A bit of background, we have cruised with Princess, Celebrity, NCL, Cunard and RCL. Our children are 15 and 13. We didn't choose the cruise for the itinerary as we have visited all the ports except Sciliy before. We were keen to try Carnival as we had heard good things and the boat looked to have lots of child friendly features.
We spent 4 days in Barcelona before the cruise which we enjoyed, staying at the Gravina hotel just of the Rambla's
The embarkation process was excellent - Cunard could do with learning from this ! We went straight to the pool as we had swimwear all prepared and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon.
Our stateroom was very nice and probably the largest we have had from a standard balcony room. The kids had an inside cabin directly opposite which was also a good size.
The bar area's, casino and nightclub were all very good with excellent staff who quickly learnt our regular drinks.
We had chosen anytime dining - do not do this it is a disaster. The first night we waited for 40 minutes in a queue before being seated. The dining experience is not great there is no option to share, which we enjoyed on Princess, the service is slow, poor and disjointed. We had to wait to get a bottle of wine which only turned up with the starter. If you order a glass of wine the order is taken by someone else and is far quicker. The second night we waited for 50 minutes in a queue to be given a buzzer which would take another 30 minutes. The food was good though.
We did not get of the ship except for Monaco and Scilly. On arrival in Napels we sat on the balcony and saw a dead squid, a dead seagull and a dead cat floating by!
The kids had a great time, their clubs were great and we rarely saw them as they did not emerge until lunchtime on most days. They enjoyed the water park, the skywalks and pools.
We enjoyed the comedians in the headliners lounge, but the other entertainment did not excite.
We would certainly cruise with Carnival again when with the kids. Next time we would chose the set late dining.