April 10, 2011
This was our fourth cruise with Carnival and it will unfortunately be our last. While the ship itself is wonderful, especially the flow between the public areas onboard, three specific issues presented a less wonderful cruise experience.
First, and most importantly, is that of smoking being permitted everywhere inside of the casino. Furthermore, for those passengers and children using Deck Two to reach or depart the forward theatre, or access the card room, travel through the poorly ventilated casino was mandatory.
Second, the newly introduced policy of punishing a passenger who purchased alcohol while ashore, and also arranged to have it delivered to the ship. Under the new policy, the passenger is now required to report to a specially designated area onboard the ship to reclaim their purchase at 8:30am on morning of departure. However, had we purchased the alcohol onboard in the shops, Carnival would have delivered the purchase to our room the last night and it could have been put inside our checked luggage before we put it ouside the cabin. In our situation, this change was particularly frustrating since we had to reclaim our luggage on the dock, and then hastily and in full public view of security and customs officials, repack the 'liquids' in our checked luggage in order to board our flight home.
Third, and perhaps a minor issue to other passengers, is that of the table settings at dinner. I have sailed over twenty-five times and never has it been necessary to use the same cutlery for each of the different food courses delivered to our table. In our situation, whenever any member of my party of six left used cutlery in the respective dish being removed, the table staff would first ask the individual to place the dirty cutlery back on the table.
While I understand the cruise industry is hurting given the recent downturn in the economy, it is by way of the foregoing three examples that I am relieved to know that I can still choose to seek out other cruise lines who can, and apparently will, cater to my personal needs.