I loved Carnival, and after my last two cruises (Miracle and Glory), Carnival is not the same and I sincerely hope they go back so I can cruise them again.
They should be embarrassed of the entertainment cuts and offered, especially compared to old carnival and other lines today.
-I can recite the hairy chest contest, marriage show, welcome aboard show, and legends. Everything is the same, and it's at the point where it's dull and boring. How about new scripts, new questions, and new activities and shows.
-The gaps in entertainment nights are obvious and ridiculous. Deck party. Movie night. Guest talent show. Legends. Welcome aboard show. How about quality entertainment by professionals. We miss the amount of entertainment (almost every night) and the quality of entertainment.
-Punchliner comedy is a poor excuse at replacing the more quality and expensive entertainment. The comedians as a whole are not funny. On our past cruises, 3 out of 4 comedians resulted in no laughs and people walking out. There's also such a thing at too much comedy. After the first two comedians, we hear the same exact jokes about cruise food and the buffet, politicians, etc.
-Variety used to be what we loved - some Broadway type shows, magicians, singers, comedians, ventriloquists.... now that variety has been replaced with cheap comedians. On the nights where there is something, most of the time it's a comedian, so it might as well be nothing.
-WE MISS THE LIVE MUSIC AND BANDS. I feel as if this is noticed by everyone and mentioned in almost every review. This impacts the cruise experience the most. There's nothing like sitting back and having a drink by the pool with the calypso band playing allowing for people to relax, have fun, and dance. There's nothing like going from lounge to lounge taking in the different bands and their songs, whether having a drink or dancing or both.
-The calypso band to duo cut is pathetic. Two guys not stand there with the same prerecorded soundtrack playing for all songs. They are unengaging, and this has completely ruined the daytime lido atmosphere that we used to look forward to each and every day. The calypso bands were amazing, and they are the one thing we miss most. They really do make such a difference in the overall cruise. Carnival used to have great ones and other lines still do. We really hope Carnival notices that this is causing cruisers like us to go to the lines that have them, and it's such a simple thing that is noticed and missed.
-There used to be several bands and two or three duos throughout the ship, with one or two piano players or soloists. Now there is one band on the entire ship (some ships have none!). Then there's the show band that has been cut to 5 members (which is noticed and makes a difference) seems to do everything (play in lunges, do karaoke, and play for shows). The bands and duos have been cut to 2 or 3 or 4 soloists that play with prerecorded music. We might as well listen to an ipod. There's no relaxing and no dancing. This used to be a given on a cruise, and not it has been ruined.
We don't want to sail on the other lines, but until Carnival fixed it, we may have to. They have shows almost every night, professional variety acts, and several bands in addition to the calypso band. Hopefully Carnival notices that this is indeed so important and the extra few dollars on entertainment will bring back cruisers like us.
I like to sit at the Casino Bar while DH plays in the Casino. Something that was a problem for me on our last Carnival cruise was that the stage band played in the Casino Bar, and they played at the same volume they play onstage in the theater ! It was so loud, I had to leave!
The other band there played country. They were pretty good, but only knew 45 minutes worth of songs. When they took a break they put on a CD of their songs; when they came back they played the same songs!
"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."
Carnival Inspiration 2002 Carnival Elation 2004
Grand Princess 2004 NCL Sun 2005
Sun Princess 2006 NCL Dream 2007
Caribbean Princess 2007 NCL Dawn 2008
Island Princess 2008 Island Princess 2009
Golden Princess 2009 Carnival Conquest 2010
Grand Princess 2010 Island Princess 2011
Grand Princess 2011 Carnival Magic 2012
Carnival Dream 2012 Island Princess 2013
Carnival Magic 2013 Carnival Legend 2014
These days I go to the guest entertainer shows but pretty much skip all the main production shows. After a few cruises, they are just no longer entertaining to me and neither are the same ol' CD's jokes before and after the shows. But that's why we love cruising so much, right? There is always something else we can do. I'd prefer the lines just do away with the main production shows and use the licensing fees, production costs, etc., to bring in a variety of guest entertainers instead.
NCL Sun, Oasis OTS, Navigator OTS, Legend, Fascination, Emerald, Glory, Mariner OTS x 2, Sovereign OTS, Celebration, Miracle x 2, Pride, Fantasy