We've sailed Princess, Norwegian, and Sunbird in the past. Have always avoided Carnival because of the things I've read online. This year I've decided to try a Carnival cruise out of Tampa. It started off nicely when I found out that we were upgraded. Embarking the ship was a breeze. We arrived at the port around 11:30 and on the ship around 12:00. Disembarkment was a breeze as well. We went to the Lido for our buffet lunch and then dropped off our stuff in the room. Phone wasn't working, no dial tone. A bag of garbage left on the balcony, Flush wasn't working. Easy fix to all the problem. A few phone calls later, everything was resolved. I will only mention the ship in this review and not the ports. Breakfast buffet is your regular fare, egg station, ham, eggs, fruits, pancakes, etc. Same everyday. Lunch Buffet - Really enjoyed this. This was a lot better than the previous ships. 4 stations are opened. A chinese/japanese station daily, An italian station daily, An international station daily (American, French, Jamaican, Indian ...) and the hot sandwich station. And of course the grill station outside. Never bothered checking sit down dining as I found the options to be more than sufficient. Dinner sitdown - Good choices, delicious, maybe a bit too salty on the soups. Compared to other ships, I found dinner on Legend delicious but lack in presentation of the food. A bigger plate would help too as most of the food was piled up quite high. Service - Bar, casino, cabin stewards, waiters, maitre d, entertainers excellent service throughout. Room - good size, comfortable bed and pillows. No hair conditioner, Entertainment - same as any other ship. Nothing extraordinary, not too shabby. Itinerary was changed but wasn't notified by Carnival or TA. Found out on my own. Cleanliness - Very clean. Waiters frequently clears plates, clean up. I would definitely consider Carnival again. It was a pleasant surprise indeed.
Disappointments Art director - Bought a few pieces on the ship, but the art guy is a real jerk of a person. Rude. Perhaps he doesn't work on commission? I don't know, but extremely rude to paying customers. Didn't want to buy from this Jerk, but there was a few pieces I liked, so I sucked it in and bought them anyway.
Pursers. Bought a bottle of rum in Jamaica, was forced to check it in like any other ship. Was suppose to get the bottle the night before leaving. Rum gone missing. Called Melita from pursers was told she would look into the matter and call me back by 10pm for update as 10pm was the time everything should have been delivered. No return call. Called again, spoke to purser 2, Linda. She told me that a lady called earlier saying a bottle of rum was mistakenly delivered to their room. I asked if they took down the lady's cabin and if housekeeping was informed to go retrieved it. No to both question. Clueless as to when/how to retrieve this wrongly delivered bottle. Clueless is fine, what comes next had me infuriated. She told me that since I did not buy the rum on the ship, and when it's gone missing, they're not responsible (even though they make you check it in). Upon my insistence, she told me, she's "not a magician and cannot use the want to magically make my lost bottle reappear". Needless to say, she got a raving review. Hung up. Melita called a few minutes later and asked me if I got my bottle back. Finally after some back and forth, they had housekeeping brought me a replacement bottle from the gift shop.
I would go back on the Carnival again despite what happened. Carnival should review the Purser staff as I've read a few bad experiences with them.