This was our return to cruising after a 9 year absence. We were very excited, it would be our longest Carnival cruise (8 days), our 4th Carnival cruise, we would have our first balcony room and we would be visiting 2 new islands on our itinerary. Instead it turned out to be a great disaapointment for the following reasons:
1. The balcony room: we could not enjoy this at all because the couple in the next balcony smoked constantly. We missed all sunrises, sunsets, entrances to and exits from all 5 islands. There should be a way to place all smokers away from those who don't smoke. (I realize you tried this with the Paradise with negligible results, but still).
2. Cut back on Dining Room Staff: these folks who already work so hard now have to work even harder
3. Cutback on activities: The "fun ship" isn't quite as fun as it used to be.
4. Balcony Rooms directly above lounges and discos: We could not sleep at all between 11pm-2am due to the constant noise from these clubs
5. Overly intrusive photographers and alcohol sellers: I realize you make extra money with these, but there has to be a limit.
6. Cutbacks on food offerings: We miss the Grand Gala Buffet and after midnight meals and shame on you for now charging $7.95 for your once free birthday cakes.
7. Trivia games offered in smoking areas (specifically the casino areas)
Now to be completely fair, I will also say the following; The "Ticket To Ride-Tribute to the Beatles" show was outstanding, one of the very best I've seen anywhere (cruise ship or not).
With the exception of our room steward, the crew was very friendly, including one gentleman who informed us the "Indonesians are not at all friendly".
Debarkation has improved 100%.
Guest services did give us a small refund and an offer for 10% off our next cruise, but I'm afraid the negatives outweigh the pros.