This was our first time on Carnival, as we always cruise on RCI. We decided to try Carnival because it was a new ship and sailing from NYC. There were four of us traveling together in two cabins. My GF and I and two female friends of ours. We are all in our late fifties to early sixties. We live in South Jersey and hired a private car to take us to the terminal. We left at 10:00am and arrived at the terminal by 11:30am. We were on line right away and one of our group uses a walker so they told us to go to special assistance to go on board the ship right away, but my GF and I could not go with them because we were not in the same cabin as they were, so we had to wait for our group to be called. Our friend complained when she got on board and they told them to go get us to have us come on aboard but they could not find us in the large crowd of people that was all waiting for their group to be called. Our group was called after a three hour wait and we were on the ship. The ship was nice looking and we went to the buffet for lunch. Our rooms were balcony rooms and were the about the same size as RCI cabins. The balcony was not as wide as RCI.
FOOD: The food on the ship was just below average. The buffet area is set up in a crazy way and the idea of the Deli, hamburger grill, pizza station and Mongolian grill on the outside of the buffet area was not a great idea, also the pasta bar was up stairs from the buffet. The tables were never cleared quickly so you had to hunt for a table every time. The Dining rooms were nice but the staff was not that pleasant, they never asked us our names and they rushed you through the meal.
SHOWS: The three shows were good and the singers and dancers were very good. The other nights were a juggler and a hypnotist that were just OK. The comedians were just OK.
DAILY ACTIVITIES: There was not much to choose from, Trivia or Bingo very boring.
ADULT ONLY AREAS: They advertise an adults only pool but we never found one. The Serenity area was at the front of the ship and on the top two decks and were not that easily accessible to people in wheel chairs or Amigo carts as you had to take the forward elevators to the 12 deck then go through the spa area to get a small elevator to the Serenity deck. The elevator was big enough for four people only. There were no bathrooms on the Serenity decks so you had to go back down to deck 12 for the bathrooms. Bathrooms throughout the ship were not placed in the right areas so you had walk far to find one.
The different clubs were in out of the way places and were small in space so they were always crowded. The casino was small and they had a smoking section which was not good. The swimming pools were small and there were only two so finding a deck chair was difficult.
The doors to the cabins were not too sound proof as you heard everything going on outside in the hall and they would vacuum the floors late a night and early in the morning.
Disembarkation was smooth with the exception of the fact that they made an announcement over the speakers in the rooms at 7am that if you were self carrying your luggage you could head two deck zero to leave the ship. We had the last group to leave the ship so we had plenty of time for breakfast and did not have to rush.
Like I said this was our first and last cruise on Carnival. It's like the old saying you get what you pay for. So we will pay a little more money for better quality on RCI.