First let me preface this by saying that this is the 4th Carnival cruise my husband and I have taken - all 3-4 night to the Bahamas. However, this was the worst one yet.
We cruised out of Port Canaveral with another family who had never cruised Carnival before. Embarkation was a breeze and we were aboard the ship by Noon. The cabins were not ready yet (that was OK), so we headed up to the Lido deck to grab some lunch. The buffet was just so so. The deli sandwich that my husband got looked pretty good. Tried to get pizza, but the staffer was not even available to ask "how long?". One other guest said he told him 10 minutes for cheese and pepperoni. I don't know if they were making it to order or what. So I never got to taste the pizza everyone raved about.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent wandering around the ship waiting to leave (about an hour after the posted departure time). The muster drill went ok even if ours was on the Lido deck in the hot Florida sun. Our luggage finally arrived in our cabin around 5 pm. I was surprised that it took as long as it did. We've always received it earlier on past bookings. The kids were finally able to swim for a few minutes after the muster drill.
Surprise #1 - the water slide closes at 6 pm. I have no idea why. After that, pretty much everything shut down on the Lido deck, so we went to get ready for dinner. Surprise #2 - Dinner in the Fantasy dining room. What a let down. We had the 8:30 dinner seating (selected that so we could get the most out of our day in port). Our waiter was also a head waiter. He apparently didn't have a "runner" or anyone that did the drinks/bread/cleared the table. He was doing it all himself for our table and several others. Dinner took 2 hours. We waited over 40 minutes just to get the appetizer and had to keep asking for drinks. He said it was always this way on the first night. Unfortunately, this did not change for either of the 2 remaining nights. Overall, the food on this cruise was a major disappointment. I had one good meal.. the last night I chose the Chateaubriand, which was quite tasty.
We chose an oceanview cabin on the Main deck (so we could have 3 cabins together). The new bedding Carnival is using is quite comfy. I had no complaints about the mattress or the pillows and duvet. The first night, although I had asked for another pillow, the cabin steward forgot. The second day, while in port, our shower drain got stopped up and flooded the bathroom floor. Called for the cabin steward but no one answered. My husband went to the pursers desk and was treated very rudely. But someone did show up to fix the drain. Had to wait a couple of hours to get the mess cleaned up and get more clean towels.
Otherwise the cabin steward did a good job. The room stayed clean with fresh towels. He even added ice to the bucket containing a bottle of wine.
Room Service was good. My daughter and her friend used it quite often. I think they liked the novelty of it. No hot food is served. But the coffee, fruit and croissants in the morning were great.
Nassau was Nassau. We've been there 3 times before. Surprise #3 - no announcement that we had cleared customs and could get off the ship. We waiting almost an hour before asking when and were told that we could. We took in a little shopping (the straw market was entirely too hot to stand) and then headed to the beach after lunch.
Decided with our fickle kids in tow that we would try Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island. Unfortunately by the time we got over there, what was just a grey cloud, was now a very dark thunder and lightening cloud. We stayed for 30 minutes or so, walked down to Atlantis and up through their pool area to catch a cab back to the ship. Waste of time and money, but the kids did at least get to swim for a bit in the clear water.
Took in 3 shows on the ship, all of which were pretty good. I agree with other posters... don't know why they have the female dancers in thongs. Totally unnecessary.
The day at sea was the worst day. Nothing, and I mean nothing to do but spend money (shopping or gambling) or be in the sun, with the music so loud that you had to shout to be heard. My husband got smart this day and ate at the buffet before our dinner seating so he wouldn't be starving when our meal was finally over at 10 pm.
Debarkation was ok. Had the luggage out by 11 pm. Had some room service delivered in the morning (they were later than usual - I guess most people had the same idea). Ended up going to the dining room for breakfast just so we wouldn't have to sit in a lounge waiting for our color to be called. We heard them call orange, so we got up to leave. Found out that our tags were actually considered pink (What I printed off the internet was orange, but the tags they put on our luggage were more salmon than pink I saw once I was home). They let us off anyway. Took no more than 20 minutes. I didn't see anyone verifying your luggage tag color. Will not do another Carnival cruise the Bahamas. Will try one of the other Carnival owned lines for a 7 night.