Cruised with my 30-something daughter.
According to me, one just can't go wrong with Carnival. Maybe that's because we have been fortunate enough to never have had cabin problems when sailing with Carnival. Our cabin was an aft inside on Deck 8 and one deck above was a partly uncarpeted area of the buffet which, when chairs or tables were moved, we heard the dragging sounds a couple of times for less than a couple of minutes. Other than that, everything was cosy. I found the cabin smaller than the ones on previous sailings with Carnival, but it had enough storage space and IMO more than enough storage space for people who travel light.
We attended 4 on the 8 night cruise. On one of the nights a show was cancelled because of excessive high winds causing the ship to rock more than usual.
The "Vrooom" was exceptional and the "Fiesta Latina" was good too.
We enjoyed Ron Joseph as "The showman of Bourbon Street." He had an uncanny eye to pick people from the audience who performed flawlessly on the stage with him. He went in for good audience participation which always gives an extra kick to any entertainment.
We walked out after a few minutes into the late night "adult comedy" show. On one other night, a comedian or entertainer who was suppose to connect with the ship in Freeport wasn't able to make it.
We had taken the same itinerary once before so the ports didn't excite us like the last time. Port Canaveral is a dead port especially around the port area. Nothing to see, nothing to do, nada, nil.
If you want to pick up some Bahamas liquor, do it in Nassau and don't wait for Freeport. Rum was cheaper by $3 dollars/bottle in Nassau. I bought a "Fire in the Hole" Rum for approx. $9 and the same brand was being sold in Freeport at the Duty Free shop for $12. Freeport has the famous Senor Frog and after a couple of drinks, if you are not careful, you are likely to join others dancing on the tabletops.
A) We always find stuff to keep us happy. We had dinner in the main dining restaurant only twice on the cruise. Once on "Lobster night" ... I always try not to miss that, and one other time when I opted to have "braised lamb" and a more unappetizing dish I have not partaken of in a long, long time. We had brunch one day and the choices were good. Think Pork Chops with your coffee ... it doesn't work for me, but my daughter finished off every last bit of the chop. Everybody should try the Brunch. It's served on Deck 3 in one of the main dining rooms, and on sea days, if memory serves me right, I believe it's open from 11 AM to 1 PM.
B) For lunch, we usually made a beeline to the Tandoor. Excellent stuff. Healthy choices but only if you know how to mix and match them. They kept "mint" sauce, raw onion slices, garlic paste, yoghurt mixed in mint leaves, tamarind sauce and other stuff. Mint and tamarind sauces mixed in yoghurt are great to add to salads instead of cheese. They always had a variety of fish, chicken, beef, lamb,veg dishes, rice and roti ...but no pork.
C) Other food counters which were popular were the Mongolian and the Carvery. We were put off by the long lines at the Mongolian and didn't try it. The Carvery is your usual American fare. There was an Italian counter too and one or two others on other days that I can't recall.
D) The Deli is good if you are into sandwiches and a quick bite while dipping in and out of the pools.
E) Our all time favorite was the 24-hour Pizza counter. All 8 nights we were there late night after 1 AM.
F) In line with the Pizza place on the other side is the Burger and fries joint for your late night snacks. It opens at 1.30 AM. I believe it's open during the day as well for a few hours, but we never tried it during the day.
G) Besides the 24-hour Pizza and the late night snacks, there are coffee, tea and lemonade available at all times. Ice-cream corners (Swirls) were also available all 24 hours.
You just cannot find any loophole to criticize Carnival where food is concerned. There's plenty of it all 24 hours.
Attentive and well trained staff. No complaints whatsoever.
a) Not too many venues around the ship for dancing and neither were there enough live bands. Only one Mexican band with some life in them. I can't even recall the others ... if at all there were any.
b) On first day we received toiletries in the inside cabins consisting of 2 small cubes of toothpaste, small soap bars and a couple of other things. The shampoo and gel are in the dispensers. Not great stuff but it did well for us. Carnival no longer gives pens.... at least not to the inside cabins, which is a disappointment to collectors like me. There were robes and extra blankets if required. We used neither.
The one thing that stuck in my craw is when we, along with some 400+ other passengers attended a "sales talk" given by Splendor's sales manager. On the invitation sent out to the passengers, the woman had advertised that for attending the 45 minutes event they would win "prizes" .... note that plural form of the word. However, after spending 45 minutes listening to her blah, blah, blah.... the woman picks up ONE .... only one winner. And guess what the prize happened to be. It's was a beads bracelet that one of the ship's shops donated, probably costing around $20.
Really lady, really, really, REALLY! Didn't you have any small souvenirs or something to give away?
We came away feeling like having been to one of those timeshare selling seminars....with one difference. In those meetings you come away with at least a tote bag or a pen.
Someone needs to tell that Splendor manager to up her ante.