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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, sister's ... 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!

Cabin

Our 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 Carnival

My 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 Lounges

We 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!









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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 ... 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.

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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!

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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 ... 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.

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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 ... 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. 

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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!

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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!!!

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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 ... 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.

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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.

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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 on ... 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.

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