Why This Cruise? It was a multi-family cruise of veteran cruisers that had not been to the ports of call or on this particular Carnival ship. And it was very cheap...which relates the the last part of the review...The Ugly.
The Good - Surprisingly the food was way above expectations for Carnival. Admittedly it has been a few years since our last Carnival Cruise but the food has always been average at best. The food was so good that our plans to go to the specialty restaurant were negated. Every style fo food was great...from Tandoor to Sushi to Pizza. And the steaks at dinner were the best I've had on any ship..and that includes Specialty Restaurants. Cabins were fine even on the lower decks. And the staff was very nice. Unfortunately, this is where the good ends.
The Bad - The ships design team needs to go back to school. This class of ships is the Boeing 757 of cruise ships...a cattle carrier. The most people in the smallest spaces. Good for the economics of the line but not for the passenger. The common rooms were smaller than on ships half this ones tonnage. And I mean the pools, casino, shops...everything. They crammed the Coffee Bar (not open until 7am), Martini Bar (only open 5-8pm) and the Cigar Bar in the same half moon circle with 6 total seats only found at the Cigar Bar. Another Example: If you were 6'2" and utilized the Treadmills or the Elipticals in the Spa you were bound to hit the ceiling with your head. If you were 5'9 . you had the floor to look at as the windows were below the threshold of the ceiling. The entertainment was below average at best and on several nights there were no shows at all. They have the Big Screen Pool TV but utilize it poorly with few if any afternoon movies and the morning was limited to CNN Headline and then the lame duo of Gumby and Jamie...better known as the cruise director and his sidekick. The common areas were very uncomfortable to be in as a result.
The Ugly - Well here is where my nose goes in the air a bit and I apologize in advance for that. But cruising used to be a very special occasion. Marked by people wanting a moving hotel that whisked them away every evening to a new magical location and who would take the opportunity to make the evening meal a special occasion among new and old friends. Like I said...used to be. This cruise actually had a Theme that was unannounced...'Rif et Raf' for the French but here in the US...Riff-Raff. And I'm not referring the songs or bands for those in the music know. I'm referring to those who can't or won't follow any type of dress code, who insist on breaking the rules including smoking in non-smoking areas, who will step over you to get that croissant before you and then use the excuse ... "well that guy did it to me". This didn't happen just once...it was every day and night. So when did 2 wrongs make a right? Apparently on this cruise it did.
So in conclusion. No more week before Thanksgiving and under $1000.00 per person cruises for this couple. As tempting as they are we prefer quality to quantity. So Celebrity and Oceania better welcome us back and we are now looking forward to our first Seabourn as well.