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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Luxury Cruise Disappointment: A Soaked Suite Saga on Carnival's Mardi Gras

Embarking on a cruise is often synonymous with dreams of indulgence and relaxation, especially when booking a suite that promises enhanced comfort and a touch of luxury. However, for the Kula couple, their recent Carnival Cruise Line experience aboard the Mardi Gras became a tale of frustration and disappointment.

The excitement of a pre-holiday cruise aboard Carnival's first Excel-class ship, the Mardi Gras, quickly soured when the Kulas, eagerly anticipating their 7-day Eastern Caribbean voyage, discovered the grim reality of their supposedly upgraded suite. Priced at nearly $6,000, their dream accommodation turned out to be one of the ship's worst cabins.

The voyage, departing from Port Canaveral, Florida, on December 16, 2023, was meant to be a joyful exploration of popular Caribbean destinations, including San Juan, Puerto Rico; Puerto Plata/Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; and Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. However, the dream took an unexpected turn when the Kulas reached their cabin.

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To their dismay, the luxury suite's floors were soaked, and a persistent musty smell permeated the air. Despite their immediate request for a cabin change, the cruise ship, fully booked for the holiday season, left the couple with no alternative accommodations. Carnival Cruise Line attributed the damage to severe weather conditions, apologizing for the inconvenience.

In a statement, Carnival Cruise Line acknowledged the impact of heavy winds and rain on a small number of staterooms. The cruise line expressed regret, stating that the ship was at full capacity for the holiday season, leaving no available staterooms or suites for guests to be relocated.

As Scott Kula described it, their waterlogged suite became "a total disaster," with the wet carpet persisting throughout the week. The musty smell evolved into a disturbing "bad mold smell," making sleep nearly impossible. To exacerbate matters, loud blowers were placed inside the cabin to dry the carpet, running for most of the day and rendering the cabin uninhabitable.

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Frustrated and seeking refuge, the Kulas paid extra for a cabana to escape the unpleasant conditions of their suite. Scott expressed his frustration, stating, "If they can put a rollercoaster on a cruise ship, they should be able to seal the doors properly from rain entering."

Carnival Cruise Line attempted to compensate the distressed passengers with onboard credit, an offer that fell short of satisfying Scott's expectations. With only one day left in the sailing, he deemed the compensation attempt as "disturbing" and insisted on a full refund for the suite.

As the Mardi Gras returned to Port Canaveral on December 23, Carnival Cruise Line pledged to contact the Kulas to address and rectify the issues they faced during their cruise.

The unfortunate experience of the Kula couple sheds light on the challenges faced by cruise lines during severe weather conditions. Between December 13 and December 17, 2023, multiple cruise lines, including Carnival, encountered difficulties, leading to delayed sailings, canceled port calls, and disrupted itineraries. 


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