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We have went on 10 cruises now and I guess the cruise industry has spoiled us. The service on this ship was the worst ever and the crew, for the most part was unfriendly. It started with getting on the ship when it took 2'40" to get on ... Read More
We have went on 10 cruises now and I guess the cruise industry has spoiled us. The service on this ship was the worst ever and the crew, for the most part was unfriendly. It started with getting on the ship when it took 2'40" to get on the ship. This was at least twice as long as we have ever waited. We were told that everyone showed up at once? How could you not when the embarkation window was only 2 hours? This was just the beginning. I have never gotten on a ship that you were not greeted as you came aboard. Not on the magic, one security guard who did not speak English and he was just checking cards. The worst embarkation ever, hands down.
The service on the ship continued from there. We could not even get served a drink when we got on the ship. They closed the bars immediately and started the Muster drill less than 15 minutes after we got on the ship. Not everyone was even on the ship before the drill started? The list is too long to tell about here, just know that the service is bad.
2 out of 3 good nights in dining room. The food was good but on the second night it took over 2 hours to get our dinner finished? It was over an hour before the appetizer even came out? When my wife went to the matradee nothing? The food was finally served but it was too late. It was not just our table either. I saw at least 3 other tables that waited extended times for service. This is not what you are looking for in the dining room. We were never even told they were sorry or anything. Just a bad experience and I guess nobody cared as we were not even given an apology. I have never experienced the service we received and it was not even acknowledged by the staff? The only take was, this was acceptable and it must happen frequently as they were not concerned.
While on the food. The other food areas we open on a limited basis? I have never been on a ship that you had to search for food. The Lido Marketplace would close completely several times a day? I have seen them break down a line to clean and start serving something else, but never all at once. Much like the embarkation you had limited windows of chance to eat. If you missed these windows it was ice cream, pizza, or a sandwich? The lines were long for food as the times were narrow and the people on board quickly realized you better get it while it was out. The pizza was not good, all dough and no toppings, clearly a filler and also an expense saver. Overall food on the ship was decent but getting it when you wanted it was not a choice. You better plan on eating on their schedule if you take this ship.
I have never seen such poor entertainment on a ship. The shows were bad and that is being nice. This was by far the worst entertainment ever. The bright spot was the comedy shows. If not for the comedy shows there would not have been anything to go see worth watching. The best show, and it was backwards, was the newlywed couples game. It usually is on the first day but was on the last day on this ship? The entertainers were the passengers and was the best show they had. I never saw the cruise director out and about and also the announcements were limited on this ship. Very little live music on the pool deck and only a few activities. We did experience a few good staff members and thank them for that, but most seemed uninterested in their jobs. No ice carving, and never saw deals in the Fun Times for the spa. Usually the spa runs deals on the last day but nothing on this ship.
Overall we took two couples on this ship that had never cruised before. This staff and ship made us look like liars as we had talked it up for a long time. I was embarrassed that I endorsed this ship as it was the wost in our 10 cruises. Although we didn't get any apologies, we apologized over and over to our friends for the service. They didn't know any better but we did. Carnival set a standard we have come to expect and it was way off on this cruise. The end result was an very mediocre experience and a big question mark. We have been cruising for years and years, but this cruise has taken our conversation elsewhere. The weather and the excursions we booked independently saved the trip. I will say that the Carnival Magic experience and their staff have opened our conversation to all inclusive resorts. This may have been enough to stop our cruising and look elsewhere for our fun. I would like to give a bright spot for this cruise, but there really wasn't one other than the time we spent off of the ship.Read Less
Embarkation: Our embarkation was delayed due to heavy fog. Carnival sent emails and text messages with updates and we were told they would start boarding at 3 p.m. We arrived at our parking location, Discount Cruise Parking (booked ... Read More
Embarkation: Our embarkation was delayed due to heavy fog. Carnival sent emails and text messages with updates and we were told they would start boarding at 3 p.m. We arrived at our parking location, Discount Cruise Parking (booked online for $19 for the whole 5 days) at about 1:45. We arrived at the cruise terminal a little after 2 and we stood in line a long time. Wish we had waited till 3 p.m. to arrive. Once we completed check in and had our sail and sign cards, we went directly on to the ship and lunch was being served on Lido Deck.
We had cabin 9273. I don't recommend it. We had 2 adults and 2 children ages 11 and 13. The room was dated with some rust in the bathroom, and with the full length sofa made into a bed all of the time it felt cramped. Although the location was really convenient to all the fun, we were right by the forward elevators off the lido deck and people at the elevators could be really loud late at night. I'm just letting you know, because all of that was not really important to us and it didn't damper our vacation at all. One thing did have a bit of impact, the first night someone in a cabin above us was sick and it sprayed back onto our balcony. I had ordered coffee and Danish early morning to enjoy having on the balcony. So much for that idea. I reported it to our cabin steward but did not tell anyone else. They cleaned most of it that day, but when attempting to sit out on the balcony again we spotted several spots still on the deck. By Tuesday afternoon, the fourth day of our 5 day cruise, we were able to enjoy our balcony. It was a bummer because it was the first time I have stayed in a balcony cabin. I think I'll stick to inside from now on. Just a note, if you book early saver with Carnival and they offer you an upgrade, don't take it. I took an upgrade to a balcony and soon after the price dropped quite a bit on a 35 hour sale. I would have gotten the balcony upgrade for a lot less or an on board credit, but because I had taken the previously offered upgrade my early saver was no longer good. I spent more than necessary for the balcony. I won't do that again. If you book early saver just watch the price and grab the upgrade or onboard credit just before your cruise if applicable. No compensation was offered at all by Carnival for the price drop or the loss of 3 days of my balcony.
Now on to the good stuff (enough complaining, already.)
What's on Deck: The boys loved the basketball and ping pong, but their favorite was the Twister Slide. They even got old MawMaw here to give it a try. I was told later that they all had a good laugh at me screaming as I went around the twists of the slide. We only played mini golf once, not that great, but pretty cool to play golf on a ship :) My daughter and I enjoyed the hot tub, but found the pools to be too cold for us. My grandson won the prized Ship on a Stick for the bean bag throw and later his mom won one, also for the bean bag throw. There was almost always a DJ or videos on the Seaside Theater playing while we laid out on the Lido Deck. We never had much trouble finding a couple of chairs if you just go up one or two levels. They showed movies at night on the Lido Deck but we never made it to one of them.
Entertainment: We really enjoyed the Punchliner comedian's family show. The boys thought they were awesome. We never watched the adult show but I'm sure they were very funny. We didn't make it to the first singing/dance show but we watched the second on the last night. It was a bit slow at first but picked up later in the show. The female singer was really good. We all enjoyed the magic show a lot. On this cruise they had Christmas Carols and Snow (it was sort of like snow and sprayed out of machines)in the atrium one day and a visit from Santa on another day. I wish there had been a place to sit and enjoy a band, but the only area we found them playing was in the Casino Bar as we walked down the Promenade. There was just too much smoke to be able to linger and listen. As I said earlier, there was music on the lido deck almost all the time. The DJ was entertaining and most of the videos were okay. I only found one video to be seriously not suitable for families and there were a lot of kids on this cruise. I miss the bands that use to play on the Lido Deck for sail away and parties.
Food: OMG, I gained 4 pounds in 5 days. The pizzeria is at the back of the ship and is awesome. Guys Burger Joint was fresh and delicious, my oldest grandson is a burrito fanatic and he loved The Blue Iguana. Those two places are very convenient, outside by the pool. The ice cream machines were all working great and the ice cream was enjoyed often by my grandsons. I enjoyed Chopsticks (a variety of Asian dishes) and the deli. The buffet was good, but we didn't eat it much. We enjoyed the other places too much. We had anytime dining. We found the food to be very good. The boys tried Lobster for the first time and ended up getting seconds. I think the kids had the chocolate melting cake for dessert every night. There was plenty of variety and you could be adventurous or choose old favorites. We tried the Seaday Brunch which is included. Definitely go! We had filet mignon and eggs...what?
Service: Our cabin steward was very nice and polite. We had a towel animal every night. I would give him 5 stars except I had to ask for ice more than once and it took two days to get our balcony completely clean. I don't blame him because I know how hard these guys work. I gave him an extra tip....they deserve it. We had the best waitstaff ever in The London Dining Room. If you have kids traveling with you, ask for Spitz. He and his team, I Made and I Putu, went the extra mile every night we were lucky enough to get them. They are simply wonderful and this was Anytime Dining deck 3. I can't remember her name but the bar tender in Alchemy was outstanding. Splurge a little and do the martini tasting class. So worth it. The bar staff on the Lido Deck were great. They came around often, were not intrusive and got your drinks to you quick. Be prepared to pay though. Drink specials were $7.95 and that didn't include tip or a souvenir glass.
All in all, we very much enjoyed our cruise. I would not hesitate to book another one. My husband and I always go on 7 day cruises, but I think the 5 day cruise was great, especially with kids.
Sailed on the Elation on Sept.30. Our sixth cruise with carnival. Have to say that the entertainment and food left a lot to be desired. I guess with the economy going south so does the quality of your vacation. Getting away from ... Read More
Sailed on the Elation on Sept.30. Our sixth cruise with carnival. Have to say that the entertainment and food left a lot to be desired. I guess with the economy going south so does the quality of your vacation. Getting away from everyday work and responsibility was wonderful. The staff was perfect, even tho, due to Tropical Storm Karen causing us to spend two extra days on the ship, going back and forth, it was as good a trip as it could be.
Usually the entertainment would keep you busy all day and time would fly by ending your trip too soon this trip I was bored on day three. Land vacations are looking a whole lot better. I am a non smoker and usually the ship don't allow smoking in many places, this trip the weather was bad making smoking inside hard to breath in many areas. Disembarking was total crazy. Staff could not control the crowd and when it was time for the diamond and platinum passengers to exit the ship, they allowed everyone to slip around the corridors and get off the boat instead of looking to see what levels they had actually been assigned to.Read Less
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