Boy were we a bit worried with all of the recent Carnival press but we had a fantastic trip! I traveled with my husband, 2 kids age 9 and under plus 3 grandparents and 4 other families with kids in similar age range.
Getting on the ship was a quick and simple. Leaving Miami was the best sail away party ever and hundreds of people were dancing to the DJ. I loved the layout of the ship. Nothing felt congested or overrun with too many people even at sea days. Our rooms were neat and simple. The main pool was great and positioned near the slide which the kids used endlessly.
The food was excellent in every location. We ate in the dinning room most nights and our servers Osmondo, Glend and Jonathan were exceptional. By day 2 they knew all the kids names and what they wanted to eat. They made them thank you cards the last night and my daughter cried leaving them. There were two buffetts that had a great array of food. The pizza place was good as was the fish and chips. Most days the guys in the group enjoyed the new Guy Fieri's burger joint on the ship and I personally could not get enough of the Blue Iguana Cantina. I ate there 7 mornings in a row for breakfast. Jay P and Sorielle could not do enough for you. On the last day they surprised me and brought over a platter of warm tortilla chips and fresh pico de gallo. Then they must have noticed that we were almost out when all my friends ambused me and started eating so they brought over another platter! On the last day they also tried to tell me how to make the lime rice I also fell in love with!
We enjoyed the sports area, mini golf, movies at night, all the shows, dj's, other bands and were pleased with all forms of entertainment. For the night movie the kids and adults enjoyed the "Pirates of the Carribean" and they serve popcorn but they need to give the staff an industrial popcorn machine. The staff were working as hard as they could but the small machines were no match for the amount of people in line! We enjoyed the comedy shows, family and adults versions. Our room steward Fiorella was amazing and kept our room spotless and greeted us with a smile at all times.
The only negative for us was Camp Carnival, the kids program. The one day my daughter and 2 of her friends decided to go there to make t-shirts they did not like it. Felt the staff was not friendly and I have to say they were not super friendly upon drop off or pick up. Not sure if we caught them on an off day but the kids had no desire to return and we did not make them. There were 7 kids in our group so they had each other to play with and the adults still had some time of their own. Overall it was a fantastic experience and I would go on carnival again before any other cruise line. It was my favorite cruise to date!!!