This cruise was a family reunion for my uncle's 50th anniversary, so the line and destination were decided on by their family. The group included seniors down to young children. We traveled with my daughter (10) and son (2.5).
The embarkation was well done, not too long of a line, although we got several pre-embarkation emails from Carnival. One that moved back our time to 2:00 (which also said it was a 7 day cruise, not 5 - they later retracted that).
I was shocked that this ship was built in 2004! The rooms were really cheap and dated and all of the public rooms were pretty tasteless. My husband called the ship "Circus Circus Afloat". There was not a quiet corner to find, every room was garish, with Lava Lamp lighting, even the elevator lights were strobe styled. The ship itself if confusing and the public rooms are small considering the amount of people on the boat. This boat was at FULL capacity: 3650 people and they were everywhere. If you like tight quarters with lots of lines, this is your place!
To make the public spaces seem even smaller, Carnival decided to put a photographer everywhere you went. Seriously, they were set up for photo shoots every 15 feet on level 5/Promenade right in the walkways! It was like a huge school fundraiser and they were definately herding people in to take photos with every imaginable backdrop.
I felt bad for the crew. There's only 1100 and they all seem pretty overworked and miserable. They were pleased to get a "Hello and Thank You" from us, it seemed most of the guests were not as kind.
Food? It was plentiful but fairly tasteless. We were early seating and overall most of the meals were well presented and warm but many lacked flavor but had salt. One interesting thing is that out of all of the cruises we have been on, this one had the best lobster dinner served. I don't know how they managed that but it was very good.
The entertainment was not very good. We went to the show the second night and ended up leaving early. The singers were fine, but the outfits kept getting smaller and she didn't. It was essentially the same entertainers the entire trip. The dancers were good although all of the male dancers should have been wearing tutu's :)
The pools looked like a fish boil, there were so many people in them. I think the pools are too small for 3650 passengers. The adult only pool in the back of the boat was too cold one day and too warm the next, although the location was good.
The stateroom was clean and well presented but I would advise you to bring hair conditioner and lotion - Carnival does not provide these at all.
The biggest issue we had, which we complained about more than once was the smoke. Our rooms (we had two, one inside 7443, one balcony 7543) were located in the aft of the boat and there was a crew stairwell back there. The crew must smoke constantly in that stairwell and it would come up into the halls. It was really bad. We know that the crew smoked in there because we had to use that stairwelll for the muster drill and there were ash urns full of cigarette butts (plus butts all over the stairs) when we walked down.
Halifax is a cute little town with not much to do or see. We walked along the Quay and went to the Maritime Museum
We took the walk on- walk off bus around town and to the reversing falls. It was fine, not much to see or do in Saint John, cute town