We have been on over 11 cruises with Carnival Cruise lines since 2000, both here in Caribbean (eastern, western, southern) and one in Europe, and all we're really great until this one (December 2013). We've had a few inside cabins, a few with windows, and a few with balconies when we've been able to land a good deal. We always loved every minute on board. Over the years we've seen a decline in some of our favorite things:
1. Shows: on our first few cruises, the show team had about 12 to 14 dancers, two singers, and a small orchestra. That has dwindled to 4 dancers and 2 singers and a stereo. Does anyone remember the "Cars" show and the one with the "Copacabana" song? These were great great great shows. These last shows were a real disappointment—no band, 8 dancers, two shows and one was so raunchy we left. We used to go see the shows twice, they were so good. If we had early dining, we could go to the early show and stay for the late show.
2. Food: We were always so impressed and delighted with dining on Carnival ships. The menus varied every day, and everything was special and really good. We have had a saying in our house for many years that we say about a really good meal when eating out: "That was cruise quality!" But on this most recent cruise, they changed their menu drastically a week before our cruise (the waiter told us!) and now the whole meal experience is a bit below Applebee's. I've got nothing against Applebee's, but it is not special. They are calling it "American Dining" and apparently that is so, because the menu selections are blah blah blah American restaurant food you can get anywhere. I am not saying that the food was bad, but it was certainly nothing to excite your interest or palate! I never once left the table thinking “that was good” rather I left thinking “I hope tomorrow’s dinner is better.”
Single wide balcony room was very nice, and the room staff were great!!!! Except I'll never get a cabin on Deck 6 again --- right above the band that played on the Promenade adjacent to the casino. We could not even try to get to bed before midnight when the band quit. Uggh! There should be rentable rooms right above the bands or the clubs.