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Disappointed Vacationer ()     06/27/2011 20:45:57 PM

The entertainers were decent singers/musicians

We just returned from a four day Carnival cruise to St. John. We have been on several cruises before, and have always booked directly with the cruise line. However, this time we were travelling as part of a larger group where some individuals had severe dietary restrictions and so we chose to book with Masti Cruises to alleviate some of the concerns regarding having adequate food for all members. The booking process was relatively smooth; however everything started to fall apart pretty much as soon as we got on the cruise. Once we were on board, we were unable to find any Masti representatives and all of a sudden, we were dealing with a company named Air Tours, which fluctuated from being Masti representatives and having nothing to do with Masti from minute to minute, depending upon the number of complaints group members had with Masti. There were no real tour representatives on board, except for some entertainers, who claimed they had nothing to do with Masti, yet their names were on the itinerary we received from Masti as official tour managers. This person contradicted himself every few minutes and to be honest, came off as a talker of no true essence. Events were cancelled left and right without ANY notice. Once the entertainer was late to what we eventually found out was a cancelled event and the only explanation we received was that he was showering! The event was at 11 am. The entertainment crew began setting up for shows minutes after the scheduled start times. They were decent musicians, however, their arrogance an attitude was a huge turnoff. However the biggest disaster was probably the way in which food was handled. We took late seating for formal dining (8:15) and on the first day, we did not get any food until after 9:45. This was after we got into several arguments/made complaints to the "representative" and Carnival. We were told by Carnival that the delays were due to the fact that Masti/Air Tours never communicated the number of veg vs. non veg entrees, and as a result, they ran out of veg food. When we spoke to the Masti representative, he made obnoxious comments and analogies and asked us to think of this as a fast! He also told us that he had a life and basically that organizing these details to Carnival shouldn’t be expected of him. There was nooo accountability on any front and eventually, we had to explain the food situation to Carnival, who pulled through and did a good job of making sure that the situation was corrected. The Masti "representative" also embarrassed the group several times in the formal dining room with immature stunts like "booing" carnival crew members when food was late, making people start “food, food” chants, singing "Jana Gana Mana" as a publicity stunt, making us clap at his own entrance..and the list goes on and on! Please do NOT waste your money booking with either of these tour operators! They were some of the most unprofessional and unorganized group of people we have come across and their behavior and our association with their group definitely put a damper on our trip. The only reason we enjoyed our trip as much as we did is because we started attending Carnival events and avoiding the group as much as possible, which defeats the purpose of spending so much extra money on being part of an Indian group. On a side note, we have requested Indian veg food several times on other cruises and the quality of the food that we received is about the same as the food we received on this tour. You can always request Indian veg food on cruises for lunches and dinners on account of dietary restrictions/preferences, and most cruise lines would work very hard to make that happen in the dining rooms. I would call the cruise line in advance to confirm that this is doable. In either case, you're better off going without one of these tours then subjecting yourself to the frustration of dealing with these individuals.

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