We have started a tradition of sailing to Mexico once a year to have a lovely relaxing "honeymoon" week!
We live in San Diego so this year we drove up to Long Beach the morning of the cruise. We arrived at the port at about 10:30AM and had no trouble finding a parking spot on the 2nd floor of the port parking structure. I bought the Faster to the Fun this year and we were very happy with the quick dedicated check in line outside the dome. We waited in the sunshine until about noon and then were quickly through security and on board! Our room was ready as promised so we dropped our luggage and went to the Lido for lunch.
It was great to be on board before the crowds!!!We were in a balcony cabin midship on the Empress deck.We really loved the location as the balcony had just the right mixture of sun/shade and we were near 2 sets of elevators.
During the week we enjoyed the adult only Serenity Area with its hammocks/cozy cocoon chairs ,bar etc.
We relaxed there, played backgammon, chatted with folks and just were very happy that we had a calm place to enjoy the ship. I also enjoyed the spa where I got a lovely massage.
We both really loved the Comedy Club in the evenings and appreciated the fact that there were several different comedians and a choice of family or adult type shows each night.
We thought that the production shows were also very good. I liked sitting up in the balcony to watch them.
Both the dancing and singing were great! I also liked the Piano Bar. The energy in there was terrific as everyone participated singing along with the pianist! I think there was more to do in the evenings than during the day on sea days. My husband enjoyed the casino on those days and we both enjoyed Trivia contests,the gym, and reading or playing games but if you are a very active person you may find some time on your hands.
We had Anytime Dining and usually went early to be seated with our favorite wait staff each night.
We like the Main Dining Room very much and thought the service and food was just great! We looked up the menu each day on our cabin tv and so we knew what we would eat before we arrived. We also ate breakfast a few times and enjoyed the service!
The Lido buffet was good also for breakfast. My husband got a made to order omelette each day. They have egg whites and egg beaters available and the staff got to know his preferences very quickly!
My only suggestion would be that the buffet should have more choices in the evening and at least keep the dessert station open so that folks who want a little extra snack after dinner could find something to satisfy them!
We love Puerto Vallarta and was thrilled that we had 2 days there and only 1 in Cabo.We are sad that Carnival doesn't seem to offer this itinerary next year!!!! We spend the first afternoon in PV going to the Malecon(seafront walkway). We took a taxi from outside the port area for $6USA. Then we strolled along the seafront enjoying the views, statues and visiting the gorgeous new pier. It is shaped like a sailing ship and is most unusual!! We rested at the Sea Monkey restaurant(very clean bathrooms) and had a lovely pineapple Margarita! The taxi back was $10 USA because we got it farther from the ship. There is also a city bus you can take for 7.5 pesos a person each way.That would be a little less than $2USA.
The second day we took a ship's excursion called Countryside Adventure. We had a lovely day seeing the farmland nearby. We visited a wood carver's workshop,stopped at a small village square and visited the church and had an ice cream. We ended up at a lovely beach in the suburb of Bucerias where some folks ate lunch at a local restaurant and we rested in the shade on beach loungers and went into the warm water! It was a great day!!
Since we had Faster to the Fun we were able to carry our bags off the ship early. In fact we were literally the first people to leave at about 8:30AM.
We had so much fun on this cruise that we have already booked our same cabin for late March next year!! Even though we don't like the itinerary which has 2 days in Cabo we decided that we need our "honeymoon" fix and will have fun no matter what!!!