I don't really have anything to add to Penny or Dwayne's ideas on the excursions but I will say that as an experienced RC cruiser, you will find many similarities between Carnival and Royal Caribbean as well as some differences. I'm a big believer in the idea of going on any cruise with an open mind without and just having fun. If you go on this cruise intent on "proving" to yourself that RC is better, I have no doubt you will find something to allow you to make the claim. But if you go knowing that they offer a slightly different "product" and except that, you will have a a lot of fun. I hope you come back after your cruise and give us a full report!
Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, Celebrity Silhouette 2013