Over the past 15 or more years, I have gone on over 40 cruises. I can say unequivocally that this was the worst, by far. I don’t want to blame the staff, because except for a few exceptions, they were doing their best. The problem is that Carnival is using the excuse that their potential employees cannot get visas. This may be true. But the issue is not whether or not they have enough staff; the issue is why are they are selling their ships’ maximum occupancy if they do not have enough staff to service all the people. I do not believe that they have enough staff on that ship for 1,000 people, let alone 3,000+. The most obvious problem is the food. In most of the restaurants there are only a few employees. As a result, the lines to get a hamburger at Guy Fieri’s was sometimes an hour long. The same was true for the Blue Iguana Cantina, the Carnival deli, Lucky Bowl and the barbecue restaurant.
The line in the buffet was ridiculous. The Lido Marketplace has multiple areas where a buffet can be served. Because they do not have enough staff, Carnival only opened one quarter of the buffet area and expected 3,000 passengers to eat from an area that is not big enough to serve a quarter of that. Another minor issue is the pizza. Carnival advertises that pizza is available 24 hours a day. Not on this ship. On this ship, pizza is available until 10 PM. Once again, this is allegedly because they do not have enough staff. Of course, an advertisement for 24 hour a day pizza is still listed on the Carnival website for the Sunrise. So, if you are hungry, the choice of food is very limited. Every place is an unreasonable wait, booked or closed. The dining room is really the only reliable option and that is not open during the day, except at sea.
This lack of service was not limited to food, unfortunately. Other scheduled events just failed to take place because of a lack of personnel. For instance, a scheduled yoga class, for which passenger had to pay, was left sitting, waiting in the gym for an instructor who never appeared. The class was not canceled, and the fee would not have been refunded had we not requested it. It was very clear to everyone that Carnival should not be cruising with so many passengers with such a limited crew. Even the crew admitted that they do not why Carnival is selling more cruises than they have crew to handle. They are making the passengers suffer for their greed.
A very large cabin to accommodate a wheel chair. One issue is there is almost no place for clothes other than hanging garments. It needs more drawers or shelves. However, on the second day of the cruise, our cabin flooded, and the carpet was never dry thereafter. Please note, this was not from our bathroom. The flood came from outside our cabin. To handle this, the crew had a giant blower in our cabin to try to dry the carpet. Imagine the loudest fan you have ever heard; this is the type of giant fan they had to keep running inside the cabin. They asked us if we minded the blower being in the cabin and we asked what was the choice? A wet smelly carpet or noise? They never offered to move us; but I’m not surprised because I believe there were no additional cabins available. If anything, the cruise appeared overbooked.