I was reluctant when a friend asked me to join her annual family cruise when I learned it was on Carnival. I have been on several other cruises on Celebrity and Holland America and was very pleased. I heard all the horror stories about Carnival and read all the reviews, but I thought I would be open to give it a try.
Nothing could have prepared me for this experience. I read reviews that Carnival was the Wall Mart of cruises and it was very accurate. There were more obese people piling food a mile high on their plate, than you could count.
It was as if they were eating their last meal.
Ok before I get into how awful the food was let me say a few positive things- Our cabin-a balcony was very nice- spacious enough, clean and plenty of closet space . Could of had a flat screen TV, but did not. Also Carnival charges for movies where first run movies are free on holland america. The cabin stewards are way over worked and the ratio of crew to passengers is much greater than on other ships. I was extremely pleased with the enterainment and the shows were excellent and Broadway quality. The best entertainment I have seen on a cruise ship.
OK the fun part. lets get to the food- it was barely edible when you could get to it. The lines were so long you had a twenty minute line for any buffet meal. Everything was premade- The bread selection was terrible at all meals-there was no pastry chef and the waffles and bagels were all out of a bag. The Eggs were awful, the cheeses consisted of 3, american white, cheddar, and american yellow. The cold cuts looked like they were Oscar Meyer and a very limited selection.
The lines were so long we order room service for breakfast which came about an hour after the time you requested. There was no hot food- eggs, bacon, etc available for breakfast. For lunch the shortest lines were the deli and the burrito bar was OK. Basically you could have a hamburger with filler or
a bad hot dog with fries or fish and chips. Awful.
Dinner was just as bad with bad fish, overcooked beef, consistently cold food.
It wasn't the waiters fault, as they too were short staffed.
The upcharge restaurant was excellent but it was the quality of food you got in the main dining room on Celebrity or Holland america. It was well worth the $30.00 plus an optional tip to eat there. You could order an additional appetizer-crab cakes were amazing, however if you wanted lobster in addition to steaks, equally as good, you had to pay an additional $20.00.
There is not that much of a difference in price between Celebrity and Carnival or Holland America. My advice if you can not afford the $50 or $100 more, than stay home. Last minute fairs are equal. Carinval discounts early so if you need to make group reservations Carnival will be cheaper. But if you want to spend
your vacation eating bad food, waiting on huge lines and sitting at a packed pool then go on Carnival. The people on a Carnival cruise make the Jersey Shore
cast look upper class.