We traveled with our two adult children, ages 20 and 23.
EMBARKATION went smoothly. It took about one hour start to finish. When we arrived on board, the first thing I noticed about the ship was how filthy it was. We were on the Upper deck, level 6; the carpet was worn and had huge black stains everywhere. When we got to our room, we found dead bugs everywhere, and there was hair all over my comforter. Out on our deck, there was debris including cigarette butts. Our balcony glass was so dirty we could hardly see out of it, and it remained that way the entire cruise. We noticed in the public areas, when dishes or glasses were cleared off tables, they were not wiped clean. In the dining room, there was dust on the railing where we were seated. On the second day out, my husband accidently dropped a dinner roll under our table, and we left it there purposely to see if it would ever be removed. It was still there on the last night of the cruise! We had a good laugh over that one!
FOOD: The food was very mediocre. Our prime rib on the first formal night was made up almost entirely of fat, and had to be sent back. Desserts were awful. I actually lost four pounds on this cruise! I have to say, though, the pizza on the Lido deck was wonderful, as well as the deli sandwiches. The morning buffet upstairs was average, but the lunch buffet was very good.
ENTERTAINMENT: When they warn you in advance a show is R rated, please take them seriously. The comics were very funny. However, on the last night, there was an R rated improv show given by the cruise staff. Although very funny, it was borderline "X rated". Even my young adult kids thought it was "over the top" and "kind of gross". Lot of drinking going on up there on stage, too. They boast the Las Vegas shows are "the best on the seven seas". Maybe they had never been to Las Vegas; we found them to be amateurish...sort of like seeing high school dancing and choreography. BARS AND LOUNGES: We especially liked Ron in the Piano bar. You can sing along with him if you like that sort of thing. Henri's was a lot of fun. We hung out there and danced until about midnight, then noticed most adults over 40 had left, so we did too. My kids loved it there. The Karaoke lounge was a lot of fun, too.
OVERALL: We had a good time. My kids had a blast (LOTS of 18-21 year olds onboard). Will we cruise again? Of course! Will we chose Carnival? No. I've cruised on other lines, had fantastic food, entertainment, and a clean ship. We didn't let these negatives spoil our fun, but I would not return to Carnival in the future.