We booked this cruise, our second with Carnival, and third total, expecting Carnival's excellence and attention to customer service. We could have not been more wrong!! We will never again sail with Carnival.
Several things were amiss with this cruise, but the glaring thing, and the thing that will end our relationship is that we booked with a $100 Shipboard Account Credit. We booked a $105 dinner for three in the Golden Fleece Steakhouse to use this. When we went to settle the account, no credit. So we went to the Guest Services desk, and were told that if we had spoken up on the first day of the cruise, we MAY have had some help, but there was nothing they could do now. WHAT??!! Who checks the first day out, you haven't charged anything!
So I am calling their customer service number on Monday after disembarking, and the rude guy, will NOT let me speak to a supervisor even though I asked several times. No help there, they have no record of the $100 and can't help me. They act like I am crazy, but I still have the email they sent that I booked from. I have worked my way up to a supervisor now that I am home, but guess what? She is NEVER in her office and we are playing phone tag.
The other things are that my 14 yr old son bought a Mayan knife/scabbard souvenir from one of Carnival's excursions, we expected to check it in and get it on disembarkation. Nope! They threw it away, even though they will check a "diving knife" and hold it for you. He spent his own money on it, so now I am out ANOTHER $40 to reimburse him because I feel bad. We could have mailed it to ourselves in port, but that brings up ANOTHER thing about this cruise. No time to do anything, so we could not have left to mail it and come back.
EVERY excursion we did, was extremely rushed, started late, and we got rushed back to the ship AFTER the sailing time had passed. Each port was like that, and this was for ALL the excursions, getting back on the ship was pandemonium. We sailed 1 1/2 hour late one day, due to ALL the excursions not getting back on time. No time to browse the port a little and get some souvenirs. I am not a huge shopper, that is NOT why I cruise, but I did want to be able to buy a bottle of water, and some sodas, for crying out loud!!
The décor of the ship is very garish to say the least. One gentleman we had the pleasure of breakfasting with, said that it appeared that after building all the other Carnival ships, they used the leftovers on this one, regardless of whether they matched! I couldn't agree more. It literally assaults the eyes and senses. You get used to it after a few days or so, but sometimes upon finding a new area of the ship, we would still get a belly laugh out of the cheesy décor.
The dinner service was rushed. We had the 6 o'clock option, and from the minute we walked in and were seated, we felt that they just wanted to get us out. Our table was ALWAYS the last one served, even if we were there first, and so we finished later. We felt like second-class diners, even though they were overtly polite, it was clearly an attitude. They would all three stop and chat for several minutes with their "favorite" table, and we would be waiting, again. One night they completely forgot to give us dessert menus, and skipped us until everyone else was almost gone. Then they rushed us, again. We would ask repeatedly for our items, like tea with dinner, and would FINALLY get it, after finishing eating. Meanwhile, they were clowning around with the "favorite" table for several minutes at a time.
Because of this, we did remove our son's $80 gratuity from the bill, because he very rarely went to dinner with us, and did not ever utilize Cub O2. We had a great room steward, though and tipped him some cash to compensate.
I hope it was worth the $100 to Carnival to lose what would have been loyal customers. I am planning a "girls only" cruise for me and my daughter and my mom for her 75th b-day, and guess what, I'll be going elsewhere now.
Great tour! Marlene and E.Ken were the greatest guides ever. The 2-hour bus trip flies by as the tell you anecdotes and stories about Belize. Once there, my husband learned that there were tarantulas seen near the walkway coming off the ruins. I am SEVERLY arachnophobic and he mentioned this to the guides. It is very narrow and there is no other way down. People were petting the tarantulas and there was a crowd gathered. Marlene created a diversion and steered me and the rest of our group smoothly past looking the other way; I did not even know this until the bus had left and we were on our way back to the ship, then they told me.
The ruins are magnificent, and we were even treated to a troupe of Howler Monkeys in the trees overhead while we waited for another group to come down from the ruins.
It is very humid, take large bottles of water you will need them.
Lunch is very good, you get handed a plate and just eat what is there. Coconut rIce, chicken, fried plantain, potato salad. We had the coconut ice cream after lunch, and it is great. Be sure to go to the bar, and try some samples of the wines they have there.
Xcaret We were the only 3 ppl on this tour, so we were put on a bus with another tour. They were dropped off first, so we had less time. We were dropped off at 12 noon, and told to be back at the meeting place at 3:50, because we had to be picked up before the other group, again, less time. We knew we wanted to do the cave swim, which took 1 hour 20 minutes because it was so crowded. Then we had to grab some lunch because the cold water makes you starving! ($90 for some Mexican food for 3 people) Then we barely had time to walk around the butterfly enclosure before it was time to rush back to the bus. TIckets for 3 were $210, lunch $90 all adds up to an EXPENSIVE and disappointing day. Then of course, there is the endless tipping, for EVERYONE has their hand out. Did not even get to see maybe one tenth of the park, Carnival should not include this, it is not worth the money, or at least they should sell a half-day ticket. Would probably be good for someone who could go two whole days in a row.
Maya Key Snorkeling with lunch was our favorite excursion. Relaxing, plenty of beautiful fish, nice lunch. Lovely beach for just relaxing if you want, under the shade trees. I saw others had complained about the size of the beach, don't know why, it is plenty big, and very pleasant. No, it is not Malibu, but intimate and peaceful. We got to hold a monkey, a crocodile and a parrot and take photos with them. We did not see the ruin replicas, we had just done a Mayan ruins tour. The pool looked very pleasant, we preferred to snorkel. Some others commenters had complained about getting cut on the coral, don't be a dumb tourist, there are guides on the end of the pier, LISTEN to them, they will tell you where to swim, it can get very shallow and there is a lot of coral. That is WHY the snorkeling is so great!