This was my 14th cruise, the 7th with Carnival. Arrived at Houston Hobby the day prior, rented a car, got a hotel in Houston on Priceline for $40. Drove to the port the next day. I booked this cruise 8 days out, did not get any upgrade, sailed solo.
Embarkation: Pretty slow, got there early took over an hour after checking in to board. A wedding party held things up.
Room: A true 1A shabby at best. Mold and mildew in the bathroom, poor shower head. Stained carpets, awful pillows. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the seas were rough due to Hurricane Katrina and a lower inside made it possible to weather the seas without getting sick.
Lido buffet the standard fare, the deli is the best bet here. Pools were not open the first day. Was seated with younger singles for two days, the third day is open seating after that I did the buffet. The shows were OK--a pretty good comedian. The gym has good equipment for the size of the ship. The aft pool was never crowded but there is a good deal of rust. Drinks are weak.
Food could use improvement, portions are small. Because of the hurricane we arrived late in Cozumel by 5 hours. the excursions began late but took place nevertheless. People were given the option to cancel.
At least half the ship was sick with the 15 ft seas and 30 mile an hour winds. the first sea day was very quiet. By dinner some people were recovering. The infirmary was extremely busy.
I took the excursion to Passion Island which is a lovely beach with open bar, The food was OK. It was buggy though. The water and sand were the best--there is no snorkeling. We had maybe 30 people in total.
The next day we were unable to dock in Calica because the of currents. It was strange because at the time we should have docked we were pulling away from Calica.