Embarkation was smooth and easy. Arrived around 11:45 and walked right on. Stayed at Four Points by Sheraton, nice hotel. Hung out by the pool til 1:30 when rooms opened up and dropped off carryon bags. Went down to MDR to change dinner seating that Carnival had changed to late seating without asking me. I had already reserved early seating but was able to get this changed to early seating and still able to have our daughter and husband sit with us and another couple.
Enjoyed all our dinners and the service in the Northern Lights dining room. Didn't really like the bench seating on one side of the table, it is kinda low and far away from the table to really get comfortable. Liked the breakfast served in the MDR, very good, we requested a private table and were accommodated easily. I prefer not to sit with strangers at breakfast, not a morning person. Tried the buffets for lunch one day, super congested, food is cold by the time you find a table (hard to even find a place to sit), have to leave your food to go look for drinks. Not a fan of the buffets. Pizza was good. Deli sandwiches were tasty, also. We ate lunch in the Cuchina del Capitano and liked it, you choose your pasta, sauce and toppings and they make it to order. It is no charge for lunch. Did not like the salad, wilted lettuce and way too much dressing. Overall the food was good. Tried a few new things off the Didja ever menu.
Our cabin was a cove balcony which I really looked forward to. We had a really good steward, Rodrigo. We had problems with it not being cool enough and they said the AC was working fine. It was uncomfortable at night, we would have to sleep without covers to keep from being too warm. It was close to the elevators and you could hear the elevator bell all night. It was also close to crew areas so the hallway was congested sometimes. The crew were always nice. Our neighbors on one side smoked constantly on their balcony, I know that is allowed but it blew our direction so that was a definite minus. The big problem was the neighbors on the other side. If we went out on our balcony they would scream obscenities at me and accuse me of spying on them, the woman was a bully and thought she could do whatever she wanted. They would come into their cabin at 2:30 AM cussing and screaming as loud as they could or stand in the hall at 2-3 AM with their friends cussing and being loud. The put plates in our doorway to be obnoxious. Called security 2-3 times, they never did anything saying they did not see anything. I am very dissatisfied with their response.
The doors to the balcony shut really loudly if just let go, I can't believe people just letting the door slam shut everytime!
We went to one main show called "WIN", it was boring. Went to one comedian and half his routine was about bowel movements, I was disgusted. We did like some of the live music in the bars. Went several times to Piano bar, liked the interactive part of it. We thought the band Blood Power was going to be on this cruise, but they were not. Another band was there and they played well but did not have the personality of Blood Power. We tried the Red Frog Pub a few times, did not like the signature beer, but they have Stella Artois on tap and it was excellent. We liked the 101 oz. beer tubes, shared them a few times.
Tried the ropes course and really enjoyed that, the lines weren't too long. Tried the water slides and that was fun also, but the lines were excessively long and slow. Did one round of golf and enjoyed that. My husband used the basketball court twice. We tried to make use of all the equipment. Did not do the pools or hot tubs. Went to the Serenity deck a few times but it is either very crowded or too windy to enjoy. Preferred our balcony when we could enjoy it without smoke or being bullied by neighbors.
Bought a pass to the Cloud 9 spa. Carnival told us we could buy just a day pass but when I asked they said they would run out and you couldn't use them on sea days (I don't know if that was true) so I just bought the pass for the week. I like the Thallasotherapy pool, it was more private than hot tubs on deck and did not smell like chlorine since it was mineral water. Enjoyed the steam rooms also. One of the days the steam rooms were broken which I think they should have offered an adjustment for but I didn't ask them.
The debarkation day was the part that accounts for the 7 1/2 day cruise in my title. The port of Galveston was closed due to fog so we had to sit out in the bag about 5 hours until it opened. We went to breakfast and played a few games they organized while we waited until the fog lifted enough to go into port. Not bad and definitely not the cruise line's fault. We waited until our number was called before going to the gangway and got off fairly smoothly. There are always people who do what they want no matter what, jamming up all the passageways. Got a taxi right away and dropped off at our car for our 5 hour drive home. Been home 5 days now and feel a little like I'm still swaying, annoying feeling, maybe it will go away soon.
Since this ship is still new, it seems well maintained for the most part. Cleaner than some ships I have been on. Had that unpleasant sewer smell a few times.
See port experiences under port reviews.