My wife & I are in our mid 40s, love to cruise with this being our 4Th (2 Celebrity & 2 Carnival). We are both scuba divers & so we chose this cruise for the ports. Embarkation was a breeze at port Tampa, we were on the ship & eating lunch within 1/2hr of arrival. We were in our room by 1:30pm and all of our luggage arrived by mid/ late afternoon.
This was our second Carnival cruise & so we realize comparing the different lines is like comparing apples to oranges. We did our research before hand & understood what we were getting before we went. For the price & the destinations we believe we got a great deal. The only complaints we had were the weather and the rudeness of some of the passengers, neither of which were something the cruise line could control.
Since we are divers all of our excursions were dives. Cayman- was great & the crew were all professional. Cozumel- was cancelled due to weather & our fee was promptly reimbursed. Belize- so, so. Not sure if they just wanted to get us wet & back to the gift shop. Roatan- Anthony's Key, crew were professional & treated us well.
We are (at least amateur) "Foodies", we are business owners in the food industry. My wife is a certified sanitarian/culinary trainer & needless to say we love to eat. We thought the food was very good overall, were some things better than others, absolutely but like most people on the cruise we didn't go hungry or lose any weight...lol...We found that they worked very hard to meet special dietary needs & if something wasn't to your liking they promptly replaced it...in a nutshell, was it 5 star Michelin dining no, but the reviews of it being inedible is just not logical or reasonable by any stretch of the imagination... I wondered why so many chairs had the arms removed & were wobbly & I was told that is because of the passenger size these days.
All the crew members we had contact with smiled & treated us well. The only exception would be some of the photography personnel at port days, we were carrying heavy dive gear & at times they weren't taking no for an answer & that made me quit angry. Overall however all the crew seemed very polite & treated us well.
Entertainment- we always found something to do. Some of the acts we liked, some not so much so we found other things to occupy our time. We are not big shoppers or drinkers so we easily avoided all the tourist trap stuff & seminars. It is kinda sad that so many passengers think they've been to a foreign county if they get off & get funneled into the "dock shopping malls", & think the real country is "dirty" wow, that's what I want is reality.
Disembarkation- we were held up a bit due to weather, but no big deal just got to relax a little more. When things did start to move it all went pretty quickly, we got our luggage & were at the airport in no time.
Overall- we have cruised pricier lines but for the money I think if you are a savvy traveler & know what you are looking for this is a very good vacation for the money... I don't know if it is a sign of our times but some of the passengers just seem to be getting ruder (maybe it's just me getting older & less tolerant of that sort of thing), anyway, had a really good time overall & didn't worry about the uncontrollable things, i.e.weather. Hope yours is good to... Be good to each other.