After 10 other cruises I feel like an experienced cruiser. We took this to celebrate our wedding anniversary, 35 years. It was a nice cruise, but not breathtaking. We paid extra for a balcony and that was a waste of money. The balcony was only about 1 1/2 feet wide, 4 feet long, and two people couldn't even be on it at the same time. However, it was nice to be able to open the door for the fresh air.
The ship itself, although clean, was tired and old and needed some TLC. The room was very nice, large, and that was worth the extra money. The dining room was ok, but the food was not very good. Most times it was cold, or chewy, can't say there was one great meal. The coffee was old and tasted like swamp water. The dessert's were terrific though, Carnival seems to be famous for their desserts.
We cannot say enough about our cabin stewards and the dining room servers. They were excellent. The cabin steward introduced himself, and from then on he was discreet and aside from a smiling Good Morning on most mornings he went about his business and we had little interactions with him. Our room was kept immaculate at all times. Kudos to them. Also the dining room Head Waiter learned all our names and used them from the first night forward. Kudos also to him.
We went into Catalina, but choose not to go into Ensanada. We had been there a couple of times before and knew Mexico held no interest for us. Catalina is a lovely little island, we enjoyed it.
The true highlight of the trip was the Chef's Table. What an amazing experience that was, from beginning to end. It was worth every cent, the food was wonderful, the wines were ever flowing, we were truly pampered. Make sure if you take this little cruise you sign up for this, it is where you want to put your time and money!
Getting on and off the ship was much easier this time than our last Carnival Cruise leaving and returning to Los Angeles. But then again for one brief period we were VIP's. All in all we enjoyed this and it's only as good as you let it be.