Due to delays in building and then of course Covid, after 5 rebookings we were able to get onboard the new Mardi Gras in Port Canaveral the day after the port opened due to Nicole. I don’t remember how much we paid for this cruise but it was not rock bottom due to initially paying for the maiden crossing. We had a spa balcony on deck 17; in what turned out to be a great decision. Let’s review positives: 1. Beautiful ship… huge…lovely in spots, 2. Boarding from shuttle to ship in 40 minutes , amazed as it looked worse than it was. 3. Nice room cool colors, had all the basics but nothing plush. 3. Strings show was excellent really talented entertainers, then the cast changed and entertainment quality declined , please tell Carnival loud does not mean good.4. Crew, to a person , friendly but obviously overworked, one exception, Maiter d’ at F555 rude, abrupt, and harried
Now the negatives: 1. Food was universally mediocre, far fewer choices, and all carbs, sugar, and fat…if you are a healthy eater do not book, I think I have lost weight on this cruise. Even the oatmeal inedible as it is so watery and overcooked it resembles oat milk vs. oatmeal. Exception: Shak’s is great for a treat and Blue Iguana is a tasty alternative. 2. Dining rooms , chabang, and Cucina have the aesthetic of an elementary school dining room with only slightly better food. So bad we ended up paying to eat in steakhouse F555 and Rudy’s fish restaurant. We enjoyed Rudy’s on Holland America - nothing like the HAL experience, food is Red Lobster quality in a crowded over booked understaffed dining space but at least not the MDR. F555 was ok, steaks were great, other entrees and sides were meh, deserts were overly sweetened to point of inedible service incredibly slow and disjointed, so we spent $600 to eat in other than MDRs and it was the price we had to pay to get out of on a good night what sounded like a college dining hall or Octoberfest beer hall in Munich 3. Ship is already showing signs of wear and tear , many places of patched Lido decking, 4. Too small for the 5700 passengers, many times felt like we were in Manhattan at rush hour - Grand Central is aptly named. Too many people packed on, popular venues and crew overwhelmed. 4. Spa disappointing and too small. Gym ok. Really hoping for better, I know the Carnival product but was hoping they had upped their game. Cost cutting is very apparent, , food items missing, options greatly reduced, less staff, prices hiked 10-15% on board. I understand they need to make money but this dilution of their product will only deter many people from booking.
Overall, poor and disappointing. I am onboard writing this and cannot wait to disembark in two days. Thank goodness cabin and balcony are an oasis, just need to endure bad food, poor service at dinner, and over priced beverages for 36 hours more. Very disappointed overall, ship feels bigger and more crowded than RCCL Oasis class without the venues and features.
Nice cabin, proficient cabin steward, basic, no bed skirts, metal bed frame , tight space at foot of bed. Good balcony, great tv, towels are already wash worn. Upholstery on couch showing too much wear and tear for new ship. Bathroom glass doors much better than curtains!