I did not have high expectations for this cruise based on some of the reviews that I read. There were five of us that went on the cruise and we all agreed that it was absolutely a great, great cruise.
We booked about three weeks before the cruise and got what we thought was a great price; but we had to let Carnival pick our cabins. We thought we may not get cabins near each other; but Carnival gave us three cabins very close to each other. Thanks, Carnival!
We got to the port at 11:00. No lines at all. We then sat down in the waiting area until they started boarding (close to 11:30). Had lunch on the Lido Deck buffet. They told us they would announce when our rooms would be ready which would be about 1:30; but while we started exploring the ship, we went by our cabin at about 1:00 pm, and saw that the room was ready so we dropped off our carry-ons and then continued exploring.
We had an ocean view room on the main deck. It was fairly near the elevator; but we did not hear any noise. It was a quiet, clean room and the beds were very comfortable. The room had one ottoman and one hardback chair (wish it was a more comfortable club-style chair though). There are no hairdryers in the room so you need to bring your own. The last few cruises I was on had a small sofa in the cabin; which these cabins do not; but it was fine. We knew this was an older, smaller ship. Let me just add, this may be an older ship; but it looks great! Everything was clean, clean, clean (we are a little picky about this). We constantly saw staff cleaning all over this ship.
I was concerned about the smell that people have written about; and sure enough when we first got on the ship, we smelled a sewer odor mid-ship on the lido deck and on decks just below that. However, once we sailed, we never smelled it again. I don't know if it has to do with something they are doing when they pull in port. Our room never had that smell.
My biggest surprise was the food. We had heard that it was "Golden Corral"-ish; but I thought the food was great! I only had one dinner that I did not like too much -- turkey dinner (because it had a white gravy); everything else was very, very good. Oh, the pizza is not very good in my opinion. We always had breakfast on the Lido Deck buffet and the hot food was hot; and everything was fresh. Elegant night we had lobster tails (they even gave us extra) and they also offered prime rib which I heard others say was excellent. My last cruise on Celebrity they did not even offer lobster tail on their formal night --only lobster chunks over pasta. I thought Ecstasy's food was much better.
The only thing I was disappointed in were the shows. However, we did enjoy many of the trivia games they had during the day, and karaoke at night.
I would go back on this cruise in a heartbeat!