My Husband and I are in our early 40's and this was my 17th cruise. We were originally booked on the April 26th cruise that was cancelled due to the ship not being ready. We are so happy we re-booked for August. What a perfect cruise. Also found out once onboard that we had $150 room credit for taxes, so a nice surprise for us!
We spent 1 day prior in Barcelona and stayed at the Hotel Espana (excellent hotel and location off La Ramblas) and walked with our luggage down to the Christopher Columbus monument and caught blue shuttle bus on the right side to get to the port (2 euros pp). So convenient. Check in literally took 5 minutes. We carried bottles of wine and vodka. They never checked. In fact, at ever port stop, we brought bottles of liquor and wine back, and they let us bring back to our room.
Room: #7205 mid ship interior, perfect for us. A very quiet room with enough space for our belongings. Perfect position as everything is 2 floors up or 2 floors down.
Food: Guy's hamburgers, I'm not a big red meat eater, but I had a hamburger almost every single day, they were fabulous. The Blue Iguana cantina, awesome Chipotle like burritos. We had reservations for Ji Ji Asian the first night, awesome! The food, the presentation, service, everything excellent. We also ate at Fahrenheit 555, those people who said the dining room steak was as good, no, not even close. 555 is a great dining experience at a great price. Should have gone back to both places to eat. The dining room food was cold, or warm when should have been cold. We did not enjoy the dining room at all, A first for us. We did do the Punchliner's Comedy brunch, that was ok as well. Food cold again. The Marketplace food is as good as dining room or better. But no chocolate melting cake. It is well laid out and you can find seating in the back by Havana bar or Ji Ji. Not sure how much more breakfast options you could want, but they pretty much had everything and yes, it is the same everyday. Only so much you can do with breakfast. Husband ate omelets freshly prepared by Havana bar behind Marketplace.
Ship: Loved the Serenity area, it does get crowded, but we always found a place except at sea day, people out there at 6am, crazy. We just ate and waited, eventually found something. The gym was fairly good size and good treadmills/equipment. The water slides, very fast! so much fun. Didn't do ropes course. We found the ship's layout to be like Carnival's other ships, had no problem finding things. Entertainment staff was great, always live music at every turn. The ship's decor such an improvement over the gaudy neon colors of prior ships. Casino good size. The Red Frog Rum bar, great place to go. Epic Rock show and Latin show were very good. We don't usually do Carnival shows because they are more like a high school production, but these 2 shows were very good if you are into music. Only issue is the Cirque du Soleil video on big screen the afternoon in Marseille. Who wants to lay out by a pool and listen to that?
Service/Cleanliness: Always someone cleaning at all times, the ship is very clean. No, not everything is brand new, but the ship looks great. There are a few things they need to fix. The staff seems to go out of their way to make sure you are happy and satisfied.
The 9 day cruise was absolutely perfect. We had perfect weather every day,and beautiful ports. Too bad Carnival is pulling out of Europe next year.