I'll have to admit that I've never cruised before. I don't have any basis to compare this trip to per say, but I do consider myself well-traveled in the US.
For my last job, I lived in hotels for 2 years - I know what good hospitality and customer service are supposed to be like.
That being said, we received neither of those things on this cruise. I was appalled.
Tropical Storm Lee was something that could not be helped. So the "shuttling" situation dictated in a previous review is not something I will continue to hash out. I actually thought it was well-organized considering the debacle of the situation.
However, one of my fellow travelers had her luggage lost... it was never found. How a single piece of luggage manages to get lost from the short journey of curb to boat is beyond me. But she, and the group as a whole,was completely understanding. Carnival never bothered to tell her it was gone. She had to call and (god forbid) visit the Guest Services desk to get updates on her luggage. They sent down a t-shirt, a small toiletry kit and a laundry voucher (to wash what clothes, the t shirt?!) After 2 days of hearing nothing, (and us inquiring what was to be done) Carnival gave her rental vouchers, so she could rent an outfit for formal dinner. Upon going up to the rental store, we were met by a sweet little employee who informed us that the clothes for rent "won't work" - that they were "old and ugly." What an understatement.
Back down to Guest Services we went, where our friend was explained the horrid compensation process yet again. After tears were shed, she was given 5 free drink vouchers. Liddie at Guest Services was amazing and let our friend borrow a dress and shoes... but this was an act of kindness from one sympathetic girl to another... in no way did Carnival attempt to make this situation right.
I've lost luggage before. I know that a lot of things have to happen to get luggage to the proper place. But Carnival should have taken more responsibility to make sure her trip was not ruined. She should have had a bottle of champagne in her room to apologize. And frankly, they should have given her vouchers for clothing at the gift shops. SOMETHING. By the 3rd day, they finally released a memo to every guest asking to look out for lost luggage, but this should have happened on the first morning. Carnival kept telling us that all of the maids were looking for the luggage in all of the rooms. I personally stopped several maids to ask them if they knew about the lost luggage... much to our dismay, none of them did.
Our friend received a 20% off discount for any future cruise. Unfortunately, this was construed as a slap in the face as she will not be cruising on Carnival again. I will update this board if her luggage is found.
On the other hand, there were some wonderful parts of this trip. While many of the crew looked like they were on their way to the dentist (no smiles, no greeting), we did meet some amazing employees whom we will never forget:
Elaina - our waitress at dinner. AMAZING!
Donell - the comedian - HYSTERICAL!
Aakarsh - magician for both dinner and his own show. LOVED HIM and his tricks!
Tim - singer for the shows!
Paul - casino manager!
Liddie - guest services employee who helped our friend.
Mirko - our pool-side waiter. VERY attentive - great service!
If any of these amazing employees decide to go to another ship or company, we will follow them in a heartbeat because of our fantastic experiences with each of them. These folks are an asset to the company in such incredible ways. Carnival, know that these employees rescued us from a horrible experience and made our vacation memorable. You have hired well, but are lucky to be able to claim them as your own.
Unfortunately, this jaunt on carnival will be our last. Our group of girls all work in sales for a fortune 50 company. We know the importance of customer satisfaction surveys (known industry-wide as a "net promoter score") and we are ready to do everything in our power to make sure our family and friends avoid the Triumph (and Carnival as a whole) at all costs.