My husband and I are retired and this is our second cruise, our first on Carnival. We reside in Florida and drove to Port Everglades, so there were no flights, or hotel stays. We arrived at the Port around 11AM and went through the embarkation process without any problems.
While we were still in Port and waiting for the remainder of the passengers to come aboard, we were directed to the Lido Deck to eat at the buffet, which was mass confusion, with everyone fighting for somewhere to sit, and the food was barely warm, and definitely not hot. But we took into consideration that it was the first day and the crew was very busy.
Our stateroom was fine, and it's a good thing because we spent a great deal of time in it. That was not our intention though.
We prefer free style dining so most of our meals were at the buffet, we did eat in the Chic and the Posh Restaurants, but felt that the choices of entrees to be limited. The food at the buffet was dried out and not hot, but warm, and there was always a battle of finding a place to sit and eat.
We realize that Carnival is known as a family cruise line, but I wasn't aware the it meant children can run wild. There would have been places to sit and eat, if there were not numerous groups of children, sitting (no adults with them) and either playing computer games, or being loud and racing around and bumping into people and chairs. My husband and I could not go through the line at the same time because as soon as we would get there one of us would look for a place to sit, while the other went to get some food. We tried going at off times, rather than normal eating times, just to try and see if it would be any better. That didn't work either, as either the buffet's were closed or if it was open it was filled to capacity. If it's any indication as to the food, my husband lost 10 pounds, and I didn't gain any weight, which I feel speaks for the quality of the food.
The chairs had upholstered seats that were not clean, after sitting on them our shorts had grease on them that had not been there before. I realize that when there are children that these things happen, but I think a little more care and a little more structure for the children and their parents would help.
Every evening it was the same thing, there were all these places set up in the
hall/decks for photo's, and that took up space, besides the children that were running and yelling and pushing to be the first to get somewhere. It was extremely annoying to sit down to listen to one of the musicians, play the piano, or guitar and having nothing but kids talking over the music, it was rude and inconsiderate to everyone.
As I stated previously our Stateroom was nice, but there was dried blood on the curtain, and also on the drapery pull, which I cleaned off myself, as I felt it was disgusting. As far as any other service for the room, that was fine, we always had clean towels and the bed was always made.
This was truly a disappointing experience, and if Carnival wishes to cater to children that's their choice, but it seems to me as there should be some sort of structure or rules that prohibit them from running wild, and disturbing others. Getting an elevator that was not packed with kids just playing around was unusual.
This was a learning experience and we will probably never cruise with Carnival again, or recommend them to anyone else, unless they have children, and they wish to not be responsible for their behavior.