Here is my experience. I hope it helps others.
We arrived at the port at 11am and by 1140 am we were on the ship. My sister needed Special Assistance so we were one of the very first on board. We did have to walk total of 15 to 20 minutes. My sister must use a cane and we all were not happy at the distance to the point of entry. It truly was far...and mind you we had to carry our own suitcases since it was a CTN. No one at Carnival warned us ..if they had we certainly would have put her in a wheelchair.
Once on board we made our way to deck 10 to the buffet to wait for rooms which opened up at about 100pm. Since we were first we were able to get some food very quickly. The burrito bar was very good. Service was good there. Most of the rest of the items were typical and just ok. We were disappointed that there were many servers that looked not busy at all. We never had dirty plates cleared or were offered drinks or drink refills at any time during the entire 2 days.
There was a noticeable lack of activities on board..this was surprising since the weather was definitely going to keep everyone inside for the next 2 days. The rooms opened early and we were able to get into our balcony room on the starboard side. It is gorgeous. The lighting is great and closet space was great. The bathroom was laid out well and my sister had plenty of room to navigate the bathroom area. Many amenities were provided and that was cool even though we didnt need them. Shower gel and shampoo are in dispensers in the shower. The shower has knobs to control the exact temperature. Nice...and the shower does go from spray to massage.
So we go to our Cruise Critic Party..AWESOME!!! Thanks to all who made this possible. I met many new cruise friends and I hope to sail with them in the future.
So its 450 PM and we are on our balcony...we hear blaring from the port. Every one sit down. We will stop embarkation until the area is cleared...evidently at that point there were 600 unhappy people still waiting to board the ship. It is correct to assume...we did not leave on time. Muster was fine although it was too easy to just go to your spot and zone out. The screens were small and no effort was made to get people to pay attention.
So we leave port. Thank goodness we were starboard. We could go on our balcony with out a coat and enjoy the view of Jersey and the Statue of Liberty...awesome...Port was another story. I went to go get a picture...and was met with 90km winds and rain...I snapped a couple of pics and ran back to my room feeling very sad for the port balconies who were battered the entire trip.
Speaking of balconies...the ship has 2 over hanging hot tubs on each side. If your balcony is between them...you will smell smoke. That is the smoking area on the ship and in the am many butts littered the deck area. It was not bad but we were deck 9. But ...we could smell it.
That night we saw the headliner. He had a nice personality and a good voice. He was very good at getting the audience engaged. I'm 47 and enjoyed the music. It was a tribute to Motown and was well done in my opinion.
Oh Dinner..hahahahahaha yes we did go to dinner at 6pm in the Crimson restaurant. The lower level is mostly 4 tops. It was not crowded but the server was very nice but VERY overwhelmed. She had little help and all the tables of 4 really monopolized her time asking her for every little thing. And other servers who had empty stations did not come over to help her. It was funny because we missed every other course...but we were so happy to get what we got...we didn't say a word..she was that busy. The chateau briand (excuse my spelling) was tough and over cooked. The mash was nice. The broccoli has crumb sprinkles which were a nice twist.
My sister took in the comedy show. We cant remember his name but my sister said it was just ok. I went to the casino and played Let it Ride...I can't complain as I did win a bit of money. The dealers and managers were EXTREMELY engaging and friendly. I would have walked away with the same feeling had I lost all my money. They were THAT NICE!!!
After that we hit the room but we did stop for PIZZA. I liked it. Nothing special but I enjoyed the crust. I went again after they fell asleep...hehehe pizza is 24/7.
Our room SHOOK all night. It was a bad night. People sick..but fortunately we love the motion...didn't bother us at all. The shaking and banging though did make some of us uneasy...it was that loud and unusual.
So we wake up and go to Scarlett for breakfast...Eggs Benedict looked scary but was some of the best tasting EB I have ever had on a ship. Cooked perfectly...Plus after our experience dining in Crimson we switched to Scarlett. Table of 10.
We went to the casino again..as there was not much planned on board. We then ate lunch at the Buffet...outside at the Tandoori bar because it was a madhouse inside....what a crazy setup for a buffet...lines that converge at the middle to a single station that has the food that people want the most. Needless to say...lines were out the door. Getting back to our lunch....I don't usually like Indian food. However, they made it look so good I had to try it...I got the Tandoori Chicken, the Pork Vindaloo, and some other meat. I had no idea what it was. I went back TWICE..OH MY GOOODNESSS YUM. They had Naan and I had 3 servings of that. I had to load it with butter and it was heaven on earth. YUM YUM YUM. At the Indian Food station they also had a Greek Salad that my sister said was awesome. We then went met friends and chatted and at 3pm we did TEA. It was too funny. It really looked like a high tea until they brought out the lipton tea bags. I think they missed an opportunity to introduce people to new teas...but it was cute to see the servers open the wooden presentation chests to display the lipton tea.
The small desserts and sandwiches were well done and elegantly displayed and served. Get rid of the Lipton and bring in some fancier teas with some education about them and you have a winning activity Carnival.
We then went to Trivia. Well done..quick and fun. Then back to the room to nap before dinner at Scarlett. We were in the aft corner at a window ....Excellent service and the lobster and shrimp were cooked PERFECTLY. Service was brisk and efficient. The only excitement was when the ship turned and we hit a wave. The back of the ship rose and slammed down and our plates rose off the table about an inch from the force of the slam. A big woooo came out and everyone went on with their meal. The caesar has the anchovies built in by the way...too fishy for me. Cherries Jubilee came advertised as flaming...it did not. The cherries were firm and delicious. The ice cream with it was icy, hard, hand flavorless.
We then saw the production show. A M A Z I N G !!!!!!! Kudos to celebrity. We then saw Percy who was very very funny. My sister said he was the better of the 2. We got more pizza and I wanted to test out room service. I called before 11pm and within 15 minutes my food was delivered. We got a reuben....the meat had an odd color..but we thew caution to the wind...it was just OK and we are fine. The doors to the hallway do not stop noise at all. At 430 am we were woken up by someone clucking like a chicken down the length of the hallway. We got up in the AM and went to brave the madhouse buffet again. 30 minutes and we finally got some food. Lines were Super Long...and be careful...the honey and pancake syrup dispenser look the same...I won't comment on the food as it was obvious they wanted us all of the ship by 915.
We got off just fine. I will say in general. I felt all the ceilings in the rooms were low. I felt closed in at all times. The dining rooms were nothing special to look at. It is a beautiful ship for sure..but it is a maze to navigate. To be honest..this was my first Carnival sailing. I expected more from their best ship. I thought too they would present themselves better since they talked a good game the 2 days.