Embarkation - what a nightmare! Nobody, including the Carnival people, knew if they were coming or going. Eventually, they but up some sort of lines to go into, but that took forever. Got through security only to find a huge line to get your room card. Computers were down, so all credit card info had to be redone by hand. Not a good way to start a vacation, but we were on board and in our room by 1:30 pm. Lunch up in the lido and off to explore the ship.
Ship - after dry dock, she was sparkling and clean. Not sure if they put in new beds or not, but they were comfortable. Pool areas (there are 3) were nice and there were plenty of lounge chairs. Ship is easy to maneuver, although sometimes the hallway just ends. There is only one way into the dining room, and that is through a lounge on each floor. So, enjoying the entertainment before dinner was very noisy with all the people lined up waiting for "rope drop".
We went to most of the lounges - most had some sort of entertainment and mostly they were very good. The atrium bar is very nice - just sitting there and gazing up at the elevators was very relaxing. Smoking allowed only in the Champions bar and in casino, so that was not bad. Most of the nights, the bars were not crowded at all.
We did a lot of trivia, especially on the at sea days, which we had 4 of. They were amusing and passed the time. Lots of activities to keep everyone busy. Did not see the new show, but heard it was good. Went to see the "juggler", which we found amusing.
Crew/service - everyone was pretty friendly and competent. Met our room steward a couple of times and he took very good care of us. Bar staff was okay,although they were not very attentive at times.
Dining - we always try to get a big table so we can meet new people. We were seated at a table of 10 and no one else came. On day 4, another couple were seated at the table, but they made it perfectly clear that they wanted nothing to do with tablemates. There were lots of empty places at many tables, which we found odd. Our waitstaff was mediocre at best - food was pretty good.
All in all, it was a very relaxing trip. The one thing that made it great was our room. When we first booked this, we were supposed to go the week before. Then Carnival decided to put her in dry dock, so we had to change to this one. Since the room that we wanted was not available, Carnival put us in a suite, which was nicer than any room we have ever stayed in, on land or at sea. That made the trip for us.
Will we cruise with Carnival again? Maybe.....but we will be sticking with RCCL for the foreseeable future. Better all around service, better amenities, better ships. We did this for the ports, which many lines do not go to. Now we can say, been there, done that...back to RCCL.