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Sail Date: April 2011
We just arrived home to Vancouver from Hawaii yesterday, and wanted to get this off while things are fresh in the mind. There was a foreshadow of this cruise not going smoothly when we never had our cabin number confirmed until we arrived ... Read More
We just arrived home to Vancouver from Hawaii yesterday, and wanted to get this off while things are fresh in the mind. There was a foreshadow of this cruise not going smoothly when we never had our cabin number confirmed until we arrived at the dock in Honolulu, where we lined up up for far too long in the heat we were not used to yet, to board the ship. Then, when we entered the dockside boarding shed, we began the ritual, which was the same at every port, of going thru three ID processing and shakedown processes. One to enter the dock or shed; another in the shed, similar to boarding an aircraft to check for forbidden items like weapons, and forgive us all, booze; then once more to board the ship, where illegal contraband was confiscated, mostly wine and spirits. This three time ID check was at every port, sometimes taking half an hour, and discouraged us from going ashore again in the afternoon. The process of confiscating wine and spirits really irked a lot of fellow passengers, who like us, had stuck a bottle in our bags for "in cabin" happy hours. This policy is stated by the other cruise lines, however was never enforced in past cruises. I have thought of challenging this rule, arguing that a hotel cannot stop a guest from taking a bottle in to their room as it is their temporary home, so should a cruise ship be. Nonetheless, we were caught, as were many others, one man who said he refused to buy a drink on board, and his usual bar bill was around $1,200 even with having a bottle in his cabin. Carnival was over anal with this policy. It is hard to believe that Holland America is part of this company. The differences are so obvious if one has travelled on both lines, or on others. The ship decor in some public areas like the Atrium, Pharoh's Lounge, and the Jungle Zone, is over the top, even ridiculous could be used to describe it. Cabins, restaurants, casino, library, gymnasium, public bars were very nice; and the food was very good, although waits in the dining room were sometimes long and dishes would arrive cooled off.Their scheduling was not on time, or published incorrectly. First evidence was the life boat drill, or Safety Lecture, which was scheduled for 1700 on the daily report; many of us were at our stations at 1700, without life jackets as advised, but it did not begin until 1730, and they had to drag the ship to get everyone to their stations. On previous cruises, life jackets were mandatory, and crisply uniformed staff inspected every individual to make sure it was worn correctly. The young man supervising our station could have been a passenger, no uniform at all, just a casual checkered shirt, might have been a seaman. For other scheduled functions, eg. a mini golf tournament for 1500 one day, no ship's staff showed up to organize it; poor form, showed their stuff. We enjoyed our time on board, this review is to show what we felt are differences between this experience and previous experience. There did not seem to be the joi de vive between the crew of other lines; spills, papers, and empty tins and bottle would sit too long before being picked up; the tenders/lifeboats seemed to be worse for wear; they needed a second gangway to reboard the ship more quickly.The purpose of this review is not to rip Carnival, only to point out out that they lack some of the niceties of other companies. Most things were great, but they need to take some lessons and refine themselves. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2011
My fiance and I did the Honolulu to Vancouver cruise on the Carnival Spirit April 2011. This was my second cruise and his first cruise.We flew into Honolulu a couple days early and stayed at the Ohana Waikiki West for 2 nights prior to ... Read More
My fiance and I did the Honolulu to Vancouver cruise on the Carnival Spirit April 2011. This was my second cruise and his first cruise.We flew into Honolulu a couple days early and stayed at the Ohana Waikiki West for 2 nights prior to boarding the Spirit on April 22/11. We had the distinction of being on the 18th floor with an ocean view, however, the elevator only goes to the 17th floor and the room was very small and quite tired looking. But for the price we paid and the fact we were only there a couple nights it wasn't a big deal, plus hey you have to sacrifice something for the ocean view :o)Boarding of the ship flowed very well and we were onboard in no time and out luggage arrived very quickly also, only a couple of hours.The size of the ship was nice as it was very easy to find your way around. It was very clean and tidy.Food was excellent, wasn't overly impressed with the deli but it wasn't bad just not quite what I'd anticipated I guess after reading others rave reviews, but then everyone has different tastes. The fruit at breakfast was always great especially the pink grapefruit and the salad at lunch was marvelous as well. We did our time dining and only had to wait twice and then only for 20 mins max, and they usually seated us in the same sort of area for most of the cruise so we had the same wait staff most of the time. We also did one of the special order Non-vegetarian Indian Meals in the MDR and it was excellent. I also now have to go on a 12 step program for the chocolate melting cake habit I picked up while on board! lol.Our room stewart Conrado, was absolutely marvelous. Once he realized we liked to have a fair bit of ice in our room it was pretty much never out during the rest of the trip. He was always very pleasant and quick to smile and greet you in the halls and did a great job on our room.Our one complaint was the entertaintment. Cruise director Stu reminded us of a used car salesman and he never once came over the PA or stepped up to the mic without trying to flog you something. The cruise I had been on previously had so much to do you wanted to be in 3 places at once. That definitely didn't happen on this cruise, and considering you have 5 whole days at sea one would anticipate there lots planned to do..... There was Bingo twice a day or more, which you pay for, there was the Casino, which you pay for, there was trivia but on the days at sea it's progressive so if you aren't aware of that at the start and you go on the second day...you're kinda outta luck. They played a game show type thing a couple evenings which was entertaining. They had karaoke of course, and ballroom dancing lessons, a "talent show" and a couple shows with their dancers and singers, who were quite good. There were a few stand up comedians and 2 juggler/comedians. There just didn't seem to be much going on during the days. The "Fun Ship" was a bit lacking in the fun department. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
this was my first cruise ever , my fiance has also posted a review on here but i thought i would submit one from my point of view as well as i feel compelled to do so based on the experience i had . the pros : fast boarding ,decent food , ... Read More
this was my first cruise ever , my fiance has also posted a review on here but i thought i would submit one from my point of view as well as i feel compelled to do so based on the experience i had . the pros : fast boarding ,decent food , superb service from our cabin steward conrado (it's been a very long time since i had excellent service with a smile). hawaii and our time spent off the ship was spectacular. that's really about it. the cons : where do i begin ? others have mentioned the poor entertainment , i would consider this to be an understatement , it was beyond brutal .daytime events consisted of such things as a hairy chest contest , trivia, afternoon tea and bingo if you wanted to pay . night entertainment was equally brutal with bad comics and bad musicians and a talent show starring the passengers .the average age of the passengers had to be 75 and you could tell, it was like being stuck in an old folks home for two weeks . the best act by far was Eddie Miles who did a magnificent tribute to Elvis. Carnival however can not be credited with booking such Talent as Mr. Miles was on a cruise like the rest of us with his fan club and thankfully shared his Talent with all of us giving me what would be the only decent hour of entertainment i had for the entire cruise . the cruise director Stu was brutal , i sincerly got the impression that his only mission for the trip was to soak us for what ever he could .he couldn't make one announcement with out trying to flog everything from steaks to watches to seaweed wraps . even after the ship had docked in vancouver during the disembarking announcment he was busy trying to flog pictures to the people whose numbers hadn't been called yet instead of at the door to thank the passengers and see us off , he left that to someone else .they don't allow outside liquor which is fine . if your not going to allow liquor though don't soak the customer 8.75 a drink . we bought two one litre bottles from carnival when we booked and it cost us over 80 dollars . in closing my final thoughts are that as a first time cruiser , i wasn't impressed overall . i get two weeks off a year and could not see myself doing this again .we payed a nice chunk of change for this trip and it doesn't deliver value for what you pay, it doesn't even pay for the entitlement to bring a couple bottles of rum on with you when you embark . it basically gets you a spot on the ship where they have you trapped into selling you all the extras . it's really a shame because this is a really nice ship with a good crew the short comings of the cruise director and his constant sales pitches really put a damper on this for me Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
I found a great deal on The Carnival Splendor and thought we would go for it.  We have cruised on RCCL, Oceania, Disney, NCL and Carnival before so I was aware of the different levels of service and quality.  Even though I thought I ... Read More
I found a great deal on The Carnival Splendor and thought we would go for it.  We have cruised on RCCL, Oceania, Disney, NCL and Carnival before so I was aware of the different levels of service and quality.  Even though I thought I knew what we were in for I had another thing coming.Embarkation and debarkation went very quickly and smoothly.  The cabin was fine and the ship (although very pink) looked lovely but was badly designed.  The layout was a pain to navigate.  Even by the last night I couldn't quite figure out how to get to the deck areas I wanted.  So many of the floors wouldn't go all the way though the ship. To go  to the 5th floor to get to the 4th floor photography area!  My husband felt claustrophobic because you couldn't move in any of the public areas without being bumped into.One of the reasons we chose this ship was because of the children's program which turned out to be a dud for our daughter's age group.  She was to be with the 9-11 year olds.  She turned 11 the day after the cruise ended so she was not the oldest kid in her group.  The first day they played balloon tag!  She didn't want to go back because they "were baby games".  I convinced her to try again and they colored a t-shirt with a picture of the "Fun Ship Freddy".  She refused to attend again which put a damper on our grown-up time.  I asked to put her in the next age group 12-14 year olds but was told no she had to be 3 months away from turning 12.  Our daughter usually goes to children's programs with great enthusiam but not this time.  We spoke to other parents with children the same age who had the same problem.SMOKING!!!!!!! It was everywhere!  I had no idea that you could smoke on the balconies!  Our neighbors beside and underneath us smoked cigarettes and cigars constantly!  We complained and were told they could do nothing about the cigarette smoking but that the cigar smoking was not permitted.  They never stopped it!  We could not use our balcony because of the smell.  I saw the guy beneath us throw his lit cigarette butt over the balcony and still Carnival did nothing.  Do they not remember the fire started that way just a few years ago?  You had to go by the casino to get through the 5th floor and it reaked of smoke.  We were unable to use the casino because of it.  Several of the bars were also smoky!   With over 1,000 children onboard I can't believe that in this day and age we (or there staff) would have to put up a smoky ship!Dining in The Black Pearl Restaurant was a disaster.  We had requested and been confirmed on the early seating and had requested a small table, neither of which happened. The first evening when we were seated at a really bad table (top floor shoved in the corner, view of nothing).  When we were seated at a table for 8 the others had situated themselves in such a way my family could not sit together.  The other passengers refused to move even when the waitress asked them to!  We were told to sit there anyway!  When I refused we were told to sit in the bar and wait until all the passengers were seated and they would try to find us somewhere to sit.  We did not have assigned seating for the entire cruise and had to wait every night until everybody was seated (30+ minutes) until they found us a table one worse than the next.  Our last evening they forgot (even though I reminded them)  of our daughters birthday cake!The Tandoori and pizza stations were very good!  The long lines on the Lido deck for breakfast were ridiculous (sometimes 20 to 30 minutes to get an omelet)One evening we went to their "Fine Dining".  We each paid an additional $30 for an evening of excellent service and dancing.  The food and service was fine. When I enquired when the dancing would start (as the advertised on the Carnival channel and why we went) we were told they didn't have it anymore!Bingo, art auctions and outside movies started very late and we gave up  more than once.     Vancouver and Victoria were beautiful!   Spa services were much shorter than advertised! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Just back from my second trip on the Carnival Splendor.  I was on a two day Cruise to Nowhere in March.She is still beautiful.  I have reviewed her before, and gave in-depth information on the ship itself, so this review is just going to ... Read More
Just back from my second trip on the Carnival Splendor.  I was on a two day Cruise to Nowhere in March.She is still beautiful.  I have reviewed her before, and gave in-depth information on the ship itself, so this review is just going to be some random impressions of things I didn't get to on the previous trip.There will also be several other reviews of this sailing, which will probably give more detail on the itinerary.I finally had the chance to try all the buffet options, which was impossible in just two days, and they were all from good to excellent.  Choices on the Splendor go from the Deli, to Tandoori, Mongolian BBQ, the Rotisserie, the Burrito Bar and of course Pizza and Burgers.This sailing was not quite full.  I heard 2400 passengers, which meant there was never a line for anything, whether the omelette stations or the stage shows, which was great. And also never a problem finding a lounger around the pool.The weather was less than optimal.  On the other hand they left the magrodome in place all week and the Lido Deck pool area was great.  This was my first time sailing under glass, and I liked it.  No wind, warm, and still bright and airy.  I also watched a concert movie (the Beach Boys), on the big screen, which was a pleasant way to kill an hour.We got off in San Francisco and wandered around the Embarcadero for a couple of hours, which is always fun.  That was also, amazingly, the warmest and sunniest stop.  Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge was interesting as well.  I have been under the bridge from tour boats and dinner cruises, but never quite so close.  As we approached the bridge, it seemed the funnel only missed by a couple feet.  and as we passed under you could make out the faces of the folks standing on the bridge watching the ship.In Victoria it was just too cold and drizzly to want to do anything, so we stayed on board and played games and hung out by the pool.Seattle was a mess, transportation wise.  We docked at Pier 66, and Carnival provided shuttles to Seattle Center only.  People wanting to go towards Pike Place Market had to wait a long time for cabs to show up.  I am still not clear whether that was a Carnival screw up, or if the blame belongs to the Port Authority, but somebody is guilty of some really poor planning....but after waiting almost two hours, we finally got transportation to go meet my niece who lives there, and had a nice lunch.  Our final two days were At Sea, and I had a lot of fun engaging in various Trivia Contests, and the Digital Scavenger Hunts.  I teamed up with some ladies from Utah, and we actually won a medallion!!!WooHoo!!! Besides that, I spent most of my time either in the Casino (which was beautiful, but deadly), and the Piano Bar.  Mr. Ron Pass is, in my opinion, the finest Piano Guy in the Carnival fleet.  The week started off kind of slow, with the ship being less than full, but as the evenings went on, the crowd got bigger, and rowdier, and by the last night it was a full on party and Ron kept going well after the usual quitting time.  By the end there were more people in the Grand Piano than in the Dance Club across the hall.  It was obvious Ron was ready to stop and losing his voice, but like the Showman he is, he just kept going.  Really was a great ending to a great overall cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Our cruise left on Mother's Day, 5/10/09 and it was a little chilly in Long Beach! On this cruise was myself, my husband, my kids, 5 and 10 yrs. old, my sister and my mom. This was my 3rd cruise, my husband's 2nd, kids 1st, ... Read More
Our cruise left on Mother's Day, 5/10/09 and it was a little chilly in Long Beach! On this cruise was myself, my husband, my kids, 5 and 10 yrs. old, my sister and my mom. This was my 3rd cruise, my husband's 2nd, kids 1st, sister's 2nd, mom's 2nd. A first on Carnival for everyone.  Embarkation was pretty smooth, we moved to the "special needs" line because my mom had a broken ankle and was in a wheelchair. By the time we were helped the long line was almost nonexistent but that was ok. We got on the ship and went to our rooms, 2469 and 2467, insides next to each other on the Main Deck (2). Right away we were impressed, not knowing what to expect and worried about an inside room for 4 people. Not to worry, there was plenty of space for all of our clothes and belongings and our suitcases fit nicely under the bed.  It was soon time for Muster drill and so that's what we did next. It was pretty painless, and hurried to put our lifejackets back and made it back up for sailaway! It was a very nice evening, a little chilly though!  After sailaway, we went back to the room to unpack and get ready for dinner. This was the only night our kids ate with us in the dining room.  The seas were pretty calm except on Tues., the 2nd sea day, I was pretty sick all day from the swaying of the ship.  I've never been seasick and I have a pretty strong stomach, but it was a little much for me. I stayed in the room and watched Baby Mama.  Room service came and brought some pills and after I ate some bread I felt a lot better.  The trip back was MUCH better!CabinOur cabins were aft insides and were pretty loud and shaky the 1st and last nights. The first night was a little loud and shaky, the engine I guess?  On the last morning I swear it felt like a huge earthquake was waking us up at around 7 in the morning! I don't know what it was, but it was kinda scary.  I was glad my kids slept through it.  Other than that it was fine. Our steward Sugeng (I think that is the right spelling) was very helpful and friendly too!Dining We had a table for 6 in the Gold Pearl table #308 and our waiter and asst. waiter was Joel and Benjie. We came to fall in love with them by the end of the week!  They were very funny and friendly! Dinners were very good, I had mostly fish and shrimp dishes, and I really couldn't complain about any of them.  My husband ordered steak almost every night, and he said the first night was his favorite.  We also ate at the Pinnacle steak house on Thursday night and it was very very good!  I can't remember our server's name but she was from the Ukraine.  My husband got the porterhouse, which he really really liked.  All the items we ordered were really good!  There was also a huge Lido buffet, and all the different stations. The food in the buffet was pretty good for a buffet, the mac n cheese was really good!  The mushroom and goat cheese pizza was really good too! Sometimes the buffet could be a little crowded and it was closed a lot of the time, which was a little disappointing. Oh and the hot chocolate in the buffet was really good too! Camp CarnivalMy kids LOVED Camp Carnival!  They went to it every night after the 1st night from 6-10. They had many fun activities for the kids to do and had their faces painted when we went to pick them up! Entertainment and LoungesWe didn't really go out too much at night, karaoke was fun, and we liked the El Morrocco and Robusto the best for places to hang out. Overall they were all very nice and I think there is definitly something for everyone on this ship.  The casino was typical, not really paying out anything :(.  It was nice and had a pretty good selection of machines.  We never went in the pools and used the hot tubs a few times.  My kids loved the waterslides and mini golf.  There was lots and lots of things to do on the ship, all day long!  We liked the afternoon tea.Since I have read so much discussion about the decor, I will also comment on that.  It was very strange, but did not affect or ruin my cruise in any way.  Yes there are wierd pink zebra circles in the elevators and black tile with green grout. I would describe it as funky. :) There was lots of copper and some wierd over easy egg things in the dining room too.  My mom really liked the copper. It's not my favorite, but who cares? I loved the ship despite that! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
This was our 17th cruise our 7th on Carnival.  So, unfortunately we have many other ships to compare.  We, tried not to compare and just enjoy.  But, there was alot of unhappy people to listen to.   It starts at the embarkation.  For ... Read More
This was our 17th cruise our 7th on Carnival.  So, unfortunately we have many other ships to compare.  We, tried not to compare and just enjoy.  But, there was alot of unhappy people to listen to.   It starts at the embarkation.  For one thing the ship was full (over3000) and they didn't start to board until almost 1pm.  So, between 1 and 5p all were trying to board.  Get the picture.HaThe Lido buffet food was alright but it is to small for that size ship.  The lines were always long it was difficult to walk with your tray to a table.  People would stop and five people would collide.The food, we were a group of 7 our steaks never came cooked as we asked.  We would cut into them and trade them around as good as we could.  We were served bread once and never offered more.   We had to ask every night for sour cream for the baked potatoes. On prime rib night we had to also ask for horseradish and wait forever for them to bring it.  The servers were very nice.  But even he said the kitchen was a mess everyone at once trying to get the dinners.Our room was a lido deck balcony.  It was just like the Spirit and Pride.  Well, I hate to write so much negative but I want to give you a heads up.   One stranger we sat by at lunch said the crew just seemed down.  I also found the smiles except in the dining room few and far between.   I don't know if they had just got off a bad time with all the port changes and people being so unhappy or what.I will be interested in future reviews of the Splendor.  Because I've never been ready to get off a ship as much as this time. and I have been on many 12 and 14 day cruises.   So good sailing to all. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
We were supposed to go to the Mexican Riviera but headed north to three ports instead. Embarkation: was painless and efficient and we headed for the buffet on the lido deck and enjoyed a good selection of food that was prepared well and ... Read More
We were supposed to go to the Mexican Riviera but headed north to three ports instead. Embarkation: was painless and efficient and we headed for the buffet on the lido deck and enjoyed a good selection of food that was prepared well and seemed fresh.Day one ,sea day was nice, explored the ship and played a little miniature golf on the sport deck, then toured the spa,,very nice, and got the feel of this beautiful ship. entered the slot tournament and played bingo both were well organized and won a loser's t-shirt at the slots. cabin was nice as balcony cabins go but the balcony was very tiny as compared to other ships, mattress was OK but had that great bump in the middle, lighting was very good and the shower  in the bathroom was large enough for two;} the shower has a small lip on the floor so it will leak onto the rest of the bathroom floor. closet space was great for two and cases stored well under the bed. two large drawers under the small couch held lots of stuff so storage was no problem. NOTE TO NON SMOKERS: this ship has a large number of smoking areas with not so good ventilation so if it bothers you, wife has asthma,,,then be careful where you go. that was the only bad thing on the great cruise and this ship, you cant get away from the smoke and all bars are smoke filled choking holes. dinner was great and the food wonderful and the marte'd entertained us and sing well and our waiter danced great,,,so so so funny..the buffet does not have as many choices as other cruises i have been on but the food in the dinning room was excellent. ports were great and well set up. over all impression of the ship was it was new and decorated with a very pink leaning flavor but is in great condition and the crew was wonderful. the cruise director was brad and he was a little shell shocked and a little defensive i think, from the cruises before us being so unhappy and this made him a little defensive telling us we were guests on his home about five times. the shows were good but average with the normal comedians and jugglers and the dance shows were very nice and well done. the cruise was well worth the money and any time spent on the splendor will be enjoyed by everyone. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Unfortunately after taking such a great cruise and getting it for a price that can never be repeated AND having a balcony for the first time, well I am spoiled for any further trips. Rats.My Husband I have been on several cruises each and ... Read More
Unfortunately after taking such a great cruise and getting it for a price that can never be repeated AND having a balcony for the first time, well I am spoiled for any further trips. Rats.My Husband I have been on several cruises each and now we have been on two together.  The last one was on the Freedom last summer, which was a wonderful European trip.This cruise was on May 10th.  The Sunday before the trip we were not planning on doing anything, especially not taking a cruise the following week, but I took a look at some of the online agency listings and I nearly fell over.  I knew that the cruise industry would have to make adjustments for the swine flu, but I didn't know what.  The prices for the cruise on the 10th dropped to below what we could live on if we stayed home for the week.  We live in LA so we have done the Mexico itineraries and Canada looked great.By the next Sunday we were driving to Long Beach and praying that the traffic would let up and we would actually make it to the ship. Cut it much closer than I would have liked.  Boarding was very easy and quick. The room which was on Upper deck was big and up to Carnival standards.  Balcony not huge, but really how much space do two people need?  You sit out there and drink coffee and watch the world go by,  Blissful even on the chilly days,  The only problem we encountered is that the room was directly above a lounge which had a band playing.  Now on the deck plans it shows the casino lounge, but there is no indication of a band area.  It just shows a row of seating.  The first night we were slightly bothered by the sound, but after that we didn't really notice it. I know most of you reading this are saying "yeah right" but honestly it was okay.I got the feeling that most of our fellow passengers were pretty happy on this trip.  Most of the people we met had just booked this cruise after the itinerary change and were thrilled to have a relaxing week with no pressure to get their money's worth as you sometimes feel on a more expensive vacation. Of course there are always a few people on any trip who think the ship belongs to them.  They are rude and demanding and believe they are more important than anybody else.  There were a few groups of these people on this cruise, We started calling them the barrel people for more than one reason.  Mostly because they would roll over you to get what they wanted.The food on the ship was mostly well done in my opinion.  We ate in the dining room several evenings (Not for elegant night as we decided not to bother with all that for a casual trip) the food in the Gold Pearl was well prepared and you could have anything you wanted.  One evening I wasn't as happy with my entree as I could have been.  My husband's plate looked more inviting and our waiter Ismael noticed that I was eating with less gusto than usual and he offered on more than one occasion to get me something else.  They really pay attention to your needs and likes.  The food at the buffet during the day was totally edible. We are partial to Indian food and the Tandoori station is very good. There are lots of choices during the day, including the burrito bar, Asian wok area and rotisserie.  Now in the evening if you choose to eat at the buffet the selection is much more limited as most of the alternate food stations are closed.  What is open is the main buffet, the pizza station and the deli.   The deli is very good, but I don't know if it's because I am originally from New York or what, but the pizza was horrible.  Sorry.  My only complaint about the food other than the pizza is that most of the desserts look beautiful but taste like, well, sugar paste.  Sweet but no no real flavor.  Very disappointing, especially on the last day of the trip when they had a chocolate feast.  It all looked nice but didn't taste like anything.  The warm chocolate melting cake is very good anytime you can get it but is like taking the express train to a diabetic coma. I LOVE chocolate but too much is too much. As for service and crowds, only the chocolate feast had long lines during the week.  One thing I have trouble with in regard to other's reviews is that they say that they don't clean up the lido area.  I never saw a table stay unkempt on either the Splendor or the Freedom for more a minute.  As a matter of fact they wanted to take away your plates before you were finished eating. Hey don't touch my lox and bagels if you want to keep all your fingers.As for public areas, we spent alot of time on the lido deck under the dome.  A life saver.  Without it on this itinerary that space would not have been very usable.  It was nice and warm.  People swam and relaxed.  At night there were movies playing and you could actually enjoy them.  Last year on the Freedom, even though it was summer, it got cold up there at night and also windy so we rarely stayed there. On other evenings there was music playing.  One evening was a classic Rock and Roll party.  Normally we never go to these things.  We work in entertainment and my Husband has admitted to being a snob when it comes to that.  We were up there however getting some coffee when we heard the music. We have been together for 17 years and have never danced together.  Not even when we got married.  That night on the ship he pulled me out onto the dance floor and we danced.  I wasn't sure who this man was or what he did with my husband.  He admitted that the music was much better than he thought it would be and after that we went to two of the evening shows in the showroom.  They were very good and professional.  We are not drinkers so I cannot comment on the bars and lounges.  I did have a mojito one evening and must have picked the one bartender on the ship who didn't know how to make it.  Like drinking Vicks Vapor Rub.The decor is typical Carnival.  No rhyme or reason for anything, but I don't cruise for style. It's all good with me.  Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Overall very happy with my 2nd Carnival cruise.  This ship is really family oriented, so if you have young kids (mine is 2) you're in great shape.  They have both Camp Carnival and a Splash Park area for kids, as well as the regular ... Read More
Overall very happy with my 2nd Carnival cruise.  This ship is really family oriented, so if you have young kids (mine is 2) you're in great shape.  They have both Camp Carnival and a Splash Park area for kids, as well as the regular pools, water slide and mini-golf.  Service was excellent by room staff, dining staff, etc.  Food was great as well, Lobster, Shrimp, Steak, Fish, etc.  Nice variety at buffet, including omelette station for breakfast and burrito bar at lunch.  I read some of these other reviews and people complain about the lines - I'd rather be waiting 5 minutes for an omelette than sitting in traffic going to work.  Overall not many lines on the boat, and if there is a wait, it's usually under 5 minutes, which I'll do to get something freshly prepared the way I want it.  Soft serve ice cream machine a bit hit too.  This was my 5th cruise and I definitely recommend it as a way to spend quality time with family and not have to worry about the hassles that come with traveling (driving, cooking, cleaning, etc.).  About the only negative thing I can say like other reviews is the "Web" - the internet cafe is located inside the Cigar lounge, so that is odd.  Likewise, getting around the ship can be confusing, but that has been the same on all my cruises.  One other thing that wasn't entirely Carnivals fault was the gangway wasn't functional when we returned to Long Beach - so the exiting was a free-for-all - 3,000 people trying to get off the boat once the gangway was functional.  Before this cruise, I hadn't cruised since 9-11, so one note is that there is all the same security checkpoints like going to the airport, which is somewhat of a pain but unfortunately I guess that's travel nowadays.    Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Left Sunday Morning  on what was supposed to be  a relaxing  7 day cruise.Well  hey we  took jackets and long pants  but  were unprepared for the wet snowflakes that graced our faces in Astoria!We got of the ship for about half an ... Read More
Left Sunday Morning  on what was supposed to be  a relaxing  7 day cruise.Well  hey we  took jackets and long pants  but  were unprepared for the wet snowflakes that graced our faces in Astoria!We got of the ship for about half an hour to go through  the  mini  swap meet  that  local crafters  had  provided for  us. Not  very good weather  for sure,  but still needed to get off the rocking ship  for a bit.  Victoria and British Colombia  were a bit  better with  the weather  but  sight seeing  was limited and prices were high.  Someplaces refused to sell to us  because we had American money.  There for I put  back  most of the souveniers  I was going to buy.   As far as the ship goes  if you like pink, believe me  you will be sick of it  by the time you get  off this ship.  pink  everywhere!  and red and  how  gross !   Nothing matched!  nothing at all there  were pink and silver  polka dots  with  striped wallpaper of  man different  colors  . Looked like someone  went to a closeout sale and bought whatever  was available and  put it in there!  The food  was  eh  ok.  Some people  were impressed with  it  I was not.  The best place to eat on board the ship  was  the  snadwich deli. The  buffet was  horrible and the  dining  room was only  open for breakfast and dinner.  I must say though the staff  was better this time than in previous  cruises  on Carnival.  Kudos to most of the staff!Our stateroom was spacious and  comfy  although the bed we had  was like sleeping on a board it  was so hard!  The noisey  corridors  were  disheartening!  Children  running up and down the  corriders  screaming  at  11:30 at night  was most  unacceptable.  Security  was called but  did little or nothing to alleviate the problem. Nor  did anyone  do anything about the children in the casino  area at midnight  one night. Appalling  that  people  would allow their  children  to do such things  at these hours!  We are not talking about rebellious  teenager here  we are talking  about young  children  3-8 years old! Entertainment  was  eh  ok.   nothing great with the exception of the stand up comedian shows.  they were  great  but not for the faint  of heart! If you have  been on a cruise  before with this  cruise lines  you've  seen the shows! Disembarkation was a disaster! We were supposedly VIP's  that were  to  congregate in the red carpet room and be escorted to the  gangplank .  Well we  endend  up playing cards  with  each other for 2 hours  there while the crew  tried to fix the gangplank  which  they said  was not working.  When we finally got our turn  to leave the hsip it  was almost  after 10 am.( We  were among the first ones off)  we ended up walking down  3 flights of stairs amongst people  dagging suitcases  with them and  other peoples feet.    when we finally made it to the  area  where  we were  to pick up our suitcases  a porter helped us to the curb  by running ahead and dropping  our  suitcases att he closet  curb he could find, grabbed a healthy tip  for us and  left without  a  thank you or anything! there we  stood with suitcases on curb waiting for our car to be had from the parking lot ( this took another hour) FYI $15.00 a day  parking! Finally  a bit  after 11 am  we were able to get on the road.  I never  have  seen  such a mess with disembarkation  as this was!  This  cruise  was a last chance  Carnival  cruise  for us  but   they  failed   to  redeem themselves in our eyes  so  off we  go  to find  a different  cruise  lines.  This  one  has  had  all  they  shall have of us.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
We had originally planned to cruise the Mexican Riviera, but, the Swine Flu had other plans.  Due to our schedules, we decided to go anyway and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We traveled with young adults.We departed from Long Beach, ... Read More
We had originally planned to cruise the Mexican Riviera, but, the Swine Flu had other plans.  Due to our schedules, we decided to go anyway and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We traveled with young adults.We departed from Long Beach, CA.  We enjoyed staying on and touring the Queen Mary, where, for a good tip, the bellhop will take your luggage over the the Splendor for you.  We also had the opportunity to sightsee along the Harbor in Long Beach, which is easliy accessed by a free shuttle.  Embarkation was a breeze.The Splendor is a little on the pink side, however, it is a terriffic ship.  Very clean. Everytime we turned around, someone was cleaning/polishing something!  We were able, because of the itinerary change to upgrade to suites.  They are great! So roomy and my spouse especially enjoyed to whirlpool tub.  The balcony didn't get used much, boy was it cold! I cannot say enough about the staff.  They were beyond excellent.  The food was the best I have experienced on Carnival. The Indian cafe, the deli, the world buffet and stir-fry buffett were a welcome change to the usual buffet. The dining room was good as always.  Since it was pretty chilly most of the time, many people made good use of the indoor pools and hot tubs.  The terriffic slide only got about 2 days use, and the mini golf was fun. The Cloud Nine Spa was truly a wonderful addition to the ship. We were able to use several of thier services and were  very impressed with the spa.I wish that we had been able to access  a few more ports of call. Victoria was gorgeous, unfortunately it was rainy and cold the day we were there. The "Victorians" who greet you at the pier were most helpful.  We got a taxi for $7 (Canadian) to haul the 5 of us up to the center of Victoria where we had booked a whale watching tour with Prince Of Whales. While we really enjoyed the tour, the whales weren't cooperating.  By the time we returned and had lunch, we were too late to make it to Buchart Gardens before it closed. Many things in Victoria close at 5 pm, we found.  We did tour the Empress Hotel and Madame Troussard's Wax Museum since it was too rainy and chilly to do much else.Vancouver, while still chilly, was sunny and of course, beautiful.  We used the travel info booth in the pier to book a tour around the city, and for our boys, a trip to the suspension bridge and Treetops Adventure, which they really liked.  The trip back to California was warmer and sunnier. I really appreciated the Adults Only lounging and sunning areas onboard. Leaving the ship, we decided to take our own luggage. Aside from the usual wait for elevators to get down, the process was fairly speedy compared to other ports we have used.  Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
We are most thankful for the itinerary change from the Mexican Riviera to Canada.  Last October we embarked from thesame port at Long Beach aboard the Carnival Pride for a 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise.  While we did enjoy our Mexican ... Read More
We are most thankful for the itinerary change from the Mexican Riviera to Canada.  Last October we embarked from thesame port at Long Beach aboard the Carnival Pride for a 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise.  While we did enjoy our Mexican Riviera cruise, we liked visiting our ports in Canada more.   Our first call to port was in Astoria Oregon.  When we first got off the ship it was cold and windy with light rain, however itdid clear up and become nice.  We went to the Maritime Museum, which was the best museum of that nature I've ever visited, and I highly recommend.  Astoria is a nice old (small) town rich in history, with very friendly locals.Victoria was beautiful!  While in Victoria we enjoyed visiting Miniature World, the Royal Tour in our private horse drawn carriage with Victoria carriage Tours (Tom is a great guy), Butchart Gardens and the IMAX Theater.  Downtown Victoria has a lot of options for tourists.  Everything we did with exception to Butchart Gardens was located in the downtown grid.To visit Butchart Gardens at our own pace we rented a car.  Driving in Canada seemed easy.  The drive to the gardens was scenic.  Locals were friendly and helpful.Vancouver was also nice, but not as nice to drive in, too much traffic.  We rented a car and drove to the Capilano Suspension Bridge.  Both the suspension bridge and the treetop adventure were awesome, great scenic views and many photo opportunities.  Although I must warn people who suffer from vertigo, that it was uncomfortable for me to cross the bridge with so much movement from other people.  At times I felt as though the bridge would twist and drop us all to our death.  However, I did find the bridge to be safe, and the view spectacular.  The squirrels are friendly, and seemed to have like me.  I purchased a bottle of cranberry juice and sat at a table to drink it.  A squirrel jumped up onto the table and stuck it's head into my juice bottle, then jumped into my lap, jumped back onto the table again to investigate inside my purse.  After I got up from the table it followed me around, and I had to keep moving to prevent it from climbing up my legs.  Couldn't figure out how to get my cute critter friend past customs, so I left it there for others to enjoy.  After we left the bridge we went to Science World, which provided great indoor family enrichment activities.My family found Astoria, Victoria and Vancouver much nicer and cleaner (better smelling) than the Mexican ports visited on our prior cruise.  Carnival should consider adding western Canada as a regular itinerary.Comparing the Pride to the Splendor: we liked the Pride better.  Despite the Splendor being the newest, biggest Carnival ship, we found we enjoyed cruising on the Pride more.  We found the Pride to be easier to navigate, and feel it had a more comfortable decor.  Food on the Pride tasted better, with more options, such as biscuits and gravy for breakfast.It would be great if Carnival could inquire from each balcony guest if they smoke?  If so, Carnival should place all smoking balcony guests at the rear of the ship in consideration for all the non-smoking balcony guests.Service on the Splendor was great.  Ray was the absolute best cabin steward!  She was so nice and pleasant, always smiling and helpful.  Once again our kids liked Camp Carnival, and enjoyed the activities, and met friends to play with.Not sure why we felt so much rocking movement on the ship, as the water was calm and peaceful.  Even with the ship rocking side to side, nobody in my family got sick.  Just don't look at the water sloshing back and forth from one end to the other in the pool, or you might start to feel sick.  Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Our cruise started on may 31 to Canada. There were 2 families of us. This was our 14th cruises.Pre -cruise - we stayed at GuestHouse International .This hotel offered very low price ($89 for one night plus tax).This is a very basic hotel, ... Read More
Our cruise started on may 31 to Canada. There were 2 families of us. This was our 14th cruises.Pre -cruise - we stayed at GuestHouse International .This hotel offered very low price ($89 for one night plus tax).This is a very basic hotel, just a little bit better than Motel 6. But, they do offer a lot of free services:free breakfast, free shuttle to cruise terminal, to Long Beach Airport or anywhere within 5 miles. You have to make reservation ahead of time because they only has a 10 seated van.You can leave your car there for the whole cruise period. The only thing you have to be aware of is when you come back from the cruise and need a ride back to the hotel to pick up your car. The hotel is very unorganised about that. They won't promise they will pick you up for sure ,just said that wait there, we will be there.When the van finally came, we had to run to it.Early check in - I tried to do the early check in for the rest of my family by my self and was turned down by the agent there. I have to argued with them and talked to the supervisor to get it done.Embarkation- it was delayed due to the gangway problem. We got zone 1 boarding pass and didn't get to enter the terminal till 1:45PM. They didn't call the number, you have to watch out when they started to let people in.They didn't let you get into your cabin till 2:Pm. We have to keep our luggage till we were done with our lunch.The cabin - very nice, clean ,a lot of storage spaces and well lay out. No moisturizer or hair conditioner supplied. The provided tooth paste, shampoo ,bath lotion,razor for lady and some high fiber stuff.The gym - great place to do exercise,a lot of exercise machines but, a lot of people there too.The dining experience:The food was generally very good. But, they still have a couple of thing dot done right.Hints : if you don't want to stand in the long line to get the breakfast and lunch, go to the dining room. it is more relaxing and the Egg Benedict is very delicious from the dining room.If you like Asian food, don't miss the wok cooking from the Grand Buffet at lunch time.There are sushi, Tandori, hamburger/hot dog,pizza too.We were lucky to have great weather when we were at Victoria and Vancouver. believe it or not, it was hot at those 2 days. The sea was so calm that you may not think you were at the Pacific ocean.The rear of the ship vibrated all the time.The pool at the Lido deck was full of people swimming all the time.People working from this ship is always very friendly except from the Spa.Debarkation - we walked out of the terminal by 8:55AM because we carried our own luggage.                    Hints: on debarkation morning, it was a mad house. A lot of people didn't go by the                              rules and didn't waited for their numbers to call. If you need to get into the                              elevators , go up and then go down ,or ,you may never get a chance to                              leave.Overall experience, we had a great time and ate too much. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
This will be a short review. Needless to say, we were bummed that we weren't going to Mexico and contemplated cancelling, but we just wanted to get on the ship so badly. Boy, are we glad that we did. The ship is a biggie... well, at ... Read More
This will be a short review. Needless to say, we were bummed that we weren't going to Mexico and contemplated cancelling, but we just wanted to get on the ship so badly. Boy, are we glad that we did. The ship is a biggie... well, at least compared to the Paradise. Yeah, it was pink, but so what? I found the layout a little harder to grasp than the Paradise (only my 2nd cruise), but there were lots of ammenities. We had a penthouse suite, which was very nice, except that our kids (6 and 3) were fine hanging out in the room. I think the smaller space last year (ocean view) was better in that it made everyone want to get out. The pools were nicer on the Splendor, much warmer and it was nice that they could close the top when it was cold, which it was on our sea days and in Astoria, OR. The food choices were great. The pizza wasn't nearly as good as it was the year before on the Paradise, but the Tandoori Grill, the Rotiserrie, the Burrito State, the Sushi... more than made up for it. The dining room was, as usual, very good. The staff was top notch. We were always greeted with a smile and warmth everywhere we went on the ship, and the towel animals are always a big hit with the kids. Camp Carnival was a little more disorganized than the paradise, but still very good. I could have done without Astoria, but Vancouver and Victoria were breath-taking. I'd go on that itinerary again, although I would rather see either SF or Seattle as stops instead of Astoria. Our family looks forward to sailing her again... to Mexico this time! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
We just got home from our 5 night cruise on Carnival Elation. We flew into San Diego Monday morning and took a taxi to the ship, about 8-9$ fare for 4 of us. We arrived about 2pm, as we were taking our luggage out of our taxi, the ... Read More
We just got home from our 5 night cruise on Carnival Elation. We flew into San Diego Monday morning and took a taxi to the ship, about 8-9$ fare for 4 of us. We arrived about 2pm, as we were taking our luggage out of our taxi, the ship's porters came right up and took our bags. There were others boarding at that time, but we never had to stand and wait, we were on the ship very quickly...I was impressed. This was our 5th cruise, and the 3rd on Carnival. We have two daughters 17 & 20...Carnival wouldn't necessarily be our #1 choice of Cruise lines, but our girls really enjoy all the activities on the sea days. I was a bit concerned about this cruise after reading some reviews of the ship. My concerns were for naught...we had a GREAT time...I was expecting the ship to be noticeably worn out, but it looked fine. As had been mentioned, the theme of the cabins needs to be updated, but our quad-inside cabin was spacious for us, and the beds were very comfortable. I heard the food was so-so...so I was pleasantly surprised when it was pretty good. The night before our cruise I had spent about $20 for a steak at a restaurant; the filet mignon on the first night on the ship was 100% better. Never had a bad meal once in the dining room. I think our waitress was the most friendly one we've ever had. The burgers from the grill were great, pizza was fresh and good, and they have a deli counter at the pizza grill too, you can get reuben sandwiches, turkey, etc...very nice. The buffets were pretty standard, but the omelettes to order for breakfast were really good. Since we had only snorkeled in the Caribbean, I was concerned about the visibility of snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas. But again, I was not disappointed, we took an excursion in Cabo, and the water was so much clearer than I expected, and we saw so many different kinds of fish. The shows were entertaining...the girls really like watching the dancers and all of their costume changes...they did a nice job. The girls and I really enjoyed all of the on board activities, and they were excited to have won a couple of trophy's and medals...they were busy all the time! I had read that Ensenada was dirty and gross and should be taken off the ship's itinerary, so again I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the shopping area was. We did the horseback riding excursion through the ship, and we had a lot of fun.. Some reviews complained about Carnival's photographers always trying to take your picture...they never seemed intrusive to me, and we all really liked finding our photos in the Photo gallery each day...and we purchased a very nice family photo from our formal night. My one complaint would be that there was smoking allowed in some of the common rooms, so we didn't stay long in those areas :( So as you can see from my review, I had very low expectations for this trip, we just thought it would be a little break from our snowy state, but in EVERY area, I was pleasantly surprised. For under $900 for the 4 of us, we definitely got our money's worth and then some! This was a great deal for the money, and we had a fabulous time! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
Well this was my second cruise on the Paradise in 3 months - my 14th Carnival Cruise out of 19 cruises overall. I am lucky enough to be Platinum on my last 4 cruise, so some of the extra perks are great. We had a hired car dropping us off, ... Read More
Well this was my second cruise on the Paradise in 3 months - my 14th Carnival Cruise out of 19 cruises overall. I am lucky enough to be Platinum on my last 4 cruise, so some of the extra perks are great. We had a hired car dropping us off, which we arrived around noon. The embarkation is great compared to many of the cruise I had done out of San Pedro. Although the Platinum room is separate, and you pick up all of your documents there - also if you are traveling with another party they are more than happy to give you yours and take them right to a counter to collect their documents. Everything went 100% at embarkation! They have been keeping the hallways closed off now until the 1:30 pm opening so the stewards can finish the cabins. There are plenty of areas to wait in, and maybe have a drink until then - or you can wander upstairs to the Lido and have some lunch. Honestly I have never found the buffet food on any cruise to be spectacular, but the regular fare is good. Then you also have that option of Pizza, or a fresh deli sandwich. Not that I'm making any excuses for them, but the stewards do have a large block of cabins to attend to - unlike some of the other boats where the ratio is better. The cabins on the Paradise are fine, and yes they are just a little worn - but comfy. The only problem I ever have with just an outside is the layout - once the beds are together it's always a little weird. The bed bumps up to the corner table, and it's always hard to be the one sleeping by the window - just harder to get out, so I make my hubby sleep there! Ha Ha! Our steward was ok - but not too great this time. We had asked for only regular Coke & Sprite - needless to say he never gave it to us, but that was ok. He was helpful otherwise. As for our waiter & assistant waiter they were as usual, just a bit frazzled the first night at dinner. I always give them the "first night free" to let them feel out what I will want the next few nights on a regular basis. Ours was fine, and became really accommodating, which was nice. Food as always in the dining room is great - to me at least. Luckily there are always two entrees that I love each night that I have a hard time deciding between - so of course my hubby & I would order a 3rd and split it. Whew roll us out of the dining room!!! After our desert & cappuccino we were done....then off to gamble! Casino was great, and they had given us a 500 point bonus as Platinum members - so we were halfway to our $10! That was the best, and the hosts are very friendly. You know we don't gamble like high rollers - so don't get the wrong impression, we are just lucky enough to play for a while at a machine with little investment. We never go to the shows unless Merle Hobbs is playing - great comedian!! Can't say enough good things about him - he rocks! We also for the very first time attended an art auction....crazy. They roll right through it, and it was actually fun! On the October one, and this one we found the Pursers desk to be friendly & accommodating. All in all we had a great time on the Paradise - remember, you vacation is only as fun as you make it! I am taking my mom on her 69th birthday on another in April - so we plan to have another great time! I wish all of you Happy Cruising!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2007
This is our third cruise with Carnival, and was even better than the previous two! We travelled with our four children (20, 19, 15 and 12), in three cabins. No lines on this cruise, straight on the ship at Los Angeles, straight onto the ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Carnival, and was even better than the previous two! We travelled with our four children (20, 19, 15 and 12), in three cabins. No lines on this cruise, straight on the ship at Los Angeles, straight onto the tenders at Catalina, straight through the lines at Ensenada. This is the first time we got to use the self-assist debarkation method, as our passports remained in our possession throughout the cruise. The previous two cruises our Canadian passports had been held in safe-keeping by Carnival until we debarked. Highly recommend self-assist, the line kept moving, we were off the ship in under twenty minutes (after eating breakfast onboard, we left just after 8a.m.) Catalina Island - great place to walk around. Ensenada - took a local taxi ($10 per person round trip) out to the Bufadora Blow Hole. The Flea Market at the blowhole was great fun. Lots of shopping in Ensenada. Food - excellent choices. Our kids love the 24-hour room service, which was VERY quick on this cruise. They also frequent the 24-hour pizza and ice cream on the Lido Deck. Some lines at the buffet, but not bad if you eat before the crowd. Good selection of food, the buffet had 'themed' menus, there was a delicious French Braised Beef. Entertainment - we saw two shows, the laser show was spectacular, the comedian was OK. We didn't play in the Casino, but as we walked through we commented that it was not too crowded or smoky.(We sailed the Paradise on our first cruise when it was a completely non-smoking ship). Cabin - small, clean, functional. No problems or complaints. We had room service open the safe for us - the responded to our call within 20 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2007
Four first time cruisers here. We chose the Elation because we all live in San Diego and we received a great rate, we are best friends and all could get this time off at work. This was a 5 day cruise with stops in Cabo San Lucas and ... Read More
Four first time cruisers here. We chose the Elation because we all live in San Diego and we received a great rate, we are best friends and all could get this time off at work. This was a 5 day cruise with stops in Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada Mexico. Embarkation was fairly easy, we arrived around 1:30 and were on the ship within an hour. We all had checked in bags and had heard horror stories of people not receiving their bags until a few days later, luckily that didn't happen to us, as soon as we found our room, our bags were waiting patiently for us at the door. We all brought on one bottle of wine or champagne in our carry-ons and had no problems with this. From the moment before you walk on the ship, you will bombarded with photo ops. These photo opportunities will last throughout your trip, so if you don't end up with a good photo, don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to practice your poses! We ended up hanging out in our rooms for a little bit on the Riviera deck to put our clothes away and then went up to explore the ship and eat lunch. At first we were bummed our room was so far down from the top deck, but we quickly appreciated it as we always opted to take the stairs to get our exercise..and we needed it after all we ate!!! The rooms were surprisingly spacious. We had 2 to a room and this was perfect. We had lunch on the Lido deck which had hamburgers and chicken and was really good. Every day there is a drink "special" but we quickly learned the special is only special to Carnival because they charge much more for these than a regular drink. Drink prices were reasonable though; beer ranged from 4.50 - 6.00 and cocktails were from 5.25 - 8.00...depending on what you got. After lunch and drinks it was time for the lifeboat drill, we had imagined ourselves with the ship sailing off with a drink in hand an lying out by the pool, but instead we sailed off in 3 rows of people adorning life jackets on the upper deck...that was probably the most disappointing part of the cruise, but life could be worse! On the second day it was a fun day at sea, we mostly laid out on the deck and drank. We didn't make it to breakfast that morning but the rest of the cruise we always ate on the Lido deck or at Tiffany's. All offer mostly the same stuff. Hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, eggs, french toast. The eggs looked like something you'd fine in prison, but the rest was pretty good. For lunch we mostly ate at Tiffany's. Every day they had a different theme, such as Mexican, Japanese, NY deli, etc. Of course you could always opt for the salad bar, which I thought was pretty good. Most of the buffet food was pretty greasy. If you are looking for gourmet food, this is not the cruise for you. We ate in the formal dining room each night, which offered the best food of the cruise. The lobster dinner was awesome, the steaks were okay, but a little tough, desserts were always a treat, the tiramisu was great. Our maitre d' was awesome as was his assistant Martina, she was so cute and even hugged us and cried on our "last supper." We were always treated with excellent service and made to feel very special. Anytime we needed a picture taken they were always willing to take one. Most nights they did a little dance. On formal night we got to meet the captain and take pictures with him. There is also a sushi bar open nightly from 5:30 to 8:30, this was always nice as we had a late dinner seating and sometimes needed a light snack. The midnight buffet was extravagant, but we found the food more delightful to look at then to eat. Most nights as a midnight snack we would go to the 24 hr pizza bar. My favorite was the margarita, this was always a nice option after a day and night of drinking! Our First port of call was Cabo San Lucas. We opted to do the boat and beach club tour. We went on a catamaran and and saw the sites and then went to a beach club. The tour bus then dropped us off if we wanted in downtown Cabo where we went and got some fish tacos for lunch. The second port of call was Ensenada. We went on a winery tour and blow hole tour. The winery tour was okay, there were some cheap options for wine as low as 5.00 per bottle. The blow hole tour was neat, the ride there was very scenic and beautiful. Our tour guide Melanie was awesome and so informative, she was very helpful in pointing out where to eat and shop. I would go on the tour again just because of her! We saw only a few shows, we went to the comedy show which was okay, the comedian resembled a carrot top personality and he was pretty funny. We went to Karaoke night which provided a lot of laughs, the bartender was making fun of the people with us and seemed to be having just as much fun as us. We didn't bring any kids on the ship, but we did see the "camp Carnival kids" running around. They looked like they were having a ball. We saw them once in the night club dancing around and they all looked very happy. I would definitely recommend this cruise for people with children. There was a good mix of types of passengers...everything from younger couples, to families, to groups of singles to groups of freshly out of high school kids and middle aged couples and groups. There was definitely a lot going on every day and you will get a little brochure of the activities to choose from. We never saw the fitness room, but we did jog around the olympic track on the upper deck which was nice. Our cabin steward was great and was there for us anytime we paged him. Over all this was a great experience. The ship was clean and the staff was polite and friendly, we really felt like they were there to serve us and make us happy. Debarkation was a little longer, but not too bad. I would say it took about an hour to get off. We were able to go eat breakfast in the formal dining room before hand. I would recommend this cruise to any first timers such as ourselves. The next time we cruise we will probably take another cruise line just to see how this one compares, but I would definitely take Carnival again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2007
We are in our late 40's and took our 17 y/o son on this cruise for his high school graduation present. We drove to Long Beach, and easily found the Carnival parking garage. We arrived about 12:30 p.m. Embarkation was so fast, we were ... Read More
We are in our late 40's and took our 17 y/o son on this cruise for his high school graduation present. We drove to Long Beach, and easily found the Carnival parking garage. We arrived about 12:30 p.m. Embarkation was so fast, we were on the ship within 10 minutes. Once on board, we were greeted personally, and directed to a buffet lunch on the Lido Deck. The staterooms are not available until 1:30 p.m. We had read this on the Cruise Critics board, so purposely did not have much carry on stuff to lug around while we explored. Our balcony room was large, and we enjoyed the space. However, the mattresses were very hard, and the furnishings were well worn. We seldom saw our steward, but she kept our cabin clean and supplied. The ship is showing her age and in need of refurbishment - nothing major, just alot of wear and tear. We found everyone working on board to be friendly and helpful. The food in the buffet was mediocre, the pizza was good, the deli was good, the hamburgers on the Lido Deck were okay, the dining room food was only slightly better than the buffet, however, our waiter was wonderful. He kept our glasses full, spent time talking with us, brought out different entrees, offered suggestions, and made the cramped dining room accommodations easier to take. I was pleasantly surprised with the production shows. They were terrific. The singers and dancers were fantastic. We really give high marks to these performers. The comedians were pretty good too. The band in the Leonardo Room was good. Shopping seemed limited on board. Lots of photos taken and we did buy some that turned out good. We never smelled cigarette smoke while on board. Catalina was okay. We did the museum tour of the casino. The tenders were quick and we only waited 5 minutes to go to the island, and had no wait upon our return to the ship. Ensenada was okay. We prowled the shops for several hours. There were lots of activities on board. Our son enjoyed the O2 club despite his initial reluctance to join in as he thought he would be too old. He ended up having a super time. The younger children were kept sequestered away somewhere on the ship. We ran into a few of them on their scavenger hunts. They all seemed to be having a blast. Our son used the gym and said it was good. We had a scalp, neck, and shoulder Frangipani massage that was so good, I almost melted. It was VERY VERY good. There was no push to buy any product, but we ended up buying some massage oil because we loved it. Embarkation was fine. We had priority tags since we had a category 12 cabin, but opted to hang out on the ship as long as we could. You do have to be out of your cabin by 8:30 a.m. We had a leisurely breakfast and then relaxed and waited until we were almost the last ones off the ship. Immigration was fast for some. We were in a line that was very slow for some reason. However, we were soon at our car, and heading home to 105 degree heat. UGH. We had nice weather on the cruise, a little cool at night. Our fellow passengers were also friendly and included young, old, and in between. Our son made some friends. Our bill was correct for our S&S charges. We tipped our waiter and cabin steward extra. I was always able to find a spot on deck to be alone and gaze out over the ocean. Sometimes I felt like the only one on board. That was nice. The service was excellent. The tables were quickly cleared in the buffet eating areas. You could always find someone to take your drink order. The only thing I was disappointed in was the food. While there was plenty of it, the quality was definitely mediocre. Breakfasts were a little better. I don't think the category 12 room was worth the extra bucks. We didn't spend much time in it. We ordered special decorations for our son, and they were up and looked great when we got to our cabin. We are going to try another cruise line next year, hoping to book a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2007
My friend and I decided on the 4 night Carnival Paradise cruise because we both wanted to try cruising and this one offered the best value, since we live in California. We drove to port and found adequate parking for $12/day. Port ... Read More
My friend and I decided on the 4 night Carnival Paradise cruise because we both wanted to try cruising and this one offered the best value, since we live in California. We drove to port and found adequate parking for $12/day. Port directions were easy to follow. Embarkation probably took about an hour, involving a lot of waiting, but that's to be expected. The only thing truly unpleasant about waiting was all the crying babies and whining kids around us. The woman who checked us in was very friendly. Our inside cabin was roomy and comfortable. The beds were very comfortable, with plush white duvets. The steward happily brought me a firmer pillow when I requested one. We used our plush robes often. The bathroom was roomy, with plenty of hooks both there and in the room. Storage space was plentiful. The dining room was beautiful, with a very elegant, understated ambiance. Our waiter was very courteous, and we were seated with young singles our age. The first night we went to a singles mixer in the piano bar, and the piano player, Barry, was really good at breaking the ice between everybody with a lot of humor and some racy jokes. My friend and I met all our cruise friends at this event. LOVED the disco! We danced every night until we closed the club down. Great modern dance music. I found the drink prices to be very reasonable. Went to both R rated comedy nights. First one was funny, second one was just gross. With a few exceptions, food was really good. I had hamburgers at the grill everyday. In the dining room, the prime rib was excellent. Stuffed pork loin was also great, and the salmon. The service was very good. Most people were very courteous and helpful. I enjoyed meeting employees from all over the world. Seeong, the Thai bartender who serves on Carnival Boulevard next to the casino, makes excellent martinis. Catalina was an excellent stop. The island was charming, clean, and relaxing. I wish we could have spent two days there instead of going to Ensenada. We did not take any shore excursions. I met a lot of great people, and we made some great friends we will stay in touch with. Again, we met all these people at the singles mixer we went to the first night. 24 hour room service was great. We had breakfast in bed one morning. Make sure the operator understands you. When we ordered an early light dinner of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and turkey with added cheese, we received a turkey and cheese sandwich, and a PBJ with cheddar cheese. We laughed about that one for a while. Loved the spa. Didn't pay for any massages, but did enjoy the workout area and walking track. The gym has huge floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the open sea. The sauna and steam room areas were very sleek and clean. A few of the negative things: -when we first entered, our room smelled moldy of a greyhound bus bathroom. It took awhile for that smell to go away. -good water was hard to come by. The tap water was free, but had a very unpleasant taste. The price of bottled water was outrageous: $2.50 for a 16oz bottle. -Kids! I don't mind kids, but 1000+ on one ship was a bit much. Several staff mentioned it was the most kids they'd seen. It was spring break, after all. Because of this, I witnessed several occasions where kids were yelling while chasing eachother up and down the stairs, as well as sprinting down the halls. Where were their parents?? -Ensenada. My friend and I spent as little time here as possible. It was very ugly, and the vendors and begging children were aggressive. -Dirty tables. As other reviewers have mentioned, tables in the buffets were rarely wiped off. Several times, I went from table to table with my tray, trying to find one that didn't have crumbs and chunks of other people's food on it. It was a tough search. Even the tables that looked made up, with fresh napkins and silverware, had crumbs. Once, my friend and I found a table we liked that had dirty dishes. We beckoned a server over, and asked him to clean the table for us. He simply scooped up the dirty dishes, smiled, and pointed us toward the new and improved table. It's like Carnival has a policy against wiping down tables! -My meal the first night. Like I said, most of the food was very good. My first night in the dining room was one exception. I ordered the hamburger and fries. The burger patty was very large, but extremely salty to the point of being unappetizing. There was one tiny little onion ring in it. And my serving of fries was the most anemic I've ever seen. About seven limp, cold fries clung to life under the shadow of the huge, salty burger. Subsequent meals had much better fries, however. Things I would do differently next time I cruise will be to: 1) get a room with a window so we can see whether it's light or dark outside. 2) bring some sort of timepiece. Neither of use brought a watch, and we had to call information from our room when we wanted to know the time. Add that to a room with no windows, and you can see where the sense of discombobulation came in. 3)bring my own bottled water!!!! Overall, the positive far outweighed the negative, and we had a great time. A few improvements, and this cruise could go from good to great!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2007
Getting on board was a snap, but thats where it stopped. Walked in and all you can smell is sewer! Couldn't get to rooms until 1:30 all ways blocked. Had to go up to Lido deck for lunch with carry on! No sewer smell, oh joy. Food ok, ... Read More
Getting on board was a snap, but thats where it stopped. Walked in and all you can smell is sewer! Couldn't get to rooms until 1:30 all ways blocked. Had to go up to Lido deck for lunch with carry on! No sewer smell, oh joy. Food ok, Fries where only thing great. Than had to carry luggage to room. get ready for Munster drill. Got life jackets, Dirty filthy disgusting things, almost black around the collar, Had to put them on. Don't get this room if possible, 1st room on Empress, rooms ok just the steward uses the room next door and noise noise and more noise. Pizza so so. Buffet lots of food but not very tasty. Fries where the best and they had a shrimp and rice that was very good. Desert was ok. Shows where predictable and ok. Had 2 comedians and they where very good! On 3rd day we had Buffet and than stood in long ling for desert and went out side for fresh air to eat desert. AWFUL, everyone was running inside due to sewer smell, it went away after 10 minutes. Dining hall was good Lobster very good! Of course formal night most people dressed up but they still let people in with shorts and tshirts. This isn't a party cruise, very little live music on lido deck. Smoke everywhere. All the lounges smelled like smoke, Usually one side of ship is for smoking and no smoking on other, Not here on lido both sides ok to smoke. We did see a few of the workers cleaning tables and even wiping them off. Something i couldn't find on other carnival cruises. The cruise director was good, Karl. Getting of wasn't too bad either. No long waits. Customs good. This was a test on whether we would cruise with Carnival again due to having several cruises from Hell with. As of right now NO more Carnival cruises! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
My wife and I went out on the Paradise on Sept. 4th (labor day) to Catalina and Ensenada. We have never been on a cruise before and wanted to test the waters before going on a long cruise tour to Alaska in the next year or so. We arrived ... Read More
My wife and I went out on the Paradise on Sept. 4th (labor day) to Catalina and Ensenada. We have never been on a cruise before and wanted to test the waters before going on a long cruise tour to Alaska in the next year or so. We arrived about 12:00 and Embarkation had already started. Well, kind of. The waters of the harbor were a little choppier than normal and all of us had to wait in a holding area to await our turn as they were only letting small groups of people in at a time. We probably waited about 20 minutes there. No big deal. We went to our cabin to unpack and then go explore the ship. My wife was very surprised when she entered our cabin and found the Anniversary decor that I had ordered as well as the dozen roses. Started this cruise off on the right foot. The Lido deck restaurant was open and the food was ok. Nothing special. We went to see the maitre d' to change our dining time from late to early. No problem. Just mentioned it was for medical reasons and he changed it right away. The only problem we had was a lost bag that we found later with the help of our steward. during handling, the tag had apparently fallen off. Now for the life vest drill. Luckily we went early up to our assigned area which was the best area to have. The Lido deck. It was a very hot day and most of the seating was in the sun with those hot sticky (yuck) life vests. by getting there early, we stayed in the shade. All of the other meeting areas had to get up and walk up the stairs to the life boats. We just sat there and watched everyone parade by. The first night dinner and every dinner was excellent. The service was great as well. Unfortunately, you can't pick your table mates. We all tolerated each other as much as possible. Could have been worse I guess. Part wo. We had heard so many negative things about cruising and the smoke that is prevalent on the ships. We are very sensitive to smoke and can't tolerate it all. My own belief is that if people are that determined to kill themselves, they ought to just put a bullet in their head instead of ruining the air that everyone else has to breathe. That said, it was no problem on this cruise. Even in the casino, it was at low levels. A pleasant surprise. I will only mention the stops we made briefly as I don't have a lot to say that would be positive about them. Catalina and Ensenada are kind of places you would only go if you had to. Before the cruise I had wanted to see what Catalina was like. Been there now, done that, don't need to do it again (unless it was to go fishing there). We went on the Eco raft excursion which in concept was great, the raft was less than half full which was another plus, the guide was informative and pleasant. Unfortunately, all of the wildlife took the day off that day. No eagles, dolphins or anything but a few gulls were seen. That happens. My wife enjoyed the ride tremendously, while I just enjoyed it. Ensenada. Interesting town. If you are going to buy Tequila, buy it on the way back to ship at the little shopping area where you disembark at. The prices are pretty good and the ship doesn't really carry anything but Cuervo. We didn't do any excursions there as this was going to be the shopping stop for my wife. We did a lot of walking (by choice) from the ship to the shopping area and then for several hours afterwards (until about 2pm) when we gratefully got on the shuttle for the trip back. The shops my DW loved. The local art work (some of it quite expensive) was excellent and was most of the cheaper items were as well. Most of the people were pleasant and informative. Just be careful crossing the streets at intersections because the drivers aren't that careful. After shopping we went back to the ship to stay. I guess Papas n beer got as decadent as its reputation say does, but we weren't there to see it. Just heard about it. Part Three  More on the food and the different dining areas. Dinners were excellent, breakfast were good and adequate and the lunch opportunities were better than I thought they would be. Inside of the Lido the sandwich area makes some really good sandwiches. As well as the pizza counter; the calzones were very good. Now for the best part of the cruise. The entertainment. We went to everything that we could and enjoyed all of it. The first comedian was very good. The last comedian for the last part of the cruise was about the best act we have ever seen. His adults' only last night of the cruise was the funniest. I have seen many acts in Vegas and other places and he was the best. Very raunchy, very funny. All in all, our cruise was worth the money, but, that was the only cruise we will ever go on. We realized that we like the freedom of the open road, going where we want to go when we want to. Glacier National Park and then Canada next year. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2006
We boarded the Paradise on July 17th for a four day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada, Mexico. Boarding wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. We arrived a the Long Beach cruise terminal around 11:30am, a porter greeted us at our ... Read More
We boarded the Paradise on July 17th for a four day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada, Mexico. Boarding wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. We arrived a the Long Beach cruise terminal around 11:30am, a porter greeted us at our shuttle and offered to take our luggage. He gave us the correct tags (guess they sent us the wrong colored tags for where our room was) and looked up our stateroom on a very long list of passengers. I tipped the porter and noticed he was very helpful, told us who to look for while in line (couple in front of us didn't and I noticed he told them nothing) so I'd recommend you tip the porter a few bucks to ensure very good service. We then stood in a line for about 30 minutes outside the terminal dome, the line moved a little slower than I thought it would but I don't think it was the cruise line's fault...There were people lined up in the wrong area, who didn't have their boarding passes out or Id's in hand. Once we got on the ship (around 12:45) we went up to the Lido deck and had some lunch at the Paris Restaurant. Food isn't quite as bad as rumor has it. We then walked around Paradise for a few hours getting to know the ship and it's details. Paradise is a very nice and clean ship. It is easy to navigate once you know which deck is which. We then found our stateroom on the Empress deck. It was much bigger than we thought it would be, nicer than some four star hotels I have stayed in, we were impressed. Around 4pm we met some friends we were traveling with for some drinks before the Muster Drill which was over in about 20 minutes. We then got ready for our late dinner seating, food wasn't bad...service is good though it may take a while to get drinks you order, expect a 15-20 minute wait. After dinner we went to Rex, the onboard disco...good music until about midnight, then they play mostly rap (which to me and my girlfriend isn't as fun to dance to as the 70's 80's and 90's hip hop they started out playing) Drinks were reasonably priced. You use your Sign and Sail cards to buy them...we only spent about $300 between the both of us (and a few rounds for our three other friends) on booze for the whole four day trip...not as bad as we thought it would be. Catalina is beautiful, though don't expect luxury on this Island...lots of little slums around town, thought it isn't without it's charm. we rented a golf cart and drove around the island...lots of fun! We saw two shows that night, Hollywood was a nice Vegas style show..fast paced and fun to watch. Also the late night comedian was very funny...I wasn't expecting much but he was funnier than most of them I pay money to see at nightclubs. If you have kids, you don't want to have them around for the adult show...lots of language and content you don't want them to hear. SPeaking of kids, this is the ONLY thing my girlfriend and I had to complain about on this cruise. if you go on the four-day cruise, you will have to deal with LOTS of children. I love kids and am tolerant of them however, when their stupid parents let them run around on the stairways on the boat and play in the elevators (some of these kids were as young as five or six and had no parent supervision) It was hard to walk around restaurants on the boat without tripping over some unsupervised child. Kids should have fun on this cruise, but we really felt there were too many parents who just let their children run around and be loud and annoying. At first this won't bother you, but after the second or third day of hearing them running up and down the cabin corridor while yelling, tripping over them in stairways and in the restaurants, and waiting for an elevator that won't come because kids are playing on them, you will become very annoyed. there's nothing Carnival could do about this...but I do wish they would encourage parents not to let their children run all over the boat unsupervised. You can't chose your shipmates. An example are the folks who showed up to the formal dinner dressed in shorts and tank top shirts while wearing mesh "Coors" hats... You should pack lots of patience for this trip. Again, nothing Carnival can do about this. This is the ONLY negative thing I have to say about this cruise. Ensenada...Nice place to visit for a few hours, It's mexico and like many cities in a developing nation, it has its share of poverty. It is in a beautiful location, people seem very nice, lots of shops and restaurants, Papas and Beer is fun (downstairs, go upstairs and you may be shocked at what you will see, let's just leave it at that.) We went on the shopping tour, very informative and a nice tour of town. All in all I would strongly recommend this cruise to anyone wanting to get away for a few days. The crew was friendly, professional (loved the towel animals our Steward would leave for us every night when we returned to our stateroom!) This is a great value for your money...We felt we got a lot for what we paid for, Carnival and the crew of the Paradise did a great job in making sure we enjoyed our vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2006
I have taken this cruise on the 3 night version twice without my kids over the past 10 years. This was the first time taking the 4 night and we took our teenagers with us (ages 15 & 17). On Monday when we arrived at the terminal the ... Read More
I have taken this cruise on the 3 night version twice without my kids over the past 10 years. This was the first time taking the 4 night and we took our teenagers with us (ages 15 & 17). On Monday when we arrived at the terminal the authorities told us we MUST give the porters our luggage (which was under the size limits). When we handed the luggage over to the porter he asked for a tip instead of waiting for us to hand one over on our own. We walked up to the terminal with several families that took luggage alot bigger than ours and talked to the authorities about it at another door. They said these were people who did not want to cooperate and they didn't want to argue with them. At this point we had paid the porter, our luggage was gone and we didn't know when it would arrive at our room (it arrived around 4pm). We also noticed our dinner time was made for 8:30 and I had requested 5:45 with the travel agent. I talked to the dining room staff and they said nothing could be done. This set the trip off badly. On Tuesday we were warned by the crew to get off the boat for Catalina early as the lines get extremely long to take the water taxi across to the island. We got on the water taxi by 8:00 without waiting in line. Several people we talked to later waited up to an hour waiting in line at 9:30am. We took the Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Catalina and rented a golf cart to tour the island ourselves. This was fun, but except for shopping there wasn't alot to do. My 15yr old was bored and went back to the boat at 11:30 to swim in the pool instead. The rest of us went back at 1pm. The last water taxi back to the boat left at 4pm and the Paradise set sail at 4:30 (about 8 hours in Catalina, but this is enough time since it's so small). Tuesday is also formal night on the 4 day cruise. We decided to eat in the dining room and this was a mistake. The lobster was too small, people were ordering another entree, the prime rib was either too rare or cooked well and the baked potatoes were as hard as rocks. The rest of the cruise we ate in the Paris restaurant (buffet, etc) because we could come and go as we pleased and the food was better than the dining room. Wednesday we went to Ensenada and took the La Bufadora Adventure tour. I had been there before but wanted the kids to see it. I knew what to expect and the vendors are still as pushy as ever. Two things to point out... our tour guide recommended the churros and fish tacos at La Bufadora market and these are the best vendors you will find on your trip. If possible, do not eat in the city... grab a fish taco and/or churro here. The margaritas were recommended at a place right next to the parking lot, but the strawberry margaritas were disgusting... just a warning. The city of Ensenada has been cleaned up alot over the past few years. It's not the same downtown feeling as before except for the pushy street vendors. We tried to eat outside at Los Amigos and every 2 minutes someone was selling something to you and would not leave (hair braiding, chicklets, mariachis, silver, etc). Again the best thing to do, eat at La Bufadora in the market and go back to the city to drink to your heart's content (Papas and Beer is a good spot to hang out with others from the boat). Thursday, day at sea. At the past couple of trips I've taken with Carnival they have taken us over near Santa Barbara and we sailed around. This time (because gas is so high??) we anchored in the middle of nowhere all day. I enjoyed watching the dolphins jump near the boat before and we just sat out there all day. My husband and I played poker, played in a slot tournament and attended an art auction. This wasn't what I intended to do all day. I enjoyed sitting outside reading a book while the boat sailed before. Friday, announcement was made at 7am that we could disembark if we were taking our own luggage off by ourselves. We were in the car at 7:30. This is highly recommended because in prior cruises you would get off until 10-11 if you had the handle your luggage instead. Notes: Club O2 for the 15-17 yr olds is a joke. I saw no supervision and my kids went for 10 minutes and were turned off. Kids sitting around in the poker room, in the lobbies, in the stairwells, with no parents. Thursday there was teen dance where I saw kids under 18 dancing like drunken adults, again without supervision. Gambling - we played slots several times and the machines always jammed and then the staff took 5-10 minutes to refill or fix. There was only one poker table most of the time and it was packed; they needed to open another one at times and didn't. Midnight Buffets are a joke. The past two cruises there was ice sculptures and wonderful food in the dining room - it was impressive. All I saw this time was Mexican food in the buffet area on Wednesday and hamburgers and hot dogs on Thursday night. Art Auctions - if you haven't attended one ever go to this one. We attended for something to do and were pleasantly surprised. All 4 of us enjoyed this event and we bought one piece. Overall, I believe Carnival is charging more than before and they are cutting corners (especially with the midnight buffets and the fun day at sea). I'm not totally unhappy because I went with the kids and it was more laid back, I'm just disappointed that they aren't giving you what they've done in the past and it's gone down hill. I probably will not cruise with them again because of this. My friends have all cruised Carnival before on this cruise and just got back from sailing with Royal Caribbean this time and loved it (although without their kids). I was looking for a cruise line to take my teens on and have them go off on their own once in a while.... I was with them the entire time because Carnival did not supply those activities. Read Less
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