We've been on 3 Carnival cruises prior to this one, as well as cruises on RCI, Celebrity and Norwegian. This was our worst cruise experience ever. The service was nonexistent! We had to go to bars to get our drinks for all but 3 drinks the entire cruise. The jewelry shop staff was rude, the lines for the buffet were 20 or more minutes long, the food was average, service in dining rooms was very slow, the casino staff unfriendly, the public bathrooms smelled horrible on the Lido deck, the adult hot tubs were either not working or cold frequently and you couldn't find anyone to take responsibility for them. The overall attitude was "not my job - I get tips whether I give you service or not!"
We had 6 cabins booked on various decks - my daughter got married on St. Thomas (not thru Carnival). The Carnival photographer we had take posed photos when we got back was marvelous and the pictures were terrific - he was the friendliest person on the ship (other than the cruise director who was also great)-he saved the trip from being a really horrific experience.
Our washcloths were frayed every day - and varied in color from beige to white. The towels sometimes smelled badly - like dirty socks. Food Variety was poor on the buffet and lines were awful. The ship was too cold in the indoor public areas every day and the music (somewhat limited) was always too loud no matter where you were-you couldn't carry on a conversation anywhere on Lido if the band was playing because it was so loud always. The Motown singer was very good as were the Broadway type shows.
The cruise Director, Mark, was a definite asset to the ship - and a bright spot in a dismal place! Overall the staff was uninspired, unfriendly, and not very service oriented - a result of prepaid gratuities perhaps? The Spa facilities were quite nice as was the gym/exercise equipment. The library and card rooms were pleasant and clean. The spa staff were friendly, but not the friendliest on the seas by our account. Most areas were clean but many areas need refurbishing - worn out seats on chairs, booths, etc. I know Carnival can do better than this!