This was our first family vacation and things really turned sour right from the beginning. We are a family of four with 2 daughters 8 & 14.
First Day - We arrived aboard and checked in our cabin to find that there were three (SINGLE) beds to accommodate 4 people! The room steward says that he cannot accommodate a rollaway because only one of single beds could only move one way. We then were told that time was of the essence and that we had to prepare for the life safety drill. We go thru this process and then go to the Pursers Desk to get our sail and sign in cards situated by placing deposits and such. We then tell them about our room and the attendant(The gentleman purser dressed in the white uniform) points to the bold read sign with white letters stating that there is no other upgrades or other rooms available PERIOD! Therefore My DH and I had to share a Single Bed together the entire trip! After trying to get everything situated, We then noticed that we had missed our dinning room time at 5:45PM (as stated on our reservations from our travel agent) so we quickly grabbed a bite to eat in the brasserie being starved from traveling all morning. I then tried to locate anyone with information concerning the Camp carnival groups orientation and found out that we had missed that also. By this time we both had felt so frustrated that my DH and i just looked at each other and said "I need a drink!" Would you believe that It was 7:00PM when My DH and I actually got some time to just relax and have a drink to wish one another Bon Voyage for our trip? By the way we had ordered two specials that came in the Carnival yellow souvenir plastic glasses....in which NO ONE EVER TOLD US that we could reuse them and save two dollars each if we reused them again to order drinks...that is not until the very last day at sea on the pool deck when a young lady came up to us and asked us if we wanted a cocktail. We said yes and then she asked if we wanted the special with the souvenir cups that would save us $2.00 each. I couldn't believe my ears that no one had ever mentioned this to us!
Second Day - On our second day aboard we dropped the girls off to their destinations for their camp carnival groups...which was good...the girls had a ball! However the really big pain was this major detail that needs to be addressed concerning the younger Carnival groups...You could not drop your son or daughter off early for certain events...for example... Let's say that a show starts at 7:00PM ...you could not drop off your youngster off before seven..the group counselor's would not show up until 7:00PM on the dot...You waited in line to check them in and then you quickly walked thru the ship to the showroom and tried to find your hubby in the dark in the stadium that was saving a seat for you. So if you happen to hear "psst, Honey" in a whisper walking down the isle during a show... please try to understand that Carnival needs to some addressing on this and that it's not the parents fault! Here it is on our second day in the middle of the afternoon and low and behold....We had it brought to our attention that our seating time is not what is stated on our reservations but on our sail and sign in cards...UGH! We once again go to the purser's desk and it's the same guy in the white uniform and informs us that we have to wait until our seating time 8:00PM to talk with the Matre D in the dinning room. This really screwed things up for us! You see... Our youngest daughter (8) had her formal dinner (COKETAIL PARTY) at 5:45PM with her group in the kids carnival program. Our oldest daughter had no formal dinner with her group, so she of course wanted to eat with us (for the first time in the dinning room) for the formal dinner. We all dressed up and we were so VERY VERY VERY disappointed that we could not get a family portrait taken together. The photographers are only available at certain times to take photographs. With our situation it definitely was not possible eating at two different times that far apart. The dinning experience was horrible to say the least! We were seated at our table and had appetizers and ordered a bottle of wine (Chardonay - Captain's Choice) which was absolutely divine! Best chardonay i have had yet! I had steak and my DH had prime rib. My DH began to eat and turned to me and said to wave over the waiter if i happen to see him pass by. Our waiter came over and My DH explained that the prime rib was extremely tough even to cut with my steak knife. Our waiter then leaves and does not come back until 30 mins later with the maitre D (Baboo). I then explain the situation to him and he says that there is nothing he can do! I was quite appalled and asked why he would not take back his plate and give him another. He replied that because my DH had taken 4 bites out of his prime rib dinner, he could not take it back and then added that dinner is now over and now it was time for dessert! We just sat there in shock...we just could not believe it! We then kindly asked the waiter to cork our wine. The waiter told us that when we come back to the dinning room for dinner that we could finish the bottle of wine, and that if it was not finished that it would be delivered to our cabin on the last day at sea to finish it then. Needless to say that we NEVER returned back to the dinning room and that our $45 bottle of wine was never delivered to our room!
Arriving at cozumel Paradise Beach made our vacation most memorable! We highly recommend this for a most enjoyable day!
On arriving home i quickly called called Carnival's headquarters in Miami and they told me that this issue was a travel agent issue and that this is why you should not book any travel's with ANY TRAVEL AGENT and only book with Carnival themselves! My mouth about dropped to the floor! I then quickly called my travel agent to quickly address Carnival accommodating 4 people with 3 beds and to place a major complaint in. I was told that it normally takes about 3 weeks to get a reply from Carnival headquarters in writing. Here it is to date one month and four days that i have not received a reply back from Carnival! This really has been an eye opening experience to our family in which we really made allot of lemonade with all the sour lemons that were given to us during our FIRST FAMILY VACATION!