We did all three legs of this cruise because of the itinerary and the reasonable cost. We felt that it was an opportunity not to be missed and were also attracted to the fact that we would be embarking and disembarking at U.S. ports.
I think everyone goes into a cruise with expectations in line with their own preferences and therefore all reviews are very subjective. The cruise was pretty much what I expected it to be. First of all, for me it was a bit too long and I doubt I would do such a long cruise again. Things lagged on the third cruise and I think Carnival let us down in this. My biggest complaint is that Carnival did not really attempt to vary the entertainment on board. Many of the shows were repeated and there was no excuse for repeating the shows on the Lido movie screen over and over. I understand the production shows need to be repeated, but do we really need to see four hypnotists? Do we really need to see any?
We took only ship shore excursions. More
While I would give the excursions an average rating, I woulld give Carnival a poor rating on organizing the departure of the tours. We often had long wait times in the theatre and a few times instructions were not clear, especially on the days that the ship arrived late into port. Some passengers with mobility issues had difficulty with the long lines winding down the stairs to exit the ship.
As far as service, went I would give our room stewards an A++++, some of our waiters an A+ and the gift shop employees a C.
Food in the Lido at lunch and dinner was good and varied. Menus in the dining room were repeated too often and I felt service to be a bit slow although for some reason this differed from one leg of the cruise to another... I guess it mattered where you were seated.
My interest in the ports varied. Some I loved - Montevideo, Salvador, Manta, Ushuaia. Buenos Aires and Rio are just too large to effectively visit with one day in port...most of our time was spent in traffic. This is a very subjective area so others would have a different viewpoint.
There were other problems on board that some passengers felt were much more serious. Many were angry that we did not see the fjords, but that is the nature of a cruise...some ports willbe missed due to weather and sea conditions and I had heard that Carnival management in Miami made that decision (read the fine print in the contract about their right to change the itinerary).
Would I do this itinerary again? No, but I knew that going in. Would I sail Carnival again? Probably but only on the type of cruise they do best...short cruises that aim for fun and relaxation, not cruises that are unusual and more history and nature based. Less