Mid 20's NYC area 2nd cruise 1st with Carnival.
What a blast! I am sitting down to write this review a few months after returning and can only remember the good fun that my girlfriend and I had... I can not really remember the complaints!
We did not book far enough out to get the chance at purchasing the "faster to fun" pass which is my main regret... I am not a patient person when I am only steps away from the fun and excitement of vacation, so the long lines were not fun. Some things that we planned that I really enjoyed were purchasing a case of water to be delivered to our hotel room as well as a bottle of champagne.
We got a real great deal on an extended balcony so it was an easy choice to purchase that... my previous cruise was an interior and I WILL NEVER GO BACK. What an amazing experience it was... I slept outside for a little one evening under the stars and slept with the door open to feel the sea breeze. The room was great, I thought the public areas of the ship were great, and I loved the pools (I spent my time in the adult pools because I have no interest in kids). With that said... the pools with families and kids seemed clean, fun, and full of entertainment.
I thought the food was a more than fair value for the price Carnival charges. If I paid what people pay for Disney or the other more expensive cruise lines then I probably would not have been happy. I am a guy that can enjoy a steak at NYC's most expensive steakhouse or at Outback Steakhouse as long as the quality matches the price I am paying. I went into this cruise expecting 3 star food and I would have given it a solid 4 stars over all. My biggest regret was not having sit down breakfast more often... my girlfriend and I only did this on the last day and what a blast that was. We did the Golden Fleece Steakhouse and it was one of my favorite steakhouse experiences ever (again... I have been to some of the best in the world) and for the $35 upgrade I thought the experience far surpassed the value. What a blast... the service was spot on.
With regards to drinks and dining.... I must say the $50 a day all-inclusive drink package was a great deal! I would do it again. You are limited to 15 drinks per day but beer buckets, bottles of wine at diner, and comp drinks in the casino do not count to the limit so there is a way around it.
We loved the comedy shows... I thought the comedians provided a fair warning about how R rated the shows would be and they delivered on that promise. I thought it was so funny.
God willing some day I'll have a small family and I will have to decide if I want to do 1 cruise a year with Disney or 3-4 cruises with Carnival.... I do not know what I will choose but for the value I HAD A BLAST.
Cozumel - $40 p/p all inclusive that was a blast, I would go again. Water was amazing, drinks were great, and the servers were great.
Belize - Main island Belize was probably the closest to 3rd world that I have ever seen.... I was so happy to get on a charter boat to Caye Caulker but between the tender and charter we did not have enough time... although I did have one of the best lobster lunches on that Island that I ever had!
Roatan Isle - WOW! Had a Victor Bodden tour for 2 which was well worth the money... what a BLAST! Eventually we paid to spend the remainder of our day at Infinity Bay which was incredible I would vacation again here in a heart beat.
Grand Cayman - amazing... you feel like you are in a 1st world safe country. It reminded me of Miami Beach.... we caught a cab over to a hotel that rented beach space/chairs and had food and drinks. I had NO COMPLAINTS about Cayman other than the fact that I did not know I could rent a JetPack in advance (I will do that next time) or that the US dollar is week so a $100 lunch tab in Cayman Pounds was $200 American.