So this was our 2nd cruise with carnival , the 1st being on carnival conquest in 2004, We expected a total party ship, since the only carnival cruise we went on was like that, well this one was the opposite there was a great mix of all ages , i was really surprised....
PARKING AT LONG BEACH/CHECKING IN / PRE CRUISE HOTEL STAY So we drove to long beach from Northern Ca, on saturday and stayed one night at the vagabond inn in san pedro, this was an OK hotel, its right on the main street and theres alot of things around the hotel in case you need something, theres rite aid, liquor stores, gas stations, fast food etc, the room was 74$ a night, it was comfortable, but try not to stay in the front of the hotel by the street it was NOISY!!! this is a good hotel for a one or 2 night stay but nothing longer, its a basic hotel,
Parking at the long beach cruise terminal - EASIEST port we have sailed from , you drive in , drop off other people in your party and your luggage, go park, and then go down and give the luggage to the porter and you are done, there were plenty of porters around, this was soo easy, I was worried since my mom is in a wheelchair,
checking in at long beach, Again very easy and quick, we arrived at 11am and were on the ship by 1150a, the rooms weren't ready until 130p but there was plenty of food avail in mermaids grille to help the time go by. easy embarkation.
The ship Its huge, very nice, clean, I have to say ,, this ship , full of NUDE ART, was one of the prettiest we have been on, it seemed like a happy ship, the decor was beautiful, everything was clean, it seemed very ritzy like, never dirty , i was pleasantly surprised, and it was soooo easy to navigate around, we stayed on deck 1,, which was nice since we were close to the gangway midship !!! I love the fact they have 3 pools and its all spaced out, the layout makes it never feel crowded by the pools or if you are trying to lounge around The mini golf was fun, and the area had great views of the funnel, with the ocean on both sides, the ping pong was in a bad spot since you can hit the ball over and it lands on people who are lounging underneath you at the pool..
The Room we had a 6A oceanview stateroom, very BIG !!!!! the biggest room we've had, it had a big bed, a couch, and the window was very big, it was the most comfortable bed we have had on any cruise, the pillows were soooo soft i wanted to take a couple.. hahaha they cleaned our room 2 times a day, gave us towel animals, the basic cruise service, everything was good, nothing to complain about there.
The food well , ,,, the buffet in the morning for breakfast was really really good, not alot of choices ,but the layout , how they have the same food in a few areas, makes it where theres rarely a line for food, like normal buffets that can be a headache when you have 2 people you are making plates for, mom is disabled and a daughter. this was a big plus for us for sure, the food was good, the 24 hr pizza, the sandwich station, they always had something available, The dinner time food was also good, i didn't eat anything I didn't like, I think the portion size of things were a little LITTLE,, the meats were always good size, but veggies and potatoes, and side things were a little but small, in my opinion, I learned to order extras of those , and OMG the CHOCOLATE MELTING CAKE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i ate it every night !! SOOOO SOOOOO GOOD like hot pudding with cake around it !!! OMG , to die for, the rest of the desserts were kinda BLAH,, the diet apple pie was good, as were the icecreams, but i basically stuck to the choc melting cake prime rib, always good, steak, good, lobster and tiger shrimp good. everything was good as far as the food..
Entertainment well. we get tired of the same old shows, so the only shows we went to were the MIDNIGHT R RATED comedy shows,,, they had one guy stanley ullman ? he wasn't funny at all to me, then they had Jerome !!! HE WAS Hilarious .. his act is a must see, i laughed so much, my stomach and cheeks hurt so bad, those were the only shows we saw.
the night club went once, was fun, weird layout, you can sit upstairs and look down at the people dancing, or sit on the bottom level but theres no smoking : (
Casino Nice big casino, but the way the machines are , i didn't like it , they have a system now where you put your sail and sign card in the machine and you take money out of your account and the machine gives you credits, so basically its cashless.. which is ok for some, but i heard alot of people arguing with their better halves about how much they had spent already, i think they do that on purpose so you spend more money, so we stayed out of there, and if you need cash, bring it with you , or hope the ATM doesn't run out of money, if you go to the cashier and ask to get cash out on your sail and sign account, they WILL NOT give it to you , they will give you a receipt to take to a card dealer to get chips, then you bring the chips back to the cashier , then they give you cash !! STUPIDEST THING IVE EVER SEEN and the dealers seemed mad every time you did it . I do not understand the logic in that at all... so again, we got all our money out of the ATM for the whole week for all the ports asap, to make sure the atm wouldn't run out of money..
ports in mazatlan we booked our own private tour ,, took us to many places and explained so much and knew so much about the area. we went to see the cliff divers, el cid area of mazatlan, a lookout area, the downtown golden zone and the old town area, very nice tour,
in puerto vallarta, we hired a taxi for 150$ for 4 people to take us around to the downtown for shopping, the malecon, then up to some lookout areas, then to mismaloya beach for some drinks and sunbathing, it was a great day .we had the driver for about 4 1/2 hours, the water was rough so no one was in it, but it was relaxing, we ate on the beach got our hair braided and headed back to the ship.
in cabo this is a good one,, so the ship charges like 100+ something a person for a whalewatching tour.. I thought,, no ill wait till we get off the ship, thank god we did, we hired a water taxi to take me and my husband whale watching and to the arches, for 1 1/2 hours it was 30 $ each!!!!!!!!! and let me tell you those water taxis can get to the whales as soon as they spout before the people on the bigger boats on tours, there were times where the whales were right next to us under the water about 5=10 feet away !! it was crazy, everyone was following us since we always found them, again do this tour on your own, save some money, and negotiate the price, they wanted 40$ we got it at 30$ per person, and it was amazing, ill post some pics later.
getting off the ship again EASY !! we were in the last group to get off, and we were off around 950am, went through customs quick, got our luggage , carried it ourselves, went up to our car, loaded everything and we were off, sooooo HASSLE FREE.. we travel with my mom in a wheelchair so sometimes things get stressful, but this was very simple, but carnival does not have anyone help you get someone on or off the ship with a wheelchair, just wanted to say this..
overall great cruise, nice staff, not to personable like other cruises we've been on, but still up to par, good food and good activities Our favorite ship out of all the cruises we've been on, but as far as service, no one tops celebrity for us, thats just my opinion , and camp carnival wasn't real fun for melika, they had so many activities listed on their sheets but never did half of them , but carnival was still good, but there were a few things missing .
and as for the cruise director Jeff brnnnnnsooonn whatever NEVER saw him only time we saw him was on the TV where they replay the talks or shows,