We left NYC on 9/11/12. It was a nice touch that the crew acknowledged the date as we sailed by the World Trade Center site.
I did notice that there have been a great deal of cutbacks regarding food (salad bar was very basic service, less selections at the buffet, main dining room service was awesome, however, drink service in the theatre seemed to take too long. We frequented the comedy club which was good but several shows were standing room only. The Serenity deck was always occupied and the usual shenanigans of people hogging chairs was evident. Not once did we see staff even attempt to remove towels (as posted)when someone was gone for more than 45 mins.. Hot tubs were "hot" enough unlike our previous cruise on the Glory. We had to ask for robes in our staterooms. I like that the ice cream/yogurt station is tucked away now. Tea time was fun.
Cruise critic meet and greet appeared on the schedule but no one showed from carnival and no bar service was available at our meeting place. Shows were great.
We chose the unassisted option on debarkation (no luggage left outside our room) and there was quite a delay getting us off the ship. Seems like everyone chose that option. Cabin steward very attentive. Brought a corkscrew immediately when we requested one. This was the first cruise I was able to go to the gym and actually use the equipment.
A sailaway party would have been nice but it hasn't been done on the last 2 cruises we took. Staff was great particularly Leonardo, our waiter and his staff, Corey the cruise director. Danielle (one of the hostesses /cruise directors team) was particularly helpful and gracious. Also Maddie who sang with the band was wonderful.
The show band was great. We really enjoyed them. The gentleman who played guitar in the atrium lounge was disappointing as he didn't sing. One other performer who played guitar did sing and he was good. The piano bar always seems disappointing to me but perhaps it just isn't what I expect.
Great time overall. I'd definitely cruise again with Carnival.
Took the hobie cat out and did some snorkeling. Lunch was fine. Good time!