I tried to keep my expectations low as this was our first cruise and we had a handful with four kids between 4 and 11. The cruise neither disappointed or exceeded those expectations. Being a new ship it was in really good shape which was nice. As others have stated it was very busy in all of the common areas. The dining rooms had good food but all of the Lido options fell short in my opinion and were rarely worth the almost constant lines. Room service was slow with a limited menu but prepared well. They try there best to accommodate children but come up lacking in my opinion, at least for children under 15. The areas they do have are again over crowded. Embarkation and debarkation went very smooth btw.
The stuff that made the difference in a positive light were the room steward and staff and the dining room staff. These people remain the same the entire cruise. Our room was thoroughly cleaned and laid out with fresh towels and toiletries twice a day! The dining room staff was equally impressive. After the first night they remembered our names and what we needed the entire rest of the cruise! Kid's menu's, milk's, even that my oldest kept ordering grilled chicken with a side of ranch.
The shows were lacking and boring in my opinion. There seemed to be a lot of late night things to do, but with kids we did not stay up too late for these things. I did try the "Cheers" program and it wasn't too bad. They make pretty good drinks I think, especially at the main lobby bar. We had two rooms and me and my wife were listed in separate rooms; this allowed me to purchase the package without her being forced to as well. So....we shared:) For larger families or groups with multiple rooms this is a great little trick (at least until they get wise I guess). Unless you are a guzzler you can split 25 drinks between 2 or even three people pretty easy.
Ports were ok. You are limited because of time constraints on what you can do. Grand Turk was actually better than I had thought; there is beach area right next to the port, shopping, a huge Margaritaville with multiple public pools, and good snorkeling and diving close by (so I hear). In the Bahamas we all went straight to Atlantis and spent the day. I saved a ton of money by renting two rooms from the Comfort Suites which gives you up to 4 Atlantis passes per room, then on CC message boards I was able to sell three of them to another group on the ship. The 4 year old was free, but we all got in for around $300. Atlantis was awesome but I can't comment on the rest of the island because we didn't see it. Taxi getting back to the ship took about 25 mins though to get maybe 4 miles:( Falmouth was the biggest disappointment though which I expected coming in. If you are adventurous and want to do the Falls or something than perhaps you might like it, but other than that there is nothing there except commercialized shopping. I didn't even find the coffee brand I was looking for...I'm not sure where all ships port in Jamaica, but Falmouth is in about the worst spot it could be. Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril...all would be infinitely better ports.
All in all it was a decent cruise at an ok value. It's all the extras that kill you I think at least price wise. Me and my wife will stick to resort destinations for ourselves for sure but we may try another family cruise sometime in the future. Not sure if it'll be Carnival or not though...