It was apparent from the start that Carnival is trying to enhance their bottom line, often at the expense of their "guests". The so-called "shows" were pathetic...almost all dancing, and even that not well done. The costumes were second rate as well.
Our room was a nice size (mini-suite), but the decor was in bad taste. It had a "glitzy" feeling....oranges, golds, pinks, etc. Around the fifth day, someone came in and installed some more granite in the bathtub area....but, they left the drain and four screws out....it was not not possisble to get the water to the shower position w/o getting soaked in the process. We did have a good cabin attendent, but we tipped him every night to encourage the service.
The martini's were good, and were filled to the brim by freindly bartenders (one of the better parts of the trip) Unfortunately, the food was pathetic. We ate in the dining room one night; that was enough to convince us not to come back. We ate one dinner in the Steak House (extra charge) that was very good. The rest of the time we ate at the buffet, which was fair to medium...not on par with buffet's on other ships we've been on.
I have sailed on Holland America, Princess and Celebrity in the past, and I can truthfuly say Carnival is nowhere near the caliber of service offered by these lines.