This was my first and last cruise on Carnival. The experience was not unlike a Texas BBQ without style. At least at a Texas BBQ you expect good food, drink, and happy people.
As I boarded the Spirit the first thing I noticed was several dirty glasses on the stairway. These same glasses remained for at least 2 days. This was only the start of the dirty dish parade I witnessed throughout the cruise. Often it was difficult to walk down your hallway without stepping over plates, french fries, and half eaten sandwiches. One evening my wife sitting on a broken lounge chair on the aft deck and she noticed ice cream running down the wind break glass. The deck chairs were mostly broken with parts lying about the decks. Of course this was OK since they were also dirty.
The food was so so at best. We ate in the Empire Room with mixed results. Often the main course was lukewarm and any beef was tough and stringy. The best (worst) was the Baked Alaska which was not baked and consisted of dry white cake covered in a thin coating of frosting and topped with chunks of melon! Chefs have been sent to Devils Island for less serious offenses. I have saved the best for last. The so called dress code; there were two "formal" nights which ranged from Tuxedos to jeans and polo shirts. "Informal" meant cut offs, NASCAR t-shirts, and flip flops. I didn't realize we were on the Jerry Springer cruise. That is probably too harsh, Jerry Springer has more class.
Bottom-line: avoid Carnival unless you like working your way around 300 pounders piling their trays, no plates needed, with fried chicken and tater tots while smoking Benson and Hedges 500s.