We took this cruise as a family to celebrate a 60th birthday, taking along 7 of us in total. My husband daughter and I went on a cruise last year and loved it, so we wanted to share the experience with the others. This was not the cruise to use for first impressions.
Guy's burgers, Blue Agave, and Pizza place were great, but you can only eat so much of that.
Alchemy Bar was fantastic and the bartenders amazing. Tatziana was our favorite, so sweet and talented.
Casino was good size, centrally located and not too smoky.
Plenty of pools to choose from, including water slide
Drink options were fantastic and flavorful (we did the Cheers package, which was great)
Staff was very friendly in all cases
Spa - great massage and facial! (poor overpriced nails though)
Workout facility - amazing and good view/equipment
Motor City show was great, but very short, didn't see the others
Cabin was fantastic (aft extended deck). Plenty of room, plenty of storage space, good layout. Only negative was tiny shower that didn't behave well with the temperature
The food. Buffet was terrible to look at, repetitive and just downright awful. Not even a single piece of unwilted lettuce to be found. The breakfast wasn't even average, powered undercooked eggs, stale pastries. The steaks in the main restaurant were poor quality, tough to cut and overcooked in most cases.
Deck space. There was not enough of it for the number of passengers. On cruise days, not a chair of empty space to be found.
Camp Carnival. Last year my daughter loved Norweigan's Kids' Club, couldn't keep her out of it. This year she hated it, the staff wasn't involved or eager to be there. The activities were mostly coloring, crafts, etc and not a lot of fun interactive activities.
Entertainment. I didn't feel like there was much of an attempt to involve people in interactive games/activities. There were a few "college" like games, like bean bag toss and hairy chest contest, but missing is the fun stuff like family based games in a smaller venue (there is a hasboro show, but in the big theatre, so not much chance of getting involved).
Disembarkation. Disorganized, terrifying for anyone with the slightest bit of anxiety. We arrived back into New Orleans between 6 and 7am and not a single announcement was made by 9am even though the first deck was supposed to go at 7:15. At 9am, we asked our steward and he said we should go that he thought the PA wasn't working and everyone had already gotten off. Well boy was that a bad idea. We went down the elevator into madness. You couldn't even exit the elevator and it kept getting worse. People packed like sardines into a stairwell and elevator bank. Come to find out, our steward was wrong, they hadn't even let the first group off yet. However we were already there, so we couldn't get back out of it. One simple thing would have prevented all of this - an announcement every 30 min or so telling everyone the status. Instead everyone ended up in madness. Communication is key and I found that Gary the cruise director did a very poor job of this. He's a friendly enough guy, but keeping people in the dark is a terrible idea.
Overall we had a great family vacation spending time together, but will never go with Carnival again. The overall experience was far inferior to that we experienced with Norwegian.