My husband and I and our 16 month old son went on this cruise in April 2013 and we don't have anything good to say about this cruise. Primarily because the travel agent we unfortunately came across, misrepresented a lot of things to us and obviously doesn't know the product she is selling.
We were and still are very disappointed with the cruise that this agent booked for us. There were a lot of things she confirmed with us that were in fact not available or allowed on the ship. Even the ship's guest services were apologizing on her behalf. Our first disappointment was the bathroom. She confirmed to us that we will get a room with a tub to bathe our son in but we got a stand-up shower instead. The ship was full and we couldn't request for any other room. Our son cried every time we bathed him as it was very uncomfortable and he couldn't even play like he would normally do at home. This was the closest he could get to being in the water.
This brings me to our 2nd disappointment. She confirmed to us that there will be a variety of activities available to our son. But to our dismay, there was hardly any. She knew our son's age and yet she did not mention that his age group had very limited time in using the playroom. To make matters worse, our son can only be there from 8-10am. Who wakes up at 7am on a vacation? It's like going to work. Nonetheless, we woke up early to get ourselves prepared so that we can play with our son in the playroom at the only designated time. The camp carnival doesn't have anything for our son's age group and we need to be there in the playroom to supervise him. We thought our son will be interacting with other kids his age as he loves to interact with other kids. But because the designated time was too early, there was no other kids in the playroom on the days we took him there. We should have just stayed at home. At least at home, he can play with his own toys that are fully functional and operational.
She also confirmed that our son can use the pools on the ship. Again, to our disappointment he wasn't allowed to be in any of them not even in the kiddie pool as he was still using diapers. It was so heartbreaking to see our son get so excited when we pass by the pools only to realize that he couldn't be in any of them. This to us was the hardest to take. To aggravate the situation, our son wasn't allowed to join the on-shore excursions as well. These were just a few of the many things she could have easily informed us about.
She also confirmed that the gym will be open 24 hrs. Again, to my disappointment, it wasn't. I like to get my work-outs done early enough to get all cleaned up before our son wakes up to prepare him to attend the only designated time for him at the playroom.
When majority of our vacation is on the ship at sea, it was our concern from the very beginning that there will be activities tailored to our son's age that's why we confirmed with her the things we did. But obviously, these weren't her concerns when she convinced us to book this cruise. We were ready to shell out the penalty to get off at Maui (first port of call) and just fly back to Vancouver. But we couldn't make any arrangements because there was hardly any internet connection. There were a lot of other things that went wrong with our accommodation on the cruise that are beyond her control but it was her sales pitch that got us on this cruise in the first place. Had we known that there were a lot of restrictions for toddlers under 2 and all the issues I mentioned above, we wouldn't have booked this cruise at all.
There are a lot of other all-inclusive resorts we could have gone to where our son could have enjoyed the company of other kids his age and where my husband and I could have enjoyed ourselves as well. With the work involved in the debarkation and embarkation of the vessel at the ports of call where one is a tender port, just to get our son to the closest beach, this vacation was more stressful than relaxing. It's sad that our son's 1st vacation and our 1st family vacation, was a mistake and a joke. This is the WORST part of his many firsts and of our small family's many firsts.
Of the many out of country vacations we've been to, this is the 1st WORST vacation ever! Our biggest mistake was trusting this agent. As first time cruisers, we relied on her 100% to provide us with the correct information trusting that she knew very well the products she was selling. We became complacent and relied on the information she provided. Needless to say, we learned our lesson the hard way and will never make the same mistake. There were a lot of misrepresentations done to us on this cruise. I could not express enough how disappointed I am with this vacation.
To add insult to injury, we emailed this agent the moment we reached Canadian waters and had wi-fi connection (at 12 midnight the day of our arrival to Vancouver) and we did not get any apology, sympathy or any form of fair compensation for the horrible experience we had. There was no urgency as well on her part to reply or contact whoever she needs to contact to mitigate the damage she has done. All she said was she will contact Carnival as she said some of their rules seemed to have changed. Duh!!! We asked Carnival the very first day we knew of the restrictions and their guest services informed us that their rules aren't new or were not recently changed. Again, this confirms this agent's lack of knowledge on the products she's selling.