Sure the ship was full which 1580 were kids because it was Texas Spring Break, but the experience was pleasant. The vastness of the ship afforded enough space for all. Lido deck pool areas, sports area, and Serenity area were busy, however the 5th deck area was very comfortable and space available at all times.
Only a few times there were waits for the elevators. We used the stairs when we were going down.
Food: Good, nothing outstanding. Have had the same menu on the Freedom. The Grill and Deli on the Lido decks were good. Buffets were busy and provided a variety of selections. We tried the Cucina del Capitano for lunch with mixed reviews in our party of 4 adults. Sushi & More from 5:15-8:15 PM provided 3 different samples each evening except for the first Elegant Evening. The sushi and sauces were good. We did not try the Steak House but heard from other passengers that it was worth the price. We enjoyed breakfast in the dining room.
Crew and Staff: Very friendly- always greeting you when you passed them in the halls or when serving you.
The ship was always being cleaned.
Activities: Tea Time at 3PM on sea days was enjoyable. Most of the time could play dominoes on the game tables at Red Frog Pub, but bringing own dominoes or see if available in library might not be a bad idea. Comedy Club (Punchline) would fill up early. Comedians were okay. They were on the ship for a couple of days and switch out for another set of 2. There 2 family friendly shows and several adult shows. Show performances were good. Piano Bar singer seemed to having a hard time with his voice so the music wasn't that good. Ocean Plaza would have good music to dance to. Didn't want to pay the $20 to play Bingo and was not interested in any of the trivia games. Played a few slots in the casino just to see what the casino was like.
Behind the Scenes tour on the last sea day was very interesting and worth the time and fee. We signed up at the excursion desk as soon as we embarked because the tour space is limited and only can be signed up for once on the ship.
SPA: I have never had a spa treatment so decided to see what was available on a port day. I checked with the spa reservation the day while in Key West to see if any specials for the day in Freeport. Signed up for the pick 3 package for $99. The special was included in the evening times left in the room. The treatments were nice, however the spa person tries to sell products at the end.
Internet speed was slow; didn't purchase a plan but used the Carnival.com site by setting up a forum before the week before we left under Funville to keep in touch with friends and family.
If like to have mixed drinks, you can save some money by purchasing a bottle from Carnival and have it delivered to the room. Be sure to bring you alloted amount of sodas and water.
Be sure to bring stickie notes as a way to leave messages for travel mates.
We didn't plan any excursions. We decided to be flexible for this cruise. This is the first time we decided we wanted to stay on the ship while in port. Several families stayed onboard and they had room at the pool and sport areas. Staying on the ship except maybe to get off to walk around is not a bad plan, it is relaxing.