So many friends told us how great cruising was, but after this cruise, it was not for us. We heard first of all that the food is great- and that was true of the dining room. The other places to eat on the cruise were not good, the eggs in the morning were grainy and the selection was limited. There were a number of the restaurants that never seemed to be opened. The coffee was terrible, watered down and just not good, because of the poor coffee we went to the coffee bar a couple of times and it was clear that the staff was not well trained on how to make espresso drinks. The shots of espresso were burned, the milk was not steamed properly, etc. This wouldn't have been so bothersome, but we paid extra for what we expected would be higher quality coffee.
The entertainment was very limited, trivia games which are generally lively events were ten minute rounds to which only 10 or 15 people show up. Bingo was $15-$25 for one card and you had to pay extra for the dobber. The shows were pretty good but fairly short and were going on at the same time as something else good was happening so you would miss them. Missing something good for another good thing doesn't sound bad, but when they are the only good things happening all day- it is a bit irritating. Also the entertainment seems to end right around 9:30 nightly. We'd find ourselves in our room forcing ourselves to go to sleep to get ready for the next day.
One of the biggest issues for me was that when we went on to the lido deck to lay in the sun- all of the lounge chairs were taken by drunk people placing their towels and effects on the chairs to go suck tequila off one another...tell me, why do you need a chair for that? And why is the "30 minute" rule not enforced? There were a lot of very young cruisers partying at all hours. Which is fine, they paid for it, however during the movies and entertainment occurring you would constantly have to tolerate the drunk screaming and hollering, but as long as they're paying Carnival massive amounts for watered down drinks the staff doesn't seem to mind.
The ports were not what I expected either. They are secluded from the actual cities and so you have to pay someone to take you anywhere and if you don't- you are basically stuck in a tourist mall. We had a small amount of work to do and used the onboard wifi, but it was spotty at best so we ended up paying for double what we were able to use. The adult comedy was not funny but purely vulgar- it wasn't like George Carlin or Ron White- it was gross sex jokes the whole time. I realize they're advertised as 18+ but that doesn't explicitly mean every joke has to be about jerking off or banging chicks. If you do travel with carnival- they gouge you on shore excursions, buy them when you get off the ship and get a better deal from the locals outside the tourist traps.
There were good things as well, food in the dining room, the staff (especially our steward, Armando, cannot thank him enough for his attitude and attentiveness), the towel animals, movies played at night, and the shows when we were able to attend. It was not a terrible vacation but there were enough bad things that we didn't think it was worth the price we paid and will probably travel by land from now on.