We had a thoroughly enjoyable cruise after some pre-cruise anxiety due to negative reviews and Carnival's overall problems. We enjoyed the soothing Caribbean decor, which was carried into the corridors leading to the cabins. Our balcony cabin on deck 7 starboard had plenty of room (as ship's cabins go). I would say it was better laid out than R.C.'s Oasis, which we experienced last year.
We spent 2 pre-cruise nights in Miami at Hyatt House Miami Airport, which I strongly recommend. It is a nice, clean property with very friendly staff, reasonable rates, an incomparable hot breakfast buffet, and a complimentary happy hour Mon.-Thurs evenings with enough food to make a small meal.
We found the much-maligned food on board to be perfectly fine and ate in the main dining room most nights. There were some minor disappointments, but overall we were quite pleased, especially with the attentive staff and attractive food presentation, whether it was the MDR or Lido buffet. I noticed the constant attention to hygiene, with eating utensils never left exposed at food bars, and the attention paid to keeping serving areas clean at the buffet. It is tricky to see all that the buffet has to offer at the different serving areas, although I can see the reasoning for spreading everything out. It sometimes involves a bit of hunting/gathering to assemble your meal.
The staff on board, without exception, was friendly and attentive. Our superb cabin attendant and dining room staff all used our names and had time for pleasantries, and we appreciated their hard work.
The 7 person ensemble singers/dancers put on good shows, but it was too much of the same thing. The computer-generated graphics on stage were sometimes impressive and sometimes overkill. Did not attend the ventriloquist or magician shows, but heard very negative comments from our traveling companions. Lots of entertainment choices throughout the ship at night, though. Even came home with some of the casino's money.
Grand Turk, Curacao, and Aruba were interesting and I will comment on them in Port Reviews.
We came away with happy memories after an overall wonderful cruise.