This was our second Carnival cruise and I have to give it mostly a good review, but there were a few problems.
We checked in at the airport counter in Miami which saved a lot of time when we got to the port. We didn't buy the Faster to the Fun package but found we didn't need it since we were on the ship within 15 minutes of arrival. Only problem, we left port 2 hours late. Never did find out why.
We were on Deck 8 Mid-forward. Stateroom was clean and comfortable and our room steward was very efficient. Door on the bathroom stuck a little but this wasn't a real problem.
All the standard stuff which was fun to watch but, for me at least, watch from a spot where you don't get picked, unless you want to look like a fool. But the people who do take part were having a lot of fun. I take part in the trivia contests and they are good for interacting with others. The only problem is they are held in the casino along the side, and too often people walking through would yell out answers. With all the lounges and bars around the ship they really should move the venue to something more private.
I didn't attend the production shows so I can't comment there. I did see Hasbro-the Game Show twice and that is a lot of fun.
Cozumel: Did the Americas Cup regatta and that was a blast (even though I got seasick briefly).
Costa Maya: Had to dodge downpours in the shopping area. Fortunately, had no plans that day.
Roatan: Another cloudy day with some rain but still went to Mahogany Bay beach and was able to enjoy it.
Grand Cayman: Finally some sun for strolling the town.
Let me preface this section by saying I'm a very picky eater so take this with a grain of salt.
The food itself was good for the most part but there were some major problems with selection.
Guy's Burger Joint: Excellent for lunch. Juicy juicy burgers.
Pizza Pirate(located by the back pool): Pizza is cooked to order so you have to wait but it is worth it. Fresh and Hot!
Red Sail Restaurant(the buffet): I was disappointed in this area. One side is called Comfort Kitchen. I found nothing comforting about the selection. The other side is Chef's Choice and rotated themes like Caribbean, French, Italian, All American. Again, not a selection that excited me though I did find a couple of things. This is also the area for breakfast, which, being standard, was satisfying, The Deli area, located along the side, I thought had the best food here.
Emerald Steakhouse: We had dinner here twice and it was worth the $35 charge. Food and Service were great.
Main Dining Room: This was the real problem on this trip. Carnival chose this cruise to test a new dining concept. On most nights the menu was call "American Table". It is a simplified menu with limited appetizers, almost no soups offered all week. A few entrees of the day and rotating everyday selections. A "Rare Find" special, one such day had shark. A port selection which was supposed to be an example of cuisine from that day's stop. Then there were the sides. These were served "for the table", or one dish to cover everyone, as you would do at your own dinner table. This raised the biggest complaint from diners. No one I heard talking about this liked it. It was wrong for the venue. On Elegant Nights the menu was called "American Feast". It was no feast. An even more dumbed-down menu with fewer selections that just didn't look appetizing. That's why we went to the steakhouse twice-to avoid this.
Dessert? Limited(WCMC still there) with a "pi a la mode" again "for the table".
To add to this was the incredibly poor work of the wait staff. They were confused, disorganized and had the worst problem communicating I've ever seen and I will allow some problem understanding that these people are far from home and English is not their first language, but never has it been this bad and it didn't get any better. The food itself, wonderful - selection and service, poor. I hope Carnival rethinks this.