This is my 33rd cruise - first and last with Carnival. Husband, self and adult daughter chose this to have a peaceful, relaxing trip back to Sydney, rather than flying, which I loathe. Upon boarding the ship and looking around, my disappointment could not be hidden. It looks like someone on serious drugs designed the decor which is a horrible, dark, ugly, gawdy mix of Neptune's nymphs vs Greek godesses vs medieval knights vs Ali Baba vs Roman Gladiators....and it looks like the lions won!! - this is besides the framed artwork in the lifts which ranged from angelic to downright dirty - lots of naked/scantily clad people...it's just downright awful, even the Captain agreed on that.
Even though it was Aussie school holidays Carnival (which is obviously run by clowns) decided to close Kids Camp Carnival for renovations....there were hoardes of kids on board, ranging from tiny squealing/crying/grizzling babies to kids in their teens and everywhere in between. The mobile ones constantly ran through the ship, including the casino which is a main thoroughfare beween the show theatre and dining rooms on Deck 2...I saw several older and more immobile people get badly knocked by these kids but no-one said or did anything. They would also prop themselves on stools at the bar and the poker/slot/other gaming machines in that area. Once the ship docked in Honolulu currency/charges on board were changed to Aussie dollars, although Carnival only advised that the night before sailing and those with US dollars upon boarding were left high and dry with Guest Services unable to convert. Various charges also noticeably increased with the same 24 hour period of internet going from $9 US to $30 for Aussies....also minimum bet at roulette was raised from $5 US to $10 a spin for Aussies.
Staff in general were good, although drink "service" was practically non-existent and had most of us fronting up to the various bars to be served ourselves. Food in buffet at lunch was good, in the Dining Room it was very hit and miss with some very strange combinations of food being served, sometimes much better on offer at the buffet. Entertainment was mostly nightly comedians, some good, some so bad they were walked out on. No real nightly entertainment which bought people together and continued on...several attempts at deck parties, first one was rocking for the first hour then they killed the mood with hula hoop contests and polynesian dancing - very subdued, so another early night. Bingo was a joke, very rushed, no "fun"at all - good attendances at all sessions, I would estimate at least 300 people at each, prizes rarely increased at all (all between $100 to $350 for the 5th game) then they had the hide to boast about the last game of the cruise with a "whopping guaranteed $1000". On the same cruise/duration several years ago this jackpot was over $9000....no "snowball" here, just more of the same Carnival greed applied.
Upon entering I thought we had travelled back in time, very dowdy and unimpressive, balcony badly rusted, ugly green 1960's handbasin in the otherwise blue bathroom. Soap not provided till 6th day of cruise (just as well we had brung our own), shower gel and shampoo provided in shower, but no conditioner. I bumped my leg on Day 1 which bled on corner of doona cover and on bed throw, these blood marks remained on the covers for the entire cruise and were never changed at all. Counted about 30 holes the size of a cigarette burn in curtains. Husband cut his fingernails on balcony on 3rd day, remains of which were still there the day we disembarked. Daughter slept on sofa bed, which just had a gym mat for covering, until she spoke to Housekeeping supervisor.