After many cruises on various cruise lines, this was my first Carnival cruise. The decor on this ship is horrendous. The Taj Mahal lounge is possibly the ugliest entertainment venue I've ever been in on a cruise. The colors do not coordinate and its just ugly, that's all I can say and be somewhat nice. The Mermaid Grille is also very ostentatious and while the colors do coordinate, the large statues of mermaids hinder possible seating options by taking up space. As many people stand around waiting for tables during peak mealtimes, this is unacceptable and should have been considered during the design process. Stateroom decor was ok, rather plain, but after the visual nightmare that is the rest of the ship, this was a welcomed sight.
Food was ok, nothing fancy or anything to brag about to anyone. Ship staff were friendly and attentive. We did hear of one distressing item from a dinner seatmate; a wait staff person in the Grille during lunch hours slipped and fell on the floor in full view of many passengers and a ship officer saw and made no attempt to assist the woman up (it sounded like a pretty bad fall). Our table mate was very distressed by this and we were suitably taken aback as well over the sheer rudeness for a ship's officer to display towards other crew. One item of note: the floors in the Mermaid Grille get very slick with condensation during the middle of the day, from the AC and the humid heat from outside. It was common to see people slip and struggle to stay upright.
Entertainment was like the decor, not the best. While standard for cruiselines, this trip's was probably the worst so far for us. We pretty much skipped it all around, which was sad because we usually enjoy that aspect of cruises.
With another cruise coming up in December aboard the Carnival Miracle, we can only hope that it is better.
On the plus side, we probably took the best shore excursion ever in Puerto Vallarta, the Tequila Factories tour was great!