As experienced cruisers we had some hesitations about the reputation of the line, but had heard that Carnival had tried to improve over the last few years - so we rolled the dice. With that said, let us share the 5 night adventure we encountered on what we not so fondly term the "Animal House Party Barge" cruise.
The ship itself is dirty and in grave disrepair (it goes in to dry dock next year - long overdue.) Our beds were so broken down we could barely walk after sleeping in them. Note how you can see the severe sag in the mattress even when the bed is fully made with a down comforter. The formal dining linens were raggedy, and the bedding and bath linens were no better.
We were shocked to find our cruise mates in the adjoining cabins frequently smoking marijuana, as well as a number of guests on the exterior walkways/decks of the ship. A significant number of other guests were unruly and clearly inebriated in the public areas of the ship. The crew dealt with a few of them, but this was clearly the "culture" of the ship.
The food was far and above the worst we have ever had on any of the cruises we have ever taken, even in the formal dining room. Regarding the formal dining room, we certainly did not appreciate the "strobe light show" preceding the crew show/act, nor the loud music throughout the dinner hour. Might we mention the multitude of crew members that performed pseudo "strip shows" for the howling passengers during the dinner act - if we could have flown home, we would have.
We are mid 40's/50's and did not expect a high end cruise experience by any means. We just never expected all that we experienced on this cruise, and will be quick to warn people about our experience. There are so many other details, but we have highlighted the most important warnings.
We truly tried to find some redeeming factor on this cruise - Adrian in the martini bar was a smart, conversant and friendly staff member that we enjoyed talking with. He was our "bright star" on a dark 5 night cruise. I also had a great massage, but the spa steam room and sauna were in rough shape.
In the end we truly feel "ripped off", and that our $2,000+ was poorly spent.
A welcome "British" influence after Ocho Rios. We were treated politely and never harassed. Grand Cayman is clean, yet touristy, as it is primarily a banking center and tourist port. Be ready to drop $50 on lunch for two - it is not cheap. In the end, we were just grateful to get a break from the Carnival Victory nightmare!
This was the worst port experience we have ever had. We understand that the locals are not faring well economically, but we have never been as harassed or haggled as we were in Ocho Rios. We are just not in to "how about my cab" and "won't you buy this" every 5 feet on our way in to town. The port is not pretty and those that went to Dunns River Falls on an excursion had an even worse time (hundreds of people on slippery rocks for hours on end with no food - no thanks!)