Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Carnival, You're Running a Circus

Has it been a month since i posted anything? WOW. Heres the deal, I got separated from lovely and have been seeing someone else and have been working and blah blah blah...sue me. I really didn't have much to say until I went on a cruise recently. Some time back I wrote a post or two called "Grind My Gears" based loosely on a Family Guy episode that I thought was pretty damn funny. The thing is this was going to be a "Grind My Gears" post as well but I felt the seriousness of the gear grinding warranted a more direct approach.

My cruise with Carnival was how shall we say, less than perfect. Prior to cruising on the Fun Ship I had been exposed to cruising with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Carribbean Cruise Lines so the bar was set pretty high.

I believe there are 2 sides to almost every story so I will begin with the good stuff...
Number 1...The ports of call were really nice. (Montego Bay Jamaica, Grand Cayman C.I., and Cozumel Mexico)
Number 2...My stateroom steward was the SHIZ!! Lovin ya Tio!
Number 3...Ariel in the dining room you really went above and beyond!

Now that those 3 things are out of the way lets get down to the crappy stuff.
Number 1, the food...Really a cruise is supposed to be about eating way too much rich food and basically making a complete pig of onesself right? 7 days 7 pounds is the generally accepted weight gain for a trip. OK did the website mention that between the hours of like 3pm to 6pm that the only food available is pizza(unimaginably greasy), Hamburgers hotdogs or chicken strips (am I on a cruise or at a county fair?), or a deli sammich (really? I have lunch meat at home.)? No the website didnt mention that little tidbit and it was an unpleasant surprise.

Number 2, service...OK The 2 persons mentioned above are not included in this section of my review. YOU ALL SUCK! There are about 2000 people to serve food and drinks to on a cruise ship, thats a lot but didnt they tell you that when you hired on? A smile or a friendly excuse me would have likely killed the service staff on this trip. Angry, bitter servers, pissed off bartenders (when you could get them to take your order at all) and grumpy ass cleaning persons do not make me feel like coming back with a huge pile of money next vacation.

Number 3, revenue...I realize that cruise lines need to make money to survive in todays world. I went on the trip expecting to get ass raped every time i pulled out my sign and sail card...but HELLOOOOO Everything shouldnt be about fleecing the guests, its irritating. We did pony up some money to be here.

Number 4, photographers...I get it, photos are a money maker for a cruise line. People want to take the memories home and rub their friends noses in it but I think I counted 22 different photographers on the ship. Each one acting like a fool trying to take a photo that you just had taken 3 feet away. Different background screens yes, but all the same poses. It was like running the gauntlet to get through them all. Hey, NO MEANS NO!

Number 5, entertainment...The magician was OK, the comedians were funny, and thats all I have to say about that. World class? no. (I saw the acrobats from China perform on a different cruise...thats world class entertainment)

I dont want you all to think that I am one of those people who is never satisfied and just loves to bitch about stuff, it really was a dissappointment. I think maybe the persons in charge of training the crews mentioned above should go on a trip with a different cruise line and see how the guests like to be treated. Go enjoy the trip, take notes, and bring back something worthwhile to teach the next bunch of servers and bartenders and photographers, etc... I thought perhaps I was being too picky so I asked around to see if anyone else shared my views of Carnival...guess what, I wasnt alone, not by a long shot!

The trip was fun, I got to spend time with a lovely young lady, we did some fun things in port and got hammered at least once. (yep Mexico) So I don't count the trip as a complete waste of time and money. Thanks for listening to me whine...

Back to you Tom!