This was our second cruise (first was with Carnival Conquest). The ship was almost identical, as was the entertainment. What I had not remembered from Conquest, was the SMELL on the Main Deck near our rooms. Oh. My. Goodness. It seriously smelled like bodily excriment (out both ends) ALWAYS in several different area. We would hurry past those sections and hold our breath. If I'd had a room any closer to the stench, I'd have made a formal complaint. I felt bad for those who did have rooms near the smells. Also, as another reviewer commented, the windows in our two rooms needed some serious cleaning from the outside. Our room was decently cleaned (if you don't consider the toenail clippings from a previous cruiser). But, our toilet broke one day (which was PROMPTLY fixed) and our shower often had lukewarm/cool water. We'd turn the knob all the way to hot to get a decent temperature. Obviously, it didn't bother us enough to complain to staff, though.
In regard to DINING, we had Any Time Dining. We won't do that again. We had different waiters each night and we jokingly agreed they were possibly the waiters who hadn't achieved the promotion "up" to the timed diners. One made very little attempt at all to know our names (which was on the seating slip). Another never smiled and seemed miserable. (We had to request not to have him again) Twice, we were seated alone in corners of the dining room (away from the festivities). We felt like rejects each night. :( I cannot say that breakfast/brunch dining in the Paris was much better. One morning, our waiter never returned with the rest of our breakfast. On the other mornings, there was a long delay in our waiter returning. They just seemed tired or under-staffed.
In regard to ENTERTAINMENT, there were many choices for those who didn't want to drink or sun by the pool. It wasn't anything like "Vegas" entertainment, but it was still "entertaining." I heard other veteran cruisers comment that they've seen better (more professional) entertainmnet on other cruise lines. For us, it was sufficient. Jen (our cruise director) made a great effort to be available to everyone. She had tons of contagious energy and added greatly to the "funship" experience.
Our family doesn't drink alcohol; but, having cruised before, we knew this would be a common theme in all activities and were not bothered by it. Some people may be offended or bothered by the constant promotion of the alcohol (so be aware of this before you go if you are sensitive to this issue). We have never been pressured to drink the liquor; only cordially invited.
On a positive note, the dining room food was GREAT. We were always pleased with the selection and the flavor. The buffet dining, pizza, burgers, etc were decent. Compared to local dining in our community (versus our previous cruise experience), the cruise service was WONDERFUL. And compared to local lodging in hotels with comparable rates (versus our previous cruise experience), our cruise lodging and room service was AWESOME.
In regard to port/shore EXCURSIONS, Progresso lacks the flair of most other ports. However, we bought a "package" once arriving downtown that took us to a beach where we enjoyed swimming and sunning. We took the advice of others on this board and ordered room service (grilled cheese sandwiches and cookies) before we left. We ate that for lunch on both port excursions. At Cozumel, we took a cab to a beach club. There, we paid $25 each for an hour of snorkeling at two different reefs. This was WONDERFUL. Again, we ate our room service food for lunch. (We had no problems bringing food off the ship - no one looked in our bags or questioned us). I realize it is risky to not buy Carnival's Excursions; but we were sailing on a budget. Our decision to take cabs once arriving at each port worked out very well for us (not that it will for everyone).
In regard to DISEMBARKATION, this went quite smoothly. We decided to check our luggage the night before instead of hauling it to breakfast. We were glad to be able to move around the ship that morning without the burden of luggage. But, we also were in no hurry to leave. In fact, we were SAD TO LEAVE. Even though there are some obvious dissappointments in this review (in an attempt to be transparent), we left the ship making plans to return next year!