What I liked: They gave us $100 OBC for a closed pool which I would not have used due to the weather...that was nice. I got a great rate and the ports were very, very, good. Staff were always courteous, friendly and tried hard to please.
All the retro-fit seems to have been focused on the upper decks only such as added staterooms, bars and restaurants which are essentially the real money makers. We were on deck 6 and I assure you nothing refurbished there in the staerooms.. Bathroom had that mild mildew sewage stink, not enough to complain but enough to be uncomfortable. Some areas the carpet looked really old and dust was certainly more than a week old.
OnBoard TV was horrible, lost signals all the time and of 15 channels probably 10 were dedicated to Carnival, 2 British CNN's, 2 movie channels that played the same movies all day long and that was about it.
Food: Lido was boring at its best. Food that you would expect at a hospital cafeteria. Breakfast was the same every single day and limited. Dining room food was good but service was slow and not the fault of the servers. It seems like they have a management-staff communication disconnect or poor planning or both. First time ever I experienced the dining room hosts handing out pagers, waiting 20 minutes only to find plenty of open seats available. Appetizers which should have been served quickly without much preparation really took too long. There was a night or two where if I had been in a restaurant I might have walked out or complained.
One thing that really bugged me was being out on the Lido deck we are enjoying serene views of Italy but listening to steel-drum, reggae, and caribbean music being blasted. That really screwed up the ambiance big time.
These issues may seem petty but other cruise lines offer more and spoil you. We knew what we were getting into by booking Carnvial but with all the hype about it being a new ship we expected a little more. Perhaps they should have spent less $ on the PR hype and more details to customer satisfaction.