We live 90 minutes away from the cruise terminal so we did not use a hotel. Embarkation was an absolute breeze. We arrived 11am and were sitting on board eating lunch in less than an hour. Carnival stated cabins would be ready at 1:30pm and they were. Our cabin Steward was fantastic. He introduced himself to us the first day and cleaned our cabin twice a day without being seen. We had a sofa bed for our granddaughter that opened into a single bed, she said it was very comfortable.
We ate all our meals in the Dining Room and had no complaints. Our waiter Jose was excellent. After the first day, drinks were on there waiting for us. Our youngest granddaughter used a booster seat and it was always there as well. We celebrated two birthdays with a delicious cake and they whole staff helped sing. Each night the staff entertained us with singing and dancing.
The entertainment shows were not very good. Carnival can definitely improve in this area. We had 4 children with us ages 3-11 and they all loved Camp Carnival so much that they did not want to leave. I would not recommend a summer cruise on carnival if you do not want to cruise with children. The cruise director announced we have +1200 children on our cruise.
Disembarkation was an absolute nightmare. IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, UNLOAD YOU LUGGAGE YOURSELF! My husband did the self load and was out in 15 minutes. It took us over 2 hours to wait for the ship. It was horrible.