We made many of our very best experiences:
cabin - space space space - we could have baggage for a world voyage with us and still would have space in our closets
rates - I think with the rate we payed we could only expect "pure transportation" and we got more than we expected
dining - I did not expect that it was much better than RCI or NCL (our favorite line): I had every day a changing lunch menu. The quality and quantity of food was much more higher. It was not so far away from the standard of HAL, Princess or Celebrity. Nouveau Steakhouse was an outstanding experience we made twice. And the Chef's Table was something like heaven on earth or better on water...
entertainment - 12 dancers and 4 singers for the production shows - the best singers and dancers I experienced on many many cruises... but too loud.
enrichment - total surprising: a naturalist who introduced Hawai'i like we normally would only expect on HAL.
value for money - the best we got for this little money we payed
service - it was hard to find nice and attentive crew members who give you a service like we know from NCL. We mostly (with few exceptions) missed the cordiality we know from NCL or HAL. You could walk from the bow to the stern and say good morning and get no response - neither from anyone from housekeeping nor from the ship's management (incl. Captain and Hotel Director). You were persona non grata and totally ignored after complaint. Hotel Director was only interested to put himself in the focus and not interested why you as guest does not feel comfortable. Panum et circenses: Bread and Games - both were outstanding to ignore lack of service.
Many many times you have to wait in the restaurant because all waiters were just standing in the galley and wait... you can only see that there is a lack of organisation if you book the Chef's Table and you are surprised why so many waiters are always in the galley and you were surprised that you had no chance to get a 2nd cup of coffee because none of the waiters were around.
As the Hotel Director said: my expections as experienced cruisers were too high and they were still "excersing" after one year on flexible dining:
so they fill up all tables of one station before they start the service
while other escort you to different stations to make sure that you get as long as possible a full attentive service
You got breakfast beverages (like hot tea and juices) at the end fo the breakfast and only on request (if you caught someone whom you can tell):
when I told the Hotel Director and Guest Relation Manager if I should go to the coffee bar to buy a cup of tea before going to the Main Dining Room they just told: you do not need to buy: you can get a free cup of tea from the La Playa Grill and take it to the Empire Restaurant.
The best: the closed all restaurants before all guests had a chance to have a full meal on day of embarkation and you should just "forget" it.
The spa was a total desaster: steam bath no tube for cold water to clean and freshen up seats. Sauna you cannot add hot water to get steam: not hot enough and all water flows directly to the ground. 50% of machines in gym out of order or did not work. Even you go on open deck: they close open decks for cleaning at typical times people are doing their rounds. Totally not service orientated.
But to be honest: it was one of the best "transportation incl. hotel" you can have for Hawai'i and if you can ignore service you will have your greatest experience on water and a perfect way to paradise.
We did not regret to be on this cruise and would go Carnival again. But to be the largest cruise company you as guest must learn that they are not interested very much to satisfy you: you take it as it or you leave it. And Captain and Hotel Director will do their best that you feel as uncomfortable as possible that you do not return again.