We arrived in Galveston on Friday the 9th of April and stayed at the Casa Del Mar. We really enjoyed the hotel and even made the 30 minute trip to T Bone Toms in Kemah, as featured on the Food Network, for dinner on Friday evening. We had pedicures done at Regal Nails in the Walmart in Galveston, which was a treat for my daughter and mother in law who we took on the cruise. We just bummed around Galveston on Saturday, but really enjoyed ourselves. Make sure to ride the free ferry both directions if you get the chance, you will usually see dolphins jumping near the ferry.
We left our vehicles parked at the Casa Del Mar and took a taxi over to the cruise terminal. Embarkation went very smoothly and really didn't take very long at all. Our stateroom was ready for us when we boarded and were able to drop our carry on bags immediately. We went up to the Lido deck to get some lunch and made the mistake of accepting the DOD from a waiter. They were $7.75 a piece and tasted like they had Hawaiian Punch and Bacardi Rum in them. We spent the next couple of hours exploring the ship and figuring out how to get around.
That afternoon after the muster drill we attended the meeting for the children services. It was geared towards the younger children and their parents. The person in charge of the Circle "C" club spoke for all of 10 seconds to introduce herself. It was a total waste of my time because I didn't learn anything about the Circle "C" club except to be handed a schedule. I was immediately concerned that the major Circle "C" activities were scheduled during the late seating hour for dinner.
We eat late in the evening at home and have always chosen to eat at the later dinner time on cruise ships. My daughter loves the dining room experience and wanted to make sure she could eat every evening with us in the dining room. I asked a Camp Carnival employee about the schedule because Lola, the Circle "C" club director had already slipped out of the meeting. I was told to ask the Guest Services desk about possible changes.
I went directly from the meeting to Guest Services and they sent me to speak with the Matre' D. I went and spoke with the Matre' D and couldn't make him understand my issue. He kept telling me that I requested the late seating and that was what I was given. I kept telling him that I knew I requested late seating, but I didn't know when I requested late seating that every party in Circle "C" club would be held during the late seating. To add insult to injury, there were 2 other cabins there with me trying to get changed to the early seating so their kids could attend Circle "C" and the Matre' D couldn't grasp the concept that we didn't all want to sit together. He basically told us right there that he wouldn't be switching us to the earlier seating or to the dine at your convenience seating either, but did say he would send us a note the next day letting us know for sure.
I went to dinner that night and meet our servers Roberto and Karn. They were a lot of fun and we really enjoyed them throughout the week. The problem is my daughter went to our 8:15 seating with us but the very first Circle "C" activity was at 8:30. It was a ice breaker meeting. So we sat at table 502 in the Monet Dining Room. To get my daughter to her activity I had to leave the dining room, run up a flight of stairs, walk almost the entire length of the ship, run down and flight of stairs and then do the entire process in reverse to get back. So I ordered my appetizer and made the dash to drop the daughter off and get back before they served it. This became almost a nightly occurance. It did however help me to make sure I didn't put on to much weight on the cruise.
We went to the Welcome Aboard Show that night and really enjoyed John Heald. He is a very funny man and an excellent Cruise Director. We really enjoyed all of the shows he did, but would warn anyone sitting near the front of the theatre not to take a bathroom break during his performance. That evening Circle "C" closed unexpectedly about 40 minutes before the schedule stated it would. My daughter didn't know the ship well enough to get her back to our stateroom and ended up wondering around looking for help to get her back to our room. I went to pick her up about 10 minutes early just to find the room dark and locked. By the time I found her she was upset about the incident.
The next afternoon we received a note in our stateroom letting us know officially that the Matre' D would not be changing our dining time. I went back to Guest Services to see if anything could be done because once again I was going to be doing a appetizer dash to get her to the elegant dance the Circle "C" was having to correspond with formal night. Guest Services sent an email to the Matre' D to no avail. So the evening dash from the dining room to the Circle "C" club would be a permanent gig.
It seemed that every afternoon and every evening the Circle "C" Director would find a new excuse to close early and she was constantly changing the plans and not following the schedule that she put out. But the cruise changing event would happen on Tuesday evening. Once again I did the the run to take her to Circle "C" club during dinner. When I went to pick her up about 30 minutes before the schedule said it would close my daughter literally hopped out of the club door and immediately started bawling. When I asked her what was wrong she said that she had accidentally kicked a metal door stop and her pinkie toe really hurt. I looked down at her foot and her pinkie toe was facing the wrong way. Lola popped out about this time and tried to tell me that Sarah had said her toe was fine, but they hadn't bothered to even call my stateroom and ask if I wanted to come and get her. HER TOE WAS FACING THE WRONG WAY!
It was 11:30pm and the medical center was closed. I took my daughter back to our stateroom where my husband, an x-ray tech that has worked in the emergency room for years, reduced the toe and taped it to the toe next to it. There was screaming involved and I'm sure our neighbors didn't appreciate it. I then went to Guest Services because my daughter had lost her Sign and Sail card in the middle of this mess. I was at this point all kinds of livid, as any mother could probably imagine. They were shocked that medical hadn't been called when the incident happened. I got a new card for my daughter and headed back to the room.
Wednesday morning we went to the medical center and saw the doctor. They x-rayed her foot and sure enough she broke her toe really bad. Before this is really over there is a very good chance they will have to re-break it and put a pin in it to make sure that her toe is straight and doesn't cause her problems in the future. So we left the ship and went into Montego Bay. I reviewed this port below. For the next three evenings my daughter put up with Lola, the Circle "C" Director telling her that she really shouldn't be coming to the activities since she was on crutches. This was the height of being insulted since this happened in Circle "C". I can't even count the number of times that she closed early or changed what they were doing and weren't were the schedule said they would be.
We loved Grand Cayman and didn't really mind that it sprinkled on us. Cozumel is just down right poured and we had to carry the 12 y/o daughter because we were afraid of her slipping with all the water on the ground.
We had one incident with our room steward when my friend tried to get me two bracelets and left them with the room steward. It took him over 48 hours to give them to me even though he had been in our room at least twice a day.
Overall I have to say that Carnival needs to look at the situation in Circle "C" and evaluate if Lola should be working in an area where she is unsupervised.