This was our third Carnival cruise. I thought the first two represented good value for the money. This one did not. The ports and excursions were nice enough, but Carnival scrimped so much on the food and the staff that the on-board experience was quite poor. Imagine Black Bean Soup with 3 or 4 beans per cup. What, are black beans too expensive now? How about Cherries Jubilee with not a single cherry? The cheese sauce for nachos was so thin that you could drink it through a straw. Something they called "lamb" was so tough it had to have been mutton. You could drive a nail with the veal shank. On most mornings, the coffee was so weak you could see through it. Everything about the food and the menu suggested that shaving nickels and dimes had overtaken providing acceptable meals in Carnival's priorities.
The Lido deck buffet is now run for the convenience of the staff, not the passengers. Each night they would only open one side, then watch the line stretch around the deli and More
back toward the pool. Why make people wait like that just to get entrees that were consistently lukewarm or cold? Perhaps it was to give the staff more time to pick through the Seafood Newburg so they could grab the scallops before the passengers did. No, I am not making that up: we saw more than one of them doing it.
Carnival has taken to playing "gotcha" with various forms of promotions and offers. They give you a coupon for a free drink, but no matter where you take it, they tell you that you can't use it there, or not for this drink, or not on a Tuesday during the full Moon. When the coupons are free, that's one thing, but they did the same thing with drink vouchers they sold for over $5 each. Again, no matter where you took them, there was some reason you couldn't use them.
Sometimes when you collect people from around the world, trouble ensues. People from places where toilet paper is typically flushed do not expect to find used toilet paper on the floor in the stalls. This was just not a happy juxtaposition of diverse cultures.
No one books a Carnival Cruise expecting Silversea. But until now, we'd never found a Carnival cruise to be actually bad, with cold eggs, cold baked fish, weak coffee and tough meat. Perhaps it's the economy and things will improve later. Until they do, we won't be back. Less
Carnival Victory Cruises to the Southern Caribbean
Directly underneath lots of chairs on the Lido deck. Expect chair-moving noises. Suite is smaller than similar rooms with wrap-around balcony on other Carnival ships (e.g. Legend). This one has no separate living room.
Unfortunately, the "rail" part of the Rail and Sail excursion was cancelled due to a mechanical breakdown, so we sailed up and down the coast on the catamaran. It was a nice enough time, but not what we had paid for.
We played golf at the St. Lucia Resort & Country Club. We probably deserved what happened to us, because Carnival cancelled the excursion citing "difficulty with tour operator," and we chose to book it anyway directly. We got there to find a large tournament occupying the whole course. We got to play the back 9, and that was all.
Mahogany Run is a challenging course, but you can find those anywhere. What you can't find anywhere is golf courses near the ocean, with ocean views. Unfortunately, you don't find that on St. Thomas either.