Carnival Cruise Family Vacation

cruiseMy family and I just recently went on a vacation. We took a cruise. We have been on 7 cruises total. 1/2 on Royal Caribbean and the other 1/2 on Carnival. We love cruises. Not sure I needed to say that but we do. We have been on all types: Party cruises…..family cruises….relaxation cruises and sight-seeing cruises.
My kids love the water. We have taken them on small boats and they have both swam in the ocean. So we knew they could handle it. And recently my neice came to live with us…so we were bringing her along. We thought….not only would it be rude to leave her at home but it would be a good experience for her. So we brought her along.
Now to tell you about my cruise….it all started off ok. Not great. Not bad. We make our flight. The kids even behaved on he flight. I have to say my kids are usually pretty good in flights so that was not surprising. So we finally got to Miami and we got to our hotel. We walk in and the bed was jostled and a mess. We call down to the front desk…”apparently goldilocks has been here, so we need a new room.” The give us the room right below the one we were just in….and we look out the window…and there is a homeless man who has his home set up right outside the window. He waves to my neice. She waves back and then he proceeds to start peeing in the wall. Nice! Real nice!!
The next morning we wake up and take the kids to Miami Beach. We only had about an hour to see the water mainly because we all woke up late and we wanted to show the kids Miami Beach. They’ve seen California beaches and Hawaii beaches so I wanted them to see a different type of beach. It wasn’t much to see. A beach is a beach I guess.
Finally it’s time to go to the ship… We get there and we are able to go right up. We eat, see the sights, it’s not too bad. Now I have to say my complaints about the crews are in no way related to it being a family trip or not having fun with my family. Because on the contrary, I had a lot of fun hanging out with my family. I was able to show my kids another country. I was able to show my niece what a spring break would look like (if she didn’t have family with her). So hanging out with my family was great. Our excursions were great. I love seeing the other countries. We’ve been to Jamaica tons of times, so that was nothing new for us. It was pretty cool to see the dolphins and let my kids have that experience. The turtle farm is pretty cool too. But again that was for my family. If we didn’t have any kids there we would’ve probably snorkeled a lot more and did some diving. But for me…my complaints are about the cruise itself.
My husband and I have been on seven cruises total. Four on Royal Caribbean and three on Carnival. I hate to say this… But two out of the three carnival cruises have been bad. I won’t talk about my past cruises. I’ll just go into the worst part of this one.
The food was crap. It was blah. There was no flavor. And the plates were basically empty. They would give you a scrap piece of steak and a veggie right underneath it. If you wanted aside you had to order it separately and it would come on a whole other plate. And the pizza. Don’t get me started on the pizza. The only people who could eat it…where the drunk people or the kids…and even the kids thought it was gross. And there was also no food selection. The menus were small. And in the buffet only certain areas were open during certain times. The area that would be open would be a small area, so the line was around the corner so you really don’t want to stand in line….therefore you don’t eat.
The service in the restaurant was bad too. Out of all six days…we had one good server. See the picture I posted…

bad food

This was our dinner table every night. There would be empty glasses everywhere, dirty plates everywhere, and the servers only came around once in a while. They never wants clean up our tables. And this is definitely not a smart idea when their kids at the table. Needless to say, there were cups clinking and silverware being thrown everywhere. And they wouldn’t have had to worry about that if they would’ve cleaned up the table like they should have in the first place. Oh and did I mention we had to get our own booze! We would be sitting at the dinner table and the drink person would never come around. We would have to walk outside of the restaurant to the bar… Get our drinks… And carry them all back to the restaurant so we can have a drink while we eat.

And as for the kid factor… We thought we chose a cruise line that was made for kids. There were kids clubs and water slides. we thought we chose right one. Well we didn’t. My son would ride to the water slide all day…then the last hour or so….when there were more adults in line….he was told that he is too short to ride it. WHAT!!! When he was in the kids club they would take him to eat lunch but they wouldn’t give him a variety of foods. My son is a picky eater. So he ended up being hungry because they offered him stuff that he would never eat. The kids club hours for under two years old is ridiculous. They only take under two years old from 10 PM to 1 AM so you can go out have a good time. It sounds nice. Until you realize they have no beds or cots….so you’re one-year-old is running around wide-awake at one in the morning. Not cool!!
And when it came time to take our excursions… The customer service was terrible. Usually they will have you wait in the theater and they take you all at the same time down to the dock. Our first excursion, they had nowhere to put us in the theater. We are off in the corner by ourselves and we almost got left. They didn’t know what to do with us. Then our first time we asked if they were going to sell us bottles of water right before we exited the ship and they said yes. We start exiting with the whole group of excursion people and water was nowhere to be found. We looked over and the only people getting water where the people debarking on their own. The second excursion came around and we got to the theater and there’s only one person that worked there that was there to help everyone. The place was unorganized. There was no one there to answer questions. There was no one there to help you. People were being left at the dock. Tons of people complaining about their excursions leaving them. It was a mess. The third excursion came around and there was no meeting place scheduled… You just had to go to the dock yourself. Our excursion ended up believing 45 minutes late because they were waiting on people to come off of the cruise. Again… Because of being unorganized.
There was dancing on the Lido deck (basically the pool deck)…and they would wash the deck with water right before people were going to dance. The floor was slippery. They were how wet signs. If there was slick would. Nothing to catch you if you fell. I was always worried when my kids would go up and down the stairs.

Then to top it all off… they made formal night on a port night. Who does that?!?!? Oh that’s right….Carnival does. They did formal night on a day that everyone is beat from being out in the sun all day. Everyone is passed out in their rooms. Skipping dinner. Or going to the buffet so they can go back to their rooms. Even the club was empty that night. Everyone feels lazy…and they want us to dress up. What!

Then….We get off the plane to come home… And my son has the flu. Who knows when he caught that bug?!?!?!

It was nice hanging out with my family… But I doubt I will take a carnival cruise again….family or not.

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