This was our 6th cruise, but first Carnival Cruise. Some of the highlights were the great stops - we snorkeled in Cozumel, went cave rafting in Belize, enjoyed the beach at Roatan and swam with the Stingrays and snorkeled at Grand Cayman.
Overall the cruise was okay, but I don't really think it measured up to the 4.5 rating that it was scored at.
Our room was a balcony, but we endured noise all night long, coming from the kitchen area above. All night long we could hear carts rolling, along floors and through doorways. We advised guest services the first night, and on the second night we called them in the middle of the second night and a staff member came in. They did not have any other rooms, and since we already had a balcony we were not looking for an upgrade - just a peaceful sleep. They offered us a discount, but this really wasn't what we wanted - we did not expect this continued nightly noise from the staff and kitchen.
The food was okay, but not exceptional. We were quite selective where we ate - our dinners were all in the dining room with open seating, but we sat in the same section and enjoyed exceptional wait staff - Clive and his helpers. The food was quite good, lobster, prime rib, fish - the soups were excellent and the desserts amazing - especially recommend the melting chocolate dessert.
Buffet was not as good. I enjoyed the salad bar, the deli sandwich area, and the fresh pizza, but in general the buffet was lacking in many choices of food.
We enjoyed morning room service, however coffee was not very hot when it arrived - the thermos containers were plastic and didn't seem to keep it hot. Citrus fruit sections tasted like they were canned instead of fresh fruit. However breakfast arrived at the time ordered.
As well, I was shocked the the lack of hand sanitizers. I was actually looking for them and they were often out of the way, and lots were empty or not working. This made me a bit uneasy. When we came back from time on shore we were not greeted with wet facecloths, sanitizers, drinking water, or any of the normal amenities other cruises offer.
In general, I was quite surprised that staff seemed to have issues - generally not very friendly, often preoccupied, frequently walking in front of guests, bumping people with trays, chatting to each other while ignoring dirty tables..
The room was fairly large, with a larger balcony, but there was gob of food dirt on the outside the balcony glass that was there for the entire cruise, even after they cleaned the balcony (since it was on the outside the glass).
Bed was comfortable. Room was adequate. Still old fashioned TV's that stuck out on shelf and I kept hitting my head on it. Nice when they convert to flat screens.
No creams, moisturizers, in the bathroom - shampoo in dispenser on the wall. Pretty bare minimum - they did provide bathrobes.
As in post cruises, the lounge chairs are empty but covered with towels. No one monitoring this, so all prime location loungers are reserved.
Entertainment: We enjoyed a couple of shows, and the Legend 12 piece band was excellent. They were the highlight of the entertainment. Compared to other cruises, entertainment wasn't that great.
I was also quite surprised by the disembarkation process. We had to be up and in the theatre by 7:30 am (all the non American guests, that is)... so we were up really early, waiting to get cleared by customs, then sent back to our rooms, and then had to be out of the rooms by 8:45 although we couldn't take our luggage and go off with the US guests (the non American guests could only leave the ship by zones and couldn't take our luggage and walk off) So it was a really long process to leave the ship.
Most disappointing was the fact that I mistakenly left my Iphone in the stateroom when I left,(I had to set the alarm to get up and out by 7:30 am) and have not been able to get it back. When I was on shore and away from the docks it was impossible to call Carnival on the weekend to get any response or to locate the phone. When I called on Monday morning they reported the incident, and now a week has gone by with no response from them. I'm still hoping Carnival will come through and return my phone to me.