November 2015 - Carnival Conquest to Caribbean - Western
This was our first cruise and I found myself busier than I assumed I would be. Even with the kids in their age appropriate kid groups, there was still a lot going on. If I were to do it again, I probably wouldn't pre-book all the excursions. Because I went with my kids I wanted to be prepared. I wasn't sure how the processed worked so I was good to figure it out but now I know there are opportunities for exploring away from the planned excursions which are nice for families.
I was told by people with far more cruising experience than I that a "holiday cruise" brings out less experienced travelers. I did find that to be true. I did witness some rudeness to staff, and guest-to-guest. What I found interesting was that there were a lot of people with little-to-no concept of how elevators work! I'll admit I live in Chicago where we have tons of elevators but if an elevator is going up, you can't keep pressing the down buttons assuming you will "over-ride it." And it is just rude to hit every button on the panel because they are there.
The food was good. The service was wonderful. They did confiscate my wine, which was annoying but didn't ruin the trip. I put the wine in my suitcase (as one would if they were flying with it) but apparently you have to carry it on! I thought it was stupid that they wouldn't give it to me after a slap on the wrist (I'm obviously an adult) as "because it is policy" seems like a ridiculous reason.
Would I do it again? Maybe. But I wouldn't go longer than the 6 nights, and I would take a more expensive, non-holiday cruise in the hope of avoiding some of the rudeness.