We are a family of four with one 10 year old and one 14 year old. This is approximately our 12th cruise and we have cruised on Princess, Celebrity, carnival and royal Carribean before. I am pretty relaxed and not too picky. We flew in 2 days before the cruise as it is a long flight for us. Stayed in Embassy suites by airport with free hot breakfast and complimentary happy hour( drinks had more alcohol than mix). Great hotel.
Embarkation was smooth and on ship by 12:30. We had a balcony with lots of room. Carnival has large cabins. The staff were great as was the itinerary. They let me carry on wine even when in ports. This was great as the wine packages had some very bad wine choices. The bad point for our entire family was the food. Breakfast and lunch were great with good choices. However for supper there were hardly any choices in the LIDO- no pasta bar, no suishi or stir fry etc. The fish and chips restaurant was not open at night. I found about five things to eat. So we were forced to go to the dining room. The food was very bland. Even my kids did not like the food. There is smoking on the decks and balconies which was not good for me as I am quite asthmatic. Smoking should not be allowed on balconies. I only went to the entertainment once or twice and was not to my liking but I was happy to sit on my deck when I could. The other thing was the dress code. I did not appreciate that large obese people with large bellies went into the buffet with wet dripping bathing suits, no tops or shoes. There is no dress code at all. All I wanted was to see them wearing cover ups. This is unfortunately what you get with a lower priced cruise. The ports were fantastic.
If you want a large room; ability to bring on wines; great ports and fantastic staff with a lower cost this cruise is worth it. Royal Carribean and the other cruise lines have much better food and a higher standard dress code. This is reflected in their higher cost.