Local/State

Local man recalls trip on Carnival Dream

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Raleigh man who just returned home from a dream vacation on board the Carnival Dream is telling about his experience aboard the cruise.

The ship was stranded in Saint Maarten after an emergency generator failed which overflowed toilets and caused long power outages.

Some passengers called it a nightmare, but a local man doesn't see it that way.

"I think people just want to complain about things," said Greg Scialdone. "It was sensationalism."

Scialdone said the toilets were only off for two hours, and elevator outages lasted about the same.

"Other than those two things, everything worked -- the air conditioning, the rooms, the food," said Scialdone.

The news comes after a series of Carnival mishaps in the last few weeks. Perhaps the most notorious was last month's engine fire aboard the Triumph, which stranded 4,200 people in the Gulf of Mexico without toilets or air conditioning.

Some then-passengers reported human waste in hallways and open air campsites on the upper deck.

Aboard the Dream though, Scialdone, his college-aged daughter, son and a roommate had what he described as the time of their lives.

"We had access in and out of the ship, the dining hall," said Scialdone. "The restaurants were all working, everything -- the pools, the saunas, the hot tub. My daughter went and got a massage."

And for spending an extra three days in paradise, Carnival flew all 3,600-plus vacationers back to Florida and reimbursed each for three days and gave them a 50 percent discount on a future cruise.      

"They did an outstanding job," said Scialdone. "It was above and beyond I think of what anybody's expectations were."

Scialdone said passengers were constantly kept in the loop by the cruise line and even got a bonus concert from Jon Secada.

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