The Journey Begins!
My last cruise on Royal Caribbean was approximately 10 years ago. I had the pleasure of sailing on Serenade of the Seas in an Owners Suite. Prior to the Serenade, I had sailed with the cruise line on two previous occasions.
Like so many families facing budget constraints parenthood and additional family members traveling with us caused us to seek a more affordable cruise line. We were no longer a single couple flying solo.
We set our sights on Carnival. 'The funship' After a few years we made it up to one of the highest levels 'Platinum'. Additionally, we always stayed in a suite on Carnival. After our cruise this past year in August,2015, We begin to compare the perks of staying in a suite on Carnival verses Royal Caribbean.
A few of Carnival Perks are as follows: Dedicated telephone line, one free drink, three bags of laundry,
depending on the cruise length)and priority boarding, a welcome aboard gift. A pin. Last, but not least, fighting in the buffet line to get breakfast every morning.(not a perk) Wishing the novel thought would reach Carnival's corporate office to add suite amenities. Applying greater perks to suite and Platinum and above guest on the fun ship would be a welcomed gift. A place were suite guest could call home away from the crowd. A dedicated restaurant and lounge.
While sailing with Carnival I enjoyed exquisite food and timely in their dining services. Great evening fun for adults and the kids. The adults comedy shows were fabulous. Guest what? The ship is not dead at 10pm. My only my only complaint was the suite amenities/perks.
Now we come to my present day drama. I left the funship for a familiar place that I had enjoyed in the past. My cruise line from 10 years ago. My expectations were ready to be overwhelmed by excellent food and service as compared to my (old cruise line). Remember! I am paying greater prices. The old saying... 'You get what you pay for' wrong!
My Christmas gift of 'Sleepless of the Seas'. Also Known As 'Serenade of the Seas'
Instead of 'Twelve Days of Christmas', I had twelve sleepless nights in my ghost sounding 596 sq. feet haunted mansion. The sad part of this noisy vacation is the following: the layout of the room is beautiful. It's a well appointed large two bedroom and two bathrooms visual dream with open windows that host a breathtaking view of the ocean. Overshadowed by the echoing loud bone chilling, nerve piecing sounds of loud clatter. The room sounds were the epitome of the perfect storm. 'The noise monster.
The sounds included an array of creeks, pipes knocking, the sound of what sounded like little feet running from every inch of the room. I recorded the sounds on my cell telephone to prove I was not crazy. I played the cell recording for the housekeeping supervisor. (Julia)
The supervisor attempted to act surprised by my recording . As we stood in the noise filled room, we begin walking to the many areas that the sounds were coming from. She are I observed rolls of wood-chips stuck in between the ceiling and the walls(a makeshift solution to fix a poorly structured room). The maintenance supervisor was called into render his professional opinion. He added additional wood-chips. I had to get photos because I was in totally disbelief) additionally, I had an extra bonus of a broken television in the main room. They fixed the broken television for five minutes and it remained broken for the entire twelve days. The sounds were continuous. All day and night. On a brighter side I was provided with earplugs. The earplugs did not drown out the noise. After a few days my ears were raw and irritated. I realize that cruising is big business but truth and choice(the right to know and make an informed decision to stay in a room that will severely impact one's rest and relaxation. Try playing fair. Creating life long loyalty in consumers. A few years ago I selected a last
minute cruise on Carnival during my birthday weekend
(January,15) there were limited rooms left due to the long holiday weekend. The website listed a room called 'the night owl room. I advised that the room I was purchasing was called ' the night owl room' it was located on top of the nightclub. They provided me with 'truth and the greatest gift 'choice'. Cruise in a discounted 'night owl room or select another sailing. When there are issues is it fair and decent to advise customers that the room has issues. I paid for my cruise, this was not a free charity event. I had every right to be advised that the room was structurally defective. The wood-chips were evident that they were aware of the issues and attempted to create a makeshift solution long before I boarded the vessel. I was advised that the issues would be resolved once the ship goes into dry dock in 2017. Thanks.
The next adventure was the poor service in the dining and the disappointing quality of the food in the main dining room and the buffet. The lengthy wait for the food was two hours each night. The food quality was inconsistent . My greatest hope is that this was a rare fluke.
On a positive note: I am a Social Worker who is always hoping for a lesson learned, perhaps the message was the Shining Stars I met along this journey: the kindness of my room attendant Carlos. Mario and Melody in the
Concierge Service and the awesome Adventure Ocean staff. Finally, the warm smile and professional care Mary in guest services showed my family.
Sleepless, but not forgotten
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