I booked this cruise to celebrate my 50th birthday. A number of my college fraternity brothers joined me. We knew it was going to be a short, cheap, but fun trip. And it was.
Embarkation was a breeze. You need to do your homework before you come. Have the right papers in hand and follow the instructions of staff.
Rooms were not ready until 1:30 p.m., so a number of us were on the Lido Deck. The staff keeps trying to get you to buy drinks. I assume they work on commission, as there were many. I have to say this, there is a massive language problem amongst the waitstaff. While it can be amusing when ordering drinks, it is frustrating when they can't understand that you want a Hendricks martini at dinner. Further, I worry that the language issue could compromise safety if there were a ship incident.
My cabin steward, Roberto, was great. My DH could not make it on the cruise, so I had the cabin to myself. Oceanview and lots of space. It would have worked well for two people also.
I know there were many on the ship who just wanted to party. Carnival allows that, but there were quite a few overly intoxicated people every evening. Further, some did not seem to think that there were children and others on the ship who do not like hearing foul language and manners. Don't get me wrong, it brought back a lot of memories for my friends and I of our college days, but people need to be mindful of others on the ship.
I don't gamble, so I did not go to the casino. I did go to the comedy club and am glad that they designate which shows are family friendly. I videotaped a friend doing karaoke after 4 martinis!
The food was better than I got at the cafeteria in college, but far from gourmet. I strongly suggest the dining rooms as opposed to the buffets. They are cleaner and have better service.
I had read about chair hogs. I guess they were taking the weekend off. No problem finding a chair. But the sun was so intense, that most people stayed in the shade. My friends and I convened in the aft section of the Lido deck just outside the buffet. Very quiet and shady.
But if you go with a group of adults, spend the extra $$ and do the Chef's Table one night. I repeat....do the Chef's Table!!! We did it for my birthday dinner and it was worth 3x the cost of $75. A private dinner in the library where the executive chef serves 10-12 courses with wine parings. We felt like we were judges on "Iron Chef". Kudos to this website for letting me know about this, as it is Carnival's little secret that is not on their site.
Carnival is not for everyone. There is a lot of upselling and a 3-day cruise will almost always be a "booze cruise", but if you are going with friends to celebrate an occasion or just to get away for 72 hours, this would be a good option.