We boarded the ship around 12:00pm on Nov. 27th 2011. Everything started off pretty smooth; we grabbed a bite to eat on the Lido deck while we waited for our room to become available. When we arrived at our room our luggage arrived within an hour. The room was clean but the carpet was stained. We decided to explore the ship a little but had a lot of difficulty navigating around despite the maps by the elevator doors. The mid ship elevators were being used by the luggage handlers.
After getting lost several times we found our way back to our room and relaxed until the safety drill. I was surprised that we did not have to wear life jackets. As usual the drill took about thirty to forty minutes. This was difficult for my wife and me as we suffer from bad knees. My wife inquired about a seat that was available and she was told this was for anyone who was feeling sick.
After the safety drill we got lost again then eventually found our way to our room again. We previously made reservations THE Point Steakhouse and we decided to wait till it was time to go there. The ship left about an hour late because the Norwegian Cruise Line ship was ahead of us.
We headed up to the steakhouse for dinner and it was the best experience we had on our trip. The staff was wonderful; the food was out of this world. Well worth the $30.00 apiece we paid extra. Candlelight, soft music, and the beautiful view of the shoreline of the Mississippi River. We made two more reservations for the trip.
Day two: Things started to go a little downhill. The breakfast in the Renior Restaurant was not very good. It was also very crowded. We passed the buffet line and the wait time in line would have been about fifteen minutes. I ordered the eggs Benedict. The eggs were over cooked and the bacon I ordered was limp and greasy. I could not seem to catch the server to complain. After breakfast we explored the ship again and got lost again. Even some of the crew members were not sure of directions. We made it back to our room and looked over the Carnival Fun Times brochure to see what was available. Not much happening till around 2:oopm so we ended up in the casino. The casino was nice but very Smokey. We stayed anyway and made the best of it. We did have fun here! Then lunchtime rolled around and we headed up to the Lido deck. It was mass confusion. Lines to the grill and the buffet were extremely long. Either the ship was understaffed or poorly managed. We waited in line for about fifteen minutes the hamburgers and chicken strips and fries, then searched for a table. The food was good.
Later that evening we decide to do a little shopping. My wife was looking at watches and I was was just hovering outside the store. I heard what sounded like a band practicing. I looked into the theater and saw a large crowd and a band getting ready to play. I went to the store and my wife and I returned to the theater and sat in the balcony and ordered a drink. I looked at the itenery and didn't see anything about a band playing. Well right after we ordered our drinks a lady comes up to us and ask if we had a black wrist band. We responded no. She then rudely said we would have to leave, this was a private party. It was Don Rich Band. (Who is Don Rich???) We got our drinks and left with about ten other people. We ended up going back up to our room and wait for dinner. We dined on the Liddo deck at the buffet. The food was cold and tasteless. We ended up going back to our room and ordered room service. I want to add the room service food was great. I had the steak and cheese on French bread.
The rest of our trip onboard was a repeat of Day two with the exception of the Point Steakhouse which was fantastic!
The ports of call were a blast with lots of things to see and do. We did the Segway in Nassau Bahamas.
The staff on this ship was very friendly but not very knowledgeable. The ship seemed understaffed. The food was in the dining room was not too bad. The food at the buffet and the Lido deck grill was in my opinion substandard and usually cold. Long lines. The ship was clean but needed to be updated. Navigating around the ship was very difficult. Needs more entertainment.
On the day of debarkation we waited in the Degas Lounge for our number to be called to get off of the ship. There were about fifty other people there waiting also. All of the sudden a gentleman with the travel agency who booked the nine hundred or so people for the Don Rich Cruise had his fifteen minutes of fame. He started off by saying how everyone did a great job bringing this trip together including himself, and thanked a young lady from Carnival for all of her help. Then he explained how some people tried to sneak into their private party but it was taken care of. (I believe he thought everyone in that room was his client) He then started promoting their next trip.... He looked around and quietly said, I don't see any Carnival people in here now.... WE ARE GOING TO SAIL ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN! That's right! We will be sailing on a much larger and beautiful ship to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel in December. Not a very nice thing to do while you are still a guest on a Carnival Ship ?
I have sailed with Carnival three times and will not likely sail with them again.