This is my second cruise. My wife and I traveled with our three children, my oldest daughter's boyfriend and my mother in-law,a very diverse group to say the least. Everyone had a fantastic time, even my 17 year old daughter who really didn't want to take this trip. Carnival does a fantastic job in every way. Embarkation took maybe 30 minutes. We were on-board the ship by noon enjoying cocktails and having a bite to eat. Although we were not allowed to enter our cabins until about 4 p.m..
The food was very good. My wife and I made it point to eat in the dining room nightly. It's nice to be pampered by the very attentive wait staff. The food was always hot and nicely presented. The shows put on by the dining room staff are not to be missed, as they can be quite entertaining and a lot of fun. Other dining options were very good as well (the cheese burgers from the burger bar were really good)
The ship itself was very well maintained with plenty of space for everyone. Even though there were about 2700 people onboard, the ship never seemed crowded. Food and drink were readily available. It rained for about an hour during our first morning at sea, it was a pleasant surprise to find that the pool we were lounging by had a retractable glass dome. The ships crew work very hard to look after the guests, they succeeded in providing a 1st class experience.
Entertainment is provided for all tastes, I personally enjoyed the disco and the cigar and jazz bar. The so called Vegas style shows left a bit to be desired at times they came across as rather amateurish.
For my family a great trip means getting involved. There is plenty to get involved in. There is always something going on.