Great first cruise experience. I wasn't expecting such a great experience. I'm a single mom with two kids, ages 6 and 13, and wasn't sure how it would go but everyone loved it.
We stayed at Radisson at the Port. The pool has to be the best thing about this place. I was a little dismayed at the cruise parking, as I was a little worried because the parking is tucked away from the hotel and I wasn't sure about the security.
Embarkation went smoothly and we were on the ship in no time. Luggage took about the max four hours to make it to my stateroom, though. My cabin steward and his team were awesome from day one. Everything was just perfect and my daughter loved the towel animals he would leave on the beds with the turndown service at night...that and the chocolates.
Formal nights were great and my kids loved getting dressed up for dinner and dancing/mingling (okay, my son just stayed for dinner and pics). Dinner in the dining room is a wonderful experience. Our waiters were Jin and Jose and they were great...especially their patience with my six year old daughter. They made her feel like a princess. The food was much better than I expected.
As far as excursions go, I only booked one through the cruise line and that was the Altun Ha/River Wallace tour. Very good tour guide, Joyce, gave us the tour of Belize and River Wallace. Overall I was impressed. In Cozumel we booked snorkeling on our own and it was amazing. My kids loved it. I have to get back there soon! In Costa Maya we planned to snorkel but the water was so rough that we just ended up shopping a little and swimming/eating in the entertainment area right off the port. Very relaxing. In Nassau we had no clue what to do, but joined a guide in a tour of the city and Paradise Island. Afterward he dropped us off at the beach and we caught a taxi back to the port. Very smooth and I felt like that was the best thing we could have done there.
Both kids loved Camp Carnival for their respective age groups. My daughter went to the "sleepover party" they have with the babysitting service and had a blast. She wanted to go back and do it again, but I didn't have any more plans for the disco.
The entertainment is not top notch, but it's fun and entertaining. My daughter and I went to all three singing/dancing shows and the illusionist show as well.
The only real complaint I had on the trip was that my shower was extremely slow and the bathroom floor would just be covered in water after a relatively short shower. I called the problem in, but nothing seemed to have been done. In speaking with another guest, this seemed to be a normal problem. Eventually the water would drain, but it was just annoying.
The Lido deck gets pretty packed on days at sea, but I was never at a loss for finding a spot when I needed one. Amazingly, there are a lot of people who save their spots with those $22 Carnival towels. (You are issued two in your stateroom and you are charged that amount should you lose one during the cruise). The water slide was a favorite with my daughter. The pools are a little smaller than I expected and during the day the thought of getting in a hot tub was a little crazy to me with the heat and all.
All in all, I would have to say that I was impressed with my cruise experience. I will definitely cruise again with Carnival.