Let me start by saying that this was my DH and I 2nd cruise. Last October we went on RCI to Bermuda and had such great service...this time not so much with Carnival. This cruise line calls themselves "the fun ship", but it really wasn't so fun.
DH and I got to the pier around 12:15 and were on the boat by 1:15. It was pretty quick and painless. Only saw one rude Carnival employee who was yelling at some older guy for going under the ropes to catch up to his family in line. Once on the ship we looked around a little bit and then went to our rooms by 2:00. We met our stateroom attendant, Alexis who was very nice. But for the entire cruise he never once greeted us by name. He did a good job of fillin up our ice bucket daily, but he never replaced the glasses that we took out of the room, so we were often left with no glasses at all.
The food was ehh, just okay. We ate all out breakfasts and lunches in the red sail restaurant on the lido deck. The buffets were pretty much all the same daily. The eggs were kinda watery, so you needed a slotted spoon to drain them before putting them on your plate. They always had fresh fruit, which was nice. The one day they had a turkey carving station...that was excellent! We ate dinner in the Platinum dining room, lower level tabel 341. For the first 2 nights we had some Asian guy, but he got pulled off his station and demoted to buss person for whatever reason. He was replaced with Donovan from Jamaica who was great! The food was just okay. The chicken was often very dry. The shrimp was good though, and my DH liked the lobster. I recommend getting the warm chocolate melting cake. YUMMY! My 2 biggest problems with the dinner was the delivery and the portion sizes. It took so long from the time we ordered to actually get our meals and the time in between appetizers, dinner, and dessert. It was unreal. It literally took from 8:15 until almost 10:00 to eat, and we are not slow eaters. The second problem was the portion sizes. I'm not a huge girl or anything, but I had to order basically 2 portions each dinner because the meals are so small. Especailly the sides. The mac and cheese sides come in a little circular container smaller than a petite woman's palm, and I'm not joking. So I suggest you order 2 or 3 if you like that. Ohh, and one more thing...apparently our Maitre'D was a guy name Victor. Never even met the guy and didn't find out what his name until the last day when a little envelope arrived in our room to extend gratuities. Sorry, but he received nothing from us.
The mixed drinks were good, but the drink waiters are everywhere. You are constantly being asked if you want drinks and it gets old after a while. And just so you know...if you are at the casino and order a signature cocktail, save your receipt and take it to the cashier's window. You'll get a $5.00 player's match card. We didn't learn this until the last day!
The Serentiy Spa was glorious. It was such a nice area for adults to relax. I especially loved the hammocks if you were lucky enough to get one. Those get taken fast, as there are only 4 on the ship. The hot tubs were nice too, but they had an overwhelming chemical smell to them...'nuff said! I did happen to see a couple of families come into the spa area with their children and they were asked to leave promptly, so that was nice.
Did a couple of events on board. Went to 1 singing and dancing show that was great! We also went to a 18+ comedy show that was really funny but were disappointed that it was only 30 min long. Thought it would be longer. Also went to Bar Blue for karaoke and that was tons of fun. Lots of great singers amongst the fellow passengers. I also went to a meet and mingle from the cruise critic roll call and met a lot of great ladies!!!
Overall, I had an okay time. My next cruise I'll be back on Royal Carribean however. It's just that they offer better service, they are friendlier, and food quality is better. I spent half the cruise wishing I was either on an RCI cruise or at home because of their level of disservice to their passangers. Nobody really seemed to want to really go above and beyond to really serve, with the exception of Donovan in the dining room.