Embarkation: We got to the port around 11 AM and it was quite crowded. Carnival staff was fine and we boarded the ship around 11:50 which went smoothly. We also parked at the port for the first time. Didn't know until after dropping off the luggage at the passenger drop off area that there were also porters on the parking deck to take your luggage there, which would have been much easier. At least we know now for the Miracle.
Ship/Facilities/Staff: The ship was in good shape and though the theme was colors, I didn't really notice much over the top dEcor. It was definitely standard Carnival, but nothing stood out one way or the other for me except the Red Sail Restaurant (Lido) which I thought looked great. Overall, the staff was very nice. Service was good to great, no bad experiences.
Food: We enjoyed pretty much everything we ate, with few exceptions. We dined in the dining room for every breakfast and dinner and had great waiters for both. We had "Your Time Dining" and went consistently around 5:45-6:15 so we never had to wait. On our way out we always saw significant lines and the couple cruising with us had to wait for ½ hour around 7:30 when they had a late lunch and opted to dine later than us. We did a couple of dining room lunches which were just ok and the lido on port days which was overall very good. The last sea day the dining room was a madhouse. Seems everyone converged around 6 to dine that last night and they were incredibly busy.
Ports: We had already been to St. John and Halifax twice before so we can't comment on any excursions. In St. John we walked up to Market Square and visited some shops and went back to the ship. It was overcast and drizzling so not the best day for walking around. In Halifax we walked all the way to the end of the waterfront and enjoyed the great weather—sunny and 80 degrees. We had ice cream at Cows which is toward the end of the waterfront but had really good ice cream so I'm glad we stopped there.
Entertainment: We played bingo and went to a couple of shows, but felt the "things to do" were lacking, particularly on the last sea day. There wasn't a show on the last night, they moved the Love and Marriage game normally held in the afternoon to the evening and that was the finale show. I think Carnival needs to refresh some of the activities.
That's about it for the major stuff. Weather is unpredictable—warm in NYC at sail away, very cool and windy at night (bring a sweatshirt, sweater, light jacket) and both warm and cool in the ports. We wore rain jackets in St. John and it was hot and sunny the next day in Halifax. It was also really foggy at times to the point where you couldn't see water or sky, just gray mist. We liked the ship, the staff and would sail again on the Glory.