This was my wife's birthday cruise. Third Carnival cruise in 18 months. Embarkation was at New Orleans. We don't like the way checked bags are dumped into steel cages so we haul our own onboard. On the Norwegian ship they had a lounge area set aside to store your bags so you could go eat. Not on this ship. We stayed in lobby with bags until we could go to cabin.
Wife liked the size and appearance of cabin. Big picture window, sofa, closets, nice bed etc. The bathroom smelled of urine, and the toilet had a black ring stain. Room was cold. Playing with thermostat seemed to result in no change.
Went to lido deck for buffet. Not much variety. I think the wife some kind of soup. She has food allergies, and did not trust the rest. Went back to cabin and still cold. Called for a blanket as could not find one.
Did the muster drill. Came back to cabin, and still cold. I phoned guest services to send maintenance to see about the temperature. Wife wrapped in blanket.
Did the main dining room next. It was pretty, and food good. Not a great variety, but enough. The iced tea is awful. It is the instant junk, not brewed. Waiter said they used to brew the tea. From this point on the wife usually had coffee. I had to drink a variety of hot tea, coffee, or ice water. A few times a glass of wine.
Back to room. Still cold. Soon the housekeeping supervisor came by with a thermometer. Yep it was cold. Said she would get maintenance to come in. She had just joined this crew the same day we came aboard.
Maintenance shows up. He is Chilean with broken English. I have broken Spanish. Anyway we determine the control on the wall is not a thermostat, but an airflow control. The vent in the ceiling of the room with the open close knob is no longer connected. The control is via the wall switch. It only circulates whatever air is in the hallway ! No thermostat !
Next we try to go to sleep all bundled in bed. There is this banging clanking noise. Sometimes it is near the cabin. Sometimes it is away, forward and aft. Seas were calm. Much calmer than in December. Yet this ship is much more noisy. This booming, reverberating noise just kept on every few seconds. Also there would be this WHAM from above us. I got no sleep.
I went to guest services to complain of the noise. I also inquired as to birthday celebration for the wife. They said nothing was in the computer. I said when I booked this in September the agent noted her birthday, and there would be a special celebration. They would look into it. Duh ??
We noticed while moving about the ship the crew was steam cleaning the carpet on multiple decks. Not just hallways but elevator lobbies too. They would have a blower going to dry the carpet. This stirred up the sewage smell. By Tuesday I noted this activity and result to my wife. The cleaning went on all week. They even hit some areas twice.
After getting some of my booking info with my same agent's name for 3 Carnival cruises, I went back to guest services. I gave them the Carnival agent's name, email, and phone number. They would get back to me. They never did. However that evening (Monday) a guest services came to cabin to check on noise. Just before she knocked, there had been a bang that made us jump. Naturally when she is there that doesn't happen, but lower banging, booming did. She said it was waves. I said look out this window. The seas are calm. This is my 6th trip in 18 months, and even in rough weather i have not heard this. She still left saying it was waves. So Monday night more of the same. I pulled out the ear plugs.
Another thing occurred to me this night. My sinuses would go to running if I was in this room a few hours. If I would go elsewhere, sinus trouble would quit. I determined part of it was the pillow. I folded up a towel and used it for pillow. But this did not totally clear up my sinus trouble. Was it still the room ? Like the carpet being new ? It is heck getting older and getting allergic to man made materials ! The next morning I asked the steward for a feather pillow, but they had none. He would try to pack a case with something else. I also mentioned the the odor in bathroom, and the ring. He would try to get it better, but he had been on this ship 4 months and it was much worse.
Tuesday night I told Maitre'D assistant of my wife's birthday the following day. She wrote it down. Obviously not where it meant anything as the next night there was no announcement for wife's 65th birthday, nor any celebration. Worse yet the waiters came to the table next to us with a birthday cake !
Now she is finally mad.
I had been suggesting to her I wanted out of that room, but she liked it. She decided this bunch would not move us. Resolved just to stay in room. By Tuesday night whatever was making all the banging in the hull was fixed. No more banging ! Still the occasional slam, and kids running around on all decks until midnight. Rather surprising how many kids there were on this non-school break trip.
I think you get the picture. Other passengers told me of either the noises, or the smells, or the dirty toillets. One guy that a forward suite on deck 9 said it was noisy, but bath fixtures had been replaced.
Upon looking at things on this ship you could see the wear. Chipped wood. Rusted iron. The refit made some improvements, but obviously broke the sewage system. Some thing are pretty, but a close look shows the 1996 age. On some doors going out to the decks, the wood had 1 to 2 inch pieces missing.
Nearly all the shore days it was chaos. The only one not so bad was the tender boat passes at Grand Cayman. Debarkation at New Orleans was the worst i have encountered. Instead of calling one deck to leave. The CD called three. But that didn't matter as passengers from every deck showed up. On one cruise we had been on, the ships officers made these "line breakers" set aside and wait their turn. A rather unruly lot of passengers on this trip for some reason.
By the end of this trip, I had developed a sinus infection. Part of my symptoms were burning eyes. From about Thursday morning onward, it was constant. No relief even staying on a cool lido deck.
Well that should be enough. On Friday my wife finally said "I can not recommend this ship to anyone".
Oh by the way my wife used the spa services. It seemed the staff there was generally good. Prices a bit high.