I have cruised with Carnival one other time for my Senior class trip back in '92. This was my wife's first cruise. We really enjoyed the cruise, mostly good, a little bad. Let me get the bad out of the way first.
We had the worst day on the way to Norfolk. We were traveling from upstate New York to Norfolk, VA on train. Let me point out our bad travel experience had NOTHING to do with Carnival. We were supposed to take a train to Penn station in NYC then switch trains to Newport News, VA. We could not take our first train to New York because of a bridge fire in upper Manhattan. So we had to drive to another town, catch the train to Grand Central Station. We took a "cab" to Penn Station where we got ripped off by the cab driver. Here's a word of warning if you have to take a taxi in New York City. Please make sure it says taxi on the car. The driver asked us how many of us there were and where we where going. He put our bags in the trunk. The car was a plain blue car with no writing on it, no meter running, no taxi driver's licence displayed. He charged us $120.00 to go from Grand Central to Penn station! I know it doesn't cost that much. We missed our connecting train at 1:05 PM and had to catch the next train at 3:00 AM. Again, this was not Carnival's fault.
The only thing bad about our cruise was the Steakhouse. We don't really have any complaints about it, we just didn't enjoy it as much as eating at the Golden Restaurant. The service was good in the Steakhouse. The presentation was excellent. The taste of the food was just ok. We will not do the steakhouse again, however we do recommend that everyone should try the steakhouse at least once. Your experience might be different from ours.
The rest of the cruise was great! I think every one should cruise at least once in their lifetime. We ate dinner at the Golden dinning room. We had the BEST wait staff. Our waiters were Alfredo, Agus, and Dickson. They were very friendly and always remembered our names. On the last night of the cruise they brought out an ice cream pie with 2 candles on it and sang Happy anniversary to us. Saijai, who took our drink orders, always had our sodas waiting for us. Every night the wait staff would either sing or dance or both.
The comedy shows were hilarious. We enjoyed all the shows we went to, especially the legends show, where the guests would dress up and sing like famous singers such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Elton John, etc. If you missed any of the shows, their were about 3 carnival channels on your TV in your stateroom that played the shows, talks from Gary the cruise director, etc over and over again.
They have a restaurant where the serve pizza 24 hours a day. The pizza was really good, but I felt they need more wait staff as sometimes you had to wait a while to get your pizza. They had had 24 hour self serve ice cream that was hit or miss. Sometimes the ice cream was too soft and runny and sometimes the ice cream was just right.
We always ate breakfast at the Red Sail restaurant. We loved it. Lots of variety, food was good and always hot. Finding a place to sit was a bit of a challenge as it was always crowded and for some reason, I had a very hard time finding straws. Some days I would only find 2 or 3 straws and other days I didn't find any. I wanted to try the Mongolian Wok, but the only time I found it open, I wasn't hungary.
We did the mini golf one day, had a good time even though we didn't know how to keep score as neither one of us ever played mini golf before. We swam in the pool and sat in the hot tub for a while. it was very relaxing.
We will definitely cruise with Carnival again tn the Future.