April 2015 - Carnival Valor to Caribbean - Southern
While the experience was average, the staff for the most part looked moderately miserable. There's nothing worse than going on vacation and feeling like a burden to those employed to help you.
I can count on one hand the smiles I saw on the bar staff, wait staff and housekeeping. Our cabin steward did smile a few times, so I was grateful for that. Perhaps he enjoyed my bikini?
A few too many bartenders waved me off when I asked to be served after waiting patiently a full 5 minutes before getting any eye contact for a refill of my non-alcoholic drink. They seemed overwhelmed and not at all shy about demonstrating their frustrations on guests.
Carnival is the "walmart of cruise lines," I get it, but I was disappointed that the staff also looked so very disappointed to be there. The experience left me wondering if the superb, high-value cruise experience is out there on the "royal caribbean."
Also of note: half the treadmills in the gym are broken; the basketball court has no schedule, so your kids have to bully their way into getting any time on the court; don't bother ordering the soda package because it takes forever to get the bartenders to refill your cups; ice is a MAJOR component in alcoholic beverages that average $8.95 each - you really need to be aggressive reminding wait staff to "cool it" on the ice.