To begin, this was the 9th cruise for both myself and my wife on Carnival. We are in our mid-20's and we have been very pleased with Carnival overall. For those of you reading prervious posts, you are always going to have people on every ship that are just plain negative. If you read anything about the service on this boat being sub-par, you are reading from people who are probably just overall negative people. After 9 cruises, we always board the boat with expectations that we will be served well, but we always feel like it can't get better than what we have already experienced. Once again, we were pleasantly suprised.
Since we are on the subject, the service was excellent. The people on this boat were always up-beat and eager to serve. It was by far the best room-steward. She came by everyday on her off-time to check in to make sure we didn't need anything. The lido staff was excellent. The one area we weren't impressed with this time (and this shocked us) was the dining room service. Now, I am not one to look for something to complain about and I am not complaining. The head/assistant waiters were excellent guys, but overworked. They had 2 tables of eight people and 3 tables of 6(one with 4 kids). Our table seemed to be the one that kinda got left behind. It didn't help that people would arrive in pairs up to 30 minutes past dining time and that would mess up their flow. All other tables that I could see had no issues. The food was still good.
As for the port of Mobile, I am not impressed. I read a lot of bad reviews regarding parking and so-forth. I must concur. For your sake, don't plan on arriving any earlier than 1030, the police won't let you in and they won't tell you anything except to "keep moving". The garage isn't set up well for 2 way traffic. Additionally, we have always gotten to the port early to get on the Lido deck for lunch. This is the first time I have gotten there and the line for passengers disappeared in both directions. The end of the line came by us about 12 and they started boarding. We didn't know this until later, but it was due to customs(only 6 agents when we got off). Those people probably didn't leave until 2 pm. None of this is Carnival's fault, but is probably one of the reasons the boat was filled with first time cruisers. Debarkation for us was simple and smooth.