I would like to comment on the cruise my family and I just took aboard the Carnival Splendor. Comment cards were not offered on our de-embarkation day. That was either an over sight from the crew, or Carnival really isn't interested in how they're fairing with a customer experience. Especially now, with the run of difficulties, and bad press Carnival has been receiving, they should be even more focused on customer satisfaction to ensure future sales.
We cruised from March 23 through March31, 2013 and found this cruise to be our least favorite from all of our previous Carnival cruises. Based on this sailing, I would never again choose this ship or a cruise that had Malcolm as the Cruise Director. The word to describe my vacation is "mediocre" at best.
There's little you can do about the ships decor, but hopefully when Splendor gets the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrade, they can do away with all of those "pink donuts" that are all around the ship. Even the cruise director, "Malcolm," mentioned them a few times during various shows. Others must have commented for this to be touched upon by him. They make the ship look cheesy and cheap.
Some of the down falls of this sailing, (and I hope it's not fleet wide) is the "cut backs" on costs that are so obvious to the paying customer. Let's start with:
Dining Room menu has been redesigned so it is almost like ordering from Sizzler, or Ponderosa Steak House. Menu items such as macaroni and cheese, and chicken pot pies are substandard fare. If they were done well, perhaps it could accepted. But they are not. I sent both back, and ordered a hamburger thinking that would be my safest choice.
Even during the "Welcome Back" party, in years past, we used to get a few appetizers, a few drinks and enjoy seeing what Carnival had planned in the future. Most likely for us, Carnival's future growth became OUR future cruise as we planned our vacations with Carnival.
On Splendor, we got one drink - one appetizer, and were told that Splendor will be upgraded to 2.0 in 2017 or so. Really? It was just pathetic, and having your Cruise Director wear a cape, and some sort of hat that resembles a fish doesn't substitute for service and attentiveness. The waitstaff seemed angry to be there, and we weren't made felt welcomed, or appreciated as loyal Carnival customers. I couldn't wait to leave.
There was a problem with children taking over the ship this cruise. I do understand we sailed on Easter Week, however the children around the ship were truly out of control, and un-ruley. There are signs stating the age for usage in the hot tubs, that went totally unsupervised. The pool in the back of the ship has a sign stating ADULTS ONLY, and yet small children took over everything. Everywhere. Everyday.
Is the answer to this problem is the adult only section called "Serenity?" Did the designer consider adults would like a whirlpool , and a pool for themselves? Neither are available in Serenity. This area was an AFTER THOUGHT in a redesign. Perhaps the thought should be geared to those who PAY for the cruise.
The shows aboard Splendor were lousy. The only good show of the cruise was a show called "VROOM." Compared to other cruise lines, Carnival has always been lacking in this area. But, truly, Carnival should look at what is being offered and reevaluate the shows. Does anyone ever have someone come on board as a"under cover" evaluator? You'd be surprised on how poorly the shows are received by the guests aboard the ship. This was a topic of conversation at our dinner table, with other guests we spoke to.
Now, with the mechanical problems on Triumph, Dream, and Legend - along with the tragedy of your sister cruise line Costa - I feel slightly embarrassed to say I booked with Carnival. I get more comments from friends and family that are so negative about your brand.
Based on my experience aboard the Carnival Splendor, I fear they may be right.