Let me start by explaining my position prior to booking this sailing. I personally am a RCL fan and I never planned to sail with Carnival. After much prodding from a relative i caved and gave it a chance. I had read the reviews here and well, I wasn't Very optimistic about this.
We arrived at port fairly early and we walked right on the ship with minimal time in line. Once on board the clerks quickly rearranged our cabins so the teens wouldn't be with the adults (a usually hour long process with RCL). First stop was the Lido Buffet. The food inside was mediocre and unappealing to me so I ate at the Mongolian grille. The food was a make your own stir fry where they cooked it for you and i was impressed, it was delicious and a great first impression on the cuisine. Soon enough we were in our rooms. I had a oceanview cabin which was a bit cramped for the two of us sharing it. I was honored to be a new member to the carnival brown water club when for a brief few moments is poured from our faucet and was not to be seen for the rest of the week. In general the room just felt dirty. There were stains on the sheets and spots on the carpet. The bathroom was unbearably small and no counter made it difficult to work with. There never seemed to be enough room for hanging clothes to dry.
Also on the note of cabins, 3 of our 4 rooms would at around 3 am be FILLED with smoke as if a carton was lit in the air duct. It woke them up and two got sore throats for the last day. My room was fragrant until the last morning when it reeked of raw sewage in the morning.
Key West was fun, but we departed at 2 so at most there were 5-4 hours to do things. Cozumel was next and it was decent, the Mayan Ruins + Beach excursion combo was possible the worst part of this week. It was 90 Degrees, nuclear mosquito, and if you want to see similar ruins I suggest you look at a pile of white rocks, alright you get the picture. Market was okay, hard to barter but the items were overall silver jewelry and purses.
Onboard the ship i wont complain too much about the public areas. They were in decent quality, sadly they were decorated like a cheap casino. The staff was so relaxed and I met some really cool people with great stories (bartenders have the best, but it might be their way of getting tips)
Now I saved the best part for last, FOOD!!! If you didn't care about the food on your cruise then you shouldn't cruise anymore. The buffet was mostly generic food. Nothing special. The single best tip I have is if you want breakfast you HAVE TO get it in the dinning room if you want anything decent, it had better coffee and the service was 30 minutes maximum. The dinning room food was alright, good, but not great, I say between Applebee's and Olive Garden. Overall its a good cruise for the price, just remember you get what you pay for...