The title of my review says it all. We live in New York City so leaving from the west side of Manhattan is great. We have often taken a subway but this time opted for a car service. Check in (as Platinum) was easy, but woe to those without status. We were traveling with two friends who waited about 1 1/2 hours to get through the process. Really? That's unacceptable.
The main positives were the price and the food. We booked a porthole cabin on Deck One at an inside price. Now that's a good deal if you can live with a bit of noise and vibration when docking or in rough seas when the stabilizers are deployed.
The food was definitely above average. Breakfast in the buffet was nothing to write home about, with the same stuff every day. Do try the mushrooms though. For lunch, Guy's Burgers and the pastrami at the deli were the highlights. Also of note were the fish and chips and wonderful chocolate desserts.
Dinner was fine . The cold soups were great and the entrees well prepared. As for dessert, c'mon, how about a few more cherries in the Cherry Jubilee? My favorite, Warm Choolate Melting Cake was inconsistent. It ranged from being perfectly prepared to being overcooked.
The main negative was the horrible entertainment, focusing on the so-called production shows. C'mon Carnival, turning up the volume to ear piercing levels will not cover terrible singing and horrible choreography.
In an obvious attempt to cut costs, Carnival has replaced professional singers and professional dancers with performers who can neither sing nor dance. There were only eight individuals who took the place of what used to be four singers and 12 or 16 dancers. They were tasked with both singing and dancing. They were failures at both. The shows themselves were poorly conceived and badly choreographed. Sets have been replaced by digital images which distract from the performers. I don't know who came up with this concept, but they should be fired. No more production shows for me on Carnival!
Overall, the ports were fine - Boston, Portland, St. John and Halifax. The VIFP party was lame. In another cost cutting deal, the live band was only there for about 15 minutes and then replaced wih a DJ with canned music. HUH? That's the best you can do for your loyal guests? And where was the captain?
In any case, the price was good and the food respectable.