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Feedback: What are your thoughts on cruising?

Feedback: What are your thoughts on cruising?

Mar 18th, 2013, 11:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 312
Feedback: What are your thoughts on cruising?

Hi everyone,

It's been a rough month for the cruise industry. With several incidents on Carnival ships, we've been wondering – has recent news deterred you from booking a cruise? Or are you a trusting cruise-goer?

If you have existing cruise plans, are you anxious? Unconcerned? Working on getting a refund? We'd love to hear your thoughts on the future of cruise travel, and if you'd still consider climbing aboard.

For your reference, here are a few stories we’ve written about the recent Carnival incidents:
Amy_D is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,170
Carnival has had a streak of very bad luck. That would not stop me from cruising. I have not been on a Carnival Cruise for several years. I cruise with RCI and Celebrity. Last cruise was in Europe last fall. I do not have one booked, but look forward to booking a Scandinavia cruise.

All that being said, Carnival needs to address why they are having so many mechanical/engine problems. I am glad I do not own any Carnival stock.
BarbAnn is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 06:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739
"It's been a rough month for the Carnival Cruise Line" is probably a more accuarte statement.

There were 4 incidents within 30 days: the Triumph, the Elation, The Dream, and the Legend.

Here are some philosophical questions.

Q. Do you stop flying because of one jetliner crash?
A. Probably not.

Q. Do you stop flying with a certain airline because of their poor safety record and they crashed 4 planes in a month?
A. I would probably switch airline (if possible) but will continue to fly just the same. Note: the airline with the worst safety record also has monopoly on many routes so you have no choice if you are in that country and has to fly.

So, to answer your question, if I am booked on a Carnival ship, I have reasons to be nervours, and would consider switching cruise line. But if I am booked with another cruise line, I am fine.

Here is my take for what it is worth.

Most mechanical failure is avoidable and is indicative of subpar maintenance, be it the service frequency, workmanship, whatever. This is a failure rate of 16.7% (4 out of 24 ships), or 1 in 6!. Although the incidents are quite different, the end results and the cause of the failure are strikingly similar.

Fact: In the not so old days, factories used to change their light bulbs once they reached the end of the rated useful life (example: 10,000 hours) regardless if the light bilb is burnt out or not. They just replace them even if they are still working. Many factories still have this practice today.

Their reasoning is that the risk for a light bulb to burn out after the 10,000 hours is much higher than when it was new. They would not take a chance to leave the light bulb unchanged: as a failure of that light bulb at a critcial moment could possibly be very costly. This is preventive maintenance, just like replacing the fan belt in your car's engine before the belt broke.

Now, with cost cutting measures to "save money" or "being not wasteful" ("go green"), preventive maintenance are no longer the norm. Parts are replaced when they fail, or close to fail. So you put it off for a bit and hope for the best.

You don't change your fan belt when it shown signs of wear, you change the fan belt when it breaks. What happens when your fan belt breaks while you are driving? Simple, you get stranded.

I suspect that's what maybe happening here.
Eschew is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,986
I do have cruise plans on the Emerald Princess (another Carnival brand) in September that I intend to keep. With all that has been going on with the Carnival ships I truly hope this is a wake up call to parent Carnival that they need to re-think very hard on their ship maintenance routine, crew training, emergency preparedness, cost cutting and green measures NOW! This kind of publicity is a definite turn off for potential cruisers and very hurtful to the cruise industry and will cost them in the long run of they do not take immediate action. I love cruising, but I have not been on one of the cruises from hell.
hpeabody is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 159
No plans, but no illusions. This involves one cruise line and one division of a holding company whose other segments - with one dramatic exception - have been very safe. Sounds like maintainance issues to me. Unfortunately, maintainance is the first to go when income gets tight. I would not hesitate to cruise, but not on Carnival or Costa. But then they are lines that have never been on my wish list.
Reme is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 09:10 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,837
I've cruised with Carnival 4 times. All have been successful cruises. Things go wrong on every mode of transportation that exists. It would not stop me from booking on Carnival or any other cruise line in the future.
annikany is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 10:36 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 34
I've been on 9+ crusies, mostly Carnival. I would not hesitate to cruise based on recent issues. As a friend reminded me, she would rather be on a cruise ship with a mechanical problem than in sky in an airplane with mechanical problems. I think the issues of late have been over-hyped. I've always understood that itineraries might change due to weather, passenger illnesses/injuries (ie having to turn around to care flight someone off the ship), and yes, if a mechanical problem occurs. I have always felt the compensation to be fair.

We are a sue happy nation always wanting a huge payout that is unearned and undeserved.

For the record, however, I do now tend to prefer land based vacations to cruising, for personal reasons.
LiveSlow99 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,621
I agree with E. 4 is for me too much for coincidence. I think CCL has to do something to revamp their maintenance procedures and be sure it's done in such a way as to convince the public their ships are safe and secure.

I have been a big fan of CCL over the years but IMHO this is too much to rationalize. I hope they fix this soon b/c I would like sail them again, especially on their newer ships.
jacketwatch is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,621
Oh and yes I would cruise again in a heart beat!
jacketwatch is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 459
About to take my 11th and 12th cruises in May and Sept. Six have been with Carnival. Love cruising, Carnival is our favorite cruiseline, will continue to cruise as long as possible.
hpeabody-We're also taking the Emerald in Sept. Are you on the Copenhagen to NY, Sept.10-26?
1965 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,314
I might be more inclined than before to book on a higher end cruiseline. I remember when cruising was for the rich only. As lines marketed it for the masses, and then as a cheap vacation, complaints about amenities and quality of food and service grew. Although I have commented several times saying - what do you expect for less than $100/day for lodging, food, entertainment?

But now I find myself wondering if they are also scrimping on maintenance and safety in order to get the price per day even lower and lower.
gail is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,986
1965..... Yes, I am
hpeabody is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 459
hpeabody-I just looked at the roll call and saw you there. We're very excited. This will be our first cruise in a long time where every one of the ports is new to us.We can't wait!!
1965 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,986
1965... I am very excited too. I have been to Copenhagen, Oslo Belfast and Greenock/Glasgow on past cruises, but the rest are all new. I have never done a TA before. Have you signed up for any of the private group tours going on with the Roll Call? Is 1965 also your CC id?
hpeabody is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 03:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,008
I have a friend who has been on probably 30 cruises. She absolutely loves them. I have been on 2 and may look into doing one in Alaska.

The idea of a cruise first appealed to me when my husband and I were still working. The thought of a week of leisure with good food and entertainment was appealing. Our first cruise was on Celebrity out of Ft. Lauderdale and it was a great experience. The food was amazing and the entertainment was good. Our second cruise was with RCCL out of Galveston and it was OK, definitely a step down from Celebrity.

I have never considered a Carnival Cruise simply because of their reputation for being a party type cruise line. That doesn't appeal to me at this point in my life.

We will be taking our first European river cruise in May so I'm anxious to see how we like that type of cruising.
bettyk is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
I have stated this more than once. "I will never get on another Carnival cruise ship even if it was free." I started stating this back in 2002 and I meant it. Seems like I have really good reason considering their numerous problems. They are the scurge of cruises line out there. The old saying "you get what you pay for" so applies. If others want to take their chances with them so be it, but not me ever again.

The problems with Carnival though would not stop me from cruising. I love Princess and so want to try Celebrity. What is stopping me from cruising is the exhorbant airfare prices to get to the depature port(s). It is beyond crazy. I can do an air/hotel package deal for the same price it would cost me to just get air to a departure city. Cruise lines really need to think about offering package deals also.

Since I live in the middle of nowhere my only choices of airlines are American, United and Southwest. I have personally boycotted American and will NEVER EVER EVER step foot on another one of thier airplanes. I hope the rot in bankruptcy hell. Since they have a monopoly over many flight routes, my selection of vacation destinations is greatly reduced. Cruising would solve me getting to various destinations if I could just get past the excessive airfare rates to get to departures ports.
KVR is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,795
I just got off a Carnival ship and was happy with it. Obviously they've been having issues, but the one we were on was fine, other than some rough weather, which is not something the cruise line has much control over, and we thought any safety measures taken (such as closing the exposed decks to passengers) were appropriate. There are ways in which it's apparent it's a low-end line, but the food and service are good,and at no time did we feel unsafe. I wouldn't hesitate to book with them again. I would strongly prefer not to be stranded for 6 days on a stinky and becalmed cruise ship, but the risk of something like missing a port is not going to keep me up at night.
persimmondeb is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 03:07 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,927
To me, as a solo, a cruise is a CruiseSpa...so many activities day and nite..food galore...folks to meet at the Meet & Greets and being pampered does one's soul good.

Just returned from a Feb 9dayer which also got me out of this infernal winter weather.

But I do limit my cruises to mostly Caribbean waters. When I go to Europe I want more intensive land touring which a cruise does not provide.

As to Carnival- never tried & never will.
Rhea58 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 459
hpeabody-1965 is my CC ID. We've booked two optional excursions through Princess-in Belfast we're taking a Giants' Causeway tour, and in Iceland,a fishing village w/lunch.
persimmondeb-I agree with you about CCL.We do cruise with other lines now and then, if the itinerary and price are right.But we keep coming back to CCL for the reasons you mention.The food,entertainment,cabins are comparable to the other lines,and the price is usually better.
1965 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 19,909
We haven't finalized our fall trip destination yet, possibly Pacific coastal - it may be last minute decision, nothing to do with Carnival.

We haven't sailed with Carnival yet, and will hopefully never have. This cruise line is off our "allowances".
Dayenu is offline  

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