Just off the Victory from the 12/16 sailing. This was our very first cruise--and our first experience with Carnival. Not impressed. The ship is in DIRE need of renovations. Our shower had mold issues, a toilet that delayed emptying, and a broken closet door which banged and swayed back and forth for the entire duration of the trip. Our room steward was top notch, however. He tended to the cabin twice a day and everything was cleaned to our satisfaction(with the exception of the shower issue). We found the ship to be overrun by rude Puerto Ricans who pushed and shoved their way through the crowds, apparently forgetting common courtesy and that there were other passengers onboard besides themselves.
We sat in the Pacific Room and found the crew to be distant--even aloof at times. Twice my order was forgotten, the chicken arrived undercooked, and drinks are overpriced. They actually come around to your table offering an after dinner drink--and then have the audacity to charge you for it. Food in the dining room ranged from very good to downright bizarre. The best meals seemed to be served on the first two evenings, after that things went downhill quickly. Buffet food as OK, though by the time you found a table to sit at, it was often cold. Deli was VERY good. The one young fellow(I believe his name was Vushi)made the best Reuben I've ever had. Pizza was hit or miss. One day it was VERY good, the next time it was cold and tasted off. The only "free" beverages offered were lemonade/iced tea and the usual coffee/tea. I'm not a real drinker, but bar prices are about what I expected.
We felt nickel and dimed on everything, and the large groups that amassed on deck 5 to have their picture taken with the photographers was often a disorganized mess with lots of pushing and shoving ensuing. Room service was VERY slow(It took almost half-an-hour to have breakfast delivered--making us almost too late for our shore excursion). Everything had a rushed feeling to it and at times we felt treated like cattle--with an emphasis on getting you to open your wallet as often as possible. The one black comedian in the Punchliner Comedy Club was VERY funny. The other three were mediocre to downright terrible. Singers were so-so. The older fellow in the Adriatic Lounge had a very limited vocal range while serenading us with Barry Manilow and Billy Joel tunes. Not stuff the younger crowds are familiar with. We took in one show in the Caribbean lounge, which wasn't half bad.
Shopping aboard the ship was so-so. The gift shops were often crowded and overpriced. Not ONCE did I see any employees smile--even though I smiled first. They all looked like they really didn't want to be there. Although the constant scrubbing, cleaning, and polishing of the ship did instill a sense of confidence(especially with Norovirus making the rounds lately), there were plenty of other areas that were downright filthy(the self-serve ice cream and beverage areas for one).
Also, I don't know if the stabilizers weren't working--or they just weren't using them--but this ship moved around WAY too much for my liking. No issues with motion sickness, but a vessel of this size seemed a little "cranky" to me. It was especially noticeable in the dining room and upper decks late at night.
All in all, I rate this trip a 5-out of 10. The whole experience just didn't sit well with me, and it's going to be awhile before I consider cruising with Carnival again, or cruising period.