April 2015 - Carnival Sensation to Caribbean - Bahamas
It's not that the line is bad, rather it's the behavior of much of the clientele that is simply appalling.
Room- we were booked into an obstructed view balcony on the 11th floor (veranda level). The room was quite spacious with adequate closet space. On one occasion the room smelled of cigarette smoke in the late afternoon on day 2, but no reason why as the balcony door was never left open by us. The shower could certainly use conditioner, but all in all not the end of the world to only have shampoo. The robes were in good shape, but it would have been nice to have slippers too.
Room Steward- we received fantastic service from Ada, anything that we needed or requested was delivered promptly and with an enormous smile. In the end we gave her an additional tip for the fantastic service.
Spa Service- we got a 75 minute couples massage and quite thoroughly enjoyed it. Both of our therapists did a fantastic job, and weren't pushy about selling product.
Service in the main restaurant - unfortunately I don't possess the vocabulary to accurately describe just how pitiful the service was. We had 3 different waiters in total (1 each night), and in hindsight our first waiter provided the "best" service of the 3. I don't know if it was because we typically arrived after 9pm but before the end of service which was 930, and they were just exhausted from the day or if that is just typical service. I'll give you some anecdotes. On the first night we arrived at 915 and we're promptly seated where we would then wait for 12 minutes to be greeted by anyone resembling waitstaff. We brought our own champagne to dinner (well aware of the very reasonable $15 corking fee), and when we were finally greeted by our waiter it was with the following "We charge you to drink that here" as opposed to any of the other typical greetings like "good evening or "welcome". Again in hindsight I'd rate him as our best waiter of the trip which is frankly condemning of the service we received in the dining room. On the 2nd night we arrived at basically the same time, however there was a 20 minute wait to be seated, which isn't a big deal but it would've been nice if the hostesses would have taken our bottle of champagne and kept it on ice. Once we were seated we waited even longer for our waiter to show up. While waiting the server with the tray of various shots inquired if we wanted something to drink and we informed him that we had our own bottle and would like to have it put on ice. His reply "that's not my department" classic. I still don't know how one should respond to that. Our waiter was so bad that he didn't charge for corking. I want to believe it was because he recognized the service was so lousy and it was his way of apologizing for it. On the 3rd night we assumed that the service really couldn't do anything else but go up, and were we ever surprised to see that we were completely wrong. Our waiter was quite the multi-tasker as he somehow managed to take our order and the table next to us at the same time. How is that possible you might ask? Well let me try to paint the picture. We're seated for 20 minutes before our waiter shows up, and in the meantime another couple gets seated next to us so when the hostess seats them and realizes that we don't even have a glass of water she runs down our waiter. He sauntered over and figured why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone. I'd imagine that they thought they got timely service, in spite of the waiter taking both our order and their order simultaneously. Since we didn't have anything in particular to do afterwards these 3 dinners didn't ruin any plans or disrupt our evening we found it quite comical that the service was so "lacking."
Lunch - we weren't expecting anything gourmet, and found the "best" food was found at the sandwich place between the pizza station and bar. The lines were atrocious, but worse than the lines were the blatant disregard for the signage which asks for people to wear shoes and clothing during lunch. Either far too many people on this cruise were illiterate or simply didn't bring anything to wear other than there swimsuits and of course didn't own any type of footwear at all. I also found it surprising how many people felt that using their e-cigarette at the table was appropriate during lunch. My favorite experience during lunch was our encounter with "the employee of the month". Please allow me to expound on this encounter. So we're finishing up lunch and said employee comes through the corridor with her broom and dustpan in hand,and she notices a half eaten hot dog on the floor under the table next to us. She gently sweeps the aforementioned hot dog out from under the table, and rather than sweeping it up into the dustpan she simply swept it into the corner and left it there. We then wondered aloud how long that hot dog would remain in the corner, and we finally concluded that the hot dog must have misbehaved terribly to end up there. I'm not sure why so many people felt the need to grab a plate or cup and then put it back. I really think that it would be wise to bring along your own personal hand sanitizer if you have any issues with mysophobia or just get really drunk so the alcohol can kill any germs.
Overall we felt that the food service was simply lousy, but the food was edible which isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.
Smoking- I'm not sure if we were on a smoking specialty cruise, but we found it difficult to understand why so many people were smoking in areas that were not designated smoking areas. We especially found it a bit disturbing to find the group of 14 people openly smoking marijuana at the waterslide. Granted the waterslide was closed at that time but you'd think that people might want to be a bit more discreet, and no I'm not a prohibitionist about this plant. I'd just prefer it to be consumed in a more private area.
Spa facilities- they weren't overly inviting, but at least they weren't dirty. I believe the appropriate description would be "run down".