First time cruising with Carnival, we were very sceptical in the beginning especially because of the so many things happening to Carnival ships in the past few weeks.
Embarkation in Long Beach was good but they can improve on it.
House staff was polite but can improve on their cleaning. During our 15-day cruise, I have not noticed them cleaning our desk or our toilet bowl. But the overall cleanness of the ship was good.
The staff officers' uniforms were not smart, many wearing dirty wrinkled white uniforms and non-standard dirty white shoes. This don't compared well with the smartly clean, well pressed white uniforms and standardized shoes of say, the Celebrity Cruise Lines.
Although the buffet is not the best, food in its dining room was excellent especially the several soups they offered every night. There were no repeats and all 15 nights there was a different menu. They should the managers around to see to the satisfaction of the dining room guests. The reception lady was not the smartest and had a hard time recognise faces or remember your sitting preference. After she greeted you, she would print a ticker tape, turned around and put the small piece of paper on a small wall on her back; an usher would then come by, picked up the slip and lead you to your table, very inefficient indeed. The afternoon English style tea and music was good and they overwhelmed us with their sandwiches and pastries. The taste bar offered very interesting sample of food and soups in the alter afternoon. The cooking demo & sampling session of the specialty restaurant was good and you can try quite a bit of their food.
They could put in more effort in organising the deck sail away parties. The DJ would be there but nobody else was around to stir up the atmosphere and most of the sail away parties on the Lido deck were nothing more a few people sitting around to listen to DJ music. The midnight Hawaiian party and buffet were excellent though. We are not drinkers and were very pleased that they didn't swarm us to buy drinks during theatre shows and night club dancing like in other cruise lines. I like their enclosed public rooms while you can sit down and enjoy the small Pilipino band playing and dancing without people walking by. This is so much better compared to standing around in the Atrium of the Celebrity Solstice Class ships to listen to music and dancing while everybody walk by and looking at you. Nightly shows were good especially the hypnosis show was hilarious and brought down the whole floor. Of course the ship's signature show Beatles' Ticket to Ride' was outstanding. There were plenty of organised activities but my wife would like to have line dances during the day but none was offered. They can use the Pilipino bad more often in various location during the day for better atmosphere.
The shops are not the best on the sea compared to other ships and selections were very limited.
The "Future Cruise office was a joke - just a stand with one person standing behind and looks unprofessional.
The debarkation was excellent and it only took us a few minutes after they announced our floor's turn to leave the ship; the best debarkation I ever experience.
All in all, it was no nonsense cruise that's worth every penny.