don't like big boats.
I've never been on Carnival. Have been on Royal once and my favorite has been Norwegian. I would recommend Norwegian for you next cruise. Been on the Dawn which is bigger than the last one (Sun) ... The bigger the ship the better & more they have to offer. I.E. The food was much better (buffet) on the Dawn, and most evenings I would cheese, fruit, bread on the pool deck while I read my book. Also a drawback if you are traveling in a group. The Star had our rooms connecting thru a door, but the balconies could not be opened to connect into one big one. The larger ships do.
If you don't like a lot of kids... never (ever) take a cruise during the week between Christmas and New Years, lol.
I think a cruise would be an excellent board trip
(edited to correct ship name: Sun)