We arrived at the port by 11:30. At first the lines moved swiftly and everything seemed great - we got our Sea Pass Card, were given a Zone number and were sent to a nice seating area. Our zone was called and we got in line. Then we waited and waited. There was a bottleneck of people to get their photos put on the Sea Pass card. Embarkation for us took slightly over 2 hours - mostly standing in line. I started feeling sorry for older people who had a hard time standing, etc. This was not a good way to start a cruise as we boarded the ship tired and a bit grumpy from standing so long.
It was going on 2:00 p.m., so we went to our cabin to drop off our carry on baggage. We found our cabin to be spacious and comfortable (thank you Carnival). We had an aft-balcony and enjoyed the additional balcony space in the back. The one strange thing is that we never met our cabin steward on the first day. After several cruises, we found this a bit odd. We did meet our cabin steward in the hallway a few days later and I asked him for an extra bar of soap - that was about the extent of seeing our cabin steward the entire cruise.
We made it up to the buffet which was very crowded at this point, so I found Guy's Burger Joint with no line! WOW! I grabbed a cheeseburger and went to the fixings station and had a great time with adding bacon, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, etc. The burger itself was pretty good, but the bacon was so crunchy I couldn't chew it and the bun was greasy. Fries were undercooked and greasy as well. I did try it again later in the week and found it to be the same.
Food in the dining room was good to very good each night and our wait-team was personal and attentive. We had a table at the very back of the dining room and some of our people were in the dark - they need to lighten up the very back of the room somehow. Our table rotated among the "dark area" all week.
We tried the Fish and Chips on Deck 10 of the buffet - fish was greasy, but the fries were some the best on the ship. I returned again another day and just took the breading off the fish and found it very tasty and less greasy.
We totally enjoyed the Punchliner Comedy Brunch on both sea days. The deli was adequate and I missed the Mongolian Wok because it was always crowded or closed when I tried them. The food at the Blue Iguana Cantina was awesome - great burritos (and huge). Don't miss them!
There were lots of beverage stations with coffee and tea and juice and ice cream stations all over - THANK YOU! That was much appreciated.
Pizza was 24 hours and some of the best I've had on a cruise ship, but you almost always had to wait in line to get it.
Overall, food on the ship was plentiful and boundless, but again, sometimes there were long lines to get it.
We had luggage tags #8 and Disembarkation was a breeze compared to embarkation...we got off quickly and were in a cab before we knew it.
Overall, I would say we got a good value for what we paid. Food was bountiful, we enjoyed the Belize shore tour and the entertainment was surprisingly good. I do want to comment that all the shows, activities, etc. were played extremely loudly over the speakers. I had to yell to our friends several times on the ship. This was not a peaceful, quiet ship! I would have appreciated the serenity area more if they had a pool there rather than just a hot tub. My favorite spot on the ship was the aft pool area as it was close to everything, yet still somewhat quiet...
This ship itself is clean and pretty for a Carnival ship. The new Funship 2.0 additions were really nice. Where Carnival needs to improve is in their crowd control at embarkation and for tendering and maybe add some extra stations for food with long lines. This was not the first time this occurred on this cruiseline for us and it is disappointing. We shouldn't have to pay extra for the Faster to the Fun Pass to not wait in line for over 2 hours. I didn't feel quite as pampered/special as I have on other cruiselines.
Another couple travelling with us (new to cruising) complained to me that they felt "nickeled and dimed" - I didn't feel that way, but it did make me realize just how much extra one can spend on a cruise, especially if one drinks alcohol. Overall, I felt we got a good value for what we paid and the cruise was enjoyable, despite needing a little extra patience here and there.