This will be a very detailed review so bear with me.
First I would like to thank Cruise Critic for their forum as my husband and I connected with all the members who posted for the same cruise-All are very nice people, we are glad we met them and hopefully we will be able to keep in touch.
Now, For the Review....
We had no problem embarking, except for some lady who had fainted at the Port which held up our departure for a bit. Carnival needs to really look at the way they treat their guests, they need to put in some seating inside of a building at the Port, treat them like they are human beings and not like cattle standing outside waiting for something to happen.
From the moment we got on to the ship, (which is nice looking, but cheaply decorated) it seemed like everyone had to run to get to anything of importance which I found out after the 3rd day was all hype. Departing at 4 p.m. leaves a small timeframe to go and freshen up before dinner if you have early seating which we did. 'Elegant Casual'? Forget it! That interpretation means laid back casual on this ship---and believe me when I say nobody on that ship cares what you wear, its what's in your wallet or pocketbook that counts.
For 2 1/2 days, we "attended" these famous talks by Mr. Knear, the so-called wonderful cruise director in the Taj Mahal Lounge---The talks always began before the Bingo session which for 1 card, 1 game is $10.00 or 3 cards, 1 game for $20.00 - Once done with Bingo, The wonderful people from the Carnival Vacation Club would give their spiel of what fantastic savings it is to get in on this opportunity---Another plan to empty your wallet---Then Mr. Knear comes out with a 5 minute talk about embarkation, then another sell for facials, manicures,etc. at Club Spa,(Prices are cheaper at Jose Ebers in Beverly Hills) or the great Bingo game that night, or the Talent show in which there were 6 very talented singers. NO PRIZE was even given for that show, not even a lousy T-Shirt for participation....
The ship is very clean-only because you will see the persons who served you dinner the night before, will be up at 6 a.m. working in the buffet area, or at the pool, or dancing in that night's show...the more talent a person has that works for Carnival, the better their chances are to be worked to death---haggard, tired, sleepy faces, seen them for 7 days, felt so sorry for them we wanted to adopt them all for a better way of life away from the ship.
Did I mention the constant attention given to all the passengers in regards to money they spend on the ship? No matter where you go, you will notice everything begins and ends with an extra added price. The Auction for the paintings--What a joke! Does anyone out here realize these pictures that are being bid on and sold and/or given away are photos that have been transferred to canvas? Not worth a plugged nickle----.
On to the infirmary---I had developed a major problem with my right leg after the Captain's dinner (another joke)---had bad swelling, limped over the morning and down what seemed miles to be met with the most obnoxious nurse I have ever seen---I explained my problem, showed her where the swelling was extremely out of proportion, she announced "I am not taking that for an excuse"...then here comes the Doctor by this time, without an xray, announcing: "You have a blood clot" (Wonderful!). Next comes the emts to take me to the Ameri-Clinica-(Wonderful place, would highly recommend it if you are in dire need)...Well, the diagnosis was not a blood clot, was another problem-- low potassium, so after 3 hours of having an iv of this stuff pumped into my arm, the emts drove my hubby and I back to the ship. No problem, gave my medical stats to the same nurse, she said she would e-mail this info to the Purser, so we could get our excursion monies refunded (this actually happened 3 days later).
The only good thing was the staff at dinner. The food was great some days, worse on others, the cabin stew we had was wonderful, it is just a pity so many people are taken in by this attitude of "We have them at Sea, lets sell them whatever we can" ---- These people know how to finesse anybody. I wasn't suckered into any of it---neither was my husband, and neither were the others that complained and there were quite a number of very disappointed people.
The excursions were nice, but once again Carnival does not want you to go out on your own...Why? So they can reap still more out of you by telling you "its so dangerous to do this or that" - When we got to the 'Golden Zone' in Mazatlan, yea, great jewels, funny how the stores they take you to have the seal from Carnival on their doors as recommend sites--Translated it means Carnival reaps still more from every purchase you make at any of the recommended sites in any of the Ports. Believe me when I say we are in the age of "Lets rip off the public" and they get away with it----
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER AGAIN will I ever cruise on anything that remotely has any holding with Carnival Cruise Inc. People need to open their eyes and honestly realize this is not a pleasure cruise, this is a trip via the way of your bank account. For those of you who have stars in their eyes from the Pride--Wake up and smell the coffee for goodness sake! The Cruise Director is nothing more than a slick salesman who was handed this job because he can finesse....
This is my opinion and I along with a great number of other people are sticking to it.