First, please know that I'm a huge Carnival fan. Nine Carnival cruises so far and I've introduced many friends to Carnival. Often I've had to convince people - "No, Carnival is really great, don't believe what you've heard!" Sometimes we try another line, but we always seem to come back to Carnival. We travel with friends, anywhere from 6 to 12 people.
We usually book our next cruise while onboard or right after we get home. That's what we did after our January Breeze sailing - BUT - next time we are trying Celebrity. Here's why: while the Breeze is an amazing ship, the food and entertainment were consistently disappointing. And for us, those are the things we look forward to in a cruise. When a hamburger (Guy's) is the best meal on a ship, you know there's a problem. Most meals in the MDR were cold and bland. Same for the buffet food. And don't get me started on the powdered eggs. Really, is Carnival saving enough money that it is worth all the complaints on the cruise review boards? Just not what we'd come to expect from Carnival.
As for entertainment, we missed the production shows of previous cruises. Seriously, putting the same band that plays most other nights in a bar on the big stage does not make for a special, exciting experience. We could never get into a comedy show due to the lines and small venue. The thump-thump-thump of the deejay near the pool was awful. We would rather pay more than have such a downgraded experience. So, I guess it's time to try something new.
On a positive note, like I said, the ship is fantastic! We especially loved the decor, the pool area, and the water slides. Ron in the piano bar was fantastic too.
I hope someday things go back the way they were with dining and entertainment on Carnival. They seem to be either cutting back just to save money, or trying to keep prices artificially low. But you know what? Most of us know what a great value cruising is, and we don't mind paying for it. Just don't take a first class experience and turn it into something so much less.