Hi - Fairly experienced cruisers 10 w/Carnival and 24 overall. Just the two of us for this trip. Two days at sea going down the coast from Baltimore. Much warmer on the second day - and plenty of sunshine for lying outside. Carnival is what it is - discount cruising for the everyman...
The food is good, and plentiful. Service is good and usually prompt. Shows are fairly routine, with the exception of the adult comedy which is above average. Nothing on the cruise would stand out as exceptional, but it's value for your money. Booked early enough you can't beat the price for what you're getting. We paid approximately 430 bucks each (this included taxes and port charges) for a balcony stateroom. You couldn't get a decent hotel alone for that price, and this includes shows and entertainment.
The drinks are expensive be forewarned. We dropped 20 bucks for two drinks a couple of times. Elegance will not be found on this ship, or Carnival in general - folks this is the Wal Mart crowd at sea, and yes I shop there regularly. This isn't a bad thing, it's just that some of your fellow cruisers may not have been taught proper manners in public, or haven't heard the phrase "Use your indoor voice please..." Additionally there are a lot of kids running around pretty much unsupervised. One of the larger hot tubs is used as a pool by them - think kid stew and you have the flick here. The decor is Renaissance, yes there is some (very little) nudity depicted, in a classy artsy way. I've heard people complaining about the nudity on line - Puhleeze people how prudish and stupid can you be? It's classical art after all. Over all it was a good November getaway to warmer climates - we would do it again.