My girlfriend and I just took our first cruise (as an anniversary of dating a year) and chose Carnival out of New Orleans, so it was the Dream. We went to Key West and the Bahamas. The cruise was last week, the 20th - 27th of July. We had some issues that I think that Carnival needs to be aware of.
First of all our room was 8472, so it was a balcony room on the back of the boat... and the AC did not produce enough cold air to even cool the room. I could feel the air coming from the vent and it was cold, however there was no volume to actually cool the room. I understand that with a large window for the balcony, that the room could possibly be warmer with sunlight. I called into to maintenance as soon as I walked into to the room for the first time. I was told that they would check it. We left for a couple hours and came back to the same thing. I called a second time and was told that they should have checked it but they would schedule it to be checked again. I have no way of knowing if the room was ever checked or not. I asked the steward about possibly moving to another room and was told that the ship was full and that we couldn't move. We basically tried to sleep on top of the sheets. It makes it rough to sleep which in turn causes you to be tired the next day. I take a workout supplement which has Melantonin in it. I just took enough to knock me out. We even kept the curtains closed and lights off during the day to keep the room as cool as possible. Paying $2800 for a room that is not cooled is not acceptable.
Secondly: this is more of a suggestion… I notice that most every food item on the ship is garnished with cut up raw tomatoes. Here’s the problem, my girlfriend is allergic to raw tomatoes, well the juice actually so the tomatoes cannot be simply removed from a dish because the juice is still on the food. She had trouble actually finding food to eat. The first night onboard, we went to the dining room for dinner. There was only 2 items on the Today menu that did not mention tomatoes. She picked one of those dishes and it had cut up raw tomatoes as a garnish. So rather than taking a chance of the busy kitchen staff just simply removing tomatoes and sending the dish back out, she ordered the other item from the menu without tomatoes. Brisket was the other item… and wouldn’t you believe that the mashed potatoes came out with a cut cherry tomato in them! She insisted that I go ahead and eat instead of waiting on her dish to come out. So I was finished when her meal arrived. She ate a piece of brisket and just left. The service was great however; we liked our waiters a lot actually and spoke to them when we saw them around the boat.
Now, I give credit where credit is due. We loved the piano bar with Martyn as the entertainer. We spent more time in there than just about anywhere it seemed. Burgundy room wasn’t too bad for karaoke, comedy, or meetings; it was rather warm most times, and sometimes just frigidly cold. That’s great for a girlfriend that wants to cuddle to keep warm, but it means that the AC does work. All in all, we had an uneasy experience. It’s an even worse feeling when we meet higher priority people who are cruising for free or almost free.
Now I’m aware that an allergy to raw tomatoes is probably really rare and Carnival cannot please all the people all the time. However Carnival doesn’t have to use cut up tomatoes in just about everything. People pick around them anyway. My girlfriend did spend 2 complete and separate days sick as a dog to the point that she could not hold down water. She’s pretty sure that some dishes from the buffet lines would not have tomatoes one day and would have them the next… Or they did have them the first day and other people ate them leaving the juice left on the rest of the food making her sick. Like I said that’s a rarity I’m sure. I really considered getting the Carnival credit card to begin building up points to possibly start taking cruises… But I am starting to reconsider. My girlfriend has already decided to look for an 18 and older crowd for the next cruise. The number of unsupervised kids running around is just nuts. It’s really odd to be sitting at a bar and an adult conversation and have a kid hop up on the seat next to you to order a drink… I understand that AT&T doesn’t have an agreement with Carnival which means no cell service unless you’re willing to pay $2.50 per minute. And what really killed me is that there is no RED BULL onboard… I’m a vodka and Red Bull drinker; it’s just not the same with Rockstar. Maybe I should have carried it on but wasn’t aware… Seems like everyone that I tell of our experiences, is recommending to me to take a different cruise line. After the Cheers program, gratuity, and room fees, spending over $4,000 on our first cruise to have it end up like that is very deflating. I tell Carnival in hopes that other people do not have similar issues with their cruising.
I think that it was called Beach Break. Freeport is kind of odd... It seems very industrial. There are a few bars and shops when you dock, but no beach. You have to be bused across the island to a beach. Now it was very well organized. We got informed about the island and even sung to by the bus driver... We arrived at a beach spot that has a full prepared food if you purchase that plan, jet skis, trampoline, volleyball, chess, bathroom facilities the were spot on clean, and showers to cleanup.
There is really not a lot to do in Key West that we found. There is a pub crawl which just mean bar hopping. So we did that; we just walked and bar hopped on our own. Now we stumbled into a place called Irish Kevin's... what a cool a$$ place. The Irish guy that plays guitar and sings is quite entertaining...
First, we were instructed of a heightened state of awareness for tourists. That being said, I carried a knife under 4". We were instructed to leave the locals alone, meaning not to book any type of excursion on your own. Therefore we booked through the ship; but hey, it is what it is... The aquarium tour is alright I suppose. They bus you there, make you stand in groups in the sun and heat, wire you up with a headset so you can hear the tour guide, and start walking. Never once did I see a place to get water, something to drink, or a bathroom break; not until the tour was over. We just hopped in the bar for a beer and appetizer. The place is really pretty, and they charge accordingly.