This was my 4th and DH 3rd cruise and this time we just wanted to relax and enjoy the ship and get some rest. We flew in a day early, stayed at the Maya in Long Beach; although the hotel and staff were very nice, there was a catered wedding with live music and we had very little sleep before boarding the ship. No biggie,tho, we had a week to catch up. The Maya is located near the Dome and Queen Mary, the area is nice and there is a good walking path by the harbor. The Reef is a restaurant within walking distance if you don't want to eat at the hotel.
Fantastic! We checked in at the Dome at 10:30, got a Zone 3 pass and were on the Lido deck with a drink and snack at 12:10. We did self assist(we only had a carry on each and 1 small tote bag-I finally got the packing thing down) getting off the ship, and at 7:30 we were in the shuttle waiting for it to fill(we didn't have reservations)and by 9:15, we were at LAX waiting for our 1:30 flight.
Yes, it is pink, the lobby is especially overdone with pink, but the rest of the ship is beautiful, always clean, tables cleared quickly, and the dome over the main pool came in handy on the cold days. We had an 8c cabin, great location, 1 floor up and we were on the Lido deck and a couple floors down to other activities. Because of the cloudy, chilly weather we didn't get to use the balcony like I had hoped, but what can you do but flow with it, at least it wasn't raining. Oliver was our steward, very friendly and helpful; he saved our towel animals til the end of the week so I could take their group portrait.
I can't say much about excursions as we didn't take any, but we did get off the ship and walked around and shopped a little. The vendors in Cabo are less aggressive than I remember, they are restricted from leaving the sides of the walkway on the pier and following you. In PV there is presence of armed officials(military)at the entrance. We did go to Cabo Wabo and have lunch and bought t-shirts there. But my favorite thing on port days was the ship itself and the adults only pool, very few people, quiet and relaxing with an umbrella drink, really had the vacation feeling happening. It was the first time I've spent that much time on board in port and I loved it, will do it again.
I'm not a real "foodie" but DH loved everything, Mongolian Grill, Sandwich Bar, Burrito Bar, all was good. We ate in the MDR 4 nights and had great tablemates, good company and a lot of fun; some us exchanged addresses to keep in touch. Jaya was our waiter, so nice and accommodating, and remembered special requests. The dress code is more relaxed than our cruise in 2008, saw very few evening gowns or tuxes. One night we even felt overdressed, but each to their own, we're all on vacation.
So after dinner we would see a show and really enjoyed them. Tanner McGuire has a great voice, and the dancers did a good job; the comedian/magician was a riot(sorry, can't remember his name now). Then there is the usual assortment of trivia, games, bingo, etc. We did some gambling, although we didn't win anything there DH did win 2 coveted ships on a stick with the trivia contests. He's so proud :)
It was a great week, with a lot of rest, good food, and as usual Carnival took care of us and we had a real vacation. I can't say enough about the staff, everyone from our PVP to the Cruise Director, Entertainers, and Service staff were friendly and helpful, and very often remembered our names as we passed them in the hallway-how in the world do they do that?!
If you have an old 45 day letter laying around, get it out and use it. We had one from 08 and Carnival honored it with 4 drink coupons waiting for us the first night in the dining room.
The fridge in the room was ice cold, very nice.
Photographers are often in a hurry in the dining room, if you want a nice photo, let him know when you're ready, before they snap and run.
It was cold going down the first day and coming up the last 2, I'm glad I took a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans.
The last sea day, Saturday, was the only day the crowds and lines seemed overwhelming. Other than that, things flowed well and there wasn't a long wait for drinks for food.