Carnival Cruise Line — live and learn
After having an amazing cruise on Royal Caribbean one year, my family (husband, 2 kids, parents & brother) decided to try out the other cruise lines out there...
like Carnival. Maybe we were spoiled on Royal Caribbean or maybe Carnival "Fun Ship" Cruises just take no pride in quality of service. Before we even got on board the Victory, we were handed a change of itinerary stating that we would not be going to Nova Scotia Canada as intended, but instead, St John's New Brunswick. Ok, no problem seeing as there was a slight tropical storm in the way and we'd never been to St John's Canada anyway.
First off, let me just say that as we boarded the ship, it just seemed so unrefined. The interior was decorated in such a tacky way, it reminded me of a gambling resort type, not so much Las Vegas, but maybe Atlantic City. Right off hand, you can smell the cigarette smoke, that eminated throughout the entire ship. It was disgusting to say the least.
That night we were looking forward to dining and having a good meal. Yet, another disappointment. The food was horrible and cold. My husband had ordered the NY strip steak with potatoes and green beans, what came on the plate was basically a rubber steak with a side of fat and grizzle. My chowder was warm at the top but ice cold towards the bottom. The chicken satay appetizer was so dry and tasteless. They tend to concentrate more on quantity rather than quality.
The next morning, we had a full day at sea, the ship was moving at such a slow pace like 15 knotts, that most of the passengers on board, including my mom got terribly seasick. Everyone rushed to the doctor on board for those drammamine pills. We didn't understand how a ship this size created so much rocking, people were swaying from side to side, it was aweful.
Not once did we feel any kind of swaying on our Royal Caribbean Cruise.
We thought that there would be at least something to do on the Victory besides drinking at the bars (there were several by the way), we tried to go play ping pong, but there was only ONE table that was placed in an enclosed area by the stairwell the size of my closet!! Of course there was a line of people waiting to play so we checked that off our list. Next, we headed to the arcade or should I say "money eating machine". Almost every games we tried to play with the exception of the surfing and the car racing games were broken. It cost $1 to play each game and once you put your tokens in, they don't start up and you don't get your money back. Carnival Cruise Ship attendants don't bother to put an "out of order" sign. What to do next? We opted to work out at the gym for a while, of course, why did we even bother? Their freestyle weights were either too light like 7 lbs or too heavy like 25-30 lbs. There was nothing in between. Their running track was mediocre as well. Their pool slide was closed half of the time and when they did decide to open it, the water was icy cold. The jacuzzis would have been nice if only they enforced the "no children" rule. It was crawling with kids under 12, even at the "adults only" jacuzzis. Some kids were even eating in the jacuzzis and that was just plain nasty, but no one did anything. Even late at night, there were still kids in the jacuzzis and we had to wonder, where are their parents?? Getting drunk of course! Afterall, Carnival Victory is basically a "Floating Bar" designed specifically for people who just want to drink, get drunk, leave their kids unattended to do whatever they please even if it means upsetting the other passengers, and for people who are too wasted to even know what the food should taste like. I think that's why the food is so aweful, most of the people are just too drunk to realize it tasted like crap. For instance, on our last night, we ordered pork chops and out came this pork chop with some green juice oozing and bubbling out ( I kid you not). We were appalled and afraid to eat it. The food by the 4th day was still cold and we really dreaded dinner time. We opted for pizza and burgers instead. Luckily the only thing this ship had going for them was the 24hr pizzas and the late night burgers and fries. Their 24hr soft serve ice cream was the only treat worth having, as the desserts they served during their dinners tasted like cardboard. We were really hoping the dinners and meals would be gourmet and just tantalize our taste buds, but it was far from that and it just left us with a bad taste in our mouths. It's pretty sad when pizza is the only thing worth looking forward to, and I am not a big pizza fan.
The service was also mediocre, the room attendants and waiters looked like they hated their jobs and wanted to jump ship. Our room attendant did however, do an ok job in tidying our rooms and placing extra towels etc., but he didn't go that extra mile with the towel animals every evening. He made us one freaky towel animal that didn't look like anything we've seen, more like a towel mutant which scared the kids. Maybe that was his intention, who knows. Our waiter forgot our salads one night and the asst waiter totally ignored us and forgot to serve us any bread, as he just stood there chatting away and laughing with the other waiters. Karma works in mysterious ways as that asst waiter tripped while the ship still swayed from side to side.
This was truly a disappointing cruise ship experience. We will never step foot aboard a Carnival "Fun Ship" ever again. Our travel agent was so right when she said that if you want a family friendly, adventure-type cruise choose Royal Caribbean or Norwegian, but if you want to just party and get intoxicated, choose Carnival. We should have listened, but we live and learn.
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