We live in FL. so we drove to the port and arrived around 1:30pm. We were on the boat in 20mins and had a drink in our hand by 2:00pm. The staff was friendly and the boat was already full of passengers. The seas were a little rough until we got into the open waters but after that it was smooth sailing.
We had a great location on the Empress deck as far as proximity to everything, but could hear the galley commotion above. I would not do that again. Our room steward was the best and has been with Carnival since 1995.
Casino was not great to us but we had a great time. Lots of tables and machines, blackjack and Texas hold em tournaments, lotto etc. Definitely something for everyone.
Dining was your typical cruise fare. Pretty much the same as any Carnival boat but the staff in the Pride dining room was fantastic. The food was always hot and they were very attentive in case you did not like something, they were there to bring you something else.
Shows- did not see any
Kids- not a lot but those that were on were well entertained with Camp Carnival.
All in all this cruise exactly what we needed and would happily do it again. I highly recommend