First impressions were not good...embarkation was slow, long lines out the door of the port terminal. Few staff to direct passengers. Even having completed the Fun Pass ahead of time seemed to make no difference in check in time. It seemed you went from desk to desk, floor to floor, before getting on the ship.
Ship itself is impressive, atrium beautiful, decor upbeat and fun. Lots of really cool looking bars and lounges. Public areas were very nice.
Unfortunately, immediately upon entering the ship I realized that this was going to be a "bumpy ride". It was so crowded and congested it seemed you could not move without getting in someone's way. This was to be the case the entire week. Lines for everything, waiting, and frustration. Breakfast lineups were especially long.
The Lido deck with the main pools was a nightmare, no chairs, no shade and dirty looking ones if available at all. Again very crowded.
I have heard many comments about Carnival constantly trying to sell everything and I agree. Bingo, Bingo, Bingo, photos, overpriced internet, "Vacation Club now?" , overpriced shore excursions, overpriced drinks. Too much!!
Yet they seem to be cutting down on everything. Plastic mugs for coffee...? Cheap looking plastic trays, exactly the same breakfast available every morning no variation whatsoever. What is that all about..how chintzy. In the dining room, food was good but no little extras...no offer of parmesan cheese for your pasta, no fresh pepper, three shrimps on the shrimp cocktail. No special desserts or even baked Alaska...things are getting tight I guess!
Staff seemed overworked and irritable. If you asked for something often it was answered with an "no, or I don't think so". Very frustrating what happened to pleasing the passenger?
The ship was full of families and while I certainly have no quarrel with this, what was really annoying was how children were virtually allowed full rein of the ship. Running through the cabin corridors until 3 am, yelling and laughing while fellow passengers were trying to sleep. Too many parents seemed to think that the entire ship is a kids club requiring no adult supervision, really unfair to others. Children in the casinos, even in the "R" rated comedy shows, playing hide and seek in the hallways.
Cabins were small but acceptable. The Room Steward did a good job but was not overly friendly -- somewhat curt. Dining room staff was excellent but looked really overworked.
Entertainment was great. Cruise Director "Wee Jimmy" was wonderful, just the right mix of information and comedy not too over the top.
To finish... I suppose I would say that this cruise if a wonderful deal may be a good choice form families looking for an inexpensive getaway. But for me, unfortunately it will be my last large Carnival ship.