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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

CMDTA on Vacation – Carnival – To Do or Not to Do?

After everything is considered would I go on Carnival again?

Let’s consider a few things first.

  • They are much better than NCL (no surprise there)
  • The food is very good
  • The price is often half of what Disney charges
  • VIP check in is great
  • The waiters are acceptable
  • The entertainment is much improved.

So would I go on them again?

No.  This was my last cruise on Carnival and I don’t say this lightly.  I’ve been on a number of Carnival cruises and I have some good memories of them.   I also have some horrific memories that Carnival did nothing to fix or try to prevent over the years.

Here are some of the issues:

  • The customer is never right and you never have a problem worth addressing
  • Customer service is awful
  • Maintenance is awful.  They tried four times to fix our stateroom door and failed. I finally figured out how to fix it myself.
  • The sales culture has invaded in full force to the point where it’s annoying
  • Excursions are overpriced
  • Alcohol is overpriced – even for a cruise ship
  • Major cutbacks could be noticed throughout the entire cruise
  • Nothing about the service makes you feel welcome

Carnival is now at the point where I never want to cruise them again.  My fear is next time things will have gotten so bad that the experience will be similar to what you get on NCL. I have no desire to punish myself like that.  Right now Carnival is heading in the wrong direction.  Their biggest problem is their customer service.  It’s just bad.  Hopefully they can right the ship before it’s too late. If they don’t they will find themselves in big trouble.  NCL is already dominating the crappy cruise market.

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