I have been on a few different cruises out of Port Canaveral as well as Miami. The embarkation process for this cruise was not well organized.
We arrived around 11:30 and the first thing I noticed is that there were a lot of people disembarking from the ship. We entered the building and we were about 10th in line to board the ship, not counting the VIP cruisers who were allowed to go into their special waiting area. We waited until close to 1:30 before we could proceed. This was a long time but I understand that there were delays with the ship's arrival and things happen. What was real sad is that, while I was inside in the AC, there were a LOT of people outside in a super long line in the Miami heat. Several of these people had children and seniors with them. I am not sure what Carnival could do about it.....maybe at the very least go offer people water.
I am happy to say though....other than that start. It was a great cruise with really about the best weather you could ask for.
I always find it interesting that two different people can go on the same cruise and one can love it and another hates it.
I am one who goes on the cruise expecting to have fun and be able to relax. This cruise provided plenty of both.
Everyone on the crew was very professional and very nice. I took the time to greet most of the crew that I cam in contact with and if I spend any time at all with them, I would ask about their day and how they were doing. I see so many people treat the crew like they were less than human because they don't all speak English as their first language. Almost every one of these crew members goes out of their way to make your vacation a good one. Keep in mind that they do this while working just about every day without a day off.
The ship itself was very clean and it constantly being maintained.
There is a wide variety of food choices and I really liked Guy's burgers and the taco/burrito bar. I am not sure why Guy's stays open until 6pm every day but the taco bar closes at 2:30. They should be more in sync.
We had early dining and had the same great server's every day. They were very attentive and made the dinner's special. Was the food 5 star? No,but really, if that is what you are looking for in a cruise, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The food was good and some things are better than others. Try things, it is all included in the price and they are happy to bring you whatever you want on the menu.
The comedy shows were a bit hit, especially Happy Cole. If you get a chance to see him on a Carnival Cruise....do not miss him.
The director, Karl with K, and his staff did a decent enough job. There are better cruise directors out there and there are worse. If this had been my first cruise I would have thought he was great. (But I have seen a couple of outstanding ones).
If you just attend events and shows looking to have fun, then you will. If you attend events and shows looking to criticize, then you will find plenty to be unhappy with. Carnival can't please everyone, but they do a good job pleasing most!
Disembarkation was smooth for me and I was able to get off the ship early. The port of Miami is a mess though. Under construction and we had to take a bus to the parking area because the ship was docked way too far away when it returned to port.
I would cruise Carnival again....I would just avoid the port of Miami if I could.