This was our first cruise and we chose Carnival for the child care and child friendly services offered. Really, really wish we had done more research before deciding this looked like the best option.
The embarkation and disembarkation were fine, we were more than happy to get off the ship as quickly as possible. We were fast-tracked at embarkation because of the age of our child (2 years old) which made things much easier as waiting in a line that long would have been a nightmare with him.
The ship itself needs a lot of work. Everything, EVERYTHING is dated, not entirely clean, and just feels like it hasn't had upgrades or possibly even maintenance in a long time.
We got an upgraded Balcony stateroom, which looked great in the pictures, but didn't live up to that at all. The room itself was clean, however one of the bedside table lamps wouldn't turn on. The bathroom was just barely clean. There was what looked like mold on the inside of the shower screen, there was a pool of water in the glass dish in the shower and the exhaust fan in the shower didn't work, which left everything in the shower and powder room steamy and moist. The shower area was probably the most desperate part for an upgrade. If that alone got some love I could probably have forgiven the rest of the room.