August 2014 - Carnival Splendor to Canada, New England, New York
Positive: Despite decor that some may find questionable plenty of indoor space in case of inclement weather.
Cons: Very disorganized. We left the port an hour late, not because passengers were late coming ot the ship but because they did not get them on board on time. Restaurants were often opening 15 minutes late or more.
Many people who work on the ship do not know what is available on the ship. I had to ask a number of staff members for directions to kids water park located on the ship, I was directed to a pool and number of other places. If it was not for my persistance I would never find it.
Don't know if it was because we went on a four day cruise but half of the bufet was always closed. Don't see how that is acceptable since the ship was fully booked. I went once to Mongolian Wok, by the time I got my food the rest of my family already ate. The lines were always long and the selection relative to other ships was very poor. No smoked salmon for breakfast at teh buffet, only at restaurant. Most of the specialty stations were only open for lunch and not for dinner. I did not see sushi station open at all. I really do care about dinner buffet because I was with a small child and we had late seating and we could not change it because the cruise was fully booked. I was counting on the buffet , and on all other ships I have been on the quality of the buffet was close to restaurants and for me personaly sometimes even better . On other ships I have been on in the restaurants they always had great dessers here they were mediocre at best and most of the time I did not even want to order them. I suppose this was good for my waste line.
Given how often you hear about people getting sick at sea it is essential to be able to sanitize your hands before going to eat etc. It does not make sense to go to the cabin to wash your hands so we are relying on hand sanitizers. Very often the dispensers were empty, what was especially annoying was that the one by children's camp was empty too. Children and germs go togeter, this and restaurants should be the first place where you would put hand sanitizer. I do have to say that other than lack of sanitiser the ship was clean.
if you have family I would recommend Royal Carribean or Norwegian, for adults Princess is another good bet.