My husband and I have been on 14 cruises together. One with Disney, one with Princess, three with Carnival, and the rest with Royal Caribbean. We sailed on the Elation in 2007 and back then I said I did not want to sail with Carnival again. However, at $219 a person it was hard to pass this one up. After this cruise, I am sticking with RCCL for the following reasons:
*No sail away party. On RCCL the day you sail the entire activities staff is on deck doing the electric slide, curly shuffle, and other dances. It is one of the things I really look forward to. On Carnival there was a 2-man band playing - that's it. How that's a "Fun Ship" I am not sure.
*There weren't that many interesting activities during the day and the ones they did have poorly scheduled. RCCl has a lot of fun activities scheduled at better times.
*Choreography of the shows was not impressive and the dancers were not that good either. Nobody was in sync while dancing. Their biggest show of the cruise was actually a karaoke show by passengers. RCCL usually has great shows, choreography, and dancers.
*Our room smelled like smoke when we first got on. They ran an ozone machine which took care of it. Unfortunately the smoke came in through the vent in the ceiling somewhere from the outside, so on and off throughout the cruise our room still smelled like smoke. The last night it was the worst and our last morning, when I woke up, I felt like I was sitting in the casino upstairs. Gross! I have NEVER had this problem on any other cruise line.
*Any time we opened the toilet seat is smelled like raw sewer. Disgusting! Again, never a problem on any other cruise line before.
*The food was ok but nothing exciting and not that big of a selection. They served hamburgers and hot dogs every day, but closed that section at 6 PM when the other places opened for dinner. I find that odd.
*We had a big cabin (R3) due to its location yet there was no couch to sit on and we had no night stands.
There was more but these reasons alone are enough for me to avoid Carnival in the future.