My wife and I are in our late 40s and our kids are 15 and 12. We have sailed Carnival 2x [once before kids] and Disney 1x. Found the cruise excellent. We were a little worried because we have read and people have told us that this was the "party" ship and people would be running the halls all night long and there would be many sleepless nights. WRONG!!!! Yes it was a party ship and it was great but when we went to our cabin the halls were quiet. We ran into several toga parties but all were on the party decks at the top of the ship.
We did not buy a soda card, as on the top of the ship there was a tea and coffee station so we used that. If we wanted a soda we usually just bought one. I think we bought a total of 3. Both my kids really enjoyed the clubs even my 12-year-old who is kind of shy.
We found the shows very entertaining especially the Beatles tribute. The last show was very average. I would have expected something a little bit better especially for the last show of the week. Our room was a room with an obstructed balcony view on deck 5.
We found this room had much more storage space than on the Disney ship and the obstructed view was great especially for savings of 600 bucks.
I felt dinner was way too long as we were seated around 6 and did not leave the table till 8. This was fine for the 4 adults at the table but a 12, 13, 15, and 16 year old it was not good. The food was very good. The last 2 nights we ate on the top buffet where the food was excellent and we did not have to wait. Our waiter and helper were OK but they were not "polished". Definitely a "culture" gap here. We did not buy any pics as I found most of them 'grainy' looking.
Everyone on the ship was very nice. The ship was full but there was no problem getting a lounge, as extras were stacked all over. The ship has a topless deck. I ventured there a couple of times but the best "ones" I saw were the "ones" covered up at the with bathing tops.
Disney VS Carnival -- I found the Disney ship employees more professional and polished. You would see Carnival employees lingering and eating and drinking with the guests something you never saw on Disney. Does this matter to me- No- but others it may.
There was more space in the room on Carnival than on Disney even the Carnival shower was bigger. The double bed and the single beds on Carnival were not separated by a curtain as Disney was. Even a little privacy from the kids is nice.
I liked the Disney Island, only people from the ship are there. I am sure Carnival has something like that in the works. As I said earlier dinner was too long especially for kids.
On Disney dinner was about an hour and you go to three different restaurants on the ship. I got real tired of looking at those grape lights!!! On Carnival food was available 24-7 on Disney there were times when you could not get food except for room service. This is probably why I gained 10 pounds on Carnival and 0 on Disney.
Would I do this cruise again? I have already booked an eastern Caribbean for next year and have ordered a Carnival sea miles card!!!