Embarkation in Barbados was long winded and we feel a drawn out process. You had to wait far too long to get access to your stateroom.
tateroom was very spacious and exceptionally clean. Rio the steward was excellent, excellent, excellent. Trouble with loudspeaker is that you cannot her announcements in your room.
The food onboard was excellent but the buffet restaurant was an eye opener. I don't think I have ever seen people eat so much in all my life, gluttony was the name for the day!!!!!!
Carnival do need to train their staff properly though. My husband and myself were given bar credits to use by our sons, you can use these towards a bottle of wine at dinner. Unfortunately the second night we tried to use them foir this the waiter did not know anything about them nor did the Maitre D. Really embarrassing moment so much so that we left the restaurant really upset. Complained to guest services who really weren't interested. Tried again third night with a different waiter .... no problem!!!!! So come on Carnival get your act together please. On the subject of the Maitre D, without wishing to be rude he is grumpy, unpleasant and acknowledges no one!!! The waiters on the whole are excellent , especially Dec.
The ship is geared for Americans rather than any British holidaymaker. This is because the ship is loud and well you can gather the rest.................
The ports of call were good but you could have done a lot of them yourself without the expense. As I said the loudspeaker system doesn't work in the staterooms so you do not always hear the messages. On disembarking in St Thomas we did not have our passports with us as we were not aware you needed them (you didn't need them in any other port apart from San Juan which is also American) and we tried to reboard but an officious twenty something American official would not let us on and proceeded to be rude, arrogant and totally up herself, in the end I had to say "well are you going to let us off or not?", she let one of us board to get our passports. We then went shopping and went via the other American official further up the port with no problem at all and a really pleasant young man!
Whilst on the subject of American ports, San Juan is a nightmare. You are rtold by Carnival that it isn't a problem and you just get off for a while and then you can come back on without having to queue with all the new guests coming onboard - do not believe them this is totally untrue. The queues are unbelievable and even though you are a guest intransit they, the officials do not recognise this and are bolshey and rude. At this port Carnival also check you in differently, I myself wasn't going to be allowed back onboard as some young man didn't know what he was doing and although I had been onboard for 3/4 days already he wasn't doing his job correctly and had to ask for help, along comes a woman who knows what she is doing and states I am a guest intransit and was allowed to reboard. What a complete nightmare!!!!!
The drinks are overpriced but the bar staff are brilliant, especially Simona and Hendrich!!!! If you intend to drink onboard buy credits its far cheaper. Regarding dining if you would like to be seated as a couple then firmly state it otherwise you will be placed with rather loud people!!! Also elegant night doesn't always mean elegant night, people wearing t shirts, shorts and polo shirts were allowed in the restaurant despite announcements to the contrary.
Although it was our first cruise and we had problems it hasn't put us off cruising, we just wouldn't go with this company again as the English are made to feel in the minority.
The company leaves a lot to be desired, lack of information, not being able to purchase bar credits online as they do not recognise our postcodes etc. If Carnival would like more English guests then they need to move up a notch.
As we were going through immigration again in Barbados we heard the vast majority of our fellow cruisers were not enamoured with their experiences and were quite vocal about it, indeed one comment was "we will cruise again but onboard one with a little more intellect"!!
As I have said it hasn't put us off cruising but would definitely try a company with a little more elegance.