First off I must say that Carnival has the best entertainment of all three cruise lines we've sailed. Each and every night there was something that really was worth enjoying in the theatre. Good job Carnival!
This was our fourth Carnival cruise and it only MET my expectations. I know Jorge will not agree with this assessment, but with the competition out there, you must WOW the consumers.
The Port of New Orleans is so easy to embark from. Parking connected to the terminal, very nice people directing us to our ship. Carnival people and port people were very pleasant and helpful.
Got on the ship by noon and enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs by the pool. We were allowed to go to our room at 1:30pm. A good thing is now you don't need to bring your life jacket to the muster station during the drill.
Somehow our friends that booked this same cruise did not get dinner table assignments together like requested. A visit to the maitre'd said that the first night would not be available, but did get corrected the rest of the cruise.
About the food. How can you complain about the food when there is so much of it? If you didn't like the food at dinner, you could always go get burgers, pizza or hot dogs. My thing was after four cruises on Carnival, the menu is too similar with all Carnival ships and not enough variety. But I was always satisfied with the AMOUNT of food, if not satisfied with the quality.
The service was not up to par to even met expectations on this ship. The bar staff at dinner was excellent, our waiter was below par. After bringing us our main entree, we never saw him again, the assistant waiter finished our desserts. We got food we did not order, which is not a problem since we did not pay, but we didn't always get what we ordered. The ice cream machines were not serviced regularly, often out of a flavor.
Our room steward, as in all our Carnival cruises, were excellent. The rooms were satisfactory for our category. We always book inside rooms high decks forward. No problems with anything, including the bathroom.
The ship was in good shape, being the newest Carnival ship we've cruised, it was no better than the Fantasy or Holiday. Carnival used the rear theatre (lounge) for the art auctions. This made most events that required this room met at the Casino Bar which was TOO SMALL! The main theatre was too large, but no room for people to participate at the Casino Bar.
Disembarkation was smooth, we took all our baggage off and waited until they called our deck to get off. By taking our baggage off, we had no wait time at the customs desk. 30 seconds and we were out.