First a bit about ourselves: Early 40s and 11yr old Boy and 9yr old Boy from Georgia; This was an Easter Cruise and there were 1000+ kids 18 and under on this ship (no kidding).
Boarding: Parking at the cruise terminal was fast and easy. There was a long line but we were checked in and on the ship within 30 to 45 minutes.
Rooms: We had two ocean view rooms in the very back of the ship in the center. Rooms M262 and M269. Don't choose M262 because there is an staff stairwell directly across from your door. All throughout the night you will hear that door slam and your door rattle. My kids in the room next to us heard nothing. So choose that one. Because we were in the center of the ship we had one room steward and my kids had a different one. Ours was FANTASTIC. The kids not so much. We would come back to the room and it would be serviced and we would have to wait hours for the kids room to be done. The rooms were clean however, I did notice mold in the showers and a large rip in the carpet.
Food: My expectation was low and that is about what I got. Think golden corral for buffets and a bit nicer for the dining room. I had steak one night and it was not good. My husband ordered seafood and was happy. The kids were able to order of the regular menu and kids menu depending on the menu options available. The staff was nice but we were often overlooked as a small table of 4.
Children's Activities: I was really disappointed in this program. My boys did not like the activities. My oldest just wanted to go to Circle C and was not old enough. He is in 6th grade and most of his peers are 12 so he felt as though he was stuck with the babies. My 9 year old also thought the camp counselor was mean. They tried a couple of different activities but did not like the group at all. I saw several of the older groups of kids (12- 14) just wondering the boat. Carnival just needs to add a game room with Wii, Playstation, and Xbox and my boys would have been happy. Or maybe just ping pong and a pool table. They need more for this age group. Anything would have been better....
Shows: We attended the comedy shows and really liked them. The comedians were really good. They even had family friendly shows so we could all attend. The 80s show my husband and I liked (cheesy) but the kids kept asking when it would be over.
Ports: Freeport was great because we did a tour through Pat and Diane. It was very well run and the boat with rock climbing wall was fun. We wish we would have had more time to wonder around the beautiful shopping area. The ship was supposed to dock here on day 1 but could not because of the high seas. They rescheduled for day 3 which was Easter sunday. We went to Atlantis and did the waterpark during our Nassau port day. It is a HUGE place but we had a great time. We saved money by buying the tickets directly at Atlantis.
Doctor: This is the part that I was surprised by. I was really sea sick due to the high seas the first night. I spoke to our cabin steward and my son's cabin steward and they gave me different answers as to the availability of the doctor on board. When I made it down to the doctor's office it closed at 6pm!! There was no sign as to what to do if you needed a doctor. So I headed to the gift shop for the sea bands. When I got there I also asked about the doctor and they were clueless. They sold me the sea bands and oil to go behind my ears. I was already taking Bonine and it was doing nothing... I returned to my room more sick than ever but was able to sleep it off. My question was if there was a real emergency then what would these workers do? They obviously had NO training at all as to handle a sick passenger.
Overall: I was I impressed by this outdated small ship - No. But it was a good first cruise for the kids and it fit into our budget. We will be cruising again with carnival on short trips but I will be keeping my expectations low....