First of all, be warned. If you plan on anything other than the meals and water, tea or juice, then your trip is only half payed for by embarkation time. Knowing what I know now, Carnival is the king of the extra and up charge. So you've only begun to pay for your trip by boarding unless you intend on doing nothing.
Our waiters were great. As well as our room stewards. If nothing else the ship was very well kept. Where it fell apart was bar service, ( can I say slow, lethargic, and generally rude and uncaring)... The drink nitpicking was down right annoying! Can I get this drink or not? The attempts to up sell to drinks outside of the drink plan, ($700 for two people for seven days), was down right obnoxious and bartenders seemed to get offended and work even slower when turned down. Why should I buy an extra drink when I have purchased your very expensive drink plan? However, let me say this. If you did not purchase the drink plan ( which includes sodas), you are going to have a heart attack when the credit card bill arrives.
Food.....One thing I can say about other cruise lines, is I've walked away talking about how good the dinning room food was. Here? Not so much. Lets just say the steak at Golden Corral on steaks nights blows this away. I'm sorry to be mean, but this is the simple truth. The lido deck was a logistical nightmare. Again, if this was your only cruise you would think this is how all ships do it. As for the food on the lido deck? Eggs out of a carton, pastries stale after a couple of days, no variety. There was no one on this boat cooking fresh food. Enough said.
Our room was great! Great deck and very clean. Like I said, it's a new boat. However, on a cruise you shouldn't spend a whole lot of time in your room. On this cruise we did.
The cloud 9 spa was great! Pricey, but I thought it was worth it. Great steam rooms and extraordinary hot tube. At least spring for it for one day.
Shore excursions are shore excursions. This doesn't change a whole lot from ship to ship. A little overpriced and trying to shove 40 pounds into a 10 pound bag. Just not enough time in ports.
Entertainment...with the exception of the magic show, which was professional and very entertaining, was mediocre. I'm even considering taking up guitar if that tells you anything. The bands or singers would play three or for songs and go on break for thirty minutes. They never seemed to care enough to generate a feeling of having a good time so that people would stay put. They would play a little and break and the crowd in the bar or lounge area would disperse. There never seemed to be a good feel in the general areas, maybe because of the $10 drinks....a couple of nights there were no shows at all. Unexceptable...(comedy shows were good)....
Overall, we had a decent time. Not bad, but not bad is not what I want to say when I'm $7000 lighter. Those of us who know better will pay a little extra on the front side next time and go back to a premium cruise line or go for an all inclusive resort.