This shockingly poor experience on American Cruiselines really should be told to warn future travelers just how bad a simple cruise can be. The first obvious situation we encountered was the totally untrained staff which included a brand new cruise director (who was snippy, sarcastic and unresponsive to our simplest request to provide us with an extra chair) and servers who were fresh out of school. They were quite pleasant but didn't know much about serving. What they Did know about was that they weren't getting their tips. We paid our bill an added a large amount on our credit card for staff tips and are Very Upset that this money is not being passed on to these needy people, several of whom are leaving their jobs.
The chef was an abomination. Two portions of soup taught us that we couldn't possibly order that item again as it was filled with corn starch so thick that one had to work at stirring the contents and,worse yet, the salt content was so enormous in that and the rest of the food, that I came home up 6 pounds with swollen ankles. In 2 days it had all come off but it was very uncomfortable. (Eating salads does Not put on weight.) Another kitchen problem was that they kept running out of food. The waiters told us that management had hired this chef to use up everything in the kitchen and Not buy any more food as the ship was headed for dry dock. Toward the end of the week, the portions were miniscule.
Interestingly, this company charges fares comparable to the luxury cruise lines but provides mediocre vessels with minimal service. No phones in the rooms, no notepaper or pen, and cheap furniture.