Having previously only sailed on P&O or Princess lines we found the Carnival Spirit very closed in.
I have tried to be polite and say that the décor was ornate but really I found a lot of it just plain tacky. Too much and too varied. The Carnival is a big ship so there was still plenty of quiet spots to sit out of the traffic, but I found the ceiling felt quite low and the ornate light fittings made me want to duck.
My son is 6'5" tall and he barely cleared the ceilings.
The food court was amazing with the best pizzas ever, and the deli guy was so helpful when I just wanted some turkey slices to make my own Caesar salad. Desserts were to die for and plenty of drink stations for tea and coffee but found the hot chocolate too sweet.
The crew were great especially the Maitre-de in the dining room, she spoke to every table and even after just 5 nights made us feel that we would be truly missed. The entertainment by the waiter in the dinning room is wonderful, wasted talent, he could be in the shows. The magic show was great, the New Orleans night was over the top and maybe the Americans appreciate that kind of thing but we thought it was too much and the wrong songs for the era.
The Carnival is truly a family orientated ship with lots of fun things for the kids. We love our Trivia and were disappointed that it was nearly always held in the main walkway, not in one of the show lounges or rooms, as it was so hard to hear the questions. Obviously Carnival don't regard trivia as an important part of their programs.
Unfortunately because of rough seas we were unable to visit Port Arthur and spent 2 days in Hobart which is a lovely city and we enjoyed just wondering around. We have visited there before so did not do any trips.