I am not a travel agent but have cruised with Carnival 20 times. I personally prefer Jacksonville port as parking is easy (prices are pretty much the same at the ports) and the cruises are reasonable. Rather than pay for parking at the port my husband and I get a hotel room for one night (we drive in from Atlanta) and they keep our vehicle until we return as part of the deal, just ask the hotel. We get some extra rest, plus breakfast and parking which is a nice start to our vacation. Look for "park and cruise" hotel packages when searching if you deside to try that. My husband and I like the Carnival Fascination as it is easy to navigate and not one of the "Super sized" ships, prices are best when booked in advance (1+ year or call to get a last minute a few weeks prior and take any cabin they have very cheap). Like I said, I'm not a professional, just my humble opinion. Hope it helps! Enjoy your trip!
I totally agree about the park and cruise packages at hotels. They are definitely a great way to go to save the parking money. You want to make sure the shuttle to the port is included in the room price too.
Thanks! I forgot to mention that. Our hotel included "round trip" shuttle service which saves money. Some hotels only offer one way shuttle so double check before booking. Thanks 855GR8TRIP !