Short answer is that I would take my family again on this ship with the same crew.
1. Express check-in is a must. Takes you to the front of the line and you are on the boat quickly.
2. I did not meet one Carnival employee who didn't appear to love their job. Always helpful, always asking if you need anything. Internet posts/blogs suggesting most of the workers make very little and rely mainly on tips. These men and women work very hard.
3. Not a big fan of the food, but I can be a bit of a food snob so take that comment with a grain of salt.
4. Wayan and Chris were our cabin stewards. Simply awesome! You need anything, they make it happen.
5. Gary the Cruise Director - I can't put into words what this guy does. Someone in Hollywood missed the boat not signing him. Absolute talent! I hope he makes it big one day. Go see his shows, you won't regret it.
6. Lee, Mr. Bingo - I never went to Bingo, but I heard he was great. We saw him at every production with Gary. Lee will be Cruise Director soon no doubt and he too is an incredible talent.
7. The dancers and singers were great. High energy shows that were very entertaining. Live singing while they are running and dancing all over the stage...not sure how they do it.
8. The boat is old, but very clean. Staff is cleaning all the time.
9. Our family only had one negative experience, and that was our excursion to Atlantis. Carnival let's Atlantis staff handle all arrangements from getting you off the boat to taking you to Atlantis. They do a horrible job. Very unorganized and takes forever to get to the resort. Once you are there, Atlantis staff are not helpful in showing you around. Water rides didn't open until 10 am. Then the staff didn't show up and we waited until 10:20 am. At $200/person, we were disappointed. The food voucher was a joke. It didn't cover several of the dining areas near the pool. The water rides had an 1 1/2 hr wait. Carnival does so well with customer satisfaction, so it was surprising to us that they let this excursion be handled by people who do the exact opposite. There is so much wasted time.
10. Joavan - I believe he said he had worked for the cruise line for 31 years. He is from India, has kids/wife back home, family man. Talked with him every day. He was always working either the pool deck or show lounges taking drink request or cleaning tables. Great at his job, but just good people. He made you feel at home around him.
The cabins are small, but that was expected. No complaints at all about the cabins.