We have been on 30 cruises so this wasn't our "first rodeo". We are senior citizens that love to dance (any kind of dancing, but especially ballroom). We selected this cruise because of the itinerary and to be with our 3 grown children who flew in to join us.
First I will cite the Pros: The food was better than what I expected. Our cabin steward was excellent. Very unobtrusive, but available if you needed him. Our room was very comfortable and we had more than enough room for everything we brought with us. Our waiters in the main dining room were also very good considering the amount of tables they now have to handle. We loved the fact that the Maitre'D actually spoke at night and was part of the entertainment. We had no problems getting on and off the ship.
Now for the Cons: Our dining seating was messed up even though we booked the cruise in April and want 6pm dining. They assigned us Your Time Dining. Our kids who we dropped off at the ship while we parked the car (which took almost 2 hours, but that is another story not Carnival's fault), took care of getting the "last" table in the main dining room.
The entertainment (shows) were average fare at the two shows we went to. We usually do not attend shows because my husband will fall asleep during them. We tend to want to be a little more active at night. That is where our problems began! This ship did not plan their other entertainment venues well. They would have Karaoke where the dance floors were set up. Or they would have the ship's 9 piece band on a dance floor(Jeeves) where they take up the whole floor. Or they would leave the biggest dance floor empty for nights on end (Frankie and Johnnie's empty 3 nights in a row. Or the advertised entertainer would not appear. Or if you asked the group or guitarist to play a song they would not be able to. Or the times we attemped to listen/dance to the band in F&J's, they were so loud you couldn't stand it. Or they put 5-6 photo booths in the Atrium where there was music playing, but so many people had to walk on the dance floor to get thru there that you couldn't dance! Even the disco/nightclub was limited in what they would play. Mostly latin (which we love) or techno. But almost every night there as no dancing til almost 10pm. The captain's cocktail party on formal nite was $1 off all drinks and no dancing before dinner Who plans like this?
I went to the front desk to ask if I could play my own CD's in F&J's and they said first there would be a $50 hr charge to have a technician there to put it in. I should pay $50 to provide entertainment that they should be providing to begin with? Then they said that the music wasn't "approved." Never had a problem like that on past ships we have been on. I had brought my own CD player with speakers but had a problem playing it. I finally had a conversation with the Cruise Director, Malcolm, and he said he would put some piped music into F&J's. We went in their later and it was pretty much undanceable and their were too many people using it to smoke cigarette and cigars that you could not stand it. Why not just make the casino a designated smoking area so the rest of the ship could be relatively smoke free?
I sum up this cruise as being "All dressed up and no place to go." If you didn't want to go to a show, gamble, do karaoke, or get you portraits done, you were pretty much out of luck! So like I said at the beginning, dancers, beware!