my cruise, but I really wish that people would be considerate and not save. I am one person travelling solo on that ship, I do not ask for much, just a rocker for a while....

I would like them to set a reserved section for people who cruise solo and PAID double the fare to go on that cruise!

As for staff not picking up towels and such, I would ask their supervisor who wanders around from time to time to remove it for you instead. The staff don't want to remove it because they know they people who had saved them will be peeved off and will freak out, what they do need to do is make an annoucement every hour and if you aren't in that chair, it's gone!!!!!!!
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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:13 PM
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For me it's the sofa bed. Were three two a room and were going to take turns on the sofa. How early do you think I need to order the foam top for the sofa bed?? Before or when we get on board?? I was told it was ok but now I'm worried. I better drink alot of tequila
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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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I've always felt that cruising would be the last place to be infected by hostilities and rudeness. Well, we're there. Here's what I wonder. . . if people are rude, crude and unkind when surrounded by such an awesome and beautiful environment, what are they like when they are in less than that? If one can't be nice while sailing the beautiful aqua blue ocean as they're being pampered by turn down service and gourmet meals, they've gotta be hard to deal with in the real world !
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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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Problem is most of the pool attendants are probably just working short term or waiting for a better job with the cruise line. Apparently, some people feel that being on a cruise ship entitles them to be rude and inconsiderate.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:23 PM
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I'd like toknow a couple of things......was your ta a cruise only ta, and was this your first cruise? Sorry you had things go this way for you...

I honestly think, the pool chaise situation, needs to be dealt with by the
pool attendants and not by the cruisers, who don't need to become the chair police, and I feel this is one issue that the cruise lines have just ignored to the detriment of all of us...

I too, am an early riser, so we never have an issue of getting the chairs we enjoy. I have seen it all, and when asked if a chair is vacant, even though it has the mandatory book and suntan lotion on it, to mark it's place, if it has not had a tush on it since sunrise, I say, it's all yours...

I am not a confrontational person, but I do have to say, if I asked about a vacant chair, & was told no one had used it yet, and, then a bit later the "owner" became a tad upset, I would bring the attendant to the chair have them deal with it, and I would not relinquish it.....let them look like an idiot, and shame on them....try the aft pool next time, a hidden jewel.....

I think a ta would have been on top of the spring break issue, at point of booking, and advise the client of the possibilty of a more lively bunch, in March,then other times of year......our last Carnival cruise there were absolutley no issues on our cruise...
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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:34 PM
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Default sofa bed NOT sofabed

Aerogirl,
reserve your foam topping before you board if possible. I tried ordering the second night and they were all taken. Housekeeping personnel brought in two soft blankets and a duvet which he put under the sheet in an effort to soften up the hard sofa, it helped but was still uncomfortable. I was under the impression before boarding that the sofa "pulled out" and made a bed but in fact the sofa was just "made up" each night like a bed.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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I heard some Royal Champions have been sailing on various Carnival ships and selling guaranteed loungers by the pool for $25.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:42 PM
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Trip,

booked online through a travel agency. Was my sixth cruise.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 08:44 PM
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Royal Champions? Guaranteed Loungers? Sounds like a SCAM.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:19 PM
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I dunno Brad. . . . it worked for the "desperate housewife" in my situation.
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