We came in the day before our cruise 3/19 and stayed at the Embassy Suites North /LAX. We arrived at the Long Beach port around 2:15 it was really windy and raining a bit when we arrived. I was told after walking to the dome that we had to walk in the 50 MPH winds back to the Queen Mary to check in, then come back to the dome. The line at the Queen Mary was very short it took only 5 minutes to get checked in. Then we had to go back to the dome and they checked our passports and sail and sign cards. We were inside in a line waiting to get onboard for about 30-40 minutes. Walking on the gang way to the ship was very windy, rainy, and cold. We carried our luggage on so we were able to go right to our cabin although the elevators were all full. My daughters carried their luggage up to the 7th deck I waited 10 minutes for an elevator.
The cabin had 2 beds and a sofa bed no in the wall beds so there was not a lot of space on the floor. Lots of closet space in the cabin, and shelves in the bathroom for toiletries. This was our 1st balcony we were in cabin 7344. The beds were all comfortable. The mini frig was never cold it was room temperature. Our cabin steward came by and introduced himself. He did a good job our room was always serviced twice a day. We left port around 3 hours late due to the bad weather.
We had early seating in the Golden Pearl we were at a table by the window in the back for 10. Ronaldo our head waiter was very nice he called us all by name every night. The 1st night our table mates did not show up. The 2nd night there were 6 of us, the next night another 2 people were at our table, and the rest of the days there were a total of 8 of us. The food was good, the desserts were not that great even the chocolate melting cake was not as good as my other carnival cruises, it was too runny. I asked for some cookies but the assistant waiter said no they did not have them, funny they had them in the lido buffet. We had breakfast one morning at the lido buffet and it was not that great. The other 6 mornings we ate in the dining room and it was much better. It was to cold for me and my kids to use the pools but there were a few people in them. The music was good and I saw a few shows. I went dancing 5 nights to the red carpet disco and had fun.
One thing I really liked was that there was never a problem with smokey areas on this ship like there were on a few other carnival ships. The casino and the cigar bar were the only places I ever smelled smoke and that did not bother me since I did not go in those areas.
I never really sat out on our balcony it was just too cold and windy but if the weather were warmer it was a nice balcony and quiet. I played one $20 game of Bingo and one $5.00 game. The pay out on the $20 Bingo was $750 if you got the extra # the payout could have been $1500. I think $20 for a $750 pay out was too expensive but hey why not. My kids and I played a lot of the trivia games but never won the wonderful ship on a stick. The newlywed game was a lot of fun and I liked the cruise director and assistant cruise director. The big screen TV on the Lido deck was to loud I thought.
They had a sushi bar open several nights and a tapas bar on the other nights from 5-8:15 which were very good. I just ate a little at them since I did not want to spoil my appetite for the 6:00 dinner seating and after diner I could not eat any sushi or tapas as I was full.
Some people said there were kids running around everywhere I did not really notice that, after all it was spring break. The lines in the lido buffet were busy at certain times but not horrible.
We did not love Cabo like some people did. My table mates went snorkeling at Lovers Beach and enjoyed it. The water temp was 68 which is way too cold for me and the surf was a bit too strong for me. One of the passengers unfortunately drowned the day we were in Cabo they did tell us NOT to swim on the Pacific side of Los Archos. We went zip lining at Los Veranos Canopy and except for the bug bites had a lot of fun.
My 13 and 16 year old daughters did not go to the kids club, they hung out with friends we met on CruiseCritic. They really enjoyed the cruise.
We did the self assist getting off the ship since we only had one carry on piece of luggage each. We started to got off at around 8:15 and were in the shuttle van at 9 am, that was very easy compared to the embarkation. I will go on Carnival again as the staff are always very friendly and hard working, but doing the the Mexican Riviera once was enough for me.