I must first say that if you are planning a cruise on Carnival, don't expect the Ritz-Carlton on the sea. You want that, you can go pay for Royal Caribbean. However, if you want an enjoyable, simple trip, read on.
My wife and I chose this particular cruise based on comments and suggestions from friends and co-workers who took this same exact trip. And I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed.
From the moment we stepped on board, it was an unforgettable experience. (We paid a little extra for the Fast To The Fun which cut out about a 2 hour wait to board the ship, and allowed us priority debarking at the ports) The staff was excellent, and did everything they could to make sure our experience was first rate. Our cabin steward Raul was very friendly, and made sure he called us by name every time we spoke. Our Cruise Director Dee was from Ontario, Canada. This young lady had the energy of a hurricane wrapped up in a 5 ft 4 in frame. (We were sure she used to be a college cheerleader, but turned out that she played lacrosse in high school)
The activities on board, and at the ports (Catalina Island and Ensanada) gave wide ranges of opportunities to try different things. And they really emphasized to try something new for the first time, including parasailing, Zip-lines, or one of the many tours offered. On board, The piano bar was very enjoyable, and the performer was very good. Pretty funny as well (Especially after he started drinking vodka straight from the bottle). I was not too impressed with the comedians on board, but that did not deter us. We also went to two of the art auctions, and actually came home with some beautiful art work.
The food on board was decent. I preferred the dining room over the Lido Deck buffet, but it was still pretty good. The 24 hour Pizza Pirate was actually pretty good. I do recommend spending the extra $6 per day per person for the endless bubbles program.
We are already planning a return voyage for our 25th anniversary in 2018. I would highly recommend this cruise to others.