On the upside:
Beautiful ship and well maintained. Entertainment was one of the better I have experienced over a number of different cruises and cruise lines. Only exceeded by the QM2.
Main dining room was very good and the waiter was excellent. Harry's Premium (extra charge) Supper Club had among the best service I have ever experienced, though food was good but just so-so. Cabin was very well maintained, though we never met the cabin attendant and they never introduced themselves, they took good care of us.
On the downside:
Completely disorganized. From the initial lifeboat drill forward, nothing except for those items positively noted above, was well planned or in any way efficient or of high quality.
They called for everyone to go to their cabins for their life jackets, but there was absolutely no prior information on where to go or what to do. We came out of our cabin and the crew member stationed nearby remained silent until asked, and then gave general directions. The same occurred several times until we eventually wandered to the correct general area and boat station. Shore excursions were the same. Everyone just somehow made it ashore and found an appropriate bus without any prior organization or designation.
The informal Dining and breakfast area (Lido) was absolutely terrible, except for the Pizza and Deli and that was woefully undermanned. Selection was limited and quality was terrible. The scrambled eggs were like powdered eggs, and the undercooked bacon was a greasy mess that literally dripped grease when picked up. The lines for the saving grace, the fresh omelettes, were impossible.
The fresh fruit was limited, and hard and unripened and the drink machines frequently put out only water through the juice or tea nozzles. Worst food and poorest selection in that Lido area that I have ever experienced on any line. Downright unhealthy.
The employees in this area (and in much of the ship) seemed desperately unhappy and never smiled or spoke, even when greeted first. They would typically pick up something from the table, and never speak or acknowledge the presence of anyone there. The only people that returned greetings and who seemed happy were the cabin attendants you passed in the passage ways, and the main, formal, dining room crew.
Disembarkation was the same, poorly organized. No specific bus designations, though someone was around to help point you in the right direction. Even though I had hours of excess time, and the FLL airport was virtually within sight, we barely make our flight. The bus had one poor driver trying to load and unload, and someone had directed six people to our bus, when they should have been going on the Miami bus. Of course, then luggage had to be found, offloaded and claimed. In the meantime, two busses down the way, an unauthorized line employee tried to move a bus, hitting and injuring a woman in front of the bus, as well as some luggage, before coming to rest against a pole. Again total confusion.Summary:
A beautiful ship with a lot of potential. However I would have to fault Carnival management with failure to train and supervise (and perhaps select) employees properly and failure to organize and coordinate programs and activities. Quite simply, confusion reigned and quality was seriously lacking.
It's the only cruise experience I've ever rated less than fabulous.
Next cruise is already booked, but never again on Carnival.