Background - My husband and I are in our early 30's and have sailed many times, this is our first Carnival.
Friday night we stayed at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale (always a great experience)
Saturday woke up and drove to Miami Cruise Terminal
Getting on the ship was a breeze; we got to the terminal at 12:00pm and were on the ship by 12:30
The ship is remarkable, breathtaking. The Christmas decorations were a perfect touch.
Our inside cabin, which we prefer was very roomy compared to other ships. We did have a problem with our room, being on floor 1 it was very noisy. They did everything they could to switch us.
The staff was exceptional (dining, room service, house keeping etc). I do feel some of the staff at the purser's desk lacked customer service skills (however, I have felt the same on other ships as well).
The cruise director was entertaining, he did a great job.
The food in the dining room was very good quality, the buffet was delicious with many choices, the Fish and Chips bar with the seared tuna over watermelon was amazing, and my husband loved the Japanese noodle station. They also had a great deli with fresh made sandwiches. The sushi bar had a nice selection every night. The Supper Club was pleasant (not better then Portofino's on RCCL)but very good, well worth $30.00 especially if you are steak person.
They had a 24 hour pizza station which was very tasty and a midnight buffet (we never attended so not sure how it was)
We did not see all of the shows; the few we did see were good. We heard others raving about the ones we missed
The piano bar was so much fun, a great atmosphere.
The casino was the place for us, we love to gamble. The casino host and pit supervisors were extremely attentive, friendly and accommodating. The bar staff went above and beyond to please.
They had Swing and Jazz music which was great.
The 70's club was a fun place to be, the music was perfect and so was the atmosphere
They have a jumbo screen over looking the pool which played a featured movie every night, it was a nice touch. They also played the Monday night football game which was awesome
Beautiful music every evening in the atrium
Tons of activates on the ship, dance lessons, scrap booking, bingo, pool games, too many more to mention
Pool and Spa
The pools were beautiful and the waterslide was great (not too thrilled with the set up of the pools compared to other ships but no complaints) I think the reason they had to set it up the way they did was for the big screen so I understand.
The Spa was beautiful, the hot tub, Steam room and Sauna overlooking the ocean were a perfect touch
The ship was amazing, it was gaudy but it all seemed to flow together, the Christmas decorations were done very well. Unlike others, I do not let gaudy decor ruin my trip.
Leaving the ship was the simplest process we have ever experienced, we did self check out - we were at the exit at 6:50am and in our car by 7:20.
This is my first Carnival Cruise, I have only sailed RCCL and Princess and will never go back to either. We were afraid we were going to feel crowded; however it was the exact opposite! We were also skeptical it was a party ship based on what others said and that too was the exact opposite, it was families, middle aged, young, and older people, a nice diverse crowd. We met many loyal Carnival Cruisers and plan to be one ourselves. I think those who say it is a party ship obviously have sailed during spring break, just as we did on RCCL and it was a crazy house. Carnival far exceeded our expectations and we cannot wait to sail with them again.