Well this was my second cruise with carnival. Was on the Carnival Paradise 4 years ago with the family. This trip was just me and my Girlfriend. We decided to fly in the morning of despite what most people recommended. Arrived around noon at LAX to SuperShuttle to the dock and got to the post around 12:30.
EMBARKATION: Now everyone I read said that this would take anywhere from 30 mins to a few hours. From the time we walked thru the first door to the time we were on the boat free to walk around took us less then 10 mins. The staff in my opinion were surprisingly friendly and very helpful. I was very pleased with the ease and speed of this process. Nice work carnival. Since my girlfriend booked the cruise she accidently booked on SuperBowl sunday. Not a problem at all. The delayed Muster drill tell the next morning and showed the game on the Projection screen in the Taj Mahal. hundreds of people watching the game at once was the best time I have had watching the game. I would have no problem going on a cruise on superbowl sunday again.
CABIN: We had a small inside cabin on the 8th floor due to money saving. Loved the room. It wasn't very big but from what I could see from other peoples rooms was they had about the same size just they paid a fortune more for a balcony. The room steward was not seen until the second day, but his service was excellent despite the fact we rarely ever saw him.
THE SHIP: Now a lot of people complained about the decor of the ship. From my experience as long as you aren't trying to find what you don't like about it you won't even really notice any of it. Only major thing you'll probably notice is going up in the glass elevators if you look up there is David and his manhood right in plain sight. Besides that the decor is not a problem. The boat was in great shape. No major wear and tear that was noticeable. Only problem was the layout took a little while to get used to. Got lost a few times.
STAFF: Excellent!! I was very pleased with the overall service on the ship everywhere. Mark Price the cruise director was fantastic. Very funny and a very big people person. Only had one problem with a waitress the last night who claimed my soda card wasn't valid for that day. Put up a 2 min discussion then decided to just get it from another waiter so no worries. I was on the cruise to have fun so I didn't let that bother me.
SHOWS:Overall the shows were wonderful. however that being said I do not recommend going to see the Ventriloquist (however that is spelled) I have no problems with crude of perverse humor but this guy was just horrible. His puppet was strange to begin with and then he kept making his puppet make this orgasm sounding noise that didn't even have anything to do with what he was making a joke about. He had a few occasional funny jokes but he thought it more entertaining to talk really fast and show off his talent rather then entertain. I would not go see another show of his again. VROOM. was a great show. Having had a little experience in high school with drama and knowing the time and effort that is needed to pull off a good show I was very impressed. Excellent transitions between singers and dancers, good use of backdrops and props. Loved it. only question was what exactly did the old guy have to do with anything. the other show by the singers and dancers, around the world, I think it was called was also well done. Both shows are really worth going to if anyone had second doubts. Comedians. first comedian was somewhat funny but most of his jokes were using stuff people would yell at him rather then original comedy he made up. Jerome however was awesome. I was crying and my side hurt the entire time he was up. He was excellent, even his family shows were clean and funny but I enjoyed the adult show he did. and finally the Hypnotist show done by Mark Price, the cruise director. Again I came out wiping off my face and holding my side. Hilarious.
PORTS OF CALL: first stop in Puerto Vallarta was a quality stop. First off I would recommend to everyone to go to the first presentation that is done talking about the various excursions and port activities. Very informative and they do give away some nice prizes. I was even lucky enough to win one of them. It was a discount off of a shore excursion. With that we went to the excursion desk and booked the Yelepa Beach Snorkeling tour. EXCELLENT. Highly recommend this tour to anyone that wants to relax, enjoy the beautiful weather and view and get your moneys worth. it was about an 8 hour tour which seems like forever but really wasn't. We get on the boat along with about 25 people and head out of the port. It's a beautiful trip, very peaceful and relaxing. The hour and 45 min trip does not seem to take that long with everything there is to see on the trip. Then we get to a very secluded snorkeling section. we got almost an hour there to swim around. the guide caught a puffer fish and brought it around to hold, very neat, and my girlfriend was able to spot an octopus that the guide spent the next 20 mins trying to catch. then it was off to lunch at a very beautiful beach with only boat access. The food was pretty good but the beach was amazing.after some time to eat and swim a little bit it was back out to see. On the trip back we made several side journeys to watch the Whales. Excellent. we had whales breaching 10-20 feet off our boat. Amazing. the whale tours were twice the price and didn't guarantee seeing anything so we got a good deal. On the journey back is an open bar. and it is exactly that. Nice strong drinks as much as we want. They have beer as well but between the 2 of us we probably drank at least $80 worth of alcohol. We got back to the port a little intoxicated and still had plenty of time to see some of the city. Mazatlan. we did not get off the boat this stop cause she was starting to get a cold so we opted to sleep in and relax. Cabo San Lucas. decided not to do a tour this stop as money and time didn't really allow for a decent tour. We just decided to walk the city. Passed by Cabo Wabo just to see what everyone was always talking about. then went to the beach to swim a little. Then on the way back passed by all the vendors and little shops. It was a good stop. I would have wished we took more time to stop and eat at any of the tons of shops to eat along the bay.
CASINO: Much bigger then I was expecting. always very busy like a real casino. A little displeased with the knowledge of the games some of the dealers had but nothing major plus they were all very friendly so not a big deal. I recommend "Fun 21" played with the same 4 people for over an hour and it was a good time. Just like anywhere else the money slowly goes away but it was true casino experience in the middle of the ocean.
OVERALL: in all it was an excellent trip. Smooth sailing until the last day, excellent service, good food, and well worth the money spent. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask away.