This cruise week came nowhere near expectations, which considering that this was Carnival, were not very high to begin with. The cruise was chosen as an economical family reunion venue. As it turned out, not too many came fortunately. I would not like to have answered to them. As succinctly as I can put it, if this had been my first cruise, there would never have been a second. Since we are mature grandparents with fifteen cruises behind us, I feel we are capable of making reasonable judgements.
There are some good things to say that I should relate. Embarkation and debarking were efficient and easy. Once on board, after running the gauntlet of photographers, however, one was left to his own devices to find his cabin. The staff was friendly, courteous, (with one glaring exception) and tried hard to make this a memorable week. Unfortunately, our steward and table servers left something to be desired. Service was slow, but accurate. Requests to the steward had to be repeated a couple of times to get a response. (I suspect he was pretty much overworked). The children's program was excellent. The ship, considering its age, was in good condition. All ports were made on time. The ship rode well and was very quiet.
So much for the good stuff: Now for the negatives. It might be best if I relate them in bullet form.
1. The biggest problem was the packs of unsupervised unruly, discourteous pre-teen and early teens running around the ship at all hours. Not only were they a distraction, they also provided a considerable safety risk to anyone caught on the stairs when they came by. Apparently the parents were too busy in the casino, in the bars or at the mostly immature entertainment venues. The ship security seemed to care little about the problem.
2. The dining room food was at best mediocre. Selections were slim, entrees poorly presented, and not particularly tasty. All soups, whether hot or cold, arrived tepid.(slow service). The lobster was inedible. To be fair, the red meat selections, though usually overdone, were pretty good.
The buffet in the Tiffany was particularly unappetizing. The highly touted pizza was suitable for only the undiscriminating palate of our seven year old grandson.
3. The stateroom was barely big enough to fit the connected twin beds. Extra seating was either the vanity stool or one small chair. To gain access to the window one had to climb over the bed. Storage space was adequate. The bathroom was about the only good thing about this cabin.
4. There was no entertainment suitable for mature, (not adult, which on this boat was quite immature) people. Such as they were, shows and deck activities were geared to the very young passengers. There were no evening dance venues available for anyone except the under thirty hard of hearing.
5."Here's your hat, what's your hurry?" By Thursday evening our steward was stocking the cabin with linens and supplies for the next cruise stuffed above the TV. This was not only insulting, it was also a significant fire hazard.
Suffice it to say, there will be no Carnival cruises in our future. I recommend that any person over the age of thirty be very careful about choosing this cruise line.