After reading a few of the other reviews I thought I would add my two cents worth.
This was our sixth cruise and fifth with Carnival and one Princess. We booked through the Carnival vacation club which was fine.
Embarkation: We got to the airport at around 8:30am. We had our transfer with carnival and they were they in around 15 minutes and took us to the pier. Stopped and dropped off a couple people at hotels and then on to the pier. No comments from driver just drove. This was in a van. Got to the pier and they were still letting off the returning pax. They didn't have a manifest yet and were doing it manually for a while. This was OK and didn't take long and then we were seated in a bunch of chairs to wait. With the vacation club we were supposed to go to the skippers club which never happened, asked several times. After seating they for 30 min. we were taken to the main check in desk, had ALL my papers filled out and were there for about 3 min. Then to the picture for S&S card. was there at 11:30 had to wait till 12:00 to get picture asked again about Skippers club no again. The good thing was we were first in line so it really wasn't to bad. Got pictured at 12:00 and were on ship
Ship: You enter at the atrium and after a little while it got kind of crowded, with people not knowing which way to go but staff was there to help. The urns I thought were nice and not overing bearing. As for broken chairs around the pool I didn't see any and never had trouble getting a chair if you got there early.
Staff: We don't have real high requirements of the staff and not many requests. Our cabin steward and assistant were wonderful as were our waiter and assistant. We had a couple things to do at the pursers desk and they were always polite and helped with what we needed, never rude or snippy.
Food: The food was fine for my standards at the buffet and dinner. If you can't find something to eat with all that is offered you are not looking. There were a couple times I didn't care for the dinner menu and I could always get a filet mignon which I did and it was great.
CD: After reading some of the comments about the CD, I had my worries, but he was OK and had a good magic act.
Shore trips: In San Juan we didn't book anything just walked around and did some shopping been there before. In St. Thomas we did the BOB tour and had a blast, snorkeled first then BOB. In Tortola we did the dolphin swim and it was great, have done sting rays and had to do the dolphins. It was just as good.
Disembarking: We didn't do the self assist, thought it would be a mess with everybody dragging luggage and it was. We were about the third bunch off but we should have been first with the vacation club but that didn't happen either. We got off and were on a big bus for the trip back to the airport. No comments from the driver here either. Back to airport in about an hour then home
Overall: The minor problems we had seemed to be glitches with the vacation club and not with Carnival. We booked the same cruise for June 2006. Booked directly with Carnival with PVP. Taking my son and soon to be daughter-in-law. Will have a wonderful time again.