Carnival is our last choice for a cruise but we (and when I say "we" I mean "I") were so desperate to get away for a few days and since Norfolk is 20 minutes away we decided to go for it. I sweetened the pot by getting an aft vista view cabin #7440.
THE CABIN: The cabin was great. It was probably the second best we had next to the handicapped one we had after my wife broke her foot.. It was laid out a little different and did not have a sofa but we didn't miss it.. The great thing about it was that there were two loungers and 4 chairs and a small table and still plenty of room. If you wanted sun or shade you simply just moved to the other side of the balcony because it wrapped around. There was some vibration but not enough to bother us and it really was quite lulling when going to sleep.
THE FOOD: I had referred to the food on our two previous Carnival cruises as "slop" and on a scale of 1 to 5 gave it a 1 but when I was looking at this cruise one of the deciding factors was the fact that the ship had been refurbished and additional food kiosks had been added like Guy Fieri's burger bar and the burrito bar. Yes and No. I now give it. 2.5. The burgers were great, the burritos were great, the pizza and deli was very good and the buffet had many new and upgraded items. Desserts were still lacking for the most part and the dining room food was marginal.
THE eNTERTAINMENT: Just ok. Didn't make it to the comedy club that was also new.
THE SPA : they haven't done a thing to it and it really needs to be repaired and renovated. The staff at the spa was poor unless you were getting an outrageously priced package, then they paid attention to you. Nothing in the men's locker room but towels and you had to keep hitting the button to turn on the steam and sauna, a fact that wasn't shared until I had to walk out to the desk in a towel to ask about it!
THE CASINO: Not very generous. Not enough slots or table games and the minimums were a bit high. Because there is a big bar and bandstand at the entrance to the casino, everyone is SMOKING and drinking and consequently even the few areas (and I do mean "few") were smoke filled.
THE CREW: Amazingly friendly and accommodating even with putting up with rude and demanding passengers
THE PORTS: Nassau was nice.. Been there before. Atlantis is worth the trip and excursion but know that unless you purchase the pass you can't get on any of the grounds except the casino and the marina (a Johnny Rockets cheeseburger cost $16.95). Avoid Freeport u less you go on a snorkeling trip.
THE SHIP: Very clean and the updates were pretty but hard to notice a big difference if you had been on the ship before which we had.
FELLOW PASSENGERS: I don't know if Carnival just attracts this type of passenger but they don't dress at all.. Same clothes they would wear at home, and by at home I mean in the back yard where nobody should see them. There were a few dressed up for "formal" night.......if you could even use the word "formal". They were rude, obnoxious, loud, crude etc. etc.. M y wife made me promise to stop there!! ( but we WON'T EVER BE SAILING ON CARNIVAL AGAIN)
EXTRA: On the next to the last night there was a general announcement that a passenger was ill and the coast guard was sending a helicopter to pick them up. We were told not to go out on any open deck . There were no other details given and none of the crew seemed to know a thing. When we got back to our cabin off the back of the ship all the balcony furniture had been blown around from the rotors on the chopper , piled in a heap, and the adjoining balcony door was blown open. It banged all night and there was nobody to call to fix it!
In closing I don't mean to sound critical I just want to make sure you know what type of cruise you are getting into. If you like to smoke, drink, and party, then it might be for you.. If not, then find another cruise line like Royal Caribbean. If you like an even higher class and experience in service and food, then choose Celebrity.