EMBARK Went smooth. Disappointed that our traveling friends couldn't go to VIP with us to check in since we were together. As it turned out, they were just one minute behind us. The VIP lady left us for several minutes when I told her I had a C-pap machine. Don't know where she went or what she did but it did hold us up. We had done our boarding stuff on line and nowhere on line is there a part for special needs. She asked if I needed distilled water and I said yes and she told me when I board to go to Guest Services. Guest Services said they couldn't do it and told me to order it from the room under "Room Service." Carnival needs to make this clearer. I was on a Holland American this summer and my travel agent ordered my distilled water for me and it was in the cabin room when we entered.
ROOM Ocean view, large room, large bathroom. Disappointed that there were no couch, refrigerator, soda or hair-dryer in room. You could call housekeeping for soda or buy it at bar, in the cans, and take to your room. There is large bottled water and when you run out they replenish the water. Our room Stewart was Wiryajaya and he was very friendly and always called us by name as they were trained to do. A very nice touch. He did a great job. We always had ice and he was very quick at doing our room. I did take Lysol wipes and cleaned everything myself, along with Lysol spray. (We have got Nora virus on the ships before). The vanity in the living area was not very clean when I used my wipe. Had dirt all over it. There is shampoo and body gel in the shower. No clothes line. The waste basket is very small and attached to the wall under the sink. I missed it and my friend told me where it was located. No makeup mirror which I really missed. I did bring my own...along with a hairdryer. There is a plug in the medicine cabinet, strictly for electric shavers. Don't panic if charging and it goes off. It's designed to go off after a certain amount of time. Small gift bowl in bathroom had the following: one small travel shampoo; one small travel toothpaste; two small cellophane wrapped candies (turtles) and that was it. Very pitiful compared to past freebies. Room was worn, small rip in carpet, scuff marks but overall not bad. The air-conditioning knob is in the ceiling. Very hard to hear announcements in room. The grab bar in the shower is above the shampoo and body wash. Strange place to have it. It belongs on the back wall where you could hold onto it getting in and out of shower. There are six towel racks in bathroom and a double medicine cabinet with plenty of shelves and space for two people if not more. Enough closet and drawer space is provided. We kept beds separated due to the box at the end of the bed under the window. Could smell smoke in the hallways. Apparently, guests were smoking in their rooms.
FOOD This is the department where Carnival is really slipping in my opinion. The food is edible, you don't go hungry but nothing compared to the food in the past. Dining room food just so so. One side of the menu (left side) has the same every day. Fried chicken, salmon, flat iron steak (don't get...very tough), shrimp cocktail, etc. The right side changes daily. Desserts are the only thing I raved about on the whole cruise and they have a wonderful pastry chef and baker. Lido was the same but I did enjoy the soups. Salad bar doesn't have shredded cheese and one day didn't have olives. The hamburgers are always good but on this trip very overcooked and dry. The chicken tenders (by the hamburgers) are good and the mashed potatoes and mac & cheese are wonderful. Over-all the food at Lido isn't too bad at all. They did have wonderful desserts and cheesecake every day. The banana cream pie was soooo good. What they need on the breakfast menu in the dining room or up on Lido at Breakfast is shredded potatoes and sausage gravy and biscuits. If ordering an omelet in the dining room for breakfast, make sure you mention you want a two/three egg omelet. Omelets made very small with one egg. Eggs benedict wonderful, turkey dinner in dining room a laugh. The stuffing is made with apples and raisins, not too good. Maybe it's the India chef...hasn't got the hang of American food. The waiters are tired and bored. No glamorous feeling in the dining room. I can understand why not too many people dress up, especially on the Paradise. The dining room has low ceilings and very non-descript. Saw lots of jeans and shorts in the dining room (not on dress up night). Actually, I'm glad. I love the fact that you can dress up or dress down (no cut-offs). Of the five nights in the dining room, we were offered coffee only two times. One couple said they were there, at dinner, for 1 Â½ hours. On Lido, they had only one guy making sandwiches. The line is very long. There were times that no one was manning the pizza counter. Some days there was no pizza or just cheese pizza. We walked away.
CASINO I had a good time in the casino. Won enough money the first two days to carry me through the next three. With 1000 points you get free drinks, I had to ask. They put a drink card on your bungee cord. Drink employees working the casino were very friendly. One Casino Host was not too friendly. She had long hair, in a ponytail and was rude. An oriental girl in the cash cage was very friendly. A bleached blond, long hair and a sour puss face, was very unfriendly and definitely didn't want to be there. She constantly played with her hair and couldn't have care less about the customers. She wouldn't say hello and she doesn't count your money back to you. Beware of her.
ENTERTAINMENT The oriental band by the bar was wonderful. The shows in the theater were good...not spectacular. I missed the Vegas style appeal and costumes. The girl singer was very good, the guy...not as good. The dancers were very good and worked so hard. Loved our CD Steve Castell. He does a wonderful job and is a true asset to Carnival. Not only is he a super CD but he is so talented and very accessible. Saw him on deck 3 whenever we were going to shore. He was also at Debark wishing us all a safe trip home. He truly is wonderful. The Break Dancers were very good. Very entertaining. The dance classes were a joke. You couldn't understand the girl giving the lessons and she pulled mostly children on stage. The dance moves she was trying to teach, were so hard, no one could do them. Very long and boring.
VIP GIFTS The pins with the ship's name and year were nice...throw them in the drawer with the others. The Turvis cups are great. Finally a gift we can use. The "sweet" plate was very good. So glad they did away with the sushi plate. Always gave it to the room stewart.
DEBARK Went well. Security was very friendly.
COMMENTS A young lady that deserves mention is SUNCICA. She was a Hostess in the dining room and we would see her up on Lido. What a wonderful person. So friendly, she always took time to talk to us and seat us in the dining room when she saw us. She is another asset to Carnival.