We are frequent cruisers with over 25 cruises on different lines, 6 on Carnival, 1 prior cruise on Freedom. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. While we believe there is no bad cruise, this particular trip was extremely disappointing.
-Embarkation was a breeze and we were quickly onboard.
-Our cabin steward, Neri, was friendly and helpful.
-The cabin was clean and comfortable.
-The Latin band was wonderful.
- The Welcome back party was great.
-The Land & Sea tour of Tortola was a lot of fun and highly recommended.
-Disembarkation went smoothly and we were off the ship at the scheduled time.
-FOOD: The Lido buffet food has seriously suffered from cutbacks. Breakfast was good, the same every day but there were many choices. Lunch and dinner entrees frequently looked and tasted like they were made from the prior day's leftovers. The lunch and dinner buffets always consisted of about 20+ feet of salad items, these exact same salad fixings were repeated every lunch and dinner for the entire 8 days, absolutely no variety. After waiting on this long section of the buffet, there were 4 choices of main entrees, usually 2 fish, 1 chicken, and 1 pork or beef or vegetable or pasta plus a roast. The fish was good, other entrees hit and miss. On at least 6 nights the only vegetable options were baked potatoes and broccoli. The staff behind the buffet did not refill the food servers very often, and if you asked about a refill, they just looked at you and walked away. The food was often cold and somewhat bland. I do not believe that experienced chefs were preparing this food. The food service staff seemed untrained and understaffed. Some were downright rude. Probably the worst part of dining in the Lido buffet was the noisy and unsightly scraping and stacking of piles of dirty plates right at the tables while people were dining at the next table.
- ENTERTAINMENT: Production shows were good, but the same shows have been presented for over 3 years. Need a little more variety here.
-ACTIVITIES: Pools games were fun, but not enough of these. Too much reliance on "trivia games" as an activity. TV in the cabins was awful, don't see why Carnival can't take a lesson from Princess here.
-MISC: They don't tell you when the muster drill will occur, so people were very slow to assemble. We went outside on deck when it was first called and ended up standing 45-50 minutes in the suffocating back row behind 4 other rows of cruisers. The casino quickly fills with the smell of smoke. We often had to leave earlier than planned because the smoke was so bad. The big screen on the top deck blared music during the day, but at night, you could barely hear the movie soundtrack. Great rocking chairs on the top deck, but every morning the crew washed down the deck and left big puddles in all the chairs.
SUMMARY: We might consider cruising Carnival again, but never again on this ship. Carnival has a lot good going for it, but they're cutting back way too much on quality.