This was our 7th Carnival cruise. When we booked we knew that is was an older, 3 and 4 day ship. Glad we did not listen to all the negative comments from some.
Embarkation was a snap, the couple in front of us asked for a priority boarding pass, and we went with them. On by noon, and no lines to eat.
Many commented on the food being better than Princess. While Princess has the atrium food court, Carnival has the buffet laid out much better. No lines were that long, and the Mongolian Wok was great. We were with a group of Vietnamese, and they loved it. The Deli was great, and many people ate Reubens everyday. The calzones were good, but Princess and the other Carnival ships had better pizza, I did not like the corn meal on the bottom. The dining room food was good, although some dishes could have been hotter. But the soups were always hot, a plus. The steaks were always tender and cooked to order.
The entertainment was really good, once again, we knew it would be different, since it was a longer cruise. But I did not hear any complaints about the entertainment. The rock show and the diva show were great and they did rock show twice to make up for the shortened show due to rough seas.
Skip the cruise director did a great job, and he turned some events over to Giggles who will get promoted in the near future.
Our room on R deck could have been vacuumed more, but the steward did a good job. Not surprising there are no refrigerators, people on short cruises don't need them.
Talking to some of the crew, they liked the longer cruise, it gave them a chance to get to know people better than the short 3 and 4 day ones.
All the port stops for this cruise were very interesting, we had not been to any. We booked all excursions through the ship. The cost was the same as if I did it by internet. I dove in Grand Cayman and Puerto Vallarta. Grand Cayman is spectacular, 82 deg water and 100 ft viz. Booking dive excursions through the ship is a bargin, no gear to rent. I always do the PV dive when there, can not beat the $89 price, with food and drinks included. Being the dry season no rain and sunny, except for one brief shower. The canal passage was sunny and warm, no rain, which some had seen in the past.
I am amazed by the loyal Carnival cruisers, there are many that could sail Seabourn or better, but still love Carnival.
Debarkation went smooth and we were off and through customs as expected in good time.
I did not talk to anyone who did not like the cruise, although I am sure there will be someone who did not like something. For the price, it was great, we got 16 days for a lot less than other cruises.