My wife and I and two friends just returned from the worst cruise any of us have ever been on. My wife and I and the wife of our friend couple have been on about 12 cruises each, so we do have some for comparison. The Husband has cruised over 70 cruises and has over a 1000 days at sea on cruise ships. This was a cruise to Bermuda from Baltimore on the Carnival Pride. I still don't see anything for them to be proud of.
This ship was like living in a dungeon, all shades of brown or dark colors, just gloomy. We sailed 1 1/2 hours late from Baltimore. We found this ship to have the worst food of any ship we have been on. The lounges had no happy hour or drink specials. Also no dance bands, as all four of us like to dance. The ship was smokey in nearly all lounges and they never served horderves in any of them.
Our bed must have had a 15 year old mattress on it. It had about a 4 to 5 inch concave on both sides giving me one of the worst Back aches I've had in years. Complaining to the room Stewart did nothing.
There was no theater, and the shows were juvenile.
During the life boat drill there were no signs in the companion ways to guide you, major safety issues if there were an emergency!
Every ship usually has a poolside BBQ during the cruise, not carnival. No complementary shore leave bags. Also you might want to leave your kids home the art work is full nudity through out the ship. We could have spent another whole day in Bermuda but the ship took a huge loop getting there taking a day longer to get there then coming home.
I will say the staff in the dining room were very friendly and up beat, making our cruise a little more tolerable.
Bottom line don't waste your money on Carnival, there are plenty of cruise lines out there that can give you a great vacation for the same price.