This was my 16th cruise (my 2nd cruise on Carnival ). We chose this cruise because the price was great and the ports were potentially interesting. It was a repositioning cruise from Singapore to Sydney, stopping at Bali, Komodo Island, Darwin, Airlie Beach, Moreton Island and Sydney.We stayed in Singapore for 3 nights before the cruise which was great.
Embarkation in Singapore was very smooth.
Unfortunately, this was where the positives ended. The ship had been in dry dock before our cruise for a refurbishment, so we expected some hiccups in the running of the ship. We were told that most of the crew were new to this ship, and it was obvious that their training had either been forgotten or was not completed as it should have been. Guest services were on the whole very defensive and sometimes aggressive.
Our cabin was an inside cabin with 2 single beds. There was only one power point for the cabin. Our sheets were changed only once during the 15 days and we cleaned our bathroom basin when it had'nt been cleaned for a week.
All but one of our ports were accessible by tender only. The process for disembarkation was poor (except for Airlie beach). Our tour on Komodo Island was not well organised and in the end getting back to the ships tender was quite unsafe.
However, the main area of concern for us was the lack of food safety in both the buffet and restaurant areas. Food (including meat and eggs) were served either cold or lukewarm after being held in the bain maries for extended periods of time. We observed servers using the same gloves to serve raw food and ready to eat food; the same gloves touching the floor and serving food, washing and reusing of disposable gloves. We also observed food trays being topped up with new food when there was still "old"food in the trays. In the restaurant the food was always cold and unappetising ( we stopped going to dinner in the restaurant after the first week). We also noticed passengers using their hands at the buffet to serve food, with servers watching. On speaking with 2 servers they did not feel that they could tell passengers that they were doing the wrong thing. Hand sanitising is not encouraged; many of the sanitiser dispensers were empty, and not placed in convenient positions for use.
Given our experience on this ship we have decided to cancel our next Carnival cruise in March 2020 (we have booked with Celebrity).
We booked ourselves on a tour organised by Carnival. It was to see the dragons and go the the Pink Beach.(you were not allowed to get off on this island unless you had a tour booked). In the tour description provided by the cruise ship there was no mention of fitness level required to do this tour. We have quite a few passengers doing the tour who struggled with the conditions given their physical abilities. Our walk around the island was good (very hot though). We then travelled to Pink Beach by a small boat. The pier and steps to embark on our trip to the beach were broken in parts, slippery and very steep. Once we had spent an hour at the beach we went back to our boat to transfer us back to the Splendours tender. Out small boat broke down and we were transferred to another boat. Unfortunately by the time we returned to the main pier the tide had gone out considerable. This meant there was a 1-1.5 metre drop from the pier to the boat. Passengers were hauled roughly from the boat up onto the pier, with at least 2 people bruising their legs.
As we hadnt booked a tour we were the last to be able to get off. As the tenders were having trouble with the conditions, and the tender ride was 45 mins each way, we didnt get off at all.
Had fun doing our own thing and having a real coffee