So happy to be back! Never a good thing to say after vacation. This will be our last ever Carnival cruise. Bigger is not better, in fact the total opposite on this ship. I will break down our experience for those interested, though it is similar to other posters stating a less favorable review.
Balcony Cabin, Starboard, 11267, 11th floor. Slight noise issue from pool area due to proximity to Lido Deck. This was never a problem for us. The room decor was orange and brown, three door closet system and VERY minimal drawer space. Tiny balcony with two chairs and small table. New policy is noted to all cruisers on the first day that ANY appliances like irons, curling irons, etc. will be confiscated and returned upon debarkation. I kept my flat iron well hidden :-) We sailed Princess last year and thought their room was better. small shower only bathroom.
Cabin Steward was wonderful as usual!!
Entertainment may have been good, not sure- Our 7 year old daughter hated Camp Carnival soo much we never made it to any shows. We took in most movies under the stars while she swam, so that was fun. A typical stuff seemed to go on and the cruise director was nice. We did buy a lot of nice pictures for keepsakes!
Ports Visited were interesting and a first for us. Costa Maya was our favorite despite the fact that it was a half day stop. We rented a golf cart just outside the port for $40- and drove to the beach for massages and shopping. Cozumel was nice for snorkeling, Belize for cave tubing and ATVing and Roatan for an island tour. Will give more detail under specific port of call reviews.
Dining. This is why we would NEVER cruise carnival again. As a party of three we had first seating at 6pm in the Crimson, first assigned to table 167 which was a table for 2, next to the revolving doors, bus station and order input screen...can you say high traffic area? We kindly asked for a larger table with better location and were moved a few tables away to another table for two with the WORST server we have ever encountered in 11 cruises. I will not rant about it but suffice to say the food was terrible too. Husband liked the lobster and short ribs. The huge buffet areas were soo crowded at breakfast and sea days that we usually ended up in the dining room or went without with a side of soft serve... We thought MSC was bad, now I think Carnival is competing with them. I appreciate the little things like nice breads at breakfast and dinner and real cheese, this was all missing. Low quality, mass produced food is Carnivals stance on dining.
One odd note is the terrible stench in the lower seating area-it smelled like dirty dish water with a twist of sewage EVERY time we walked to our table. So gross.
Camp Carnival. Bad. camp counselors were not interactive and did a poor job of entertaining the children with more "free time" to self entertain than that actually creating activities. we tried 2x and after seeing with our own eyes what our daughter reported back decided not to take her again. Shame on them, as they had a reported 675 kids sailing this voyage. Disney still rocks this department!!
All in all, we do not feel we paid a "discount" over other cruises in the end and would have GLADLY paid a little more for much better service/time. I will say there were a lot of happy cruisers on this ship, but even they said they would prefer the smaller carnival ships.