First Carnival cruise of around 20 total on other lines; RCI, Celebrity, MSC, P&O and NCL.
Embarkation was easy at the purpose made Carnival terminal. The ships is very nice and modern. We were onboard pretty fast and during boarding all staff were friendly and welcoming.
As we cruise many times a year, we only booked a inside cabin on this vacation. It was fit for purpose and modern, although the surfaces had not been wiped down since the previous guests. There was a soda spill on the bedside cabinet and glass condensation rings all over the furniture. After 3 days and upon my request the surfaces were finally wiped down which is quite concerning.
The cruise director Emma is outstanding, as are the shows. They're fully immersive and I feel that Carnival has really delivered on these, although the theater venue is very small for the size of the ship and you need to line up 45 minutes before show time minimum to get a decent seat, if one at all as many were standing.
The buffet is very lacking but the included burger and burrito bars by the pool compensate for this. We found the food in the MDR to be excellent on the formal nights, and a bit basic at times. The lobster was amazing, as were the chilled soups. You get what you pay for and based on the price of the cruise I would say the overall dining proposition is acceptable, but not like Celebrity etc.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and I was in one of the cheapest rooms.
I was worried about being on deck 9 and hearing noise from the Lido above. We could hear absolutely no noise in reality.