I was pleasantly surprised by my first cruise experience. I booked a cruise for me, my boyfriend, and my two children early and the price was very reasonable. We all shared one stateroom, which was on Deck 7, had bunk beds and a full-size bed as well as a balcony. There were deck chairs on the balcony and complementary beach towels in the room when we arrived. The embarkation process was smooth and quick, and we had no issues. Once we were settled, we met our stateroom steward (Daniel) and attended the obligatory muster station drill and youth activities registration. When we got back to our room, there was a towel animal folded into an elephant, which my kids loved.
We looked over the activities that were available daily and took full advantage of them; we attended shows, played blackjack in the casino, played trivia and bingo games, participated in scavenger hunts, used the onboard slide and pools, etc. Camp Carnival was divided into different age groups with different offerings (some were combined activities for ages 6-11, others were split up ages 6-8 and 9-11) and my children really enjoyed the activities they offered. Camp Carnival is at no additional charge unless children stay after 10pm.
The food was amazing. Seriously, I can't accurately describe how consistently good it was. There is a restaurant on Deck 3 that you are assigned a time for, but we never visited it; we just ate at the buffet on Deck 9. There's also a steakhouse, but we ran out of time and didn't get to eat there.
During the entire cruise, the staff was exceptionally welcoming and friendly. There is not a single time I can think of where any staff member aboard the ship was not exceptionally awesome, especially our stateroom steward. The room was cleaned twice daily and fresh ice was brought in (and a new towel animal showed up every day too).
We dropped our passports off at the guest services desk the second night and asked if they would have our passports stamped, which they were perfectly happy to do. My children and I were very happy to see the first stamps in our passports!
Due to extreme weather and high winds, we were not able to visit Half Moon Cay as planned. We were kept up to date on the situation continuously, and when it was determined that we would continue on without stopping, all money paid toward shore excursions there was automatically refunded. We had planned on parasailing and doing the stingray encounter, so we were definitely disappointed, but Carnival can't control the weather!
My boyfriend proposed to me after we visited Grand Turk, so I would say it was a memorable and extremely enjoyable first cruise.