I cruised as part of a large group and because of the group I was with had more fun than I have ever had on a cruise. I purchased Faster to the Fun and it was totally worth it. Skipped the line at embarkation, cabin was ready as soon as we boarded, and disembarkation was quick. If I were ever going to cruise Carnival again, I would pay for that. Also,the cruise director Cam was fabulous. I enjoyed the activities, especially the lip synch battle, and the mixology contest. Also had fun at Karaoke and Stripes.
That being said, however, the ship itself was a huge disappointment. At such a low price point, I wasn't a luxury cruise, but the ship was not only old, but dirty.
One of the public bathrooms on the Lido deck was filthy and I had to go back to my cabin to use the restroom. The entire ship had a noxious odor that was inescapable. The water was undrinkable due to the odor and I ended up spending the $3.75 per bottle water available in the stateroom. There is rust everywhere and wherever you look you are reminded that you are on a budget cruise.
The food was merely passable. Nothing exciting. The burgers at Guy's were good but I didn't want that everyday. Ship personnel were not rude, but unlike on other cruises I have taken, they were not friendly either.
I would never cruise with Carnival again. I don't feel there is any excuse for allowing a ship in this condition to be put in service. This doesn't speak well for the level of commitment to cleanliness, safety and sanitation they have throughout the fleet.
Princess Cays was pleasant. Nothing extraordinary. The buffet was fine.