We were traveling as a once in a lifetime family vacation. We have boys with wide age differences (29 to 14yrs) so getting everyone in one place that provides every level of entertainment was a challenge. We purchased FTTF which is worth ... Read More
We were traveling as a once in a lifetime family vacation. We have boys with wide age differences (29 to 14yrs) so getting everyone in one place that provides every level of entertainment was a challenge. We purchased FTTF which is worth the money (especially for a trip like this where standing in lines would make everyone cranky)so embarking and disembarkation were smooth. My 14yr old did not choose to enroll in camp (wish I could have forced him- it is so much fun for the kids and they are occupied and NOT by you) but he wanted to spend time with his brothers so I couldn't argue that, but in the past we have made a deal that is he spent 2hrs and didn't want to do it we would not make him-and he has never chosen not to enroll before-make your kids join. Food was as always plentiful and very good.
Our 1st port was Cozmel and we chose a beach snorkel and lunch which was perfect -it was just the right time, the food was great and the tequila tasting was fun and informative-they were very accommodating of our 14yr old as well. The excursion in Progresso was the issue> started by being gathered in the dining room where our excursion staff spent the entire 45 min wait for our turn playing with little kids and singing shark, shark -sorry I don't mind occupying littles but they ignored all the rest of us and never gave info or answered questions so then down to the docks which were crazy and they couldn't seem to get us into correct size groups-ok not starting good but still optimistic. Get to the van and they have water and snack-very nice but the van is maxed on occupancy and non of us fit -the seats are grinding into our knees and everyone is trying to turn sideways to sit> off we go , driver speaks NO English no one on our bus speaks Spanish, we have a guide on with us who is giving us a description which is cool but all of a sudden we are at a police check point with full garb -guns over the shoulders-everything , and our guide says " I have to leave you now this is a police state" -what does that mean , he grabs some money off the dashboard-gets off and doesn't come back-we drive away. We try asking our driver and he speaks no English -I have my entire family on and no idea if we are safe or not! I am watching signs and we are still going towards Chichen Itza so I am not totally panicking so suddenly we are pulling over to the side of the road and stopping for times- the driver makes us understand another van is lost, we make him understand one of our travelers has to go to the bathroom (thank goodness I knew the word bano -and I'm not kidding) we stop at a roadside gas station and go again, we actually got to the ruins and our guide as well as others were there but they just rushed us through as we had lost time, we were maybe there 30 min's (our guide was actually with us-he had tried to tell us to walk around ourselves but people kept asking him questions so we did get to hear some about the ruins). Back in the vans and off to the Cenote swim, we were to have buffet lunch there, we have 45 min total to change /swim /change /eat and be back on the bus -WHY EVEN DO THIS? if you can't accomplish an actual excursion don't offer it! OK we change , we swim, we grab food -we are told if we are not at the van on time we will be left -now there are other tourists that are hanging out-we are literally on the van as they are going to eat -apparently someone waited for them. So ride back -still no guide , as we are traveling our driver is visibly nervous and we pull up on another police checkpoint and they are pulling people out of cars and have guns and dogs -these appear to be tourists, we are again scared to death , we manage to get through and are flying down the highways, we get to a pull off and our driver stops and our guide jumps on -he says we are late and the ship will not wait> we were all like we bought this through Carnival because they wait he say no-no they won't wait, the ship must pay too much to be here after they are supposed to - we have to hurry, so we pull in to the pier and run like crazy, through the market place which is locked up and they get us through some back door and out to the pier- the ship is ready to deport and there is a plank down but there is what looks like a higher member of ship crew arguing with a woman in a business suit and she is yelling run and he is speaking what is I think Italian but it is obvious he wants to pull in the gangplank. We get on and I will be honest I went right to my room to cry -this was an extremely expensive excursion and I was just done, no one in my family even wanted to talk about it. I went down to the excursion desk about 2 hrs later and told them what happened and a gentleman identifying himself as the excrusion crew manager stated he was on the excursion and it was absolutely perfect , he said he was at the pier when we got out and made sure everyone knew it was just fine- I have no idea where he was but he was NOT on our van or in the vicinity when we pulled up and he certainly did not make sure we knew it was ok. I filed a formal complaint and Carnival informed me they excursions are not a part of them -it is seperate , the excursion company sent me a letter about 4 wks after my cruise stating my complaint was unsubstantiated. CRAZY!! Do not trust anything they market -this was terrible!! When we talk about our trip no one every brings up that day-it was simply best left not talked about and I have waited 8 months to write this to calm down but I am just as mad about the whole thing yet today. We will travel with Carnival again but we will never trust their excursion team!! Noting the cruise itself was for New Years Eve and the boarding was smooth, we had faster to the fun for all our rooms so getting to the cabin was a breeze. My adult kids had fun and loved the casino. Wish my teenage son would have joined club -but he chose not to this time (club is great if you can make them go). Food was really a hit with all boys and the drink package was great for the adult 2- they used every drink allowed. Our Cabins were perfect we had a balcony for hubby, myself and 14yr old and the boys had inside plenty of room in both for all of us. Service folks are absolutely excellent ,never had any issues , cabin was always clean and ready for us. Our experience with director was one of the low points -really wanted to join in and be involved but he really focused on a different group. All in all we will cruise again -in fact in a few months, we will also use excursions just won't trust the advertising and keep it to very basic. Read Less