We spent the night before the cruise at the Hotel Maya. Fabulous hotel with a wonderful restaurant, Fuego! Delicious food for dinner as well as a breakfast buffet. The hotel was comfortable and very clean. Warm cookies upon check-in and great facilities. The morning of our cruise we hopped on the free red bus and went into downtown Long Beach. Around 1 p.m. we walked from the hotel to the ship. Easy to do if your luggage is on wheels. Checked in our bags and walked right into the building to go through security and the check-in counter. Absolutely no waiting! It was great! I highly suggest arriving at 1 p.m. After all, you're on vacation, so who wants to stand in line! Small hold up just before walking across the walkway to the ship, but that's because they're taking pictures. If you're not interested you can walk around it.
Our room wasn't ready yet, but we were able to drop off our case of water and soda. Then it was off to the Lido deck for drinks and lunch. Our whole party had sandwiches from the Deli. Delicious! Our cocktail waitress was Ni and she took care of us the entire cruise! We were never without something to drink and she knew our names by about 2 p.m. that day! She is by far one of Carnival's best employees!!! Kind, polite, informative....just all around great!
We dined in the Black Pearl upper dining room. Our head waiter was Carlos. He wasn't very pleasant and seemed rather put off by us the whole cruise. One night he wasn't sure which caesar salad had the anchovies and which didn't. He put his nose right above both salads sniffing them. Then set one down in front of my friend, picked up her fork, stabbed a few lettuce leaves and put it up to her mouth and said, "Taste this!" She was in shock. Then when he opened up a milk carton, he shoved his finger inside the carton to open it! If it wasn't for his assistant's Pedro and Roman, we probably wouldn't have gone back!! They (especially Roman) made our dining experience worth it! Our major complaint was on our last night. The maitre' d took a handful of the assistant waiter's out of the dining room. When we asked what happened to Roman? We were told that he had to go help with room service because they were backed up. Obviously we can appreciate that, however, he wasn't even able to say bye to us and we were hoping to get a picture with him. We asked two men who were standing at the podium if we'd get a chance to see him again and they told us to come back at the end of the late dining service. That was very inconvenient since we had 4 teenagers who were all going to be involved at Club O2 and Circle C that night. Several other diners were taking pictures with all their waiters and we just left feeling very disappointed. Roman made our dinners enjoyable and we really wanted to remember him with a picture. Bad timing by the maitre' d!
The comedy shows were awesome! They provide family friendly as well as over 18. If you're easily offended steer clear of over 18 shows. We found the comedians to be absolutely hilarious! In Cabo, they bring on two new comedians so you can see different shows. Our favorite thing to do after the comedy show was to go to the Piano Bar and listen to Marty!! This was by far some of our best times on the ship! This guy knows his music and the whole time is interacting with everyone! Try and sit right at the bar, it's more fun that way!
Our cabin was comfortable. Not as clean as I expected though. The first day I had to dust, yes dust, the entire counter in our cabin. The wood below the mirror was literally white, it was so disgusting. The glass shelves in the bathroom also needed to be wiped down. Also, one day our daughters bed was not made. I'm not very picky about things but this just seemed lazy, not to mention the price that's been paid for the cruise. There was not a single time when I walked down the hall to our cabin without seeing or having to squeeze by a cleaning cart or big white bags of sheets. Also, they always were vacuuming near the elevators when it was time to go to dinner. I saw two people almost fall on their faces because they tripped over the cords. I know this needs to be done, but maybe around 9p.m. when people aren't on their way to the dining rooms.