On October 10th we sailed out of Galveston on the Carnival Breeze. It was our 1st post covid cruise. We have sailed on Carnival multiple times as well as several other lines. The experiences as far as general details were always pretty consistent across all cruise lines. Carnival , though not my preferred line but, we always enjoyed sailing with them and were always pleased with them over all. However, I will probably not choose Carnival again based on this last sailing on the breeze. I hope that I don’t discover this to be the new norm for all lines.
It was always the little things that made cruises exceptional experiences. Post covid, it appears, that, at least on Carnival that is no longer the case. I will start with the food and dining experiences, as that is one of the signature things about any cruise. Pre-covid there were so many cuisine and dish options on the buffet that no matter what you palettes craving, you would likely find something suitable, and the food quality, though not amazing, was always on the upper quality scale for buffet dining. No more. The cuisine options, especially for the evening meal, are very limited and across the board quality akin to a continental breakfast at Motel 6. Most notably, breakfast. The scrambled eggs were gritty and the eggs benedict were cold, as if they were just taken from the refrigerator. There are 2 soft serve frozen yogurt machines and 2 soft serve ice-cream machines on board. Of the 4 only 1 of the yogurt machines was in service. ( 1 positive note, my wife and I weighed less after our trip than before) On more than 1 occasion we would have to search for a coffee machine that wasn’t empty. Attendant’s no longer come through with carts and offer to refill drinks any more. On the plus side, Guys Burgers and the BBQ stand are nice additions. Also, the Blue Iguana was great. No more are the midnight buffet either, which was always fun. In the formal dinning room, these are the things of cruises past. Kitchen tours, ice sculptures, nope , non of that. Table clothes, garnished plates that you felt like were prepared by a chef, not a line cook at Denny’s, prime rib ( now extra charge), surf and turf on formal night (again extra charge) cappuccino with desert( extra charge). Also you will now only have one set of utensils. We were instructed to “keep you fork” for the next course. The dish options where not much different from the buffet and of very low quality. The Waite staff was adequate, but not well trained, unlike the staff onboard previous cruises that I felt where trained waiters, not just buffet line attendants We also ate at one of the specialty dining rooms, the Italian one. Not much ,if any different than the regular formal dining room. Definitely not worth paying extra for. Side note: Other than morning coffee, you will be charged for room service, which I had read this in the news the week before we sailed.
Our room steward, Lucy was great, however, there is no longer the evening turn down service that was one of the little things that made cruising special. Also, One other little item gone is the bath robes. Just little things, but again, no longer a special experience that made cruising such a great and unique experience.