I must congratulate Carnival Cruises Australia on their marketing concept to point out the strength of P & O Cruises.
We have just returned from a cruise on the Carnival (possible better named Circus) Spirit, supposedly four star ship, it is hard to do something in your life without expectation and without making comparison, but usually there is always a balance by which you find satisfaction.
I must point out that my wife and I had a great holiday, as we always ensure ourselves of, but the experience of the ship and its provisions of quality, hygiene, services and overall ambiance left a lot to be desired. Information as per daily Newsletter to our cabin comparable to what we have experienced on P&O and Princess lines was miserable.
Allow me to be more specific, I have never been on a cruise ship with the ratio of under 18's as this, it was quoted to us as more than 30%, and other than the Serenity area there was not one area in which adult comfort could be achieved during the majority of the period of the day, (UNLESS THE FABULOUS WATER SLIDE WAS OPERATING WHICH CAUSES A RAIN STORM ON SERENITY) We have cruised in the past with our grand child and appreciated the limitations that were placed on her, and the overall decorum of the cruise was sensational, oh it was a Carnival owned line, to be more specific Pacific Pearl.
800 odd children, dirty elevator buttons smeared with food staff, sticky hand rails and hand prints on most surfaces that weren't table tops, no requirement to ensure hand sterilisation and no sign of staff cleaning the issues as you would constantly see on other lines. Children in bars, the Casino area, sitting at the bar during cocktail tasting and presentation, children playing music over the top of solo artists playing, children of all ages unsupervised at all times of night and obviously uncared for.
The entertainment, the several production shows that were on were outstanding, the other nights it was as though one was to amuse ones self or attend bars that were orientated to "family" entertainment, which was poor, the comedy was hit and miss which is standard for that style as everybody has a differing view but it was the limit of adult content and only because of the f bombs it was believed to be for adults. (get real the kids drop them more often than the comedians). But entertainment creates the atmosphere of fun and the euphoria is lifted, and on every cruise and every event i have been involved in its at the start it counts. Getting on Spirit was as boring as it gets, I was shocked, after the gang way photographer it was over. But being used to the upper deck poolside party for sail out of a port we went searching to find a personality lacking JD playing "some" music to a miffed group of people who had to use the smoke of bush fires to provide a memory.
There were a couple of good acts around the ship, but the ship and the management of the acts did not make an impression.
So it was to the Atrium Bar to have a drink, where we found the tour information available to us, and Noumea being the only stop we hadn't experienced recently we decided to book some activities straight up. we were not told though there was a minimum number required to book for our major choice, and yes they did not get enough and so at the last minute we were advised it was cancelled, and left with no other option.
Wonderful people staff the ship, but Carnival advised they have made the ship more "Aussie" and that means they have taken away the need to tip, which has broken the need for the staff to engage and because of the normal culture they are used too the staff feel as though Aussies don't appreciate them, it cruel's the relationships.The staff just never looked happy or enjoying themselves or even wanting to be there.
Then comes casino operations, bingo was as boring as I have seen, but the hold by the ship of 70% of ticket sales I find to a level of greed that is amazing, and the Melbourne Mug game was only driven by two guys who participated for the final day! And it goes on, double zero roulette, zeroed progressives on Slots from the previous cruises!!!!!!!!!
Food, dining room great and the staff sensational our people at tables 316 & 318 where we constantly managed to dine added to Chef Daniel's works, chef's table, as good a degustation you could desire. The feature steak house, just, if Carnival only knew how good Salt is on P&O ships! The buffet is merely satisfactory in its range and service methods.Bar prices are higher than Sydney CBD bars!!!!!! And a Charge for room service????
Our cabin, could not complain, and Renzi was always there for us.
Carnival again? ......no way ..... they have sold me on the other lines!!!!!!!!!!!!