As a family we enjoy cruising and we have done a few in Australia and overseas!
The cruise we took this year with Carnival Spirit to South Pacific on the 27th of December 2012 was the worst we ever had.
The only happy moment was the embarkation that I have to admit was very quick!
After that the feeling of the boat, the lack of style in the theme of the decoration allover started from the Lido-buffet restaurant deck that was decorated in something that came out of the 70s!!
The very busy decoration and the extremely low Decks that mixed Tahitian Ladies -an imitation of Gauguin's painting- and a Pharaoh's palace !!! (can you imagine it)as the theme for the main entertainment area/theater/bingo place/information centre, were doubled by the lack of areas where one can read quietly!!
First time ever I saw in a cruiser the areas where one could read located in the corridors/walkways were 2500 were walking constantly!
What else?? let me start counting because it was not really only the taste of decoration that disappointed me...
1. To begin with we paid good money and opted Spirit over the cruise in the same area offered by The Radiance because me and few others were silly enough to trust magazines like Woman's Day that claimed that was the best cruise ever... that their water slide -the Green thunder was the best entertainment in the sea!! As a mother of a 13 yo girl I opted it because my daughter was thrilled with the idea and we have already experienced an amazing cruise last year with radiance of the Seas , so we said lets try this one that in PAID ads was promoted as amazing!!! BIG MISTAKE DONOT REPEAT IT. The Green thunder worked for 4 days out of the 12, mainly because it could not function during the sailing time since all the carbon dioxide from the chimney and the ships engines were going straight to the children's lungs!!!Not only this... mechanical problems were stopping the proper function of all the water features -water buckets etc!!!!So my child while sailing for 8 never ending days could not use the feature that attracted us to the ship!!! So her other option was to join the kids club called C-ircle
2. the children club... Boring not existing, not organised, unsupervised all the time, there was no communication of the events, hardly ever a person was in the C-circle the 12 to 14 age group area. The activities organised were located in the Dance!!!Disco area I think 3 of the 8 nights we were sailing...that brings me to my 3rd issue why on earth I was so silly to choose 8/12 days in the sea?
3. The sea days...Well, actually the cruise I booked had five ports of call-2 of which included New Caledonia (Noumea and Isles of Pines!!)Yet the "horrific" Cyclone Freda was promoted to us that we were enclosed in the ship as a major threat and hence "for our safety" the boat had to cancel the two new Caledonian ports! On the flip side Radiance of the seas that delayed the departure due to the same cyclone!!! managed eventually to arrive to their destination while we were cruising the pacific at 10 knots pour passe les temps....to spend our days!
I personally read the NASA satellite info re Freda and everyone knew by the 1st of Jan that freda was not even a tropical storm! I read the info from the french government meteorology department and the info was the same....Dear Freda died and moved AWAY from caledonia. When I contacted the service deck where they has "INFO" with 2 posters one colourful with Freda on top of New Caledonia and the other in Gray scale with the location of the ship and the gray FREDA very close to us and AWAY from caledonia and I asked them to DATE the 2 different posters, their response was to REMOVE both posters!!!
So what did we do instead of visiting Caledonia? we visited SVELTO and Lugenville!!! (one port instead of 2, significantly cheaper port fees I might add!) A welcoming dance was performed all day in the wharf in front of us, where the naked girls dancing were so embarrassed they ere holding their hands in front of their breast and that made me feel 10 more times more embarrassed!! because they were forced to do this...
4. So many days in the sea...HOW DID WE SPEND OUR TIME???? we try to entertain ourselves with lets say ...BINGO?? OK lets discuss the Bingo farce!!
we participated in the bingo the last 3 endless sea days.
During ALL of them the screen stopped working and the second day ...picture this the brought out the BINGO basket and were pulling the numbers manually!!! Yeah back to the future!!! is this really according to the BINGO standards???? I bet you don't believe me...Ask the other 500+ people who witnessed it because they didn't have anything else to do!! By the way are children allowed to play bingo???? because at least 2 (8-9 y.o) won few stakes!!! one of them was next to me and I saw the little child using his bingo dapper and good luck to him but.... exactly!
5. Our cabin!...yeah A triple share *F category stateroom with balcony on the last floor that had cabins was according my judgement an excellent choice. We paid after all 7600AUD just for the cabin... What was the problem??? the air condition and the fan in the cabin was malfunctioning, so I called once the service they came they measured the temperature they decided it is too hot!!! and they sent the A?C boy who said that he had to get up in between the next deck and the ceiling of our cabin to fix the A?C because there was no cool air coming out! We got out of the cabin, he claimed he fixed it and he did, the room was cool at night! BUT next morning while sleeping around 5 am I woke up with metallic taste in my mouth and the smell of petrol and exhaust in the cabin!
I called the service they sent an officer -a lady with blocked nose and no equipment to SMELL the room.She said I cannot smell anything!!! and started playing with the A/C! I remind you that my daughter and husband were sleeping in the same cabin and all of us were coughing as crazy. The lady requested a higher officer!!!!... He came he said he cannot smell anything and he was rude as if I was crazy! I asked him to measure the temperature of the room and sent a technician but as "the authority" he decided that nothing was wrong!
I insisted because my professional expertise are related to mechanics and engine function and I knew the problem was that the filter was removed and all the engines' fumes were coming into our room! I removed my family from the room, asked for incidence report and to contact the captain and ONLY then they decided to sent a technician!! The gentleman came and he admitted that there was no record of the previous repair! So he got up in the roof and saw that the problem was the missing filter (yeah I was right and ALIVE) and he fixed it. Thank you Gabriel!
So we survived...Ah not to forget... they dared to offer me $100 credit in my expenses account!I called them and I said "..NO Thanks!I am not willing to accept a bribe"
Eventually, every time the boat stopped in a port, the fumes were still intruding in our CABIN!!
6. Entertainment!!...Everyone I read critiquing this specific cruise line agree that the head of entertainment need to LEARN his job...primary school level!
the band cheap the songs the same again...the new years celebration boring! except for those drinking! And the best of all!! Santa finally was of Asian background, young short and thin! Yap!!I have just started a new learning curve, as of German background I missed very much this year my fat old smiley Santa Claus with his read robe...this year Santa had white beard...glasses of course, black eyebrows and WHITE robe...!!!Decoration???? the old Christmas one, new years buffet? nothing special!Last year in Royal caribbean they worked all night to offer us a buffet that I will never forget!As you understand the comparison was constant!
What else...what else...Ah Not to forget...on the 30th of December (after leaving SUVA)we hear an announcement .."your security and safety yadda yaddda above all ....the spa is closed because there was a circuit malfunction...Donot use the front elevators the terrible smell will be shorted out soon" I donot know if someone was "cooked" in the spa...you know boiling water and human soup like the Pirates of Caribbean _just joking_ but the event was a fact.
All the massage and spa area was closed, bookings were cancelled fees were returned. I had mother daughter massage booked for the next day...that was cancelled.
The food was mediocre nothing compared to Radiance!
Here after they ask me a port review...sorry none of the "ports" we visited is in the list!!!