I would like to thank the previous contributors as all the information did help to make our trip more trouble fee and enjoyable.
Here are a few coments about our trip:
The carnival program for the older teens worked out great as our daughter had a fun filled time with the program.
We had the free dining time and that worked out just fine. We normally had a table to ourselves and never had a meal that went beyond an hour and a half. (If you are being served at a larger table you service will probably take longer.) We found the formal dining room food from good to excellent for both the lunch and dinners, and the service was prompt.
We did not use the Lido deck food service much, but when we did it was OK to good. The coffee on the Lido deck is very heavy and not to my liking. We avoided this by getting free room continental breakfast service. The coffee they brought to the room was much better than the coffee from the Lido deck dispensers. For those who like a Starbucks type quality cup the Creams bar on deck 5 offers specialty coffee preparations for a reasonable extra price.
I was worried about smoke on the ship (after reading some of the reviews), but Carnival has recently decreased the smoker's areas (and after December all cabins will be smoke free.) and we did not encounter much smoke filled air on the trip. They are doing a better job of keeping the smokers confined to particular areas you can avoid.
We found the shows much better than we expected with the singers and dancers to be quite talented.
Most of the shows are offered at least twice each night so you should be able to get to one no matter what time you eat.
One surprise, after having lived previously in New England, was that Canada was both quite a bit colder and certainly had more cool fog than I expected.
It was too cold to use the deck and swimming areas comfortably on the trip up. The sun did manage to break through in Halifax for most of the day, with the fog moving back in as we were cruising out. Our last day at sea also had a number of hours of sun where we did enjoy the pool area. (Don't expect Caribbean like weather out there!)
Bottom line Carnival filled our positive expectations as to room quality, food, entertainment and service.