Loved almost every minute of the cruise, and had no problems. I will try to summarize a few of the issues people complain about from other posts.
Crowding – yes there was a lot of people on the ship, and this is how Carnival keeps their costs low, but I really didn’t notice it that much. Going to lunch anywhere (land or sea) around noon is never a good idea. I’d eat a late breakfast and hit the buffet at 1 or 130, much better.
Elevators – only one time did we have a long wait, and that was embarkation day when the whole middle bank of elevators were shut down for baggage. We were down on deck two and still took the stairs most everywhere.
The “sewer smell” – Yes I did smell it on occasion, but only in the hallways, and it was anything but overpowering.
Chair Hogs – yep, they come along on every cruise, but what can you do? They were present on our cruise too, but there are more then enough chairs to go around all over the ship. Just walk a little bit and you’ll find something. Deck 5 largely gets ignored and has hot tubs and plenty of lounge chairs on it.
The food – Everything I had was good. Of course there were some things that I did not like, but I doubt it was because of improper preparation, probably my personal taste. Try everything. Each person at our table had 2-3 appetizers nightly plus 2 main courses. The soups were all fantastic.
The boat movement – I did feel more movement on this ship then I had in the past, but I am not sure if it was due to the weather or not. You could feel it, but not enough to make any in our group sick. No big deal.
What I didn’t like:
Smokers – I generally despise all smokers anyway. However I really don’t like how they feel like it is their right to smoke anywhere and everywhere they want. This seemed to be the case all over the ship. Serenity deck, pool deck, outside lido area, and why, WHY, do all smokers assume the beach is one giant ashtray? I also had a smoker on the balcony right next to us. I realize smokers get balcony cabins so they can smoke when they want, but I wish Carnival would group smoking balcony rooms together so they could smell each others smoke.
Wine corkage fee – I spoke about this earlier. If you’re going to charge it, charge it, if not then don’t, but don’t go back and forth and do different things on different nights. One bottle of wine per adult won’t eat into their profits so much that Carnival should feel the need to charge $10 to open my own bottle of wine.
Costa Maya – nothing to do here, do yourself a favor and book an excursion or stay on the boat.
What I did like:
The service – We never had a slow dinner, or saw dirty areas. There was always someone cleaning something. Ronnel, our steward was great. He anticipated us needing new pool towels in the mid afternoon and us needing wine glasses in the evening. Bar staff was attentive though not overly friendly. My only complaint was I didn’t see many roving bar staff on the decks.
The other three ports – This was my second time in Cozumel and it still has the best prices on liquor I have found. I wish I hadn’t realized this until we docked in Costa Maya. Everything seems more expensive in Belize, and they are less likely to haggle with you.
Shore excursions not booked on Carnival – Why anyone books excursions through Carnival escapes me. You get the same tours, to the same places, with less people and better service, for a lot less money. And no, you are not going to miss the boat; they do this several times a week and know what time you need to be back.
Cove balcony – A great room! The balcony was not constantly wet and the position above the water is awesome, with a cheaper price too. Never experienced the door slamming issues I have read complaints about.
Let me know if you have specific questions, I also have 6 of the fun times (I don’t have the embarkation day) I can scan if you would like .