It was the best of times--and the worst of times. Ok, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but this cruise had some great highs, and some really bad lows!
The staterooms were good. Very spacious and nicely appointed. We managed to get upgraded to an outside cabin and it was nice to look out on the ocean each day. Loved the beds and the duvet was fantastic.
The ship itself was great. Considering its size, easy to get around and spotlessly clean. No complaints about the layout.
The gym/spa--FANTASTIC. Great equipment, never a wait and, like the rest of the ship, clean!!!
The Entertainment - Again, no complaints. The shows were hokey, but it's a cruise, I wasn't expecting Broadway. The casino was better than some land-based casinos I've seen and they had the requisite "cruise stuff" to do. Plenty of lounges and bars to fit all different tastes
The food. I was warned. I didn't listen. Let's start with the dining room. I guess they must have forgotten to load spices on this run. Everything tasted plain--like bad wedding food. To echo other reviews, food was luke-warm and tasteless. On top of that, they even managed to find a way to make salad dressing taste bland.
The service. Bad might be too harsh. It was ok. Not great. Rooms were cleaned; wait staff was pleasant but nothing special. The big negative? Our steward chastising my girlfriend and me because we asked for a tip envelop for our wait staff. I guess we weren't supposed to ask for it prior to dinner and we were supposed to wait till after he made up our room then go back and get it.
Excursions: This was my biggest disappointment, although I'm not sure it was Carnival's fault. Key West. We had to dock at a military base and had to take shuttle busses into the city. Now, keep in mind, we only had 4 hours for this port. It took forever to debark and unfortunately, it started raining. Evidently, the shuttles don't run when it rains so our 4 hour debarkation was about 2 hours when all was said and done.
Carnival is what Carnival is. If you want a moderately priced cruise, it lives up to that. If you want to sit in the sun, drink, and eat average food, Carnival is fine. If you want quality food with a bit of pampering, look elsewhere.