This was our second try at a Carnival Cruise and we were more disappointed than the first time.
Embarkation - Port of Miami is tricky to get to. Parking is expensive. Our booking confirmation listed Terminal D, the ship was at Terminal E. There were minimal lines and we were onboard quickly. Our cabin was ready, and luggage was delivered promptly.
Cabin - U177, oceanview. This was the tiniest cabin we have ever had, barely enough room to walk around the bed, one wooden chair, no refrigerator or hairdryer. The crutains were tattered and the backing was falling off. Our window leaked when it rained, soaking the bottom of the curtains. The AC was controlled by a dial on the ceiling, we had it cranked all the way up and it was just ok for comfort. The bed was firm, linens comfortable. The bathroom was fine, ample room in the shower but not much space for cosmetics and toiletries. The closets seem to have enough storage space, until we discovered there was not room to store our luggage under the bed because there was a rollaway cot under the bed. We jammed the suitcases into the closet. It was very clean. We had a nice little flatscreen with a fair selection of channels in English.
Cabin Steward - Excellent, the best by far of our cruises!!!!
Food - Just okay. No major complaints, no better or worse than other lines or ships. Servers were attentive and pleasant. Service was prompt. Dining room everyday choices seem boring. Ample choices at the buffet. No speciality dining. All water tasted musty, moldy.
Public spaces - same garish decor, neon and color everywhere, but generally clean and well-maintained. Diningroom was almost calustrophobic with its low gold ceilings. We were disappointed at the lack of ocean views from many areas of the ship - looking at lifeboats from the pool, not the sea. The smell of cigarettes seemed to drift into many public spaces.
Pool - only one and it's tiny, tiny, tiny. Adult Serenity area is comfortable with two hot tubs and a freezing cold shower. One hot tub was barely lukewarm. A nice space to get away from the constant blare of sound from the main pool. Chair hogging not monitored. Shade is scarce in all areas where lounge chairs are located.
WiFi - ridiculously slow - 4 minutes just to load a website. Waste of money.
Entertainment - production shows were very good. Usual selection of games, trivia, were fun and entertaining.
Staff - excellent!
Times in port were odd, but we knew that prior to booking.
We encountered many cheerleaders who sang the praises of this ship, happily chirping that "you get what you pay for". It was just lacking in too many areas for us - comparable to staying at Motel 6 or Econolodge.