this was my 4th cruise with carnival and i am not quite sure what the bad reviews have to say, but I also can't say that I wasn't disappointed with some things on this ship in relation to the other carnival ships i have been on. our room was very clean when we arrived, and our luggage came very quickly! the staff is so friendly as usual, they come to your room and introduce themselves and ask which time is the best for them to come in and clean. with that being said, there were a few things about this ship that i didn't like in relation to the other ships i have been on (valor, freedom, breeze). the cabin and bathroom were extremely small. in carnivals defense, this is one of the older ships, but it did make getting ready a little more complicated. there were only 2 outlets, one in the bathroom (which didn't work) and one near the vanity. i was sharing a room and as one could imagine this could get a little frustrating since we could only straighten, curl, or charge our phones one person at a time. the bathroom was also extremely tiny and had one small shelf above the sink as opposed to a counter with several shelves like the other ships.
the dining room food was delicious every night, and i am an extremely picky eater. the waiters and waitresses are so sweet and fun! the shows were okay, one of the shows "the brits" i have actually seen on another cruise line before. the singing is okay but the dancing is pretty good! the shows are pretty short (about 30 min) and i guess that's what people like, but i personally think it would be better if they added an extra 20 minutes or so to the shows to make them a little better. the adult comedy club is really not that funny and is also very short. i have never heard of a lot of the people they have there to perform. i only went on one show this cruise and was really unimpressed, and i remember feeling the same way a year ago on the carnival breeze.
the buffet breakfast was not good. nobody in my family really liked them. my cousin and i got an omelet and it was definitely undercooked. however i'm sure if you ask them to make it well done it will be better. the dining hall breakfast and brunch is amazing. we went there the rest of the trip. also, everyone in my family thought the coffee was very strong, i personally loved it and was impressed with how great it tasted, and it's free! the bar in the atrium sells other types of coffee that you do have to pay for. it is still very delicious, i always got the latte!
my family drove to Miami in the morning and got onto the ship, we didn't spend much time in the city! i have been to Miami several times on separate vacation and would definitely recommend spending a couple nights there after your cruise :)
my family and i have been to key west many times so we didn't need an excursion! something to remember is that there are no beaches in key west. there's snorkeling, diving, catamaran rides, etc. it is a beautiful and historic town with awesome bars incase anyone wanted to try the "duval crawl". wear comfortable shoes though! lots of walking!!
due to weather, my ship arrived later than expected to this port! they did extend the sail away time, but unfortunately all of the beaches close at 5 or 6 and we arrived at 3:30. it's pretty long ride to get anywhere but we did end up going to a beach that closed at 6 for a little while. they had a little ropes/rock wall course (you have to pay) and jet skis to rent (also had to pay). you definitely have to make your way over to señor frogs and try their signature drink (the yard). there is also a fat tuesdays which is where my family went after señor frogs. these bars stay open late and since our sail away time was extended, we could go to both.