Embarkation was the standard stand in various slow moving lines. New Orleans is not the most efficient port not the most inefficient. Bags were delivered to the room at 5PM.
Room was reasonable size with adequate closets and drawers. The ship is 11-years old and starting to show sign of aging. The ship is probably scheduled for a remodel. The bathroom decor was a pink normally associated with 1956. The television did not receive the movie channels that it was supposed to get. The main hallways were the light green you find in mental institutions.
Our room was beneath the buffet restaurant. They do most of their maintenance at 3AM, hence it was quite noisy. I asked them to keep it down, but to no avail. Do not stay on the 8th floor!!
The buffet food was average to below average, with a few instances of exceptional dishes. Rarely did I go for seconds of anything. I didn't expect exceptional food, thus I wasn't surprised.
The food in the dining More
rooms was also substandard. When questioned, our waiter relied on his inability to speak English. They don't do a Baked Alaska parade anymore. Their excuse was that long ago, in another ship, a fire alarm was been tripped. We felt the level of service was commensurate with the food.
Good news for kids is that there is 24-hour pizza, soft serve ice cream, and drinks.
The pools were kid friendly with a minimum depth of 3-feet. There is a kids water slide, but they shut it down due to high winds. (There were no high winds)
The nightly shows were substandard, a notch or two below MSC, HAL, or Celebrity.
The nightlife was quite active and noisy. I suspect that a large fraction of those cruising on this ship are there for the drinking and dancing.
The ports visited were Progreso and Cozumel. There was adequate time in both ports for most purposes.
The casino was of reasonable size. I shoot dice. The table minimum was $5 with 2X odds. Not quite what I prefer, but comparable to the strip in Vegas. The dealers were knowledgeable and made few errors on my don't pass/don't come strategy laying free odds.
The people are worth mentioning. Obviously, Carnival is family friendly. The non-families were rather unsophisticated.
Overall, Carnival packed a lot into a 5-day cruise. Unfortunately, it was rather pedestrian. Less