We couldn't have asked for better weather or better destinations, however, the Carnival experience needs a complete overhaul starting with the Cruise Director. Here is a brief list of areas that should be seriously looked at by Carnival.
Entertainment: Best entertainment on the ship is "Frank" in the Piano Bar. Well worth whatever they are paying him. The Cruise Director - Malcolm, useless and has no rapport with his audience. Band playing next to the Casino - too loud, the Dance Club - Red Carpet, Carnival should seriously spend a lot of time in there looking at how their staff interacts with other staff members and passengers. I would not be surprised if there aren't sexual harassment lawsuits. There are no shows in the theatre that could even be considered entertaining. The dancers hired must have taken a couple of dance classes, absolutely not worth sitting and watching. Outside the Casino on level 5 was an area to sit and relax. Music would be playing out of a jute box and there were 8 songs in total that played over and over and over. Are you seriously telling me that this is the best Carnival could provide. Movie Nights - Why bother, the movies are so old why would anyone want to watch them.
On the evenings after Grand Turk, Half Moon Bay and Nassau, the entertainment basically came to a screeching halt. Carnival obviously believes that all guest will retire to their rooms early after a fun filled day of excursions and beach.......they really miss the boat on this one. There is absolutely nothing to do for those folks who aren't ready to go to bed at 7:00. It makes me wonder who is actually running the entertainment on this ship - obviously someone who is not in tune with his or her audience. I think most of the staff were more interested in attending their staff parties than providing quality service to their guests.
Décor of the Ship: The ship for the most part is nice but not spectacular. This ship needs a serious facelift.
Photographers: Carnival doesn't spare any expense in providing photographers. There are so many photographers on Level 5 you can hardly walk down the aisles because they take up so much space and are literally right on top of each other. This is annoying and unnecessary.
Art Auctions: The space provided by Carnival for the Art Auctions is entirely too small. I am surprised guests haven't tripped over the art trying to maneuver around the area. If Carnival can't provide a more appropriate space they should stop offering art. It can not be appreciated in the venue they were presenting in and is embarrassing I am sure for the hosts.
Excursions: Excursions offered by Carnival are over priced and totally not worth participating in, but I am sure that is how they make their profits. Carnival may want to consider updating their guests on issues such as jellyfish on their island Half Moon Cay. The beach area was loaded with jellyfish and yet no one from Carnival warned the guests.
Getting off the Ship: Carnival has a "self-assist" debarkation, which we would have participated in, however, the documentation provided by Carnival clearly states that in order to be eligible for this option your luggage needs to be airline size and limited to two bags. However, the reality is, any size baggage and any amount qualifies for "self-assist" as long as you are physically able to get them off the ship. Had we have known this, we would have taken this option since we had a 10:00 am car service pick up. This would have gotten us off the ship around 9:30. Since we had to wait for the "zone calling" debarkation, we didn't make it off the ship until well after 10:00 am.
Food: Overall we were pleased with the food. However, there were times when the food arrived cold and it was also obvious that as each day passed the quality and quantity of the food deteriorated. The wait staff while professional were not very friendly and if you directed a question to them, it was very obvious they could not understand what you needed or wanted because their "English" was poor.
Cabin Steward: While the other reviews I have read rave about their cabin stewards, we saw our cabin steward maybe two times the entire cruise. Yes, we did get the towel animals on our bed, but that was it. We had absolutely no interaction with the staff on Deck 8. On the last night, we did ask a cabin steward - not ours - but on our floor, about the rules for the "self assist debarkation, she had no clue and her English was terrible.
While I am posting this review on this site, I will be sending an email to Carnival letting them know they have some serious issues on this particular cruise ship and I will strongly encourage them to take the time to look into these issues. Shame on Carnival for allowing this ship and its staff to get so out of control!
Oh and one more major issue - the Spa Treatments. There is nothing in world as wonderful as having a nice romantic couples massage for 50 minutes, relaxing and feeling wonderful, and then after the treatment to be told to get dressed and have a seat.....then being socked with a sales pitch on purchasing products from the Spa. Then on our second Spa day, having a wonderful facial, feeling relaxed and then again another sales pitch. Carnival needs to think about changing their ways - quickly!