My wife & I had sailed with Carnival once before (on the Pride) & were looking forward to our 12 day Mediterranean cruise. It turned out to be the voyage from hell. Over 3750 guests on board and 90% of them impatient & rude.
Tours off boat were disorganised, over priced chaos and after the 3rd one we gave up trying. The food in the main was very ordinary. The sit down dining servings were small, predominately just warm and boring. The Lido deck "hot" (& I use the word hot loosely!) was disgusting. The only thing you could get hot for breakfast was freshly cooked omelette or fried eggs and for lunch, wok fried Asian meals. Bacon was either fried to a crisp (American style) or raw and cold English bacon. Toast was lukewarm & soggy. If you're American, you'd be satisfied with the burger, hot dog, burrito etc fare.
The pool deck was minimally supervised and although it was supposed to be not allowed, people would come down at 5 or 6 in the morning and reserve pool lounges. The ship pool crew never policed this and with over 3700 people on board, trying to swim in 2 bath tub sized pools was just too hard an exercise.
The pushing & shoving for meals, tours etc is endless. The cruise also allows disabled and very old people and whilst they have a right to cruise, they cause long delays on tours and everyone has to compensate for a minority few. We booked a12th deck cabin & that gave us 24hr access to the Cloud 9 Spa facilities but it could be bought and for the number of times you use it you could save a fortune & book a lower deck level.
Lift waiting time at peak times is unbelievable & you end up doing a lot of stair work. Time in some ports is minimal & given the cost, the crush to get off & on & the time you lose waiting that someone who won't play by the rules, & believe me there's always at least 1 pair or family, you just give up trying.
Our room steward, Clemente from India, was outstanding & did his utmost to help us enjoy ourselves. His team of cabin stewards also deserve a good rap. The Casino Manager Troy K. was also a great bloke & did his best to help us Poker players make the best of a terrible location. Texas Holdem by the way is only available by playing computer tables 2 of the them seating 10, & they're beside the smoking allowed poker (slot) machines in the publicly announced Non Smoking Casino! The casino bar & cashier's desk closes at 2am, even when you're having a "Fun Day at Sea".you can continue to play poker & slots, but there's no staff. The "Red Lion" Pub is an oasis of escape, as is the "Piano Bar". There's 2 other restaurants on board where you can pay but neither rate a mention. The ship's shops, open when at sea, are set up to narrow the passageways to the dining room and encourage impulse shopping. It just makes getting to dinner a chore because people will just get consider others. Not lastly, on board Internet costs, like everything else are astronomical & it's a slow server gee, I wonder why that is?
If you really want to cruise, consider a smaller guest size line & avoid the "K-Mart" standard money raking line like the plague!!!