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Old December 12th, 2013, 02:55 AM
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Default Carnival Cruise line - how are they?

Carnival Cruise line - how are they?
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Old December 12th, 2013, 07:01 AM
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Hi Adeliay,

Welcome to Cruise Mates. We have enjoyed our five Carnival cruises. The experience you have will be colored by your expectations. Carnival cruises are amongst the least expensive on the seas. As a result they don't offer the level of service that some other lines do. If you are used to vacationing at five-star resorts you might not enjoy it.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 06:26 PM
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I love Carnival. Love the ships and the crowd is fun. Part of the fun is to get involved with all of the activities. I've only been on Carnival and Princess cruise lines. My wife and I preferred Carnival, mostly because of the food and the relaxed atmosphere.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:13 PM
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I love Carnival, but it really depends on what you are looking for. Have you cruised before?
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Old December 13th, 2013, 01:10 AM
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Carnival Cruise Line has had the highest guest satisfaction ratings in the entire cruise industry (rated by guests and TAs) for the past consecutive 21 years.
But then, Wal-Mart has the highest ratings in the retail business.

Both of these companies do not promise to be the best.
Both promise that they are cheap and you will enjoy what you get.

While many cruise lines over-promise and under-deliver, Carnival is exactly the opposite. They under-promise and over-deliver.
Many Carnival passengers believe that they received more than they paid for.

So if you are a Chevrolet type of person with a Beer budget, you will most likely have a great time on a Carnival Cruise.
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Old December 14th, 2013, 10:40 PM
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Just off Liberty and had a great time.....great ship and crew!
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Old December 15th, 2013, 09:45 PM
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We've been on 47 cruises on 11 cruise lines and just got off the Carnival Glory today. I'm here to tell you this cruise ranks #47 on our list - it was definitely disappointing and the food was not good at all.

We've cruised on Carnival several times and have always had a very nice experience, but this was was extremely disappointing and none of us enjoyed it.

It really does depend on the ship and when you go. We've been on the same ship 3 times and have gotten 3 different experiences, so what you get one time is not necessarily what you'll get another time. And what one person loves, another will hate, so just because one person had a great experience or a negative experience does not mean you'll have the same experience.

Just choose what you think is right for you and enjoy the experience.

Pete
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Old December 15th, 2013, 09:56 PM
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Pete sorry to hear the cruise was a bust. Hope your grandson had a little fun.
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Old December 16th, 2013, 06:11 PM
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Well, he's only 4 (will be 5 in January), so he had a great time! He especially liked the fact he could have ice cream whenever he wanted!! But when you ask him, he'll tell you he loved everything about the cruise.

We did find it interesting that they did not have the usual customer survey in our cabin the last day of the cruise for guests to fill out.

But I did have a very long conversation with the ass't Matre'd who was reporting feedback on the new dining 'concept' to a couple of the VP's that were on the cruise. But all of the past guests we talked to did not have anything good to say about the food.

For example, one night they served prime rib for dinner and on another night they served a ribeye steak; both were only about 1/4" thick, well done, and dry. Did not resemble any prime rib or ribeye steak I've ever had on any cruise or in any restaurant. It tasted like they had been frozen for about 6 months and had absolutely no flavor whatsoever.

Pete
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Old December 16th, 2013, 11:00 PM
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Well, he's only 4 (will be 5 in January), so he had a great time! He especially liked the fact he could have ice cream whenever he wanted!! But when you ask him, he'll tell you he loved everything about the cruise.

We did find it interesting that they did not have the usual customer survey in our cabin the last day of the cruise for guests to fill out.

But I did have a very long conversation with the ass't Matre'd who was reporting feedback on the new dining 'concept' to a couple of the VP's that were on the cruise. But all of the past guests we talked to did not have anything good to say about the food.

For example, one night they served prime rib for dinner and on another night they served a ribeye steak; both were only about 1/4" thick, well done, and dry. Did not resemble any prime rib or ribeye steak I've ever had on any cruise or in any restaurant. It tasted like they had been frozen for about 6 months and had absolutely no flavor whatsoever.

Pete
I'm thinking you have not been on a Carnival cruise in years. Years ago they stopped with the paper surveys and switched to email surveys of a random sample.

How did you order your steak? Did you send it back?

Sorry you did not have a good experience, but never in over 40 Carnival cruises for me, and over 50 for GF have we had anything resembling your experience except for one time in Europe, and GF kept sending her Chateaubriand back until the maitre d' finally stepped in and cooked one as she ordered. This was back when Carnival still had a Grand Gala Buffet.

I am looking forward to trying the new menus.
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Old December 16th, 2013, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zydecocruiser View Post
I'm thinking you have not been on a Carnival cruise in years. Years ago they stopped with the paper surveys and switched to email surveys of a random sample.

How did you order your steak? Did you send it back?

Sorry you did not have a good experience, but never in over 40 Carnival cruises for me, and over 50 for GF have we had anything resembling your experience except for one time in Europe, and GF kept sending her Chateaubriand back until the maitre d' finally stepped in and cooked one as she ordered. This was back when Carnival still had a Grand Gala Buffet.

I am looking forward to trying the new menus.
Zyd...I'd say you have been very lucky. I've not sailed Carnival as often as you, but have a fair bit. Generally I've found their food quite good, but I've also experienced some "stinker" meals.

Pete may not have sailed Carnival for awhile, but he is certainly an experienced enough cruiser to offer his opinions based on his experiences.

It is certainly not beyond the realm to believe that with the new system and menus just put in place, and only on this ship, that they simply screwed it up!

You say you look forward to trying the new menus, and when you do you'll hopefully report your experiences.

But, to attempt to negate Pete's view until you do, is perhaps a bit presumptuous.

You are both experienced cruisers. It's very possible you each have different standards as to what makes you happy.

I've never sailed the Glory, so no personal experiences at all, even before this latest menu switch. But, after 35 years in the bar and restaurant business, I have seen lots of stumbling on land and at sea when new menus and systems are introduced. In fact it's rare when it doesn't.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 10:49 AM
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I think we both know that two people can be on the same cruise and have completely different experiences.

Yes, I have had a clunker dish now and then but like you, in my experience, never was the food in general bad. And if I want more of something, I order more, or if something is a clunker, I send it back and get something different.

In another thread started by Aerogirl she stated the cruise was the best ever and Pete replied that it was the worst ever. That is probably how each feels, but obviously can lead to confusion by readers. How can it be both they might ask?

Oh yeah, apologies to Pete.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 03:36 PM
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Like I said as soon as I'm up to it I'll go into detail about what made my cruise so great, quickly .......
Food was pretty good for the most part something's not so good, service was excellent across the board. Some of the shows were not good but the comedians were very good. Panio bar rocked....loved loved the ALCHEMY BAR! Diamond Steakhouse = Outback chain.

I think the way I view a cruise is much different than Peter due to his profession.

The people we meet and hung out with was the cherry on top for us, great group of people. Great cruise.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 09:22 PM
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Aero girl and Pete were also on different ships; one the Liberty ( still the old menus), Pete on the Glory.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
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Aero girl and Pete were also on different ships; one the Liberty ( still the old menus), Pete on the Glory.
Correct Kuki.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 10:42 PM
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Aero girl and Pete were also on different ships; one the Liberty ( still the old menus), Pete on the Glory.
My bad and continued apologies. She should have waited till next month! I believe that is when Liberty transitions.

Anyway, the new menus are only on one ship (for now), so the mega-majority of Carnival ships still have the standard menus and I can certainly speak to that. Roll out to the rest of the fleet is not supposed to be completed until sometime 2015. Meanwhile, at least one menu on Carnival Glory has already been tweaked (per John Heald). I expect it is not the last change. But enough of the new menus (for now - until I have an opportunity to try them). Keep in mind that they are currently only on one ship and are evolving.

I reiterate that Pete is entitled to his opinion, however, I do believe that the OP was asking about Carnival, the Cruise Line, in general. But getting back to the OP's question about how is Carnival Cruise Line - and I did specifically ask, in this thread, prior to any of this:
December 13th, 2013 04:13 AM zydecocruiser I love Carnival, but it really depends on what you are looking for. Have you cruised before?

Within the past year on 4 different Carnival ships (6 cruises) I have enjoyed the prime rib numerous times and on a couple of them, a ribeye, also. All in the MDR. The steakhouse (if available) serves prime beef (don't believe that is common on Royal or NCL) and IMO, is excellent. My GF agrees and she was raised on a beef cattle ranch.

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Old December 18th, 2013, 12:58 AM
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Your pictures look like prime rib I've had on most cruises. Here's a picture of the prime rib I got on the Glory. As you can see, it does not even resemble prime rib, did not taste like prime rib, was about 1/4" thick, was tough, and served lukewarm! And yes, I did send it back and got the same thing in return. Not only was the food extremely disappointing, but our waiter and assistant waiter were terrible. As I said, out of 47 cruises on 11 cruise lines, this ranks #47 on our list - it was that bad.

And by the way, I've been on several Carnival cruises and the food has never been great, but it's always been pretty good. I can't say the same about this cruise on this ship. It was overall very disappointing and all 3 of us, who are seasoned cruises, had the exact same feeling about it even when we ordered different items.

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Old December 18th, 2013, 01:03 AM
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Your pictures look like prime rib I've had on most cruises. Here's a picture of the prime rib I got on the Glory. As you can see, it does not even resemble prime rib, did not taste like prime rib, was about 1/4" thick, was tough, and served lukewarm! And yes, I did send it back and got the same thing in return. Not only was the food extremely disappointing, but our waiter and assistant waiter were terrible. As I said, out of 47 cruises on 11 cruise lines, this ranks #47 on our list - it was that bad.
I concur, based on your picture, but maintain it is not typical, even for Carnival.

added - that does look like one sorry piece of meat.

added added - it does look like they may have trimmed almost all the fat (flavor) away? Could that be part of the issue?
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Old December 18th, 2013, 01:37 AM
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I had prime rib one night (or what they called prime rib), then a ribeye one night, and a NY strip another night. None of them were any good at all - they had no flavor whatsoever. Of the three, the NY was the only one that was thicker than 1/4" - it was actually not quite 1/2", and it was the only one that actually had just a touch of pink in the middle. But it tasted like it had been frozen for about 6 months and had absolutely no flavor at all.

I love a good steak and I prefer it medium. The NY strip I had in the Emerald Steakhouse was outstanding - done to perfection, was a good 1" thick, and 18 ounces. Nancy had the surf and turf, which consisted of a 6 ounce filet mignon and a 10 ounce lobster. Both were cooked perfectly and tasted wonderfully. If we could have afforded it, we would have eaten there every night! But at $35 per person, it was a bit more than most specialty restaurants.

We were called two days before our reservation in the steakhouse and reminded about reservation, they also reminded us about the dress, which was 'cruise elegant'. So Nancy wore an nice outfit and I wore a blue blazer, which we felt appropriate for a more upscale dinner in a nice restaurant. Imagine how funny it was when the guy at the table behind us was dressed in jeans, sneakers, a t-shirt, and wearing a baseball cap throughout the entire meal!

We showed up for formal night in the dining room and the guy arriving in front of us was wearing shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt!! Seriously??

Haven't been on Carnival in two years, but we couldn't believe how they have diminished in quality - at least on this ship.

Pete
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Old December 18th, 2013, 09:55 AM
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Pete that looks goss and I would of sent it right back. I ordered it one night and it looked nothing like that, I dont get the gravy they put on it either. As far as taste went I thought it was only ok kind of on the bland side.
The one thing that was really good was the short ribs...yummy!

Looks as if at least half the people on our roll call have the same virus as me. Just starting to be able to move today but sill feel like crap.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Nancy had the short ribs one night and said they didn't have alot of flavor either, especially the sauce.

We've just never encountered anything like this before on Carnival, which is why we were so disappointed. But we sent stuff back on a regular basis as often it was lukewarm. Nancy got steamed broccoli one night and it was actually cold!

It is funny how different people have different experiences and different opinions about the same food. One example; the very first day at lunch in the buffet, Nancy saw a lady taking about 2 dozen cookies on a plate. The lady told Nancy this would be the only time these peanut butter cookies would be offered during the cruise and they were outstanding. Knowing how much I love peanut butter anything, Nancy came over and told me about them, so naturally I had to give them a try. I took a bite expecting a wonderful peanut butter taste and much to my surprise all it was was a sugar cookie that had absolutely no peanut butter flavor at all. Nancy and Kate both took a taste and said the same thing. And yet this lady said they were outstanding? Is she kidding me??

Another time at breakfast in the main dining room, all three of us ordered the same thing that included 2 eggs. We all ordered them over easy. Both of theirs came out cooked correctly whereas mine came out cooked over hard. In this case, two people would say the food was good and cooked properly, whereas the third person would say the food was not good and not cooked properly. I would say while the food lacked flavor, the quality was lacking because the preparation was not consistent.

Then again, I never judge food on a cruise ship by the breakfast because there's only been a few occasions where they know how to prepare a good breakfast.

In this case, I will make an exception and say the quality was definitely lacking. For example; in the breakfast buffet, all of the toast, English muffins, and bagels were already toasted and stacked waiting for the guest. Problem is, it was always cold! When asked, they wouldn't even toast something for me so I could get it hot.

I know I'm sounding all negative, but quite frankly, there was only a few items in the main dining room or in the buffet during the entire cruise that we felt was acceptable or good and nothing that was very good or great.

I honestly don't think it's this new dining concept we were the guinea pigs for as this was the first cruise where it was introduced because that would have only affected things in the main dining room. It's possible it had some affect, but when the overall quality is lacking, I can't see that as the cause.

Based on our past Carnival cruises, I would have to say the problems were just on this ship, but then again, we haven't been on a Carnival cruise in two years, so perhaps this new dining concept is just a way to cut costs by cutting quality and we may be seeing this as the new wave. I sincerely hope not.

Pete
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Old December 18th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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Thing I found to be very good
Omelet made to order
French toast
Curry chicken
Fish n chips
Roast turkey with the fixings
Short ribs

Things that were good
Steak on the Buffett this was a surprise to me.
I enjoyed the pizza for the reason that it really wasn't pizza, it was light and thin, a good choice when I was looking for just something to nibble on after a few cocktails . If I were regular pizza it would of been just too much.
Guys burgers were good but nothing special.

For me the food played almost no part of why my cruise was awesome.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 01:47 PM
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The new pizza on Carnival is outstanding and yes, it is real pizza, very reminiscent of what you would get in Napoli. It has become my goto lunch, especially if other choices have closed.

Not of that shredded cheese junk







Delicious!







I especially like the 4 cheese one!

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Old December 18th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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It's not the type of pizza we're use to here in Chicago but I did find it pretty good for a light snack.There was one I really liked with garlic and a few types of cheese. Love all the food porn your posting!
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Old December 19th, 2013, 01:17 AM
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While the pizza on our cruise was good, it was nothing like what you posted - VERY thin crust. Here's what our looked like.

Pete
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Old December 19th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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Very thin crust is very authentic and very good.

Pizza making in Naples/Napoli

Not too much sauce




None of that shredded cheese




a real pizza oven that would never be allowed at sea




Perfect pizza

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Old December 19th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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While the pizza on our cruise was good, it was nothing like what you posted - VERY thin crust. Here's what our looked like.

Pete
All I see wrong is you put too much pizza on too small of a plate and personally I would not have dumped Parmesan cheese on top of it, but the latter is subjective.
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Old December 19th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cruise planner View Post
While the pizza on our cruise was good, it was nothing like what you posted - VERY thin crust. Here's what our looked like.

Pete
That looks about right.
There's a lot more to a cruise than food and seems to be what we're stuck on .
Peter I'm looking foward to reading about all the other thing .
I'll try and post mine today, as I said food played such a small part in my cruse experience.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old December 19th, 2013, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Aerogirl View Post
That looks about right.
There's a lot more to a cruise than food and seems to be what we're stuck on .
.



You are absolutely correct. I spent 23 days on a ship with lousy food and I survived it.


TM
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Old December 19th, 2013, 07:39 PM
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Our pizza was definitely not cooked in an oven! Wish they would put those on a cruise ship - it's the only way to cook a good pizza. It was cooked on a rolling wire conveyor belt and took only about 5 minutes from making it to serving it. And yes, we always put parmesan cheese and olive oil on our pizza - picture was taken after we added those.

But I do admit this pizza was definitely better than the one I had on Disney! That one was made with a pre-made pizza crust, exactly like it came out of a Boboli pizza wrapper, and then heated up in a convection oven. Now that was a bad pizza!

I love good pizza. As the say, pizza is like sex; some are better than others, but I've never really had a bad one. Except of course the one on Disney!

What was funny is that on the final day, instead of going for breakfast on the ship prior to disembarkation, we all readily agreed we wanted to wait until we got off the ship and then find a good restaurant where we could enjoy a decent breakfast!

Pete
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