April 26, 2003
This was my 8th cruise -- my first on Carnival and my last. I've always believed you get what you pay for and I'm sorry I didn't spend just a little more for a better quality cruise line.
The ship was very beautiful, albeit dark, done in an Italian Renaissance decor. Lots of art on the walls, dim lights, carved staircases. The pink glow from the glass 'tail' of the red smoke stack created an interesting view in the main atrium.
Our cabin was spacious with more storage space and a much larger bathroom than we've had on previous cruises. I would have much preferred a cabin with a balcony, but they were sold out because I booked within 10 days of sailing. So much for last minute deals...
The food was ok, nothing spectacular. I couldn't get ground pepper for my salad. Seems they don't have pepper mills on the ship except in David's, the alternative restaurant. Also, I was not able to get an English muffin for breakfast. They don't have those either. Room service was a disaster. I used it once each day and never was the order correct or on time.
Chairs around the pool were at a premium. Although you were asked not to 'save' chairs, people did and sometimes you never saw them. There was also a problem with people moving other peoples personal items to the floor so they could use the chair. I also witnessed not less than a dozen people take a serious fall around the pool area. They were walking, not running and would slip on water that had been splashed or dripped from drinks. The pool attendant made no attempt to ask people with glass bottles to remove them from the area. Another hazard left ignored.
If you are allergic to smoke, this is not the cruise line for you. We could find only one non-smoking area in all of the lounges on the ship! When we asked the pursor about it, he said we were welcome to go on the Carnival Paradise, the Smoke Free ship! I asked him to enforce the No Smoking policy in the lounges and he said it wasn't his job and I was left to believe that I should just deal with it. I even got into a confrontation with a passenger who insisted on smoking in the small area in the atrium reserved for non-smokers (4 tables). She thanked me for ruining her cruise. Excuse me, but she ruined mine.
My view is you get what you pay for. This line seems to draw lots of folks who are of the Las Vegas type -- love to smoke and drink in excess. Frankly, it's not for me. For a few hundred dollars more, Princess cruises is a far better experience. They treat their clients with respect, have great food, and have designated areas for smokers that they enforce.