When we stepped onto our first cruise on Valor in 2006 I still remember the WOW factor. At first, not so much the wild or craziness that a lot of people seem to describe, but just the elaborate, almost royal appearance of every detail. I do however see what some people are a little dissatisfied about but I appreciate those designs and decors and I think it is part of what Carnival is about.
However I am very interested in where Carnival is going. I've seen the ads for Magic and the key things that pop out to me are the new family style restaurant and the Red Frog pub. Two "Themes" up to now that I have not encountered, and I think both could be refreshing changes.
These two new features coupled with things like the apparent loosening of dining room attire leads me to believe that Carnival is gearing itself more toward family type cruising, with softer evening attire and new night life experiences like the "Friendly" neighborhood pub.
In addition, I have always wondered why Carnival's alcohol policies allowed you to bring on a small ammount of wine, but no beer? Why have us beer drinkers been discriminated against? Now on Magic, Carnival announces it will have it's own brand of beer? Talk about a 180, and a good one IMHO!
I suspect the dream class ships will also have a growing number of spaces that are brighter, simplier, warmer in appearance, and more home like to some extent. These aspects coupled with softer dining attire could really create an interesting experience.
Even the new ship names are softer. Dream, Magic, & Breeze are nothing like any of the other Carnival names I can think off.
I have even read the discussions about ship names and the seeming competition between RCL and Carvival but even that has seemed to change. It's almost like Carnival got tired of it and decided to let RCL go after the "Bigger is better" crowd and Carnival is attempting to capture the "softer and simpler" crowd and families. Actually, interesting that the ship name thing seems to have migrated a little over towards the only family oriented cruise line...Disney (Magic).
Heck even on our last cruise I remember hearing staff say to us, "Welcome home" when we boarded and as we are carrying OFF our luggage they are saying, "See ya later."
The years and ships coming from Carnival will take on an interesting evolution I believe.