This is our fourth cruise on Carnival and second to Mexican Riveria. We were disappointed in the fact that Mazatlan port was cancelled......but took it all is stride, as we save hard for these types of vacations and have always valued our time cruising. We have always had exceptional experiences on Carnival cruise lines. This cruise by far was a reason to look elsewhere. I had read previous reviews and like all take them with a grain of salt......but believe me Carnival needs to step it up and get back to providing its customers with a great sailing adventure. Embark was totally ridiculous.....mind you we have done this cruise before and from the same port. Apparently on the day on embark they were training new Customs agents and still had passengers waiting to clear customs from the last sailing. We arrived earlier than were informed to...11:30am and I was glad we did. We still stood outside in the cold for 2 1/2 hours before we were able to even get inside. The line for check in stretched beyond belief......so I was glad we didn't arrive @ 1:30 as suggested by Carnival, as those who did waited 4 hours to board the ship. We were late taking off to say the least. Muster station...yes a given...but we weren't the only ones running around with life jackets that apparently we didn't need to bring anymore.....hey someone could have said something prior to the drill.
Stateroom service was great......but many things in the stateroom lacked attention.....outside balcony light was blown....and never replaced during our cruise. Black line running through TV entire time......but who goes on a cruise to watch TV? Minor things...but the lack of attention to detail was really prevelant by the condition of the ship........sad.
Dinner service started out really bad.....even though we always tip up front to the server and his assistant so we can receive good service. By the second night, husband was so upset we sat for 20 minutes still waiting for starters while everyone around us had moved onto dessert. Water/tea glasses were never refilled...then hubby refused to eat and they knew we were not happy campers. Ater that night things changed dramatically....service improved to the standard we expected from Carnival.
Entertainment was great......comedians and shows very good. Big big disappointment that there was never a grand buffet........this is the first time we have sailed and natta nothing....no dessert buffet; no grand buffet; no ice sculptures???? What happened to Carnival? They even make you print your own bag tags now......guess if you sail the cheaper cruiselines this is what you get??
We have never minded kids sailing on these cruises......but come on people.....we blame the parents.....hey let your kids run wild and account to nobody......cause your too busy having fun without them??? Running up and down the hallways all night long screaming.......there should be a curfew or make parents responsible for their kids actions. Melted ice cream cups left on the floors of the elevators; kids hanging out in the stairwells; cramming the spas; hey lets press every button on the elevator...isn't that way cool?? Where are the parents of these kids......cruising doesn't equate to kids-free like many think. It was very disappointing....not Carnival's fault...but they will really need to consider setting limits before many choose others to cruise with.
Debark was pretty smooth compared to Embark.......our # was called...we waited on windy, wet and cold gangplank too long......but got through and out of the port within an hour after our # was called......so overall not bad.
We will be looking at other cruise lines for our future cruises.....Carnival needs to step-it-up or risk loosing customers.
Worth mentioning is the hotel we stayed at in Long Beach...which offered a park & cruise deal. Comfort Inn on Willow St......great; clean room; great continental breakfast......paid for our taxi to & from port and stored our car for the week.......reasonable price and I highly recommend this place!!