We have been on carnival before, Destiny and Liberty inaugural voyage which was wonderful and why I opted for this new ship for the Baltics. Also been on RCL and Celebrity. Embarkation: Slow, unlike Rome with the Liberty. Staff pleasant tho.
Decor: Way too gaudy, garish and basically too many colors, not cohesive or elegant,imo.However the decor would not dissuade me from sailing on this ship.
Cabin: 8331, balcony. Decor ok. enough closet space. Shampoo, soap awful. Bring your own.No shower caps either. Hand soap was a tiny bar and we always had to ask housekeeping to replace it. For some reason despite him seeing it was small he would never replace it in either of the cabins we had. Kids had Inside 8333. Cabin stewards kept cabin clean, but we never really developed a rapport with him possibly because he constantly berated his assistant for all to hear and this annoyed me. He also Commented how tired they were after the last cruise. Check bill on TV daily. On the last day we checked before dinner and for some reason I chose to check again before bed and 2 charges for $7.13 were added, equivalent to 2 bottles of Scotch.( We do not drink alcohol). After much discussion it was removed from our bill. Cabin steward??? Despite it being a small amount, on principle I advised the purser I was more than willing to come down and deduct it from the gratuity.After begging for soap twice for our 2 cabins, laundry bags, laundry slips, I was certainly not rewarding anyone with Scotch.
The were plenty of places to relax on sea days and it was not difficult to find a lounger on Lido. Possibly because they opened the roof even when windy and this probably deterred many folks. Promenade deck also had comfy sofas to read a book and enjoy a cappucino on sea days.
Food: Breakfast- ample choices. Lunch Buffet- I never did find the food tasty, but there was a lot of variety. The food at the Indian, Rotisserie, Grill, Pizza and Sandwich Bar was nicer imo and so we ate from these places instead. My husband tried the Stir-fry once ,it was ok.Did not get to dining room for lunch so cant comment.Service was good.
Dinner: Late Seating 8.30 Gold Pearl. Table for 4. Waiters Ruelito and Yasa were good. Efficient, pleasant. After day 2, cappucinos were brought without asking. Bar Service good. The food however was never hot always room temp or cooler. Not sure why, but i suspect all food, entrees as well are prepared and kept warm as at the Buffet and so looses heat quickly. Many entrees were the same as the Lido Buffet. Food bland, tasteless, underseasoned. Desserts awful on the whole. Warm melting choc. cake one of the nicer ones. Really the food was just so uninspiring at dinner. This is the main reason we will change lines for our next long cruise. Both RCL and Celebrity esp. had far superior food. I understand that when cooking for 3000+ people, one cannot please everyones palate, but this was really just plain boring convention quality food. Maitre D was great.
Entertainment: Mediocre, Comedian blah. Many bars.Singers were ok, no one really exceptional. Piano bar fun.El Morocco not bad if you are 50+.
Spa:Great. I booked when there were specials. Did do 1 spa day pass. Not worth $35 to me. Gym: often busy in the ams, but if you wait you will get onto a machine.
Internet: Not the best spot, tucked away next Cigar bar which you have to enter to get to. Not a suitable location especially in my case as I needed to my son to often help me access stuff. Slow on most days.
Ports: Fantastic Tours: Booked Private in St. Petersburg, go to lower decks and hold your ground as many staff were rather firm in wanting to send you back up to Lido. At customs choose the shortest line. They do not care who you are touring with. Did not do ships tours at all so cannot comment on them.
Of note: You cannot get a live person on the phone if you dial get services it just rings .You need to go down to the pursers desk and find out what the extension is. Laundry facilities on board are few and far between and people were getting irate. As I have been on other ships where there are no self service laundries I was grateful when I was able to do it. I do not think Carnival is obliged to provide sufficient washers etc for all passengers to use.
Debarkation: Self assist. Went fine.