I have cruised with Carnival for years both on the Mexican Rivera and the Caribbean and have enjoyed every cruise until this one. The ship was dirty in that I mean the windows were dirty with rust around the window frames. My wife and I got some good friends to try this cruise and we talked it up a lot but I was embarrassed at what I see as poor maintenance on the exterior of the ship as a whole. When you are looking out your window and see rust stains almost entirely encircling your window it is not a nice sight but then again the window was so dirty that any view was obscured anyway. Our room was immaculate and our room steward, Eugene was on his game. No problems there.
My wife and I like to find a place on the Promenade deck and just sit and have a few drinks and watch our fellow passengers. Bar stewards used to be plentiful but not on this cruise. The dining room was the worst. You could sit for an extended period of time and never see a bar person and then they went by so quickly you couldn't get there attention. At dinner it was 50/50 if you would see one at all to order drinks.
One oddity was that there were gambling machines outside the casino with only a camera on them. There was also some other type of machine that you guided a pointer to get money, IPad, etc and there was no marking on the machine of what age could try to win money or a prize. The machine was also available when the ship was in port in Ensenada. I think kids should not be playing this but parents and kids were playing it with no casino personnel anywhere. The casino itself did not appear to have enough floor personnel and the ones they had were not interested in helping my wife when her machine continually malfunctioned on the first night. One malfunction caused her to lose a jackpot and the casino employee seeing that just walked off.
Last night when I need to get the cash off my Sail and Sign card there was only one person in the cage at 9:00pm and there was a long line of people waiting. Since cashing in on the last night seems to be a big deal I would think that they could have had 2 of the 3 windows open.
The dining room was nice and the waiters and other personnel did a great job getting the food to us but the quality was bad. The flat steak on Friday night was horrible (but much better on Sunday night, per my friends). I had Talapia that was warm when I got it and quite frankly looked like it sat in the back for awhile until it was served. It was dried out and tough. Worst dinner I have ever had on any cruise I have been on. I had ice cream for dessert and it was over half melted when I got it. I drank it mostly. Poor service by the kitchen or waiter I am not sure who.
Lastly, what's up with the shop sales people? They sound like the street hawkers downtown Ensenada, they start talking outside the store and try to get you to go in and it is annoying. I am used to being left alone until I want or need a sales person but these guys( younger guys) were too loud and too obnoxious for my liking. I generally stayed out of the area.
For bringing new first time cruises on board touting the food and the service we went away all commenting on the lack of both on this cruise. I am quite sure I will never get them to cruise Carnival again. What a shame.
Overall, I always have a relaxing time but Carnival needs to step up on ship cleaning especially on the exterior. Dirty windows and rust show a lack of attention to displaying Carnival as a serious cruise company.
Will we cruise again with Carnival, of course, but I will be looking to see if they are still going to try and impress their Platinum members like they have in the past.