Gee Buttons I don't see where I am being an apologist for Carnival. I was only saying the food in the two MDRs comes from the same kitchen so "Gold" food is not better than "Silver" food. Nor do I believe Lanie experienced a decline in service because they were in a balcony stateroom instead of a suite.
I do believe service is affected by people so you do see some tables receiving better service than others because the server is better, the section leader is tougher or the maitre d' is more demanding.
Lanie also didn't say whether they came to dinner on time or where late (no accusations) or whether they had traditional dining or any time. Being late to fixed seating can throw a real wrinkle into the service staff's efforts. Though with the advent of any time dining one would think this would be less of an issue.