I chose Carnival because (1) I have never sailed on Carnival and I had been on 7 cruises prior and (2) because Tampa port is close to home so I didn't have to spent money on port parking or a hotel the night before. I read the ... Read More
I chose Carnival because (1) I have never sailed on Carnival and I had been on 7 cruises prior and (2) because Tampa port is close to home so I didn't have to spent money on port parking or a hotel the night before. I read the reviews and was already aware of the dry dock this ship had gone thru recently so I figured it couldn't be so bad with all the renovations. I'm not even sure where to start. This review isn't about the ship itself but all about the running or operations of this floating asylum.
BARS: and this is for the bars or clubs that were actually OPEN, since most of the time when we were out and about a lot of space was not being used. The bars that were open, were crowded of course (United Stated Bar which is just outside the casino, the Atrium bar, pool bars (Rum bar and the tequila bar) and only had ONE, that's right 1 bartender. And that ONE bartender made no habit of scanning the bar from one end to the other to see who has walked up outside of his straight forward line of sight. So if you're standing off to the left or right for several minutes and someone walks up directly in front of the bartenders eyes, they are getting service first.
FOOD: worst ever on all of my 7 cruises. The "buffet" was a joke in itself. There are literally approximately 20 food items on this buffet (one on each side), lacked any taste whatsoever and were cold by the time we sat down, which tells me they weren't even warm to begin with up there. And FYI Carnival, probably not a good choice to leave out BOXES AND BOXES of frozen "shrimp on a stick". At least give us some hope that the food is being prepared SOMEWHERE and not just thrown into a microwave. And how do you even get shrimp in the shape of stick anyway?
SALAD BARS: constantly out of food items, including the caesar salad, that's a big NO NO! It's salad, not something you need to spend 20 minutes chopping and dressing. Open up another bag, make it look appetizing, and bring it out.
CARNIVAL DELI: ate there twice. Once for breakfast because I was sick of the same old breakfast items so wanted some eggs over medium. What I got was overcooked FRIED EGGS that were as crispy as they bacon on the buffet. The other time I visited was for a sandwich, because low and behold the buffet was CLOSED. What? Where is all the endless food they rave about on cruises? Don't look for that on this boat. Anyway I ordered a, Arugula, Pepper and Mozzarella on Ciabatta sandwich. Why was I surprised when I was told, "out of Ciabatta and no Arugula". WTH is it on the menu for then?
PIZZA PIRATE: OMG stay way. If you a Royal Caribbean cruiser, please DO NOT think you are getting Sorrento's service here. One person behind the counter, they ask the first couple people what kind of pizza they want, disappear to the back for like 5-10 minutes, probably to put the pizza in the microwave or toaster oven, come back and deal with the next two or three people in line. I'm used to having a variety of pizzas already out and waiting and more coming out every minute or so that you don't have a line of 50 kids waiting for pizza that gets wasted and thrown out anyway because kids are just that, wasteful! Terrible system here.
Oh let's not forget about GUYS Burger joint and the taco/burrito bar outside on the pool deck. Just FYI these places are not open all the time. Guys is open until the "so-called buffet" inside starts serving which is 6pm I believe. So if you want a burger and fries after 6pm you are OUTTA LUCK! Even worse, the taco/burrito place next to Guys closes at 3-3:30, so don't look for any of that for dinner. And if you are an early dinner eater, like some of the older folks, your only choice for food will be the dining room (yuk) starting at 5:30 or the burger joint (I've had way better burgers at Five Guys) which is open until 6. And speaking of dining room, check the menu and then check the buffet. Don't be surprised when you see some of the same items on both.
SMOKING! on all cruises I have been on there are designated smoking area. Outside on one of the decks, and that is not a designated deck of your choice, smokers! And also in the casino, which is disgusting all together. You really limit the people who are willing to drop money in a casino when you allow smoking. Carnival also has a bar just OUTSIDE the casino that allows smoking at one end of it. Well, that's make total sense now doesn't it? Now forcing the non smokers, who want to keep their lungs healthy, down to other end of the bar (that has one bartender who doesn't look beyond their forward line of sight)!
ENTERTAINMENT: not to what I am used to. The singing was something off of a talent TV show and the dancing, well lets just say wouldn't make it past auditions for So You Think You Can Dance.
I just don't know where else I can take this review other than getting personal about the 90% of type of people that choose Carnival, so I will end it here. I tried it and can honestly say you get what you pay for. And for those that say Carnival is the cheaper route, do your research. Read Less