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GranysT

Oct 12th-19th Review. The Good and The Bad

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We sailed Carnival Conquest. This was our 24th cruise with Carnival. It was also our most disappointing.  If you are a die hard Carnival lover, you may not want to read this, as I'm going to tell it like it was.   I'll start with the bad, and end with the good.

We had some issues with the dining room this cruise. We always choose to eat in the MDR, late seating. First off, what has happened to the staff calling you by name? Our room steward, and our dining staff has always known our name by the 2nd day, and used it. It's a small touch, but it makes things just a bit more special. They took our names 1st night, but never once used them.  The 3rd night, I ordered Veal Parmesan.  I've always been able to cut it with a fork. This night my knife wouldn't budge it. The waiter got a sharper knife, and he had an awful time cutting it also.  I took a bite, chewed it for 5 minutes, and it wasn't going anywhere.  My husband ordered lamb, and he said it was very tender and delicious. However all of his veggies were hard as a rock. and he couldn't chew them. Our table mates, said their veggies were also very hard. At this point my DH started to complain. 3 times he asked to speak to the Maitr D and he never came. No, we did not order anything else. That's another problem with me. The American Table menu is very limited, if you don't eat fish or pasta. Your meat choices are skimp.  Who wants to eat the same thing every night. We left the dining room, and didn't go back. Something else I experienced. What has happened to bringing your meal a course at a time. The waiters now bring everything at once. The app, the entrée, even the dessert. They serve the app first, but serve the entrée before you have finished the app. Crowding your place setting. The dessert sits through the entire meal. I ordered  ice cream one night, and got half soup.   I also don't like ordering dessert at same time as rest of meal. 

 What I order for dessert depends on how I feel after eating. Someone did come and ask our name and cabin #. I thought we would get an apology, Nope, Nada.

 

Next night I went to Deli for dinner. I have always loved the yummy sandwiches in the deli.  What has happened to the great rolls, and hogie bread? Now they have some bread I couldn't pronounce, and it wasn't good. No panini press anymore either. Now they stick it in an oven, and the bread comes out hard as a rock.  So that was out.

 

Ate at Guys 2 nights. Yummy as usual, but they close at 6. Remember I said we always choose Late Seating. Six is too early for us.

 

Ok, I will close on a high note.  Our cabin steward  was good . He happily complied with our request for both morning and evening service. Brought us ice both times, as well.  We don't usually ask for more than that. He also never used our names. Strange and different.  

 

First time on that class ship, and I really liked it. The ship was clean and beautiful.  The seas were very calm, and the entire7 days was very smooth sailing.   Once I get my Milestone cruise, I may have to rethink Carnival.  Unless someone can tell me that this sort of treatment is not the norm, on other ships.

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5 hours ago, GranysT said:

We sailed Carnival Conquest. This was our 24th cruise with Carnival. It was also our most disappointing.  If you are a die hard Carnival lover, you may not want to read this, as I'm going to tell it like it was.   I'll start with the bad, and end with the good.

We had some issues with the dining room this cruise. We always choose to eat in the MDR, late seating. First off, what has happened to the staff calling you by name? Our room steward, and our dining staff has always known our name by the 2nd day, and used it. It's a small touch, but it makes things just a bit more special. They took our names 1st night, but never once used them.  The 3rd night, I ordered Veal Parmesan.  I've always been able to cut it with a fork. This night my knife wouldn't budge it. The waiter got a sharper knife, and he had an awful time cutting it also.  I took a bite, chewed it for 5 minutes, and it wasn't going anywhere.  My husband ordered lamb, and he said it was very tender and delicious. However all of his veggies were hard as a rock. and he couldn't chew them. Our table mates, said their veggies were also very hard. At this point my DH started to complain. 3 times he asked to speak to the Maitr D and he never came. No, we did not order anything else. That's another problem with me. The American Table menu is very limited, if you don't eat fish or pasta. Your meat choices are skimp.  Who wants to eat the same thing every night. We left the dining room, and didn't go back. Something else I experienced. What has happened to bringing your meal a course at a time. The waiters now bring everything at once. The app, the entrée, even the dessert. They serve the app first, but serve the entrée before you have finished the app. Crowding your place setting. The dessert sits through the entire meal. I ordered  ice cream one night, and got half soup.   I also don't like ordering dessert at same time as rest of meal. 

 What I order for dessert depends on how I feel after eating. Someone did come and ask our name and cabin #. I thought we would get an apology, Nope, Nada.

 

Next night I went to Deli for dinner. I have always loved the yummy sandwiches in the deli.  What has happened to the great rolls, and hogie bread? Now they have some bread I couldn't pronounce, and it wasn't good. No panini press anymore either. Now they stick it in an oven, and the bread comes out hard as a rock.  So that was out.

 

Ate at Guys 2 nights. Yummy as usual, but they close at 6. Remember I said we always choose Late Seating. Six is too early for us.

 

Ok, I will close on a high note.  Our cabin steward  was good . He happily complied with our request for both morning and evening service. Brought us ice both times, as well.  We don't usually ask for more than that. He also never used our names. Strange and different.  

 

First time on that class ship, and I really liked it. The ship was clean and beautiful.  The seas were very calm, and the entire7 days was very smooth sailing.   Once I get my Milestone cruise, I may have to rethink Carnival.  Unless someone can tell me that this sort of treatment is not the norm, on other ships.

Thanks for doing your review, sorry much if it did not live up to your expectation.  I would only mention this, I can tell you on all of our almost 40 Carnival cruises, we have always been recognized by name.  I can also tell you that I KNOW that this policy has not changed from Carnival management perspective.   I would make sure that my comment email made this known of it were me.  

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Sorry you did not have a good time on Conquest.  Our last 3 cruises were on Conquest when she was out of FLL, and we had no issues.  The dining staff - even at your time dining - always addressed us by name, as did our steward.   I am hoping to have the same great experience when we go on Magic in January.  Congrats on almost reaching your milestone cruise.

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6 hours ago, GranysT said:

 

First time on that class ship, and I really liked it. The ship was clean and beautiful.  The seas were very calm, and the entire7 days was very smooth sailing.   Once I get my Milestone cruise, I may have to rethink Carnival.  Unless someone can tell me that this sort of treatment is not the norm, on other ships.

 

I'll tell you it's not the norm. I think that it does not vary ship to ship, as much as it varies from staff to staff. You may very well cruise on the same ship again, but with an all new staff it will make all the difference!

 

My wife and I just got off the miracle this past Saturday (Nov 2nd). We had sworn off the MDR for the past couple cruises for reasons similar to yours. We had YTD, and the first night the service was very poor (forever to get the menus, no bread, water refill that was ordered never came, etc), but the food we did get was delicious! After being absent from the MDR for a week after (2 week cruise), we went back and were seated in a different section. The service was 1000% better. Supper attentive, super friendly, just a great experience. We went back almost every night and requested that section and had a great time. 

 

As for the deli, I think it's a personal preference. I loved having toasted sandwiches! Grilled cheese, BLT, etc. 

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7 hours ago, GranysT said:

We sailed Carnival Conquest. This was our 24th cruise with Carnival. It was also our most disappointing.  If you are a die hard Carnival lover, you may not want to read this, as I'm going to tell it like it was.   I'll start with the bad, and end with the good.

We had some issues with the dining room this cruise. We always choose to eat in the MDR, late seating. First off, what has happened to the staff calling you by name? Our room steward, and our dining staff has always known our name by the 2nd day, and used it. It's a small touch, but it makes things just a bit more special. They took our names 1st night, but never once used them.  The 3rd night, I ordered Veal Parmesan.  I've always been able to cut it with a fork. This night my knife wouldn't budge it. The waiter got a sharper knife, and he had an awful time cutting it also.  I took a bite, chewed it for 5 minutes, and it wasn't going anywhere.  My husband ordered lamb, and he said it was very tender and delicious. However all of his veggies were hard as a rock. and he couldn't chew them. Our table mates, said their veggies were also very hard. At this point my DH started to complain. 3 times he asked to speak to the Maitr D and he never came. No, we did not order anything else. That's another problem with me. The American Table menu is very limited, if you don't eat fish or pasta. Your meat choices are skimp.  Who wants to eat the same thing every night. We left the dining room, and didn't go back. Something else I experienced. What has happened to bringing your meal a course at a time. The waiters now bring everything at once. The app, the entrée, even the dessert. They serve the app first, but serve the entrée before you have finished the app. Crowding your place setting. The dessert sits through the entire meal. I ordered  ice cream one night, and got half soup.   I also don't like ordering dessert at same time as rest of meal. 

 What I order for dessert depends on how I feel after eating. Someone did come and ask our name and cabin #. I thought we would get an apology, Nope, Nada.

 

Next night I went to Deli for dinner. I have always loved the yummy sandwiches in the deli.  What has happened to the great rolls, and hogie bread? Now they have some bread I couldn't pronounce, and it wasn't good. No panini press anymore either. Now they stick it in an oven, and the bread comes out hard as a rock.  So that was out.

 

Ate at Guys 2 nights. Yummy as usual, but they close at 6. Remember I said we always choose Late Seating. Six is too early for us.

 

Ok, I will close on a high note.  Our cabin steward  was good . He happily complied with our request for both morning and evening service. Brought us ice both times, as well.  We don't usually ask for more than that. He also never used our names. Strange and different.  

 

First time on that class ship, and I really liked it. The ship was clean and beautiful.  The seas were very calm, and the entire7 days was very smooth sailing.   Once I get my Milestone cruise, I may have to rethink Carnival.  Unless someone can tell me that this sort of treatment is not the norm, on other ships.

 

Sorry you didn't have such great service on your cruise. We were on the sailing prior (10/5 - 10/12) to yours. We had YTD , and never experienced anything like what you mentioned. Our service each evening was really good and the food was on par for Carnival. 

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I'll say this: breakfast has become the best meal on Carnival for us. In February aboard the Dream our dinners were overcooked, dry and a big disappointment. We stopped going to the MDR for dinner and that was a first for us.

 

Between the port day MDR breakfast menu and sea day brunch we've learned to chow down then when the food is properly prepared and tasty. It's a sad comment to say the cooks who prepare breakfast are nonpareil and put the evening MDR galley crew to shame but that's the fact of the matter.

 

 

dining-room-breakfast-menu (1).pdf

Edited by sanmarcosman

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I've had two bad late MDR experiences with wait teams on a Conquest class ship out of maybe 20 plus sailings on that type?  Our wait staff was inattentive, forgetting our Pellegrino, then trying to re-fill our water glasses with tap water.  They delayed bringing our apps, then rushed the entrees to the table before we finished the 1st course.   Then we had to wait for dessert.  Very amateurish.

 

I let it go the 1st night, but when this team did the same thing the following night, I just went to the Maitre'D

and asked to be switched to another table and a better serving team.  We had no issues after he complied.

 

The 2nd time was a solo sailing where we were the last ones served every course.  We enjoyed the table chatter, so getting our entrees after that nights dinner entertainment wasn't a crusher.  We were the last table to leave the MDR each evening!

 

 

Since we like them crunchy, we would love to get served "hard" veggies all the time!!  Just different personal preferences, that's all.

Edited by evandbob

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I love the Conquest-class ships.  Haven't been on one recently, but Conquest is one of my favorites.

 

I disembarked Sunshine on Saturday.  Was always called by my first name.  Had great service in the MDR (I chose Your Time just because of our ports).  Food was OK. 

 

OP, I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy the MDR but it really isn't Carnival's fault that you choose to limit your options!  They can't load up the menu to suit everyone; that's why there is a variety nightly from seafood to beef to chicken to fish to pasta to vegetarian available. 

 

On nights that the mains don't really appeal to me, I often opt for an appetizer plus soup (loved the chilled fruit soups) and a salad.  That's usually enough for me but if I feel I need more (which I don't, really), I order the cheese plate.

 

I don't like my veg raw but also don't like them cooked to the point of being mushy.  It's hard for them to get it just right, especially when cooking for hundreds of people at the same time.

 

The quality of the beef has seriously deteriorated over the years, which isn't surprising given that we're paying about the same in real dollars as we were 15 years ago and, of course, their prices have increased a greatly over that time.  I gave up eating much red meat several years ago and mostly stay away from it in the MDR.  If I want good beef, I opt for the steakhouse. 

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9 hours ago, GranysT said:

We sailed Carnival Conquest. This was our 24th cruise with Carnival. It was also our most disappointing.  If you are a die hard Carnival lover, you may not want to read this, as I'm going to tell it like it was.   I'll start with the bad, and end with the good.

We had some issues with the dining room this cruise. We always choose to eat in the MDR, late seating. First off, what has happened to the staff calling you by name? Our room steward, and our dining staff has always known our name by the 2nd day, and used it. It's a small touch, but it makes things just a bit more special. They took our names 1st night, but never once used them.  The 3rd night, I ordered Veal Parmesan.  I've always been able to cut it with a fork. This night my knife wouldn't budge it. The waiter got a sharper knife, and he had an awful time cutting it also.  I took a bite, chewed it for 5 minutes, and it wasn't going anywhere.  My husband ordered lamb, and he said it was very tender and delicious. However all of his veggies were hard as a rock. and he couldn't chew them. Our table mates, said their veggies were also very hard. At this point my DH started to complain. 3 times he asked to speak to the Maitr D and he never came. No, we did not order anything else. That's another problem with me. The American Table menu is very limited, if you don't eat fish or pasta. Your meat choices are skimp.  Who wants to eat the same thing every night. We left the dining room, and didn't go back. Something else I experienced. What has happened to bringing your meal a course at a time. The waiters now bring everything at once. The app, the entrée, even the dessert. They serve the app first, but serve the entrée before you have finished the app. Crowding your place setting. The dessert sits through the entire meal. I ordered  ice cream one night, and got half soup.   I also don't like ordering dessert at same time as rest of meal. 

 What I order for dessert depends on how I feel after eating. Someone did come and ask our name and cabin #. I thought we would get an apology, Nope, Nada.

 

Next night I went to Deli for dinner. I have always loved the yummy sandwiches in the deli.  What has happened to the great rolls, and hogie bread? Now they have some bread I couldn't pronounce, and it wasn't good. No panini press anymore either. Now they stick it in an oven, and the bread comes out hard as a rock.  So that was out.

 

Ate at Guys 2 nights. Yummy as usual, but they close at 6. Remember I said we always choose Late Seating. Six is too early for us.

 

Ok, I will close on a high note.  Our cabin steward  was good . He happily complied with our request for both morning and evening service. Brought us ice both times, as well.  We don't usually ask for more than that. He also never used our names. Strange and different.  

 

First time on that class ship, and I really liked it. The ship was clean and beautiful.  The seas were very calm, and the entire7 days was very smooth sailing.   Once I get my Milestone cruise, I may have to rethink Carnival.  Unless someone can tell me that this sort of treatment is not the norm, on other ships.

 

 

Sounds like overall food was your biggest disappointment.  It's one aspect I've generally enjoyed on Carnival in the past.  Bringing all your courses at once in the MDR is unacceptable.  Not sure if that is just a lazy waiter or the new Carnival norm?  My waiter on BREEZE did this but not the desert.   Everyone had their appetizer, salad, and entree stacked on the table.  It looked ridiculous not to mention the entree was cold by the time you finished the appetizer and salad.  We were at a large table of 8 and there were way too many plates on that table.  Pretty bad.  

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I've heard several reports that the waiters are asking for dessert orders when the rest of the meal is ordered. That annoys me, as I like to make up my mind about dessert when I finish. I wonder if that is a side affect of people complaining about how long dinner takes. I'm sorry that you did not enjoy the food, and that the Maitre D' did not contact you. With the exception of Yusuf who was on the Paradise for both our cruises, I can't say I've been too impressed with any of the Maitre D' s we've encountered on Carnival. 

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We were expected to order all courses, including dessert, at once.  On the nights I declined, they always asked when clearing my main course whether I'd changed my mind and wanted to order something.

 

Given how many tables they now have to serve, and how overworked they already are, I don't have any problem with them taking the full order at once.  This is how it was done on the 3 MSC cruises I took prior to Sunshine (Sunshine was #30 on Carnival for me).

 

I equate it to the cabin stewards now asking whether you want morning or evening service.  I was solo and told my steward evening was fine.  He practically begged me to let him service the cabin twice a day but I absolutely didn't need it.

 

Again, they're spread so thin these days (it helps keep the cruise line's costs down which means it keeps our fares low), there's no need to have them do more work than necessary just because we like to be spoiled! 

 

We can't pay low prices and get the level of food quality and service we had decades ago.  It's simple economics, people!  If that's what you want/need, then you'll just have to pay more for a more upscale line.

Edited by NCTribeFan

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10 hours ago, GranysT said:

 

The 3rd night, I ordered Veal Parmesan.  I've always been able to cut it with a fork. This night my knife wouldn't budge it. The waiter got a sharper knife, and he had an awful time cutting it also. I took a bite, chewed it for 5 minutes.

 

 

This was the red flag to prompt me to stop reading right here. You chewed a bite of veal parmesan for 5 minutes like a piece of gum?? I can understand 10 or 20 seconds or so, but 5 minutes....

 

🤔     😲     🤔     😲     🤔

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Some of that sounds crazy to me. I can't imagine someone bringing an ice cream desert with your appetizer. I always get all courses separate. The staff always knows my name. I haven't been on conquest. But on Glory in August after just one night in the dining room they knew my name, room number, table preference when I walked in the second time.

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29 minutes ago, Saint Greg said:

  I can't imagine someone bringing an ice cream desert with your appetizer. I always get all courses separate.  

 

 

I agree that does sounds crazy.  I've never had my desert brought with my appetizer, but on the Breeze I did have the appetizer, salad, and entree brought all at once.   It was a dining low point for sure.  

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My last cruise was over the 4th of July, but didn't experience any of what the original poster has mentioned. Food was good, courses served separately. waiter knew our name. My waiter new my preferences, and would point out recomendations on the menu when we sat down. Hopefully, this was not the new-normal! I'm cruising over Christmas, so I can check it out. My 4th of July cruise was on the Fascination. Geez, one of these days I'll have to update my signature. I've been on the Conquest 2 times, and enjoyed both.

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We had a bad dining experience in the Legend, several years ago.

 

We just asked to be changed to another table, and then the wait staff AND food was excellent!

 

 

Edited by marci4tony

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Maybe I am a weirdo but I would love our apps and main entrees at the same time. The kids don't get an appetizer and generally don't like ours so having that extra course just feels awkward and makes dinner take longer. Maybe I should ask for them at the same time if that's a thing being done. 

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2 hours ago, M2LR said:

Maybe I am a weirdo but I would love our apps and main entrees at the same time. The kids don't get an appetizer and generally don't like ours so having that extra course just feels awkward and makes dinner take longer. Maybe I should ask for them at the same time if that's a thing being done. 


 

I don’t think there is anything wrong with requesting it, and I’m sure your waiter will be happy to oblige.  I just don’t think it should be the norm in the MDR.  Even Olive Garden doesn’t serve everything at once.  

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18 hours ago, GranysT said:

I also don't like ordering dessert at same time as rest of meal. 

 

 

 

never do, never would, I don't care if he asked. I would say I haven't decided yet and who wants liquid ice cream, if he brought it out with your apps, which I have never seen

 

 

18 hours ago, GranysT said:

Next night I went to Deli for dinner. I have always loved the yummy sandwiches in the deli.  What has happened to the great rolls, and hogie bread? Now they have some bread I couldn't pronounce, and it wasn't good. No panini press anymore either. Now they stick it in an oven, and the bread comes out hard as a rock.  So that was out.

 

 

worst decision Carnival ever made, the pre made has been a total fiasco, BTW a Cuban Sandwich is pressed in a panini, period. the toaster oven does not cut it.

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Just to clear up a couple of things. I probably Didn't actually chew my bite of Veal for 5 whole minutes. It just seemed that way, due to toughness. I finally had to remove it from my mouth.

 

Dessert wasn't actually served along with the other courses. But it definitely did come out of the kitchen on the waiters huge tray, along with the apps, soup, and entrees.  The apps and soup were served first, but before we were half way through them, they were squeezing our entrees on to the table.  And the desserts sat on the trays through out the meal. Thus my ice cream soup.

 

I thought the whole concept was strange. Just figured the waiters no longer wanted to run back and forth to the kitchen, but only wanted to make a single trip.  

 

I'm happy to read that what I experienced is still not the Norm, and maybe I just drew a crew that was lazy or just didn't care. 

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On 11/7/2019 at 12:08 AM, GranysT said:

First time on that class ship, and I really liked it. The ship was clean and beautiful.  The seas were very calm, and the entire7 days was very smooth sailing.

I love the layout of the Conquest class of ship, you don't get the crowded feelings like you do on the larger ships

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