Great cruise! We had a wonderful time. The service on board the ship was great. The food was good. Check out the chocolate melting cake. We ate in the dining room every night and we were never disappointed. Make sure you bring a sweater because it gets a little chilly on board, especially at night. The sandwich bar was good as well as the BBQ on deck by the pool. I love 24 hour ice cream as well. I absolutely loved 6 of the ports with the exception of Dominica which just wasn't up to par with the others. The entertainment was okay. We only went to two shows. We got rained on every day we were there. It was a warm rain and the storm usually moved through quickly. Embarkation was quick. We got on about 1:00 and got right into our room. We got back off the ship and walked around in San Juan and then got back on for dinner. It's open seating on the first night by the way. Debarkation was a little slower. Overall, we waited about an hour even though we were going to a hotel in San Juan.
As for hotels...We flew in a day early. We got a good deal in San Juan at the Hampton Inn and it was okay, nothing exceptional. On Sunday night, after the cruise, we used Priceline to get an amazing deal at Caribe Hilton for $112. Be careful. It is $40 per extra person after two. The Hilton was great. The grounds were spectacular although the rooms were definitely starting to show signs of wear and tear.
I would definitely go on this cruise again. The ports were great. I really think Carnival gives you a good deal for your money.