To give you an idea of the perspective we’re writing this review; we’ve done 15 cruises across 4 lines, with the majority on Royal Caribbean and this cruise was our first on Carnival. We had been on Sympathy of the Seas 3 weeks before this trip, so most items are being compared to that ship. Overall we had a great time on the Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras General overview (3 out of 5)
This ship can hold nearly 6500 people and it was designed with fitting as many rooms into the ship as possible. The rooms are smaller than industrial standard and there is less common area space per person. This ship carries the same amount of passengers as the Sympathy and yet the pools, gym, theater are all half the size. There’s also just not a lot to do but drink. The Mardi Gras has some great bars. The fortuneteller is now my favorite bar at sea. However, there isn’t an ice skating rink, or laser tag, water show, dry slides, surfing simulator, escape room, dedicated uninterrupted running track, parades, rock climbing walls, Central Park, or a carousel. So everyone was either at the pool, in a bar, or in the casino. A bright spot is food. The free options are really good. We only had 1 bad experience, and everything else was good or excellent. We might not go out of our way to do carnival again, but if friends were set on going on a carnival ship we’d still go.
o No one should ever compare this to Royal’s Perfect Day or Labadee. The area is small, you have to pay for food and drinks (and the prices are crazy), and there is no beach. There is a pool and 2 watersides.
o We have gone on cruises with Royal to just go to Perfect Day, I’d never book a cruise to go to Amber Cove.