We are a "senior" couple who are young at heart! We have cruised on 2 other lines but this was our first Carnival Cruise. We picked the 8 day Mexican Riviera Cruise because of its itinerary to 3 cities we had not visited before. We live in San Diego so we had a neighbor drive us to the cruise port. We arrived at about 11:50. We were through security and Carnival paperwork just a bit after noon. At that point the first groups were beginning to board. We were in group 11 and we got on the ship at about 12:30. We only had carryon bags and a backpack. I had learned from Cruise Critic insiders that cabins wouldn't be ready but we took the elevator to our deck-#6, and opened the door that led to our cabin anyway. We found our cabin and just left our bags under the bed. We enjoyed the buffet lunch and then went down to unpack.
We were in balcony cabin 6210-Category 8D. We thought the bed was super comfy! The balcony was private and the couch in the cabin made it feel extra spacious. There was plenty of closet space but I could have used more hangars. There was also enough drawers and shelves in the bathroom. Everything was very clean!
The staff on board was the best we have ever encountered!! They were helpful, friendly, and just went overboard to do what ever we needed! They knew our names by the 2nd day.Officers would stop and chat during the day or at dinner. Someone made a lot of effort to train all the staff! We thought that the food was very good. We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet stations and dinner in the Main Dining Room . Dinner menus had interesting choices and if you wanted you could have very healthy choices as well. Some of our favorites were: lobster,filet mignon,lobster bisque,mushroom polenta,tiny lamb chops, and of course the chocolate melting cake(more like chocolate pudding) YUM! We had Anytime Dining and never had to wait for a table. We also chose to have the same wait staff every night. Staff was superb! We had been a bit worried about smoke on the ship but we found plenty of bars and music venues that were smoke free so that was not a problem.
We enjoyed some of the games/contests and I enjoyed one day at the spa getting a great hot stone massage and a foot massage. I thought the spa area was beautiful. We did Acapulco on our own as I speak fairly good Spanish. We didn't get off in Xihuatanejo because my DH doesn't do tenders. I would have gone myself if I knew the craft market was open but it was a Sunday and many said it was closed that day. The beaches and water activities looked gorgeous from our balcony. I used that as my spa day since there were special port prices. For Manzanillo, I had pre booked a private driver for the day . He was wonderful and well worth the price! He took us to Colima, Magic Zone,Volcanoes,mask makers,Comala,hacienda museum etc. He was very knowledgeable about history, botany,local culture etc. I didn't think the shows were terrific but I suppose I'd say they were OK. I wish they had music for dancing at 8PM more often than at 9:30 but since that was my only extra wish I'd say that all in all we had a fantastic time and will DEFINITELY cruise on Carnival again!!!!!!