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First cruise and I won't be back


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I just got back from a cruise on the Carnival Legend that sailed out of NY. It was an 8 day cruise that boasted ports to San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola. It was advertised as one of those all-inclusive deals. It was my sister-in-law's idea. Beware of that, first off -- nothing is all-inclusive.


The wait to get onboard was horrendous. It was hot and the wait was 3 hours, the beginning of MANY waiting-in-lines.


The rooms were clean, at first. Then there arose that horrible stench coming from the toilet that permeated the entire room by mid-week and refused to go away despite the constant cleaning by staff members. My throat and ears were literally killing me by the 4th day. Luckily I brought along a prescription for unused anti-biotics because while I have no idea what I contracted, I'm sure it was something. Other health issues enjoyed by myself, my husband, child and brother and sister-in-law, were muscle stiffness, neck pain and a general feeling of lethargy. Aside from feeling ill, and I'm not talking sea sickness either..... were the hidden costs abundant on that ship.


Wasn't it nice they left a bottle of spring water each day in our state room? Nice, yes, but what they don't tell you is that once you open it, you're now charged $4.50 per bottle you won't even see until you check out.


Unless you like to sing in karaoke, expect to pay for most of the rest of the "offered" activities other then sitting in your room because you'll be hard-pressed to even FIND an available chair, let alone a lounge chair at the pool. Bingo, massages, facials, spas, casino, laundry, alcohol bars, desert and coffee shops, port excursions and even decent meals are EXTRA. Expect to pay and pay a lot. $10.50 to press a clean shirt and skirt for one evening, for example. Children's video games in the game room are $1 each and most don't work and you'll lose your money anyway. Babysitting is also, EXTRA - $6 per hour. My child noted most of the decent play station games during the babysitting session, while free, were broken. Also, Bring a sweater because I didn't (only a jacket) and paid $65.00 for a sweater just to feel comfortable it was so chilly onboard.


Jewelry is a much advertised commodity for CHEAP, but look on the backing of watches and such and you'll see, MADE IN CHINA. Best to keep your money in your pocket there. The gold is plated btw, I checked. They sell it by the inch. The girl working in one shop whispered to me, "an inch of crap if you ask me, don't buy that".


Buffets are literally a sight to behold. It was akin to feeding time at the zoo, no lie. Droves of people lining up (or cutting in line) everyday to pile plates full of food you would wonder if they could even eat themselves. Then the challenge of even finding a seat after you've managed to get some food yourself. Often, I just returned to the state room to eat in peace there or didn't eat at all. We left the midnight buffet after watching the line of people out the door and down most of the side of the ship, shoving each other as if it were their last meal. It was not worth the hassle.


If we were not almost the first in line at the restaurant for breakfast or lunch, we were promptly turned away for lack of space or closing hours. They were open for a total of 2 hours for each. When we were accomodated, as was the case with the dinners, the plates were quickly swept away before you were even hardly done eating and wisked out the door. I felt rushed and the food wasn't even warm. The presentation was there, but the quality left a lot to be desired. We didn't try the supper club, which was offered for an additional $30 per person, per dinner.


Expect 15% gratuities to be added to everything and a whiny speech by the director that while not mandatory, please remember your Matre'D in your tipping. Oh, is that the same guy I read about that makes $20k a month by ripping off the rest of the staff by holding them hostage to serving hot or cold meals to their customers, having choice guests to serve or even being close to the galley? Is that the guy he was referring to? I didn't leave him a dime to say the least and his Frank Sinatra imitations every night were grating on my nerves anyway.


Expect port calls that are rushed. After being at sea for 3 solid days, you will have between 4 to 6 hours at each stop to see a glimpse of where you are. You will pay for taxi's that drive on sidewalks to avoid traffic or walk in the hot sun. It was not my idea of fun.


In San Juan I saw a "castle" I walked 1/4 mile to get to and once there, found a pile of rubble that smelled like a sewer and had black and green mold growing everywhere. A total waste there, too, not to mention, entirely unhealthy.


In Tortola, we did a dolphin encounter to the tune of $120 each. We had to walk across a metal grate in the water where, no lie, a little girl in our line cut open her foot pretty badly due to no covering on the grates. I saw her later at the entrance going back to the ship and her mother told me she was given a bandaid and told to see the ship's doctor as they could not provide her medical treatment there. The mother was also resigned to the fact that she would be charged for the treatment. I was horrified to observe the child's foot, where the blood was literally seeping through the bandaid.


Needless to say, and I know I didn't even say it all, I'm not going to cruise again. It cost us almost $4,000.00 for the initial cruise fee for myself, my husband and child. We incurred much more just for essentials and some entertainment.


Next year, I'm going back to DisneyWorld.

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Next year, I'm going back to DisneyWorld.




Amazing how the majority of posters with comments like these find CC AFTER their cruise.:rolleyes:

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It certainly doesn't sound like you had any fun. I do agree with you, that cruises are made to seem all inclusive. While there are many things that are included in the price, there are many things that are not. I also agree with you regarding the water in the staterooms, it is indicated on something in the cabin that there is a charge for the water, but it's not real obvious. I made the same mistake on my first cruise, thinking well it's on the counter and everything else is in the mini bar, so it must be complimentary.


It does sound like cruising may not be for you. I've also been to Disney many times and I'm sure Mickey will be just as happy to take your money. As odd as this may sound, I can't imagine going with kids, there are sooooo many things there to entice buying souveniers, etc. I've almost felt like Mickey and the gang will be at the gate turning people upside down and shaking you, just to make sure they've gotten ALL your money before you leave. So I can see where Disney would cost the same, if not more for a family of 3.


At any rate, sorry you had a bad time, and good luck on your future vacations. :)

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I'm sorry you didn't enjoy. I see it's your first "post" here. We would've gladly helped you pre-cruise if you had come to us.

Trouble is, most people don't seem to find these boards before they cruise, only after they've had a craptastic time on their first cruise. I don't know why that is, but there you have it. Please don't flame for that, I'm not implying anything about the OP, just an observation. I guess it's like that old saying; "If someone had a horrible time they'll tell 10 people, but if they had a great time they'll only tell 2 people."

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WOW---if you do cruise again I hope I'm not on your ship. If you had bothered to read your cruise docs you would have known to expect the 15% tip on beverages. Ive never been on a cruise that offered free bingo, babysitting or video games. Maybe you expected too much. Ive done the Disney vacations and while they are nice (and I do plan to go back in the future) they don't compare to cruising. However---with as many gripes as you have I would think you would be better off staying home!!!!!!!!!!!

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It was advertised as one of those all-inclusive deals.


I'm on your first paragraph, and already question one of your "facts". Where was it advertised "all inclusive?" I don't want to wasteTime reading further.

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No, I don't suppose cruising is not for me. However, I did read the fine print before I went because I'm sort of silly that way. It did suggest I'd find a lot of hidden costs not readily mentioned, by them or my sister-in-law. I just didn't expect there to be soooo many.


I posted this because I did come here to this site before I actually did the cruise 2 weeks ago. A lot of the posts were upbeat and I didn't find many cautions that would have eased the shock of what I saw (mainly the crazed food lines). I mean seriously, there were people I found sitting at the same table for the duration of breakfast and still sitting there eating when I came back for lunch. It was evident some came there just to eat. The problem is, when the majority of people do nothing but gorge themselves, and the facilities are not expecting that type of behavior, it affects the other guests who have no room to sit and/or enjoy a simple breakfast.


I also suspected that some of the posters here are advertisers, although that didn't dawn on me until now. Advertisers who want cruises to be seen only in the best light. And while some people do enjoy cruises and don't mind long lines and overbooking, there are some who might want to know the flip side of what to maybe expect. And that's why I posted this.

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Cruising is not for everyone. I also believe that the brochures spellout pretty much what is included and not included. Additionally you should have viewed your cabin charges on the tv on a daily basis. I would have assumed that you would have seen the water charges there. Have fun at Disney.

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Having been on many cruises...and reading your thread, I don't think you would be happy anywhere... Disneyworld has long lines, it is hot there too, and you pay a lot for food while at the park. I think anyone can find something wrong with anything, it is a reflection on the way you look at life, and I choose to look for the good...not the bad in everything...and enjoy myself.

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Most hotels put bottled water on the dresser these days, but they all charge you for it. Like others have said, finding these boards ahead of time would have saved much grief.

On all the cruises I've been on there was a tag on the water bottle where you were supposed to put your folio number and sign it, so it was really obvious that you would be charged for it. Have they stopped doing this since last December?

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Gosh, where are some of you people from? Or is it that some people just never get out of their house? I'm from the middle of the boonies...but even I know when I go to a hotel and there is a mini-bar, and a bottle of Evian on the countier, that I'm gonna pay for it if I use it. That's just common sense. The old rule, "if it doesn't say free, don't think that it is free" applies here.


Where in the world does anything written by Carnival, or any other cruise line, say "all inclusive"? Why would anyone even think that if it doesn't say it?


I agree with the poster on this thread that said most all of the original posters issues were covered in the literature sent before the cruise...and if you didn't get your documents, then you should have checked around BEFORE going.


As for the ports of call, a lot of people do not realize that the Carribbean people, and even the Puerto Rican people, do not live on average near as easily as we do. Some of these places that these ships stop are almost borderline third world countries. Simple research on line about your destinations would have prepared you for what you would have seen.


And, I'll betcha if you stay in one of the Disney properties for a week, by the time you hit the parks and eat, you're gonna spend close to your $4,000. And as for long lines in the heat, they don't get much longer or hotter than at Disney.


Although I'm relatively new here on this board, and I haven't cruised as much as many here, I'm with the group that it gripes to no end to see someone post their first time with something like this. I didn't find this board until May of 2005...and have asked so many questions preparing for my September 2005 cruise and have found this board the single most helpful resource!

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I'm not sure any vacation would be good for you. There are charges for everything everywhere you go.



And please don't consider doing a Disney land/sea package. You will find you even have to pay for ALL your food and drink on land. And, oh no, there are lines everywhere in Disneyworld!

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The brochure from the travel agent on my desk here, says, "8-day Fun Ship All-Inclusive* Cruise". Under the asterik, it says, *Additional charges may apply. See your travel agent or www.carnival.com for further details." That's why I said, I did read the fine print (I had a hard time finding that online too! - it was not in the brochure either) although once there, still didn't expect as many of the charges as we received. It just DOES NOT imply that when you read it.


You also said, "I don't want to wasteTime reading further." Please don't. Btw, you sound like a travel agent I wouldn't go to again in the future. Or maybe you work for Carnival, who knows. For the agents replying who are truthful, I'd probably let you send me anywhere, as long as you're honest about it. This was my experience and I wouldn't be taking the time to post it if it weren't factual as you imply.



If someone had posted or told me much of what I found out after the fact, I probably would have been prepared for it and less disturbed. As it happened, that wasn't the case. Live and learn I suppose but I didn't see the vacation as I dreamed it would be. And that's the long and short of it. Sorry if my experience disturbs you, Mr. Pete.


Thanks for the replies to the rest of you. See you in Disney maybe :)

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That's why there's 100 flavours of ice cream...


...not everyone likes vanilla!


I love cruising, many of us love cruising, and we're used the routine and the extras you pay.


I continue to have to budget about $150 day extra expenses (all the bits and bobs) for a cruise, outside of the cruise and the flight.


I keep looking at all inclusive, but I love cruising so much.


Me? I'm a lactose free frozen dessert gal!




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4k for a week at Disney w/kids??Nah it would cost much more than that!!!


Admission price is outrageous as well as food and souveniers...


Also long lines in the heat-----


I live in a suburb of Orlando and absoluelty hate disney and their greed. Would never go again even if it was free....


Sorry you had a bad tine- it;s not near as crowded n the fall and winter.

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