I started on this cruise a little skeptical. It's our fifth Carnival Cruise, sixth overall and while we've always had a great time, these ports didn't interest me as much and on our last cruise some of the on ship activities started to be "old routine." We picked this cruise because of the dates and because we wanted "something different" than the Carribean.
Well, we had a great time. We met some of the nicest people of any cruise. Our dinner-mates matched out age and interests pretty well and activities were well attended. Someone said that average age was 55, but frankly it seemed well distributed between people in the 20's, 30's 40's 50's 60's 70's and 80's.
Even though there were 3500 guests, there was never a crowd except for the chocolate buffet which could have used additional lines.
We splurged on the thermal spa package. This included the use of a special hot tub and steam room areas. It was nice, very "serene". I don't know if it was worth the money but actually I probably would purchase it again. I had a seaweed massage which was very nice but not worth the money and I would probably not do it again.
Carnival tells you not to arrive in Long Beach until 2pm. I believe that people did get on board as early as 11:30. We arrived about 1:30 and the line was very long but ultimately moved ok. The only problem on disembarkation was that they said there would be announcements for self-assist and it seemed that most people just went down so they never made the announcements until they made one "final" announcement for all self-assist.
We took advantage purchasing their discount coupons for a future sailing and we did book our next cruise for a year from now while on-board.
Internet service, which is important to us, was good. We had a good signal in our stateroom.
All in all it was an enjoyable trip. The on-deck temperature was a little cooler than expected, but all in all it was a smooth trip, just a little chop on the last day going full speed back to Long Beach.