This is exactly why I am almost "dogmatic" about people posting fair and honest reviews based on facts....not exaggerations, generalizations or judgments. Ok I admit it...I am not almost... I AM.
First of all, any cruise will be what you make of it. However, it is imperative that folks do research to get the best match when it comes to cruising. Celebrity is a fine cruise line, but one of the things I love to do on a cruise is sing karaoke....which Celebrity does not offer. So no matter how nice the cruise is, for me...there is going to be something missing. So I know (at least for now, not to book Celebrity. And it would be unfair of me to go on a Celebrity cruise expecting a "Fun Ship" experience and then come on these boards and complain about being bored.
Secondly, a review should only have the facts. Facts are the eggs on Lido are powdered. Facts are the sirloin steak on the first night was tough and dry. While these are not positive comments, they are factual. However, when you get some yahoo that comes on here and says that "all the food was horrible" ... then that is the person you should ignore. We call them the starfish variety. Basically, you have people who give a factual honest review (good and bad) and those who just have a starfish up their fanny. (their "reviews" are full of generalzations, exaggerations and disappointments) The starfish variety are the ones you ignore.
After 20+ years on Carnival, some cruises have been better than others. But we have never had a bad cruise. We have always gotten our money's worth. Now if you want someone personally escorting you to your room, handing you a free glass of champagne and issuing cool towels when you come back from a day at port and 5 star dining....you have booked with the wrong cruise line.
If you are capable of finding your own cabin, can survive without that free glass of champagne and cool towels...want good food and lots of fun....then you will have a good time on Carnival.
Is there room for improvement? Of course, which I why I contact Carnival many times a year. I am trying to make my future cruise that much better.
I would suggest that you find the worst reviews about this ship that you can find and then ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. Is this a valid complaint (or of the starfish variety)?
2. If it is a valid complaint, does it apply to me? IE: If you don't drink, then you don't really care if they ran out of a particular kind of beer.
3. If it is a valid complaint and it does apply to you, can you still go and have a great (not just a good) time?
I have always tried to be as objective as possible in my cruise reviews. As Raoul noted, nothing is perfect and anyone who expects their cruise to be so is really not connected with reality. A cruise ship is run by humans, and humans are not always at the top of their game. We didn't sleep well last night, or we got bad news in the mail, or we have an upset stomach. For most of us, these are all valid reasons for not being at the top of our game on a given day. Yet some cruise passengers will write a scathing review of their cruise just because their waiter forgot the iced tea one night. Or the ship rocked because for some reason the Captain decided not to control the weather that day.
Reviews are what they are. I write them. I read them. I always look at them with a jaundiced eye. And I advise people to look at the reviews I write in the same way.
OK bedbugs creep me out. I can deal with rude staff, but bedbugs will have me throwing my shoe at someone. I was awake all night in a hotel in Rome this year because there was a cucaracha in the bathroom. Gross.
I agree with 'retiredcruiser' the best fritters are at Sloppy Joe's. Hands down the best you will find. As Dave mentioned., go into this with an open mind. This is your first time and aren't sure of what to expect. Let the vacation on this cruise come to you. There is plenty to do and you will have a great time.
Cruise Fanatic...I'm so glad to hear that! If they were there, after 29 cruises on Carnival, you'd think you would know it!! Thanks for a positive post!!
On the food....I agree with you both... Dave & LHP...there is NO WAY all the food on a cruise is not good...that is just crazy talk!! I have a friend who looked forward to a cruise last year...came back complaining about NOTHING to eat on the ship!! Said she about "starved to death"....I told her she just can't be satisfied if she can't find anything to eat on a cruise ship!! With all the restaurants, grills, room service! Now, true enough, I didn't care for everything put in front of me...but most of it, I loved...and if I didn't love it...I asked for something else, and got it with a smile!! There is just too much to choose from for people to say ALL the food is bad! You know...they just need to stay home...or spend their vacations elsewhere! Cruising is for us folks that can appreciate it!
Extremely tired but I thought I should talk about Carnival to you a bit before going to bed. Just getting in tonight from the 8 day cruise which did go to Cozumel. We took the Jeep, Ruins, snorkelling tour which was a great bang for our buck and got to drive our own jeep! So Kewl! The guide took us out into the ocean where we saw a baracuda, stingray, moray eel, and a Parrot Fish, and sea turtles. Amongst many other beautiful fish. What a day! Docking at Cozumel was absolutely wonderful and no problem at all! We were also there with another boat. I believe it was the Valor (I was slightly intoxicated when I got back..... the Mexican gents who gave me shots of tequila didn't tell me that its way over canadian liquor content regulations (40%) People were all great there also. No problems shopping.
Onto the boat. If you cannot find food you like then there is something WRONG. Yes I admit when you eat in the dining room your food is served like the highest class 5 star restaurant (I had prawns for a starter and the presentation was like a palm tree) the Chateaubriand was to die for, and if your steak comes the way you didn't ask for, it will be whisked away and another one promptly brought for you. Also, you can ask for more food when still hungry. I personally have always found in eating at a typical restaurant like that style of dining, you don't leave full, you leave satisfied and almost BROKe because that dinner for you and your spouse just cost you 500 dollars! here, you can ask for more and more if you arent full. What Dale and I did was hit the Pizza bar at about 11pm or later for a snack. Try the Napolitana Pizza. TO DIE FOR if you like olives. Breakfast was a huge buffet (Thats where I ate and they had EVERYTHING) or you could go to the sit down restaurant and when I went there, I had Eggs Benedict and Baked Apples. A friend of mine had the smoked salmon on some sort of break. Dinners consisted of such entrees as Jumbo Shrimp, ChateauBriand, roast turkey, Grouper, shark, lobster etc. the Presentation was absolutely FABU! ok onto the entertainment. IT WAS GREAT! Of course we were in the party area most times being young (37 and 34) that was in the middle of the ship. We did venture back to the pool at the back of the ship and it was much quieter! Lots of bars to drink at, we would sip on a Baileys Irish Cream after dinner in a jazz lounge. Internet cafe was 50 for 100 minutes and 100 for 250 minutes. There were two days that offered happy hour there (Half price minutes) but you do have to give your receipt to the internet cafe manager and by the time you walk to your cabin, its posted onto your folio. the mandatory tipping was well worth it and we did tip our Stateroom Steward more money. They are in to your room twice a day for a full cleaning job. The waiters in the dining room remembered exactly what type of tea I like and brought it to me after dinner. I didn't have one rude waiter or person employeed with Carnival on the ship I was on. You also have to remember, maybe they are having a bad day too? It happens. People complained on my ship that the portraits were too expensive yet I reminded people when I heard that, these photographers are not charging sitting fees, and the pictures are truly professionally done. I paid 20 for an 8x10 and my church portraits were 40 a pic. Beer (Hubby drank Coors Light) 4 in a bucket for 13 plus a gratuity 1.23 my drinks (Drink of the day (6.95) but refills were only 5.99 not bad. Remember if you are a soda drinker that you can carry on a few cans of pop, or buy them at port when you go back. Bring your own wine if you so choose. Did I mention the beds? The most comfortable I've ever slept on. I did pull off the covers, and check all through the cracks where bedbugs can hide. I knew exactly what to look for and didn't find one thing wrong. Now, there were a few people ill on the ship but when you are drinking and filling your face with food all the time its absolutely possible that you've overate, and just aren't feeling well. The only complaint I had was when I got off the ship, it felt as though the earth was QUAKING!! I had my Sea Legs on. Its just tonight that the WAVE feeling has left me and I got off the ship yesterday morning. Debarking was a breeze though. We got our luggage off ourselves (Self Assist) I called it and it was a bit of a wait at the elevator, but not a big deal. Carnival rushes you on, everything is well done in my mind, and I'd recommend Carnival cruise lines to ANYONE! Oh yeah, I brought WAY too many clothes but it was my first carnival cruise as an adult and didn't know what to pack. Please remember there are laundry services on most floors and you an do your own laundry if you so choose. There is every style of music in the lounges, quiet areas to play games and a library to read if you so choose. Hmmm what else can I add before I go to bed...... Well thats about it for now. Go on your cruise, have a great time. Oh one more thing..... We were on the 8 day cruise. People said the longer the cruise the older the crowd gets. We are in our 30's and we hung out with people from their 20's up to the 80's the boat was pretty much a mix of kids (240 of them at Camp Carnival) and the rest 20's to late 80s. A great mix of people and EVERYONE was wonderful to meet and speak with. One woman who I had Breakie with on the last day was over 80 and she was in spirit younger than me. Wonderful woman. I truly cannot say one bad or even slightly negative thing about the Victory. By the way, prices were reasonable for shirts etc. Jewellery though was pricy. I purchased a pair of earrings for my mother in law in Ontario at a local jeweller which were 14 Karat gold for 50 canadian..... On the ship the EXACT same earrings were offered in the same box for 160 american with 50% off. BUT the duty free shop was cheappie! I came back to Canada with 8 bottle of liquor and here it would have cost me 300 on the ship it cost me 70 american. WHAT A GREAT DAY! my liquor cabinet is stocked for Christmas now! WOOHOO The waiting staff also knew my name after only 1 day and remembered everything about me for the rest of the cruise. Rooms service is also FREE! We ordered veggie platters and cheese platters before every meal in our room while sipping a pre dinner drink.
Go and have a great time and you be the judge. I personally can't figure out why people write bad reviews on Carnival.
Any more questions, please dont hesitate! And bring as much clothing as you want, luggage I stored under the bed and clothing all fit into the ample closet space!
First of all, despite making a serious comeback after the ban on DDT, bedbugs are still a rare occurance.
I have never encountered any insect problem on any cruise I have been on.
Also, I have never encountered a rude crew member on any cruise I have been on. Sure, I seemed to notice some that appeared to be tired and over-worked; but never rude. I can't say the same about the passengers, however.
By the way, for wise2u:
It was Bobby McFerrin who recorded the song "Don't Worry Be Happy".
Bobby Darrinwas a 50s crooner who performed the song "Beyond the Sea", which recently appeared in TV commercials for Carnival cruiselines. Also, the actor Kevin Spacey portrayed Bobby Darrin in a recent movie also titled "Beyond the Sea".