Upon debarkation, our luggage was handled very poorly. We had bought a $50 bottle of tequila from Puerto Vallarta and had it bubble wrapped and taped and was put in our luggage. We wanted to debark by taking our own luggage but they didn't allow us to since we had too much to carry. We were forced to use their zone debarkation where they man-handle your stuff and toss it around like cavemen. This, in theory, was the more convenient choice. We took our luggage home by car (no flights) and opened up the luggage to give our loved one the gift we had promised to find the glass smashed inside the bubble wrap. Pomegranate liquor seeped through our clothing and destroyed them. Hundreds of dollars of clothing were ruined because someone from Carnival could not treat our property with care.
We called Carnival customer service to see if there was anything they could do, since we didn't buy from their "recommended shop" they didn't cover it. Who buys from recommended shops anyway if you want something authentic? Their response was "You didn't open the luggage on Carnival property and report it upon debarkation, therefore we aren't liable for the damage." OK carnival.... Next time, I'll unpack on the curb like everyone else does?
We got a "sorry, we can't do anything about it." No compensation, no maybe we'll discount your next cruise with us, nothing. We love cruising, but if you want quality customer service, Carnival is not the way to go. It's the last time we'll be going with them. We dropped over 2.5 grand on this trip including extra gratuities. They lost our business for life and/or any recommendations to their cruise line.
This was our first ship and even we could tell the ship was small. We explored its entirety the first day of the cruise. The only interesting decks were 2, 3 and of course the Lido deck. They kept everything clean but the decor was crazy. Imagine if you were on drugs and decided to be an interior designer then laced it with something when you designed the Bacchus Dining Room. We loved the Phantom Theater and the Mad Hatter's Lounge. The Serenity deck was also very nice, peace, quiet, hot tub, pool and a bar!
If you go out to eat a lot.. and I'm not talking Chili's, Denny's or McDonald's.. but if you're a foodie and try out new restaurants frequently, you will be entirely disappointed in the food on the ship. Sometimes I found myself craving fast food just to get it over with because the food on the ship was lacking. My favorite dish was the Flatiron Steak, their baguettes were very good and so were their croissants. Dessert-wise I would recommend the chocolate melting cake or the sorbets (although they were frostbitten they still tasted OK).
We dined at Nick & Nora's Steakhouse one night and wished all their food was to that caliber. If you have the money, go here every day. You're not missing anything in the Bacchus Dining Room.
By the way, they don't check the dress code at all (could be a good or a bad thing). But some guy came in a camoflauge scrubs top and cargo shorts with Jesus sandals. They let him in, so don't worry about dressing up. I didn't mind the guy, but just FYI for everyone wondering about dress code.
Lido Deck food was worse than hometown buffet. Also think about the type of people who go on bargain cruises... I watched a guy drop tongs on the floor, pick them back up and put them in the serving tray then walk away. Maybe he missed the talk on germs when he was little. Room service food was worse than a 6 year old with an easy-bake. How can you get grilled cheese wrong??? (Soft bread that looked like it was toasted an hour ago w/3 slices of cheese, softened, not melted. You can still discriminate between slices.... really?) This made me sad.
The comedy was OK. They try to liquor you up with a lot of cheaper priced drinks to make you think everything is hilarious but they were too racist, even the family friendly show. We were planning on going to all of the comedy shows the last 2 nights of the cruise but the last 2 comedians were so bad that we went to 1 of each and decided they were too bad to sit through. There were 4 comedians throughout the cruise but the only good comedian on the ship was Lowell Sanders, the rest... crickets.
Frankenstein's Lab was really cool. They had a disco-ish dance floor and a DJ and everybody who comes just wants to have a good time. No judging. We enjoyed that a lot!
The casino is rigged. The arcade-like games are super-rigged. They had weird min/max bets, $6/500 instead of 5/2000? I'm sure there's a sneaky reason behind that.
Best show on the ship was the Marriage and Love show. Super hilarious. Don't miss this.
Worst show on the ship was the Talent Show. They should just call it "Glorified Karaoke Night." Glorified because you have a 10-piece band instead of an audio recording of a song. Nobody had another talent other than singing and/or playing the guitar.
By far the only/best thing I can say about this cruise. You are treated like kings and queens on the cruise. Everyone remembers your name and gives you 110% of their attention when you need something. Our room steward (Pande) was THE BEST. They clean your room at least twice a day and always greet you with a smile. The dining room staff was extremely professional and memorable.
The cruise director (Troy Linton) was a really friendly looking guy but he kind of needed to censor himself sometimes. He'd make adult jokes and not realize it. There was also a point in the cruise when we were in our staterooms changing our clothes and we heard "PSST. (5 sec pause) PSSSSST (pause again)" we thought there was someone hiding in our closet and flipped out. Trying to throw on a blanket or jump under the sheets. The pssst's were followed by an announcement and we nearly pissed ourselves. Other than that, he did a good job with announcements and organizing things.