Check in at Long Beach was quick and easy. My parents and sister, who are all experienced cruisers, were on the same cruise so after I got on board I headed to the buffet to meet up with them. we had a little time before the muster drill so I grabbed some food. the pasta was chewy, the food was cold. we weren't off to a good start.
My cruise mate ended up being unable to go, so I had the room to myself. My room steward (Baby) was less than enthusiastic when I needed minor assistance, to the point that he made me feel like I was putting him out. (simple things like putting the two beds together so I had more room, supplying me with laundry bags and talking to me like I was an idiot because I didn't notice them in the desk drawer, oh and I forgot my key one evening when I went to dinner).
A few "atmosphere" issues struck me as odd, and downright lazy. Playing depressing country songs in the MDR on the first night (Lucille and The Green Green Grass of Home) is not a good way to set the mood. After that we got 2 CD's for the rest of the week on repeat/shuffle Movie love songs and lionel Ritchie's greatest hits. But my favorite "you can't be serious" moment was the lovely video of a Beach Boys concert, which was fine until they get to "Sloop John B", great song about a crappy boat trip.
I was waiting for The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and a showing of The Poseidon Adventure.
That stuff may seem minor and or petty, but it affected my trip.
The food in the MDR was mostly good, though they did manage to suck the joy out of pumpkin and apple pie by making them "diet".
Our head waiter was pretty good, his support was lacking, my father asked for cocoa and the waiter kept asking "coffee", after the third time my father gave up and got coffee. The first few nights they kept bringing all our courses at once, eight people with thirty plates of food. This was straightened out after we spoke to the matre'd.
I did good on the slots, no complaints there.
The only good show was in the comedy club.
The piano bar was decent (and I won stump the piano player), but he was sick after that night for the rest of the cruise.
Much of the "programming" seemed forced, the staff was often bored or annoyed at having to do it.
It just seemed like they didn't care, and it showed.