Just Okay. Wouldn't do Carnival again.
This is the second time we have cruised with our family of four. The first time we returned from a cruise, we felt like we didn't want to come home! This time, we were ready to come home. We loved most ports of call, but were not impressed by the dinner schedule, kids' club, nor staff.
STAFF: In general, I only felt like we were greeted with a smile about 20% of the time. This was the cruise of "NO". No matter what, it seemed like we were constantly being told "no" by this cruise ship's staff. These things were simple requests that could be very easily accommodated. (i.e.: Staff was popping popcorn on deck for the movie. Can we have some? NO, you have to wait until we start the deck movie in 10 minutes. Little things like this add up and are very annoying.) I can also think of at least twice that I approached a staff member and tried to ask a question, only to have them turn their back on me and walk the other direction.
CABIN: Cleanliness was 3 of 5. I actually cleaned a thick layer of dust from the wood under the mirror of our room, plus it looked like the entire top of the dresser area had not been cleaned from the previous guests. Upon arrival our very nice cabin steward asked if we'd like the cabin cleaned in the AM or PM. We're early risers, so we requested AM. Next day, we returned to our room after 3 pm and it still hadn't been cleaned. We did like the setup of the cabin (king and bunk over single) for our family of 4. Sleeping was comfortable.
KID CLUB: I never felt like the staff was "kid people." On a previous cruise, they knew our kids' names by heart and gave hugs when they walked in. The Kids' Club staff on this cruise was cordial at best. I will say that our kids DID love the pool/slides on the ship very much. The other outdoor activities (ropes course, ping pong, mini golf, etc.) were also great but they do close down if it's too windy.
PORTS OF CALL: All fantastic, except Grand Turk. We took a tour and didn't feel like there was much to see at all. Driver was not enthusiastic and drove CRAZY! Turk is probably our least favorite of all Caribbean stops, both east and west.
MEALS: Loved the Guy Fieri spots on the ship. That food was very good. Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner was fairly good. Severly dislike the scheduled dinner. We were assigned to the 8:30 dinner (REALLY? With 2 kids??!) and tried to change, but were told that they could not accommodate our request. We literally did not eat dinner in the dining room once because our kids couldn't wait that long to eat. Highly disappointing. This left us with just a "blah" opinion of food options on the ship. Desserts in the buffet area were fairly bland in our opinion. They have ice cream 24/7--it would have been nice to have an ice cream toppings bar or something that could provide a little variety when enjoying this sweet treat.
Overall, we probably would not book a cruise with Carnival again. Our first cruise was with Norwegian a couple years ago and that one was highly enjoyable--we didn't want to leave! Carnival just left us ready to go home.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom