First and foremost, I posted a few weeks ago if I should pay $800 to upgrade to the Havana area. I think most people thought I was nuts, but wow. The Havana area was our entire vacation. Best $800 I've ever spent! I truly don't know if we'll be able to cruise in the future on a ship that doesn't have this area. It was that good. I attached a picture I took of the sunset from the Havana area.
The good: Havana! The bartenders and bar staff made the cruise. Best bar staff I've ever encountered. They were amazing and just made our vacation so much better. The Havana pool is a bit small, but was never full. The hot tubs were huge! Almost as big as the pool! They could have been hotter, but the staff did increase the temperature every time it was asked. Everyone in this area was just SO NICE! Best passengers we've ever cruised with. Pig and Anchor was great. It was the best pay restaurant IMO. And half the price of the Steakhouse or Teppanyaki. We ended up eating at Pig and Anchor for 3 out of the 6 nights. I really liked the decor and didn't miss the glass elevators at all. I'm a little bit confused now by everyone saying how much they didn't care for it. Carnival has finally entered the modern times and doesn't look like a floating Atlantic City casino. The elevators also were great. They were a bit slow at times, but so much more efficient. I'd love it if every hotel or big venue goes to this type of elevator. We didn't spend too much time up there, but we liked the Dr. Seuss splash pad and water slides. The water was warm and they were fun. Also embarkation! We just walked right on. We didn't have anything special and I would have been pissed if I paid for FTTF. I didn't hear one person who said they waited in line to board at all. Still happily shocked at how quickly the process went. Debarkation also was easy peasy.
The average: The food. We only went to the dining room the first night. It just wasn't that good. Carnival's schtick of making you pay for better food definitely worked on us. The breakfast was the best breakfast at sea I've ever had. Lunch was pretty good too. I"m not a buffet person, and typically dislike all cruise food. However, between the Great Wok, Pig and Anchor, and Cucina for lunch, we did well. The sea day brunch is also still amazing. We did the Sky Ride. It was fun, but not worth waiting in a long line for. We went in port and didn't wait. I would have been disappointed if we waited more than 10 min for it. I did enjoy Guys and was surprised I did, I was not expecting to like it. Blue Iguana was fine too.
The bad: The Steakhouse. I am honestly really disappointed. Before this cruise, I was team 'the steakhouse is the best meal ever and well worth the money!". Now I'm like 'ehhhh.....' Every course we had from appetizer to dessert was just...fine? Nowhere near worth the money we spent on it. My free filet at the sea day brunch well surpassed my filet mignon from the steakhouse. We also didn't love Teppanyaki. It was also just okay. Not worth the money at all. Pig and Anchor is literally half the price on average of these other two restaurants and so much better. Our Havana interior room was also just too small. There wasn't the standard interior couch or dresser. We had to basically live out of our suitcases under the bed for the week. Please note that although I greatly disliked this, my husband thinks I'm overreacting and he had no issue with it at all 🙂
Last note that has left such a sour taste in my mouth is how many people we saw removing tips. I knew from here that it was thing, but not to the extent it was. The moved the line to the Havana bar because the grand atrium couldn't handle all of the people. People were waiting 2 hours in line to remove them. It was insane and ridiculous to me. I thought it was like 20 people per cruise, not 1/4 of the ship! I wish Carnival would just remove them all together and just increase the cruise fare the $150 it cost.
Any questions? Just ask!