We've sailed 18 cruises on multiple cruise lines. On this cruise we traveled as a group of 5 adults in 3 separate staterooms. The ship was full, with over 4400 passengers, a record number of passengers for Carnival Cruise Lines. The embarkation went smoothly, less than an hour from top to bottom. Our rooms were ready when we boarded which is always nice. Being brand spanking new, the rooms more than met our expectations, they were balcony staterooms but with a some new features that made for a very nice stay.
The food variety and quality blew all of us away on both the Lido deck and in the Main Dining room. We had Your Time dining and generally ate at 8PM, our average wait for a table of 5 was about 5 minutes.
We ate breakfast and lunch every day on the Lido where we sampled the deli, pizzeria, tandoori kitchen, pasta bar, grill, omelet station and of course the buffet which we thought had some of the best food at sea. The Lido was particularly busy on rainy days (unfortunately we had 3 of those) but we never waited more than 10 - 15 minutes on line. Getting a clean table could be a challenge but somehow we always found one and held it while others in our group waited on line. The Mongolian Wok always seemed busy but with so many other selections available, we never felt it was worth the wait.
The ship was beautiful and the entertainment was fantastic, particularly the production shows - the production features of the theater rivaled a Broadway theater when it came to lighting, special effects and sets.
There was live music and entertainment all over the ship from daytime until the wee hours in multiple venues, including the Casino, the Atrium, the Piano bar, the Burgundy lounge, Ocean Plaza and of course Poolside.
The entire staff we encountered and interacted with were friendly, courteous, well groomed, hard working and really seemed to enjoy working for Carnival and intent on making the cruise a very special experience for the passengers.
Our balcony cabins were on deck 8 Aft, they were efficiently laid out and pristine throughout. The cabin touches like the extra couple of inches of space in the cabin shower that avoided our being stuck to the shower curtain, the flat screen TV, the minibar/fridge, the excellent lighting, the wonderful bedding, the excellent soundproofing that made for the quietest cruise ever, the safes that worked with a security code, each a small detail but in total made for a wonderful stay.
Other nice touches included:
The addition of a comedy club.
A full 18 hole miniature golf course.
The introduction of multiple laser shows.
The convenient way the muster drill was handled.
Strong coffee in all of the dining venues.
The cashless casino with a grand bar and excellent live entertainment.
The beautiful atrium and bar encircled with comfortable seating were the best we've encountered on any of the ships we've sailed.
We didn't use the spa, gym, hotubs or any of the children's facilities so I can't comment on those aspects but it looked like everyone who availed themselves those facilities were having a good time.
The casino was one of the largest at sea with a great bar and good entertainment.
We took Carnival Excursions on each of the 3 ports and we were pleased with all of them.
After 18 cruises, this was one of the best as it related to the ship, staff, food, and entertainment. We've had better weather, and more interesting ports, but the cruise itself was top notch. Based on the very reasonable price paid we couldn't ask for anything more.