The cruise started out perfect on Sunday, December 21, 2008 with an effortless check-in and debarkation from San Juan but things changed by the next morning.
Monday, December 22, 2008, the shore excursion to St. Thomas was excellent but returned to the cabin to find our toilet not evacuating properly (slow to flush). We did not report this problem immediately because we thought just an isolated incident with everyone possibly utilizing the facilities, since most of the shore excursions were returning to the ship.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008, this morning the cruise started to go down hill rapidly.... The cabin toilet facility would not work, so reported incident to Cabin Steward. Returned from day in port to fine toilet working properly, so continued with going to dinner at the Pacific dining room.
2015 hours, Pacific Dining room, table 419 met by our waiter, who never introduced himself by name or country of origin, appeared he really did not care to be serving us tonight. Asked for a wine list, which was not produced until after the first course and the bottle ordered did not appear to almost the end of the main course! Service was slow and level expected attention, quite lacking (much better service obtained on the Carnival Valor, with a waiter that was not only a gentleman but an entertainer)!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008, once again the toilet facilities in our cabin stopped working and had to report this incident to our Steward. Proceeded to our shore excursion on St. Lucia and returned to the ship by 12 noon to find the cabin facilities operational.
Proceeded to spend the remainder of the day on the Lido Deck enjoying the sunshine. Greeted by a big screen television, which could barely be seen from the sun glaring on the screen. The movie was depressing, something to do with Sissy Spacek suffering from Dementia and being befriended by an orphan girl (not very uplifting during the Christmas holidays). Once the movie went off no entertainment followed but advertisement for the shore excursion movie to purchase in the photo gallery. What ever happened to live bands on the Lido Deck? Finally an entertainer emerged to play a kettle drum to pre-recorded back ground music. Where were the Cruise Director and his FunShip entertainment staff??? Would have loved to use the hot tubs but unfortunately they were completely occupied by children (no adults present only kids), I thought this violated Carnival Cruises' safety rules?
Christmas Eve, Pacific Dining experience was a repeat of the previous days by a lack of service. Ordered two single glasses of wine to received them at the end of the main course, and this was only after sending the waiter and assistant waiter to locate the wine order!
Almost forgot returned to the room to once again find the restroom facilities not functioning properly. By this time it became apparent the toilet would not be fixed properly while at sea, so utilized the facility only in emergencies and relied on the public restroom for the remainder of the cruise.
The remainder of our days on the ship were nothing extraordinary and the highlights were the shore excursions.
Sunday, December 28, 2008 arrived at the San Juan airport at 1400 hours, after going on a rainforest tour, to find ourselves standing in line five hours with US Airways trying to check in for our flight home. Needless to say, once we were face to face with a ticket agent at 1900 hours, we were finally informed our flight was delayed until 2100 hours but unfortunately we would not be able to make our connecting flight home from Charlotte. All efforts to be rerouted to other major airports to make connecting flights were fruitless and ended up flying to Charlotte and spending the night in a hotel.
Monday, December 29, 2008 arrived at Charlotte airport to once again be greeted by a check in line! To make this short we did get home but 12 hours past our original scheduled time, which resulted in us missing one day of work, long distance calls to family to advise of the delays and additional airport parking fees. All these arrangements were made by Carnival Cruise lines, so I must hold them responsible for the poor air service on a airline that is ranked lowest in customer satisfaction! Carnival arranged for Delta airlines to take us to the port on Sunday, December 21 but to save a buck placed us returning home with USless Airways.
Basically, I now need a vacation from the vacation we took during the Christmas Holidays, thanks to the Carnival Victory!