Sorry to say Carnival did not live up to expectations. Stateroom was a pleasant surprise, clean roomy & bright, bathroom was bigger than usual also. Balcony was tiny with a dangerous little step right outside the balcony doors.
Firstly the staff were great, absolutely no complaints there. Lack of staff was very noticeable in the Empire dining room. We had My Time dining which was a misnomer considering that we had to wait in a long queue every evening & usually were sent away with a pager until a table was ready. Correction, tables always seemed to be available but there didn't seem to be enough staff to escort diners to their places & the front desk seemed to be in continual turmoil.
The La Playa Grill was very disappointing, the layout is strange, the food rarely hot & of below average quality.
Hygiene was not encouraged & the only hand sanitising units that were in prominent positions were outside the Empire dining room. At La Playa we saw a sanitiser behind the entrance door & tucked into corners almost out of sight. Every other cruise line we have used have had staff holding portable sanitisers outside every food outlet & gangplanks encouraging passengers to wash their hands.
The Serenity area was fantastic, lovely to be able to occasionally get away from the noise & boisterous children.
The ports were lovely. Isle of Pines was just beautiful, Lifou gorgeous as well & Noumea was just average really.
All things considered we would not cruise with Carnival again.
Noumea was just average, expensive & over rated.