We cruised on Carnival back in 2004 (Victory ship) and had an amazing time. I had such high expectations for this trip. Embarkation was smooth, the rooms were clean, or luggage arrived outside our room before we even set sail. We were off to a great start!
That's the extent of the greatness though. While there were good pieces, most of the rest of the trip was downhill. The food (especially in the main dining room) was sub par. I expected way more. The service was horrible. I wasted $30 on the bottomless soda option. The drink staff only came around once at the beginning of dinner...and unless you were ordering alcohol, they didn't come back to check on you at all...so my soda sat empty for the majority of dinner. More than once, we hadn't even received our entrees yet as other diners were finishing up their dessert. People at our table received their food at different times as well. Very annoying. Oh and don't order the meatloaf. Ever. It looked (and tasted) like cat food out of the can.
Camp Carnival was nice for the kids, though I think my kids were even a little bored (at only 2 and 4 years old). It was a good option to get away for a couple of hours of quiet time, but we didn't rely on it as a babysitting service. We maybe used it for 2 hours a day.
I also needed a hair dryer. We stopped by guest services the 2nd day at 10 AM and they said they would get it sent up. I went back to the room to shower before dinner at 4PM and still no hairdryer, so we called again. At 5:30...still no dryer and had to call a 3rd time. Finally we got it...but not in time for dinner, so off I went with a nice dress and wet head.
Debarkation was horrible. We went down a little early to try to get off ASAP as we had a close call flight to catch. We asked 2 employees which way to get to the gangway, and they pointed us in the right (WRONG!) direction. We found a short line forming and joined in. Shortly after, they turned us alllllll around and we were now at the BACK of the new line! With a 2 year old and 4 year old, this way was NOT fun...not to mention that we missed out scheduled taxi and came too close to missing our flight out of orlando (We literally had to run to our gate...again, with 2 small children).
So...would I do carnival again?? yes. Not this boat though.