Firstly,let me say that everyone deserves to have fun on a cruise. And families with children seemed to do just that. But sailing in the school holidays is not for the elderly. The only reason we took this cruise is that it was a family cruise with my daughter, husband and grand children.And Having said that we heard several young couples with children saying that they would not cruise again in the school holidays. And the fact that we had huge numbers of the rudest,bad mannered children on board didn't help either.
Now, for the ship itself. It is a smart looking ship with some very nice areas including the Serenity, Atrium and the main auditorium. With the exception of the main auditorium the decor was shabby.We had an extended balcony which was quite large but the cabin didn't have that "Wow" factor. The bathroom was quite dull and with none of the usual toiletries present. And as a small tip, if you are considering buying an extended balcony keep it in mind that there is no privacy at the rail as all the other balconies above are looking down onto yours.
The dining was a mixed bag going from one extreme to another. The Nouvelle Specialty restaurant was something special but would want to be at $35 pp, but it was a treat to get away from the crowds. The main dining was okay. Pretty quick service and some nice meals were had there. Fat Jimmy's BBQ was good on the few time it was open But now what about the LaPlaya Grill ( buffet), easily the most dis functional buffet of any ship I have been on.Long queues unless you went outside of peak times but then most of it was shut down. In the evening the buffet consisted of a two metre long Bain- Marie of hot food and a salad bar. The only 24/7 food was the Pizza bar. And if you like room service, forget it.No room service from the dining room and as an example, if you wanted a hamburger and a cup of tea in your cabin that will be $8 thankyou.
As for entertainment, there wasn't much to rave about. Five comedians, a singer and a magician was all. Movies on demand in your cabin were an outrageous $11 each and not to mention the most annoying singer in the casino while I was trying to concentrate loosing money as usual. Sorry Keith, you were horrible. And as for the Casino I think Carnival will have to address the issue of children in that area. Children were witnessed pressing buttons on poker machines.
And almost finally,there was no deckchairs on the promenade deck. And the most outrageous beer prices ever. $6.95 for a XXXX
To sum up. Don't be sucked in with the cabin credits as you will need these to compensate for higher than normal prices for beer, room service , movies and I almost forgot, $10 to play pool. And 1.5 percent charge on your debit card.
Maybe they should slap a big P&O on the side and make it another "booze cruiser"
So, if this is the best Carnival can do RCCL,Princess and the others have nothing to worry about