10 August 2010

Carnival Fantasy - Ship and Service

Complaining about the service and accommodations on a cruise ship smacks of "rich people's problems", as one popular preacher often says. The fact that I had people cooking for me and cleaning up after me for five days should have been enough. However, after you've been on two or three cruises, it is easy to spot when things aren't up to snuff.

The first thing I noticed was that, for a ship that was supposedly refurbished two years ago, it looked pretty shopworn. For instance, the carpet was threadbare and stained in many places and the handle came off of my bathroom faucet the first time I used it. The hangers in the the closet were all rusted. All over the ship we saw workmen repairing drink machines, elevators, etc. This was something that was never visible on the other ships on which we've sailed. I wasn't expecting everything to look brand spanking new, especially considering the fact that the Fantasy does back-to-back cruises. However, I didn't expect it to look like an old motel, either.

The staff seemed a little worse for wear, as well. Generally, I am turned off by super-chipper servers, but these people went a little too far to the other end of the range. On other ships the wait staff hover in that gentle way that says, "I'm here to serve you." It makes you feel really special. Unfortunately, the staff on the Fantasy made our group feel like we were in their way. I don't want staff to bow and scrape, but I would like to get my cup of coffee without being rushed by a guy waiting to clean the coffee station.
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