We are a late 30s couple and have just returned from the 4 night Halloween sailing. We have only sailed Celebrity ships but had an idea of the Carnival atmosphere, so we weren't overly surprised with the differences. We tried our best to go into the vacation with an open mind and were determined to make the best of any situation.
Embarkment was quick and easy. We arrived around 11 and walked right on the ship. The sea cards were in the cabins but we could order drinks right away with our printed boarding passes.
We had a mid-balcony cabin on the 8th deck. Service was okay. No turndown service. Steward was very nice. The rooms could use a good deep clean. Lots of dust. Otherwise, it was pretty comparable to a room on any older ship. Towel animals were a nice touch. The buffet was above us so I expected it to be loud, but other than a couple instances of chairs moving around, it wasn't bad.
On the first port day, I was going to go out on the balcony and there was a huge pile of balcony chairs and tables sitting there from other balconies. So odd. Apparently, they had to do maintence but didn't tell us? The next day, we were woken up to banging around on our balcony. I open the curtain and there was a room steward. They should take care of the balconies as they clean the room. Good thing our blinds were closed. Very strange, indeed. The balcony window was super gross. My husband mentioned that someone kept spitting from a deck above and it was landing on the window. Not the fault of the staff but a quick clean would have been appreciated.
The food was hit or miss. We did have a great experience with the staff in the Silver at the 8:15 timeslot. All 3 of our servers were great. We danced with them during their little show, which was fun and definitely not something you would find on Celebrity. Try the lava cake. Yum. Avoid the fried chicken (was it chicken? Lol). We liked the thin crust pizza a lot.
We had the Cheers package. Warning: they will cut you off after 15 drinks, even if you want to pay for more. Not a deal for me but may be for some. It was next to impossible to get a large bottle of water, unless, of course, you pay. My husband tried to order two small bottles of water at the same time and was denied. So strange. I also found it super weird that you had to sign for every drink, even under the package. We had to pay 18% gratuity (paid at the time of package purchase) on top of the already pricey package but since you had to sign for each drink, we felt pressured to tip more, otherwise the staff seemed disappointed.
The Halloween costume and "scary" chest contests were both a riot. The cruise director, Donkey, was awesome. They had a special 12am screening of "It" on the lindo deck outside. Pretty neat atmosphere to watch a scary movie. On Halloween night around 9:30, they started taking all the Halloween decor down. This was before the party even started. Another "Huh? Okay.." moment.
We liked the casino, with the exception of the smoke. It's 2019, let's get with the times. Felt bad for the staff having to deal with that all the time.
Lots of interesting smells, which seems to be a common complaint. From sewage, to smoke, to weed, you never know what you'll get! We laughed it off.
Layout of the ship was weird. The MDR and galley were in the middle of the ship, so you often had to go up to the 5th floor to get all the way across, which happened to be the casino floor. Coincidence? Hmm..
Debarkation was a disaster. We wanted to walk our bags off for "early" checkout so we were up and ready at 7am. They didn't call our floor until around 9:30. We were told that we could stay in the room until 8:30am. I'd recommend leaving earlier unless you want your steward to knock on the door every 5 minutes and other staff to be banging around on that balcony (again, what is with that balcony??).
While we did have a fun time and liked the upbeat, change of pace from Celebrity, we likely won't be sailing with Carnival any time in the near future.
See review above
We didn't plan anything. Walking around was not fun. High pressure to buy things from the vendors. Made me uncomfortable.
Food is free but you pay for drinks, even with the package