Pre-cruise--We stayed at the Intercontinental right at the bay. This hotel is beautiful, and convenient. We walked to the bay-side marketplace Saturday night and had a fun dinner at the Hard Rock.
Embarkation--Since this was our 10th cruise with Carnival, we enjoyed VIP embarkation. One of the other couples traveling with us used the same credit card, so they could check in with us (they changed credit card info at the purser's office once on board). We were on the ship before noon. Overall, I thought the ship was very clean, easy to navigate, and the service was great.
Food--For breakfast during the days at sea we ate from the outdoor buffet on the Lido deck. The lines are shorter outside and you can still get cooked-to-order eggs or omelets. In the dining room, service was very fast 3 days, and quite slow 1 morning. I am not a gourmet eater, so I loved the standard eggs, bacon, and pancakes. For lunch, the standard burgers, dogs, and pizza were enjoyable, mixed in with an occasional salad or deli sandwich. On afternoon we tried the fish and chips. The long line was well worth it. Dinner in the dining room was pretty much like every other cruise. They are trying something different with 1 head waiter and 2 team waiters. I don't think it saves any time and you don't get as close with the servers as you do with just two. We ate at the steakhouse twice. It was fantastic.
Entertainment--3 of the 4 comedians were very funny, 1 was not at all. We enjoyed 1 production show, but mostly bounced around the bars at night. The biggest negative on the ships is that most of the bars are smoking. It kept us out of the disco, the piano bar, and the casino for most of the cruise. The Cruise Director, Gary, was the funniest MC I have ever seen during the newlywed/not-so-newlywed game (and I have seen 9 others)
Accommodations--Like I said, the service was very good. We had no issues. Our cabins were all Aft Balcony. It is worth the extra to see the sunset behind the wake.
Ports--Cozumel and Grand Caymans were fun as usual. Belize and Roatan were not as great, but still interesting (see port reviews)
Debarkation--We choose to carry our own luggage off, so we don't have to wait for our group number to be called. This gives you time to pack in the morning, and enjoy a stress-free breakfast before getting off the ship.
Overall, the experience was excellent. The ship was in great shape, and those serving us were very attentive.