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Old June 3rd, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Exclamation Most disappointing cruise ever!

Just returned from a 7 day on the Carnival Liberty and it was the most disappointing cruise ever. Granted, it was only our third cruise but I won't be booking another anytime soon. The food was terrible, not even worth going to the dining room. We actually ate twice at the steakhouse because the food was so bad elsewhere. This was our third Carnival cruise and the past two were fantastic--so much so that we were in the middle of planning another with both my sisters and their families, who have never cruised before. We had been bragging about how great the cruises were and now I can no longer say that. We are making plans to vacation together but no Carnival cruise! Not only was the food horrible, but the service was pretty awful, too. The only friendly "workers" on the ship were the stewards that cleaned the staterooms. It took forever to get served in the dining room. Our glasses remained empty repeatedly and when we requested a refill, it could take up to thirty minutes. These were not alcoholic drinks--just a glass of water! The quality of the food was nothing close to what we had experienced in the past. Granted, in the past we booked suites, which we thought we had done this time. When we arrived, the room was a balcony and not a suite. There are two dining rooms on the ship--the gold and the silver. We were assigned to the silver. We did peek in on the gold and there seemed to be a huge difference in the quality of the wait staff but we do not know about the food. Many times the waiter messed up our orders and we did not get what we ordered. They did immediately offer to correct the mistakes, but after already waiting for 45 minutes to get our food, we were less than thrilled to start over. Normally, we are not ready for our cruise to be over but we could not wait for this one to be over. It was not the usual relaxing, pampered atmosphere. Again, I am highly disappointed with the cruise and hesitate to take another with this cruise line.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Fortunately my time on the Liberty did not follow yours, but, I do understand how poor food and service impacts your overall cruise experience, as it has happenend to us a couple of times, watching tables around you have no service problems while you are stuck in limbo, waiting.

It does happen, luckily not that often,and I would urge you, if you love to cruise to not stop doing so...Select another line, or just another ship within the line and give it another go round.

How was everything else for you onboard, entertainment good? Did you have fun in your ports
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 11:20 AM
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My worst cruise was on a Carnival ship in 1994 .However I met some very nice people and became friends .

The negative is that it was too loud and too much of a party ship .
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Sorry to hear it was so bad. I too was unhappy with the MD service on the Carnival Freedom but that was the only thing. Carnival needs to take a look at the MD all around and do something about it. My worst cruise was on RC Majesty of the Sea but I have only been on four cruises so far but that was my only bad cruise.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Yes, we did have a great time in the ports! We had been spoiled on our previous two cruises with Carnival. The bartenders were not friendly and did not even reply when you spoke to them. Even the photographers were not friendly as we had experienced in the past. We were really disappointed, especially since we have always cruised with friends and family (large group) and this was our first cruise with just myself and my husband. Like I mentioned, we had been bragging about what a great vacation a cruise was and were in the planning stages with my sisters and their families for another. We have pulled the plug on it after this experience. We may try a resort vacation instead.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 12:30 PM
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Hey Laney...

Which Carnival ships were you on for the first two cruises?

For what it is worth, if timeliness and personalized service are as important to you as you say (and I agree with you), then there are certainly plenty of other cruise lines to try.

Carnival has it own special charm with super friendly waiters who sing, dance, do tricks, etc. But Carnival in general has more passengers per crewmember than other cruise lines (known and crew/passenger ratio).

I am sorry you had a bad cruise, but it just happens sometimes. The one thing I usually recommend is that if someone is unhappy during the cruise make a change in tables/waiters before the end of the cruise, because once the cruise is over there is nothing one can do to salvage it.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 12:35 PM
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The Sensation and the Imagination.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 12:46 PM
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So, you were on the smaller ships. I sailed on the Imagination once and I found trhe dining room to be excellent - probably the best thing about that ship, and our waitress was amazingly fast and efficient. (a lovely Asian young lady, as I recall, but she spoke perfect English).

Yes, once you move up to the bigger ships you run into a different level of service because there are so many passengers onboard.

Well, every cruise is a learning process to figure out what suits you the best.

I don't know you personally; but it might help to read some of the comparative reviews of the cruise lines and see if another line might be more your style; smaller ships, more personalized attentive service.

Some of the smaller Princess ships, or Holland America, for example; are often priced about the same as a Carnival cruise but the onboard atmosphere is more subdued, less revelry and more attention to service detail. Now, I don't know if that is what you want but my point is that Carnival is unique brand and one should not judge "cruises" in general just based on Carnival alone.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 01:43 PM
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All cruise line have budgets, each department has different budgets on Royal carribean you might eat in the buffet with low quality plates and silverware and on Celebrity Which is owned by Royal Carribean) you will find china and nice silverware. Example:

Carnival spend less on food and more on activities....so one could expect to find more things to do on a Carnival ship but eat a lesser quality of food. After all the name says it all.

Royal Carribean has one of the lowest budgets of all the major lines for food..at best it is edible...

NCL has really great shows on board but lack in other areas...

Celebrity was once know for very high quality of food, service for the most part is good. However in recent years the quality of food has declined somewhat but is still better then most other major cruise lines.

In the Mass Market cruise lines you will find on every line that they excel in one area but lack in another.

The higher end cruise lines excel in food and service and offer a more relaxing refined experience.

You truly get what you pay for.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 02:11 PM
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I have been on 12 cruises with Carnival and can happily say I have yet to have a bad expereince with food, service, or staff on any ship. Mayb I am lucky, I don't know.

There has only been one ship where I decided to go eat at the buffet and that was because the Maitre'D couldn't accommodate move me to a more suitable table than the one I had (five people and three just sat and grumbled and the other two wouldn't even engage in polite conversation with the others--too into themselves and they looked to be in their 50's and not honeymooners....)

I had lousy stateroom service on one ship and we figured the steward was so new that he was working on getting his routine set and trying to speed up....

Only problem I ever had was when we left a pet sitter in charge and the pet sitter was only concerned with the money we gave her thank actually looking after the cats....
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 02:28 PM
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I was on the Liberty in March and overall we had good service in the MDR. We were also in the Silver Dining Room. We were a party of 12 and I anticipated issues because we were Anytime Dining (or whatever it's called on Carnival) however we only had slow service one night. They even were able to seat all of us together by pushing two tops and four tops together and the longest wait was about twenty minutes and most nights it was immediate or less than five minutes. That I didn't expect and I was happily surprised.

The one night we waited for a very long time between the main entree and dessert. We would have just left but it was my brother's anniversary and we had ordered a cake. The delay was because the waiters had to do their song and dance act and that seemed to throw their rhythm off.

I know how you feel when you have had great cruises and then have friends and/or family join you only to experience a bad cruise. You somewhat feel responsible though it is not your fault.

I do hope that you do try another cruise and perhaps try a different line or ship. In my thirtysomething cruises the good experiences far, far outnumber the bad.

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Old June 3rd, 2012, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanie View Post
The Sensation and the Imagination.
I've concluded I might be a small ship person. Been on Sensation twice and Ecstasy three times. From there, went on Liberty, really didn't like it for multiple reasons. I've been on Dream, which is very large, but the whole setup was different, not cluttery like Liberty.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Sorry to hear your 3rd Carnival cruise was not as enjoyable as the previous ones, that sometimes happens. I sure hope, you don't give up cruising entirely, may-be try a different cruiseline, they do vary....
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 08:14 PM
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Carnival has cut back in many areas A LOT in just the past few months. I sure that includes food too. We found the food on our most recent Carnival cruise in May not as good as on previous cruises. Not every dish, but many.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 09:23 PM
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We just returned on the Conqest this morning. This was our tenth cruise. Dinner service was not like any of the other cruises. This was our third on the Conquest. The glasses would stay empty for a long time, then the waiters would only fill them half full. We were not even offered the opportunity to buy a coke on three of the nights. We were only offered shots. We did kindly complain, and the service did slightly improve. We had a great time, because dinner is only 2 hours of the cruising day. The crew was always nice. They were just understaffed.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 09:41 PM
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Yes there is less staff in dining room. One of the cuts....
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman View Post
Yes there is less staff in dining room. One of the cuts....
With the price of fuel today, they have to cut some things or raise the prices to stay profitable.

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Old June 4th, 2012, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
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With the price of fuel today, they have to cut some things or raise the prices to stay profitable.

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Old June 4th, 2012, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
With the price of fuel today, they have to cut some things or raise the prices to stay profitable.

TM
The price of oil has been dropping like a rock for the past several months.

I think it's more likely they are choosing the cut backs and things like higher steak house pricing to attempt to make up for the low level of prices they've felt force to drop to in order to keep the ships sailing relatively full.

We like the industry, but it doesn't make sense to for us to try and make excuses for them all the time.

I haven't sailed Carnival for 2 years, and then I thought it was very good. I'll be on the Breeze at the end of this month, and I'll be writing daily stories for CruiseMates. We'll see ... but I will be "telling it like it is".
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Old June 4th, 2012, 08:07 AM
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Lanie - so sorry you had a disappointing cruise. Food for both dining rooms came out of the same kitchen so the people in the gold dining room didn't get better food. They may have gotten better service as they had a different supervisor. I don't think servers know where your cabin is located or what type of a cabin you have booked. Your server would have been just as bad.
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Old June 4th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Lanie - so sorry you had a disappointing cruise. Food for both dining rooms came out of the same kitchen so the people in the gold dining room didn't get better food. They may have gotten better service as they had a different supervisor. I don't think servers know where your cabin is located or what type of a cabin you have booked. Your server would have been just as bad.
Just because we like to cruise does not mean we need to make excuses for their cuts in service...like Kuki stated the price of oil has dropped sharply..once 109 a barrel not too long ago is now dipping below 80 a barrel..No its just pure greed, they are trying to raise the profit margin.

Look at the gas stations The cheapest gas I know of in NJ is 3.43.9...DONT you just love the .9 cents when you see 343.9 its really 3.44The cheapest in my area in PA is 3.54.9(3.55) makes you wonder why gas is so high and oil is dropping so fast.

Its all greed, notice when the price of oil raises the gas raises instantly some times more then once a day and by 5 6 cents a shot...but when gas drops it by a penny or two.

Time to stop making excuses for the cruise industry. They pay their wait staff including stewards, MDR staff, laundry, next to nothing. yes they have free room and board, but that was a one time expense for the cruise line..all they had to do was build a cheap cabin cram a few people in, feed them which amounts next to nothing and pay them next to nothing.

I would love to know the profit margins of Carnival, NCL, Royal Carribean, Celebrity, I bet its in the billions, mif not billios then hundreds of millions and here we are making excuses for the cruise line.

Last edited by buttons16; June 4th, 2012 at 10:39 AM.
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Old June 4th, 2012, 11:18 AM
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I would love to know the profit margins of Carnival, NCL, Royal Carribean, Celebrity, I bet its in the billions, mif not billios then hundreds of millions and here we are making excuses for the cruise line.
it's public information, check the annual report, they're all online
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Old June 4th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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Gee Buttons I don't see where I am being an apologist for Carnival. I was only saying the food in the two MDRs comes from the same kitchen so "Gold" food is not better than "Silver" food. Nor do I believe Lanie experienced a decline in service because they were in a balcony stateroom instead of a suite.

I do believe service is affected by people so you do see some tables receiving better service than others because the server is better, the section leader is tougher or the maitre d' is more demanding.

Lanie also didn't say whether they came to dinner on time or where late (no accusations) or whether they had traditional dining or any time. Being late to fixed seating can throw a real wrinkle into the service staff's efforts. Though with the advent of any time dining one would think this would be less of an issue.
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Old June 4th, 2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
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Gee Buttons I don't see where I am being an apologist for Carnival. I was only saying the food in the two MDRs comes from the same kitchen so "Gold" food is not better than "Silver" food. Nor do I believe Lanie experienced a decline in service because they were in a balcony stateroom instead of a suite.

I do believe service is affected by people so you do see some tables receiving better service than others because the server is better, the section leader is tougher or the maitre d' is more demanding.

Lanie also didn't say whether they came to dinner on time or where late (no accusations) or whether they had traditional dining or any time. Being late to fixed seating can throw a real wrinkle into the service staff's efforts. Though with the advent of any time dining one would think this would be less of an issue.
green, I didn't read your post that way all, I understood your point and you are right on my friend!
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Old June 4th, 2012, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buttons16 View Post
Just because we like to cruise does not mean we need to make excuses for their cuts in service...like Kuki stated the price of oil has dropped sharply..once 109 a barrel not too long ago is now dipping below 80 a barrel..No its just pure greed, they are trying to raise the profit margin.

Look at the gas stations The cheapest gas I know of in NJ is 3.43.9...DONT you just love the .9 cents when you see 343.9 its really 3.44The cheapest in my area in PA is 3.54.9(3.55) makes you wonder why gas is so high and oil is dropping so fast.

Its all greed, notice when the price of oil raises the gas raises instantly some times more then once a day and by 5 6 cents a shot...but when gas drops it by a penny or two.

Time to stop making excuses for the cruise industry. They pay their wait staff including stewards, MDR staff, laundry, next to nothing. yes they have free room and board, but that was a one time expense for the cruise line..all they had to do was build a cheap cabin cram a few people in, feed them which amounts next to nothing and pay them next to nothing.

I would love to know the profit margins of Carnival, NCL, Royal Carribean, Celebrity, I bet its in the billions, mif not billios then hundreds of millions and here we are making excuses for the cruise line.
They operated at a loss last quarter.

Financial Statements for Carnival Corporation - Google Finance
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Old June 8th, 2012, 11:03 AM
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Haven't sailed the Liberty so cannot speak for her but we have done 9 cruises on CCL, 4 on Royal Carribean and 2 on Princess and I can honestly say we have not had a bad cruise. Some better than others. Have noticed the food quality hasn't been the best the past few time but for the most part the service was ok.

The thing that my wife and I look at is that sailing it still the best bang for the buck if you don't have to fly to your port. We have a 5 star time share and we were going to use it this Nov but the air fair was going to be $1900.00 and then we would have to eat out everyday, so figure at least $100.00 per day X 7 days would be an additional $700.00 plus transportation to and from the resort was another $140.00. Granted the time share is paid for but the cost of the other things was going to run us $2600.00 and we booked a 7 day cruise with Balcony for $1460.00.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 09:52 PM
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I had same problem on the Ecstasy in December. I was heavily criticized on here. The food was bad and service terrible. I still love Carnival but service and food went down.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 01:50 PM
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I don't like to hear anyone say they were criticized for giving their opinion.

But sometimes we see a shift in quality from a cruise line. About five years ago I recall Holland America suddenly getting a lot of negative comments about the food.

At first people who said so were rebutted, but then others went and noticed a same thing.

That seems to be happening somewhat with Carnival lately. As someone noted, the line did operate at a loss last quarter, and when that happens you have to cut costs where you can. Often that means the food budget - because it is so easily changed.

It isn't a fixed cost like fuel.

For what it is worth, however, I sense the cruise industry coming back. I think the Concordia had an affect on sales but it is passing. While I see some lines giving away inside cabins in Europe, for the most part balcony cabin prices are pretty solid now in Europe and the Caribbean, even Alaska.

I sense something of a comeback, and things should improve if enough people start to complain about food, etc.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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I would pay a little more for a cruise if they would step up MDR service.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old June 12th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by inv106 View Post
I had same problem on the Ecstasy in December. I was heavily criticized on here. The food was bad and service terrible. I still love Carnival but service and food went down.
Hi

I wouldn't worry about it.

I and several others commented adversely on HAL's Ryndam - we all had the same complaints. Hal's cheerleaders rounded on us but we stood our ground - we only said as we found it.

As long as it is an honest opinion - who cares what someone says - they weren't there

Annie
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