4 days of gastroenteritis does not make for a fun cruise. I boarded the ship healthy and remained so for the first 2 days. Then in the middle of the night I experience horrible heartburn that by morning turned into explosive diarrhea. Spent 4 days confined to my cabin with a limited and very horrible food from room service (Jell-o didn't jiggle, it was like a hockey puck). Made several visits to the infirmary and needed i.v. to rehydrate me. I had become so dehydrated my veins collapsed making it difficult to insert the i.v. needle. My arms were purple for weeks afterwards. At least the infirmary didn't send me a bill because I'm more than a little suspicious that Carnival knows it's responsible although the official reply when I enquire about remuneration was that they are not responsible for illness. Whatever precautions they take are not enough. And compared to NCL, they are lax in their sanitation measures. NCL had Purell dispensers by the doors of every public rest room in addition to the ones at the dining facilities. And at the buffet they actually have a crew member spray the hands of the guests as they enter, not taking chances that the guests will do the right thing and take it upon themselves to sanitized their hands.
Okay, so this wouldn't be a fair and balanced review if I just complained about illness. The days I was up and about and using the ship's facilities proved that the ship is a dump. Most of the Atrium area is taken over by the photography dept. so there is no place to sit as each seating area was set up with a backdrop, lighiting and cameras.
Carnival has really cut back in their entertainment as far as music goes. Mostly a few guitar players. The one featured in the Atrium was actually quite annoying. There was a good band in one of the lounges. I attended one of the adult comedy shows. The room was packed. They really need to do this in the main theatre and not the club. The comic was obviously pandering to the crowd by overdoing the foul language. I mean, it wasn't part of the joke, it was just used as expletives in practically every sentence. Without it, he doesn't have an act. The room seemed to work hard at yelling out and making a lot of noise just because it seemed like the thing to do and not because it was part of the crowd's mood.
The days I did dine in the main dining room were not very impressive. It's like meatloaf and mac & cheese type offerings instead of fine dining. I guess you need to dine in the supper club if you want anything exceptional.
Day activities were pretty lame and consiering it was too cold to sit outside and use the pool area, it made for a pretty boring cruise. Even before I was confined to my cabin I found myself spending a lot of time there watching tv. This I did not have to pay for a cruise.
My cabin steward did a great job, especially considering he had so much extra clean up tnanks to my illness. I only hope he didn't catch the bug from me. I also have to salute a lot of the staff who would wheel me to and from the infirmary. I was so weak that I even requested a wheelchair take me to the dining room since it was on the opposite side of the ship. After hearing about Hilary Clinton's fall and subsequent problems due to her gastrointestinal problems I am glad I made the request. The last thing I needed to do was have a fall on top of everything else.
I needed to use the casino to cash in an onboard credit. I applied the money to a slot machine and then cashed out. When I went to the cashier he made an obnoxious remark about not playing the machines at all. That was none of his business. Since Carnival subsquently would not remunerate me at all (RCL did in a similar situation by the way) I was glad to get back the full value of the obc in cash.
To make matters worse, I was told that the use of the pay per view films would be free during my confinement. I checked with Guest Services the evening before we disembarked and that was confirmed. P.S. my final statement did not have the film charges removed. I now had to go during disembarkation back to Guest Services which was no mean feat since the deck was packed with people lining up to disembark. At Guest Services this very obnoxious man told me I was only entitled to have some of the charges removed because some of the films were watched before. Luckily, I had my letter from the Infirmary with the earlier date showing. It was only then that he backed off and removed all of the charges without so much as a "sorry."
The standard inside cabin I was assigned was much smaller than the standard outsides. There's no place to sit and relax. You need to lie on the bed. The bed was comfortable but took up most of the cabin. There was barely any room to set down a room service tray. I don't know how a couple would manage in my situation. I can't imagine how that cabin would be if it experienced a fate similar to Carnival Triumph.
Speakin of room service, they really know how to louse up an order. One time I ordered tea and got coffee. I only needed a pot of hot water (I already had cups) and some plain tea bags. The waitress took it upon herself to do up a tray of everything I didn't need which meant she had to go back again to get me some plain tea bags. She seemed annoyed that I didn't show gratitude for the effort she had made. But how could I when I'm still waiting over an hour to get a plain cup of tea? All she had to do was bring a pot of hot water and a few tea bags. No one asked her for things she wasted. I hope she learned her lesson to stick to the passengers' orders. But usually there would be a problem no matter how you spell out to the person taking the order. Somehow the language barrier gets in the way. Carnival really needs to make sure the people working certain positions have the best possible language skills. But I doubt their supervisors have them so how can they judge.
Due to my confinement I wasn't able to leave the ship so I can't review them. Likewise for shore excursions, although nothing stood out on their list.
After 17 cruises with Carnival I have now called it quits with them. I sold off my shares of Carnival stock yesterday and won't plan on sailing her. I might consider continuing on the other brands owned by Carnival as I wouldn't want to cut off my nose to spite my face but since I have no immediate plans to cruise with any of them I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.