We traditionally sail with Holiday American or Italian ships while in the Mediterranean. This was our first cruise with Carnival and it is different. First, the ship has a lot more travelers and a lot of them were young people. It takes some adjustment.
Embarkation was fantastic. It was speedy, efficient with friendly smiles on the staff. Our pickup was delayed at the hotel as the van was overcrowded. Still, we didn't wait long for another van to show up. We did not have to wheel our luggage ourselves. We were dropped off beside the cargo handlers.
However, the front desk on board was woefully understaffed. That meant that a simple question took about 20 minutes to ask. Not a great first impression. Everyone was in the dining room at the same time. It was so loud and crowded that my anxiety level rose proportionately.
Started the cruise with a couple massage. The indulgence is worth the price.
Food is a big part of every cruise. The made to order omelettes are worth standing in line. It is a pasteurized mix but you can get individual eggs at the same station. The assortment of meats, fresh fruit, breads are generous. We only went to the dining room for breakfast one time preferring the lido dinning for the first meal of the day. Lunch at the Tandoor is a preferred spot for staff for a reason. Spicy specialties with fresh hot bread-naan and one other can't be beat. We avoided the pizza place for a reason. It was the preference of the younger crowd. Lunch from the other stations was varied. The WOK had a line from the minute it opened until it closed. Allow 20 minutes or more if you want the experience of smoke wafting over you the entire time. It takes awhile to get that saturated smell. We had the late seating and are not accustomed to eating that late. We adjusted. While not as refined as the food on Holland American, it was easily a cut above good. There was one night that I chose several appetizers as the selections for entree were unappealing. Everyone at our table thought it all way too spicy even the meatloaf. The staff had to contend with a very large table of young people and did so graciously. We could have done without the wait staff trying to entertain us. They try hard but it adds too much to their work load.
Disco is dead and I readily see why that club is being redone. However, a 50-70s era place would have been nice. We like to dance while touching and seldom had the opportunity. A pet peeve was that even though there was a NO Smoking sign on the club door, the place reeked of stale cigarettes....just like the casino. We couldn't walk through it. Going around is not that easy but figuring it out was like doing a labyrinth.
Some entertainment was good but would have been better IF the volume was turned down. A featured female singer was sharp and piercing and if the volume was turned down, she would have been balanced with the others on stage. Still performances done with such a small backstage are to be admired. We are glad that the Comedy Club was not as raunchy as described.
If the cruise director would slow the pace at which he speaks, he would be easier to understand. He sounds as if he is trying to get as many words in as he can without breathing. We constantly were asking "What did he say?"
Enforce the "Children must be supervised by an adult" while in the hot tub or pool area. Its scary to see them alone... or see them run to an adult out of sight about once an hour. I don't want to be responsible for them. It shouldn't fall on my shoulders to supervise them?
If Holland America can give water away when you disembark, why can't Carnival? I missed the warm towels.