This was a free cruise given to me by the casino. I actually was offered 2, and I only can take the one, due to work schedule and health reasons.
I splurged and booked FTTF, as I am having a hard time with my knee (I am due to have total knee replacement in November of 2014). I figured if I could spend the $50, I would, and not have to ask for any special assistance if I didn't have to wait in line very long. We walked up to the building at the Long Beach port, and instead of check in being in the building, they had a FTTF line next to the regular check in. This was ok, as we were the ONLY ones in that line!! We no sooner walked up than an agent called us over to check us in. Check in was quick and painless, and we were given priority boarding. This meant, due to the time we arrived, I had time to make a restroom run and smoke a cigarette before they started boarding us!! Worked perfectly!!! I think it took all of 10 minutes from the time we checked in until our S & S cards were being swiped and we heard that magic "BOING!!"
Went down to our room, which, due to FTTF, was ready and waiting for us. We dropped off our carry ons, and went to have lunch. What a pleasant meal it was, not having to cart around our carry ons!! And there still weren't many on board, so no lines anywhere either!!!
After lunch, we went to our room, and relaxed until muster. It's been a stressful week for both my friend and I, so we planned on doing a lot of resting. We scheduled YOUR TIME DINING, and both Friday and Saturday, we went to the dining room about 630pm. We had NO wait for a table, were given a table for 2, and met some really nice people that were sitting next to us. It was their first cruise, and boy, they were CLUELESS!!! They didn't know they could eat before dinner, didn't know about food on the Lido, didn't know about room service... I explained everything to them!!!
Went to the casino Friday night. Met another couple there also on a casino freebie, but the one that had you pay $100 and then Carnival gave you that $100 in OBC.
Saturday was the usual go into Ensenada and walk around, if nothing else, just to get off the ship for a while. At this time, we STILL had not even met our cabin steward!!!!!!!!!! Didn't end up meeting him until just before dinner on Saturday. And he took my blue pool towels and never returned clean ones!!! After leaving Ensenada, we had rough seas due to a storm off the Mexican Riviera. It's a good size tropical storm, and other than clouds, we just had rough seas. On Sunday, it made walking difficult around the ship, and it was slightly cool, but I didn't see anyone get motion sickness, so it obviously wasn't that bad. DID see a Mexican Coast Guard helicopter come in TWICE to take people off the ship. Don't know what happened, did not hear anything, not even any alarm code words!!
Other than that, it was the usual cruise stuff. My meals most of the time were either cold or lukewarm. Service in the main dining room for sea day brunch left MUCH to be desired, as not only was the food cold, it was dry and tasteless, and I had the pancakes! I couldn't even eat it, and ended up going to the buffet and getting a lukewarm burger. I was disappointed that a lot of activities were scheduled Friday and Saturday (port day) and less on Sunday (sea day). I thought there would be more to do on a sea day, but I was wrong..
Enjoyed the "Towel Animal Theatre" and Hasbro Game Show. First time I actually made it to a show after 12 cruises!!
PROS: Shows were fun, cabin was nice in location. It was free, besides port fees and taxes. And yes, IT WAS A CRUISE!!
CONS: Food lukewarm/cold. Cabin Steward rarely to be found, and only ONCE did I see him. Lack of activities on a sea day.