Carnival Legend: Fun but our AC, bathroom vent and air circulation didn't work, "guest services" didn't fix the problem or offer a small refund. The room was unbearably hot and humid with poor air circulation; we were sweating in our room all but one night. Below: Comments on room, ship, excursions, entertainment, food and customer service.
Pro's: Comfortable beds, sofa & pillows, storage for suitcases under bed, plenty of closet and drawer space, nice TV, vanity area, room cleaned twice a day (cleaned when we came back from the excursions and again after dinner), towel animals, sheets turned downed at night, next day activities program set out at night, great view from the patio.
Cons and Warning: As stated above the room was very hot and humid with poor air circulation. It got worse after the first persons shower and extremely humid by the third person's shower. A booking agent said that the rooms are air-conditioned and "You could get it as cold as you would like", which is a lie.
When you call guest services they will tell you 74 or even 76 degrees is acceptable by their standard and "We are sorry it doesn't meet your expectations" and "we are sorry that it isn't to your preference!" I explained it isn't a matter of my preference, that room was far too hot and humid, that we paid for air conditioning and the room wasn't air conditioned, that I was sweating, it was stuffy, hard to breath and that I was thinking about sleeping in the hall or lounge to be comfortable. It WASN'T COMFORTABLE most of the time in our room, that isn't acceptable! Their policy says it is!
We reported problems several times; we spent time on our vacation WAITING for a repairman three times. The third time the air worked for one night then failed again. The vent to move air into the room was never fixed, the shower vent to move humid air out of the bathroom was never fixed. We were given a fan, which made it barely tolerable. Only one night (the second from last) we slept in an air-conditioned room but it didn't last. We asked around and there were other people with AC problems.
Carnival measures the air temperature at the air outlet, not into the room, if it measures 74 degrees that is their acceptable range for air conditioning, regardless on your comfort level! They do not take into account the humidity and poor air circulation in the room.
The heat and humidity of the Caribbean didn't bother us but the room was very uncomfortable, much of the time felt like a humid 85. I was dripping in sweat even after a shower. I'm sure many nights it got much hotter than what it was metered it at.
There is only ONE electric outlet near the vanity in the room and the one in the shower was for shavers only, curling wands wouldn't work. The hair dryer was not very strong, if you have long thick hair you might want to bring your own. We needed to keep the drape shut on a patio during the day because the room was so hot and the sun was shining in, during the day we couldn't enjoy the view we paid for because of the broken AC. Three days people were sent notes to remove items from their patios because of repairs while at port, the morning of deporting people were cleaning our patio so we couldn't use it on the last morning before we left at 8:30am, the bathroom was also cleaned and set up with items for the next guests before we left on the last day even though we said we said were just going to breakfast and would be back. We had to be careful using the bathroom to not disturb it for the next guests, house keeping also knocked on the door to get used glasses, I felt I we were being rushed out of our room on the last day even though you are told you can stay until 8:30 am.
Food & Dining Room
Pro's: I'm a good cook and baker. Most of the meals were very good to excellent at night and good during the day. Don't be afraid to try things at night. The staff sang and acted on most evenings, it was enjoyable. Past cruiser's felt it wasn't as good as other cruises. Food was always available even though it was sometimes just a sandwich or pizza.
Con's: Deserts in general were ok, but not great, better than store bought, not as good as homemade. We wanted the early dining time to be able to see the early show and get to bed earlier for excursions. We were told that we had late seating at 8:15 even though we thought we had scheduled the 6:00, which would have been nicer. Our server was nice but slow; the entire meal took almost 2 hours on some nights. The hosts Barbara and Andrea in the main dinning room were the coldest hosts I've EVER met, every night they would stand like statues without expressions watching the guests come in. Never a smile and never a greeting, rarely any comment to any guest, they always had very cold expressions on their faces.
Sales: Everywhere you go they are trying to sell you something, photos, drinks, bingo, art auctions, jewelry, excursions, shops, gambling, water bottles, etc. It would have been nice to see some of that effort going toward more entertainment. We weren't pressured to buy anything, but did feel they are more focused on making money than entertaining.
Pro's: The Motown singer and juggler were fantastic, very entertaining, very funny, I found them to be much funnier than the comedians. Day's at sea: different activities were fun, take advantage of what is listed on the sheet like the hair chest contest, the synchronized swimming contest, towel folding and ping pong.
Con's: Would like to see more choices of things to do in the evening, if you weren't into gambling, bad comedians or drinking there isn't a lot to do at night after the show. Comedian's: We walked out on the evening comedian, he found it necessary to swear, be vulgar and use God name in vain to get a laugh. We sat through the "family time" comedian but he wasn't at all funny, really very boring. The welcome show was also boring. With the exception of the two fantastic shows and one other ok show we agree with the comments from other people that the shows were disappointing and not up to "Broadway" or professional show standards. I didn't like to have to walk through the smoky large casino every night to get to the entertainment after dinner.
Warning: They had pyrotechnics during one show. It would have been fun anywhere else but was frightening to see on a ship. I felt they used very poor judgment to use it. If anything went wrong where would people run to away from a fire on a ship?
Excursions - Do your research before you go! We only had a couple of days to research on this last minute trip.
Cozumel - Pro's: Privately booked by walking across the street, took a glass bottom boat and snorkeling cruise. I never snorkeled, can barely swim, was a little nervous but I LOVED it and can't wait to go back! At first I thought it might be a little seedy, small older boat and had to walk across a rocky lot to get to it then step down into the boat because there wasn't a dock.
Don't worry they are great and we had a lot of personal attention snorkeling unlike the large booked excursion groups. They gave us drinks throughout the trip and took us to three different reefs to snorkel. She would bring fish near us by feeding them and even gave me some food to feed the fish. I didn't think I would like fish near me but I loved it! Make sure you bring an underwater camera. It was a lot of fun and we highly recommend it. Save the shopping for the end of the day, it's a large nice touristy area right before you return to the ship. We felt safe there and the people were all friendly. Note: The water is salty, so you can easily float.
Roatan - Mostly Pro: We walked through the entrance area to the "Zip and Clip" zip line; WE LOVED IT! We would like to do it again, for the most part we felt safe but at times they put too many people on some plat forms while others were zipping right toward you with no place to go, we had just enough room to be safe, barely.
They also, released riders before the people ahead of them were safely on the platform. Sometimes people were stopped on the zip line with others zipping toward them and an employee had to hurry out to pull people on the platform. I would still love to do it again, but would talk to the people about not having so many people in a group and not releasing people until the person ahead of them is on the platform.
Then we took a private tour by cab, it was a great experience. Make sure you ask the cab driver to take you to the monkey park; it's only $8.00. We had a great time and a lot of laughs when we were in the cage with the two baby monkeys and they were climbing all over us trying to take things away.
Grand Cayman - Mostly Pro: Hired a small bus driver right outside of the main area. Make sure you don't pay them until you feel their "air conditioned" bus. There were many drivers and this bus didn't have working air conditioning. Stopped at "Hell" - would like to have passed on that one, it looks like the photo's online. The rum factory (retail store) was nice, had samples of rum cake and bought coffee.
We were told we could take a city bus back to the port so we asked to be dropped off at Dolphin Cove to swim with dolphins. The tickets were very expensive, I think it cost around $159.00 per person, it included the ticket to the turtle area across the street, which wasn't too exciting unless you are into turtles. Needed to wait for over an hour for our turn so we ate in the outdoor cafe area by the dolphins. You aren't allowed to take your camera into the pool during your session, but can take photos from the side before your turn.
It was very memorable and fun to swim with the dolphins, but short maybe about 12 minutes of being in the pool with the dolphins. We were able to pet them, hold their fins for a short ride, we were pushed by our feet by two of them and a few other things. Then we were taken to a smaller pool to touch stingrays and starfish.
After having a lot of fun you are led into an area to view your photos and video. Of course they look great and you want to buy them. After spending a few hundred dollars for three people; they were trying to hit us up for a few hundred more! One photo was $25.00 and all of them were $80.00 per person, plus the cost of the video! (Keep in mind you are with the dolphins for about 12 minutes!)
The employees were nice and professional except the manager was EXTREAMELY RUDE. I wasn't going to pay that much for photo's that were only put on a one DVD DISK! I offered $100.00, which is still a lot for what they were offering, and he proceeded to be rude and embarrass me in front of other customers. When I told him I would write on the Internet to tell other people how rude he was he became nice and offered to sell the photos (no video) for $100.00.
Bottom line, the next time I will go to the other dolphin place as other people mentioned. The Dolphin Cove is a huge rip off, I also was concerned that the dolphins are in a small pool there and their snouts looked worn. I would guess it is from pushing people by their feet. I would have preferred they not do it; I liked holding their fins for a ride more.
Belize City - Cons: We booked a cruise through the ship even though we knew it would be more expensive, we read on line it's a very poor area, that people weren't friendly and tourists didn't feel safe. I was very disappointed in Belize as a whole and Carnivals excursion to cave tubing. Belize was depressing, when on vacation you want just one week to enjoy yourself and not feel bad for poor people and feel unsafe in an area, I wouldn't want to book a cruise there again. The Carnival booked excursion for cave tubing was fun when we were finally there but disappointing in the following ways: People who book privately paid HALF the price and had more fun, had a fun guide, a free lunch and was able to keep their things locked up on a bus.
People who booked with Carnival paid twice as much, had to pay $7.00 extra for a locker large enough for their backpack, were starving by the time they got back to the ship, they weren't fed from breakfast to around 4:00, except for a very small foreign granola bar on the way home, or they could risk ruining the rest of the trip by eating at the tubing gear area where they were cooking outside and dishing food up with their bare hands, we were never offered anything to drink, the bus ride was very long, hot and boring. Carnival didn't tell us that we should bring our own food and drinks along!
We were also told many negative and scary things about the trip on the ride there from the guide. The guide took the excitement out of the trip by talking about human sacrifices, finding skulls; the water will be cold and bats are in the cave. He never said anything to promote any excitement about the trip, just negative comments. There wasn't a bathroom stop, just a cigarette stop for people and an old bus with no air conditioning. The cave tubing was fun, nothing else about it was. Still with all the problems I don't know if I would book privately and feel unsafe there. I have no desire to book a trip that includes Belize again. People who went on the Mayan trip said they liked it but it was tiring. Not recommend if you can't climb well without railings.
Ship - Pro's: Most areas are air-conditioned and during some shows you might even want a light wrap or jacket. Most workers were friendly, attentive, and professional, they do a good job, but they rarely smiled and rarely greeted people. I found passengers were much friendlier than the workers. I feel sorry for the workers, they have to work for 6 months without a day off. I think they would be much happier if they would have a day off every week, I found them all to be hard workers. For the most part the ship was kept very clean. We LOVED the serenity area for adults only, especially the pool and hot tub after an excursion and before dinner.
Sea Sickness: Even as a lifetime boater by husband was sea sick the entire first day and evening at sea, he wasn't well enough go to the first formal dinner. By morning he was much better thanks a woman at the medical office on the ship, she was wonderful with giving advice and medication.
The things we learned: Many people were at the medical office on the ship for pills that day, there was a stack of papers. She said last week was even worse and that patches don't work as well as the pills they sell. You can buy them in their office, in stores on the ship, or over the counter back home; the active ingredient is: Melizine. He took the pills the rest of the trip and was fine. The next time we will buy them in advance and take them right away. The night of the formal dinner when we were at sea, it was challenging to walk down the halls, you could feel the ship go up and down as well as sideways. You would stager down the hall without drinking!
Customer Service Dept. on the Ship:
Please read above about the air conditioner and the shower fan, they were never able to get them to consistently worked properly, no small discount was ever offered. Only one time did it feel cool enough in the room; after the third repair, but it didn't stay that way.
When we returned home, my e-mail had a questionnaire from Carnival about how we like the cruise. I took a long time to give a detailed explanation about everything we liked and the problems we had. They never replied.
Weeks later I tried calling Carnivals customer service, after a hold, then explaining everything, I was directed to call "guest care", another lengthy hold, explanation, then said they wouldn't do anything because the temperature was acceptable at 74 degrees.
I explained everything again and said at times the room got hotter than 74 especially after showers because the bathroom vent didn't work either and made the room extremely humid. I was often sweating and room was very stuffy to the point I was considering sleeping in the hall to get some air.
"Sabrina" in "customer care" spoke to a Supervisor "Evet?" who refused to do anything. I asked to speak to the supervisor and again was put on a very long hold. Evet the supervisor refused to come to the phone to talk to me, again refused any small discount or sincere apology, but now offered to give us a 15% discount on a future cruise!
I say I didn't feel it was fair to pay over $3,000 for a seven day trip and not have air conditioning, air circuiting in the room or venting in the bathroom, and that I was calling to give them the opportunity to treat us fairly. They refused, I asked how would you feel if you were in a room for one week without an air-conditioner or shower fan that didn't worked properly? I didn't get an answer.
Bottom line I'm not sure if I will cruise with Carnival again and use my 15% off, I will definitely consider other lines. I don't think Carnival cares about problems and didn't treat us fairly as they would have wanted to be treated if it happened to them.
I'm getting numerous e-mails from Carnival for future cruises. The real joke is that, I received a call from Carnival to talk me into another cruise that is a good deal. I asked them why would want to do that after how we were treated on our last cruise? He said he would check into it and call me back. Of course he didn't. Read Less