November 2014 - Carnival Victory to Caribbean - Western
First, there were some shining lights on this cruise. Our room steward, Glorioso, was fabulous! So were our dining room staff members: Ratna, Mandala, and James. We were also pleased with Dorothy Lyn at the guest services desk, and Erin on the entertainment staff. And Suriya and Imade who worked at the pool area bringing me drinks were great. We loved the Down Side Up band every time we heard them play.
Boarding the ship was a nightmare. We were so thankful we had purchased the Faster to the Fun package because it did get us through a lot of lines really quickly, but as we were ready to board the ship, there was a malfunction in their technology. I understand that computers break down sometimes, but when I found that people in "Zone 5" were loading on one side of the room while I was standing for an hour on the other side of the room, I was rather disappointed. When I asked an employee about this, she was very rude to me.
As far as activities go, there were plenty. However, the one activity we wanted to do the most was not readily available. There is only 1 good hardwood dance floor on the ship (Ionian Lounge) and a disco room. The only music available in the Ionian room was Latin. Although I can salsa and cha-cha a bit, we wanted to hear other stuff, too. It was available in the Casino lounge where there is a small space to dance. Unfortunately, this floor is also intersected by two walkways. Just as we would be ready to do a move, someone would walk through. There were also drinks spilled on the floor, ruining my dance shoes. Be advised, in many of these areas, smoking is permitted. Hard to dance when you can't breathe.
Also, on the last two nights of the cruise, the music in the casino lounge was so loud that it was impossible to carry on a conversation, even to the sides of the stage. I couldn't even stay in the room to dance.
Then there is the scheduling. We ate dinner at 6 each night and usually left the dining room around 7:30 and would dance until 8:15. Then there was nothing to do until 9 or even 9:30. It seems both the Latin band and the Music Motion band took a break at 8:15 and didn't return until 9 or 9:30. We ended up playing trivia some nights. Couldn't the schedule be written so that there was always dancing of some kind somewhere by alternating their breaks?
There were some dance lessons available, but none were very useful unless you intend to be performer on a stage sometime or really like line dancing. Perhaps teaching something we could actually use would be nice. It would give people an opportunity to practice what they learned that evening on a dance floor.
Unlike many other people, we were actually pleased that the captain pulled out of Jamaica. The weather conditions were very bad that day with high waves and wind. We learned later that he tried three times to put the ship into the dock, but it just became too dangerous. I appreciated his wisdom and experience and that he put them to good use that day. Jamaica will always be there to visit another time.
Sometimes the public restrooms on the ship looked like a bunch of wild animals had been turned loose in them. Sometimes they were fine.
One of the most odd things was how other passengers dressed. Even though jeans, shorts, and tank tops were not supposed to be permitted in the dining room, we saw them. On formal night, we were stunned at the poor dress of many passengers. It seemed to get better as the week progressed. I guess we shouldn't have been so shocked at this since, when we were standing in the line to board the ship, we saw a woman with rollers in her hair and another who wore a top showing everything but, well, I can't say. Routinely, people walked around the public areas of the ship wearing their bathrobes. Shouldn't there be a little more decorum than this?
When we went ashore at Grand Cayman, we were rather upset that, although we had been at the assembly staging in plenty of time, our tours had already left when we docked. The company that handled my tour (Webster) was able to catch me up with the tour group easily enough. The company that handled my husband's tour did not even try. He ended up taking a tour that was completely uninteresting to him. He had been hoping to go snorkeling, kayaking, and biking. He ended up sitting on a tour bus most of the day. Very disappointing.
The shows in the Caribbean lounge were good, but not great. Food was better than average, but not great. The only thing that we can say was really good was service. The bartenders, wait staff, room service, guest services, and dining staff were all very good.