I'll try to be as brief as possible. It was my wife and I and our two boys, ages 3 & 6. We booked two interconnecting cabins, which in total was still less expensive than booking one larger suite that would accommodate all four of us. The price and the promise of a fantastic kids camp were the two main reasons for booking this cruise, with the itinerary being next.
Overall the kids had a great time, but the cruise left myself and my wife feeling like we spent the entire week chasing the kids with little time to ourselves to relax. We had a few great days in port, went to some nice beaches, but on board it was just too hard trying to keep control of two kids.
The price of the cruise was the reason we chose it over going to an all-inclusive resort, however after we include the shore excursions and bar tab and extras that Carnival gouges you for I think we'll have come out equal, which I'm not happy about.
Camp Carnival is my biggest disappointment, and because of them I will never cruise again with Carnival. The staff was rude, disrespectful and inconsiderate. The hours that the camp was open were not what the Carnival booking agents told me over the phone. I was expecting them to be open from 9am til 10pm and we could come and go as we pleased. That was not at all the case. The camp completely closes down for lunch and for dinner, so you have to pick up your kids. Now, don't get me wrong we wanted to spend time with our kids and make this a family vacation, but on my terms not theirs. Those breaks made it very difficult for us to plan our day. And the worst was the last sea day the camp was closed from noon until 6 at night unless you were going to be there with your kid. So any hope of relaxing during prime afternoon sea day hours and reading in the sun was destroyed. To make it worse, our son has a food allergy and despite all the extra forms we filled out they were completely unwilling to accommodate him if we chose to have him eat dinner there. The first evening when our son had dinner I had asked ahead of time if it would be ok, but despite that they didn't prepare anything for him and he was given rice for dinner. I complained to the camp director and the following day the girl who was in charge the previous evening got in my face and yelled at me because she got in trouble! They were eating in the same dining area as the buffet, deli, burrito bar, hamburger/chicken strip grill, and they didn't have the initiative to find him something to eat. My son was in tears when I picked him up because he was so hungry.
To top it all off, at 12:30 at night on the second evening the lady from the cabin next to us was pounding on her door, screaming, "Let me in you *** ****". She was super wasted, pounded on the door for 30 minutes, and when my wife tried calling security they were hesitant to come down and handle it. My wife asked her to quiet down because the kids were sleeping and the drunk lady threatened her. That wasn't Carnival's fault, although I was less than impressed at guest service and security's unwillingness to handle the situation.
We won't be cruising with Carnival again, hopefully this experience hasn't removed cruising completely from our choices of subsequent family vacations.