While I must first of all say "I did have fun on my cruise"; however, there were still many things that were "Not So Splendid, About The Splendor"
Boarding in NYC was a breeze, from the time we arrived at the port til the time we were on the ship was less than 30 minutes. The process was quick and efficient. However, the staff at the port were lacking politeness.. some where just down right rude and yelling at passengers. You will need patience here, I almost had to cuss some employee out who yelled at us... we were traveling with our elderly Mother who needed extra assistance. We tried to go into the same line, but the employee tried to separate us from out entire party and when we attempted to get in line with her that lady became very ignorant. Not the fault of Carnival as she was not an employee of theirs, but still a bad representation of the beginning of our cruise.
Once on board the ship, from the 1st day of the cruise til the last day the staff was extremely friendly and always attentive. I was even shocked to be offered champagne everywhere we went during embarkation.. I think I was tipsy within an hour on free booze. Of course we got hungry so we went to the buffet.. huge FAIL. The food at the buffet left nothing to be desired, most of it was too spicy (Mongolian Wok) or just down right "not tasty" and the selection was lacking. It seemed for lunch there were many options from Tandoori, Deli, Rotisserie, Mongolian Wok, Buffet, Grill and Pizza as well as the dining room and room service.... However, dinner was a different story. The only options were the main dining room (which the food was good), the buffet (which was the same food from the dining room, just lacking presentation), room service, buffet and pizza... and the Pinnacle Steakhouse... all other options from lunch were closed. Carnival needs to do a much better job revamping their dining options.
So my only complaint for Carnival was the dining options for dinner.. everything else was great.
However, my 2nd issue was the passenger type. This was a Xmas sailing and I did expect lots of children and was not disappointed. I can appreciate children acting like children and accept them. But what I find most disgusting is how the adults acted... not all, but too many of them were just down right rude, obnoxious and had no manners. We were traveling with our Mother who uses a walker. I cannot tell you how many times adults cut her off while entering and exiting the elevator or just walking in general. They were very pushy. And not to label.. but many of these passengers that were lacking decorum were foreigners. Everyone says Americans are rude, well not the case. I was very put off on their manners on this cruise.
We sailed in cabin 6-491, 6-454, 6-456... the balconies are the reason we chose these cabins and were not disappointed on their size, they were quite enjoyable. The rooms were an ok size and had decent storage. Biggest issue with these cabins is the noise from the Moroccan Bar below us... from about 9p-1a the music was VERY LOUD and the base actually vibrated the room. I knew this going into the cruise, so knew what to expect. However, I would not book this cabin again.. I would go up at least one floor.
I am a non smoker, and I must say... for a ship that does allow smoking. I was NOT put off by the smoking in public areas. Its there, but it did not seem to bother me.
Be prepared for a slow disembarkation in NYC. If you can do self assist and get off as early as you can. We did relaxed disembarkation and were zone 19. We were not called until around 915a.. and the line at immigration would have been at least another 1-2 hours long if we were not escorted to the front for having a disabled passenger. You could not use the stairs to get to deck 3, you had to use the elevators which were always full and you waited 15-20 minutes just to get the elevator down. We ended up having to go up just to get an empty elevator to go down.