This was our first cruise and it only partially met our expectations. The areas that underwhelmed us where the dining and the character of some fellow passengers.
First for dining. We ate in the Golden Olympian Dining Room at our own time selection which was very convenient especially with a 2 year old along. The quality of the food was good, however the food was rarely served hot. If this were a land based restaurant, I would assume it sat for quite a while before being picked up. The portions were quite small compared to a land-based restaurant, especially for the level of pomp that the restaurant displayed. For example, at a breakfast I ordered french toast. What I received were two half slices when I would expect 3 or 4 full slices on land.
Service was rather slow which wasn't a problem, but when combined with having to ask for every single beverage refill, be it water, coffee or juice, it became frustrating. The dinner at Harry's Steakhouse was only marginally better. Wait staff in the dining rooms seemed to be on auto-pilot. This may be because we had a different service team at every meal and they knew their tip was already assured due to the pre-billed tips. On land, I would be hard pressed to give a 15% tip when 20% is my norm. We found ourselves at the buffet lines regularly simply because we could get what we wanted in a timely manner.
Secondly, the fellow passengers. There were a lot of passengers that did seem to be way out of their comfort zone. For example, a lengthy discussion about why there was more than one fork at each place setting. Even on elegant dress nights, the attire of many may seem to be dressy for dinner at Applebee's, but it did not fit with coats, ties and dresses.
There was evidence of graffiti being carved into the interior highly polished elevator doors on several occasions which was very disappointing. During the arrival on deck 1 to prepare for departure at a port visit, we exited the elevator and were rudely addressed by one of the "Walmart crowd" to "get out of here and go to the back of the line". This was in a sardine can environment while pushing a stroller with a 2 year old. Totally uncalled for. Everyone got off the boat and to show that level of disrespect to a fellow passenger really gave me cause to seek a more exclusive cruise line when we go on another cruise.
Camp Carnival was the one shining element that this ship got right. Our 2 year old was ecstatic and simply couldn't wait to go there and put up a fight to leave.