This was our 5th or 6th Carnival cruise, but definitely our last. The last 2 or 3 Carnival cruises we took, we noticed a definite decline in several aspects of the cruise experience in regards to food quality, drink quality, and service. ... Read More
This was our 5th or 6th Carnival cruise, but definitely our last. The last 2 or 3 Carnival cruises we took, we noticed a definite decline in several aspects of the cruise experience in regards to food quality, drink quality, and service. This cruise was a new low.The ship itself was fine, pretty average. Staterooms the same. On this cruise though, we made the mistake of going during spring break. I've been on 17 or 18 cruises, and I've never seen anyone puke in the pool. On this cruise, it happened 3 times in 2 days. On one of the 3 sea days we had, someone puked in the main pool, shutting it down for the day because the ship can only discharge into the ocean at certain times, and they said 9 pm was the soonest they could drain the pool. It sucks, but accidents happen. What made me mad was when the drunk people who had "taken over" the main pool with volleyball equipment they brought on board had to leave because someone puked in the pool (presumably one of them), they proceeded to take their operation to the back of the ship to the Tides pool, taking it over and resumed their game despite staff passively saying that's not allowed, but doing nothing else. 10 minutes later, there's puke in that pool and it had to be shut down. So now, here we are in the early afternoon on a sea day with 80 degree temps and no pool to enjoy because ship staff failed to intervene with these obviously intoxicated people. Several people complained to guest services, including a platinum member that was with us, but to no avail. We were offered a couple of drinks and a dinner upgrade, but there was little to no acknowledgement that we lost about 1/2 day of our cruise because we could no longer enjoy a pool anywhere on the ship due to a failure on the part of ship staff. They did admit they failed, but said it was against their "policy" to reimburse passengers for these inconveniences (several of us requested that Carnival credit our stateroom accounts the equivalent of 1/2 day of our cruise fare to compensate us for having no available pools for half of a sea day). One of the most disappointing things was that one of the passengers who went to guest services with us on this issue was a Carnival Platinum member, Carnival shareholder, has spent close to $100,000 cruising with Carnival and was treated as if they were a first time cruiser. I felt sick for them and their brand loyalty (which I think is over). Earlier that day, I had already been to guest services to complain that the ship's exhaust was peppering the Tides pool area with black and rusty soot from the engines. It ruined several shirts of people in our group as well as the drinks we were holding. Carnival did pay for the ruined clothing after a failed laundering attempt. 17/18 cruises, never seen that happen with soot raining down.
There were a few bright spots on this cruise, however. The Red Frog Pub was a great hangout spot. Never too crowded, great staff, and great food and drinks. Dining staff was hardworking and went above and beyond every night. I wouldn't recommend paying the $20 extra for the 555° Steakhouse upgrades. The lobster we ordered was way overcooked (the steamed lobster on lobster night is better) and the filet was mediocre. Definitely not worth the $20 upgrade and most definitely not worth the $35 pp fee to have dinner in the steakhouse. The 24/7 pizza and Guy's burger joint were awesome. The lines prove that is a very popular feature.
Our stateroom was average, but there was something next door in a service area that sounded like metal creaking really loud whenever the ship was moving, and it would go on all night long. This was loud enough to disrupt our sleep. If you are considering going on this ship, I would avoid stateroom #2367 for this reason.
Overall, Carnival has again proven to me they are the "Walmart of the waves". I'm actually kind of embarrassed to say I've cruised with them as often as I have, but no more, especially having seen how they treat their top tier members. Ouch. Read Less