Sailing from 9/10/2011 to 9/17/2011 on the Carnival Glory was basically the worst vacation we ever had. My parents and I are very disappointed and upset. This is the 5th cruise we've taken, but the first on Carnival. Compared to its competitors, Carnival is by far the worst experience on all levels. The following is a summary of the major issues we had with our cruise:
1. Unsanitary conditions
The original bedding in the room had stains that looked like some sort of bodily fluid and was covered with hairs of various persons. I requested a change of sheets. The cabin steward manager came by to inspect first. She ordered the sheets changed but rather than apologizing, she told us the stain was part of the washing process and did not address the hairs. The replacement sheets did not have stains, but was still covered by various sorts of hairs. After a long travel to get there, I was exhausted and did not feel like arguing further and ended up spending time inspecting and removing the multitude of individual hairs by hand.
Dining room utensils constantly had to be checked as there would be leftover food on the utensils that were wrapped in the napkins. Even though I saw people changing the table sheets, they did not change all of them apparently as we were seated at tables where there were still pieces of food left on the table and once could not even sit because they had put the dirty table sheets from another table in our seats.
2. Terrible service
Each meal could easily take 4 hours or longer to complete due to the terrible service. To be seated, we had to wait 4 times, taking easily over 2+ hours just to wait to be seated --- once in line to be put on a list to wait for a buzzer, second to wait to come back for the buzzer, third to get the buzzer and wait for it to go off, fourth to wait to get seated. At one point, we had to wait a fifth time because the hostess had somehow crossed our room number off the list so we had to wait all over again. Once seated, the servers ignored all food customization requests and served extremely slowly (even when it was not busy), easily taking another 2+ hours. I saw them bring food and leave it on the side for over 20 minutes rather than serving them to passengers. As a result, hot food was cold. Somehow also cold food was warm (e.g. salad). Steaks and bread were so hard as to be inedible. In the middle of my meal, I was even called over by a waiter to tell him if the steak was hard after another passenger complained about how it was too hard to eat. The waiter was apparently disputing the issue with the other passenger rather than just removing it, apologizing and getting him something else.
3. Deceived regarding port sight
When I booked the cruise, the agent recommended seeing the Bay of Fundy and said that was something not to be missed. I agreed as it was the main reason for booking the cruise to Canada instead of somewhere else. The Bay of Fundy show rock formations when googling the name, are on the brochures and pictures of St. John excursions on Carnival's promotional materials, on the posters in the shore excursion booth on ship, on the back of the Pink Bus promotional materials Carnival hands out, and in the city of St. John. The name is also printed out on most of the shore excursion choices so it is definitely sold as a sight to see. You can imagine how disappointed we were when we were at a hill overlooking St. John and asked why we could not see any rock formations and where the Bay of Fundy was. At that point we were told the rock formations were 3 hours away and that the Bay of Fundy was the water. There was nothing to see. It was just water like anywhere else. We were never informed until after the fact that the only way to see the rock formations is to sign up for the most expensive shore excursion for $150 a person.
4. Refusal of service/missed day at sea
On the second day at sea, they shut down almost all the free activities and only left open gambling, shopping, and a few classes like yoga that required extra payment. When I asked the customer service manager Connie what there was to do that did not involve gambling or shopping, she told us there was nothing and actually told us to just sit in our room and do nothing.
Earlier in the day, they had high winds, but by the afternoon, it was calm and they opened all the decks. Nevertheless, they refused to open the activities we wanted to do such as using the water slide, playing mini golf, and playing shuffle board. The customer service managers Connie and Amerlia made up ridiculous excuses such as there is a hurricane, there are high winds, there are slippery decks, etc. These would be fine reasons to shut down the activities if they were true. However, it was blue skies, flat calm water and dry decks. It also does not make sense that you could go on the upper decks to walk or jog on the track but "it would be too unsafe" stand in one spot to play mini golf or shuffleboard. Amerlia finally admitted the activities could be opened, but then said it was no longer worth opening because there was not much time left to play even though the sun was out for more than another hour.
5. Rude and lying customer service managers
Connie and Amerlia not only lied about the weather (which they falsely wrote down as our complaint in their records), they also dismissed the complaints about the wait times and unsanitary conditions as "normal" and rudely said we were being unreasonable. Connie even originally insisted that she did not have a supervisor, which turned out to be Amerlia. When we complained about this lie to Amerlia, she said it was ok for Connie to pretend she does not have a supervisor because she works on behalf of Amerlia, which is a statement that does not even make sense.