Cabin: 7147. Conveniently located to the Forward lifts. Right above Pharaoh and Versailles venues and the children/teen venues so perfect in the late evening. A five minute walk to the Empire Dining Room located Aft. Only noise was the odd inconsiderate neighbour or rowdy person walking past but that happens anywhere. No noise from staff trolleys.
Dining: Oh my! Chef's Table. $AUD $90 per person and every dollar well spent. An amazing degustation experience. The Empire Dining Room is great value for a quality food experience. Staff are attentive and knowledgable of ingredients (I am coeliac - see my extensive positive review elsewhere). The entertainment around 6:30pm for the early sitting diners was always a lot of fun too. The plating was superb: artistic and caring. The Lido: If the more serene or higher class environment of the Empire is not to your liking or you require huge quantities of food then the Lido is for you. Plenty of buffet food. The Pizza Pirate pizzas are much worse then Pizza Hit but available in the wee hours of the morning so you can't really complain. The Blueiguana Cantina: great mexican style food.
Embarkation: Absolutely no problem as there are staff every several metres to guide you along. The Government officers are also very chill, very unlike the airport experiences we all loath. You will be on board and holding a buffet tray in no time. Any queue moves along continuously so there is never the sense of frustration from slowness.
Enrichment Activities: I was too busy for any of that.
Entertainment: We had two comedians most nights. A singing (miming) and dancing production number most nights. A magician on other nights. Keyboard player plus singer at various locations such as the Atrium every night and the Alchemy bar and the list goes on and on. The resident band is your typical small group of older musicians with an obviously very extensive repertoire of hits through all the rock decades. If you are well travelled through Asia you will be used to the dodgy enunciation of lyrics but with the "rock" standards their guitar playing says it all as they were always great fun to dance to. Movies show in the pool area and are freely available on multiple channels in your stateroom from 12 and every 2 hours after 24/7. Or on demand for an extra cost. Tons of TV channels but availability depends on ship and satellite position. At times more extensive than the usual range of free options throughout the world. The daily bulletin, delivered to your room nightly, lists most but not all entertainment. Get out and explore. I discovered the entertainment at the Alchemy Bar in this manner. Trivia: I was too busy for any of that but it was extensive, varied and very frequent.
Fitness & Recreation: The gym does NOT have a bench press. Nice collection of bells. Spin is well catered. The Green Thunder (renamed Brown Thunder after my first plunge hehehe) and the sedate yellow slide are set apart from the main pool area. Pity that as they are both under utilised beyond the first day or two. When standing in the Green Thunder, take a deep breath before the floor drops away. Just as you would if anticipating getting dumped while body surfing in a two metre swell, for example. Mini golf I didn't do.
Onboard Experience: The fact I searched for upcoming cruises the moment I got home says it all.
Public Rooms: From toilets to dining to the library and chapel to any public area: always clean or in the process of being cleaned. The copper paint in the Atrium is gaudy I know but I am so glad the decor themes were not uniform throughout. If uniform then the experience would get stale quickly. Well maintained. Something broken? You can count on a repair person in overalls arriving shortly!
Service: The staff are well trained and knowledgeable. The Lido staff were occasionally and obviously trying to take a shortcut to avoid having to go back-room to prepare or fetch something to fulfil a request but you get that anywhere. You only need to directly ask once and they will fulfil a special request.
Shore Excursions: The available literature pointed to our day in Mare as being the ONLY beach day. So I paid for a bus trip to take us to an okay coral beach. The next day, at Isle of Pines, right in front of our ship was an amazing yellow sand beach which stretched for hundreds of metres. And all free. Lesson learnt. Price wise, there is less price gouge with Carnival than with RCCL by a long way.
Value for Money? Very much so. Will go again on this ship.
Perfect location for proximity to elevators, proximity to Versailles and Pharaoh venues, proximity to the children and teen hangouts. No engine noise and little vibration. Clean. Tons of space under the beds for our bags. Two closets with about ten hangers each and a lower railing for other things. Space for four pairs of shoes. Lights everywhere. Balcony sufficiently large. Bathroom was not as small as I expected and was well lit. Water temperate able to be precisely adjusted and left that way for next time. Hot water was instant. Lots of shelves for two people with all of their pamper products. Tons of towels. And a towel animal and turn down every night! We asked for room service to occur every night at the moment we went out to the Empire Dining Room. It was not a problem. For those who dine at the Empire: It is a five minute walk to the other end of the ship.