Our kids loved it. We have 2 boys and they had a blast. We have taken them before prior, but they we younger and do not remember. This time the ship was theirs. We have been on Celebration before, and we felt the cruise line did improve a little.
EMBARKATION: Our stateroom did have VIP check-in... it was the fastest we ever been on the ship. From the parking lot to the buffet line was less that 10 minutes.
SHIP: It old, and shows it wear, they try their best to keep it clean; although fresh. When you get onboard, try to orient yourself where everything is at: very confusing. Paris dining room is at the back of ship, you go to the 5 level, then two down... same for internet cafe.. half the time looking for shortcuts, but there are none.
STATEROOM: 9205 was a suite w/ private balcony. The room was excellent for 2 adults, 2 children.. sofa converts to bed, and plenty of space for the cot the little one slept on, we had the king (very comfortable), the room had SO MUCH
storage we didn't fill it all up, with a whirlpool tub/shower and dressing area for the lady with lighted mirror & stool. with the a mini frig, stock with so much liqour, I couldn't finish. (BTY: No room in front of you or on the forward side, and has access to 9th and 10th levels deck that seem private or no one knows to go up there. Definite the quietest room ever!)
FOOD: buffet is buffet, pizza ok, ice cream machine was kids fav. Breakfast in Paris dining, not good, or I just had the luck of having every egg omellete burned. Formal dining food was iffy! I would order from the reoccurring menu, while my wife order the lobster, and all the other dishes for the evening. Kids had nuggets or hot dogs all the time. Early seating was rushed, waiters even pick-up my plate when I turn to address my son. Sat in booth, to the side, could not see "floor show" by the waiters. the kids food alway came first, and they were ready to go, when we would get our main plate. Again, to me food was OK, not great.
DECK AREAS: Poor workers trying so hard to pick-up plates, cups and trash others left behind, Although it Carnival's Fault. I walk around the whole south beach dining deck to dispose my plate, no trash cans anywhere, I finally gave up and gave it to the bus boy, who thanked me so warmly. Pools, hot tubs and slide belongs to the KIDS... It was hilarious to see grown-up trying to relax in the hot tubs enjoying a drink & sun, no less that 2 minutes, you had kids jumping in and out the whole place... KIDS Rule the pools, and no matter what the grown-up said, they knew they were outnumbered.
SHOWS: OK although the last performance was really odd, it was a tribute to New Orleans, it was embarrassing, and had nothing to do with NOLA, other than beads and mardi gras streamers.
PORTS: Cozumel- we did a all-inclusive resort for half the price of Passion Island with the same outcome. We travel by taxi to the resort and spent the whole day at the beach, pool and unlimited drinks and food bar.
Progesseo- I hope one day this place becomes a better destination; be aware of the constant vendors walking around the public beach areas selling practically everything. The restuarants are OK, but I'm from south Texas and we know what hot sauce is... they do not!
DEBARKATION: It went faster that I thought, but we had #1 tags, 1st from all the rest in general debarkation. If you take your own luggage off, you off the boat no later that 9:30 a.m.
PROS: Carnival is for families with kids; and they will love it.
CONS: Adults complaining about kids (nothing is ever done about it anyway)
loud out-dated music on deck, and movies not suitable for kids (sweet home Alabama ;;really???). and those silly contests (hairy chest, etc) drunk-adults are encouraged to play in front of the whole crowd. Smoking is near casino area, which you need to walk through to go to formal dining, this is horrible for kids, as they got a "whiff" of cigarrette stench before dinner.
Final Note: Take the kids and let them enjoy the whole ship experience, and don't mind the adults.