I went on a Carnival cruise onboard the Carnival Legend ship last November. The cruise lasted 8 days and visited the ports of St. Maarten, Barbados, and Martinique. The cruise itself was fairly inexpensive and it was myself and my 6 year old daughter going. We booked the cheapest room available, which was a guarnteed inside stateroom. The price was around $800 per person and we had no clue where our stateroom would be. We received our cruise documents about 3 weeks prior to sailing and were absolutely thrilled to find we'd been upgraded to an obstructed view balcony, which basically means a lifeboat is right below you.
Checking in prior to getting on the ship was somewhat hectic and the entire process from waiting in line to actually getting on the ship was around 1.5 to 2 hours, but the staff was very friendly and helpful. Upon entering our room, we found the balcony view to be wonderful, the size of the stateroom to be larger than expected, and the room itself to be very clean, warm, and welcoming. We set off to explore the ship and located all of the major features such as the library, casino, dining room, lounge, and several bars. Throughout the ship, we noticed it was very clean and the staff onboard very welcoming and friendly, ready to answer any and all questions.
Overall, I found the cruise to be very pleasurable for my first cruise but I was disappointed in a few things. First of all, the price of drinks was absolutely outrageous, even higher than bar prices. Expect to pay around $6.00 per beer and $7 or $8 per mixed drink. I found entertainment to be lacking. There were trivia games and pool games going on, but there was a significant lack of entertainment between the hours of 2:00pm and 5:00pm, which was extremely disappointing.
As for the ports of call, I found St. Maarteen to be an absolute pleasure, very clean and welcoming. We were greeeted with the sounds of a steel band and beautiful pink painted buildings and walkways. The island is beautiful and I absolutely recommend a tour by water along the coast, followed by snorkeling. Barbados was my favorite port of call as I spent my time snorkeling with sea turtles. This was the most fun part of any vacation I've ever had and truly and experience to remember. Martinique, I found to be very boring and lacked the shopping of the other two islands.
Overall, I had a fantastic time and would recommend a Carnival cruise.