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 am fairly new to Carnival, but there were a lot of live acts on our sailing, at least 6 different music acts around the ship on our 9 day sailing. I was on the new ship, so maybe they put more on that ship than the old ones. I chose that I enjoyed the entertainment, but I wouldn't say "thrilled". If there had been a choice for "I enjoyed it just fine", that is what I would have picked.
We do generally avoid the large theater. Our last cruise seemed to have the highest quality of entertainers away from the main theater - one of the four comedians was only so-so and perhaps the band on the lido deck wasn't top notch.
A Bad Day At Sea [with power] Always Beats A Good Day At Work
Alaska 2014 - haven't picked a cruise yet
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, Caribbean 2013
Personally, I LOVE the big production shows,,,even the ones I've seen over and over again. I usually sit center stage, front row, and by sitting there, you see thing that you won't see further back, and perhaps that's what makes them so entertaining, even though you've seen the "basic show" before. We've seen missteps, costume malfunctions, scenery failures, and just about every other good, and bad thing that could happen during a production show. We've gotten to know many of the production singers, and dancers, and that too, makes it a lot more fun to watch the shows. I do miss some of the smaller duo's and trio's singing and playing throughout the ship, but on our last cruise, "Dream" I thought they had all the bases covered. EXCELLENT entertainment everywhere on that ship.
I will say that the best entertainment we ever saw was on our Princess cruises. And it seems that we go to less and less of the main theater shows. The people in the main shows are good but we just don't enjoy the shows. And yes the comics seem to all have the same jokes. I prefer the magicians and hypnotists especially if they also do a bit of comedy, their comedy is better than the comics.
One thing we will miss on our cruise in Oct is the outdoor big screen, we usually go there in the evening to watch movies or concerts.
Star Princess 2005, Sun Princess 2005
Caribbean Princess 2006, MSC Lirica 2006 , NCL Pearl 2007, Majesty of the Seas 2008, Carnival Destiny 2008, MSC Lirica 2009, Carnival Valor 2009,Carnival Legend 2010, Carnival Liberty 2010,Carnival Fantsay 2011,Carnival Valor Feb 2012, MSC Poesia Dec 2012, MSC Poesia April 2013