Before the economy tanked in 2007, we had taken some really nice vacations - the Grand Wailea in Hawaii, several weeklong cruises, all inclusives in Mexico, holidays at the Ritz. As the economy turned, we wanted to take a nice vacation, but wanted to be sensible about it. So, we booked the lowest level, inside stateroom we could over Christmas. We did not have the highest expectations, having cruised with balconies on each prior cruise.
After this one, I seriously don't think I could justify the cost of a balcony cabin again. The inside stateroom was so much better than expected. While it was about the size of our master closet, my wife said, at least four times during the cruise, "I cannot believe how much room we have in here." The king size bed was incredibly comfortable, and with the expection of one huge piece of luggage, everything fit under the bed after unpacking. With three decent sized closets (2 hanging one with shelves) and four drawers, we had more than enough room for everything.
Another review of this same cabin addressed vibration. Vibration puts it mildly. It only affected us for about 10-15 minutes on the mornings we pulled into ports, but a shout of "earthquake" was jokingly used on those mornings. That being said, we still had a tough time waking our 14 year old son and 17 year old daughter in the cabin next door.
For Christmas, the ship was decorated with trees and some other decorations. They had a Christmas carol night (but three days after Christmas)and most of the entertainment leading up to Christmas included goofy Christmas outfits. They also added another formal/semi-formal night and offered ham and turkey as main courses. I would guess that about 10% of the cabin doors also had some kind of Christmas decorations too. While I was certain there would be Christmas services on board, there were none. My Catholic guilt did not get to me to much as we sipped drinks in Belize on Christmas. We had intended to try to find a church, but Carnival - over and over - suggested not going off port unless you were on an organized excursion for safety reasons. So, we did a sign of the Cross, and chalked it up. (And, I guess because it was Christmas and maybe people didn't book as many excursions as usual on the 25th, Carnival really pushed (and pushed and pushed) excursions for that one day.)
So, as you would expect, Christmas on a ship is no substitute for Christmas at home. But, now that we have done it once, Christmas at home will be no substitute for Christmas on a ship.
And, in the future, I will be much more than satisfied to cruise in an interior cabin on the lowest level of a ship (at least on Carnival where the cabin steward still made us feel as if we were cruising in a suite).