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2,336 Carnival Los Angeles Cruise Reviews

Review of Carnival Imagination Sail date 2/2/20 Room type – Ocean View – Empress Deck – E135 My young adult daughter and my late 50-year-old self-took the Imagination to celebrate her bday and to just enjoy some time to ... Read More
Review of Carnival Imagination Sail date 2/2/20 Room type – Ocean View – Empress Deck – E135 My young adult daughter and my late 50-year-old self-took the Imagination to celebrate her bday and to just enjoy some time to ourselves. Why we chose this line and specific cruise: 1. We’ve always cruised Carnival (we’re gold) 2. Port is quick hour flight from our home 3. Very cost friendly and she was paying her own way 4. Just right amount of days (4) Embark was a breeze out of Port of Long Beach – we literally just walked on – we had 12 – 12:30 check in time but were earlier. Although we carried our luggage on flight – we decided to check at port – I might just keep my luggage with me next time although we did receive within 2 hours of embark. We didn’t realize at the time but you walk on the ship on the Empress deck which was where our room was. We headed to the Lido to wait out the 1:30 cabin access time and grabbed a quick bite at the well-appointed buffet; and noted the Guy’s Burgers for future enjoyment. Lido was booming the welcome music and Ben-your-cruise-director – was making periodic welcome announcements and updates. As this was my first Ocean view cabin vs balcony, I was a bit worried about the space however was pleasantly surprised at the room especially as we had our twin beds made into an L shape which left the middle of the room open. Nice, large (albeit could have used a wash) window and usual appointments in cabin and bathroom – as this wasn’t our first rodeo, I knew to bring a small usb hub for multi charging. Beds were very fluffy and comfy and as it was a bit chilly, we asked our steward for comfy blankets and he brought very soft, blue fleece ones for us to use. Was a bit dismayed to find a small pipe in one of the drawers and some used gum under one of the closets - but, I realized we were not on a luxury line and didn’t let this bother me too over much as I know how little time the stewards have to turn these rooms (and no – I was not tempted to keep either item). Room was midship and the deck was perfect – not noisy above and easy to get around from location. As day 1 was Super Bowl, Carnival had several tv screens on around ship and had set up the large Dynasty showroom with buffet and bar and had the game on the big screen. Muster was delayed accordingly until 8:30 and was very brief. We received sad news that due to high winds, we were not going to be able to visit Catalina the next day (it is a tender port and thus, small craft advisories prevent visiting – make a note for those going in Winter/Spring – and, in fact, were not going to leave Long Beach until morning – as this was the port we were most excited about, we were very sad however decided to make best of it and scheduled an excursion for Ensenada and I booked a “top to Toe” spa treatment for my daughter as she was gifted a $50.00 spa gift card via Carnival delivered to our cabin. We were refunded our port fees for Catalina but no other compensation – I did note one couple demanding their money back at Customer Service desk – luggage in hand - Other areas to note: • The excursion we booked was the Bufadora Adventure (?) – while a very nice tour and we had a very nice but beware – you must run the gauntlet of aggressive vendors to get to the blowhole and also are shown what is touted as a wildlife conservatory with baby tigers but is nothing of the sort and is just a sad use of animals as entertainment – and although the baby tigers looked healthy it was just sad. We alerted Carnival to this and as of now, we have not received a response to our request, onboard at the excursion desk, they indicated we were not supposed to have been taken to this or had to ensure the stores. Who knows if this is accurate? • Dining room – mediocre at best – food just isn’t good. Soups however are amazing – broccoli cheddar and steak/ale amazing • Ship overall – ship is older and it shows – but I wasn’t expecting much so wasn’t disappointed. I’m not sure I’d choose this for my first cruise but for our purposes of a short get-away – it was just fine. • We carried off our luggage and had early departure due to flight time – got in line at 7:00 and were off ship by 7:30 and at John Wayne by 8. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
On so many levels we wanted this cruise to be epic because we had my MIL and my sister with us, both first time cruisers. Having cruised on Carnival and other Cruise lines in the past we didn't sway their judgement one way or the ... Read More
On so many levels we wanted this cruise to be epic because we had my MIL and my sister with us, both first time cruisers. Having cruised on Carnival and other Cruise lines in the past we didn't sway their judgement one way or the other. We wanted their honest unbiased opinions without our input to see if we were just being too judgmental and comparing our past cruises to this one. 1. Embarkation for the most part went smoothly. We didn't have any issues. Our Uber driver dropped us at the Queen Mary and we walked a very short distance to the entrance, dropped our bags and moved through the lineups fairly quickly. 2. The ship overall is nice and new and clean. The cabins are roomy with enough storage. Beds are comfy. There we no robes in our room when we arrived but our room steward Anthony had them to us in no time. We were in a balcony cabin and Mom/Sis were in an Ocean view cabin. The elevators took a short time to get use to, more so for Mom and Sis. To me the layout overall was a bit confusing and I found myself getting lost often throughout the week. I thought it was just me until my sister stated the same, she said she found the ship choppy and hard to remember where to go. This is where the app came in handy and we messaged each other often for directions etc. NOTE* the app messaging only works when the app is live. My MIL found the washrooms inconveniently located and she spent a lot of time walking around looking for washrooms. 3. Entertainment was great, we loved the Punchline Comedy Club as well as the Broadway Beats show. There was always good music around the ship also. During the day they had trivia and other games that were fun. They also had a lot of entertainment for the kids making this a great family cruise if you have young children. We really wanted to try the Skyride but the wind was just too high which was disappointing. 4. The food in the buffet, in our opinion, wasn't very good. It wasn't hot and it tasted bland. We found the line ups long for the burger and pizza place every time we went there so we just gave up. The dinning room was our go to. It was the best food and the service was 10+++. Our crew, Ivica, Ned and Borna were probably the best we've had on all the cruises we've been on. They took great care to remember details and made us laugh every night. I like that they have a "showtime" in the dinning room where the staff dance for you. Ivica also worked the deck during the day and always found us to keep our drinks filled. Speaking of drinks, this time we purchased the drink package and found it a total waste for money for the amount we drank. Next time we'll just pay as we go, it would have been a lot cheaper. 5. Ports and Excursions were good. We booked our excursions through Carnival instead of sourcing it from outside and we were satisfied with what we got. In Cabo we did the Catamaran Cruise & Snorkel with Open Bar - Great fun, the guys on this excursion were awesome! In Mazatlan we did the Salsa Salsa - Also great fun learning to make Salsa as well as salsa dancing and in Puerto Vallarta we decided to just walk the Malecon. The weather wasn't great in PV so I'm glad we opted out of an excursion on this one. 6. What gave us the mixed feelings. We booked the chef's table 3 months prior to the cruise and was told we would receive our time once we arrived on ship. When we received our excursion tickets and not the chef's table confirmation we I went to customer service to see why. They confirmed that we were booked for the Monday night (which was port day in Cabo) and we were to meet the chef in the main lobby bar for 6 pm. We made sure we were back on board to shower etc and be on time. 2 hrs before we were to be there we get a call stating that they could only accommodate 3 since I didn't confirm all 4. I was very upset since we had planned our day around this dinner and my hubby and I was excited for our family to be a part of this event. They said they could "squeeze" in the 4th person but they wouldn't get any of the personalized items that came with the dinner. I declined and they rebooked it for 2 days later. I was still upset and went to customer service to see why this happened since I was told the night before we were confirmed. Long story short, they messed up, they admitted to messing up because we were not sent the invitation like we were supposed to be. They bought us dinner in JiJi which we appreciated. The other thing we found, all the hot tubs on board seemed to be used as little kids wading pools. Everyone of them were always filled with the wee ones. I feel Carnival should enforce that if a child under the age of 8 is in the hot tub then an adult needs to accompany them. We talked to a lot of other people who felt the same. We feel this ship is more geared towards young families and that is great if that's what you are looking for. I wished I had did a little more investigating before we book this cruise. We were excited to book the Panorama because it was a new ship and we wanted to experience that. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
First Carnival cruise of around 20 total on other lines; RCI, Celebrity, MSC, P&O and NCL. Embarkation was easy at the purpose made Carnival terminal. The ships is very nice and modern. We were onboard pretty fast and during ... Read More
First Carnival cruise of around 20 total on other lines; RCI, Celebrity, MSC, P&O and NCL. Embarkation was easy at the purpose made Carnival terminal. The ships is very nice and modern. We were onboard pretty fast and during boarding all staff were friendly and welcoming. As we cruise many times a year, we only booked a inside cabin on this vacation. It was fit for purpose and modern, although the surfaces had not been wiped down since the previous guests. There was a soda spill on the bedside cabinet and glass condensation rings all over the furniture. After 3 days and upon my request the surfaces were finally wiped down which is quite concerning. The cruise director Emma is outstanding, as are the shows. They're fully immersive and I feel that Carnival has really delivered on these, although the theater venue is very small for the size of the ship and you need to line up 45 minutes before show time minimum to get a decent seat, if one at all as many were standing. The buffet is very lacking but the included burger and burrito bars by the pool compensate for this. We found the food in the MDR to be excellent on the formal nights, and a bit basic at times. The lobster was amazing, as were the chilled soups. You get what you pay for and based on the price of the cruise I would say the overall dining proposition is acceptable, but not like Celebrity etc. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and I was in one of the cheapest rooms. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Cruise Review - Carnival Panorama - Feb 2020 The brand new 4000 passenger Carnival Panorama cruises the Mexican Riviera 52 weeks/year from Long Beach, CA with stops in Cabo, Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta. It leaves and returns on ... Read More
Cruise Review - Carnival Panorama - Feb 2020 The brand new 4000 passenger Carnival Panorama cruises the Mexican Riviera 52 weeks/year from Long Beach, CA with stops in Cabo, Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta. It leaves and returns on Saturdays. We took the January 25, 2020 cruise. In short - it was a great value for money. The ship, the crew, the food and the entertainment were all first rate. The entire staff is dedicated to helping you have fun, which is Carnival’s big focus - fun all the time. Here are some tips that I hope will help you get ready for your cruise. 1. There are 2000 cabins on this ship and only 70 suites. We signed up a year in advance to grab one of those suites, 7319, and there were only a few left that far in advance. With 3.5 days at sea, we spent a fare amount of time in the suite watching the view from our large balcony and watching the included movies on the in house television or streaming Netflix on our iPad. A suite has a large area for watching tv, which was very comfortable. The tv channels were very limited, no ESPN, no CNN or FOX. A bunch of kids shows and a few other junk channels. Carnival needs to change the channel lineup. We had a walk-in closet, a very large bathroom with 2 sinks and a shower/jacuzzi. If you ever are going to splurge for a suite, this would be a good cruise to do it on. The room had plenty of dresser drawers and 120 volt power outlets. Lighting in the room was very good for reading. Staff only serviced the room once per day. We chose to have the room cleaned after 6 pm when we were at dinner. The room stewards clean the rooms in the morning or evening. You should get a choice, ask the steward about this choice if he doesn’t offer it. 2. Embarkation: all 4000 passengers arrive within a 4 hour window and there is congestion in the passenger drop off area. Once you reach the drop-off queue, it takes about 15 minutes to creep your way to the drop off area. A quicker way would be to have your driver get in the far left lane and turn left towards the parking structure, before you are very far into the queue, then you can be dropped off at the far end of the drop off zone. Then you’ll walk your bags about 300 feet to the entry of the big white cruise terminal. You could leave your bags with a porter at the curb and tip them $5, which is what we did. You won’t see your bags for a few hours this way. Inside the cruise terminal you proceed to the check in desk and show them your paper work and they move you right thru. If you have dragged your own bags this far, they will have to be x-rayed. You can have the crew take your bags to the room at this point. You are not allowed to pack alcohol or wine bottles or plastic bottles in your checked or carry-on luggage You can bring a case of canned sodas, in fact you can buy canned sodas right in the cruise terminal as sodas are expensive on the ship. You cannot bring a case of canned beers, however. I think you can wait for the x-ray process to be completed and take your own bags onto the ship. It’s a long uphill walk on indoor ramps! 3. Tip: Carnival gives you a 30 minute check in window in an attempt to spread out the crush of boarding passengers. We had a 1:00pm to 1:30pm check in window. The rooms are ready at the end of this window. The room keys are in the paper work holder next to your stateroom door. At 1:30 we went straight to our room, found the keys in an envelope next to the door and dropped off our carry-on bags. The room key is a plastic card. To unlock the door, hold either side of the room key close to the black square reader on the door, a little green light will come on and you’ll hear a little click, then just turn the door handle to open the door. Once the lock clicks, you have about 5 seconds to turn the handle, so no rush. Most people arrived early, so they were stuck dragging their bags around the decks while they are waiting for their room ready time. No need to be there early. It takes about 10 minutes to get through the check in process and to get up the ramp, so if your window is 1:00 to 1:30, plan on arriving about 1:20 or later. 4. Elevators: There are 16 elevators for passengers in 3 banks of elevators. The forward bank of elevators has 8 elevators, the middle back and the aft elevator banks have 4 elevators each. Each bank of elevators has small iPad looking devices on the walls where you enter the floor number where you are going. The pad tells you which elevator you are assigned to. You should enter the floor number for each person in your party. The computer will stop assigning people to a particular elevator once it sees that the number of people assigned to that elevator reaches a certain number. Most people don’t enter the floor number for each person in their group and then elevator overcrowding can happen. The system works really well, once you figure it out. Once you get on your assigned elevator, it will only stop once or twice before reaching your floor. Inside the elevator there are no floor buttons for people to push. This prevents kids from pushing all the elevator buttons inside the elevator. 5. Once you drop off your carry-on bags, if you are hungry, you can proceed to the buffet in the Lido Marketplace on the 10th floor in mid ship for some lunch. It can be crowded in here because many people arrive before their room is ready and they are dragging all their bags into the dining room, creating a major traffic jam. Food was good, but seats were hard to find. 6. Study the deck plans on the Panorama website before you arrive, it’s a huge ship and you’ll need to study it ahead of time. You can download the deck plans onto your smart phone into the documents or books app, so you can pull it out when you need help. There are deck plans at all 3 elevator banks. You can walk from one end of the ship to the other using the corridors on one side of the ship or the other, not the middle area, except floor 3, due to the gigantic galley in the middle of that floor. That is a little confusing. When you look at the 3rd floor plan, it will make sense. 7. Restaurants: The food is very good. There are many places to eat and they are all good. The specialty restaurants all charge an extra fee for dinner. The main dining rooms are not open for lunch, but there are so many great places for lunch, try as many as you can. On sea days, the Vista Dining room serves a “Sea Day Brunch” from 8:30 to 1:00. You can order steak & eggs with filet mignon here, no extra charge. It’s a small piece, but really good. There was a long line to get into the Sea Day Brunch at 8:30 on Friday, we went to the Lido Marketplace instead that morning. The omelette station in the Marketplace is quick and makes great special breakfast orders. 8. There are 2 main dining rooms: 1) Vista Dining Room, Decks 3 or 4 aft (take the aft elevators or stairways). This 2 story dinning room is for the “anytime dining” option. 2) Horizon Dining Room, Deck 3 mid or forward elevators or stairways. There are 2 entrances. This one story restaurant is for fixed time dining, either 5:45 or 8:15pm. If you are a couple, you generally are assigned a table with other people, which can be fun. After the first night, many people ask to switch tables for one reason or another. We took the early seating, which allowed us more flexibility in seeing the big night time shows, more on that later. The wait staff in the dining rooms are excellent. If you arrived for dinner at 5:45pm, you were usually finished eating by 7:00pm. 9. Dress up nights are Sunday and Thursday. No jeans and t-shirts, guys. There are 3 special meals in the main dining rooms: Sunday is lobster night, Thursday is filet mignon night and Friday is prime rib night. On the other 4 nights those items are available for an extra $20 per person. All those items were outstanding. Every night is a different menu which you can review on the Carnival hub app. 10. Wine with dinner: the wines average about $46/bottle including the 18% gratuity. You can also buy a 5 bottle package of wines before you board called “Cruising the Vineyard”, the wines will cost you about $27 or $40 per bottle. You have to purchase this before you board by calling Carnival, I didn’t see this option anywhere on Carnival’s website. I had my travel agent call Carnival and set that up. There are 2 levels of wine: the Premium was $198 for 5 bottles, the lesser quality wines were $135 for 5 bottles. If you buy one of these packages, you will receive 5 little coupons in your stateroom along with a list of wines included in your package. You can use these coupons to order wine in your stateroom, any dining room or at any bar. 11. Bars: there are many bars all over the ship, all serving great drinks. They all add 18% gratuity to the posted drink price. There are 2 draft beers on board, brewed on board, which are very good. There is also a self service beer tap in the Lido Marketplace (Deck 10)where you can enter your room number and pour your own 16 oz beer. This will save you about $2 for the same excellent draft beers that bars serve. 12. WiFi - we purchased the Premium WiFi plan for $15/day per person. It was worth it for as we were streaming Australian Open tennis and Netflix movies frequently. It was pretty good WiFi for the most part. There are no instructions on to log on that I could find so I had to ask someone. It was pretty easy. Each passenger has a different “folio number” on their Seapass room card, each person has their own account for charging things on board. You’ll need this number to log on. Open up your browser on your device and type in: login.com in the URL line. Click on that and your devise will ask you for your folio number and birthdate and then you can log into the ship’s good WiFi. To switch to another device, use the log in procedure on the other device and it will ask you if you want to “ switch devices” . I was always switching between my iPad and my iPhone, since I could only have 1 device connected at any other one time. A couple could share one WiFi package together and take turns being on line with their device if you both don’t need to be online at the same time. 13. Time Zones: as you approach Mazatlán on Tuesday at 2am, you will advance your clocks one hour to the Mountain Time Zone and leave it there until Friday morning at 2am, when you go back to Pacific time. You’ll need to take your phones off “set automatically” in time settings so you can set the time zone that the ship is on. Ship time doesn’t always agree with the time zone that your phone thinks it is. On my iPhone, with Verizon service, I had to turn off the “ screen time” function in settings in order to be able to set the time zone manually. Many people couldn’t get the time right resulting in being an hour off for dinner. You always need to follow ”ship time”, not the time your phone thinks it is. Time makes a difference if you are meeting people, or trying to get a good seat at a night show! 14. Laundry: Suite customers got free laundry. There were self serve laundry machines and ironing equipment on all the floors. We never used them , so I don’t know if they required money, best to call Carnival if you plan on using them to reduce the amount of clothes you need to bring. 15. Fitness gear: the spa (12 forward) has an amazing fitness room, never crowded and lots of first rate cardio and resistance equipment. There was also an outdoor walking track and outdoor workout equipment on deck 12. 16. Pools and jacuzzis: the main pool is on deck 10 mid. This is where all the outdoor dance parties take place after 10 pm. Another pool and 2 very crowded jacuzzis are found on deck 10 aft. Deck 5 aft has an exclusive area called the Havana Experience with a nice infinity heated pool, 2 not so crowded jacuzzis along with loungers and cabanas and the Havana bar. You need a wrist band and must be over 12 years old to access this area. Passengers who stay in suites, as we did, or in the Havana rooms are eligible for the wrist bands. You cannot purchase them. It is nice and quiet in this area except for the Cuban music playing over their speaker system. 17. Production Shows - the Panorama features 5 awesome and different 45 minute shows with high energy singing and dancing and music from a cast of 14 wonderful performers. The backdrop is an amazing video wall. These are mesmerizing productions!! Showtimes are 7:30 and 9:30, with doors open at 7:00pm and 9:00pm. Seats fill up within 10 minutes of the door opening, so be there when the doors open. It’s worth it to get a good seat as the cast uses the stage and most of the lower floor of the Liquid Lounge, decks 4&5 forward for the show. The balcony of the Liquid Lounge on Deck 5, has seating, but many seats have sight line restrictions due to support columns, but they still fill up. Drinks are served before and during the show. The other 2 nights, the main shows are some audience participation games, we passed on those. 18. Comedy shows: the ship carries 2 stand up comedians, each doing a PG show and an adult show most nights. The comedians were both very good. 19. Fellow passengers: lots of kids and all ages of adults. The ship had plenty of activities for kids, in a highly popular Kid Zone, so they weren’t underfoot frequently. There were many people using wheelchairs, walkers and canes. The ship is designed to handle chairs. 20. Door decorations: many rooms had doors that were decorated with stuff to make their door standout. People brought little magnets to secure their decorations to their doors. Some used tape, but you are not supposed to use tape on the doors. They were fun to read, and made it easy to find your room in those very, very long hallways! 21. Bed spreads: beds come standard with heavy duty white quilts like so many hotels are using these days, which can be too warm for some people. After 1 night, we asked our room steward to replace the quilt with a sheet and blanket which was much more comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask or maybe you can request that ahead of time. 22. Shore excursions: just Cabo had tenders, Mazatlán & PV had easy dock access. We bought Carnival shore excursions in all 3 ports as the prices were reasonable and there were plenty of offerings. There were plenty of independent shore activities available to you once you left the ship. We went whale watching in Cabo and PV and we saw plenty of whales, up close, on both trips. In Mazatlán, we did the Harbor boat ride and city tour, which was a very nice trip. The tour guide dropped us off and gave us 90 minutes for lunch and shopping. He recommended a restaurant called Margaritas because of their fantastic local shrimp. We went there and this 10 piece boat load of very large shrimp for 2 people, all cooked in different ways along with some fish tacos. The food was really good. The meal was $36 US for the 2 of us, cash only, no credit cards. The shopping in all 3 ports was disappointing, just low quality tourist junk. 23. Last 2 days at sea: very windy due to 22 mph boat speed. The seas were relatively calm, at least on this trip. It was too cold & windy to sit on the deck in many areas, but you could find areas sheltered from the wind that were comfortable. The weather was in the mid 60’s and sunny. 24. Activities at sea: there are plenty of activities for passengers, many of them are audience participation activities. There were no movie theaters on board, as every one has access to a large list of movies in their room at no charge. The sky ride, a bicycle ride suspended over the water looked like fun, but usually had a 60 minute wait. There is a ropes course, miniature golf, basketball and a trampoline area($), so plenty to do. There were no enrichment lectures. No History of Mexico talks. 25. Cruise Director Emma was a bundle of energy and kept all activities going day and night. She must work 18 hours a day. Her activities team were very good. 26. Photographers: yes they were there taking your pictures frequently. You could see your pictures on your room tv or on tablets around the ship. You could download a picture to your phone for $20 each or have them make prints. You can’t just takes picture of their picture, as the picture you see is full of watermarks to discourage that. 27. Disembarking: you could walk off the ship with your own bags or put them out the night before and collect them near the immigration area. Suite customers could exit the ship with their own bags at 7:30am, which we did. It was pretty easy to roll the bags off, as the walk-ramps were all down hill or level grades. The rest of the ship started exiting the ship on a floor by floor basis starting at 8:00am. Passengers exited the ship on Deck 4 forward. There were no Customs forms to fill out (unless you wanted to declare something). You just went through Immigration and answered a quick few questions from an Immigration officer. Then you exited the cruise terminal building and opened up your ride hailing app and ordered your car. It took 7 minutes for the driver to arrive. There were cabs waiting at the curb, which makes sense if you have a short ride. If you had an early flight out of the area, you could depart early like we did. Exiting passengers had to be out of their room by 8:30 am to allow preparation time for the next group of passengers. All in all it was a wonderful cruise and I would recommend it as a way to get away for a week and get a change of scenery on the west coast of Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I love to cruise! I love the new Panorama. I was not thrilled with my spa cabin on the 12th floor, trying to sleep at night was horrible. Very loud above which was the golf course. Heard crew moving chairs around,cleaning, etc. The other ... Read More
I love to cruise! I love the new Panorama. I was not thrilled with my spa cabin on the 12th floor, trying to sleep at night was horrible. Very loud above which was the golf course. Heard crew moving chairs around,cleaning, etc. The other disappointment was the food in main dining room. Carnival has really lowered the menu choices as a way to push people into buying dinner at specialty restaurants. This was my first premiere cruise. It was not what I expected, the casino host was not friendly, they didn’t really have anything special to make you feel like you were a “premiere casino guest.” I did see a lot (at least 4) people win well over 10,000 pretty cool. Overall my group had a great time. Beautiful boat. Just happy to cruise on a brand new boat as I cruise 6 times a year from this port. Looking forward to going again in March then April again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Had a great time from the ship to the staff to the entertainment to the food and excursions, everything was amazing. This was our 4th Carnival cruise and we have never been disappointed. Let's start with the cabin, had an ocean view ... Read More
Had a great time from the ship to the staff to the entertainment to the food and excursions, everything was amazing. This was our 4th Carnival cruise and we have never been disappointed. Let's start with the cabin, had an ocean view which had a nice size window, 2 bathrooms, 1 had a tub and sink the other had a shower sink and toilet. The room was a great size. Only negatives, only 1 outlet in the whole room, bring your own extension cord. Also there is no fridge in room they call it a cooler, but it doesn't keep stuff very cold. We brought a collapsible cooler and gave a cash tip to our steward and he kept it full of ice the whole week. The entertainment was outstanding. We went every night and were never disappointed. The x rated comedy acts were hilarious. A special shout out to Emma, Cruise Director, she kept the days and nights going. Had an endless amount of energy. We ate in the dining room just about every night and the food was terrific. Guy's burgers were great as well as the taco's and burritos. The 24 hr pizza was awesome. The sea day brunch was great as well. Did 2 excursions. In cabo we did the whale watching, saw about 8-10 whales, including 2 that put on a show for us. In Puerta Vallerta we did the Outdoor adventure. Speed boat ride, truck ride, donkey ride, ziplines, rapelling, water slides. Best excursion we've ever done. And on the way back found dolphins and a mama and baby whale that actually jumped out of the water. The elevators on the ship take a bit to get used to, but they're not that big a deal. The biggest downfall is that dropoffs and pickups are in the same location at the terminal, and it is a disaster. We were waiting for a Lyft ride and it was a terrible experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have been on several cruises before... always on Disney, so naturally the bar was set extremely high. The reason I was on this particular cruise was because it was gifted to me by my mom. I had read alot of review about the carnival ... Read More
I have been on several cruises before... always on Disney, so naturally the bar was set extremely high. The reason I was on this particular cruise was because it was gifted to me by my mom. I had read alot of review about the carnival imagination before I embarked (on this site in particular) there were alot of reviews in which people's complaints were things I was not bothered by, there were also many things that I was bothered by that many people have not mentioned. I'll start with the good and end with the bad. The good: the embarkment process was super fast, and easy, faster and alot less complicated than Disney. One thing that I noticed other people were complaining about was the smoking... honestly I didn't mind it...I actually liked it...not because I am a smoker, because, well I am not. However what I liked about it was that the cruise did not solely cater to kids. Their smoking policy encompassed this perfect. There were many areas to smoke that was not just on deck but also inside. Speaking onto their dissregard for kids. That was probably the thing I liked, actually loved most about this cruise. Which is funny because it is what most of the reviews ranted about. Anyways, I don't like kids...I am a child free person who really dose not like kids or their parents they are rude and self absorbed. (To further prove this...there was actually a used dipper on one if the elevator button boxes that a parent had just left there) as I was saying, as much as I LOVE the Disney cruise it is very catered to kids. The carnival was not, they had many casinos, bars, smoking areas, nightclubs, 21+ comedy shows and even an area just for adults with hot tubs. I loved Catalina island the water is clear and the island was beyond expectations. There was quite a few events to keep us busy. The buffet was above average, I loved how they had the cakes cut and served to you by staff (so the kids were not getting their hands all in it) the comedy shows 21+ were above expectation and both comedians should be famous honestly. It was not too packed either. Beds were comfy as hell, state room was clean, and there was alot of good movies available. The bad: I wish we had stayed at Catalina the whole time...if you want to see Catilina this is a good way to do it. There is alot to do snorkeling, parisailing, scuba, and the water was crystal clear. That island was amazing. However ensanada is not much it is polluted, gross, and really is not much more than Tijuana. Your tours consist of getting drunk, fat, or both. On many cruises such as Disney they employ staff from all over the world. It provides a really fun and beat experience. However on carnival unlike Disney many of these staff members barely spoke English. The sit down dinners were a constant battle of guessing games. It would not bother me as much however the staff was rude about it and would get frustrated with you even though they were the ones who did not understand you. More about the sit down dining. I have been to many upscale restaurants and whatever that was is far from "upscale" if you have not had a 5 star dining experience you may be fooled, however. Many of the dinners were nasty and tasted like airplaine food. The chef mixed alot of wierd ingredients in an attempt to be fancy however they kept coming out as nasty concoctions. Besides the food, the "fancy" experience was ruined by the fact that every 5 seconds they needed your stateroom card, and we're constantly trying to sell you stuff. Also of you get the "bottomless bubbles" package (free drinks for your Cruise) you still end up paying a tax....leading into my next subjects. I don't know if you have ever flew with spirit airlines, however if you have you know about their bare minimum experience followed up with alot of "nickeling and dimeing you" (extra charges) one of the things I absolutely loved about the Disney cruise was that everything was free.... everything. However on the carnival many of the restaurants cost money, drinks cost money unless a package is purchased....your ticket may cost 200$ but by the time you spend the money to have a half decent experience you will be 500$ in easy. The pool is way too shallow. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
New ship, new port, previous experience on Vista class ship, bad experience from arriving at LAX to use Carnival us transport but upon arrival could not not find representative not any indication of Carnival Rep, no signs, posters, etc. ... Read More
New ship, new port, previous experience on Vista class ship, bad experience from arriving at LAX to use Carnival us transport but upon arrival could not not find representative not any indication of Carnival Rep, no signs, posters, etc. Spent over 1 hour at LAX after getting baggage before as able to locate Rep, then had go take all baggage outside of terminal, walk about 400 yards, then met bus. Rep only had one baggage cart and over 40 of the people using the bus we over 70 years old, Upon arrival at terminal was another confusing situation. Had to sit on bus while baggage unloaded then everyone had to get off bus, find their luggage outside, and take to porters. Then, since there were no signs on which way to go, people randomly went to several locations trying to find entry for the cruise. Checkin was okay but then had to talk about another 400 yards up ramps to get onboard of the ship, Only people providing any welcome onboard was security person. Did not see of hear any ships personnel welcoming passengers. Shore excursion at Cabo San Lucas was a joke. On a Carnival sponsored excursion, there was no one ashore to providing direction to people,there were no signs to follow and just total confusion. Other cruise ships, Norwegian and Princess had signs, tents, and personnel ashore providing guidance to people, But absolutely nothing from carnival. Food onboard was average at best and in the markpetplace, selections were minimal and only one desert location which was always crowded and long lines. No Jello, cookies, limited fruit. Only one show was good and in several of the other shows, people got up and left 5 minutes after the show started,. Disembarkation was unsatisfactory and took over 3 1/2 hours. In the first hour of self assist carry off, only two decks were called. Carnival bus transporation back to LAX also resulted in a 40 minutes wait in line since no buses were present. Arrival at LAX just dumped people at one location and you had to find your way to specific airlines which resulted in a very long walk. Overall, I would not recommed this cruise to anyone and feel Carnival planning, logistics, and customer support are unsatisfactory. They had plenty of time to plan and execute the arrival of this ship at Long Beach but they did and continue to do a very poor job. Great ship but shameful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The ship itself is beautiful and modern and new and everything you would expect from a brand spanking new cruise ship, however, the customer service was sub par. Some of the people were super nice, however there were a lot of people on the ... Read More
The ship itself is beautiful and modern and new and everything you would expect from a brand spanking new cruise ship, however, the customer service was sub par. Some of the people were super nice, however there were a lot of people on the ship who dont know basic customer service and this is sad. I'm usually a Royal Carribean cruiser and I've had a better experience there in general. I was rushed through dinner and told I had to place my whole order at once? What happened to steps of service? I dont know what I want for dessert I havent even had my appetizer yet. And lots of Eastern Europeans on the ship who don't have the best customer service and can be downright rude. Cabin was well designed. I reccomend getting the balcony cabin def. worth it. Shows were just okay. There is no water play area for babies in diapers/under 2. Also no daycare for babies under 2 which kinda sucks. Also no babysitting for them until 10 p.m which is too late to be useful. The buffet food is pretty bad except for the soup and salad which is okay. The pizza is good. The fancier paid restaurants are much better than the free dining room. The dining room is okay. Pretty standard cruise fare. One ot two higher end options each night for free like filet mignon, lobster tail etc. Drinks are way too expensive as is the drink package. It's basically designed for the alcholocs. The merch on the ship is also overpriced. The casino is best to play the first few nights. People start losing mid cruise. Also there days of shore visits in a row is a little tough and tiring especially for older people and people with kids. Overall good experience but not great. Might try a different more customer service focused cruise line in the future. The parties on the deck are fun and in the lounge. Overall not bad if you book on a deal. We paid $2500 plus gratuities for husband, baby and I. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Nothing quite like new. But really I was not terribly impressed. The ship is very crowded with very little open space. Too many lines. Main showroom was simply too small and so you better be early. Rock revolution was outstanding. The ... Read More
Nothing quite like new. But really I was not terribly impressed. The ship is very crowded with very little open space. Too many lines. Main showroom was simply too small and so you better be early. Rock revolution was outstanding. The other shows were well done but not well written. Food mediocre. Breakfast boring. Dining room food pretty good at dinner. We loved the staff. Best food onboard was the hamburger bar. Overall I just felt the ship was built to cram as many people as possible in a small space. Would not sail this ship again. If I want to share my trip with 4-5,000 fellow passengers I will take an RC mega ship. At least they are built for it. I thought Emma the cruise director was very good. One time, at 1 am, she let us down. Getting over stressed in a tense situation when passengers most needed her. I will leave others to share the details. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our 16th cruise. I want to preface this review by admitting we are not big Carnival fans. We've sailed mostly on RCL, NCL, Celebrity, and Princess. We sailed once before on Carnival, on the Carnival Magic to the ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise. I want to preface this review by admitting we are not big Carnival fans. We've sailed mostly on RCL, NCL, Celebrity, and Princess. We sailed once before on Carnival, on the Carnival Magic to the Mediterranean in 2011. We enjoyed that cruise, mostly because the ship was brand new and the great destinations, but were quite pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food in the main dining room, unfortunately offset by disappointment with the ship itself, and the very poor quality of the shows in the theater. However, we are California residents, and when Carnival decided to sail the brand new Panorama out of Long Beach, we decided it was so convenient to sail from Southern California we thought it would be fun to book a trip to the Mexican Riviera, which we hadn't visited in over a decade. Embarkation went very smoothly; it was only 25 minutes from arrival at the Cruise Terminal in Long Beach to entering our cabin (balcony cabin 8231). The Panorama is an unspectacular ship in appearance; it was very clean, but it doesn't have any features that stand out except for the three story, funnel-shaped digital displays in the atrium and bar on level 3. Those were really interesting and fun to watch, as the displays change continually. Let me summarize what we thought were the highs and lows of the Panorama. HIGHS: Excellent service. This was a pleasant surprise; of all of the cruises we have been on, my wife and I agree that the Panorama had without a doubt the most pleasant crew we've EVER experienced. Every crew member we encountered smiled without exception, was pleasant to speak with, and was as helpful as we could have asked for. Carnival stressed that the Panorama was the line's flagship, and it was readily apparent in the level of service we experienced. Dining. We thought the food in the main dining room was of very good, on par with our last Carnival cruise in 2011, about as good as NCL, and better than RCL. Where the Panorama's food really excelled was at the specialty dining spots; Guy's Burger Joint, Guy's Smokehouse BBQ, and Blue Iguana Cantina. The burgers at Guy's were by far THE BEST BURGERS ON ANY SHIP I'VE EVER CRUISED ON! No other ship's burgers are even close! I ate NINE on our seven day cruise! Tasty, juicy, thick, freshly-made beef patties (they gladly made my burgers doubles), crispy on the edges, excellent condiments, these are without a doubt as good as the most of burgers at the upscale burger restaurants in the Bay Area. Likewise, the Blue Iguana's tacos were incredible; my wife and I agree they were superior to the tacos in virtually all of the Mexican restaurants in our area. The meats were nicely seasoned, properly cooked, tender and tasty, and the condiment bar was very well stocked, and had an excellent selection of salsas and sauces. Another experience we greatly enjoyed was the Chef's Table; for a very reasonable $95 we enjoyed a three hour experience which included touring the kitchen, food preparation, wine and champagne, and a creative,12 course, delightfully presented meal. We thought it was definitely money well spent. Entertainment. There were four shows performed in the main theater by the Panorama's production crew, and we enjoyed all of these. There were also multiple comedians every evening, and we saw several of these, and most were very good. Cruise Director. Emma, the Cruise Director, a former English school teacher was, without a doubt, the BEST CRUISE DIRECTOR EVER! Her energy, her sense of humor, her enthusiasm, were outstanding. Normally, when we cruise, the Cruise Director is a non-entity to us; we know they exist, but don't care about them at all. Every time I heard Emma's voice; at the shows, in the Atrium, poolside, or over the PA system, she made me smile. Without a doubt, she was an incredible asset to the Panorama. Value. Our balcony cabin was an incredible bargain, and the package that the Panorama offered for the price was excellent. LOWS: The buffet was mediocre. The Lido Marketplace was surprisingly small for a ship with 4000 passengers, and the variety and selection were disappointing, compared to other cruise ships we've sailed on previously, while the quality of the food was about average. The one outstanding feature of the buffet was a cake bar; every day with the lunch buffet there was a separate offering of six to eight layer cakes, with almost all offerings changing on a daily basis. This became one of the highlights of our day! The cakes were almost uniformly good; moist, flavorful, great butter creams, and lots of variety. My wife and I sampled four or five different cakes every day, and they were very good (and my wife is a great baker in her own right). Even now, a week after our cruise, we talk about the cake bar! The Panorama. What can I say about the ship's physical features; it's public rooms were very pretty pedestrian. Artwork throughout the ship was pretty blah. Our balcony cabin was just okay, a bit smaller than average. The theater was small, and most of the seats on the main floor were just ordinary padded chairs, with no arms. Even the pools were smaller than average. The new Sky Ride was very underwhelming, almost boring. The outdoor screen for movies was impressive, being brilliant and sharp, and easily seen, even in bright daylight Overall, we thought our cruise on the Panorama was a really good value, and we had a very relaxing cruise to some very pleasant destinations (we think Cabo San Lucas has beaches as beautiful as any in North America). Terrific service, very good food, lots of entertainment; a really pleasant cruise.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We thoroughly enjoyed our week on the Carnival Panorama. The food was delicious, entertainment was very good (stage productions/comedians) and service throughout the ship was wonderful. We had a mid-ship balcony on deck 7 which was a ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our week on the Carnival Panorama. The food was delicious, entertainment was very good (stage productions/comedians) and service throughout the ship was wonderful. We had a mid-ship balcony on deck 7 which was a perfect location for us since everything was easily accessible. We did independent excursions in each of the three ports: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta which worked out great. It was a treat for us not to have to fly to board a ship since we live in the greater Los Angeles area and parking/boarding were very easy as well. We attended the cruise critic meet and mingle which was very informal and friendly - no invitations were sent to cabins, but it was easy to find the date/time of the meeting in the "Fun Times." Special mentions for excellent service: Cabin attendant/steward Efren, guest services representative Lufano, and Doris in the Atrium Bar. A Great Week! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is the second time my husband and I, along with friends, have done the Mexican Riviera cruise on Carnival. We were excited to go on the its newest and biggest ship, and this is the second time my husband and I have had sailings on ... Read More
This is the second time my husband and I, along with friends, have done the Mexican Riviera cruise on Carnival. We were excited to go on the its newest and biggest ship, and this is the second time my husband and I have had sailings on Carnival’s newest and biggest ship. Long Beach port ROCKS on the ease of getting on and off the ship. Long Beach has spoiled me from trying other ports (I am still annoyed with Miami from 30 years ago). The ship was sold out, yet we boarded in our time frame, and met up with our friends at Pig N Anchor for their lunch buffet. Rooms were ready at 1:30 and met our Steward Winston. Cabin number 8397 balcony in an 8D category, and it was almost the exact cabin we had on the Splendor except now they have USB ports. I wished they had them near the nightstands, but it is nice that it is one less electrical thing take up the only outlet in the cabin. For a large ship, I did find the atrium and show rooms smaller, but I found once you got the layout of the ship, it was very similar to the previous ships we have sailed before. There were a few times did I felt like the ship was crowded. Food: Your Time Dining, service was great. We had a waiter named Y.U. (WhyYou) that was excellent, however the food was not 100% and we choose not to return after Wednesday nights dinner. Seaday Brunch, the food was excellent, however both of our servers Dan/Daniel and MD left us hanging. Dan/Daniel didn’t even bring us our last course and MD didn’t comprehend that we would like butter for our toast. Blueiguana on the Lido Deck had the BEST hash browns in their breakfast burrito. Guys Pig N Anchor lunch buffet was good, I would say the sides were some of the best. The pizza place did not disappoint, the Lido Marketplace buffet had some of the same selections as the dining room, and we opted to eat there a few times. We also ate at the small buffet in the Ocean Plaza area. They offer a small buffet a few times a day (this is where the trivia games are played instead of the atrium) and not only was it a small buffet, you could also go around the corner to Guys Pig N Anchor during the lunch time and add a few more items to your plate. I enjoyed Guys Burgers as well. I had the deli sandwiches and LOVED the Rueben. The only paid restaurant we did was Bonsai Sushi. Their shrimp tempura roll and green salad were good. Skyzone ride: it was a fun sky bike ride, and I waited maybe 30 minutes in line on a seaday. Shows: We took in one comedy show, he was funny. We watched the Celestial Strings. I was watching them perform in the atrium in between shows, and if I was going to base my opinion on the show from watching them in the atrium, I would not have gone. However, it was an excellent singing and dancing show. Unfortunately, most of the reviews are correct that the show rooms are too small for a 4,000 plus sailing. We were able to plan our time around the scheduled shows and get there early, but not everyone is able to do that. Poor planning on Carnival’s part. Ports: We did our own thing in each port. When we were in Cabo, there was the Norwegian Gem and Royal Princess. The Royal Princess plays the opening of “Love Boat” as it leaves port. I was bummed that our ship did not do any horn wars. Tips: The Carnival Hub app chat feature was a great way to stay in touch with people in our group. For anytime dining, our friends would add us to their reservation request (they were traveling with a child and she was not in our chat group). We never had a long wait – maybe 10 minutes tops. We did NOT have to link our reservation together. If you meet new friends on the ship that have anytime dining and you wish to dine with them, if they have the Carnival Hub chat and you have connected with them, you can add them when you request a table. Very nice feature. Note to East Coasters/Caribbean cruisers, do a bit of checking on weather if you are unfamiliar with southern CA and the Baja area. I cruised in January and it can be chilly, plan for a lightweight jacket or layers. I cruised the Caribbean at the end of March and still needed a lightweight jacket. Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta were all 75 to 80 degrees. The Pacific is a rougher sailing in January. We previously sailed in August and it was smooth, however it was extremely humid, rain showers, and lightening. Being most people are able to Google or check social medial for what you can expect, you should not be surprised. It was a bit cool on our first seaday and it was cooler on the last two seadays, HOWEVER, that is NOT Carnival’s fault. Facebook: I joined three FB pages dedicated to the Panorama, and one to our specific week of sailing. It was a great way to get a preview of what to expect and ask questions. I was however becoming so overloaded with information by the time we got on the ship, I was glad that I did NOT have the Wi-Fi package and was able to disconnect. Wish list: I would like to see Acapulco or Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo added to ports of call or possibly a private island. As much fun as I have had in Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta, it would be nice to have another port option. Cons: The main dining room food, and that seems to be addressed in other peoples reviews, along with the two servers that I mentioned. Pros: I covered most of them in my review and I would be thrilled to plan another vacation on the Panorama. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Carnival Panorama Review - Havana Cabana Suite - 5233 Saturday, January 18th, 2020 - Saturday, January 25th, 2020 Mexican Riviera - $5300 (pre-paid tips) Weather was exceptional. In the 80s. Only cold night, was the last night on ... Read More
Carnival Panorama Review - Havana Cabana Suite - 5233 Saturday, January 18th, 2020 - Saturday, January 25th, 2020 Mexican Riviera - $5300 (pre-paid tips) Weather was exceptional. In the 80s. Only cold night, was the last night on the way back to Long Beach. Cold, Windy, but what do you expect in Winter, lol. I’ve cruised about 25 times with Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean & Celebrity. Virgin is my next line for Sept 2020. Cruise lines cater to couples, families, older cruisers. Etc. many activities for kids on this line, so it’s highly recommended and a great vacation for parents traveling with kids. We did not travel with children. This review is the about the stateroom suite, shops, casino, restaurants and features on the Carnival Panorama. Service: Exceptional. Our stateroom stewards were Mauricio and Ninja. Very nice and friendly. My waiters in the Casino were James and Adrian, very attentive. Stateroom: Booked in Sept, Price was $5300. Havana Suite Rm #5233. the biggest of the Havana Staterooms Suites, only 4 on the ship and amazingly quiet. Suite had a lot of closet space. Large shower, with dual sinks and a lot of bathroom space. As a woman, you need a lot of bathroom space. I looked inside my neighbors staterooms, only difference was a smaller bathroom and no wall divider. Large flat screen in bedroom and Large Flat screen in living room area. This suite has a private patio with a lounge chair, swing chair and a table. Very different than the balcony suites that I am accustomed to. People can walk by, but only your neighbors that booked the Havana Staterooms. This was not not an issue, as most people that walked by were going to the exclusive Havana Area. Suite is smaller than the Grand Suite on the older Carnival Ship, Imagination or Inspiration, but the modern decor makes up for that. So much cabinets, drawers, and shelves. The room divider also has a curtain to slide over to make a separate room or of someone is watching TV late, works great to keep out the light. The sofa was a bit large and a chair to sit on if you will be putting makeup, but otherwise, that chair was in the way. They should have used a chair that would slide into that vanity area. There were 2 USB outlets, and 2 electrical outlets in the room. 1 electrical outlet in the bathroom. The hairdryer was attached to the inside cabinet of the living room area, in front of the mirror. Mini buffet with coffee right outside the lounge for a quick bite, but omelette was a lot better in the dining room, but was convenient for me to grab a cup of coffee. Deck 5 Havana Bar & Exclusive Havana Experience: Havana Bar - every night, Live Latin band. Music was good and lively. Havana Experience - AFT - Entry with a Havana wristband only, and exclusive to the Havana Stateroom Guests. 1 pool, 2 jacuzzis, private bar, lounges, pool beds. Not crowded, no kids running around and quiet. Entry can be from the Havana Bar or directly from your stateroom patio. Ship Decor - beautiful atriums, paintings, decorations. This was a big wow for a carnival cruise. I enjoyed the LED towers in the Atrium and I liked the interchanging designs. There were a lot of different bars - Havana, Piano Bar, casino bar, just to name a few. Pizza Delivery- I did this one day to try it. Pizza was delivered fast to my room. It’s a thin crust personal size, but better to share with others for a snack. Restaurants: JiJi Asian Kitchen - Specialty Restaurant - $15 Surcharge per person . food here was amazing and so was the service. Dined here twice because it was exceptional. I recommend the Nanjing Duck. We ordered the pork belly, shrimp har gow, wagyu beef short rib, Singapore chili shrimp, Kung Lao chicken, stock pig, Hakka noodles, and Himalayan rice. All desserts were excellent. Chefs Table - $95/18% Gratuity - I don’t want to spoil the surprise...but a nice menu, presentation, and dining room in the kitchen. Always a nice experience. About 2.5 -3 hour. Try to do this on a sea day, and have a very light lunch, as you will be full. Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse - Specialty Restaurant - $38 - very nice selection of steaks. Ordered Filet Mignon & Lobster (Surf n Turf), Bone Marrow with Beef Tartare & Tuna Tartare. Food excellent and so was the service. Guy Fieri’s Pig & Anchor BBQ - limited lunch Buffett Free - Dinner A la Carte prices. Ordered a half slab of pork ribs...delicious. The free lunch here is inferior quality, as it is an outside Duffey with limited options. Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint - I think one of the best burgers that I’ve had! Plain, to chili, to overloaded. My fav....Chili Maximus burger. Seafood Shack - A la Carte prices. Ordered a Dozen oysters $1.50 each total $18. Ordered a lobster order with Fries $12. They also offer peel and eat shrimp, fresh fish, crab. Bonsai Sushi & Teppan - A la Carte - I ordered salmon, yellowtail and tuna sushi. Not bad, but cruise ship good. Ramen was available, but not like the ramen I’m used to. Did not reserve the Teppan. Dining Room- we are at the dining room on the last night. Food quality was not bad, but purchased the steak and Lobster for the $20 surcharge. The specialty restaurants were good. Did not eat at the buffet, was always to crowded with people. Specialty restaurants was the way to go, with less crowds and tasty selections. Casino- a lot of fun casino slot machines and many table games. Since this was a Carnival Player’s Premiere Cruise, there was a lot of gamblers, including myself. I am a smoker, so if you are a Non Smoker, avoid this place. The “on Us” drink card is when you gamble in the casino and accumulate 1500 points. Then for the duration of your cruise, drinks are free in the Casino Only (Up to 15 drinks per day, but that is still a lot of drinks, lol) Sky Ride - this ride was awesome. Lines can be crowded, but the secret is to ride this when you at port. We were in Puerto Vallarta, and returned to the ship at 3pm, and I only waited 10 minute. There is only 4 cars on the track, 2 on each track, so you have to wait about 3 minutes per each ride. Not a hard peddle, very easy. I’m scared of heights, but this ride is one of the reasons I booked. Water works- this was the biggest water slides I’ve been on a cruise ship. It is crowded. My secret, went in the late morning when we were at port. Only us, and 2 families. Went on the fast slide and the red tube with the inner tube. So fun. Shops- there is a Swarovski kiosk, Effy Jewelry Shop, Cosmetic Shop, and other mini shops on the ship. I purchased my Jewelry here, as I compare with Macy’s prices and you can haggle for a lower price, but better to buy your jewelry towards the end of the cruise for the deals. Best thing, no tax and Duty Free. Excursion - we did an excursion for Cabo. Cabo Adventures that was ATV riding, Indoor Sky Diving and lunch was provided. This to me was highly rated and extremely fun. Kevin and Mario did an excellent job. First time to see a drone used for video and photos. I never buy photos on excursions, but these were high quality videos and pictures, I purchased the entire package of digital for $50. Facebook & Instagram perfect. They also sell printed photos for $10 each. Mazatlan - we took a taxi from the port to Panchos, a famous Mexican restaurant with a nice view of the beach. Totally recommended. There is also a lot of shopping in that area. Puerto Vallarta - we took a taxi to Malecon - Old Vallarta, and this is a “must go” destination. The streets are picturesque with some beautiful architecture. The beach walk has a lot of restaurants, live music, bars, shopping, and very clean. Reminds me of Key West, Florida. Ports - Cabo, Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta I did not visit the spa, due to Cruise Ship lines inflate massage prices, and the last experience on a cruise ship spa, was the upselling of products after the massage. I choose to have my massage at port for less than $40, with a beach view. What I didn’t like- A lot of kids running around in the main pool deck - but this is expected Quality of the free food. I am comparing to Celebrity Cruises as their food is excellent (Specialty, Dining Room & Buffet) Suites smaller than other cruise lines. Comedy shows were in small venues with Standing room only. Culinary classes were targeted more to baking, should open to a themed dish or local cuisine. Rude customers holding slots seats in the casino when they are not playing. Not enough events that caught my interest, but a lot of family oriented events. What I liked - Specialty Restaurants food was amazing. Staff remembering your name, top notch service and courteous. Skyride & Water works New elevators (selecting the floor prior to going in the elevator) Havana Cababa Suite with patio and exclusive use of Havana jacuzzis and pools Bartenders remembering “My Drink” Clean restrooms all throughout the ship Recommendations- Expand Thai, Middle Eastern, Indian cuisine. Carnival should bring up the “perks” as they do with Celebrity. Treats in your room, small logo themed tote bags and card holders etc..the cold towel when getting back on the boat. It’s these small things that bring me back to Celebrity. Would I book with Carnival Panorama in the Future? Yes!! And the Havana Cabana Stateroom Suite I had a great time.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We booked a back to back so we were on the ship for 14 days and had a great time. Positives; Embarkation was fine. I like that there were multiple dining venues open for lunch on embarkation day. I remember being on another Carnival ... Read More
We booked a back to back so we were on the ship for 14 days and had a great time. Positives; Embarkation was fine. I like that there were multiple dining venues open for lunch on embarkation day. I remember being on another Carnival ship where everyone was herded to the Lido deck buffet for lunch and no tables were available. Crews goal is to continuously improve their service. That was readily apparent. Shows were the best I have ever seen and compare with the quality of Disney productions. Cabin steward was efficient and asked us how we wanted our cabin serviced. Panorama has a really nice Promenade deck to get some fresh air, sit and read a book or get some exercise walking. Food was really good. I was most impressed by the main dining room which I normally compare with a banquet setting. Waiters did a good job in getting the orders right. We had only two instances of errors in the main dining room. The premium steak house, Italian and Pig and Anchor all were very good. Emma, the cruise director was really great! Along with the Fun squad they kept things going nonstop. We really enjoyed the Carnival Kitchen cooking classes. Chef Russell and staff did a great job. Learned a lot about cooking techniques. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This cruise was a four-night trip on the Carnival Inspiration, round trip from Long Beach, visiting Catalina Island and Ensenada. This was my 16th cruise lifetime, and 4th on Carnival. My most recent cruises were on Princess; my last ... Read More
This cruise was a four-night trip on the Carnival Inspiration, round trip from Long Beach, visiting Catalina Island and Ensenada. This was my 16th cruise lifetime, and 4th on Carnival. My most recent cruises were on Princess; my last cruise on Carnival was about two years ago. This was my first cruise as a solo (divorced) traveler. I picked this trip simply because the timing worked out, and the price was right. Even having to pay double occupancy fare, with taxes, port fees and gratuities prepaid it came to under $500. I arrived early on Monday morning at the pier at 10:30am. My boarding pass showed I was in boarding group A3 and has a check-in time of 12:30pm. The parking garage is incredibly convenient, being right next to the terminal building. Part of it is currently under construction for expansion, but I had no problem finding a spot, and ended up on the ramp between the 1st and 2nd floors, right near the exit. Incidentally, this location charges $23 per night for parking. There were several porters sitting around by the curb at the edge of the garage, but I couldn’t immediately tell if they were bringing luggage out for people leaving or picking up new luggage. So I walked past them before being directed back by the friendly Carnival staff at the crosswalk. At the terminal building there was no one waiting, and the staff welcomed me to come inside and “get the process started”. They have three lines at the entrance – one for priority and FTTF, one for people arriving at their check-in time, and one for people arriving early. It didn’t matter though, since again no one was there. So I walked into the terminal at 10:42am and was through security at 10:45. Then I had nothing to do but wait inside the large domed building on their cushy bench seats. They started calling priority and FTTF boarding at 11:13am. Since there was still not that many people there, they continued by calling groups A1 and A2 at 11:14, followed by group A3 at 11:15. So the folks who purchased FTTF, for which one of the perks is earlier boarding, got on a whole two minutes earlier than me. After walking a long distance through an inclined ramp that went around and around, I made it to the upstairs check point at 11:18 and was on board at 11:21. (Rooms are announced as being not available until 1:30, and the doors to staterooms corridors are all closed at this point). I had lunch at Guy’s Burger Joint, which is the first opportunity I’ve had to try this. It was actually a pretty decent burger, and they give you a small side of fries on the side. They have a pretty expansive condiment bar, with sauces and toppings such as bacon and mushrooms. Also on the pool deck is the Blue Iguana Cantina, offering street tacos, burritos, and taco salad bowls. They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, closing at 3:30pm (2:30pm on the last day at sea). Guy’s is open Noon-6:00pm. Incidentally, the Cantina also has an expansive salsa bar, so you can dress up your tacos any way you like. I was surprised that for burritos, the only tortilla offerings they had were wheat or jalapeno. They have two self serve beer kiosks on the Lido deck, one between Guy’s and the Cantina and one inside the buffet area, where you swipe your card and pour your own beer and it charges by the ounce ($.37/oz). I tried the one outside once – it coughed and sputtered up foam. And the resulting ounce of liquid I ended up with did not taste like the Dos Equus it claimed to be. Fortunately I did not incur a charge for this; I guess the machine knows when it’s not working. And even more fortunately, they have the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar and the more popular Red Frog Rum Bar, both of which feature their own menu of cocktails, and daily featured drinks for $1 off. I like how Carnival has its self-serve beverage station set up, out at the Lido deck near the pool, with machine dispensers for coffee, hot water for tea, and cocoa as well as water and lemonade all day (and other juices at breakfast times). It’s nice being out in the open with room to move around it. It’s so much more…user friendly then how things are setup on Princess. And I love having instant access to cocoa all day long. Except – the machine is a one-touch button that pre-fills the mug a specific amount. And that amount is 60% full. So you have to press it again and pull your cup out before it overflows, allowing the rest to pour down the drain. For some reason they had a person dressed up as Mr. Potato Head, taking pictures with people on the Lido deck on embarkation day. Still haven’t figured out why. Muster was call 25 minutes late according to the posted schedule, at 3:55pm. As is the norm these days, no need to bring a life jacket to muster. I was in the Paris theatre, and was impressed that the captain came to our muster station to talk, accompanied by the chief engineer and hotel director. I’ve never seen the high brass at muster before. I had Your-Time dining this trip, which was the first time on any line that I’ve done this. I’ve almost always done traditional early dining before. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Your Time dining worked. I arrived the first night at 5:55pm (it opened at 5:45), and was seated right away at my own table. There wasn’t even a line to get in really, just a few people. They pull your room number at the front, which gives your waiter your name; it is a nice touch when they address you by name. My waiter this night was Julio, and it was his first night onboard too (he previously was on the Fascination). Nice guy, but this would be the only night I saw him. I started with the poblano and corn soup, which frankly was amazingly flavorful with just a bit of spiciness. I then had the lasagna, which looked good but was overly beefy and under-seasoned, nor was I a fan of the creamy white cheese they use. But it was still pretty good. And of course I had the chocolate melting cake for dessert. It’s basically like an undercooked brownie-cake with a side of vanilla ice cream. Sooo good. I left at 6:55 and noted that there was still no line outside. My dining each subsequent night went pretty much the same, and all of the food was enjoyable. I noted at one point on the first night that a pop version of My Heart Will Go On (from the movie Titanic) was playing on the speakers. Why do they play this on cruise ships?? ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment onboard was pretty good. I should mention that I never had issue getting seating at any show, early or late shows, whether I showed up 5 minutes early or 20 minutes early. Seating just wasn’t an issue here. The stage shows were…okay. Studio VIP and Motor City. You can tell the cast has some talent, although if I were to be nitpicky I’d say they’ve gotten a little lazy on the choreography. Just not a lot of attention to detail in uniformity. But my big problem is the design of the shows, which I just don’t find to be well written with a good flow to engage audiences. I’ve found the shows on Princess to be written much better, and on Princess they have a live orchestra that really adds to the experience. Where Carnival really excels is in their Punchliner Comedy Club. With two comedians on board and 2-4 shows nightly ranging from PG to explicit, there’s a lot of offerings. They blow Princess out of the water here. It’s among the best in comedy shows I’ve seen anywhere, on land or sea. Andre was a great host and has some talent of his own, and in particularly the comic Douglas Williams was fantastic. I also really enjoyed the Piano Bar, which is in a little lounge in a separate room off the atrium. Michael has great personality for this venue, and he’s quite talented. I also attended the Love and Marriage show, hosted by CD Ryan Rose, which was incredibly funny and well run. And that coming from a single, divorced guy. Incidentally, the CD on this trip w did a great job and was all over the ship. PORTS We had tender service in Catalina, and honestly it was the smoothest and easiest tendering I’ve ever done. No tender tickets needed. Just show up and go. Assuming you can figure out where to show up – they are not very good about posting anywhere where you’re supposed to go. It’s not in the FunTimes or on the Hub app. There’s no signs in the stair/elevator landings. I think they made an announcement, but I was in my stateroom and couldn’t hear it. Anyways, tender service was scheduled to begin at 7:45; I headed down at 8am. I basically kept going down as far as I could, wandering eventually to deck 4, where the signs say “Medical Center”. And that’s where you go, apparently. But I walked right on the tender, no waiting, and we were soon underway. Golf cart rentals in Catalina are $50 an hour, btw. It’s been a few years since I was here and I don’t remember them being quite that high. But I walked around on my own, first along the waterfront before heading up the hill to the Wrigley Botanical Gardens (admisson $8 general, $6 senior). They have a nice collection of cacti as well as plants such as aloe and agave, and a variety of small trees such as shrub oak. The old stone monument, built in 1933, offers some nice views down to the bay. I also did the Garden to Sky Summit trail, which goes up to the top of the hill offering even more fantastic views around the island. Ensenada was the next day; we docked in at 7:35am. Once again I found my way down to deck 4 and walked right off. I can tell Ensenada has been working on improvements over the last decade. They’ve improved their waterfront walk and added in fountains (which didn’t operate until the afternoon). It seems like there were less people around the pier area trying to hawk stuff. Though downtown, you still see a lot of this. I had lunch at a colorful little street café, and got approached every few minutes by 5-year old girls trying to sell trinkets. As well as groups of older men with instruments trying to play you a song. I was offered several massages with happy endings out on the street, along with all manner of pharmaceuticals and typical trinkets that are mostly identical in every shop you come to. I did visit the science museum just off the pier, which is a huge new building, of which only about 10% is finished and running. But for $3 you can visit a room with displays and videos about endemic plants and animals on the various islands around the Baja peninsula. On our last day at sea before returning home, I went to the Sea Day Brunch that is apparently a popular thing to do. I arrived at 8:30, which was the opening time, and the line stretched out of the Mardi Gras dining room and halfway around the atrium. And this was despite having competition with the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast going on at the same time in the Carnivale Dining Room. This was the longest I waited the entire trip to be seated for dining – and it still only took 6 minutes. Of course with the initial opening, service was a bit slow, and it took over a half hour to get served any food. But it was still good, and I recommend it. I had the eggs benedict and a blueberry muffin (served warm), along with a side of “brunch potatoes”. As far as dining goes, I should note that lunch is never available in the MDR’s. I often enjoyed this on Princess, especially on embarkation day. But it’s not offered on Carnival, or at least this ship. For cooked meats – they give you two options: medium rare or medium well. Getting drinks on the ship was never a problem, as I found servers to be plentiful anywhere I was. And the staff in general was great ship-wide, always friendly and seemingly glad that you are there. I should also note that this ship has the waterworks slides, as well as a 9-hole mini golf course area that also has a foosball table and two pool tables (not that the balls ever stay put much on a moving ship). And there’s one ping-pong table, midship deck 11, port side. Well eventually you have to go home. On disembarkation day the full breakfast buffet opens early, at 6:30am (instead of the normal 7am – on Princess incidentally they always open at 6am). The disembarkation process is more streamlined than on Princess, where they have you wait in a lounge somewhere while they call through dozens of different groups. Here on this Carnival ship anyway, they just call by deck starting at 7:30. You have to be vacated from your room by 8:30, and everyone is supposed to be off the ship by 9:30. I didn’t wait that long, as I hate long good-byes. I noted that a line started forming around the Deck 7 atrium just before 7am, which is when they allow those off who have priority or who are carrying their own luggage. I didn’t head up myself till about 7:08, and by then there were only a dozen or so in line. I made it off the ship and down to security in 10 minutes, and breezed through security in about 30 seconds. In summary, the Carnival Inspiration is an older ship but with recent renovations to give it some of the amenities you’d expect on newer vessels. It’s well maintained enough that it’s easy to forget its age, and the crew is by and large friendly, helpful, and energetic, displaying great pride in their work. Although it’s just a short 4-day voyage, and they don’t offer really any enrichment type classes on the places you’re visiting, it’s a nice little vacation getaway. 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Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise due to other family members having booked on same sail date. The great: Cruise director: Emma 500 stars. She is a ball of energy and engages people easily in activities, her personality is amazing. Cabin: ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to other family members having booked on same sail date. The great: Cruise director: Emma 500 stars. She is a ball of energy and engages people easily in activities, her personality is amazing. Cabin: Balcony 9th deck starboard side towards the bow - great room, room for 4 with a pull down bed from the ceiling. View is amazing. The bike ride: fantastic, though I did not go my son and daughter enjoyed this very much as well as other participating family members. Rope walk: again son and daughter and others enjoyed, anyone stuck or scared to move was helped by a staff member. 1 time the crew pulled up on the harness a bit hard on my adult son, and well.. it hurt. They liked that you can move and choose a side of the coarse. Lido mid ship pool is heated! There are chairs built into the pool on each side. Lido mid ship area had a huge screen for movies, etc. Average: We enjoyed the buffet on the Lido deck, honestly the food was not as good as we have experienced on other Carnival Ships. The food is hit or miss and all of us experienced tummy issues. Anytime dining was good: Food again was so so depending on the meal. Service is still working out the kinks. Each night I requested iced tea and my daughter lemonade and we had to remind them every single time about our drink orders. View is amazing from the aft at this dining area. Pizza was good: I did see the staff being rude on the last morning prior to departure (5 am ) where pizza was denied "breakfast is ready" but the man came back as breakfast was not ready and they finally made him his pizza. Cabin staff: not as friendly as on other ships we have been on. Casino was ok.. 4th deck no windows. Beautiful bar area with changing graphics in the center. Staff again seemed tired. WE did have lights on the vanity. Not so great: A family member had a cabin in the family harbor: They had noise above them every single night and they and their children could not sleep much as a result. This was a middle room and below the 3rd deck service area - it was sooo noisy. A door did not work on the area for the family harbor game /food area anyone could walk in. They called numerous times to alert about the noise, ear plugs were not effective. Food most of the time again.. not so great. Undercooked steaks/ cooking is not consistent. I would wait until they work out more bugs and get into a flow. Elevators: You have no option to change your mind about which floor you are going to. Once you are in, you are committed. Also the elevators were overcrowded. Maybe they need to add a "how many in party" to the elevator to help route other elevators if there are large amounts of people going to a certain floor? Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise because I live in Southern California and there was no airfare involved. Also, the fact that it is a brand new ship. Now, that I've had some time to think more clearly I'm going to put some of my thoughts ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I live in Southern California and there was no airfare involved. Also, the fact that it is a brand new ship. Now, that I've had some time to think more clearly I'm going to put some of my thoughts down about the Panorama. Where we were situated on the ship Deck 1, Cabin 1214 was not the best place to be. We had an outside cabin but could hear every noise possible at night. The waves crashing against the ship, the cabin next door to use, banging and loudly talking. We heard it all. Hence we didn't get a lot of sleep. The beds were extremely comfortable. The shows were fantastic! Like the other Carnival ships, the food was mediocre up in the Lido and in the dining room. On Royal Caribbean, we ask for broccoli and berries at dinner and receive it every night like clockward. Here, we asked once or twice and only received the broccoli and they ignored our request for berries entirely. The extra restaurant, Bonsai Teppanyaki was wonderful and well worth the extra cost. The other eating places that I liked were Guys (both of them), Bueiguana (Mexican fare) and the Mongolian Wok. I had lunch half the time and avoided breakfast because breakfast was the worst, especially the brunch. The Liquid Lounge Theater layout was really strange to us. The seats made it nearly impossible to see all of the show due to the way they were arranged. It is a mix of individual chairs down below and cushioned seats that are really close together up above. It was a tight fit for us and we're short. Not set up for 4,000 people! Emma, the cruise director was full of energy and shows like Motown, Dancing Through the 80's and the Glow Party were a lot of fun. The Comedy shows we enjoyed. Don't forget to do SkyRide. It is fun. It only looks scary. None of the swimming pools on Carnival are heated. But, I did manage to swim twice towards the end of the cruise. I did my laps. The debarkment was horrendous to us. Being Royal/Celebrity people we weren't used to Carnival. People were getting off and getting on in the same place. It made it extremely confusing and hectic. This is a beautiful ship, but it is still Carnival run. My grown-up children would like it. I am going to book it again with them in mind. We still prefer Royal, Celebrity and Princess though for our normal cruising. We have been on over 60 cruises. So we consider ourselves active cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a cruise to celebrate my friend's birthday and a gift for 40 years of being best friends. I've sailed on a total of 34 cruises from 5 different cruise lines: Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, NCL, and Celebrity. ... Read More
This was a cruise to celebrate my friend's birthday and a gift for 40 years of being best friends. I've sailed on a total of 34 cruises from 5 different cruise lines: Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, NCL, and Celebrity. For perspective, my favorite, which tends to change over the years, is probably NCL, with Princess a close second. My wife's favorite (who didn't attend this one) is Celebrity. Carnival Panorama: Pros: Dining ranged from very good to excellent. The casual lunch food was terrific, with many options (Guy Fieri's burgers, pizza, deli, Mongolian Wok, Pasta Bella, Blue Iguana Cantina, Guy Fieri's BBQ). Fun factor was excellent and high. I was like a little kid going on the water slides and I even splashed in the kid's water zone, replete with a bucket of water slamming on my head. The Sky Zone was fun, and was enhanced by the nighttime glow event. Elevators were great, unusual, but great. You push a touchscreen to indicate your floor, then you are assigned an elevator. Once inside, you cannot press, or change floors. This cuts down on the 87 people trying to jam into one elevator. Entertainment was excellent. They really pulled out all the stops with certain production shows. One show even had Drones. The comedians were also good to excellent. Ship was huge, and beautiful, holding over 4K passengers with many options to keep people entertained. I love how Carnival has so much music in so many different venues. Recommendation: If you do not download the Carnival Hub App, you are making a big mistake. We had "Your Time Dining" and we simply pushed a button when we were ready to eat. They would then send a message like "estimated wait time is 5-10 minutes." You would get another text when your table was ready. No lines in front of the MDRs and no waiting around. The app also had menus as well as the daily planner. The planner was interactive so you could choose your events for the day and they would be filed under the "my planner" tab so you would receive reminders, as well as a note telling you who in your party was also interested. Cons: The lido buffet was underwhelming because, though they had plenty of room and space for dishes, they were repeated. IE, they would have a 4 place station on one side, and often they would have the same dishes for the other 3 stations. They did have a lido buffet in the front and the back, which was sometimes different. Wait times could get high. The Deli often had only 1 server, so even with 10 people, it could take a while. The burger line and pizza lines could get really crowded at peak times. Allow me to make the caveat that, despite a few wait times, the overall ship did not feel overwhelmingly crowded and Carnival did a great job of managing throughput for so many. Overall, I loved this ship's experience and will not hesitate to sail her again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had a wonderful family cruise on the Panorama. We flew to LAX the day before and stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown. The cruise passengers are a diverse group of all ages. Pros- The ship is big, you don’t feel like their are 4000 ... Read More
We had a wonderful family cruise on the Panorama. We flew to LAX the day before and stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown. The cruise passengers are a diverse group of all ages. Pros- The ship is big, you don’t feel like their are 4000 other passengers on board. Embarkation was easiest ever- we walked right on at 12:15. Rooms were ready at 1:30. Service was excellent. Staff is extremely friendly and helpful. The food in the Vista dining room was delicious. Lots of music venues across the ship. Tons of activities going on. The serenity deck is nice- it’s for 21 and over. Very quiet and peaceful. Has its own delicious Salad Bar. Great views. The water slides are so much fun. Movies on the pool deck at night were great. It is a great value for the money cruise. We had inside rooms and loved them. We had a party of 8 and we all thought it was the best cruise ever. Cons: Not many cons My son is vegetarian and the main dining room had one vegetarian option each night and it was the same thing all week- odd. Debarkation was extremely slow- worst I have ever had. I think because they did not have enough customs agents. I love a massage - but as on every cruise I have been on- they give you a hard sell to buy products at the end. Not enough room for everyone that wants to go to the shows. It gets crowded fast. Tips: the elevators are different- you must pick the floor you want before you get on the elevator. JJ’s Asian, the Italian restaurant, and Guys BBQ are free at lunch but charge extra at night. We LOVED Guys BBQ! My son and his wife waited an hour for their food at JJ’s Asian. Very few items are free on the room service menu. At Cabo you have to take a water taxi from the ship - not a big deal. We did the horse back riding excursion and BBQ supper in Puerto Vallerto and loved it. In Cabo, as soon as you get off the boat, people are asking you to buy stuff. We loved our cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were so excited in anticipation of a brand new ship for Carnival on the West Coast leaving out of Long Beach, CA. This was so worth the wait. As background, we were on the early cruises of the Carnival Vista and had been greatly ... Read More
We were so excited in anticipation of a brand new ship for Carnival on the West Coast leaving out of Long Beach, CA. This was so worth the wait. As background, we were on the early cruises of the Carnival Vista and had been greatly disappointed. The Vista was new and shiny, but was crowded and poorly designed. This gave us some hesitation because the Panorama is a Vista class ship. So we would run into the same type of issues on Panorama as we did Vista? Nope. Not even a little. We would certainly have to mention that the Long Beach port is not used to boarding a 4,000 passenger cruise ship so traffic flow into the actual port was slow, but we are sure that will improve. Once we checked our bag with a porter, we walked the 1,000 feet over to the Queen Mary and took advantage of our free (unguided) admission to see the QM that came with our Panorama boarding pass. We had priority check-in as part of the Premier Cruise (Carnival Players Club) so we wandered over at about 1:00 to embark. They have really worked hard on the embark process with most Carnival Cruises we've been on and it shows. The issuance of the Sign and Sail Card on your cabin door has been a game changer. We were on the ship in about 15 minutes. Of note is that there is quite a bit of walking up ramps to get to boarding level, so if you have any issues with mobility you might want to consider the elevator option. The first views of the Panorama are breathtaking. Shiny and brand new she sits proudly in Long Beach waiting for you to board. Although you get a glimpse of her full profile, you cannot fully take her in until you are on a tender heading to Cabo or docked in Mazatlan or Puerta Vallarta. The crew is there to greet you as you stream on guiding you to Lido or to Pig & Anchor BBQ for an embarkation lunch. Since we were always Guy's Burger on Embark day we switched it up and went to Pig & Anchor for a delicious buffet style lunch with no wait. The slow roasted pork is one of the best we’ve had anywhere. We had a Havana Cabana (5215) on the Havana level. We have been on over ten cruises and this is by far the nicest cabin we’ve had. The cabin itself is standard size but being shiny new and barely used certainly adds to its appeal. The Havana decorations and the handy USB plugs make this a very clean and comfortable place to live for seven days. The key to the enjoyment of this room is the cabana/porch outside your room. Larger than a standard balcony, it’s a perfect place to relax. You are not directly on the water as you are in a standard balcony but you have a small walkway outside your gate and then see directly off the side of the ship. The swing chair and your own dedicated chaise lounge and table make it a wonderful place to relax. It was January and a little chilly at night and during sea days, but we still made the best of it. You may be concerned that people would be walking by your patio door all the time, but the only ones you would see is the 15-20 that are on your side of the Havana area as others cannot access this area without going through the Havana pool area (wristband required) or out their own Cabana door. What a pleasure this was to walk out your cabin sliding door, through your patio and down twenty feet to the beautiful and never busy Havana pool area. We have been on over ten cruises and have NEVER been in the hot tubs on Lido or Serenity because they are always mobbed and a lot of times by loud teenager or young kids. Not so in the Havana area! Excellent views off the back of the ship and a beautiful pool and hot tub to swim in with your new neighbors. Yes, the water was too cold in the pool but the hot tub was perfect. Get a drink from the wonderful Havana attendants and relax in the plentiful and never busy chaise lounges and couch lounges. What a perfect and relaxing time! The surprising fun time of the cruise was the Carnival Kitchen. A series of cooking classes available for a fee includes small classes with lots of one on one training from Carnival Chefs and allowing you to prepare and cook your own meal – and eat it! At the end of the training and demo the chefs also make you a nice meal an let you sample what you’ve made as well. We did two classes: the Master Pizza class and the En Fuego Latin Cooking class. We had an absolute ball in both of these. We would have done more, in fact really wanted to do the pasta from scratch class, but it was sold out quickly. Do not hesitate and book early through the “specialty” dining area of the website. We were on the “Players” cruise for Carnival so we spent a few hours in the casino. Nice room with excellent servers and staff but you just cannot get away from that horrible stale smell of cigarette smoke when you are in there. Not to go off on a rant, but how they still allow cigarette smoking in casinos on a ship is beyond me. With that in mind, we really did enjoy our time playing in the casino. The ship entertainment was pretty good. The first night show was a Broadway review and a performer who worked the earlier show got injured so they couldn’t do the choreography so they sang from stools in the middle of the stage. That certainly might impair our review of this show, but it was average. The second night of shows, the zombie review was visually excellent with great music and a lot of fun to watch. My wife said it was her favorite show of any cruise line we’ve seen. I’m not ready to go that far but I enjoyed it. We missed the rock and roll show (that we heard was excellent), so I cannot provide any feedback on that. The Love & Marriage show was hilarious as always and even though we’ve seen this show ten times or more, the older couple they got on this cruise that was married 64 years was hysterical. The L&M show is a cannot miss event ! Finally, the Lip Sync Battle was the last night of the cruise. We didn’t expect much and really didn’t plan to go but were just outside the showroom as it was about to start and wandered in. it was PACKED and we ended up standing up in the top level way in the back, craning around a pole to see the show. And you know what? We thoroughly enjoyed it. The two finalists were fellow cruise passengers that were amazing. We had a great time. Of note with the showroom, it is very small for that size ship – so get there early for a big show. They did away with the tables and benches and put regular chairs on the floor. It makes bingo more challenging (they do provide you with clipboards) and you don’t have a table to set your drinks on. We only did one night in the Main Dining Room (“MDR”) on the Panorama. It was beautiful and brand new and the service was excellent. The food was, as is becoming the norm with the “free” food on board very average. We had a beautiful table next to a big window the first night but they asked us to move to a nearby table going forward to help accommodate others. We would be joining this older couple, so we said yes. Then of course we stole some glances at our new “friends” and they were arguing and complaining about everything so we never made it back into the MDR. With specialty reservations (Steakhouse = wonderful) and Teppanyaki (also amazing) and the aforementioned Carnival Kitchen meals, there was no need to go back there. We did take in the Sea Day Brunch in the MDR a couple of sea day afternoons and it was very good. We also had “free” lunch in the Italian Restaurant and it was very good. Debarkation was one of the best experiences we’ve had. We had an 11:30 AM flight out of LAX on debark day (yes, I know….cutting it close), so we carried our own bags off and met in the Casino at 7:30 AM for the unadvertised “early flight” debark. We exited the ship at 8:05AM and were in an uber by 9:00 AM. We were at LAX by 10:00 AM. Such a wonderful time, such a beautiful new ship full of proud employees that are really glad you are there. We cannot wait to go back! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had 10 cabins and were there to celebrate a birthday. I was expecting an unruly party crowd and was surprised to see people behaving maturely on this ship. Perhaps it was the time of year and the fact that kids were still in school. ... Read More
We had 10 cabins and were there to celebrate a birthday. I was expecting an unruly party crowd and was surprised to see people behaving maturely on this ship. Perhaps it was the time of year and the fact that kids were still in school. There were kids there but most were kept in check. The ship was easy to navigate and nothing was too far away. Cabin has only one plug so bring a strip. Nothing good on tv that has two complimentary movie channels. Casino is nice with all games, including craps. Bingo paid well if you won unlike Celebrity’s bingo. Water slide looked like a blast but it was too cold on this voyage. Entertainment that we saw was pretty boring. Dress like the 50’s, sing 50’s songs. Next night, dress like the 70’s, sing 70’s songs, etc. The high energy cruise director made things fun when he was in charge. Service in the cabin and the dining room were excellent. The food was good but not memorable. Karaoke was fun as was Papas and Beer in Ensenada. I would go on this cruise again. For an inexpensive getaway it can’t be beat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were offered a last minute uograde which we paid for to go from the very back of floor 1 to floor 6. The logistics of such a move put some strain on the system. We received document, invites and other messages for the previous ... Read More
We were offered a last minute uograde which we paid for to go from the very back of floor 1 to floor 6. The logistics of such a move put some strain on the system. We received document, invites and other messages for the previous occupants until the third day. I turned platinum this cruise but got a gold card which was corrected when we went to guest services. Here's the rub, everything on the ship was small and crammed in. Atrium tiny and cramped. Casino all smoking so I feel sorry for those who don't smoke, I do so not problem for me. If you didn't like what was on the menu for the MDR the buffet seemed to serve the same thing. IT seemed that they wanted to steer towards added charge specialty restaurants. Casino bar had stainless steel fixtures that were broken for such a new ship . Several slot machines were non functioning. Many of the crew seemed unhappy save a few. Wife's big highlight was coffee place where the barista remembered her name from day one and greeted her by name each trip. Tapanyaki place fun and good food. $38 bucks a head more expensive than another line we cruise any of their specialty restos. We never bothered with the sky zone or the aerial bikes. Smoking areas on deck 11 were confused. Sometimes o.k other times (not refueling) nope can't do. Emma. Now Emma isn't for everyone but I thought she was a hoot. At sail away I never saw the Lido deck so alive. Anytime she was on the Lido she worked the crowd 110%. This class of ship I would say not our style. Many will like it especially for the first or second time cruiser. Maybe it was still working the bugs out of the operations but I would not cruise this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Although this was cruise #50 for me, we have only done a few Carnival weekend cruises. When I saw a new ship from our home port (1/2 hr drive!) we booked immediately (3/18) for our Jan 2020 Family cruise. DH was a bit afraid of such a ... Read More
Although this was cruise #50 for me, we have only done a few Carnival weekend cruises. When I saw a new ship from our home port (1/2 hr drive!) we booked immediately (3/18) for our Jan 2020 Family cruise. DH was a bit afraid of such a large ship, as he has mobility issues, but did fine with the new elevator system. Grandaughters ages 5 & 9 loved the water park. Embarkation went really fast, and boarded "special assistance" with our boarding zone to be on board before noon! We booked adjoining cabins, and with the balcony divider down loved it! Cabins were new, comfortable, bur a bit smaller than other balcony cabins. However, family fit 4 in fine with a sofa bed & a bunk bed over it. Kids loved it1 Can't compliment staff enough! Everyone seemed to know my name by the second day, and went out of their way to say "hi". Everyone loved being on the ship, and you could feel the vibe. Our server, Jenny, in particular, was outstanding. Every day when we sat down had shrimp cocktails waiting for us! kids meals were served with our appetizer course, and kept the drinks coming on Cheers! Only other comment- DH had salt-free diet, but was very bland. I changed to regular menu, which I thought was better than any other cruise, including Celebrity & Oceania! Cruise Director Emma was energizer bunny- she was everywhere, keeping things going. I am collecting social security, but don't like a ship where everyone is in bed by 9pm! The live music was exceptional- the musicians knew all requests, keep the mood going for the most part, and had some crazy-fun jams! Rock show was my favorite- lots of classic rock. Other shows were ok- too loud for DH, even with his hearing aids off! Although we usually do our own excursions or through cruise critic, this time we did ship excursions for DH. Prices were fair, and we had done both before. In Cabo we took the Pirate Ship for the kids. Loved it, food was great. Best to do it as a snorkel, but we did not snorkel. There was a bit of a mix-up at first about alcohol- as we weren't snorkeling they at first weren't going to serve us, but got sorted out & we had plenty to drink! Also, boat left late as was a bit oversold. But crew more than made up for these. i made a comment at shore excursion desk, and they refunded 30%, although i didn't ask for anything and didn't really complain, just commented. Would definitely recommend Cabo Pirate ship, especially for price. if you do it is PV it is alot more expensive. In Puerto Vallerta we did the Mexican Fiesta for the girls. Beginning of tour was shipping & downtown, which we really didn't want. Fiesta and tequila tasting was good. Tour leader, Hugo, was a bit curt, but i guess needed to do that to keep the group together. Bus was late due to ADA problem I was told, so they gave us free margaritas. Would not recommend this tour. I know alot of people put down Carnival as being a "booze cruise" and lesser quality than other lines, but I disagree. They are really stepping up their game by catering to families, excellent food, etc. My family is ready to book their next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have taken many cruises but this was our first time on carnival. I would like to summarize my families pros and cons in hopes of helping others. 1. Boarding in Long Beach- was easy, took an Uber to the port, was dropped off right ... Read More
We have taken many cruises but this was our first time on carnival. I would like to summarize my families pros and cons in hopes of helping others. 1. Boarding in Long Beach- was easy, took an Uber to the port, was dropped off right near the entrance and was even able to board early. We had a noon board time and we were on board by 11am. 2. The rooms- felt much smaller than NCL, RCCL and disney. 4 of us in a room. 1 king size bed and one set of bunk beds, one bunk is on the floor and one comes from the wall. Once the bunkbeds are open you are unable to walk around the king size bed. I had to climb over my husband to get to the bathroom. Window was dirty and hard to see out of. 3. Housekeeping- Once we boarded we were asked if we wouldn’t housekeeping in the morning or at night, you could only pick One. So this meant the bunk beds were always down and left little room to actually walk around in the room. 4. Bathroom was a nice size, when you flushed the toilet it flushed either once or three times. There is a safe in the room, You just need a card with a strip on the back to be able to open and lock the safe. I used my sail card. 5. Only one outlet in the whole room. We brought a power strip. 6. Walls are thin, we brought a sound machine . 7. Catalina island- tender was rough, didn’t take long. Island was nice, not a lot to do. We rented golf carts. First golf cart company was cash only, $50 per hour. Another block down the street another company took credit card for the first hour and cash for the second hour(50$ per hour) so if you are going to do this you will need cash. If you take the cart for only one hour and return it within that hour they will give you your $50 cash back. We took the full two hours and got to see the entire island. I believe kids under 5 are required to have a car seat. They do provide a map. We took bottled water with us. When we board the ship the odor of garbage was overwhelming wheels waiting to get through security. 8. Ensenada- got off the boat and took the four dollar bus to “downtown”. This was only about a mile from the ship. Once off the bus they offered to sell us discounted excursion tickets. We opted to walk around down town and were hassled by store workers every 4 feet. Some even sent small children, poorly dressed and with no shoes on to try and sell us items. Very sad. The offered my husband drugs, women and guns. We went back to the downtown shuttle and it took us back to the boat. The 4$ was roundtrip. 8. Many times while walking around the different floors of the ship you could smell sewage. Especially near the steps and elevators. Last sea day was very rough, many people throwing up on the floor. 9. Main dining room we had early seating and had Z as our waiter. He was awesome!! 10. Third night on the ship i ordered a glass of wine during the theater show. After the show when the lights came up I saw my wine glass was covered in lipstick marks, I don’t wear lipstick. Took the glass to customer service where the representative called the bar manager. Ryan Martin, he was less than helpful and angry that the desk clerk called him down to speak to me. He said there was nothing he could do. Disembarkation was easy and we paid 34$ to Uber To lax. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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