This was our 15th cruise, 5th on Carnival. The ship is brand new and the decor is over the top. Unfortunately this means it is totally pink and makes one wonder what was the decorator thinking.
The Baltic itinerary was superb and all the ports were intriguing. Since many of the cruisers were unfamiliar with the ports, guided tours were essential. Simply walking off the ship to shop and sight see would deprive the passenger of the historical and valuable experience. The tours are not inexpensive, but the guides were all excellent and knowledgeable. Without a tour in St Petersburg, you cannot leave the ship. This is due to a visa requirement. Not Carnival's fault.
The ship's amenities were excellent. Being new, everything was clean. The staff was attentive and always available. The food was typical Carnival. That means it was adequate but not exceptional. The exception was the constant buffet on the Lido deck and the Pizza bar. These were excellent.
Most of the passengers were American, and the crew catered to American tastes. Entertainment was OK, and once again typical Carnival. Lots of color and excitement - not much substance.
The areas that allowed smoking deprived the majority of non-smokers with a better experience. This was especially true of the sports bar and the piano bar.
The biggest complaint I had was with the Art Auctions. I have been to many on other ships, and this was the worst. The prices were too high and the art was of questionable quality. Basically there was nothing for the average guy to even bid on. Consequently, there was never any real auction.
The cabins were large and well appointed. The embarkation and debarkation were smooth. Overall rating for the cruise and ship was excellent.