This ship is perfectly sized. Easy to navigate. Sirakit, Hayu, Patty, Vlad, Artom, Sucharet, Julio, just the staff members we came in contact with on a regular basis, couldn't have made our cruise more special. We joked with them, really felt like family and the level of service we received was equivalent to 5 star. Carnival has some truly incredible people onboard these ships and it makes our trips more enjoyable each time. I probably did not do the spelling justice, but you will know and appreciate these guys, from room steward, casino, lobby bar, and Rotterdam.
As for the food, the Elation dining room food was always top rate. The maitre d always greeted us and we had our own table for 2 every night. Not one time did we need to complain or want to. When we just wanted to do our own thing, the Paris restaurant on the Lido deck offered many great dishes. The choices are endless. Room service is perfect if you just want sandwiches.
The Isla Pasion by Twister was awesome. 360 degree turns was wild. You get soaked, but it was a blast! The island is beautiful, white sand, good food and an open bar. The cost is well worth it.
Yes, this is an older ship, could definitely use a makeover. I wouldn't judge it solely on its age and decor. I will have to say the stateroom we had was high on the noise scale. E253 is at rear of ship and at times can be loud from engine noise and other activity.
Is Platinum status worth it? Let me think, YES! This was a back to back cruise. Received 2 bottles of champagne. 1 came from John Heald, senior cruise director for Carnival, along with chocolate covered strawberries. 2nd bottle from Guest services on 2nd cruise. 4 Carnival Tervis Tumblers received. Recognition from most staff we encountered on a daily basis. They really appreciate loyal customers. I admire this level of customer service and even as CCL stockholders, we see the future of Carnival as being very bright.
On a side note, I read the reviews that run the gamut of complaints, and I ask myself if these people really have problems and just like to complain? Go to guest services with a smile, talk to the staff. At the end of the day and your cruise, if that doesn't help your case, take it to the President's office. You can't please everyone and I am sure some of the complainers wouldn't even be happy on the Queen Mary.
Enjoy your cruise and thank the staff that work very hard every day. Bon Voyage!