First of all we have sailed on 13 cruises including HAL, Celebrity and Princess. We found this cruise at a could not pass it up price. This was our second cruise of 2004. We expected to really hate everything about this ship, but came away quite surprised.
We found ourselves expecting an obnoxious party 24/7, so-so food and don't really care staff. We were wrong. The passengers were considerably older, due mainly to the itinerary. The ship, for the most part, was in bed by 11:00 PM every night. There were about 10 of us in the disco after midnight most nights.
The ship was pretty, with lots of colour and flare. Our favourite room became the Ionian Room, below the Club Arctic disco. Pre-dinner cocktails and nibblies were enjoyed with the excellent jazz stylings of the Sergio Manzo Trio.
The food was good and there was lots of it. Our dining room staff, Carlos and Sylvia, was excellent and were always happy to give us two or three of whatever we liked and/or wanted. They were better than some dining room staff we have encountered on HAL and Princess.
The entertainment aboard this ship was atrocious. The female featured singer was absolutely unbearable to listen to. The entire production or Vroom! reminded us why we do not go to the shows anymore. Once you've seen a few cruise shows, you've pretty much seen all the cruise shows. This, for us, includes the assortment of humourists, jugglers, balancing acts and other cruise ship evening fodder.
We were so pleasantly surprised, that we will consider sailing with Carnival again, when we need a budget minded cruising option.