September 2015 - Carnival Pride to Caribbean - Bahamas
First I would like to say this was my first cruise on Carnival and after this experience I am reluctant to cruise with Carnival again for the following reason:
The stateroom accommodations were great, the room was comfortable and the housekeeping staff was really nice and friendly, but when it came to entering the room for cleaning, they would knock once and just open the door without giving us enough time to respond. They were really apologetic and offered to come back at a later time, However it happened several times over the course of the week so I guess it was a normal practice. I felt like I did not have any privacy in stateroom because you never knew what time they were coming to clean the rooms.
Some of the staff was rude and made my fiance and I felt as though we were more of a bother to them rather than making sure we had a great cruise experience. My first rude encounter was at the promenade coffee shop on deck 2. My fiancé and I stood at the counter waiting to be serviced, the woman working there made eye contact with us but continued talking and laughing with her coworkers and never offered to help, so we just walked away. When we went back a second time later that day to activate our bottomless bubbles, her demeanor again suggested that she did not want to assist us.
The dining room experience was marginal, the first day was great. Everyone was friendly and eager to serve us, but the second time the food and service wasn't that great. My fiance ordered the Southern Fried Chicken and didn't like it so I asked the waiter for the menu so that he could order something else. The waiter seemed irritated by our request to order a different dish but he brought us the menu, said "HERE" and walked away without giving us a chance to re-order. Another gentleman returned and waited on us for the rest of the evening. Despite our experience in the dinning hall, we had the opportunity to dine at two of the specialty restaurants, David's and the sushi restaurant. Our experience in both restaurants was exceptional! The staff in David's exceeded my expectations and the food was outstanding, I must say the dining experience in David's was the highlight of our entire cruise.
We took and purchased many of photos at Pixels and for the most part, we were satisfied with majority of the photographers and photos. One of the photographers, Mr. Ahkil took some amazing photos of the guests so my fiancé and I were excited about our photo session with him. Unfortunately, we later found out during our session that Mr. Ahkil was not as professional as we had hoped, instead we found his presentations to be very distasteful and offensive! At one point during our shoot, Mr. Ahkil instructed me to smile and concentrate on a designated focal point as if I was looking at a "big fat cheeseburger". How RUDE!! As a plus size woman, I was appalled and highly offended by his comment! I found it to be very inappropriate and unprofessional. My fiance' was highly offended as well. Needless to say, we became extremely uncomfortable and was unable to focus on our session. We did not purchase any of those photos.
We also visited the fun shops where we purchased some liquor which had to be picked up on the last day of the cruise. The prices were reasonable so we did not have any problems with spending. Unfortunately, when we got home and opened our boxes, we discovered that we did not get what we ordered even though our receipt clearly stated what was purchased. I would suggest people check their boxes the morning of debarkation but I am not sure if this would help with discrepancies since the shop is closed during that time.
Lastly, we spent time in the casino and that was fun but I would recommend they offer a smoking and non smoking section or have a balcony to allow air to circulate. There are machines that do not allow smoking but they are scattered throughout the casino mostly next to machines that do allow smoking so it would not matter where you sit the intense smell is overwhelming. If you are not a smoker you will not be comfortable in the casino for long periods of times.
My overall experience on Carnival was less than I expected. I've been on other cruise lines and this was by far my worst experience, I'm not sure if I would pay to cruise with Carnival again or recommend any family or friends.