Top Goods and Bads of this cruise...
1) Tex, The Cruise Director
2) The fine folks of Texas were polite and possibly the nicest passengers ever! We don't have a cowboy hat in the house, don't listen to country music nor do we own a pair of boots and frankly, hubby is a bleeding-heart liberal who was a bit scared that I was dragging him down to red country with a bunch of Bush lovers. We really thought a lot of the passengers on this boat! I thought more of the passengers on this cruise than the staff, a first for sure... even our balcony neighbors were nice!!
3) Be at the port before 11:30am and embarkation is a breeeeze ~ self debarkation was a breeeze too, actually!
4) Feeding the seagulls from your balcony is a treat for them and you! Remember to have some bread on your balcony at embarkation and debarkation.
5) Progreso is a beautiful turqoise gem. The souvenirs in Progresso are also a much better deal than in Cozumel.
6)Galveston's quaintness was a treat. The island is small and laid-out on a grid so its super easy to get around plus they have some decent restaurants, a beautiful ocean, and friendly locals. I would highly recommend staying on Seawall Blvd if you can!!
1) No lights on the balcony at night on this ship. I called guest services twice to check. They told me they are controlled by the bridge. No reading after 6pm or before 6am on this cruise. Hubby spends his evenings reading on the balcony and greatly disliked this about this ship. I would recommend buying a book light if you like to read on your balcony. On second thought, the ship's gift shop probably sold them and we didn't even think to look there.
2) The "tables for two" in the MDR that are touching elbows with other cruisers are a joke and I didn't like them. I would rather wait for an actual table.
3) Did not like the layout of this ship AT ALL. Thank Goodness someone told us deck 5 is the ONE deck that goes all the way through the ship. What a mess...
4) MDR service was day and night. Three times the waiter/waitress seemed to almost groan when we ordered from the everyday menu instead of the day's special. I wonder why it would matter?? Anyway, I didn't like it. One night we waited over an hour for our meal and we finally LEFT. :( On the other hand, one night we had Jon (?) and he was a fabulous waiter and our last night, we had a fabulous waitress. Go figure.
5) I overheard staff on this ship complaining A LOT. A staff member was cleaning a huge mess by the ice cream machines and another staff said to him "accidents happen" and he said "I think they happen on purpose." We watched a really drunk guy dancing in the MDR with another really drunk guy and one of the MDR staff walked by and said "Americans!" I was laying on the top deck above the pizzeria area sunning and listening to music when a staff member came by cleaning-up others glasses and food. I apologized and told him they were not mine and he said "I know who made the messes." I mean, the guy meant no disrespect to me but he was definitely not happy at someone. We had spotty service at every turn. A female at the casino bar literally rolled-her-eyes at me when I asked for a pina colada with a splash of strawberry on top ~ it wasn't a problem for the bar people on the Lido deck so why here?? I don't know what was going on but I could probably list ten other incidences like this. The staff on this boat seemed generally sick of working or of their customers....there were lots of signs pointing to the staff on this boat being fed-up with something... and I'm not for sure what it was... morale among the staff was low.... but I don't see it being the passengers on this cruise.... they were some of the most laid back and friendly passengers we have ever cruised with!
Overall....great little cruise of 5 days that felt like 7 days and we would do it allllllll over again... goods and bads!! Carnival's reps in Galveston were wonderful. Carnival's phone reps... when planning and booking... well... Carnival desperately needs to work on their "Customer Service" via phone...because they really don't have Customer Service... they just have sells reps who do a lousy job. They need a Customer Service dept that is NOT commission based. If Carnival could get their Customer Service center to be half as friendly as John Heald, I would have a lot more good things to say about Carnival. The best thing about Carnival... booking online, Bon Voyage, and John Heald!! O... the free ice cream is good too! ;~)