We've been on a number of Carnival cruises, but this was the time our family came along (2 year old, 5 year old, grandma and aunt). This is also the first cruise we have been on in about 6 years. On the plus side, the activities we participated in were lots of fun, and the Camp Carnival seemed to thrill the kids and give us some free time. The formal dining was very good, the fellow passengers were great shipmates.
Although our room was the smallest we've ever had, the layout was ingenious for 4 people to sleep well and to adjoin another cabin. The bathrooms were well designed and our cabin steward was very attentive and responsive to us and our grandma's handicapped needs (we were not in a handicapped room, but the shower was easy for a semi-ambulatory person).
The main issue we had with the cruise was that some of the main attractions of the ship did not function throughout the cruise, namely the water park and the hot tubs. It was not Carnival's fault that the entire trip was breezy and chilly, but none of the on board hot tubs was filled the entire cruise. This left the pool the only water activity, which our goofy kids of course wanted to go in. It would have been so much better to let them slide and wade in the water park without having to endure a cold pool. Crew members could only tell us they couldn't get the chlorine balance right to run the water park, and the hot tubs all had signs that they were having maintenance done.
Some of the activities we showed up to participate in also just didn't happen. Every time, the activity was specifically listed in the "Fun Times" (formerly "Carnival Capers") schedule, but didn't happen with no attempt at explanation or apology. We showed up on the cold Lido deck for the TV show music trivia that never happened, the "Carnival Millionaire" game show also never occurred without explanation. The second part of a two-part trivia game was canceled, despite continued assurances that "if you're behind on points, you may still win because tomorrow is double the points" (we won the first day, so this is not just sour grapes). We also went to a 7 am morning stretch class that was listed in the "Fun Times" schedule but, we later learned, not in the spa schedule. The instructor ultimately appeared to let us know there was not a class, but it would have been nice if he had just given the class since a group had already assembled. His reaction when we told him that the class was listed in the daily "Fun Times" was to say, "Probably" and show us a "revised" spa schedule that showed there were no organized classes that day. Not sure what he had to do that was so pressing that he couldn't just run the class, since several people took the trouble to show up. There were other little cancellations like this that made us wonder why the activities staff would list these events and then just choose not to do them. Either don't list them at all, or list them and commit.
It was still a good cruise, but it could have been fantastic with everything working. In the future I would look for a longer cruise on a newer, larger ship, and I would pay a little extra for a larger or a balcony room.