On the 29th of September, we embarked on the Carnival Magic to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. We have cruised many times, principally on Carnival. I am sorry to say, it was the worst cruise we had ever experienced. We were booked in cabin 6420. It was a category 8B “Private Balcony”.
We have cruised many times on multiple cruise lines. This was awful.
The food was great, the staff was great. Roatan was great. Belize was seedy. Our cabin was terrible.
When we book a seven day cruise, we always book a balcony. We like to sit and take pictures of the flying fish and cloud formations. We like to relax on the balcony and read. We rise early and enjoy having breakfast on the balcony as well. This proved to be impossible.
We realize that in booking a balcony, it is “the luck of the draw”. It is possible to have neighbors who smoke. This balcony was directly above a designated smoking area. People sat just below us and smoked constantly from about 9 AM until as late as 4 AM. As if the smoking wasn’t annoying enough, the Red Frog Pub was directly forward of our cabin, one deck below. We got to listen to the drunks arguing long into the night. Yet, as disturbing as this was, it was not the worst part.
Directly beneath our cabin was “The Vibe” nightclub. Several of the loudspeakers were mounted in the floor of our cabin! The loud music could be heard and felt through the floor and the furniture in the cabin, especially through the bed and pillows. Sleeping was impossible.
We called and complained to Guest Services. We called nightly. Guest Services even went so far as to send a representative who verified that the cabin was indeed noisy. We were told there was no other cabin we could move to. On the third night we were offered “another cabin in which to sleep”. This was not satisfactory for several reasons. First, to have to selectively take part of our things to another cabin, possibly on another deck and travel back and forth between the two cabins is NOT a relaxing vacation. Second, sleeping in another cabin would do nothing for us being unable to enjoy our “Private Balcony” because of the intrusive smoke and noise.
In all of our contacts with Guest Services, no one ever mentioned the “Carnival Great Vacation Guarantee”. I told several of the Guest Services representatives, “If this was the Hilton, I would pack my bags and move to the Marriot.” On the third day, without any negotiation, Guest Services called us and told us they were going to give us “20% of our fare (an amount of $101.20 – roughly equivalent to one and a half free drinks per person per day) and a 15% discount on our next cruise.
Had I been told that our cabin was one deck above a smoking area, adjacent to a pub, and that the loudspeakers of a nightclub would be vibrating our floor (Please note, the loudspeakers in the night club were mounted in the ceiling! This ceiling was also the floor of our cabin. I have photographs.) until as late as 3:24 AM one morning, I would have NEVER booked this cabin. We never got more than about 5 hours of sleep some nights it was less than that. It would have been nice if we could have rested on our balcony in the afternoons, after a night of little sleep, but due to the smoke and noise, that was impossible too.
We understand that many people go on a cruise to party and we respect their right to do so. We go on a cruise to relax. A little respect for OUR needs would have been nice too. If it gets too loud for us, we usually just repair to our cabin and sit on the balcony and chill. We did not have that option this time around.
In all fairness, we recognize the effort put forth by the onboard Guest Services. Except for never mentioning the “Great Vacation Guarantee” they did “what they could”. Although they continued to claim they would “talk to the sound technician”, nothing ever changed.
The “One and a half free drinks per person per day” credit and the 15% discount, while nice, really can’t make up for a terrible experience and lack of sleep and inability to really “use” our “Private Balcony”.
When I contacted Carnival about this matter, their response was essentially, We already gave you one and a half free drinks per person per day. Next time book a cabin on a different deck.
I certainly will. That deck might well be on a different ship on a different cruise line.