Liberty 9/29 review -- Good, but alas, not great

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#1
Atlanta, GA
1,747 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Okay, here's my long-winded review of our Liberty cruise that sailed 9/29. I'm a writer by avocation so sometimes I just can't help it.

I did take photos and they're posted on Facebook in a public album, but it doesn't seem to be letting 'the public' (outside FB) see them. I'll see if I can insert some of them into the review later.

Some key points:
  • Faster to the Fun was well-worth it, at least for us (See Day 3)
  • We had serious stateroom climate-control issues (Day 3)
  • For the first time on any of my three cruises, our service in the Main Dining Room was lousy
  • The alternative dining options were often better than the MDR
  • Roll Call Meet'n'Greet was pretty cool (Day 5)
  • The Behind the Fun tour was really good, but could have been better (Day 9)
First, some background and advance-prep stuff....

My sister Cindy and I booked the Liberty's Eastern Caribbean itinerary because my mom Loralee and her husband Gaylord had already booked the sailing and, knowing my fondness for "private island" ports, my mom suggested I book it, too. I booked it Early Saver for just myself, and then added my sister after she was able to come up with (some of) the money.
We're all located in the Atlanta metro area. This was my third cruise and second on Carnival, my sister's second cruise, my mom's 22nd cruise on various lines, and her husband's 12th.

My sister and I had originally booked an interior cabin on Deck 2, but I got an email from Carnival's Upsell Fairy offering an upgrade to an oceanview for $70 more ($35 each), so I took the offer. Heck, it's a bigger room and it has a window!
Since we had booked separately from my mom and her DH I emailed the Liberty's maitre'd about two weeks prior to the cruise, requesting that we be able to sit with them at early seating, at a big table (since my mom likes talking to other cruisers). I also mentioned that a window table would be nice, but optional. I never got a response back, but the email didn't bounce, either.....

My mom and her husband had made plans to fly down the morning of the sailing, but having done that before and not liking the early-morning wakeup -- plus the added stress of potentially missing the cruise -- I determined that I'd rather drive down and arrive the night before. Adding things up for two people and including extra baggage fees if we were flying, it would be cheaper for my sister and I to drive down to Miami and back, stopping en route at a good halfway point for an overnight stay.
Since my sister can't drive and my car doesn't have cruise control, I really didn't want to try to drive it in one day!

For our previous cruise in January on Carnival Imagination we had all driven down to Miami and stayed at the La Quinta Airport East because they offer free parking for the duration of the cruise and a free shuttle to the pier (but not back). $75 for a room overnight, saving $140 in daily parking fees at the port and a free shuttle? It's a no-brainer, and I'm happy to say I discovered this great deal thanks to CruiseCritic's message boards! So, we decided to stay there again for this cruise.
For the 'intermediate' overnight stop I chose Baldwin, Florida, just west of Jacksonville, because it was about halfway between Atlanta and Miami, the hotel room at the Best Western was a mere $55 including taxes, and the area looked reasonably safe according to Google Maps street-view.

After pooling funds from everyone I also booked a cabana at Half Moon Cay, our first scheduled port-call, plus a snorkeling excursion there because I just looove snorkeling and free-diving. I also booked a poolside cabana at Grand Turk.

When Faster to the Fun (F2F) was first offered -- and thanks to CruiseCritic for the heads-up! -- I shelled out $50 for the program, since my sister has mobility issues and I was worried about long delays at embarkation. (I encouraged my mom and her husband to get it also, but they couldn't find it on Carnival's site.)

Shortly before the cruise I also booked the Coral World Snuba excursion in St. Thomas because there were only 3 slots left and at $70, it was the lowest price I'd ever seen for snuba anywhere. Plus, the reviews on Carnival.com were uniformly great!

I had joined our sailing's Roll Call on CruiseCritic pretty early, and over time it had grown to a big group of cool, friendly folks...a lot bigger than the RC on my last cruise! We arranged a meet'n'greet through Carnival with an open bar -- it costs about $10/person/hour -- and after all was said and done, we had 60 people participating for a two-hour M&G on the first sea-day -- it even had to be moved to the spacious Victoria Lounge!

So, with all preparations made, hotel reservations in hand, a new GPS unit ready for the car, new tires, oil changed and a full tank of gas, we were, as Judas Priest would say, "headin' out to the highway"!

DAY 1, Thursday 9/27 -- Drive from Atlanta to Baldwin, Florida

This ended up being an almost perfect drive without any problems. We took our time and made the transit in about 6 hours, including a few stops along the way (my sister's illness requires her to drink liquids fairly often). We saw a few showers on the way down but nothing too bad, and as evening came on, we saw a few rainbows to the east. Then we saw a vivid rainbow seemingly touching down on the highway right in front of us. We hoped it was a good omen for our cruise.

Not only was the lady at the Baldwin Best Western really nice, but she had been on the same ship and itinerary (RCCL Majesty of the Seas 5-day) as my first ever cruise, so we had a great chat about cruising. I think I sold her on taking a Carnival cruise someday.

Day 2, Friday 9/28 -- Drive from Baldwin, FL to La Quinta Airport East in Miami

We left Baldwin and passed through Jacksonville just a little after rush hour and had no traffic issues there, or anywhere further south until we got to West Palm Beach. This was an easy drive all the way down the coast with just a couple of areas of construction. It's weird cruising along on I-95 and passing numerous cities whose names are pretty famous -- St. Augustine, Hobe Sound, etc. -- but making good time and zipping through at around 75-80 mph.
We encountered the first hints of traffic at West Palm Beach, but even so traffic kept moving fairly okay even into Miami, which we had reached before rush hour. Sadly that ended after we got within a mile of the hotel on the Airport Expressway, and in stop-and-go traffic on the Airport Expressway, it took us about 20 minutes to traverse that final, fateful half-mile.
..and then the real problems began.

The LQ Airport East is tricky to get to, especially via GPS. We drove in circles around it trying to get there. I think the GPS actually had the route correct, but since it can't suggest driveways or alleys or unofficial streets, it became a nightmare. Having been there before, I knew we were tantalizingly close but couldn't determine exactly how to get there using street-view. Finally I parked at the entrance to an Embassy Suites and called the hotel for guidance. "You're right near here -- we're right behind the Embassy Suites and the Red Roof Inn!" she told me. At about that moment I happened to tap the GPS map display and it switched to an overhead view and I instantly recognized where we were from looking at regular maps before the trip. "Ma'am, we're on the way!"
We were there -- finally -- about two minutes later, after over an hour's delay.
Sitting outside the hotel were two active members of our CruiseCritic Roll Call, Michael and Kim Justice, and they recognized me from my long hair the moment we rolled in. "You must be Paul! Good to see you!"
After THAT hell-ride, it was just the kind of greeting we needed and it really helped lift up our day!
By the time we got to the hotel, we had missed out on signing up for the first shuttle to the Port of Miami, which runs at 10am, but we got on the second one, which runs at 11. Mike and Kim were also on that shuttle, while others from our Roll Call had made the 10am shuttle. It was like a scene from the TV show The Amazing Race: "All teams must now make their way to the Port of Miami, but only the first five teams will get the first shuttle -- and a full hour's head-start!"
Having had a bad time with delivered food last January at the hotel, this time we opted to order from Pizza Hut (an easy decision to reach, since our hotel room-keys had their number on them ). I couldn't remember the name of the place we had ordered from before, and I really wish I had, because two other groups from our roll call ordered from them and had bad experiences. I could have warned people away. Oh, well.... (The place is called Franco's. Future travellers, ye hath been warned.)

A bit later in the evening I met three of the four members of the Allen family, members of our roll call who had driven down from Virginia. Glenn, the dad, had suffered a brain aneurysm the week before and was going to have to miss the cruise...but at the last moment he decided to fly down and join up all the next morning! Pretty gutsy and it worked out with no complications, but the Allens' trials and tribulations for the cruise were just starting.....

We went to bed kinda early, mindful of the morning shuttle. Tomorrow was embarkation day!


(to be continued, hopefully with pics inserted )
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#2
Carolina
8,694 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Welcome Back! Enjoying your review! Looking forward to reading more!
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#3
Acworth Georgia (NW of Atlanta, Marietta and Kennasaw)
1,262 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
I can count on almost 3 sets of hands how many times Ive driven to Miami and FLL and Tampa to get on ships.. It gets old after awile..Especialy on the trip home. It always takes longer for some reasons.. My upcoming cruise Im flying.
#5
Montréal, Canada!
4,928 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Looking forward to reading more!
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Past cruises:
Carnival Vista - Repo - November 2016
Carnival Conquest - December 2015
Carnival Breeze - September 2014
NCL Epic - November 2013 *Review*
Carnival Liberty - November 2012
Carnival Liberty - March 2012
Carnival Liberty - November 2010
Carnival Valor - November 2008

Coming up!

#6
Raleigh NC
24,652 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Thanks for such a detailed review.
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Kirk


Future Cruises
HAL Prinsendam 12-18-2017 - Christmas on the Elegant Explorer
HAL Prinsendam 7-16-2018 - Four months on the Elegant Explorer
HAL Amsterdam 1-22-2019 - Grand World Voyage
#7
Acworth, GA
238 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Loving the review!


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02-13-2016 Carnival Fascination
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02-05-2017 Carnival Vista
#8
Southern Ontario, Canada
6,177 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
great start looking forward to reading more
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#9
Atlanta, GA
1,747 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by familyfuncruise
Looking forward to the pics!!
So am I.

I'm having to Take Steps, here. I'm working on porting them over to an older machine, then uploading them onto my own website so I can link to them. (At all costs I'm trying to avoid posting them full-size in the thread. That gets kinda annoying to read. )

Originally posted by KirkNC
Thanks for such a detailed review.
Don't speak too fast! I think I'm probably including too much detail, here.


Anyway, working on getting pics ready from two different cameras...with time just taken off to complete -- wait for it -- an email survey from Carnival I just got. In detail.

I hope I wasn't too brutal.
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Carnival Magic, 10/07/2018 -- great itinerary and a new ship class to explore!
Independence of the Seas, 2/1/2018 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, 60 bands, 4 stages!
Carnival Vista, 10/1/2017 -- with 6 friends, new ship and first time to Grand Cayman!
Independence of the Seas, 2/2/2017 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, third year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest 10/9/2016 -- HMC (missed), Amber Cove and Grand Turk.Cruise Critic review
Independence of the Seas, 2/04/2016 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, second-year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest, 10/12/2015 -- Nassau, HMC (missed) and Grand Turk -- Columbus Day escape
Liberty of the Seas, 1/22/2015, 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, my first time and it was amazing!
Carnival Freedom, 10/13/2014, HMC, Grand Turk and Nassau -- two faves and one meh port
Carnival Victory, 10/14/2013, HMC, Nassau and Grand Turk -- good inexpensive getaway!
Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1933799
Carnival Liberty, 9/29/2012, HMC (missed), St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk -- great 7-day itinerary! Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1721966
Carnival Imagination, 1/30/2012, Key West, Cozumel -- birthday cruise and mom's anniversary cruise! Review: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=96886
RCCL's Majesty of the Seas, 10/25/2010, Nassau, Key West, Cococay -- first cruise and hooked on cruising!
#10
Atlanta, GA
1,747 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by david30101
I can count on almost 3 sets of hands how many times Ive driven to Miami and FLL and Tampa to get on ships.. It gets old after awile..Especialy on the trip home. It always takes longer for some reasons.. My upcoming cruise Im flying.
I would have flown down in a heartbeat if it had been just me on the cruise, since it would have been cheaper...and up until July or so, it was going to be just me. (And an expensive vay-cay...insert standard grumble about costs associated with cruding solo.) After my sister was able to confirm and I added her to my solo booking (remember, no name-changes are allowed with Early Saver, but you can add a person and just pay the additional taxes), it became much cheaper under every scenario to drive down. I'm really glad I chose to split the drive over two days, too. Going down wasn't too bad and I could have driven the whole way, but the drive back...after early-morning wake-up and debark...I don't think I could have managed it by myself.

Moral of the story: find some friends a) with money to go on a cruise, b) who can help drive down, and c) uh, there is no third thing.
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Carnival Magic, 10/07/2018 -- great itinerary and a new ship class to explore!
Independence of the Seas, 2/1/2018 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, 60 bands, 4 stages!
Carnival Vista, 10/1/2017 -- with 6 friends, new ship and first time to Grand Cayman!
Independence of the Seas, 2/2/2017 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, third year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest 10/9/2016 -- HMC (missed), Amber Cove and Grand Turk.Cruise Critic review
Independence of the Seas, 2/04/2016 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, second-year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest, 10/12/2015 -- Nassau, HMC (missed) and Grand Turk -- Columbus Day escape
Liberty of the Seas, 1/22/2015, 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, my first time and it was amazing!
Carnival Freedom, 10/13/2014, HMC, Grand Turk and Nassau -- two faves and one meh port
Carnival Victory, 10/14/2013, HMC, Nassau and Grand Turk -- good inexpensive getaway!
Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1933799
Carnival Liberty, 9/29/2012, HMC (missed), St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk -- great 7-day itinerary! Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1721966
Carnival Imagination, 1/30/2012, Key West, Cozumel -- birthday cruise and mom's anniversary cruise! Review: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=96886
RCCL's Majesty of the Seas, 10/25/2010, Nassau, Key West, Cococay -- first cruise and hooked on cruising!
#14
Atlanta, GA
1,747 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Wow, just realized that there is no way to edit previous posts, so I guess I can't go back and insert links to photos. Weird; the message board says we CAN edit our own posts. Whatever.....

Here's two sets of pics taken with my underwater-capable digital camera, Part 1 and Part 2.

http://www.paulcashman.com/Carnival-...y-2012-Part-1/
and
http://www.paulcashman.com/Carnival-...y-2012-Part-2/

I'm still sorting through the pics from my cellphone's camera; it's been a real challenge trying to offload them without issues! I'll have those up at some point also.
Expand Signature
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Carnival Magic, 10/07/2018 -- great itinerary and a new ship class to explore!
Independence of the Seas, 2/1/2018 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, 60 bands, 4 stages!
Carnival Vista, 10/1/2017 -- with 6 friends, new ship and first time to Grand Cayman!
Independence of the Seas, 2/2/2017 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, third year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest 10/9/2016 -- HMC (missed), Amber Cove and Grand Turk.Cruise Critic review
Independence of the Seas, 2/04/2016 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, second-year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest, 10/12/2015 -- Nassau, HMC (missed) and Grand Turk -- Columbus Day escape
Liberty of the Seas, 1/22/2015, 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, my first time and it was amazing!
Carnival Freedom, 10/13/2014, HMC, Grand Turk and Nassau -- two faves and one meh port
Carnival Victory, 10/14/2013, HMC, Nassau and Grand Turk -- good inexpensive getaway!
Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1933799
Carnival Liberty, 9/29/2012, HMC (missed), St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk -- great 7-day itinerary! Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1721966
Carnival Imagination, 1/30/2012, Key West, Cozumel -- birthday cruise and mom's anniversary cruise! Review: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=96886
RCCL's Majesty of the Seas, 10/25/2010, Nassau, Key West, Cococay -- first cruise and hooked on cruising!
#15
Millington, TN
540 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Great start and can't wait for pictures!
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DENI

Carnival Fantasy 1997
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#16
Atlanta, GA
1,747 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Day 3 -- Embarkation Day!

Morning arrived and not wanting to eat too much before the expected long wait at the port, we skipped the La Quinta's free morning breakfast downstairs. We boarded the shuttle -- this time it was a full-sized bus, not a small bus with a trailer as it was in January -- and we were off to the port. This time the driver didn't almost kill us all (hooray!) and Liberty was the first stop at the pier, with Valor second. After settling up with the driver and the porter, who had already noticed our F2F tags, we headed over to the TSA checkpoint.
It wasn't too crowded at that time and my sister was using her birth certificate, so we were politely directed to that screening line, which was shorter. After a blissfully uneventful screening experience we entered the waiting area. They were already boarding Zones 1 and 2. The nice Carnival lady was about to direct us to the appropriate long line, saw the "F2F" emblazoned on our Boarding Pass, and then immediately escorted us to the empty VIP check-in line. She also crossed our names off an arrival list and radioed ahead, probably to verify that our stateroom be cleaned and readied if it wasn't already.
At check-in, I confirmed with the very pleasant woman there that Carnival only had sold thirty F2F slots for our sailing; two groups of fifteen. She had the VIFP and F2F guests' Sail & Sign cards already prepared in envelopes, making it much quicker to dispense them. She handed us our sacred "Priority Boarding" placard and we were off to the gangway!

Total time from TSA checkpoint through the check-in desk to walking along the gangway and onto the ship: 7 minutes. It would have been
even quicker, but we put cash down for my sister's S&S account and that took up some time.

A few more words about Faster to the Fun:
I thought 30 slots for our sailing was just about right: I was at Guest Services several times on the first day (see below), and I only had to wait briefly in the VIFP/F2F line at Guest Services twice during the entire cruise; otherwise I was served immediately with no-one else waiting ahead of me. The F2F program is capacity-controlled per sailing based on the number of Platinum and Diamond cruisers on the sailing, so it looks like they chose a good number of slots to offer and still maintain a good level of service.
It was also nice to find our luggage already outside our stateroom door when we got there at around 1pm.
We were given information for priority debarkation and some sacred Zone 1 debarking luggage tags, as well as the private number to call Guest Services while onboard ship. (In practice they tended to answer the 'special' line slower, since it rings a separate phone behind the Guest Services desk with an amber light on it.)
We didn't get to make use of the priority tendering because we missed our port call at Half Moon Cay due to weather , but if we had, we would have met in a pre-selected lounge for direct escort to Deck 0 and the tender gangway.
All in all I have to say it was $50 well-spent for F2F. I'd do it again if it's offered.

Okay, back to Embarkation Day. It gets a bit uglier here.....

I went over to Shore Excursions to confirm the arrangements for our cabana at Half Moon Cay. There was no line that early, but they said I had been assigned Cabana #8, not #9. I produced a copy of the email from Carnival confirming my reservation for #9 and, after about a five-minute delay and some conferring, they said they would take care of it. I gave them our soda request and shoe-sizes for snorkeling and then we bee-lined for the Mongolian Wok, since it gets busy fast and the lines can get long. There was almost no line and it was just as good as it had been on Carnival Imagination back in January. (I'm a Mongolian fiend back home, so this is one Carnival dining option I realllly love!)

We went down to our stateroom, #1355, past the signs on doorways saying "Welcome VIFP and F2F Guests" and found our luggage already
waiting outside the door. Inside the room looked bigger than the interiors we were used to and whoo-hoo, there was a window!
We DID notice that the room seemed a bit warm and muggy, so we double-checked the thermostat was set to the coolest setting and went out to explore the ship a bit. I also went to find the maitre'd to see if we could get seated next to my mom and her DH, since I'd never heard back about my email to him.
After wandering through both MDRs I eventually found him and he confirmed that we had already been seated together at an 8-person table. So, they got my email, but never acknowledged it. Two, count 'em, TWO cheers for Carnival!
When we returned to the cabin briefly it was still warm and humid, so I called Guest Services and asked them to check on it. It was time for muster drill by then and, since my sister has trouble with stairs we decided to jump the gun and went to the muster area on Deck 4. Muster was delayed for about twenty minutes -- in part because some guests' Carnival-arranged flight from Toronto had been delayed, we heard -- and to our surprise the ship began moving during muster drill. First time we've ever had THAT happen!
I hustled back up to Lido Deck for our Roll Call's unofficial meet & greet during sailaway, which had already started, and I met a few more people from our Roll Call, which was really nice. We headed back down to the room to get ready for our 6pm early-seating dinner and it was still warm and muggy, but a card had appeared on the bed saying that the room had been checked and "found to meet Carnival's standards."
A bit dismayed but rushed for time, we changed out of our shorts and into nicer clothes and headed off to dinner. Not only had we been seated at an 8-person table, but it was a window table with an aft view! Our dinner group consisted of us four, plus Bob and Pat, celebrating their 65th anniversary and 50th cruise; Cecelia, an experienced Carnival cruiser and widow travelling solo, and Thin (pronounced 'tin'), who had travelled solo all the way from Vietnam to visit America and take a cruise. (!)

MDR Problems
Sadly, that aft window view didn't quite make up for other failings at dinner. We were consistently the last table in the area that our waiter visited for starter and entree orders, consistently the last to receive our food, and drink service and refills were spotty. We noticed that other tables were always chowing down on their starters and entrees well before we ever got ours, and on that first night, our desserts were finally brought to us at around 8pm...and remember, late seating starts at 8:15!
The headwaiter even came on the PA to chide his people: "This message is for servers only: It's 8pm. Late-seating starts in fifteen minutes!"
It seemed as if our waiter and assistant waiter were responsible for at least three or four 8-person tables between them, and that they were spread too thin.
Sadly, this poor service repeated on every night of the cruise. Although the speed improved so that we were getting desserts by 7:45, drink service remained abysmal. The third night, Thin, our tablemate from Vietnam, was ignored by the drink server lady despite having ordered wine both nights before, and when she finally came back (after we'd started on our entrees) she argued with him over it. On one occasion Pat's baked potato was cold. Not lukewarm, not room temperature, but cold. Food was often received lukewarm. My sister got sick halfway through her lobster tail and had to go back to the room; she was still feeling sick the next day and I spoke to two other passengers who had also gotten sick. My mom's husband received an entree that he wasn't expecting and left his plate untouched; our waiter never checked with him about it to see about ordering something else. On the last night our desserts took so long to appear that we had given up on them and were getting up from the table when they finally came around the corner.
The 'entertainment' during dinner was pretty lacking, too.
It was so bad that toward the end of the cruise even Cecelia, who was a Carnival supporter and Platinum member, quit trying to defend CCL, and even easygoing Bob and Pat told us this, their fiftieth cruise, would be their last.
Although this was only my third cruise, our service in Liberty's MDR was well inferior to last January's service on Imagination and FAR worse than my first cruise on RCCL's Majesty of the Seas, where our table waiters actually had time to talk to us, learn our names, etc. Also, drink service there was handled by the assistant table waiter and was consistently impeccable.

...Back to our stateroom...
...And it is still uncomfortably warm and humid. After some more back-and-forth at Guest Services -- remember, that F2F priority line was really coming in handy now -- their technician confirmed that the room temperature had dropped from 76 degrees to 73.8 degrees. It still felt really humid, not air-conditioned, and they sent over a table-fan, saying that was the most they could do. They said the ship was full, so we could not be moved.
I carefully weighed our options. My sister has medical issues and could not deal with a humid, sweaty room for 7 days, and neither could I. I sat on the bed away from the desk-fan in shorts and no shirt and waited.
After ten minutes, I was still sweating. We decided we could maybe have lived with the humid air on a short 3-day cruise, but this was a 7-day and it would be unbearable. With my sister's agreement I went off to Guest Services to invoke Carnival's satisfaction guarantee, which would have us leave the ship at the first port and return back to Miami at Carnival's expense. My sister was heartbroken about leaving the ship early, but we had little choice.
I had already spoken with the other Guest Services representatives down there, and this time I spoke to David Meza. I asked him what the deadline was to invoke the satisfaction guarantee, as it was getting close to 11pm on the first day. He said he wasn't sure and went off to check. Ten minutes later he returned. "I've spoken to the Hotel Services Manager. Let's go look at a room."
I followed him up to Deck 6 and he showed me a different stateroom. Balcony room 6-434. Of course that would be an upgrade but I was still concerned about the climate-control....and after sitting in the room for just a couple of minutes it was clear that THIS room was actually air-conditioned, with drier air. I accepted the room-change...and our cruise was saved.

Back in the room, in full Oscar-nomination mode, I sadly told my sister to start packing our bags.
"What? We're leaving?!"
"Yes, we are...to a new room. A balcony!" Since my sister is a smoker, this was pretty much the best news she could have heard.
As directed, we called Guest Services when we were re-packed and they kindly sent by a crewman with a baggage cart, and we had finished moving by about 12:30 am. With priority first-tendering early in the morning, it was time to go to bed...but at least I could sleep under the covers without sweating like a bridegroom!

Some final thoughts on this: although we were disappointed by the original room's truly lousy climate-control, I was pleased that Carnival was able to work with us. I'd like to say a special thanks to the Guest Services reps working that night, especially David Meza, for being tolerant and professional the whole time. I don't think our F2F status had anything to do with their resolution of our problem, but in any event, we were able to salvage our cruise and it was a huge relief to us.
The only problem: now that I've experienced a balcony cabin, I might not ever want to go back!

(To Be Continued with Day 4....the Unexpected Sea Day)
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Carnival Magic, 10/07/2018 -- great itinerary and a new ship class to explore!
Independence of the Seas, 2/1/2018 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, 60 bands, 4 stages!
Carnival Vista, 10/1/2017 -- with 6 friends, new ship and first time to Grand Cayman!
Independence of the Seas, 2/2/2017 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, third year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest 10/9/2016 -- HMC (missed), Amber Cove and Grand Turk.Cruise Critic review
Independence of the Seas, 2/04/2016 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, second-year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest, 10/12/2015 -- Nassau, HMC (missed) and Grand Turk -- Columbus Day escape
Liberty of the Seas, 1/22/2015, 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, my first time and it was amazing!
Carnival Freedom, 10/13/2014, HMC, Grand Turk and Nassau -- two faves and one meh port
Carnival Victory, 10/14/2013, HMC, Nassau and Grand Turk -- good inexpensive getaway!
Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1933799
Carnival Liberty, 9/29/2012, HMC (missed), St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk -- great 7-day itinerary! Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1721966
Carnival Imagination, 1/30/2012, Key West, Cozumel -- birthday cruise and mom's anniversary cruise! Review: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=96886
RCCL's Majesty of the Seas, 10/25/2010, Nassau, Key West, Cococay -- first cruise and hooked on cruising!
#17
blacksburg, va
2,537 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Pellaz
Wow, just realized that there is no way to edit previous posts, so I guess I can't go back and insert links to photos. Weird; the message board says we CAN edit our own posts. Whatever.....
You can edit your posts for 10 - 15 minutes (I think that is the time frame) after you originally post. I do wish the time frame was longer as well.

I'm glad that they were able to transfer you to another cabin, though I am kind of curious why at first you were told that they couldn't because the ship was full and then miraculously a cabin becomes available....either way...good on them.
#18
Atlanta, GA
1,747 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by jobell
You can edit your posts for 10 - 15 minutes (I think that is the time frame) after you originally post. I do wish the time frame was longer as well.
That explains it. I knew I'd seen an 'edit' button before...

I'm glad that they were able to transfer you to another cabin, though I am kind of curious why at first you were told that they couldn't because the ship was full and then miraculously a cabin becomes available....either way...good on them.
Because the official Carnival policy is that all ships sail full. It is stated on their website and is the reason given why you cannot upgrade on the day of sailing.

In reality I know from my January cruise that not all ships sail full; Imagination was between 75-80% full on that sailing.
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Carnival Magic, 10/07/2018 -- great itinerary and a new ship class to explore!
Independence of the Seas, 2/1/2018 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, 60 bands, 4 stages!
Carnival Vista, 10/1/2017 -- with 6 friends, new ship and first time to Grand Cayman!
Independence of the Seas, 2/2/2017 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, third year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest 10/9/2016 -- HMC (missed), Amber Cove and Grand Turk.Cruise Critic review
Independence of the Seas, 2/04/2016 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, second-year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest, 10/12/2015 -- Nassau, HMC (missed) and Grand Turk -- Columbus Day escape
Liberty of the Seas, 1/22/2015, 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, my first time and it was amazing!
Carnival Freedom, 10/13/2014, HMC, Grand Turk and Nassau -- two faves and one meh port
Carnival Victory, 10/14/2013, HMC, Nassau and Grand Turk -- good inexpensive getaway!
Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1933799
Carnival Liberty, 9/29/2012, HMC (missed), St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk -- great 7-day itinerary! Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1721966
Carnival Imagination, 1/30/2012, Key West, Cozumel -- birthday cruise and mom's anniversary cruise! Review: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=96886
RCCL's Majesty of the Seas, 10/25/2010, Nassau, Key West, Cococay -- first cruise and hooked on cruising!
#19
Northern Colorado
6,836 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by Pellaz
Because the official Carnival policy is that all ships sail full. It is stated on their website and is the reason given why you cannot upgrade on the day of sailing.
Last year, on the Imagination, we had problems with a hallway flooding from the hot-tubs being emptied above us. 3 inches of water in back hallway. Two elderly woman, each travelling solo, got relocated. I had the last interior room, and the water came under the wall, into my room. They moved all 3 of us, into vacant cabins. I went from interior to interior, and was told that I got the last cabin available (I assume in my interior class). I was able to move back the next day.
#20
Atlanta, GA
1,747 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by Colorado Kat
Last year, on the Imagination, we had problems with a hallway flooding from the hot-tubs being emptied above us. 3 inches of water in back hallway. Two elderly woman, each travelling solo, got relocated. I had the last interior room, and the water came under the wall, into my room. They moved all 3 of us, into vacant cabins. I went from interior to interior, and was told that I got the last cabin available (I assume in my interior class). I was able to move back the next day.
IMPOSSIBLE! They always sail full! Except when they don't!
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Carnival Magic, 10/07/2018 -- great itinerary and a new ship class to explore!
Independence of the Seas, 2/1/2018 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, 60 bands, 4 stages!
Carnival Vista, 10/1/2017 -- with 6 friends, new ship and first time to Grand Cayman!
Independence of the Seas, 2/2/2017 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, third year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest 10/9/2016 -- HMC (missed), Amber Cove and Grand Turk.Cruise Critic review
Independence of the Seas, 2/04/2016 -- 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, second-year "survivor"!
Carnival Conquest, 10/12/2015 -- Nassau, HMC (missed) and Grand Turk -- Columbus Day escape
Liberty of the Seas, 1/22/2015, 70,000 Tons of Metal music cruise, my first time and it was amazing!
Carnival Freedom, 10/13/2014, HMC, Grand Turk and Nassau -- two faves and one meh port
Carnival Victory, 10/14/2013, HMC, Nassau and Grand Turk -- good inexpensive getaway!
Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1933799
Carnival Liberty, 9/29/2012, HMC (missed), St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk -- great 7-day itinerary! Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1721966
Carnival Imagination, 1/30/2012, Key West, Cozumel -- birthday cruise and mom's anniversary cruise! Review: http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=96886
RCCL's Majesty of the Seas, 10/25/2010, Nassau, Key West, Cococay -- first cruise and hooked on cruising!