June 2015 - Carnival Splendor to Canada, New England, New York
My mom and I were so excited to go on a cruise! Neither of us have ever been on one, and after my grandfather died, my mom felt like it was time to do something different and exciting.
As my mother is an observant Jew, I researched which cruise line would be able to accommodate kosher food. I was thrilled to find that Carnival did. I made special arrangements with my travel agent to make sure she would be fed food that would be acceptable to her religious dietary restrictions.
At dinner the first night the waiter said he did not have our reservation and that there was nothing he could do. After I explained to him that my mother would not be able to eat the regular food he said we should talk to the Maitra D. After waiting on a line that seemed forever, I was told that she should just try to eat the regular food, since it was too late to heat up the kosher meal for dinner, and that they would make an order for the next day. I explained to him that my mother is religious and she would not be able to eat the food. He finally said OK, and that we should wait by the table until the food gets there. About a half hour later, her meal arrives, freezer burned, and honestly inedible. The rest of the table was shocked to see how gross it looked. She asked for some plain steamed vegetables and hoped the next day would be better. The next morning at brunch we asked for Kosher. Again we were told that there was no order and it would take too long to heat up. We insisted and when the meal came there was a piece of mold the size of a nickel (I have a picture I am glad to send over, if you would like!). Again, my mom had vegetables and at this point she was starving and asked for a plain baked potato. We decided to give it one more try at dinner, and again, it was totally inedible! The rest of the cruise she was forced to bend her religious beliefs (as not to starve, and have steamed veggies, baked potatoes, and salad)! This was especially a problem since my mom is a diabetic and she needs to be able to eat normally and a balanced diet to keep her sugar in check.
When we went to Guest Services we were told a report would be written up and that the Maitra D would come and check up on us - no one did. The waiter was rude about our special requests, and there was no follow up. Unfortunately, when asked by our Jewish friends who keep kosher if Carnival is a real option for people who keep kosher - we will have to say NO! We are not sure we will cruise again, after the bad experience with the food, which is a shame since we enjoyed the rest of the cruise a lot.