This was our ninth cruise. We have cruised on 6 different lines - the last 3 times with Carnival. We have found that Carnival delivers the best amenities for the price. This trip was no exception. Embarkation was very smooth -- especially when you consider that there are close to 3000 people boarding. The cruise port entrance on the NW side is quicker as there are two security machines as opposed to one on the closer southeast entrance. This was by far the largest vessel we have sailed on in terms of both the size of the vessel itself and the number of cruisers. The only times we really noticed the crowd was the mandatory lifeboat drill and the disembarkation process (more on that later). The ship's public rooms are ALL very nice with plenty of space. The color schemes are very nicely done and not overblown at all as I had read in some reviews. Our cabin was near the aft and was one of a few that has an extra long balcony with two large windows. Since our cabin was at the aft we frequented the aft pool area and never had any problem finding chairs -- usually on the level above the pool. Dining for us was in the Platinum dining room at the aft of the ship and our table which was shared with 3 other twosomes was right next to an aft window giving us great views of the sunsets. The food was superb with a couple of exceptions. The poultry dishes were particularly succulent and outstanding. The lobster tails were nice and prime rib and filets were very good. Fish was good -- but they do not have the facilities to do grilled fish like it should be done. Scallops were excellent. The only dishes we had an issue with at all were the t-bone steak which was thin and the beef wellington - mine was tough but wife liked hers. Desserts were a little dry sometimes -- order ice cream to cheer it up a little.
We found staff to be attentive and friendly. Shows were good. Port stops were good. It did rain in Belize which put a little damper on our snorkeling trip but others who went cave tubing had a great time. Disembarkation was a little mixed up. It was explained by Dana, the cruise director, that if you wanted to take all your own bags off you could before the general disembarkation and that an announcement would be made as to when to disembark. No announcement was made until general disembarkation when everyone except for the VIP's, I suppose, hit the decks running. This was further complicated by the 2 escalators and only one elevator in the cruise port. There definitely needs to be a better system for the large ships that dock there these days. The port was not designed for our number. Anyway, we did have a great time. We probably prefer going on a ship with about half the number on board but you do lose out on some luxuries available on a large ship.