Embarkation: Yes, it was probably the second to worst ever. It was long, the Fun Pass is now redundant considering everyone does it now. And I was extremely irritated having to fill out paperwork in line that should have and very well could have been completed before arrival.
Food and staff: Well, I must admit that I am particularly sick of Carnival breakfasts. Same food every ship! However, there are many options to get me through it. The buffets are average. Dining was about the worst (except the mud cake of course made it all worth it.) I did hear the Supper Club was well worth the extra $$, but never tried it. I generally don't go on a cruise for the "food" so I tend to overlook it and just enjoy what I can of it. The Deli sandwiches are always the best on every ship I have been on, but never open long enough or at the right times it seems. Staff was ok in dining, and elsewhere.
Room stewards and rooms: The best as always.
Ports of call: Great! I highly recommend taking bug spray from now on. This is the first cruise EVER where myself and all 47 people in my group got eaten by sand fleas in Antigua and Nassau. All the ports I've been too....I have never had that happen. So I don't know where or why but I will definitely be prepared next time!Entertainment: Not enough live calypso music on the Lido as far as I am concerned. The large TV seems to have taken up most of the Live stuff. I don't like to watch TV on vacation, especially FOOTBALL on the LIDO deck. That was disappointing. I like the deck parties at night and this ship lacked in that area. The rest of it was as expected, Bingo, contests, casino, etc. However, I think the dance clubs were less than adequate for such a large ship with great diversity of age groups in attendance. I personally like the live bands that play everything from oldies to rock and roll (dance stuff,) and this ship didn't have it! Just a gorgeous club full of RAP CRAP. I was not impressed about that! But there was plenty to do otherwise.
Now, for the main reason I wrote this review. I read another review by some meaty-petey guy who unfortunately could not leave a return email so I could address him personally. I just have to say that your first sentence obviously stated that you had decided to hate the cruise before you even went. That is fine and understandable. Then you go on to call the passengers hillbillies and compare them to Jerry Springer. Fine, you are entitled to your opinion, as we all are. However, being a professional myself...I specifically go on vacations (Carnival Cruises imparticularly) because I can go through the buffet in my pajamas if I want to. I wear professional attire all week at home....and I don't want to do that on vacation! I want to be loud and have fun with fun people who like to have fun and be loud. I like to do things that I normally wouldn't do at home, be daring, go out on a whim and try new things.I don't like Geriatric cruises so I try not to book them. I don't like Geratol cruises so I try to avoid them. I don't want to wear a suit and tie everynight, so I book cruiselines that don't require it. I don't want to sit around in a collared shirt and socks drinking hot tea in 85 degree weather. So I don't book cruises that require me to do so. I don't want to listen to classical music or have peace and quiet on the lido deck...I want to have fun, see hairy chests, laugh my rear off, drink until I cant get off my deck chair and listen to overbearingly loud calypso tunes! That is what cruising is all about! So, if you found all of that appalling...might I suggest the Ritz???