Ok, suffice to say that many of the reviews I have seen here are written by folks who appear to be angry. I'm not saying that they are not entitled to their opinions or their emotions, but everybody has a bad day. I encountered a few (passengers and crew a like) here and there, but it was easy enough to blow off. I was on vacation, after all.
I had heard somebody refer to Carnival as the "Wal Mart Of The Seas", saying it wouldn't match up to RC or Disney or any of the other cruise lines. Then again, I like Wal Mart, and shop there fro time to time. I boarded thinking, "Ok, I'm paying a bit less than I have on other lines, so I should probably adjust my expectations a bit, but I'm still on vacation."
BOARDING: I was a bit surprised in the boarding area in Galveston that, with as long as the line was, that there were only 6 people checking people in at the long counter. Now, we arrived early, about 1130, and they said boarding started at 1230. Fair enough. After getting through the lowest person in the history of security screenings, we joined the queue to check in. There were folks frmo all walks of life, dressed in the "come as you are" theme of the day. A few shirts and ties, a few tropical type shirts (like mine), a few people in t shirts, tank tops, spandex, you name it. Several people hadn't showered. Boarding was efficient, however, and we were on the Lido Deck getting lunch in no time. Note: The first line you come to is always the longest, but there are several buffets open, just keep walking.