This was not my first Carnival cruise and have had several very pleasant experiences in the past. We booked this cruise with my Mother-in-Law after the recent passing of my father-in-law and wanted to spread his ashes in the sea. I was initially caught disappointed when we found out we would have to pay full-fare for my 1-year old. According to the Carnival booking agent, it was because this was a holiday cruise even though he wouldn't be able to do much or even eat a whole lot. But regardless, we wanted to go in support of my wife and her family.
For starters, the service provided around the ash spreading was awful, we had assumed the possibility of a chaplain or a nice location for the spreading would be provided, however, we were rudely shuffled down to the lower back-end of the ship and told to toss his ashes through a small hole on the side of the ship with very little space and extremely loud engine/ship noise where we could not hear each other speak, making it completely impossible for us to say any words before sending him off.
Most staff encounters were rude. A lot of the staff seemed bothered by us. At one point I was walking to the buffet and the sliding doors were not opening. When I asked a crew member about it he told me "What do you want me to do about it?" Then, once a line began to form on both sides of the door, he decided to pry it open. Another time, we were at Guy's Burgers and were told we could not have any of the specialty burgers and we could only get a plain burger with no cheese. I would understand this if it was a supply issue, but the crew seemed as if it was just that they did not want to make them.
Our room steward was friendly, but after asking us when we wanted our room cleaned and agreeing to come twice a day, he only came once a day, never came for turndown service. Even when the room was cleaned, I feel like the towels were either re-hung or replaced with dirty ones. They always seemed to have a bad odor to them.
The dining room staff was also friendly but, even though we would arrive on time for dinner, it would take the entire time allotted and we would always be one of the last parties in the dining room. It would take extremely long to get food and we always had to hound the staff to get drinks. Additionally, we had numerous orders come wrong or not at all. We had 3 children at our table and my wife and I have our 1-year old son. By the end of our almost 2+ hour meal time every night, he was justifiably upset which created more stress for us.
We purchased the Cheers plan, but, more often than not, the bartenders either took forever to serve us or didn't have the alcohol we were looking for. They would tell us the alcohol we wanted was at other bars and when we would go try to find it, they would give us the same run-around.
Overall, I am extremely disappointed. Like I previously stated, we have cruised several times before with Carnival and had amazing experiences, this was the opposite. I really would like to think this was just one bad experience, I would love to cruise with Carnival again, but I don't know if I could trust it. We spend a lot of money booking these cruises and expect the service and experience to reflect that, however on this past cruise I feel like It was a loss. We have already put a deposit down for another cruise in 2021, however, I will definitely be debating on keeping this reservation. I may have to consider trying out other lines.