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Old May 14th, 2010, 01:30 PM
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Default Carnival cruise line....spirit...not a good cruise

Recently took a cruise to Hawaii on Carnival Spirit...this was the worse cruise I have been on. It started in San Diego...we were bused in convoy to Ensenada. We did however have a police and aereial securtiy as escort but this did not stop a man with a guitar getting on at least one bus and singing a few songs for money.A trip that should have been 2 1/2 hours from beginning to end was 5 hours +. This was a very stressful and frustrating as we were not informed as to why we were being delayed along the way and just left to sit and wait.
Once on the ship which may I add was over an hour later departing.
Food ...was fair
Entertainment......not that great
Five days at Sea ....boring with not enough activities available
Cabins...good for us.....in our group of 260 but 6 of the cabins were flooded and equivalent accommodation not offered without some objestion.
Embarkation and Disembarkation needs to be re-assesed as it took far too long to get to our excursions and also get back on board on return.
Cabin and Dining Staff were excellent and nothing too much trouble for them to make us comfortable. They became our friends for the entire cruise.
Complaints to Carnival Cruise Line have been answered but not to our satisfaction and they really don't feel that we had legitimate complaints about our transportation to Ensenada. This was my first and last cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Sorry you had such a bad time.

Why did you have to bus to Ensenada?
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Old May 14th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
Sorry you had such a bad time.

Why did you have to bus to Ensenada?
I was wondering the same thing? Well, sorry about that. Hope you enjoy all your future cruises aboard RCI and NCL.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 03:41 PM
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Why did you have to bus to Ensenada?
When the Spirit repositions each year that is standard practice for this trip. The ship cannot take on passengers in San Diego and sail to Hawaii because of regulations (US port to US port). It is also not practical or safe to expect passengers to indepently make their way to Ensenada so check in is at the San Diego cruise terminal with a bus convoy to Mexico. This year there were additional problems that contribuited to the wait time but it is a goat rope when things go well.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 05:16 PM
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Apparently there is an antiquated law that states a cruise ship can not leave from an USA port and return to a USA port without visiting a foreign country. I believe this law is from the 1920's. Makes no sense to me.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 05:49 PM
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I do hope this isn't another drive by one hit wonder post.

I would suggest the OP go to John Heald's Blog and share their experiences with him so that the needed corrections can be made.

A group that large would be memorable to the crew and a note to the CD about the sailing would be useful.

One does know that a sailing to Hawaii involves sea days right?
Perhaps this was not the best cruise for them to choose.

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Old May 14th, 2010, 07:59 PM
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I believe this poster. I'm sorry to hear you trip went so badly. I have looked at Hawaiian cruises and I would never pick the one leaving out of Enseneda, because of the bus ride. I don't understand why Carnival doesn't board in San Diego and cruise to Enseneda stay an hour or so to meet the Jones Act requirement. There is a Carnival cruise to Hawaii that leaves out of Vancouver. This one seems like a much better choice. You can fly in a day ahead then hop on the ship in the morning. No hassle of the bus ride. Just be careful if you miss the Vancouver embarkation you missed the whole cruise because that is the only international port. Carnival can't board you anywhere else.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 04:48 AM
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Sorry that your cruise on Spirit was not what you wanted it to be. I have sailed on Spirit and found it to be one of the nicest cruises I ever did. The ship is easy to get around. I was never bored on my cruises. I always find things to do. I attend a lot of the games. Sometimes those games that sound "hokey" turn out to be some of the funniest entertainmanent. Some people will say anything!!! The passengers are often a lot more entertaining than the professional entertainers. Never have I found the food or service to be bad on a Carnival ship. I am an adventurous person and have no problem trying things I have never tried before. Life is good on a ship and for me there is no such thing as a bad cruise. Sometimes "ship happens" but so what, life goes on and there are usually more good times than bad.

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Old May 15th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by by_the_board View Post
Apparently there is an antiquated law that states a cruise ship can not leave from an USA port and return to a USA port without visiting a foreign country. I believe this law is from the 1920's. Makes no sense to me.
I think that we (who love to cruise) should call on our congress to change this law.

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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Life is good on a ship and for me there is no such thing as a bad cruise. Sometimes "ship happens" but so what, life goes on and there are usually more good times than bad.

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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Hopefully Lizzan2 will give the "Fun Ships" another chance. This Hawaii though Mexico muddle isn't the typical Carnival cruise.
Last month, I met a large group of highly irate passengers at LAX who were awaiting bus transport to this cruise. They were told very little except "wait" and "wait some more" and felt almost stranded.
After speaking with them....there is no way I'll do that Ensenada to Hawaii shenanigans.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizann2 View Post
Food ...was fair
Entertainment......not that great
Five days at Sea ....boring with not enough activities available
Cabins...good for us.....in our group of 260 but 6 of the cabins were flooded and equivalent accommodation not offered without some objestion.
Embarkation and Disembarkation needs to be re-assesed as it took far too long to get to our excursions and also get back on board on return.
Cabin and Dining Staff were excellent and nothing too much trouble for them to make us comfortable. They became our friends for the entire cruise.
Complaints to Carnival Cruise Line have been answered but not to our satisfaction and they really don't feel that we had legitimate complaints about our transportation to Ensenada. This was my first and last cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines.
.....Food is fair? Compared to what? In the big picture, Filet Mignon, Baked Alaska, Lobster, and melted chocolate cake rates higher than fair.
.....days at sea were "boring"? Relative to what? Out of 11 cruises, 7 being on Carnival, the word boring isn't appicable to the ones I've been on. There is trivia, art actions, hot-tubs, swimming pools, super slide, miniature golf, golf lessons, karaoke, shopping lectures, excursion lectures, the game shows, pool games, deck parties, singers in the casino, gaming in the casino, singers in the atrium, singers in the lounges, sing along piano, sushi tasting, show singers, show dancers, singing and dancing waiters, dance lsssons, captain's party, ice carving, hot tea by piano, the disco,the spa, eating, meeting interesting people, & eating some more.
....entertainment wasn't that great? What would one expect? Singing, dancing, live music, laser lights....they do that at least twice a cruise during production shows. Other nights have comedy, magicians, and so on.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil&Liz View Post
One does know that a sailing to Hawaii involves sea days right?
Perhaps this was not the best cruise for them to choose.

Phil & Liz
I love to cruise, but we enjoyed our trip to Hawaii when we did a fly and land vacation then when we did a cruise to Hawaii. When we stayed in Hawaii for eight nights we had a lot more time to see this beautiful state than we did on the cruise.

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Old May 15th, 2010, 04:58 PM
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I was on this cruise and thought it was great! I'll be doing this one again in the future.

Yes, the bus ride was a pain, but also Carnival gave everyone on the ship $15obc to cover lunch in San Diego and FREE DRINKS the second night of the cruise along with an apology. Sometimes the bus ride goes smoothly, but often does not. The ship takes 4 hours to get to San Diego, the bus about 2 hours, there is a border crossing to deal with, etc. There is opportunity for things outside of Carnival's control can go wrong.

The cruise is a reposition cruise with 5 sea days and is priced accordingly. It is not a regular cruise route and would not be cost effective to add special entertainment. The same is true for Transatlantic repositions.

The only way Carnival could board in San Diego and stop in Ensenada would be if the ship returned to San Diego which it doesn't. People who did a b2b could board in San Diego, because they disembarked in Vancouver.

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Carnival Spirit Hawaii Cruise - April 2010
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Old May 19th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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Apparently there is an antiquated law that states a cruise ship can not leave from an USA port and return to a USA port without visiting a foreign country. I believe this law is from the 1920's. Makes no sense to me.
Carnival Fantasy..Yes it goes to the bahamas FIRST..Then KEY WEST..THen back to Charlston....How does that apply? The last stop is a US port..Just curoius how that works with clearing customs a second time in a row? I figured customs would be cleared in KEY WEST, and since the ship doesnt stop in another port on way back the procedure would be quicker getting off.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 06:11 PM
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We did Hawaii on the Spirit a couple of years ago, but boarded in Honolulu and got off in Vancouver. There were others who complained of the sea days, but we enjoyed the games and entertainment...and the opportunity to just relax after 7 days of sight-seeing on the islands. Sorry the poster had problems, but I would travel with Carnival anytime - and will again in August! 102 days!!!
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Old May 20th, 2010, 12:21 PM
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I think we would all petition Congress to do away with the Jones Act.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 01:59 PM
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When we cruised last year during the H1N1 outbreak aboard the Valor, our last stop (Cozumel) was cancelled, and we picked up Key West, we had to go through immigration before we could leave the ship, we then set sail for Miami that night to disembark. So, the back-to-back US port seems allowed as long as the first port is a foreign country. (There is a Bermuda cruise that stops on Providence before New York also.)
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 06:51 PM
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I really enjoyed this thread because I was previously unaware of the U.S. law preventing cruises between U.S. ports without an intervening foreign port. This answers a lot of questions I have had concerning cruises from the U.S. West Coast that go to or return from Hawaii.
This brings up a question from our cruising experience. Last year we went on one of the last four-day cruises of the Carnival Holiday before it left Mobile for good. We were originally scheduled to cruise to Cozumel and back but, due to the H1N1 scare, we were rescheduled to go to Key West instead of Cozumel. This was not a mid-cruise diversion but was announced about a week before the cruise began. We went from Mobile to Key West and returned to Mobile at the appointed time. My question is, how was this cruise allowed when it obviously contravenes the Federal law?
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 03:51 AM
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Extenuating circumstances like Pig Flu are treated differently. A number of cruises violated the "Jones act" - there was no choice. I don't know of any being fined.

The same has been true of cruises affected by inclement weather and missing ports.

There are different requirements depending on if a foreign flagged cruise ship embarks and disembarks in the same US port vs two different US ports.

I don't think Congress cares about the law - however at least one union does.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 12:47 AM
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I did that cruise last year, and had the same horrendous San Diego to Ensenada experience, complete with overcrowded waiting in tents in SD to board busses, no food or water for hours in the tent while waiting, i was thoroughly frustrated and angry, as with all of the other cruises i have been on, once you get to the port, it's usually a small wait, then you're on board. to make matters worse, Carnival lost my luggage while disembarking, (from the 7th floor to the pier), so i had to spend a week in HI with no clothes. carnival took no responsibility for looking for the luggage, nor for notifying me about it until four weeks later. The cruise itself was fun, and fine, but they've got to do something about the whole Ensenada routine - it's crazy.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 12:55 AM
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I heard from a Carnival representative that the law they were obeying is due to the fact that the ship is not registered in the US, therefore, it can not begin and end in a US port, hence the trip to Ensenada, so it can leave from Mexico and end in HI...It also leaves from HI and ends in Vancouver, Canada, etc,
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Old May 24th, 2010, 08:19 AM
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Of course the cruise lines could register in the US pay wages equivalent to US wages and we could pay higher cruise fairs - then the Jones Act would not be an issue, right?
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Old May 24th, 2010, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
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Of course the cruise lines could register in the US pay wages equivalent to US wages and we could pay higher cruise fairs - then the Jones Act would not be an issue, right?
NCLA already learned that Americans are too lazy to do the equivalent work even for higher wages. Plus it would take an act of Congress anyway, to get around that the ship also has to be made in America.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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I did this same cruise in 2007, and had almost none of the problems the OP has complained about. I will agree, the transport to Ensenada has some bugs to be worked out. We were delayed leaving San Diego, and then all the buses arrived in Ensenada at once. One bus broke down along the way. No one boarded our bus to sing to us.

Thought the Spirit was the best ship I've been on in terms of size and layout.

I think the OP was so angry about the ride to Ensenada that they let the experience color their entire cruise experience. BTW, I enjoyed riding down the coast to Ensenada - saw a lot of great scenery. I agree it made for a long day, but then we had 5 sea days to relax and enjoy the ship.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
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I heard from a Carnival representative that the law they were obeying is due to the fact that the ship is not registered in the US, therefore, it can not begin and end in a US port, hence the trip to Ensenada, so it can leave from Mexico and end in HI...It also leaves from HI and ends in Vancouver, Canada, etc,
NCL is the only cruise line with a US flagged ship. The Pride of America does the 7 day Hawaiian cruises without hitting an international port. However, this means no casnio because you are not in international waters. I have not done this cruise, my friend did and had a great time. However, there were some service issues on the US flagged ship. I'm not sure if they were resolved or not. To really see Hawaii this is probably your best bet. They have overnight stays in port and hit more islands in seven days. I'm not happy about the cost it is much more expensive the the other cruise ships. It's why I haven't done a Hawaiian cruise yet.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 03:00 PM
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NCL is the only cruise line with a US flagged ship. The Pride of America does the 7 day Hawaiian cruises without hitting an international port. However, this means no casnio because you are not in international waters. I have not done this cruise, my friend did and had a great time. However, there were some service issues on the US flagged ship. I'm not sure if they were resolved or not. To really see Hawaii this is probably your best bet. They have overnight stays in port and hit more islands in seven days. I'm not happy about the cost it is much more expensive the the other cruise ships. It's why I haven't done a Hawaiian cruise yet.
Carnival Spirit hits the same islands and also has a couple of overnight stays.

I understand some people skipped the 5 sea days, flew to HI to join Carnival Spirit and just paid the $300pp penalty. Not sure how they arranged that - maybe you just miss the boat in Ensenada.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 04:05 PM
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They missed the best part of the cruise! I enjoyed Hawaii, but thought the 5 sea days across the Pacific were heavenly.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 05:43 PM
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I would pay the $300 extra just for the sea days. Incredibly relaxing.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 11:39 AM
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I did that cruise last year, and had the same horrendous San Diego to Ensenada experience, complete with overcrowded waiting in tents in SD to board busses, no food or water for hours in the tent while waiting, i was thoroughly frustrated and angry, as with all of the other cruises i have been on, once you get to the port, it's usually a small wait, then you're on board. to make matters worse, Carnival lost my luggage while disembarking, (from the 7th floor to the pier), so i had to spend a week in HI with no clothes. carnival took no responsibility for looking for the luggage, nor for notifying me about it until four weeks later. The cruise itself was fun, and fine, but they've got to do something about the whole Ensenada routine - it's crazy.
There have been many cases reported of cruisers taking the wrong luggage.

It just happened to a cruise buddy on the Elation. They were getting of that 15 day cruise through the Panama Canal. They went to get their luggage and one large suitcase was missing.

Another passenger had taken it with her to the airport because it "looked like hers" and did not realize the error until they got to the airport.

Luckily, the passenger that had taken the wrong suitcase realized it BEFORE she got home.

She sent the suitcase back to the port via the transfer bus and it was eventually reunited with the owner.

Just like when you fly....there is no one making sure that passengers get the correct luggage when they pick it up.
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