In response to review, Jheretired says ...
I am truly sorry that your first cruise did not live up to your expectations. I have enjoyed 60 days of cruising with Carnival and have always had a great time. Your complaint over the missed port is a bit confusing, since Carnival offered all passengers booked for Alaska the choice of a full refund or $50 per person on-board credit AND 25% future cruise discount. This was all explained months ago when the speed issue arose and caused them to cancel one port.
As for the food, I have always enjoyed the main dining room food. It is not leftover from the buffet. The main dining room does have a dress code and it is printed in the Funtimes you receive on-board each day. It differs on elegant nights and certain other nights. The cruise you took also had a special night where passengers and staff were encouraged to wear jeans, flannel shirts, and such as Yukon Night. Maybe you missed the announcements about it...but gym shorts are never allowed in the main dining room...and NO shorts are allowed on elegant nights. It can get confusing, so just read the Funtimes prior to dressing for dinner.
As for seating at communal tables, it is the norm in the cruise industry unless you ask otherwise. We have always enjoyed it, as we meet some fascinating people....but I can understand if you are not comfortable doing so. Since you are a first time cruiser, I can sympathize if you were not expecting this.
Again, sorry that you had a bad experience!