As experienced cruisers we did not have high expectations. We understood going in that Carnival was not a luxury cruise line. Embarking was a breeze. Disembarking was a little unorganized. Not even close to embarking process. Waited a long time to get an elevator. Elevators are a little small and the passengers taking their bags with them made them hold even fewer people. The Mardi Gras however exceeded our expectations. Very nice ship with a fantastic crew. Was it perfect? Of course not. First two experiences in the main dining room were pretty bad. Extremely long wait to get a table and then about an hour wait to get our food. Speciality restaurants were great. Gave the main dining room one last try and we got Nataliya as our server. Wow. What a difference. She was spectacular. Requested her section the next night and she easily made up for the first two bad experiences. If you are scheduled to go on the Mardi Gras, do yourself a favor and make note of her name. Most of the Entertainment was excellent. Really enjoyed the various musicians in the bar/lounge areas. Cabin was average but the extended balcony was really nice. Two chairs plus a lounge. Ship is starting to show signs of wear. Not terrible but we saw things like stained carpet and minor things in need of repair.