Okay...can I give less than 1 star? I would. We went with a group of 13 to celebrate the 50th birthday of a friend. We had a balcony room, which was just fine. The best thing about the ship? Well, 2 things....internet worked in the room which was nice, and the beds were super comfortable. The size of the room was fine...small but what do you expect on a ship? Plenty of storage. The comedy club and the latin bar were also fun.
Now on to the ship itself. 12 of the 13 of us got food poisoning on the ship at one time or another. We narrowed it down to the common foods, which were the shrimp served in the Golden Pearl Dining room and the Sushi from the California Roll sushi bar. First, a note about the food...it was horrible overall. The food in the dining room at dinner was often overcooked, and their idea of rare was actually medium well. The waiter would tell me that's the rarest piece he could find, and then a very rare piece would be served to someone else, so hmmm, me thinks he didn't even bother to look. When 4 of our party went to the doctor for the food poisoning they were told it was the flu and were confined to their rooms. Really? Flu? 24 hours later they felt much better and all but 1 of them had had a flu shot weeks before we went, so wasn't the flu. Sad when you have to get off the ship and go into Mexico to get fish you can actually eat. The service in the Golden Pearl was horrible and since we were traveling with the cruise agent who booked the group, she got up and threw a fit...didn't help...so her husband had to give a very large bribe to the head waiter to get our two tables properly taken care of during the cruise. Ridiculous.
The tender process on day 1 in Cabo was ridiculous. Took us more than 2 hours to get off the ship once we had a tender number, and two others in our group who left several hours after we did also said it took 2 hours to get off. The second tender day was open tender and that worked more effectively in terms of timeliness.
I can't tell you the number of people I heard standing at guest services saying things like "I am going to own this ship before I am through" so what does that tell you. I don't know what their issue was, but I do know that a number of folks were complaining.
Aside form the horrible food the staff was the worst I have ever seen on a cruise. There were a few exceptions of course, but the crew is comprised of quite a few Eastern Europeans who make it pretty clear in their attitude that this is a job and don't bother them. There were largely unfriendly, would step in front of you with a tray or something and look at you like you were annoying them, seldom smiled at you as you walked by, and seemed generally displeased with being there. I would walk down the hall and three of them would be talking in the hall and if I asked for something they'd look at me like I was interrupting their conversation and then go right back to talking to each other in whatever Eastern European language they were using (Serbian I think). I didn't even know our cabin stewards name until day 4.
On our last sea day we had some pretty good winds, but they closed the slide and the one pool for repairs, which of course is a drag when you have 3500 people on a ship.
Checking in was a nightmare and took well over 2 hours to get on the ship. Getting off was much easier. We did the self service and were off the ship as early as we could leave, through customs and out the other end within 15 minutes.
I've been on a number of cruises on Holland America, Norwegian, Celebrity, etc. and I will never ever EVER take another Carnival cruise. EVER. Did I complain? Nope. Why? Because I don't want a future credit, I don't want any money, I don't want anything. But I DO want them to know why I will NEVER be back. Maybe they'll improve it for someone else.