This was my first cruise, so of course I had no idea what to expect. This cruise had 6 nights and 5 ports of call, so there was very little time spent on-board the ship. My group left the ship for different excursions - only one of which was a Carnival excursion (Messina). We did Monaco on our own and hired RomeInLimo for the other three ports.
The ship was good. The first thing I noticed, as I was at the bar in the lobby waiting for our luggage, was that the circular staircase was glass on the rise (ya know - rise & run) so you could potentially see up the skirts of women on the steps. I didn't test it - but I did avoid the steps. Kinda icky. And when I did go down the steps - my thighs were pretty tight together. The drinks were fine. Bartender was okay.
Stateroom was great. Balcony was nice. Robes were comfy. Bed was new. Could hear the neighbor coughing through the connecting door - but couldn't hear the kids on the other side of us. The cruise director? was announcing stuff but we couldn't hear it unless we opened the door - which was fine I guess - probably wasn't that important. I think we missed the 8:45 dinner time one night (thought it was still 8:15) - but that was it. Combo of bad mic & bad speakers & bad accent - couldn't understand him at all, even with the door open.
Good food in the dining room. Expectations were probably too low - but everything tasted really good and looked good and service was very special. Ionel and Audi were fantastic waiters. The way the other tables looked - the whole waitstaff was well trained and the people were happy. Of course, some people are always cranky about something or the other. Spent some time in the RedFrog and the Casino. Bartenders were great. The Movie on the deck is just cool - felt like a drive-in movie theater. Should've brought a blanket out there - kinda cold. the solo guitar acts were very good - the only good acts on ship. Magician was very good. Piano bar was great.
The excursion to Mt.Etna w/the ship was fine. Kinda expensive. Saw Mt.Etna spout some steam. yay. RomeInLimo for Rome, Tuscany, & Amalfi Coast was a better bargain - great tour guides (Luka, Clara, & Ansel). Highly recommend romeinlimo - great drivers.
I only talked to one N. American worker on-board the ship - she works in the make-up/jewelry shop. (or I think she was American or maybe Canadian) The rest were European or Asian or something else. odd. It was nice to have a N. American working there.
It was like a floating hotel for me. It was wonderful. I enjoyed the ship very much.Make sure you get your chair early for the day at sea. They get reserved early and they sit empty for hours w/towels or other reserved markings on them.
I guess the quality of the ship depends on your attitude when viewing it. I had a great time, but I was relaxed and happy about my port trips & group, so it was a wonderful vacation.