We got to Tampa the day before. I didn't have travel arranged for us through the cruise line but some of our group did. Carnival did not met them at the airport and so they had to figure out on their own what to do. We just grabbed a taxi and headed out to our hotel. Stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn and it was great. Fairly new and in excellent condition. Breakfast was good also.
We got a shuttle the next day to the pier. It took longer than usual, the SEC Conference tournament was going on downtown so we hit a lot of traffic where I think they usually don't have. We gave the porter or bags and started our wait in line. It took about an hour. After much research I expected that much time, but the line moved constantly so it didn't feel that long.
We got on and headed up to Lido deck for some lunch. We had people already up there, so we got some food and start our cruise eating. The food was good and no problem finding a place to eat. Even if we didn't have places saved there was a lot of choices. We explored the boat and found our way around. At 1:30 we went to our room, did some unpacking, met our room steward Aldo (who is the best!) and got settled. We went down to the pursers deck and requested the door on the balcony between my sisters room and mine to be opened. It was opened the next day. We had a cabin that overlooked the life boats in the aft part of the ship. It didn't bother me at all with the boats there. We were looking straight out most of the time. I would book this cabin class again.
The food on the cruise was great. Always at temp, never cold, unless it needed to be. Our server Ozay was fantastic!! He made sure the guys had a special dessert for them each night. There was 14 in our group and split between 2 tables but we moved around a lot and that didn't cause a problem for Ozay, the bar guy however, it took a couple of days to figure us out. We had pizza late at night that was good and if you get to the Hamburger place just as it opens up at 11:00 the fries are to die for. Good hamburgers and hotdogs too. That was a favorite late night spot to hang. We had room service most mornings, typical continental breakfast. The truffles was good for breakfast and we met some nice people. Breakfast on Lido wasn't bad either. I really enjoyed eating out on my balcony in the morning. I wish the menu was better for room service for that. We loved the variety and it seemed everything we had was good.
We participated in the games, and quizzes on board and had a blast. The shows were pretty good. The balancing act was amazing and the juggler was super funny. Comedy was also funny. I didn't see the last show, I wasn't feeling well, but was told the piano guy was just ok.
I am not a drinker so I can't comment on the bars and I don't gamble so I can't comment on the casino.
I did see people cleaning all the time. We saw them painting the ship, washing it down, mopping up messes, wiping down tables. I didn't notice a lot of wear and tear on the ship.
We didn't want to leave. We had a great time and would go on this cruise again, same ports, same boat.