We decided to try something besides Royal Caribbean for my birthday this year. When we entered the ship the smell of cigarettes hit us in the face and we were not able to escape it the entire cruise. The color scheme on the ship is obnoxious and there was nothing nice, fancy, or elegant about anything on the ship. The decks are strewn with cigarette butts and other various trash and when you stand on the top decks, you cannot see the ocean because of the life boats on both sides.
The food was extremely disappointing and one time the waiter asked me to try my dish because he wanted to see my reaction and then proceeded to tell me that no one has ever enjoyed that dish! Every time that we attempted to get food from a buffet they were closing it down. The night of the midnight buffet we walked up right after the show to get in line and a man put the rope in front of us and said "No this buffet is closed" even though there were still people in line and we stood there and watched them through away a ton of left over food but since we were 2 seconds too late, we were not able to eat. If we were lucky enough to get to the main buffet during the little time that it was ever opened, half of the food would be gone and they made little or no attempt to restock the items that people wanted!
Going back to the timing issue: nothing is timed correctly. If you attend a show or are involved in an activity (which there were very few of) you can forget trying to make it to anything else because it already started or they closed it down. When it came to sanitation, the glasses in the rooms were placed rim down on the deck and bathroom counters! I watched a man making sandwiches at the Deli in the buffet room open the door to the fridge, touch a hand rail, get a new loaf of bread, and then open that loaf and proceed to make my sandwich without changing his gloves! I told him that I had lost my appetite after witnessing what he just did and he stared at me as though he didn't know what germs were. And good luck getting pizza! The only thing on the ship that is open 24/7 and there was NEVER anyone to assist us! There were even people standing behind the counter talking not in English that completely ignored us as we asked for pizza and eventually rang the bell for help!
I did not see a single person working on the ship that looked as though they didn't hate their lives. Looking at the wait staff was depressing because no one was happy and no one was helpful. I understand that it is a very difficult job with long hours, but you have to suck it up and do your job with a smile on your face because that is what we are paying for! Take the piano man for instance. He was pretty good as playing and singing but at one point he stopped and started telling us that he hated the Sensation and that all other ships he has been on were much better laid out and nicer in general to be on. Good luck attempting to get from one place on the ship to the next too. The ship is so poorly laid out that it was nearly impossible to go anywhere. There are only two bathrooms in the public areas (that we could find) and they are not well maintained. The stalls are almost too small to enter (I'm 5'7" ad 130 lbs.) One of the toilets was sitting crocked and the tiles on the walls behind it were falling off. Most of the soup dispensers and hand dryers do not work. There is always a line because there is a shortage of restrooms.
The gym: The fitness instructor in the gym was the worst leader of any fitness class that I have ever met! He assumed that everyone in the class knew what the different exercises were and did not need to be explained. So I decided to instead do my own workouts using the mats. The first time I was in the rather good size studio room and working out; he told me to leave because he had a spinning class to teach. I asked where else I could take the mat to finish and he said Not in here so I had to put the mat on the floor in front of the door where people entered and every time someone walked inside, I had to stop and move out of the way. I walked back to the studio to return the mats and there was ONE person in the spin class! I could have been over in the corner working out and not being in the way at all that entire time! The next time I went to work out, he was conducting a footprint analysis in the room with (again) ONE person and he would not even allow me to walk inside and get a mat to work with! So I had to find and fold up towels and lay them in the middle of the floor between the equipment to do my exercises.
The very last night I noticed on my bill that I had a charge for a bottle of water that I never drank so I went to the front desk to have it corrected and he told me that he could not do anything about it and that I would have to find and ask my stateroom attendant to reverse the charge (It was 5am)
The lady that introduced the comedians every night was rude if you tried to talk to her around the ship and gave this vibe that she was Gods gift to Carnival and she was too good to talk to cruisers. Thomas Brown was very funny on stage though. And we was also very wonderful to walk to off of stage. He was so pleasant and happy and funny that he was out of place on that ship.
The only person that I can say anything positive about was our stateroom attendant. He wasn't the best at being proactive but he was always right there when we needed something and he was fast to make sure we got what we needed. There are so many more things that happened on this ship that I could continue to talk about, but I have to stop somewhere.
If you are considering going on the cruise, DON'T DO IT! Save yourself the headache and rent a hotel room on the beach somewhere and play board games with your friends/family. I promise you will have a MUCH better time.