Carnival Cruise Lines — carnival cruise experience
We just returned from our Carnival Ecstasy cruise this morning. This cruise was 10 days in duration embarking from Charleston on November 5th and returning on November 15, 2017.
The onboard staff to a person was very personable and always upbeat. Sad to report this was the only positive I can list.
The food was not good. At best it was comparable to Golden Corral in quality and variety. Our second night we went to the formal dining room expecting a good experience. That was not to be. I ordered Chicken Marsala. When it arrived my plate contained two chicken legs that were the size of pigeon legs. I literally had 5 bits of meat from the dish. We never went back to the dining room for the remainder of the cruise.
The atmosphere on board was highly annoying. Everywhere we went the volume of music / PA system was extremely loud - it drove us back to our room to seek some quiet. PA announcement were extremely hard to understand due to the volume. In addition, the Captain was from a foreign country and spoke very, very poor English so no one understood any of his announcements.
Speaking of being in our room - on the second day out to sea at around 3pm we were driven out of our room by the most obnoxious noise coming from the area just below our room where they were using a vibrating metal chisel. We thought maybe it was very temporary but after an hour I had to go to guest services to get someone to investigate. The Guest Services Manager returned to report that - yes the noise was very loud in our room - however he went on to say that "the ship has ongoing maintenance that must be done because the ship is constantly in service"! They were removing floor tile in the area below our room. Morning showers before 8am required you to enjoy only cold water!
Entertainment options were all pretty much stilted toward the elderly - bingo, trivial pursuit, guess the song / artist (mostly 50's music), gambling and there were a few movies offered that were at least 2 to 3 years old.
The voyage / itinerary - as you know due to the hurricane impact on the island we were slated to visit was completely replaced. This forced us to spend three days straight at sea before our first stop in Aruba. We were there for approximately 10 hours. The next day we were in Bonaire for approximately 8 hours. Next we spent another full day at sea in transit to Grand Turk (scheduled to be a brief 6 hour visit). Upon approaching Grand Turk we were told they were not going into port and so we continued sailing for another day to get to Princess Cay. The ship anchored off shore and people were tendered to shore. It was a poor day weather wise with continuos intermittent heavy showers and with very little shelter there we opted to stay onboard. Leaving Princess Cay was another full day at sea. So...adding it all up we spent 7 days at sea and only an opportunity for 27 1/2 hours onshore.
I can only qualify this 10 day voyage as a disaster. This was the prevalent opinion of a great number of the people onboard - many being long time cruisers.
Half way into the cruise we had reached the point of wanting to be back at home and had to suffer through the remainder of the cruise. We will never ever step foot on another Carnival ship again. I have sailed Disney and the difference is just immense!
We are now cautioning anyone interested in Carnival cruises to weigh heavily registering to sail on this ship operating out of Charleston.
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