Embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived at the terminal at 11:00 a.m., gave the porter our luggage and went inside to the waiting area. Around 11:30 they started boarding us and we were on the ship by noon. We loved the lobby area and enjoyed sitting with cocktail in the Capitol Bar watching all those people waiting in line behind us.
We booked an oceanview stateroom on the Riviera deck. We were very surprised by the spaciousness of our cabin and the storage space. I expected our cabin to be much more crowded and compact. I suffer greatly from motion sickness and would choose our cabin placement again as we didn't feel much motion at all while in the cabin ~ a definite bonus!
We ate in the London dining room at 6:15 each evening. Our server, Joe, was very friendly and attentive. The dining room has a nice atmosphere and the food was wonderful. The chocolate melting cake is a must!! They do serve a fair amount of seafood, which I love, but my kids don't. Luckily, they offer many alternate choices and we ate well every night.
As far as the other dining options go. . well the buffet is a buffet. It was fine, but I'm not a huge buffet fan. We did eat at the Pizzeria and it was very good. Also, we really liked the New York Deli. Great sandwiches!! A couple of nights (after a llloonnggg night in the Big Easy Bar) we ordered room service. Although the selection is limited, the service is very prompt.
The drinks onboard, as many others report, are more on along the pricing lines of a larger city. They can add up quickly!! We really enjoyed the Big Easy piano bar and went there a couple of times on our cruise.
The ship itself is very clean and well maintained. The public rooms, although decorated in a more Vegas-like manner, are appealing to the eye and again, very well maintained.
We did go to the shows three times during our cruise and liked them. They're not Broadway, but they're good entertainment.
A big negative for us was the debarkation process, or lack thereof. We chose the self-debarkation option and were off the ship by 8:30. However, we travelled with a small group (4 staterooms total) and we stood outside and waited for the others for an hour and a half. Our friends literally stood in between decks three and four, without moving for two hours. (Again, another positive about our deck location.) It seems that Carnival needs to get some organization for those choosing self-debarkation.
Overall, we loved this cruise. Would we do it again? Absolutely!!!