We had a 12 day cruise out of Rome and embarkation was fairly easy since i had entered most of the information online as requested, and we arrived late afternoon. We had 5 days in Rome previous to the cruise, had a great time so were a little disappointed by our cruise.
Like others, i found the overindulgence in 'pink' to be somewhat offputting! The shops onboard had a good variety but getting someone to help always seemed a problem.
We felt the ship definitely catered particularly to US guests. The seamiles program is not available to non US citizens and the ATM outside of the shop only issues US dollars even though we are touring Europe! Particularly annoying is that it isn't highlighted on the ATM. We ended up withdrawing funds from our Australian bank account, in US dollars which then had to be converted into Euros! We were advised there is a euro machine in the casino after we complained.
We enjoyed the shows with John, the cruise director, but hadn't realized of course that this was old material as this was our first time with Carnival. We had a laugh but many returning guests were not impressed by the repeat performance. The evening shows though were terrible overall and way below standard of other cruise lines. Our saving grace was the piano bar, where at least we could have a laugh and some banter with Greg!
The staff, especially in the dining areas were excellent and I agree with others, were the saving grace for this cruise line. The dining areas were excellent overall (although we too, hated the queues in the Lido areas and spent most of our time in the dining rooms where possible). The Maitre d, was very friendly as were the staff and the food was excellent although i do understand the comments regarding repetition.
The staff in the spa are all excellent except for the manager. We bought a full pass on the first day for use throughout the thermal rooms. Except, they broke down on day 2 and were not back up until after day 6 even though repeated assurances had been given. Not once did the manager come out and explain or accept responsibility, she let her staff deal with all complaints. To their credit, they were very professional. She, however, fails miserably in all facets of customer service and did not have the respect of her staff at all.
We booked a couple of tours with carnival and a couple privately on the net. Overall the tours we booked were good except for the wait in the lounge until everyone had arrived. Why don't they allow guests to check in & send them down to a bus straight away? It would save the 'crush' when everyone has to go at the same time and for those who arrive on time not to be waiting for those ridiculously late.
We had one day at sea due to high winds in Cannes and were so disappointed we couldn't of stayed in Barcelona until later instead as we love it there.
Our room was as expected, the slippers and robes to use were a nice addition. The staff were excellent in maintaining rooms.
I agree about movies on the Lido deck - a very under utilized resource during the day, especially on sea days. We found very little on board activities that were of interest and this area could be greatly improved.
We were very surprised at the limited use of the bacterial gel in dining areas/entry points etc. Other cruises we have travelled on have the gel at all entrance points to limit the parvo virus, this ship didn't seem to use it hardly at all. We ended up carrying our own small bottle.
We got off with our own luggage which was very easy and definitely the way to go and then you don't have to be off at some ridiculously early time! However, carnival don't offer transfers to the second airport in Rome which is very inconvenient since some people do travel to Gatwick!!! don't think i will pick Carnival again, others are better.