Overall we had an excellent vacation. All air and transfers and shore excursions worked out well. Carnival staff were polite, helpful, and courteous.
Although I think we'll go for a balcony next time, our room was sufficient but slightly crowded with 5 of us. However, as an army vet I cannot complain as our steward was amazing in cleaning our mess daily. The best part about the room was the comfort of the beds, the absolute darkness, and the amazing noiseless sleeps we all had.
The food was good to very good at times, but we seemed to enjoy the appetizers more than the main courses, and tried several each night. Breakfasts were always good, and we generally ate on land the rest of the time. Our assigned waiter was not the best or most friendly, although other various waiters experienced at breakfast were excellent and helpful. Our ass't waiter was extremely nice and helpful.
The ship itself was probably the nicest I've been on, and our location mid ship near the elevator just above the main promenade deck was good for all access. After a day we were mostly familiar with how to get from A to B with the layout.
The fitness area was excellent, but the spa was not available to assist my wife for the formal nights. I think they were booked up on the first day so we had to have her hair done on shore which was a bit tricky.
The shows were generally excellent, and I took part in the Carnival Legends show on the last night.
The best thing for us was the Kid's Club. We had 3 kids in 3 different age groups and all had a blast. It was also great for the parents who could have some time alone and away. This made the cruise for us.
The kids absolutely loved the slide and pool as well.
We always did our own shore excursions and found we saved quite a bit of money on this as opposed to those advertised by Carnival (very expensive).
We hardly drank any alcohol and only bought 3 photos, and still our sail and sign at the end was over 600 which I found expensive. Most of this went to gratuities automatically taken off for 5 of us. I thought that $350 in gratuities was a lot, and I reduced that to 200, paying my steward separately, as I was more impressed with him. We did feel nickeled and dimed for absolutely everything, and those who drink alcohol... BE PREPARED!
The Islands visited were amazing (St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, Barbados, St Maarten). We wanted mostly beach time and snorkeling and we found what we wanted everywhere, swimming with the most beautiful fish, sea turtles, barracuda, sea urchen, and many more. The green monkeys were a highlight for the kids as well.
We ended up with some huge quality family time and although tiring, we had so much fun, with no glitches along the way. This was a very refreshing holiday, and we will return to have another go in future.