My wife and i have cruised about 30 times since 1992, so we have seen the cruise industry change in regards to service, food and prices. We were needing a get-away this January and we booked a 5 day cruise on the Sunshine out of Charleston. Previously, a lot of our cruises were out of this port, but on the Ecstasy.
First thing: Embarkation has been expedited by moving it to a different building than security. Time from parking to boarding the ship was about 25 minutes. There are several buffets and other places to eat when you board. We tried the Italian special order on deck 5 beside the Havana Bar. The pasta and sauces were excellent.
First night dining was about standard for Carnival. We were assigned anytime dining which is not really dining. It more like place your order and get out! The food seemed a little below what we had experienced on Ecstasy in years past. (BTW, lobster is not on the menu for any night of the 5 day cruise) Since the tables have to be "flipped" several times, the service is just OK>