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Age: 33

Occupation:IT

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Celebration

Sailing Date: August 24th, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

In 2003, this was the first cruise I went on. I had heard that cruises had excellent food and buffets, along with many other things to do. I was worried that I would get bored and felt like I was stuck on a boat for too long.

Carnival’s Celebration was terrible. I never wanted to cruise again. The staff already gets a set tip, so service was mediocre across the board.

The buffet and formal dining room food was terrible. The people who said the food was good must be used to eating at McDonald’s as their big night out. The food “sounded” good on the menu and “looked” good in presentation, but it all tasted like a frozen tv dinner. It was dry and didn’t have much flavor.

There isn’t much to do on this small ship except drink, sit on the deck, and play bingo. It was a rough ride as well. I guess they don’t have updated stabilizers on the Celebration. I couldn’t wait to get off the boat for many reasons. I was miserable and so was my roommate.

As for the ports of call: Cozumel was nice. Progresso was not. Progresso is actually a port located at an ugly cement plant. That’s where you disembark, in the middle of nowhere. We took a bus to Cancun to shop, but they ended up taking us to a couple of flea markets with nothing but typical useless crap to buy and then you get to spend a total of five minutes to take pictures of the beach. That’s it for a four-hour trip.

Since we were on the smaller boat, we asked several people on Carnival’s Elation how their cruise was going since they were in Cozumel at the same time. It sounded like their experience on the larger boat was the same. They had nothing but similar and negative comments about their cruise as well.

I thought I would never cruise again, but I heard that Royal Caribbean’s ships were much nicer with better service and excellent food. They were right. In October 2004, I decided to try out Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas with ports of call to Key West, Cozumel, and Costa Maya (original port of call, Grand Cayman, too damaged due to recent hurricane). I would compare Carnival to a mediocre motel like Motel 6 and compare Royal Caribbean closer to the Hyatt or a nice hotel (in service, quality of food, activities and overall appearance). There was a BIG difference. I look forward to cruising again with Royal Caribbean.

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