Overall, the ship was great, staff pleasant and hard-working, and the food in the dining room was good to very good. We had early seating. I noticed most people who posted negative reviews of the food and service either never ate in the dining room or had anytime dining. The lido buffet was okay; I ate breakfast there on port days and had a couple of salads at lunch. It wasn't bad, just nothing to write home about.
The ports (Roatan, Belize, Cozumel) and the excursions we booked were phenomenal. We decided to spend our time in ports doing active excursions rather than shopping and it was a good choice - Dolphin swim and snorkel, Xunatunich Ruins, and the Turtle Cove/Cavern snorkel.
TIPS: Definitely pay for faster to the fun. It usually looks like it is sold out, but about a month before your cruise, check the website every day. Spots open up after Carnival accounts for all the platinum guests.
Eat brunch in the main dining room on sea days. Very good and they'll cook your eggs however you want.
If you want peace and quiet, pay for the spa pass. I used it almost every day for some quiet time. I pretty much had the whole spa to myself between 8 and 9 in the morning.
If you eat on the lido deck, try the Tandoor station at the back or the pasta station upstairs. The food is very good.
The gym was very good - lots of equipment. I think the peak hour was 8-9, but at 7 am there are plenty of machines available.
The few things that made portions of our trip less than enjoyable had nothing to do with Carnival or the staff and everything to do with rude, inconsiderate passengers. Parents, if you use the fact that you are on a ship to avoid minding your children, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I hope you read this, although if the behavior of your children is an example of your behavior, I suppose you probably do not care. The same goes for people who use the whole ship as a garbage can because there is always a crewmember that is going to clean up your mess.
On movie nights, some parents chose to dump their kids in the pool and walk off, leaving SMALL children (ages 4-8) to scream and run around for 2 hours while other passengers where trying to watch the movie. The one time I said something to some rambunctious kids, all I got was a "this woman is crazy look". That is unacceptable. My 10 year old niece was on the cruise as well and she was always escorted by an adult and did not run, yell, or disturb other passengers in any way. I did run into a few teenagers who were exceptionally polite and respectful - kudos to those parents. Other kids left half-eaten ice cream cones in the elevators, on the stairs, dumped their drinks on the carpet in the comedy club, etc., ran through the buffet area screaming and running into passengers. Teenage boys were harassing girls in the elevator.
Some of the adults were not much better. If you go on a cruise to party all night, great - go enjoy yourself at the bars, in the club, etc. Do not use that as an excuse to conduct loud conversations in the hall ways, bang doors at 3 am, etc. Everyone keeps different hours, so out of respect, everyone should use keep noise to a minimum in the hallways.
I did have a good time, but the number of stupid people I encountered pretty much made up my mind to pay for an all inclusive resort next time - preferably one without kids!