Aside from our wedding, our honeymoon cruise on the Victory was going to be one of the highlights of the year. Not only did we pay for our own wedding, we saved for over a year to pay for our honeymoon. It was the silver lining to a year filled with financial sacrifces. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the nightmare of our year. I will now factually tell you what happened.
We booked our cruise to the Caribbean in January of 2012. My husband doesn't like to take any risks so he booked everything through Carnival...airfare, transportation, etc....which means everything is more expensive. We also purchased the insurance for our trip. At the agent's recommendation, we were to fly in on the same day we were supposed to embark. We both had a huge problem with this, but were assured they do it all of the time. We reluctantly agreed, but were excited. We splurged and got us a nice room with a balcony. Ocotober couldn't come fast enough.
Fast forward to the end of October 2012...the day we leave for our honeymoon. Just like we feared, our American Airlines flight was delayed in Dallas for four hours...we weren't going to make the ship. We immediately called Carnival to figure out what our next move should be. We were upset but knew they would just fly us out to the next port to meet up with the ship in St. Thomas the next day. After two hours on the phone with the Carnival agent, we were told they couldn't find us a flight to St. Thomas. We would have to wait until mid-week to get on the ship when it docked in Barbados. We asked for a partial refund and they refused, saying they would put us up in Barbados for two and a half days. They gave us a food allowance (an allowance we had to pay for upfront but were promised to be reimbursed for)and booked us a flight to Barbados. We asked about our luggage and were told they were already pulling our bags to make sure they came with us.
The next day we flew into Barbados only to learn that a Carnival Cruise Line employee had sent our bags to St. Thomas and from there had taken our bags and put them on the ship. American Airlines even gave us the name of the employee from Carnival who picked up our bags. This infuriated us because the cruise line was obviously not communicating with each other. They sent us to Barbados,yet put our bags on the ship. Now, not only did we have to pay for food (which we had already paid for expecting to be on the ship)we had to buy clothes, toothpaste, brushes, etc. We took a taxi to our hotel which isn't on the main portion of the island. Our accomodations weren't great. We had a hotel room with two twin beds...on our honeymoon. We asked if the cruise line had given us any sort of credit at the hotel for food...the answer to that was no. I'll now skip the part in Barbados because this is a cruise critique and we weren't on the ship.
Fast forward two days, when the ship docks in Barbados. I told my husband that I wanted to get on the boat ASAP so that we could finally enjoy a nice meal and shower with our toiletries. We arrived at the location at 8am to get on the ship. The boat docked at 7am. Upon arrival, we were told we couldn't get on the ship because the carnival cruise line employee who checks people in doesn't start until 10:30. I begged to get on the ship. I was denied. Carnival left us standing in the sun for two and a half hours because the employee's shift hadn't started yet. When the employee finally did arrive, she proceeded to tell us that she was sorry American Airlines messed up our honeymoon. My husband told her...no, it was you guys. She laughed at us and said it wasn't their fault.
We finally get on the ship, where I thought they would do SOMETHING to make it up to us. They didn't. They checked us in and that was it. We ate and the food was less than average. We were disappointed, but were just happy we had our clothes and a nice bed. Other than that bump in the morning, the rest of the day was good. However, we quickly realized the adult pool was really a kiddie pool. Kids were everywhere and would use the showers to pee in. We complained to the employees that the kids were peeing in the shower. They did nothing. We made a mental note and didn't use the shower.
The next port in St. Lucia the next day was also nice. No complaints.
The Friday stop in St. Kitts was different. Keep in mind, we had missed two of our pre-paid excursions earlier in the week. Our final excursion was supposed to be in St. Kitts. As we put our bathing suits on to go snorkeling, we received a call in our cabin saying the excursion had been cancelled due to poor visibility. What else could go wrong??? Because we had used most of our cash earlier in the week buying food and clothing, we decided to not go to the beach in St. Kitts because our server told us the cabs there were expensive. We decided to conserve the rest of our cash for St. Maarteen, which we were told is the best port. We wouldn't know.
The next day, we were awaken by the cruise director's voice on the intercom system saying we weren't going to dock in St. Maarteen because the swells were "concerning" We instead went to Puerto Rico where the cruise ended. Overall, we were upset. To this day, Carnival and the insurance company have not reimbursed us for the first half of our trip. Carnival was supposed to send us a letter to submit to the insurance company, yet have not done so...and despite repeated calls, still won't help us. Please be aware that Carnival did nothing to make anything right. We are disappointed...and still aren't finding the humor in our ruined honeymoon.