The Good: We had a great time on the Inspiration sailing from Tampa on 11/20/2010. The food was excellent, the staff very attentive, and camp carnival was great for our kids 5 and 8, who were in 2 different age groups in camp carnival. Both were eager to go back and hated to leave each night at 10pm.
The BAD: The check in procedure for Camp Carnival was spelled out in a presentation on the ship. Several parents didn't compete the forms though and took their kids to the camp drop-off anyway. Instead of being given forms to complete and sent to the end of the line, we and others we made to wait as these parents completed the forms one at a time at the camp desk. To make it worse the entrance is outside on a deck and it was drizzling on us. This was the low point of the trip, since we were made to wait 40 minutes unnecessarily on those who didn't follow the procedure in the first place.
The Annoying or perhaps illogical: Carnival has people snapping pictures all over the ship and in the ports when you get off the boat. These pictures are a set price and are pre-printed on the boat for you to look at and purchase. The problem is that if you bought ever photo taken you would end up spending hundreds and probably thousands on pictures. There are no discounts for buying more pictures or packages you can buy to reduce the cost. This kept us from buying many pictures that we would have liked to purchase, but at $22 each for a portrait and about $10 each for the cheapest pictures the prices discouraged us from buying more. The pictures are already printed, so Carnival seems like they would rather throw pictures away that sell them at any sort of discount. This to me is illogical, since the more pictures people purchase, the more they share with others, the more likely someone else may decide to take a cruise to have the same kind of fun. Why not have a package of any 5 for $50 or $75 or something. The current policy discourages more purchases, rather than encourage them and that to me is illogical and annoying.
The bottom line: Despite the hiccup checking in to Camp Carnival the first night and the picture annoyance we had a great time and will likely cruise Carnival again and just take our own pictures for free.