After reading some reviews, I wasn't expecting much out of this cruise before we went. It definitely exceeded my expectations! From the moment we walked up to the port, the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. Carnival really makes you feel that they appreciate your business.
We had an interior cabin on the Riviera deck, and it was very comfortable. The bedding was fantastic. Of course the room was small, like any cruise line, but we were pleased. We had the same housekeeper for the week, and he cleaned our room twice a day. Bring your own lotion and conditioner. There's soap and shampoo in the shower.
The dinners were fantastic! Incredible food! Our team of waters (three of them) were on top of everything. We were so pleased with the selections. The waiters even sang and danced for us the last night! The breakfast and lunch food was good. I wouldn't call it incredible, like the dinners, but it certainly wasn't bad.
The ship was very clean, and the crew was constantly cleaning up after people. Lovely boat :) The shows were very entertaining, and there was always something going on. I loved the adults only section on the back of the ship - quiet and great views of the ocean without much wind :)
As far as excursions go, you simply must wait to book them when you get off the ship - at least half the price for the same tours. Catalina Island is small, but wonderful. Plan on spending $40 (with $40 deposit) for an hour of gas-powered golf cart rental. So fun - you have to do it! Great way to see Avalon - you can drive the whole scenic route in one hour.
Ensenada was great. We booked the Bufadora trip off the boat for $15 - great tour guide, plenty of time to bargain shop the flea market, and the blow hole was beautiful. You gotta get fresh churros and fish tacos! Allow 3 hours for the trip.
If you're on the line about this cruise, do it! It was so much fun! Such a great value! This cruise, in my eyes was underrated in the reviews I read. I had a fantastic vacation!