Cruise Review for the Carnival Freedom Sailing of 08-25-2012. First of all, I would like to express my hope that everybody who sailed for this 8 day trip enjoyed themselves and arrived home safely. Secondly, I want to express that this the opinion of our family of 6 people in total- occupying 2 cabins. Background: We have been as a family on only 9 cruises in total- including Two Princess Cruises, four Carnival Cruise Lines (all have been wonderful except the Freedom), and three Royal Caribbean cruises.
Sorry to express negativity from this honest review, but this was by far the worst cruise that my family and I have ever been on! From the rudeness of the pursers desk personal, to unorganized structure of the excursion desk when it came to problems, the cold powered eggs served at the buffet, and the lack of welcome by the general staff on board. It seemed almost like we intruding on the staff of the Freedom by just being there and cruising with them?
This my have been the Carnival staff's 23rd or so cruise for the year, but to many people, this representatives their once in a year vacation. This is the first cruise of the year for the majority of the people on board, and the staff treated some people like they numbers-NOT as the Customers that they were!!!Remember, without customers-Carnival Cruise Lines would be just rusting hulls of steel on the water they sail on. Fortunately there is choice out there for the customer- and many people are fighting for our our travel dollar! Unless the customer stands up to be treated as the customer that he/she is, Mega Cruise lines like Carnival will treat their travelers as just numbers with open pocket books of money!
Problems Observed: Rudeness of the pursers desk- Several times when it came to money issues, from cashing travelers checks(and your cruise ID card not being accepted as ID- even-though your C Card is tied to your ID at check in to enter the ship) I watched an individual have to go back to his cabin to get his wallet from his safe and stand in line another 20 Min. again. The Pursers desk is the only direct representative of the cruise line, and you would think that common courtesy would be basic(despite cultural differences from the staff from other countries) I also observed customers being treated like cattle through the lines, and not being treated as the paying customers they are when dealing in the Business transactions that they may have been preforming.
Excursion Desk- On the third day of excursion, Our family decided to take the Curacao Sea Aquarium and countryside tour. When all the passengers decide to disembark from the ship onto the pier, the tour groups decided to line everybody in a parallel line at the very entrance to the walkway. As soon as the contract tour operator crossed off the names in a quick manner, we were to follow the guide to the oncoming buses. The only problem was that they ran ahead of the group in a exit like manner and expected everyone to catch up. Our 87 year old mother had a tri-walker and could not keep up with the mass crowd of people trying to keep up themselves, with the now very swiftly walking guide. When my wife and I disembarked moments later, we found our mother walking alone trying to walk and find the group operator who was now pushing everyone to board the bus. We understand that our mother is slower, but should Carnival or the tour operator make time for those with disabilities? They did not have any problems taking her money, and the description stated that this was an easy tour for all abilities. We saw no outside representative from the Carnival Excursion Desk outside. My sister-in-law was trying to find my mother, and in her rush to keep up with the fast walking group,she somehow sliced open her hand and was bleeding. When my wife and sister-in-law and son caught up with the tour guide, the guide was upset that everybody was not on the bus already(not the fact that she left behind a senior Citizen , didn't care that my sister-in-law was bleeding all over her hand, and yelled at my 12 year old son for asking her to wait for my mother to catch up). When my wife and I later talked to the Carnival excursion director about the incident regarding the contract tour group for the aquarium and country tour, we received a "What do you want me to do about it" response. It is not my job or position to decide what to do for the customer, its Carnival's job to help out if they could and make the decision on their own(not leaving it in the lap of the customer)!I explained to the excursion director that I was not trying to get anything free or get any type of perks in response to what happened, but I just wanted her to keep those who are elderly in mind for the future, so that this type of incident didn't happen again. There are a lot of retired customers who sail and that are elderly.(I feel as a professional cruise company, that they can always learn for past mistakes and always try to do better for the customer in the future).
Buffet: Same basic menu for breakfast everyday. The powered eggs were not even luke-warm, and the bacon was a mass of greasy meat. This was indeed a "lets feed the masses, not lets try to please those who paid for "as in the picture" type of meal. This was definitely a quantity made for the masses, not quality as paid for by the customer.
Not to leave the reader with an only negative impression. All except the Curacao excursions were wonderful. We did have a wonderful time at our port of calls, and that made the trip very nice.
Come on Carnival-lets think about the paying customer on every cruise. Remember there are several types of choices out there for our cruising dollar. Word of mouth is a power tool for the consumer, and this customer will think twice before booking through your company again.