I live in Cypress, Texas (30miles from downtown Houston, so 80miles from Galveston) & have cruised 4x's with Carnival (1999,2001,2011,2012). I have just booked the Eastern caribbean (August 11th) cruise for my wife & me to celebrate our 20th Anniversary & her graduating college at the young age of 49 (very,very,proud of her). Sure some things have changed & maybe not for the best, but customers probably contributed to many of these. TIPS- the employees could tell you story, after story, after story of how, after going the "extra mile", ZILCH (stiffed). After you constantly beat your dog, he tends not to hang around you as much. Overall, their service hasn't diminshed as far as I can tell, A-. LIDO DECK/BAND-I'm sure people complained about how the band didn't know their favorite song (from every year of their life), so now we have a DJ. When i rushed up to the lido deck last July (Sunday 12:30pm) to order my cold beer, i noticed no band, darn. By 1:30pm i realized the DJ had a better feel for the crowd (major part of their profession) than the bands do. By the end of the 1st day, he had the lido deck rocking & it stayed that way all week. He played all genres of music & it changed my thought process, A+.
SPORTS OUTSIDE-Basketball,dodgeball,putt-putt,chess,track,ping-pong, were fantastic! It turned out to be to windy (the whole trip) & the rope walk had to be closed. Overall, A-
POOLS-clean, bizy (dah) & noisy (dah again, kids!!!). If you want some peace & quiet , look for it, it's there. A+
DRINKS-cold & plentiful, A+++++++++
COMEDY CLUB-"da BOMB", family early, adults late. I like the change of artist & I would make sure they do not duplicate a show, be professional, bring it! A++++++++
PIANO BAR-as long as a bunch of drunks don"t ask for the same old nasty song ( you know), it's good. I believe the artist needs to grab hold of the crowd when they get a little to vulgar, just me. Talent wise, A, managing the crowd, C-.
RED FROG PUB-it was 1/3 to 1/2 full at nights,but i was there every night & loving it!!! I think the musician, being in the back & not in sight of passer byer's, hurts tremendously. As far as i'm concern, the best entertainment venue i've seen on any cruise, A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
CASINO-I hate to lose, so i play $100 & leave it to the Wife. She likes it, B+
LIDO FOOD-ok, B-
STEAKHOUSE-they comped our meal (wife gambling a bunch). SUPERB MEALS ALL AROUND, get the cheesecake dude! A+++
CUCINA ITALIAN FOOD-above the lido deck, you get to it thru the buffet. FREE abbreviated menu for lunch, GO!!!!!!! Then at least once, pay the $12 or so pp to eat at dinner, WOW, MAGNIFICANT! A+++++++
OUTSIDE GRILL-ask where & when , just like at home baby! Burgers, dogs, chicken, etc... SWEET,A++++
DINING AT NIGHT-Loved every meal & had hot molted chocolate cake/ice cream every night ( get an extra scoop with it, trust me!). A+++++
PIZZA PLACE-needs more staff at night, especially late. I believe the food suffers because of the need to keep up with the orders. C-
KARAOKE-slow in the club, C+---great in the walking area, A-
SHOPPING-PLEASE, better t-shirts, Carnival clothes look like there geared for senior citizens only. D-
PICTURES-way better than it use to be, keep working on it. If only we could observe & order from our rooms, yeah, that's the ticket! B-
CHILDRENS CLUBS-over the years they have improved BIG TIME! B+
SHORE EXCURSIONS-some you win , some you lose, but overall, B-
EM & DISBARKING- 1 word, thousands! So, chill, A-
I will leave you with this--5% will never be happy, 5% will always find something to complain about, so CARNIVAL keep up the good work, us 90% are ready to rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
andy PS-sorry about grammar & spelling, but i passed those classes years