We have not been on Carnival in many years, and I booked this because the date fit our needs and NCL didn't have anything with this exact date.
This was the ship's 3rd trip out since Covid. The staff are still learning the ship, learning their jobs, but all were happy to be back. Masks were required and for the most part worn. We sometimes forgot to put them on when getting up from eating, but always had them with us to slide on when we realize our error. Very few kids on the ship, due to restrictions on number of passengers without vaccination. No kids camp activities, but the kids were not in anyone's way, other than some being in the hot tubs with no parents.
The layout makes you feel like it's a maze with certain things on certain decks only accessible from a specific staircase or elevator area. You can't walk from one end of the ship to the other, without going up or down one floor every time you get to an elevator area. The MDR is in the middle of the ship so you have to go around 2 floors of it to get from aft to front. The wifi was down a lot, and the Hub App chat function went down on day 4 and never came back up.
Our cabin was next to an emergency staircase, and had a long hall with 4 closets (woohoo) before reaching the bed area. The foot area of the bed faced the balcony, and it had a large window on the left, balcony door on the right (TV in between), and had a much longer than normal balcony compared to other cabins in its category.
Good size TV with ship cams and cruise activity scheduling along with some limited TV and on demand choices.
USB ports above the bed were a welcome surprise. Shower was nice and HOT, with great water pressure and an adjustable head. Bed was two smaller ones pushed together, but they did it well and we didn't even notice it. Comfortable to sleep on too.
if you choose not to wait in line in the heat for the tram, it's a long walk off the pier, and when you arrive you have to either rent a golf cart for $60 for the day (fun!) or hire a cab to get to the shopping/beach areas.
Carnival sold excursions to some of the beaches, but other passengers who paid for those told me the free beach and free beach chairs were literally 10 feet away from their 'paid' ones, which would be frustrating. We chose to take a taxi for $5 each to the Radio Beach area, and enjoyed a free beach. The Food vendor at Radio Beach had huge and VERY fresh fried shrimp available that husband enjoyed thoroughly.
There was a vendor kind of hidden behind the little 'shopping' area of tshirts and keychains. They had bottled tropical flavored rum drinks for $10 each. VERY strong and delicious. Happy we found them.
They had the port/tourism area roped off, and if we were not on an approved excursion, we were not allowed beyond the Margaritaville shops. The locals were very happy to have a ship in port and to sell us their stuff.
Jamaica was very strict on their rules, masks on both indoors and outdoors. Security was walking around everywhere and they kept track of who came from the ship and who went back. I kinda felt bad for the locals because they were being watched so closely.
There were temperature scanners in several doorways and if you scanned hot, you couldn't go into the store.
There's a starbucks in the shopping area, and there were a couple of fun street entertainers with tip boxes, that we and several others tipped in. There is a small beach area right by the port, I don't know if it was free or not but there were a lot of people on it, considering we were the only ship in port and we were sailing at about 60% capacity.