Embarkation was a breeze at Galveston! Our bags did not arrive until late in the evening so we spent a good deal of time on the Lido deck just drinking and hanging out. Once underway, we enjoyed our first couple days at sea. The ship is obviously still in excellent shape and may as well be brand new. Everything was meticulously clean and the service was generally excellent.
One of our favorite at-sea locations on the ship is the Oceanside Grill outside on deck 5 for lunch. Absolutely the best food you will find on the ship for lunch time, and nowhere near as crowded as the Marketplace area. Tandoor also have some tasty fare, and in general the Marketplace failed to impress, to put it lightly. The Southern Lights restaurant had excellent service (and entertainment) although the food was not spectacular. The Italian restaurant was definitely the best dinner we had on board. There is also a great little sushi spot as well.
The Serenity deck was nice too but we really wished there was an adult-only pool on board. We never got to enjoy the pools because of children. There were kids EVERYWHERE. We aren't anti-kids or anything, but it was pretty ridiculous. More than a few times someone's ill-behaved and unsupervised children ruined our nice experience. Carnival should be much more strict on parents controlling their children.
We did our best to see as many activities on the ship as possible. Dodgeball tournaments, hairy chest contest, etc were all great fun, but I have to say, the shows were pretty awful. I don't know where they find their singers, but they certainly could have found better.
The photos on board were ridiculously expensive, and you are forced to buy the $20 8x10 if you want any other size prints! The jewelry store had some good deals, and we bought a blue diamond necklace there as well as some bracelets during a sale event.
We were disappointed that we didn't always have a towel animal in our room, and one of the creatures we never even figured out what it was! There were also a couple days that the fridge was not restocked for us.
Debarkation in port was pretty simple as well, and the tendering process in Cayman was quick.
In all, we were impressed and had a great experience on our cruise. Our biggest complaint will remain pricing of alcoholic beverages, and too many wild kids everywhere being obnoxious!