I used to be a Carnival loyalist but I can definitely attest to everything CruiseMstr has said about this cruise- I was there. When we first got to the port, we were herded into a small room with only a couple of agents that were processing passengers. After a fairly long wait, we were led into the larger room where we stood in an even longer line- apparently a couple of the agents had gone on lunch, some of the computers were down and other agents were helping new employees who were obviously in training. When we finally got to the counter, the agent's system was down and she had to process us manually.
That wasn't the biggest problem... Carnival's food services initially earned high points from me when I sailed on Imagination 2 years ago, but apparently something has gone wrong. I love beef as much as any other red-blooded carniverous American, but dag...that poor cow was reconstituted every night in some manner or the other. I was pleased to see the Stir fry station, but even the noodle bowls were bland-tasting. I pretty much resolved myself after a couple of days to the burgers served on Lido deck ( I hate pizza, so that wasn't an option) and The Rotisserie(passable at best). Basically, the food served in Splendido was run-of-the-mill Golden Corral redux. I will give high marks to the chocolate chip cookies-they were great! The dinners I had in Golden Pearl were presented creatively enough to make even Emerill or Tyler Florence proud, but were basically bland and uninspired. As I've stated in another post, Thanksgiving dinner was by far the most horrid meal I've ever eaten-. Pressed turkey, an overly-sweet stuffing made almost inedible by the overpowering mango mixed in, and a spoonful of watery mashed potatoes that was all but destroyed by the thin, watery gravy that dominated the plate. Despite all of this, I will definitely give kudos to my server, a very sweet and attentive lady named Ivana-she was excellent!
The unruly teenagers were definitely another low-point of the trip. Trivia games and quiet conversations were interrupted by 13-16 year-olds running pell mell through the thoroughfares, almost knocking over elderly people without even an apology. They played stupid games like "let's hold up the elevator"-causing annoyance to myself and other cruisers that I spoke with (complaints were filed to Carnival officials-but nothing was done about the unruly behavior). The teen club occupied them for most of the time, but they couldn't hold them in all the time, regrettably...I really wish my children would act like that in public-they would be grounded for life.
I enjoyed 2 of the 5 destinations. I wish we could've gotten to Puerto Rico earlier-by the time we disembarked, it was nightfall and a lot of the shops were closed, and the other sites were not as remarkable in the rain and dark of night. St. Thomas was wonderful, but they definitely could have left off boring La Romana and Turks/Caicos. I've always enjoyed Nassau.
All and all, it was what it was. I can't say I was sad to head back home because after 8 days of bad food, crazy teenagers, and general boredom (only so many games of trivia and "ships on a stick" you can win), I was ready to see Georgia again.
Highlights- The shows were pretty great- especially The Legends show on the last night. The chocolate chip cookies and apple pie, Ivana's attentiveness, Nassau, St. Thomas
Lowlights-Basically everything else...