I am 42, and have cruised on this ship as solo as a Carnival VIP Guest. This is my 11Th cruise on Carnival. Living only 17 miles from this port of Long Beach, CA I've sailed out of here alot obviously.
I have had no problems navigating this ship as others have noted. I believe its been easy because I have cruised on Conquest, which seemed similiar in a way. This is my first cruise on a new ship, and I'm already booked for Dream next year! I wish Carnival would make this an 8 day cruise!
Well what can I say, the stuff to do seems to be the same fleet-wide. I noticed nothing new, but at the same time I never had a rotton time cruising.
Again, the service is the same, which is great. I have no complaints about service, or the crew. The only thing that did annoy me a little was the roving wait staff in the casino. I mean, in a 10 min period while sitting down at a slot, should I get asked 3-4 times if I want a drink ? And this happened several times.
My stateroom steward and his assist. was great as usual. There's something about being on vacation and getting called your name, and being remembered, and how you like certain things does something to ya! The stewards work so hard, the hardest job on the ship in my opinion, where everyday is Monday. Gotta love them for all they do for you.
Let me start by saying this, and this is only for my thoughts about it only - I tend to think about shore excursions as a traveler, and explorer. While I'm not a snow-bird, living in Los Angeles, I shun all the sun and water sports cause I can do that at home. For me, traveling, I like to learn, and explore different parts of Mexico. Learn how they live, what they do, what the region makes, etc.... So in Puerto Vallarta I did a bus tour, and saw many sites, very informative.
Here, I wanted to do the Pacifico Brewery Tour, and did. This is the only Mexican beer I enjoy, and wanted to learn about it. It was a 2 hour tour, and very interesting. We got to sample a full bottle of the beer for each person, tastes as fresh as I buy it at the store back home. Cabbed it back to the port about 10:30am, and saw they were selling a city tour, and immediately bought it. It was a nice converted open air cable car trolley, it was fun, and saw alot of the city. That was about 4 hours long, and got back and just headed back to ship, tanned and sweaty, yikes!
I just walked around the downtown area. This port is very hostile/aggressive vendors, just like I had remembered before. So I just walked around and found a cool bar to chill out with some brews and some nachos. This port finally added some overhead shade area while waiting for the tender. I remember a few years back had to stand in the hot sun.
Misc Cruise info:
Arrival at port was my first since it had been renovated. They have finally put in shaded over-hangs, so there is no waiting in line in the sun or rain. They added a small VIP Lounge area. There is seating in there, but I think its mostly just for checking in and then leaving to wait in line. There are about 35 seats in there. I have sailed out of this port as a non VIP guy about 6 times I think. This is the first time, that I have actually been boarded at 12:10. All the other times the earliest I have boarded was 1:20 - each time. So kudos to the powers that be. Also, the debark went smooth too. The customs officers you don't see when you step in the dome, you actually walk past their booth, and go downstairs and then see them at the door to go out. They didn't really ask me anything, but it all seemed very quick. So instead of being backed up at the dome upstairs by customs, you actually just about walk all the way through before you see them at the door to the outside, pretty good!
I did the "Behind the Fun Tour", I will not spoil it like others do on here by saying anything about what you see - but I can say it's worth it if you are intrigued by ship operations.
The Drink Prices: A Disappointment, and I did say so on my comment card. The frozen foo foo drinks which I love, are no longer served in the larger plastic glass, but in the smaller plastic glass only - and at a higher price! The FunShip Special is still served in the larger glass, and higher price as well as other drink of the day drinks I believe. Others have said not true here on CC. But I can say, on my cruise Splendor Nov 1st-8Th, it was the case.
The Food: It was pretty much on par from the other cruises I've taken. I did not try the burrito bar, but did try the rotisserie. The rotisserie is located upstairs from the buffet - easy to find, a large sign and arrow point upstairs. It was never busy up there, about 40% occupied most of the time, but the chicken was very good, I recommend it. Food in the MDR, was very good too, especially the BBQ ribs. One thing I did notice on this cruise, the Choc Melting Cake was offered in the buffet - never seen that before. Also, the deli was great as usual, very good made to order sandwiches :)
VIP Benefits Enjoyed: I did take advantage of the free wash and fold service twice during the cruise, a great benefit. The VIP line at the Info Desk was nice too, as well as the special concierge phone number to the info desk was always answered promptly. Also the embarkation VIP Lounge was a nice perk to enjoy as well.
The crew: They were great, always a nice greeting, and that's not easy when your constantly working hard. I don't think many of us could do that, especially when everyday is a "Monday".
Problems: I had to call the information desk one time and ask for security. There were some brats that were running up and down the hallways three days in a row. So I finally called to have security monitor the hallways, and that problem was taken care of quick! Way to go!
On a side note, but not a problem, I had always had my stateroom safe at or around eye level. Kinda a bummer I had to bend down each time. I know peeps, I'm lazy, I know okay ? LOL But that's why I cruise, LOL
Entertainment: I thought the shows while the same, do put me in a good cruise mood off the bat, so I still go to them. The comedian was hilarious, so so funny!! The Cruise Director Goose, met my expectations. I think he really enjoys the sound of his own voice, lots of daily announcements. The casino went very well, I actually won!! A few small loses one day, and I'd always come back and win that back plus-that always happened, great!!!!
Dis-embarkation: Always off the ship by 9:30-10am, no problems.
Overall comments: A nice vacation, a great service, good food, roomy ship, nice friendly crew, great embark/debarkation's. Would like to see summer rotation between Mex Riv and Vancouver BC. and 8 day LA Cruises.