May 2016 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Sensation
On The Plus Side: My favorite parts of the cruise was that it did not stop at a "private beach" - just not a "beach person". And I loved the "Brunch" dining choice as opposed to a breakfast and lunch menu.
There were also some really great cruise employees - mostly with many years of ship service experience. My favorite places: The Atrium Bar (Siddhesh) and the piano bar (Natalie performing) where we closed each evening. Other talent/games were just okay...and mostly geared towards a much younger crowd. (or married couples)
Not So Much: Too short a time frame for the stop at Grand Cayman. Had to use a tender and the last back to the ship was at 3:45 in the afternoon. Was not interested in paying to spend a few hours at a resort pool! Stayed on board...poolside was pleasantly peaceful.
Some of the employees appeared to have an "attitude" - not sure why. And, our steward did not even make up our room and turn down the beds one evening.
The Worst Part: Apparently a waitperson has the power to cut off drinks if THEY think someone has had too much. One evening my cruise partner was cut off after 12 drinks that entire day (5 of them were water!) She has some leg problems and this server thought she was staggering. (I reported it to an officer & the beverage manager had a bottle of wine brought to our table the next night. Which was a nice gesture.) However....the next evening...I was cut off!! I went directly to an officer with a print-out of my liquid consumption of the day. It showed five wines throughout the entire day plus one large water. He could easily determine that I was not "drunk" and immediately reinstated my "Cheers" plan. All of this was time-consuming and extremely embarrassing for two mature ladies. The server did not even bother to be discreet!!! (I was in public relations for decades and I would have been dismissed if I treated a customer/client in that manner.)
Perhaps this is how they "save" money when you use the "Cheers" plan.
The Suggested Solution: IF a server THINKS a mature cruise customer has had too much to drink, a manager/officer should be consulted to access the situation. (We are not talking "falling down drunk" here as were many of the younger cruisers were throughout the cruise.)
Doubt if you will post all this negativity. However this was my fourteenth cruise and (two previously on Carnival, but both more than nine years ago). Hadn't repeated booking them again after those experiences. Yes, they are the "Fun Ships" - totally geared towards those in their 20's and 30's who really take over the pool/bars/disco/etc.. And that is how they should be marketed.
We only went on Carnival because our original cruise on Royal Caribbean was canceled. I had some reservations...but it was the only cruise within the same time frame. I would not recommend Carnival to anyone over 40....maybe 35 years of age. I would recommend as our agent - Sandie - was extremely helpful and friendly-professional.