We have only sailed on Carnival, so we can only compare this cruise to other Carnival cruises.
Perhaps overshadowing this cruise, the seas were very rough and the skies were cloudy and raining the entire time.
Embarkation was easy at the POM. We had the usual sail away drink and buffet food on the Lido. Our expectations were not too high, so the experience was about in line with what we expected.
Our room ... We stayed in Cabin U-3. This is very far forward and on the starboard. This was the first time (and last time) we get a porthole room. As said, the seas were very rough and the motion was amplified in the bow. Both of us (DW and I) had difficulty sleeping due to the motion and we are both experienced cruisers. Of course, our cabin steward exceed our expectations - we have been either very lucky over past cruises or Carnival has a great training program.
An aside ... We called room service for a corkscrew and, instead of receiving a corkscrew, waiter appeared to open our bottles of wine and graciously re-corked them for us.
The shows were 2.0 and we LOVED them! We thought they were much more contemporary than the usual, older Carnival fare. I'm not sure Dad appreciated the music, but we rocked out to the Divas and Rock Show. There we fewer singers/dancers than non-2.0 shows, but the modern music more than made up for it.
The MDR was acceptable. The ship has not received the new menus and still uses table clothes for all meals, so we have yet to experience that evolution. Other than a longer than unusual wait on the last night's dinner, the wait staff and food were good. My growing nephew asked for double entrees and they were very accommodating. The warm, melting chocolate cake was excellent ... As expected!
The Key West excursion was much too early (0700), but I won't harp on that because the ship is repositioning to LA. Cozumel was ... well, what can I say? Cozumel was Cozumel. We love it there even though our SNUBA excursion was cancelled due to rough seas. Gotta go to Señor Frogs, again!
The casino was the only disappointment. I played hard because we booked the room on a casino rate. At reaching 1,000 points on the third night all I received was $10 credit. I went beyond that (of course), but the casino boss never reached out. During our last cruise we got a bottle of wine at dinner and comped drinks ... However, we didn't even get a nod this time ... Very disappointing, especially when the action in the casino seemed so light - maybe she was in LA mode already. We still played the slot tourney, which I recommend, and the DW got a t-shirt even though she did not win.
The comedian (guy with the last name of Little) was funny in the Punchliner. We have been pretty happy with the comedians so I think the affiliation with George Lopez is working well.