Sail Date: 10/25/12
Cruise - We like many other guests on this ship were very disappointed in this expensive cruise. Two of the ports that were our top two (Venice for two days and Monaco for one day) were cancelled. We received only port fees back & were told we had a "fun day" at sea instead. Believe me they were not "fun days" at sea because the weather was not sunny and warm so we could be on deck enjoying the sun. Instead we had to spend our time inside the ship up with about 5000 other crew & guests. Needles to say we both got upper respiratory infections and returned home sick.
Excursions - I booked the Carnival excursion "private train to Rome" because I thought that it would get us there faster than a bus or regular train transportation since Rome was at least one hour away from port.. Again, I was wrong. Our friends who took the regular train beat us to Rome and spent far less money that we did. The private train had to wait until all the passengers from various cruise lines were boarded so we ended up waiting a long time before we got started and then had to wait 45 miinutes past the time we were told to be back before we headed back to the ship. I paid almost $200.00 for this ride for two of us. Also we bought a bus pass so we could get to the sites we wanted to visit since we only had 6 hours to see Rome. It is alot cheaper to buddy up with others and get a cab and do excursions together. We met some very nice people that way.
Entertainment & Activities - Were not varied enough for the age groups on board. I don't play Trivia, Bingo or Gamble so I took alot of naps during the sea days. I would have liked to had more activities for middle aged people who are active and like to have fun. The dancers could have offered dance lessons, insturments for the guests to play such as guitars, and more movies. The one time we heard an announcement about Johnny Cash music we went to the Ovation Theater and they were playing a movie of him singing. It was a good diversion but after about 15 minutes they cut it off mid-song. That was one more disappointment. Also we noticed that it did not seem like the staff new how to operate equipment during some of the activities. The Halloween party was fun. My husband went to the hot tub one evening & it was not hot.
Food - I agree with the comments about the eggs & the lobsters were not that good & were small. Other food was very good and we liked the wide variety of foods to choose from. Guy's hamburgers were the best!
Ship - I liked the layout of the ship. I have been on several Carnival ships so it seemed like they made some improvements. Computers were everywhere but I heard the internet connection was slow.
Staff - Overall I liked the staff and thought they were friendly. One bar was not friendly so we did not vist it after a couple times of not getting the service we expected.
Ports - Florence/Pisa it rained alll day & in Rome it rained on & off. Dubrovnik. Messina and Naples were good travel days. Not the best time of year to visit this area.
Needless to say we were disappointed in the service recovery that we thought the guests should receive. I even called to see if they were offering any service recovery and was told only the port fees. This trip did not meet my expectations. This was a very expensive disapointment for all of the guests. Everyone we talked to had air fare plus cruise costs for this trip. I learned a very important lesson with this experience. I will always fly directly to my destination so that I will be sure I get there.