My Family and I sailed on the Triumph on 5/15. Embarkation was very slow. Security said the delays were caused by drugs being found on the previous cruise. The workers at the port did not know Carnival's procedures for Handicap people, or for VIP check in. They would only allow 1 family member to go with the handicapped person, then they had to hold up the line until their family was able to go through the line. VIP's were forced to stay in line. They also destroyed some of our luggage. Handles and zippers were simply ripped off. All of our luggage was damaged in some way. It had holes poked in it. Breakable items were broken inside the suitcases, even though they were packed by the places they were purchased.
I trust you made this known immediately to Carnival. Were these folks Carnival employees or port employees? There is simply no excuse for that kind of service especially with the handicapped and VIPs..
No. It was a mad house, trying to get on. There were many people complaining. It seemed like the port workers did not know what to do. They were just emphatic that everyone should stay in line. My son had a bad nose bleed and asked to be escorted to the bathroom. He was told to get back into line. Another security guard came by the line, and he volunteered to escort him. He said the people just do not know what they are doing. My mother-in law (she is handicapped) was calling our cell phone, telling us to come straight to the counter, because she could not check in until we got there. The Carnival person, checking her in, had already started on her sign and sail account and needed all of us there. She is always on our account.
I would encourage you to send an email to the NOLA Convention and Visitor's Bureau. In the past the have been very responsive and effective at escalating and resolving issues involving the Cruise Terminal. Plus those of us who are sailing in the Triumph in a week and a half would like to be spared this experience. So if you would be so kind to inform them of your issues, you will have my sincere appreciation and thanks!
We just sailed on the Triumph out of New Orleans in January.
(probably our 10th time out of there)
Their embarkation has gotten a little better for VIP, since it started at the front door this time instead of after we got through Security.
We always arrive around 10:30am and have a chat with some friends we have that work there.
I always try to use Dayton or Dominic for porters. They have always taken great care of us.
But once you check in...I agree that it is chaos.
People are told to sit where ever they want to and by the time boarding starts...there are always people sitting all in the floor blocking the entrance rope.
New Orleans is going to have to wise up and realize that we have more bus riders these days and teach them that "unless you were raised in barn" ... you sit in a chair...not on the floor.
We were the only Milestone in January...and they had our names in the Carnival Embarkation Newsletter that the Terminal Reps get before each sailing. Our friend saved it for me...that was kinda neat.
COMPLETES THE FLEET
If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!
Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
Thought I would post a follow up to this thread since we have now returned from our Triumph cruise.
I find that my strategy of arriving at 11:00 to board now needs to be adjusted to 10:30... It was a very nice painless boarding procedure. It would have been a little longer, but there is an older gentleman who works in the cruise terminal and ever since our first cruise out of New Orleans when the kids were 2 and 4 (they are now 7 and 10) this man singles us out and finds ways to expedite our boarding. This time he opened an empty que where they set up our onboard account and gave us an early boarding number. But every time we cruise from NOLA he always finds a way to get us through in the quickest way possible and he is so very nice. I don't know why he does these things for us... I thought perhaps he was mesmerized by my girlish beauty, but then again it could be because he is trying to avoid having a couple of whiny fussy kids milling around the cruise terminal ruining everyone else's vacation .
Regarding disembarcation, before we went to Europe about a year and a half ago, I invested in some nice hardsided spinner luggage. It has made travel so much easier. It has four wheels on the bottom and it is very easy to simply push or pull it along. I can handle two very large suitcases, and the kids can each handle one. So self assist has become our favorite way of getting off the ship. We awoke at 6:00 went down to the buffet and enjoyed a nice breakfast. (one thing about the Triumph is that on port days you had better get down to the buffet early because if you wait until they announce the arrival of the ship in port, it is complete and total pandemonium, the crew have trouble keeping plates and silverware and many food items stocked) at around 7:00 I saw people starting to leave the ship (self assist had not yet been announced) so the kids and I each grabbed a suitcase and made our way to the AFT elevators and went deck 3 where we got in line and within a couple of minutes were in the cruise terminal where we stood in line just long enough for me to complete our Customs Declaration Form (I would have filled it out in advance but our room steward didn't leave one for us in the room) so I grabbed one on our way off the ship. We answered a couple of questions posed to us by the Customs Officer and we were cleared. By 7:30 I was at the Hampton Inn in my Husband's hotel room laying on the bed and as we compared notes on how we spent our week, him in New Orleans, me and the kids on the cruise.
In my opinion, self assist disembarcation is a wonderful thing if you are able to handle your own luggage. But I don't know if I would attempt it without the spinner suitcases. I really am not opposed to sitting around and relaxing onboard as long as possible, I just hate standing around waiting in lines and being herded like cattle. I also don't want to delay my cabin stewards from being able to prepare the cabin for the next guests (I really have no idea how they get so many cabins done in the short period time they have to turn things around) The sea of people who stampede the buffet make it a less than relaxing environment to spend time waiting for them to call your level or color etc... It also felt good for us to be on the road on our way home by 9 or 10 and to pull in our driveway by midnight and sleep in our own bed that night.
So I have to give Carnival 2 thumbs up on a great self assist experience in New Orleans.