Our trip started on Mother's Day and ended on our Anniversary (great way to not have to think up gifts). It was a "sandwich" trip with a land portion, the cruise and then more land travel. I should also mention my wife is totally blind since birth. Also, you should know we've cruised 19 times with 7 different cruise lines. We are mellow and don't get excited because something minor went wrong. To begin, I regret it is with a "bad". Since our very 1st cruise we've asked for Braille menus, not received one and wrote the cruise line afterward. We've suggested everytime we'd be happy to Braille their menu for other blind folk. We talked with a Carnival rep this time who sent us printed menus ahead of time but said "No" when we offered to Braille them. We've suggested putting the menu on a dedicated phone # onboard, same with the Daily Activity newsletter on our bed every night. Nope. Sadly, Carnival seem uninterested in meeting this need.
Okay, the cruise itself was very nice. Food was good, service good, room steward good. Movie offerings were better than most ruises BUT good luck finding what time they started -nothing in the daily schedule.
Opening show was the usual Cruise Director welcome but that was the only similarity to introdction night. Instead of introducing the Captain, Food Director, etc. John Heard, Cruise Director, was as good a stand up comedian as I've seen. He basically did a show while giving info. Later he did port talks in a comedic waythat was great. Great job BUT never saw John except at the theater. He did a TV show each day that was not impressive at all. The rest of the shows were the usual mixed - some god, some bad but one night it was just a movie!
Tour organization was pretty good getting us off the ship. Tours were normal and good except our Venice "Gondola, Murano Island, etc." The boat captain that picked us up at the ship couldn't find a place to park his boat, wasted time looking for one, then we had to walk 25 minutes to get to the gondola. We were late and instead of 1st class gondolas with singers, we got 2nd class ones. It wasn't a good tour and felt like rookies all around.
The boat itself is way too gaudy with a Roman urn theme repeated way too much.
Cruise excursion staff helpful but hours are poor,
Automatic tips - bad idea. Cabin service seems unaffected but all the rest, in general, has slipped. Waiters have too many tables now and it just isn't as good.
The buffet is mixed good and not so good. Food is fine except desserts were ho-hum. The problem is pizza had one guy working, very slow going. Wrap/sandwich station great sandwiches but took too long. Design of the drink/dessert/pizza/salad area threw too many people in one area. Salads were very good. Ice cream machine is well hidden!
First cruise we've been on that seemed to understand people like Trivia Games a lot. Several versions every day. Very good idea.
Self-serve laundry is a great idea. Very clean and nice. $3 a pop is a bit much but easy to use with ship card instead of quarters -great idea.
Small jogging track with miniture golphers constantly stepping in front of us.
Best disembarkation ever in Venice. Great way to do it Carnival.
Overal a good cruise that went smoothly except for power outage of about 40 minutes.