This cruise line had been built up to me so I had very high expectations. I was used to sailing on Carnival's Fantasy class. I must say they were not met. My husband and I were booked in two adjoining cabins. Our 13 year old was booked with him, and our 5 year old with me. The reason for this is it was originally thought our 17 year old would be going and you can't have more than 4 people to a cabin. When we cancelled his reservation, it was just cheaper to keep the two cabins.
The first issue arose during the safety or lifeboat drill. I searched both cabins for a child's life vest and there were only 3 adult ones per cabin. So I asked the steward for a child's vest. Then we left to go to our muster stations. We didn't receive the vest and with everything going on I forgot to ask again if one had been brought to our cabin. Thursday night rolled around and the sea was pretty rough, which reminded me of the vest. So my 13 year old volunteered to go down to the info desk and ask for one. They asked for his cabin number and he told them his, but then remembered he needed to tell them his brother's cabin number. They asked if we'd checked to see if there was one already there, and he didn't know. So he returned empty handed. Then my husband went down to get it. They told him it would be the next day before he could get one, and he said, "No, now." So they told him it could be a couple of hours. They ended up waking up the steward to get the jacket and we had it in about 45 minutes to an hour after all the asking. Now something is wrong with a system where you can't get a properly fitting life jacket on a moment's notice. Emergencies don't give you the kind of time it took to get the vest. This is a real safety issue. I don't blame the steward. In fact, the literature in the state room said that if you needed a child's life vest to call the information desk. Ultimately I blame HAL because they were aware that a child was booked in that room and the vest should have been there to start.
Next was the ship's maintenance. The handle to the door that went between cabins broke off. So I told the steward and he went and got a maintenance guy. The guy didn't have the proper screwdriver to fix it, so he asked if he could come the next day at 10. He never showed up and we had to put up with that handle the whole cruise. In my husband and son's assigned cabin, the rod that closes the curtain was broken and jagged on the end and when my 5 year old tried to pull it shut he cut his hand.
My son walked into the room they use for the activities for his age group, again, he's 13, and the movie they were showing was not anything we'd let him watch-- it was using profanity, he said the "s" word and the "b" word. So he left, for which we applauded him. HAL needs to make sure they aren't allowing kids to watch movies of which parents do not approve. Carnival's children's programs are far superior.
Lastly, and probably least important but still frustrating, was trying to find flatware on the aft Lido deck. I would get food and then look for a table with utensils and there were none to be found. On Carnival they stack the flatware wrapped in napkins on trays that you can just go grab your own if you need to. I had to eat a bowl of fruit with my fingers.
I must say all of my experiences on Carnival have been better in comparison.