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bamelin

Are All Carnival Ships Comparable in Terms of Food and Service?

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I'm going on a cheapie 4 night cruise on the Carnival Victory in December out of Miami before hopping on the Nieuw Statendam the next week.  Just wondering, do all the Carnival ships have consistent level of food and service.

 

I mean I know some of the bigger and newer ships have food venues the older smaller ones don't have, but overall in the buffet and MDR can I expect the food experience to be similar no matter what ship one sails on?  Will the level of service/staff still be consistent given that the Carnival Victory itineraries are kinda known to be a party cruise.

 

Slightly worried as I know the Carnival Victory is being refurbished and renamed in January -- she's an older vessel and these 4 night itineraries out of Miami tend to be party/booze cruises.  We booked at a crazy casino rate -- was cheaper than staying at a hotel in Miami or Fort Lauderdale for the week before our 7 night HAL cruise.

 

Edited by bamelin

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In my experience, the food is similar.  As far as quality, that could depend on several variables.

 

However, service is a real throw of the dice...  We were on a "newer" ship with horrible service - and it was explained to us that a majority of the crew were nearing the end of their 9 or 10 month contract, and they were burnt out and tired.  If I worked 7 days a week as hard as they do, I'd probably be less "bright eyed and bushy tailed" after 9 months too...

 

It is what you make of it - have fun, and don't sweat the small stuff right?!

Edited by marci4tony

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8 minutes ago, bamelin said:

Slightly worried as I know the Carnival Victory is being refurbished and renamed in January -- she's an older vessel and these 4 night itineraries out of Miami tend to be party/booze cruises.  We booked at a crazy casino rate -- was cheaper than staying at a hotel in Miami or Fort Lauderdale for the week before our 7 night HAL cruise. 


 

When was the last time you were on a shorter cruise out of Miami? We have done several 3 and 4 day cruises on Victory over the last few years and none of these cruises were close to being a party/booze cruise. The only Carnival cruise I have been on recently that I would consider a party cruise was a 7 day cruise we did on Breeze out of Port Canaveral. 

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Just now, PhillyFan33579 said:


 

When was the last time you were on a shorter cruise out of Miami? We have done several 3 and 4 day cruises on Victory over the last few years and none of these cruises were close to being a party/booze cruise. The only Carnival cruise I have been on recently that I would consider a party cruise was a 7 day cruise we did on Breeze out of Port Canaveral. 

 

My last Carnival cruise on the Carnival Magic out of Galveston in 2013.   It was ok … certainly for what we paid it was amazing and we did have fun.   I do prefer other lines, as my one Carnival experience I found the ship to be more crowded, less staff etc .   But again it's all relative, both that and this coming cruise were rock bottom pricing for balconies so I'm not complaining at all.   What you pay for what you get with Carnival is actually very good (at least that was my feeling from when I was on the Magic).

 

I had the impression Victory was going to be a party ship from watching various youtube videos about it -- certainly the Lido looks very crowded.  There are things I'm really looking forward to though (like Guy's Burgers =D).  I just don't have enough experience with the brand to know what to expect from ship to ship.  Wondered if the experience is consistent across all of their ships.

 

Thanks for letting me know about your Carnival Victory experience, makes me feel better.

 

 

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I’d be interested in hearing both of there is food quality and variety differences between Carnival ships.  

 

While overall enjoying my first Carnival experience on Fascination last month, I never chose to eat at the buffet (mainly due to the food presentation compared to other options).  And for variety, Italian night was a whopping 2 dishes of that fare & the remaining same options as any night.

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We just got off the Victory 2 weeks ago and had a great experience. It wasn't at all a booze cruise. The staff seemed to be some of the best that we had. Being only a 4 day cruise, I was shocked at how quiet the ship was after about 10 pm. There were people out, but not like I have seen on 7 or 8 day cruises. I thought the food was on the same quality level as other new ships I have been on. I like the size and layout of that ship. It is one of my favorites. Sad to see it is being redone next year. I like it the way it is. Enjoy you trip.

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We've done a bunch of Carnival cruises, 3, 5, 7, 8 day cruises.   We've found Carnival to be very similar across the fleet.    The food and service are very consistent in our experience.   The entertainment has been up and down.   Nothing really bad, but some outstanding.   The best show we ever saw was the Cuban show on the Paradise.    I've heard the comedy is always good.   

 

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I've also been on many 4,7,and 8 day cruises and find the food and service to be identical. Obviously, the older ships (which I love) don't have all the bells and whistles, but I love 'em as well as the newer ships. PANORAMA in January so I'll see. Last was the SPLENDOR with a 4-day on the IMAGINATION sandwiched in there. All equal in service and quality, IMHO.

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In my experience most of the ships are similar in both. Occasionally something unusual may happen.Service on all 27 of my cruises has always been excellent. Food in MDR is most often very good. Have found that Lido has dropped in quality on most ships. Deli has become the same on Lido.

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I prefer other lines myself but sometimes you got to take one for the team.yes food is the same no matter what ship.yes it is nothing  like it was.like I said sometime you got to make do.

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I would say no they are not all the same at all.  I actually found the staff nicer and the food quality better (even if menus the same) on the Victory than the Horizon (cold food, longer waits, buffet was normally disgusting at night). I will never sail on the Sensation again (even though its probably completely different now).  The Victory was definitely showing some age but still clean, covered the basics, and def enjoyed my time!  Have fun!

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I've found food pretty consistent. Only place service was inconsistent was in MDR. That depends on training and time of service. I've been on small and large ships. If you have new staff still training, they can get orders mixed up--or you might get cold food. That happened to me once. I sent it back and was brought a hot plate by a head waiter who apologized. If a crew is nearing end of contract, they do move a little more slowly--but they are exhausted. I try to cut them slack. They work hard and ridiculous hours. I try to tip well. I'm in a service field myself. I know what it is like to work long hours for little appreciation.

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We've also found the food to be pretty consistent having sailed on Pride, Fascination, and Glory. We haven't sailed on the newest ships yet but our expectations going in would be that we'd have similar food experiences.

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Thank you all. 

 

Is the service in the MDR very much different from before they started American Table?   My previous cruise with Carnival was in 2013 when they still had the table cloths.   My spouse and I both felt that dinner service in the MDR was by far where the best meals on the ship were.

 

We also enjoyed the Comedy Brunch MDR service, although we felt it was a cost cutting cheap way for Carnival to combine breakfast and lunch into 1 service.  Not even sure if they still do the Comedy Brunch.

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1 hour ago, bamelin said:

Thank you all. 

 

Is the service in the MDR very much different from before they started American Table?   My previous cruise with Carnival was in 2013 when they still had the table cloths.   My spouse and I both felt that dinner service in the MDR was by far where the best meals on the ship were.

 

We also enjoyed the Comedy Brunch MDR service, although we felt it was a cost cutting cheap way for Carnival to combine breakfast and lunch into 1 service.  Not even sure if they still do the Comedy Brunch.

 

I like the service better now in the MDR than I did previously. The wait staff seems to be less... "fussy" and more just efficient. Which I like. 

 

They still do brunch, but it isn't the comedy brunch anymore. It's just a normal brunch with a really nice menu and great food.

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We have been on the Victory, Sunshine and Paradise.

 

Food in the MDR, Guy's. Blue Iguana all very good and pretty much equal across the board.

 

Victory lagged in the buffet area on our sailing, menu pretty much the same on all 3 cruises but meats were dry and overdone on the Victory.  The Sunshine was far and away better in the Buffet and I am certain the Management of the area was the difference.  The Manager of the Lido area was ALWAYS out and about on the Sunshine, looking for feedback on the quality of food, service, etc.  He stopped at every table every time we were eating there.  The crew knew it and stepped up and maintained great quality and service as a result.

 

I know other who have been on Victory and said everything in the Buffet was great and service in the MDR lagged.

 

It is my opinion that the ingredients and menus and recipes are the same across the fleet and the difference is what crew you have on your sailing and what management you have over that crew.

 

All of that being said I could always find something nice to eat and I always have a great time on every cruise i have been on, on Carnival or other lines.

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I've been on eight different Carnival ships in the past 5 years, including one that doesn't technically exist anymore.  I will be adding two more to the list in the next few months.

 

I have found the food in the MDR and around Lido to be mostly consistent both across the fleet and within the same ship at separate times.  I have also found the service to be very good across the board wherever I've been (with the odd bad apple).

 

I must have just missed the comedy brunches.  I'm intrigued... tell me more (or point me to a link about it).

 

As far as American Table goes, I think I stopped going to the MDR as consistently as that was expanding across the fleet.  I went from 2-4 visits per cruise to 0-1.  It had nothing to do with AT itself, which I think is a pretty good idea.  I think the service with AT was about the same as without it.

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6 hours ago, Honolulu Blue said:

I've been on eight different Carnival ships in the past 5 years, including one that doesn't technically exist anymore.  I will be adding two more to the list in the next few months.

 

I have found the food in the MDR and around Lido to be mostly consistent both across the fleet and within the same ship at separate times.  I have also found the service to be very good across the board wherever I've been (with the odd bad apple).

 

I must have just missed the comedy brunches.  I'm intrigued... tell me more (or point me to a link about it).

 

As far as American Table goes, I think I stopped going to the MDR as consistently as that was expanding across the fleet.  I went from 2-4 visits per cruise to 0-1.  It had nothing to do with AT itself, which I think is a pretty good idea.  I think the service with AT was about the same as without it.


The comedy brunch came out with fun 2.0 in 2012 I think

https://cruiseradio.net/menu-punchliner-comedy-brunch/

 

https://www.tammileetips.com/punchliners-comedy-brunch-on-the-carnival-breeze/

 

If I recall correctly this was around when they reduced separate  breakfast and lunch MDR into one service and sold it as a comedy brunch.

 

Work for me as a late riser but I remember seeing CC threads with bitter complaints about their not being 2 Sit down MDR services anymore.

 

I guess since then they got rid of the comedy part too 😩
 

 

I really liked the MDR service, aside from our room it was my favorite part of my Carnival cruise the one area that felt similar in quality to other lines.  Really hoping American Table is of the same high standards.

 

Edited by bamelin

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On 10/24/2019 at 5:00 PM, BTromboneFrack said:

......  The best show we ever saw was the Cuban show on the Paradise.    I've heard the comedy is always good.   

 

 

Same here - we went to Cuba on the Paradise in April and the shows were fantastic, IMO they were the best I've seen yet.

 

We also went to a couple of the comedy shows and they were quite good, better than the comedians on some of the other cruises I'd been on.

 

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On 10/24/2019 at 1:25 PM, bamelin said:

 

I had the impression Victory was going to be a party ship from watching various youtube videos about it -- certainly the Lido looks very crowded.  There are things I'm really looking forward to though (like Guy's Burgers =D).  I just don't have enough experience with the brand to know what to expect from ship to ship.  Wondered if the experience is consistent across all of their ships.

 

 

No two cruises on the same ship or different ships are ever alike.  There are so many variables that can make them different.  Crew change over, different passengers, different weather, ship  partially booked by a group etc.

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7 hours ago, bamelin said:


The comedy brunch came out with fun 2.0 in 2012 I think

https://cruiseradio.net/menu-punchliner-comedy-brunch/

 

https://www.tammileetips.com/punchliners-comedy-brunch-on-the-carnival-breeze/

 

If I recall correctly this was around when they reduced separate  breakfast and lunch MDR into one service and sold it as a comedy brunch.

 

Work for me as a late riser but I remember seeing CC threads with bitter complaints about their not being 2 Sit down MDR services anymore.

 

I guess since then they got rid of the comedy part too 😩

 

 

Thanks for sharing.  I guess the current Seaday brunch is a legacy of this?  If so, then that experience is newer than I thought.

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Some of the best service I've had has been on the Inspiration and Imagination during the short booze cruises. I've had some of the worst food on those cruises as well.

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you get what you pay for. I have always had good service on cruises except for some sea day brunch days. It is all golden corral stuff but you will not go hungry

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I find the service and food of similar quality on different ships.  The worst for service was probably the Vista, although we did have a great room steward on that ship.  We had a great cruise on the vista but the staff just seemed overwhelmed.  

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Quality seems to be the same and of course the menus are the same for the most part depending on how long your cruise is.  The only difference I have noticed that some of the Chef's and their teams cook slightly differently.  As an example, I found that I only like the calamari on the Liberty.  I did not like the crab cakes at all on the Conquest in May.  Not all desserts are equal.  Like how can you mess up apple pie.  Well the Victory did.  And the Conquest has not mastered the Carnival Melting cake on the cruise in May.  Tried it twice and it was not consistent with the many other ships I've been on.  Not sure what happened there.  I've never had bad service on Carnival.  The waiters have been amazing.  I overall enjoy the dining room food better than the buffet and generally only eat at dinner buffet as a snack before it closes or if I absolutely don't want anything on the dining room menu which is rare.

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