In Between "Poor" and "Good" Lies this Cruise
This was the worst and the best of cruising on Carnival. First, PLEASE believe me that I always go into every situation hoping for the best but...somehow, some way or someone turns my attitude sour. From the beginning when I got that robocall announcing the delay in embarking, I got that ol' bad feeling...
On this cruise, the entertainment and the food were disappointing. The crew and staff were outstanding. Every bartender and waiter who took my sail-and sell-card remembered my name. Every steward who helped me, even those who merely answered a question, remembered my name. Adi, my cabin steward, was first class. Wesner, my dining room waiter, remembered my name and my drink. All of this adds up to a high "Jack Factor" score, named after my buddy Jack who only sails on Carnival because he loves being addressed personally on cruises. Personally, I don't care what you call me as long as you bring me my drink immediately. The first night's show was cheesy, with dancing that resembled cheerleaders imitating modern dance. The set was minimal, with a muslim backdrop with painted portholes suspended between poles representing a ship's hull. Laughable. The singers were tolerable--in this show the guy was more talented than the girl. "Matey," the Cruise Director, was along to "entertain" with his "magic" and his "personality" as emcee. The best of all was the band. More entertainment criticism to follow.
The food was in general--from my memory of previous Carnival cruises--downhill. There was less of everything--from choices on menus and buffets--to quality of ingredients. The pizza was below average (for me, it was inedible), the burgers were abominable and the eggs (and salmon) Benedict were abhorrent. I expect poached egg, not hard-boiled. I do NOT expect Hollandaise sauce to be a solid, with a crust, that lets knives bounce atop. Then, the worst disappointment was Chef's Table which I was SO looking forward. They repeated the same damned menu I had aboard Carnival Elation in 2015! They couldn't come up with some innovations? Why shouldn't they update the cuisine? Why is there NOTHING fresh, including CANNED mangoes and canned magicians? Highlight: galley tour. Lowlight: I can't believe that the ONE night that MDR serves Escargot Bourguignonne, my favorite, was Chef's Table night.
As far my cabin, it was fine, except the location noted below. Clean, fresh decor is delightful with the fake louvers on the door, the photo wall graphics and the blue stripes on the duvet. Best: those new flat-screen HD TVs are wonderful for checking your own videos.
The reasons I bought this cruise were threefold: 1. So cheap they threw in a fourth night for free. 2. It was SO cheap they charged the single supplement and it was STILL under my budget. 3. Two years before I started collecting ship models I was aboard Victory. I managed to find (or buy aboard) one from every ship I've traveled aboard--except Victory. The only one to get a model of that ship--is go aboard. That $30.00 model wound up costing me $533.00 excluding drinks.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Get a stateroom toward the aft end BUT NOT ON THE FIRST DECK!