This was our first cruise and we had an absolutely wonderful experience with the staff, crew, and entire Carnival package. We chose to book with Carnival due to the price and the ease of the NYC port. We are so happy we did. We were told by our travel agent to arrive between 1-2:30 to board the ship. We actually arrived at 10:30 and sat in line and were on the ship at 12:15. Our room wasn't ready until 1:30 so we toured the ship and had a drink out by the pool. Everyone complains in reviews about the decor, but it didn't bother us at all. The ship was clean, except for stains on the carpet. Our room was an obstructed view, but at least we were able to open the doors and look down at the water and have fresh air at night.
Our favorite port of call was St. Thomas. We loved the shopping and Magen's Bay. We shopped in the morning, and then went back to the ship for lunch, then took a taxi to the beach for the afternoon. Tortola was boring with very little to do. We walked around the tent area and then headed back to the ship. When we go again we are definitely going to do the Virgin Gorda (Baths) excursion. You really needed to plan ahead since we are not at that port very long.
Our waiter was named Junior. He was superb. Very professional. We had only planned to go to the dinner a few nights as we didn't really want to dress up, but we ended up eating in Truffles every night. We did feel movement on the boat, especially day 3 and day 7. I think this is where we are in the open Atlantic and we just felt the waves more. I had to take medication and ended up napping in the afternoons, but other than that we just loved the ship. My husband has never been into musicals or plays, etc., but he loved the entertainment. We went to every show and even went to hear the orchestra play on the final night. I think that turned out to be a highlight for him that he wasn't expecting.
Debarkation was our only glitch. We were told that Brent (cruise director) would be on the PA system in the morning to announce cabins to leave, etc. There was no announcement. In fact, we didn't hear any sort of announcements upon arrival. I guess if you had slept in, you wouldn't have even known we were back in NY. People were wandering around and not following orders of where to line-up, etc. We finally stopped doing what we were told to do and got in line. We were off the boat by 10, but only because I saw that others were lined-up by the casino...moving on out. We jumped in line and did not feel bad at all. That is our only complaint about the entire cruise, and it is a small complaint. We have already been online deciding where and when to go on our next cruise. It was the most relaxing and fun time my husband and I have had in, well, the best time we have had!