We were delayed in embarking due to the Tsunami and this resulted in a very long line to drop of luggage prior to entering the cruise ship terminal. We understand that this was not Carnival's fault but the fact that there were not enough trollies to hand the baggage was not too impressive.
The ship was not what I would call elegant. The public areas were gaudy and tacky parodies of architectural styles that were totally overdone. Ugly murals in the stateroom hallways. The cabins were typcial- nothing special.
One bright spot was the food stations concept up at the Playa Grill, it made the buffet area on the lido deck much less congested. However the food was hardly worth waiting for. It was either too bland or had way too much salt or garlic.
Another nice feature was that you could get away from the kids scene easily by hanging out on the fantail deck. The kids on this trip when you saw them were well behaved and fairly quiet- thank you parents. More
The evening entertainment variety was not bad. The staff was friendly, helpful and professional - with the exception of our cabin steward. My father also had him and he was on another planet in terms of service for him (no ship Funtimes one day, left someone else's empty beer bucket in the cabin another).
The deal beaker for our group on Carnival was the food - it was on par with a grade school cafteria at worst, Old Country Buffet at best. We will be hard pressed to return to this line for that reason. Less
Great for access to the fantail pool, Lido deck and formal dining. If you wanted to go ashore or go to any of the entertainment venues they were far away. No big deal but just something to keep in mind.
Love this stop but the tendering situation makes it challenging to plan since you have so much less time ashore. One thing that made me irritated is that we hopped onto a tender at 2:05 pm and didn't leave for the ship until 2:40. There is no reason to keep passengers on a tender for over 30 minutes. That's just plain rude.