June 2015 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Paradise
Enjoyed Ourselves, But...
The service overall was good, and we have a good appreciation of Wijaia, our cabin steward.
I accept the necessity for the initial safety meeting, however the extended duration of the process coupled with the lack of seating or shade for your guests while they wait for the routine to complete was a lackluster beginning.
This was a first cruise for my wife and I, and after the experience, we are both questioning if there will be another one. The Faster To The Fun package was easily our best purchase on the whole excursion. We also purchased the drink package while on board which was a good investment, but the process of ordering drinks was a harassment. Having to sign each and every time we ordered a drink is absurd. Not only do you have our picture, you also have our room card. This is a waste of paper, your employee time, your company resources, and your guests time. As well, with the lack of waitstaff attending the upper sundecks of the ship, it was constantly necessary for us to have to walk to the bars to refresh our drinks. This wouldn't be something overall to complain about as we aren't helpless, but my wife or I should be able to go to the bar independently and pick up drinks (yes plural, one for myself and one for my wife or vice versa) without being interrogated or refused by one of your bar tenders. If we are within our individual drink limit, and the package has been purchased for both cruisers, then the line of questioning should be eliminated. It is insulting. The point of buying the package is to make the cruise experience an all inclusive experience.
We also had a negative experience in Cozumel when we took our lives in our own hands by taking a cab to the Aquarium beach resort, and overpaid and had a borderline terrifying experience with the staff. That is not the fault of Carnival, and we don't hold you responsible. I would ask that Carnival prep some type of guide for guests who are going to take their port days in their own hands. We legitimately questioned whether we would make it back to the ship at all that day, and there were no red flags whatsoever when we were making our decision.
The food throughout was okay. There was at least a lot of it, but none of it was outstanding. The drink quality was quite good. I was also regularly impressed by the consistent effort of your crew to clean the ship. The saving grace of our whole trip was your crew and the beautiful views on the open ocean. Everyone seemed to be invested in making us happy, and they did a great job. The comedy club was always fun.