Embarkation was efficiently done and the whole process took 15 mins with lots of Carnival staff around to assist if required.
Firstly the good points to the cruise
The ship itself is as over the top as described, I suspect people will either love or loathe it - we loved the over the top craziness but thought that on a longer trip it would become tiresome.
The staff are all fantastic, always smiling, helpful and willing to have a chat.
The cabins are spacious and well maintained.
The food was good in the dining room but the buffet area was always a mission to find out what was being served where. At peak times the place was packed - why do people pile their plates up and then leave most of it?
We tried the Steak and Seafood restaurant on one night and the steak was fantastic.
The shows we went to see were standard cruise fare but the comedians were great. Those doing the family comedy shows deserve a medal - more on that below.
We had an obstructed balcony where the lifeboat comes up to the floor of the balcony, it wasn't a problem at all as you could sit and see straight out and it provided some shelter from the wind.
Now the not so good ...............
Kids everywhere, running down corridors, jumping down stairs, running around the food halls, sitting at the bars on the bar stools (at all hours), screaming and heckling during shows, hogging all the pools and hot tubs (thank goodness for the serenity area) and the volume of shrieks, chatter, screams, tantrums during late seating in the dining rooms was ear shattering.
Were they having a great holiday - absolutely ! BUT the parents should also show some level of parenting to ensure that others could also have an enjoyable time (as i'm sure the vast majority of parents did).
If you want a family holiday without a care in the world this cruise is great and good value.
If you want a calming, relaxing holiday - pick another cruise line.
Also a tip - baggage storage once you disembark runs out and the nearest we were directed to was quite a distance away.