Embarkation was a total breeze. Got to the parking garage at noon, we were on the ship eating lunch in less than 30 minutes.
Lunch each day was in the Lido buffet. It met our expectations. Pizza was a favorite, as were the sandwiches. Salads were good too. On last day at sea, they had the chocolate dipped fruit/pastries. FANTASTIC! Did not try the mongolian bbq, but it looked great and always had a line. Desserts were good in the buffet.
Breakfasts each day - buffet again. Omelets were great and the eggs in the buffet line were good too. Mini breakfast quiche was terrific and always a great selection of fruit.
Dinners each night - Carnivale dining room. Welly was our server and Alfredo too. They were awesome. The food each night was great. Had the beef brisket on night one (utterly awesome), lobster/shrimp on second night (very good), and the gourmet burger on nights 3/4. That's right, two nights in a row. It was THAT good. Overall, no complaints about food or service in the dining room. Met and/or exceeded expectations.
Cabins - very clean, extremely comfy beds (I mean extremely), and our steward Marson was incredible. There was a faint sewage smell at times coming from the shower drain, but it was faint and could not be smelled in the room, even with the bathroom door open. Our family had two cabins next to each other, and there was absolutely no bad smell in cabin #2.
Ports - stayed on ship in Catalina. It was such a nice day we just sat on deck and soaked up the sun. Not much to do in Catalina and the lines were really long to debark on the tender. Ensenada - smelly little town, but an easy walk to the touristy areas and some good bargains and shopping fun. Did not eat there, just walked around for a while.
Shows/entertainment - really good. Shout was great on the last night. One of the comedians was excellent. Love all the trivia and fun events Carnival puts on. People had a blast on the Mexico party night.
Misc - renewed our wedding vows onboard. Fun time, with cake, champagne, music, and getting "married" again by the captain, kinda cool. Pricey tho!
Debarkation - Pretty easy. We checked luggage so we were some of the last to get off, but still in our car by 10:30am, in time to beat the a.m. LA traffic on our drive home.
Highly recommend this cruise to those of you with kids. Great family time!