questionsnow would you take a carnival cruise?

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yikes, that sucks! at least they were docked and not in the middle of the ocean.

i won't be taking any carnival cruises any time soon O_o

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of course...they have been "pre-disastered".

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Sure, I'd take one in 6 months, when all of these ships are repaired and Carnival is trying really hard to avoid more bad pr.

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@thumperchick: Prices should be at an all-time low. Non-smoking, please. :)

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@jsimsace: yep. nice prices to get customers back. Sounds good.

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Just follow the one simple rule - Always get a balcony. Power out? Open your doors and enjoy the natural light. Toilets don't flush? Open the doors and toss your "crap" over the side, just like in the days of old.

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Well, there's a bunch of baggage involved in that.
1) These are the most "catastrophic" failures. Talk to some of your friends that cruise, and you'll hear lots of stories.
From bad drinking water (everybody do the turkey trot!), and weird assigned meal times- breakfast at 7am, lunch at 10, and dinner at 8:30pm.
And don't forget that when you go off boat to go shopping and sightseeing, your guide will be very upset if you go off trail. She gets a percentage of your purchases for guiding you to certain shops.
2) This is a common paradigm, in almost all businesses. Second and third gen "the entitled" owners want to skim off as much as possible. That almost always means decreased maintenance and services. Replacing the board usually fixes this.
C) Then again, these customers just got reimbursed for this trip, so if they stay this one's free. And a free ticket for the next trip. Plus maybe a little cash- those balcony rooms IIRC are worth an additional $500 and up.

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Funny you asked, DH and I are deciding on a tenth anniversary cruise. "As long as it isn't Carnival" came up twice.

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I'm a loyal Royal Carribean customer.

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And the hits just keep on coming:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/cruiselog/2013/03/15/carnival-legend-cruise-problem/1990067/

For those not interested in reading the article, the Carnival Legend on a 7 day Western Carribbean cruise is limping back to Tampa, and skipping a scheduled port call in Grand Cayman. There is a problem with one of the propulsion units (they have two), but otherwise everything else on board is functional.

The problem is with one of the azipods. The modern cruise lines usually use diesel engines (huge) to turn generators, and the electricity from the generators to do everything on the ship, including run the (also huge) electric motors in the azipods. Info on the azipods here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azipod

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I've been avoiding Carnival since long before they started having these serious problems. They've always been the worst of the major lines, so even if the ship works the whole time and doesn't sink or stink, it's still going to be a crappy cruise.

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@gidgaf: The article I read didn't say anything about free trips. They got partially reimbursed for this one (three day refund), and half off a future one. In fact, the most recent article (yet another failure) retracts what they said in the last one...they WERE going to let people enjoy another day off the boat, since it is docked anyway. Then they changed their mind and said nope, nobody leaves the boat.

So yeah, as cool as it might be to say "When they fix the boats, I'll go cause it will be so cheap!", they are displaying their distinct lack of customer service in these (admittedly rare (for other, better cruise lines)) events. You can fix the boats, but you can't fix the corporate culture.

EDIT: Half off a future cruise, not $500. But they were still imprisoned on the Dream and not allowed to leave. More like a Nightmare if you ask me.

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@btalarczyk: I'm a loyal Celebrity Customer - RC all the way.

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@wisenekt: Just make sure you're the top balcony.... You know what trickles down...

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We will be going out on Conquest in September. It will be our third cruise aboard that boat. The last time we went on Conquest, we got chased around the Caribbean by Hurricane Ivan. The last cruise we took was Norwegian Spirit and it was a sick ship, half the people on board were sick. That was unpleasant. But even then we really enjoyed the on-shore activities.

I've cruised Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and a Chinese river cruise line and have had 90% great experiences. I haven't seen the problems @gidgaf mentions, breakfast and lunch seatings are available during a reasonable window, and you choose whether you want early (6pm) or late (8pm) dinner seatings. If you don't want dining room meals, there's a huge buffet, other casual dining choices and free room service. We don't book shopping "excursions", we go where we want. We don't even book shore excursions through the cruise line, we book directly with local guides and get twice the tour for half the money.

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I would absolutly go. Things happen and don't run perfectly all the time. Can't let that stop you from having fun, adventures, trying new things and living life. If you don't want anything to happen to you good or bad, stay inside with your doors locked.