We have cruised previously on HAL and RC, first time on Carnival. We sailed during the mid-winter break for California schools. There were 1500 kids (full capacity on the ship and they were everywhere. We would not knowingly book our vacation during school break again.
Embarkation: We traveled about 3 hours to port and embarkation was fairly organized at the 12:30-1:00 PM check-in. The only negative was we were rushed in security as eager passengers threw their carry-on items on the conveyer belt for ex-ray before we completed the process, causing one of our carry on items to be mixed in with theirs. There are a lot of staff placed on the route to the ship guiding passengers to the gang-way. Once on the ship we were welcomed by many of the crew. We found something to eat on the Lido Deck 10 and explored a little prior to finding our room keys in an envelope at the our cabin. Our luggage didn't arrive until after sail-away and dinner around 6:00 PM.
Disembarkation: There is a Disembarkation briefing on the last sea day, also a flyer is left at your door with disembarkation information. Numbered luggage tags can be picked up at the briefing or at guest services. If you check your bag you must have a numbered tag on it. If you are in a suite, Diamond or Platinum or have priority status you will be disembarked early. You may put your bags outside your cabin between 9:30 and 11:30 PM to be picked up for checked baggage on the last sea day. Passengers must vacate the cabins by 8:00-8:30 and wait on the Lido deck or the Liquid Lounge. Decks are disembarked one at a time beginning with Deck One according to the deck your cabin was on. You may also choose to carry off your luggage yourself and disembarked ahead of passengers with checked baggage.
Balcony room was small but laid out to optimize space. 2 wardrobe type closets and 1 closet with shelfs and drawers and a safe. A desk with a large mirror over it and small refrigerator under it and a1200 watt hair dryer already plugged in - inside the desk drawer. You have to hold the button on the entire time you use it. It was adequate. There were 2 electrical receptacles at the desk and 2 USB. None by the bedside. Storage drawers under the sofa. Storage under the bed and in the small bedside tables. You have to insert a card in the slot near the door to get electricity. The bed was comfortable and linens were nice. Each room has its own thermostat. The bathroom is small but had shelves on each side of the sink for storage. There is a pull-out clothesline in the shower. Our cabin was starboard - aft and quiet, even though all the teen hang--outs were on our floor.