This was our 8th Carnival Cruise and will most likely be our last With them. We chose this one because it was the common date that all of our family had available to book. There were 14 of us total including my 8 month old grandson. We have always had a good experience with Carnival and did not have much to ever complain about, but in my opinion, this cruise allowed Carnival to show their true colors when it came to guest services both on the ship and once we were home and contacted corporate.
First the Good:
Cabin Stewards were great as usual and were johnny on the spot with anything we needed or requested
Dining staff were attentive and again, as usual, knew everyone's name by day 2 and always had our standard requests ready (sprite for me, wine for my wife, and other beverages ordered from the bar.
Shows were good and entertaining (The need to change them up more frequently as they seem to run the same ones on all the ships)
Casino staff was phenomenal
Steakhouse was exceptional
Now the Not so Good
Food was definitely not up to par. I have seen a decline in this area for the last couple of cruises and it has not gotten any better. This is both in the dining room and at the buffets.
We had an issue fitting at a table in the dining room comfortably. They put 14 of us an 8ft round table which we were unable to actually eat at as we had to sit a bit back from the table due to space. When we asked the Matre'd for another space he told us the only table that would fit us was requested by another guest who was on a back to back cruises. When I saw this table it sat 16 comfortable and their party only had 10 people. I would have been fine with 2 tables next to each other, but according to him they were unavailable. Our dining experience was horrible as it pertains to this. My grandsons hi-chair had to be set back from the table so we could at least get close enough to eat.
Public restrooms were not kept as clean as they have been in the past. I understand they cannot be standing there cleaning after every use, some of them were just plain disgusting.
The main reason for my negative review and our plan to no longer patronize Carnival is as follows
As I stated above we had my 8 month old grandson with us. We had to pay full price for him minus gratuities. The reason we were given at booking was that US Coast Guard Manifests allow certain amount of bodies on the ship so whether they are 8 months or 80yrs it takes the place of an allowable body. We knew this when we booked and basically accepted it UNTIL we experienced this cruise.
Carnival has NO baby changing stations or family rooms anywhere on board so you either have to change a baby in public or go down to your room to do so.
My daughter received 3 different stories from 3 different crew members as to my grandson being allowed in the pool; 1st was he was only allowed in without a diaper (Really), 2nd was he was only allowed in with a swimmy diaper (ok makes more sense) and 3rd was unless he was potty trained he was not allowed in at all. (Per Carnivals email to me upon returning, per US Dept of Health Standards and Regulations the 3rd was the truth.
So here is my complaint: My grandson at 8 months old did not sleep in a Carnival provided bed, did not eat Carnival provided food, was not allowed to use any of the amenities like the pools!!!! So why did we pay full price?
My daughter wanted to bring him to Camp Carnival to play on the mats a crawl around. She was only able to do so 3 days during the cruise for 1 hr each day which was from 5pm-6pm, and with us booking the early dinner at 6, this would be when she would be getting herself and him ready for dinner.
For a cruise line that promotes family fun,in my opinion, they are not family friendly
Carnival's email response for nothing more that a form letter personalized to my name and the promise they would look into things. I was not looking for a refund at all but you would think they could have at least offered an explanation as to the negative points I stated above.
Sorry Carnival, I'm done.
Cabin Was nice and roomy. Always clean