Although this was cruise 73 for me, I hadn't been on Carnival in 10 years. I took my first cruise with them on the Carnivale and in some ways, none since, have measured up to that one. :)
I booked the cruise for a snorkel trip, with this cheap deal booked about a year ahead, in an inside cabin. I felt I was in a "suite" compared to my usual lines, inside rooms. Carnival was very roomy with a lot more space than I am used to. I was just off a RCI trans Atlantic two weeks before, and a NCL trans Pacific end of Sept. I did return to Florida 4 nights prior to the cruise, spending time in the Everglades. Had a rental car with Thrifty, which transferred me to the ship. The embarkment was a lot of lines with short tempered people. It wasn't the best organized, but, certainly, I got on the ship and don't see it as any more than an inconvenience of mega ship sailing. :)
The ship is well laid out, and it was simple to get around. I had the open dining, which there was never a wait, eating between 7-8pm, but only went 3 nights. For me, they have the winning pizza of the cruiselines. :) The buffet food was good, with plenty of selection.
I went to only one show, which was very good. I didn't attend any ship activities or do any ship shore excursions.
I shore snorkeled in Grand Cayman which was very good, with easy access. I was able to get my fix and buy a bag full of Tortuga Rum cakes. :)
In Belize I went to Caye Caulker with Hammerhead Charters, which was a highlight of the week. Excellent snorkeling although not the greatest weather. In Roatan, I had planned another snorkel day, but my husband had some medical issues, so stayed closer to the ship. Mahogany Beach was very nice, with plenty of shade and services. But poor snorkeling.
This was a great cruise, which I enjoyed greatly. The service was excellent, ship in great condition. Disembarkment, again, encountered waits and lines, but, I did made it to the airport in time for me to list for my 10:15am flight (non rev travel).
So, a great cruise, that I will be looking to repeat with another, sooner, Carnival sailing11