My Mom and I decided to a take vacation together. This was my first time on Carnival and her second time on Carnival. She liked Royal Caribbean better and I liked Norwegian better.
Getting onto the ship from Baltimore was a nightmare. It took us 3-4 hours of waiting on line plus I was starving. Carnival was giving out boxed lunches but I had to wait on line to get my lunch ticket. I asked one of the Carnival employees if I could get my lunch while I was waiting on line and she said no. I said I was starving since I didn't eat since 8 am (it was now 3pm) and stated to her I saw others on line with the boxed lunches. Her reply "that's not possible", as if I was hallucinating. Finally we got on the ship and we ate dinner at the Normandie restaurant (the only non buffet restaurant that you didn't have to pay extra for). Their food was delicious but the waiters/waitresses seemed over-worked and just went with the motions. Mermaid's Grille was disgusting and their desserts were gross. One day we missed breakfast at Normandie by 2 min. and they said they couldn't let us in. In turn we went to Mermaids Grille and we did not go for breakfast there again. The coffee at the Mermaids Grille was not even close to being warm. I would suggest to go to the sit down restaurant and I did hear that David's Steakhouse was great (have to make reservations and pay $30 per person). I didn't like that there was not too many restaurants to pick from. While in port in Port Canaveral there was not much to do plus Normandie was closed for lunch on all 3 ports which stunk since Mermaid's Grille stunk.
My cabin steward was very friendly and made up our rooms whenever we slipped out. The entertainment staff (Jaime and Will) were approachable and extremely friendly. Will was so hilarious with his English accent. I wish I could take them and place them on a Norwegian cruise line.
I would not go on a Carnival cruise again since I did not feel pampered like I did on Norwegian cruise line. Lobster was only served once during my week on the cruise and there was nothing in my room upon arrival such as fruit basket. They gave us mint chocolates at night time. I feel like you get what you pay for. This cruise was not on the expensive side but I did expect more. My suggestion would be Royal Caribbean or Norwegian even though they are more expensive. The ship was rocky and I actually had to take something for it; I know that's not the cruise line's fault. Plus FL, Nassau and Freeport were very cold. Couldn't even go in the water in Nassau. The natives were all bundled up. In turn the ship didn't have many activities while in port so I found that at some points I was so bored. Hope this helps someone out.