I thoroughly enjoyed my very first cruise. Carnival staff was very helpful and friendly and there were plenty of activities to keep you busy throughout the day and night. I even enjoyed the nightly shows even though that type of entertainment has never been my cup of tea.
Our cabin was always well maintained and was practically sound proof. The only noise I heard was the occasional shifting of chairs or table on the balcony. The bedding was soft and inviting helping me sleep like a baby.
The food on the buffet was never as hot as I prefer, but the food choices were pretty good. Dinners served in the dining room mirrored the ones served at the buffet, but the quality of the food served in the dining room was much better. I had 6 dinners in the dining room and 2 in the buffet. Breakfasts were okay. The bread, pancakes, waffles or french toast were never hot enough to melt butter and the scrambled eggs were really egg substitute. I am sure they used real eggs at the omelet stations, but I'm not one to wait in line for food :) My favorite meal at the buffet was the various grilled panini. My favorite meals in the dining room were the NY strip and the gourmet burger. While the yummiest dessert was the white chocolate bread pudding. The signature warm chocolate melting cake was a bit too rich and sweet for me so I only had it once.
We chose not to purchase Carnival excursions because they seemed to be overpriced. We paid less than half of the cost for our island tours and those on the Carnival excursions often pulled up along side us at the same points of interests.
Overall, my experience was fantastic. I look forward to many more cruises in the future. You just can't beat the value.