Having sailed Carnival 5 previous occasions, I was willing to give Carnival the benefit of the doubt. My children were teased at school about going on a Carnival ship with comments of going on a 'poop' cruise or a cruise that may not return.
I stood up for Carnival, noting that any given cruise can have problems, no matter the cruise line. However, I am sorely disappointed in Carnival. From the first night, our 2nd floor cabin smelled like sewage. I went to the service desk every single day of the cruise. I stood in our doorway, holding the cabin door open for several minutes many times, just to try to get fresh air. It was nauseating. My younger daughter got a migraine. At one point I felt very nauseated. Carnival just kept saying that they were trying to figure out the problem. They cleaned hallway carpets, and just came in and looked around the room a couple times, but nothing changed. So with five little girls and myself on Spring Break, I was very disappointed. And I guarantee, they won't forget their FIRST and likely last Carnival Cruise.
In the end they refunded about $175 on our cruise bill. This cruise was $3514 for 5 people in one cabin. So they basically gave us 5 percent back. Not much really for a disgusting smell that they could not relocate us from. We did not have a balcony door that we could open to try and get fresh air.
And before leaving the ship we ran into another couple from the same floor with the exact same complaints. I knew it wasn't just us.
As if the smell wasn't bad enough, the food was substandard to say the least. We weren't even on the ship for 24 hours and I got a bowl of chopped fruit. I took one bite and it was that rancid taste of having left your chopped up watermelon in the refrigerator a couple days too many. I didn't eat another piece of chopped up fruit. Further, being one of only two people from Nebraska that probably loves grits, I have always told my children you can't mess up grits. I was proven wrong. They appear to have poured water over grits and barely stirred. There were chunks of dried grits in the bowl. How does one really mess up grits? Total lack of pride in workmanship. The food staff in the buffet area was less than friendly. And I didn't see anyone go out of their way to be inviting. Further in the evening, on the lido deck there were empty glasses, beer cans, and plates of food long after swimming festivities of the day had wound down. There really weren't specific areas for people to put waste, so it wasn't like everyone just left plates, glasses, etc...on purpose all of the time, there was no place to dispose of them. Yet, there weren't enough staff personnel out picking things up either.
I was way less than impressed and this having been my ninth cruise overall, I will NEVER cruise Carnival again.