The Carnival "transport" team was not ready at the San Juan airport, fortunately another cruise lines staff did go in search of the Carnival staff while more than 50 guests were waiting. They were not organized and had the group walk around and down ramps to a window area, form 3 lines and then they went more than halfway back in the line & told the guests to "go to transport". It was obvious some did not understand that direction. Then to go to the transport, everyone had to return to and pass the area the guests had been gathered while waiting for these Carnival staff. No logic in this exercise & poor directions provided by the staff.
Embarkation was extremely slow (about 2 hours from transport to ship), disorganized and the Carnival staff did not answer questions when asked. After receiving the Sign & Sail cards (we are inside the Carnival terminal), we were directed to the right with no other directions That put us in line with many others and walking in the direction labelled "EXIT". The guests were confused and began going toward & away from the posted "EXIT". Many guests were asking the staff/security posted if or where to go, but NOT ONE responded to the questions.
When preparing to disembark in Barbados the Carnival staff person distributing "shopping flyers" was asked if Barbados was the island with a 2 to 1 money exchange rate - her reply was "I don't know. Have a nice day.", and she reached around us to continue distributing the shopping flyers. Shopping flyers and no idea about money on the island .. WHAT?
We saw the Irish Bar and mistakenly expected Irish entertainment ... NOT. The "Irish" meant some celtic border prints. It had a piano player at the bar. A real disappointment! The dining room menu was only "good" the options were limited and "average".
The luggage was delivered to our cabin quickly. We did not personally see much of our cabin steward, yet any written notes left for him were taken care of & our cabin was always taken care of while we were out. Our dining room (late seating, Pacific dining room) waitress (Erika), assistant waiter (Alvin) and our beverage server were professional, attentive, friendly and pleasant. They anticipated our needs and made suggestions when asked.
We sent a letter to Carnival Cruise lines with specific details of the lack of service and requested a reply which was not received. Two weeks later, using their websites "contact us", an email was sent again requesting a reply .. no answer. Carnival's lack of customer service and lack of interest in improving the cruise experience certainly seems to be a system issue. Buyer beware ... better service is available, I've experienced it.
We would definitely use Serenity Tours again. They were very professional to deal with prior to the cruise when making reservations, the day of the sail and in response to correspondence after the cruise.