My husband my daughter and I just returned last week from an 8 night cruise on the Carnival Splendor. We had done this itinerary before in 2010 on the Miracle and it was the best cruise ever. From that experience We decided this is how we want to vacation from now on. We have been on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. From the moment we stepped on the ship we did not get that Caribbean feel. No Reggae, no Calypso up on Lido to give the passengers the feel for the Caribbean. There was no-one to come and get the crowd motivated, everyone was walking around aimlessly until well after embarkation. Our first dinner in the main dining room was good. Not too fancy but good. That was it, other than the pizza which was nice and thin and crispy the food was lousy. We didnt even know there was a rotisserie with American food.baked potatoes, soggy cob corn and decent chicken until day 4 and it is rarely open only a couple hours for dinner. There is a little sign half way up the stairs you can barely see.
The first elegant night we went down to dining room and there wasnt enough chairs for us or people were in our designated seats im not sure which was the case because we never went back. The Maitre' D sat us almost right next to his desk away from the rest of the people and our waiter didnt even ask if we wanted a starter, it was obviousl he knew the tip would go to our designated waiter. We didnt even stay for desert. Our cabin steward and crew were the only friendly people we encountered. I think they are totally overworked and the service and the crews attitude has negatively been impacted by that. I know times are tough but Carnival is making cuts in the wrong spots.
We listened to Maria Carey..Phil Collins..Billy Joel...and Beyonce on the movie screen over and over for 8 days. One time on the way BACK home from the islands they put Bob Marley on the movie screen. That made no sense at all.
Malcolm our cruise director(woohoo) was never around..On the Miracle he was very involved, now he is just on the movie screen. They are using the Movie screen way too much. At night after dinner it is a great thing but not all day long, it gets very old very fast.
Although I love to cruise and will definitely be going again, I was disappointed this time and hope that Carnival wakes up because I really did prefer them. If not I will be going Royal from now on, or try NCL.