This was my second cruise with Carnival cruise lines, and it was intended as a short weekend getaway. I was celebrating my birthday as well, so it was myself, my boyfriend and 2 friends who were onboard.
The ship was small- there are only 10 decks as it's usually just a weekend trip cruise ship of 3-4 night itineraries. It's also one of the older ships in the fleet. This wasn't a concern for me when booking, and there weren't any serious issues with the boat or anything, but it's obvious that it is an older ship. It's very cramped- I felt like they over-booked in terms of passengers. Most of the time we were at the pool, there were so many people it was impossible to even swim. It was mainly treading water. The pools are smaller and they don't have as much deck space, so unless you get to a chair area early in the morning, you will either be under the awnings (ok if you don't want sun) or on the above decks having to walk up and down stairs to get into the pool.
I also felt like this was the quintessential "party ship" in terms of passengers and focus. There was always someone with a megaphone in hand hosting a party or contest on the main pool area, so it became difficult to relax and unwind unless you were back in the adults only area. That was one area of the ship that I was sufficiently pleased with- the chairs were plush and it was quiet. They had options under cover and also several deck chairs where you could catch some rays. There was always someone there to serve you drinks or anything else you requested. The only improvement I could have made to the area was I would have liked to see a pool back there for adults only.
The food was good, but not great, and the dinner service did leave much to be desired. We chose anytime dining because we did not want to be locked into a certain time, and I felt like our waiter wasn't too happy with us most of the time. We ended up sending a few dishes back because they came out cold or we just didn't like them and he seemed like he had a problem with this. I have definitely had better dining service at several establishments before.
The pool service was good- there were always people walking around ready to bring drinks or other amenities.
Our room was small and cramped, but we did have an interior cabin so that's to be expected I guess. I had never before traveled in an interior cabin, but upon booking I was informed that there were no balcony rooms available, so the option was either a suite or a regular room, and I wasn't interested in paying the rate for a suite. However, once the beds are pushed together to form a queen in the interior rooms, there is very little walking room. We were also located on a lower level room which was toward the front of the ship and seemed to be directly over the engine room because I could definitely feel vibrations coming up from the floors.
I was happy to be on a vacation, but I think that the ship could use some improvement. I have been on Carnival before and found the Conquest more to my liking.