I consider myself to be a fairly experienced cruiser and this cruise was somewhat disappointing but we made the best of it and had a great time anyway. We chose this cruise because it fit our schedule - It left on a Friday and returned on a Monday. It enabled us to have a 5 day getaway while only taking 3 days off from work.
We left from Miami after spending a couple of nights in South Beach. Embarkation was very easy and we were given no trouble for bringing our allotted 6 sodas and 6 bottles of water onto the ship. We also brought a bottle of wine ($10 corkage fee when drank in restaurant) and a bottle of champagne which we kept on ice in our room until the last night. (I'm including this information because I never knew this was allowed - it was something my boyfriend discovered after exploring the Carnival web site. Hope we help someone out!).
We were happy with the size and cleanliness of our room. Our room steward was great and our room was clean. The ship was clean overall with the exception of a couple of heavily used bathrooms by the pool and the bathroom near the casino late at night.
The one excursion day was to Nassau Bahamas and we had a wonderful time there. We went to Atlantis resort for the day and I cannot say enough about it. If the weather is good you will not regret paying for the Aquaventure (lazy rivers, water slides, full access to resort.) We bought our passes at Atlantis- not through the cruise -and saved $60 per person by doing so. Taxi fare (shared) is only $4 per person each way to Paradise Island.
On the last day at sea we relaxed by the pool and read, watched some silly contests, ate some sushi and drank our champagne while watching sunset. It was awesome!
The weather was amazing for the entire duration of our trip; we were very lucky. The weather in Nassau can be very iffy - I have been on two cruises that had to skip port due to the weather. Take this into account if you are cruising in the fall or winter.
If the weather hadn't been so great we probably would not feel that we got our moneys worth. The food was decent and as expected in the buffet but the food in the dining room was horrible. Everything we were served was overcooked and the service was terrible. Ribs, fried chicken, and pork chops were the types of dishes served. We weren't served wine until after our appetizers were served and felt crammed very close to other couples/tables of two in the dining room. On the last night we arrived for dinner at 9:34pm (We had anytime dining which ends at 9:30pm) and were told we could not be served as the kitchen was closed. After a bit of arguing (mostly because no other establishment was serving food on the ship at this time and we hadn't eaten dinner) we were told we could be seated but would have to settle for whatever they had leftover in the kitchen. The maitre d publicly berated the hostess who seated us and it was all very embarrassing and not worth the hassle for the less than mediocre short ribs, and deep fried veal that we were given.
Overall - this was a fun and relatively inexpensive getaway. If you're sure the weather will be good and you don't care too much about the food you will enjoy this trip. It is probably best suited for large, big partying groups, though there is certainly plenty to do for children as well.