For everyone reading this, please remember this is marketed as a Family Cruise so if you are not fond of children then maybe this is NOT the cruise for you.
My partner and I (no children) booked this last minute cruise and had read many reviews before we chose to go with Carnival. We were both extrememly surprised at how good a holiday it was. For the money it is great choice and will be booking our next cruise shortly.
Staff were fantastic, service was excellent. As many Aussies would know, customer service is lacking in Oz these days so it was refreshing to get some. Staff were always willing to help and I don't know how some of them do it as some of the monotonous would drive me insane!
I found the ship to be very clean and the public toilets around the ship were always tidy.
Serenity area could be bigger, even a whole level could be put aside for adults only.
Food variety was great, am very picky with food but there was always something I would like.
Empire Dining was fabulous.
Nouveau Restaurant was good value, but wouldn't go again, Empre Dining was better and didn't need to pay extra.
We had an inside cabin and wouldn't spend the extra to get a window or balcony, you are not in the room that often except for sleeping so the extra money can be spent on other things. Our room steward was wonderful and it was great to come back to a clean cabin all the time.
Even though there were over 700 children on board they didn't bother us at all. As I said it is a family cruise.
Entertainment was good, I liked the big shows but many were pretty similar and they need to learn some different genres as once you saw the first show, you didn't really need to see the others. Comedy was good but many times you had to get there early or would miss out on a seat. Srki who did some Trivia sessions was great and made it fun.
Many people on the poker machines, but not a lot at the tables, could have been the minimum $10 bet on the roulette tables.
We only did one shore excursion, which was good but next time we will do all our own planning as there were many good deals offered by the locals at each port.
Disembarkation wasn't too bad considering they had misplaced our luggage but they were very eager to rectify and get us through customs quickly to get to our transfer to the airport.
As a first time cruiser I was extremely happy with our choice and will be a regular cruiser from now on.