I have sailed on several cruises over the years with Disney, Royal Caribbean, Holland America & Celebrity. This was my first time sailing with Carnival and to be honest it will probably be my last time. I went on this cruise because I have family that lives in Savannah, GA and since it sails out of Jacksonville, it was convenient. I booked one of the Jr Suites on the Verandah Deck and was shocked when I opened the door to the room to discover that it was just a standard cabin and the balcony was pathetic! You could not even sit in the chair on the balcony and stretch your legs out in front of you. Rather, my knees hit the railing sitting in the chair. This is the smallest balcony I have ever seen on a cruise ship. To call this room a Jr. Suite and charge as much as they did for it, I expected much more. The ONLY perk of booking this room was the VIP Embarkation and getting on the ship with ease. They said that we would have that same service on Debarkation, but I was lumped into the same category as several other decks.
This was a pre Christmas cruise, so I was traveling with 15 family members. One of my sisters booked a balcony room on the E Deck and her cabin was pretty much the same as mine and her balcony was double the size! I point this out because the cost of that room was significantly less than I paid for my "Jr Suite" and to be honest, it was a better room. Her balcony was right over the side of the ship and the ocean. My balcony was not right on the exterior of the ship, but it hangs over a walkway on the exterior of the ship. The one positive comment I have about my cabin, was the cabin Steward. He was so nice and always called me by my name when he saw me. The room was clean and he was great.
Now, I recognize this ship is older and I was not expecting the same grandeur you see on the new mega-ships. However, the interior decor of this ship is truly tacky! It looks like the 1970's threw up all over the interior of the ship. I am all about cool retro vibes, but to be honest the decor was just horrendous. The fabric on the seats in the main theatre was distracting and the seating arrangements in the theatre are horrible.
Food - On all my previous cruises, the food was always a highlight of the trip. The food on this ship was truly bad! The buffet food was either way overcooked or just bland. The choices were slim and the quality was poor. In the main dining room our head waiter was AMAZING! However, as great as he was, there was not way he could overcompensate for the bad food that was being served. The Salmon was dry and tasteless, the Mahi-Mahi was way too fishy smelling to be edible, the Prime Rib was cold and bland, the Lobster was slimy and cold. The Bread was often stale and the Hors d'oeuvres were hit or miss (more miss). The ONLY great dishes were the deserts, especially the chocolate warm pudding cake. The PIZZA bar was also awful and the pizza tasted like cardboard! Overall BAD Food.
Beverage Packages - I purchased the "Bubbles" drink package that promises unlimited soda and juice. However, it does not include bottled water. All the other cruise ships offer bottled water to be included in their soda package. Instead, you get a discount on the purchase of bottled water. Well, the water on this ship tastes horrible which means the ICE also has a bad taste to it. So, at one point I asked that they give me the soda in a can instead of from the fountain over their ice. I was told that if I wanted the can, I would have to pay for that because it is not included in the drink package. ONLY sodas from the dispenser are included which really pissed me off. Why? Because the soda out of the bar fountains tasted bad as did the ice. This was a total Rip Off!
Passengers - I hate to generalize, but I have never been on a cruise before where I have seen such horrible behavior by passengers. I witnessed a fist fight between two drunk guys who apparently were related to each other. I witnessed a drunk mother sitting at the Casino bar with her 10 year old son by her side and she was cussing like a sailor. The poor child just wanted to play and she was screaming at him and using very foul language. There were a lot of "Redneck" type guys on this ship that acted like they were at a fraternity party the way they were drinking. I witnessed a guy being bullied by a group of drunk jerks/bigots because he was gay. I am not saying that ALL the passengers were badly behaved, but in the four days I was on this ship ,I witnessed more bad behavior from adults than I have seen in many years.