This was our 3rd Carnival cruise this year, and I will admit that the cruise experience was not as good as the other two. When we arrived at our stateroom, the smell was unbearable because a sewage line was blocked. When we returned several hours later, it was better, but it took about a day and a half before the odor was completely eradicated. Because I take online college classes, I signed up for the 24/7 internet access. This was a mistake because the internet access was extremely slow, Yahoo could not be accessed for most of the cruise, and at least one night, they closed off the internet cafe completely because a "private function" was scheduled in the adjoining club.
However, the food was excellent in the main dining room, on the lido deck, and it was magnificent in the Emerald Supper Club. It was well worth the $30 per person. Our waiter in the main dining room, Mile, was absolutely the best waiter that we have ever had!!!! I wish I could say as much for our cabin stewart. At times we didn't have towels/washclothes. When we chased him down, he said that they had "ran out of laundry that morning." Go figure. He delivered them later on that night. One day he "forgot" to return the Carnival towels, so we had to chase him down again. Go figure.
We were about 15 minutes late for the Captain's reception and we never had the opportunity to see him. It was held in one of the small clubs which was extremely crowded so we only stayed about 15 minutes. The past guest reception was a little better, held in the Amber Palace.
The music at the clubs was not our particular taste in music. It wasn't easy to dance to and the floor was usually filled with a younger crowd who were pretty well lit, if you know what I mean.
We had requested dining for two but ended up at a table for six. That turned out ok because the 3 single women at our table were really nice and the conversation was easy. We only ate in the main dining room 4 nights.
If you are not a smoker, this would be the ship for you. Smoking was extremely limited on the ship. The layout and design of the ship was an absolute nightmare. I didn't talk to anyone who ever really figured out how to get where they were going, even on the last day of the cruise. It is a real maze!!!
If you're planning a trip to Costa Maya, we highly recommend the speed boat excursion. It was great and the guide was a hoot. Don't take the Atlantis excursion unless you are able to walk A LOT! For about 3 hours, we walked, walked, and walked. It was interesting, but I was really glad to get back to the ship.
We love to cruise. We have another cruise planned in November on another cruise line. Was this particular cruise worth the money? Probably. Is it one that I would pay that much again to go on? Probably not.