I am comparing my experience to the review written by glomarrone. The description of the decor is quite accurate - a change from the often loud and sometimes distracting decor on other Carnival ships. The design of the Buffet was a pleasant change from the often drab settings, and there was better use of space to include breakfast bar type seats across the width of the restaurant; however, there is always the lingering problem of those who use the dining space for playing cards, reading books while viewing scenery, etc. Many passengers have to hold a table to assure that food will still be hot when finding a place to sit.
A new feature of the ship is the lanai, a walkway around deck 5, over the lifeboats. While it makes for a nice track to walk around the ship, and includes more lounge chairs and occasional hot tubs positioned partway over the edge of the deck, it can also be annoying to those who have balconies just above it. We were on deck 6 forward. We would normally be able to sit on the balcony with privacy, but we had people waving good morning, or we had to listen to the squeaks of athletic shoes as people walked or ran on damp decks. We would normally be able to look straight down at the ocean, but now my husband considers this an obstructed view. The lights on the rail were illuminated all night, so the view of a dark sky to gaze at stars or watch for passing ships was not there.
Carnival seemed to have their cabin stewards spread too thin, since we didn't even meet our steward until the third day of the cruise, after numerous calls to Guest Services and leaving a note on the bed about the lack or beach towels or robes, which are normally provided in the room.
Our main waiter in the dining room seemed to be new to the job, as he was double and triple checking orders for the first few days, then began warming up to passengers, using first names and anticipating daily requests, such as tomato slices instead of salad, or extra crackers. I found that I only ordered the chilled soups, since many seemed to be a combination of whatever herbs, spices or other ingredients were available that day. I didn't find items such as beet or pumpkin soup desirable. Even on the daily "standby" menu, from which you can order other items (such as salmon, etc.), there was no common soup (chicken, vegetable, bean, etc.).
I liked the idea of Internet usage being available in different parts of the ship, instead of being hidden away (such as just beyond a cigar bar). The terminals could also be used for information about the ship, activities, weather, and other things. The main site, where the Internet manager was located, was on the promenade level; however, it was adjacent to the bar where trivia and/or karaoke took place, so it became just a place to quickly check things online, then move on.
There were plenty of loud announcements, especially encouraging people to "please wash your hands with soap and water". There were more Purell dispensers on the ship than I've seen on others, but still none inside the casino or immediately in sight upon exiting. At each main dining room, there were 2 dispensers, but when it came time to move people quickly for dinner, they had staff members stationed on either side with spray bottles to speed up the process.
While this was the last cruise to purchase future cruise certificates, there was always a long line to take advantage of it or to book the next cruise on board.
The shows in the main theater were repeated in some cases, just in reverse order, so that each seating in the MDR could see them. I was glad to see that they removed bingo from the evening portion of the use of the theater. There would always be those who were were already there playing bingo, and you'd have to sit through bingo in order to get a decent seat for the show. I did participate in a new experience - the Carnival Glee Club - in which, with only 5-6 rehearsals, we performed on stage (with choreography created by entertainment staff), singing "We Are The World" plus a disco medley of 7 songs.
This show also included performances by certain staff members. Our maitre d, who always sang in the MDR before introducing the waitstaff, did not perform as well with a live band. We always accused him of being a "Frank Sinatra wanna be", since that was most of his songs. I don't ever recall having a singing maitre 'd on any other cruises.