We were most definitely underwhelmed by this cruise. We have cruised with Carnival before, and were satisfied, but not this time! Our room was pretty much what we expected, although clearly showing its age. The whole ship, in fact, was looking sadly neglected. The location of the room was miserable. I had planned to book a different room, and when I spoke to a Carnival Rep, she insisted the this room was in a much better location. Silly me, because I believed her. We were right off the main atrium lobby, on the Empress deck...this means everyone and their brother walks by your door at all hours, usually talking loudly. We actually had to go out at 4:30 am, and ask people if they could please go talk (yell) somewhere else. They very rudely became even louder & more obnoxious.
Dining was a challenge; we actually had a hard time getting food. They seemed very slow to refill the steam tray, so many were actually empty each day of our trip. They also closed sections of the buffet down, even during busy times, making for a very crowded experience. The food choices and quality were not very good, either.
We had Any Time Dining for our evening meal, which actually worked out fairly well for the most part. We were generally seated quickly. Service was another matter entirely; we frequently had to ask more than once for things like coffee, or drinks. The food was less than stellar, and most meals arrived at the table lukewarm at best. A couple were stone cold.
The service at the pool bar was ok, but since they only had one side open the entire trip, it was very crowded. I do not understand having an entire bar closed on a completely full ship, but they did it!
Overall, I think Carnival should be trying as hard as they can to keep guests, but this cruise definitely drove us away. We would hesitate to take another with them. It was obvious that staff morale was not too great, because many of them seemed quite apathetic.