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2,652 Carnival Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

We chose this ship because it was a new ship with 3 hours by flight. We were very excited about the fun amenities. Getting on the ship was ok. Getting off the ship was horribly long and painful. We had hoped for entertainment ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was a new ship with 3 hours by flight. We were very excited about the fun amenities. Getting on the ship was ok. Getting off the ship was horribly long and painful. We had hoped for entertainment similar to NCL, unfortunately, 80% is comedians. We visited the casino a few times, it the smoke was so bad it made it impossible to stay very long. I would hope by now the casinos could be split between smoking and non smoking. Although the smoke would still drift over, it would be nice not to have someone smoking all around you. The food on the ship was ok. We were on the Liberty in 2018, the Elation in 2019, and the Valor and Panorama. The menus in the MDR are almost identical for three years. They need to switch it up every couple years. The lunch and dinner food in the buffet was barely warm. Nothing was hot. Breakfast was excellent in the buffet. Things seem to be warmer. I had breakfast in the mdr on a sea day. The pancakes were dry and eggs bland. Carnival has the best fresh juice by far. Blue Iguana was perfect for lunch. Breakfast was hit or miss. Breakfast Burritos thumbs up, huevos rancheros was cold. By the end of the cruise we didn’t go to the MDR as we found almost the same food at the buffet with a great view. One of the highlights of the cruise was eating at The Chef’s table. This was an unforgettable, culinary experience. I would give them 9.5 out of ten. Only because I don’t like wine. If they could have sparkling cider, it would be perfect. The activities on the ship were a lot of fun. Emma our cruise Director made things memorable. Her and her staff were a definite thumbs up. The alchemy bar, by far was the best bar on the ship. Especially if you like custom drinks. Nikola and Zoran crafted incredible drinks, while keeping you laughing. Their customer service was Top Notch. Also, if you like espresso, go visit Java Joe for coffee and a song. We have some great memories, especially due to the staff. Unfortunately, my husband and I said, overall, we would not return to the Panorama. We have a cruise this fall on the Breeze and are hopeful it will Wow us. If not, we will probably go back to NCL or try out Royal Caribbean. Thank you Christine for your addition of the heroes bar. It is a wonderful tribute. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We loved sailing on the Panorama. The staff was wonderful - they really went out of their way to help in any way possible. Since there was only a slight difference between Panorama and Horizon but it still made a difference to us. Our ... Read More
We loved sailing on the Panorama. The staff was wonderful - they really went out of their way to help in any way possible. Since there was only a slight difference between Panorama and Horizon but it still made a difference to us. Our experience eating in the dining room for breakfast was outstanding. Food was hot and wonderful. The evening meal in the Horizon was meet with the whole staff lining up and greeting us each evening. Never had that before. The wait staff did a fantastic job. Went over and above. Would sail on the Panorama again. The Embarkation was a little never racking. There really isn't a great system since it was in 2009 for our first trip out of Long Beach. We arrived and didn't know what or where to go with our luggage. Finally a porter came over and took our bags after dropping off someone who was leaving the ship. Wasn't to sure our bags were going in right direction but, of course they were. The Disembarkation was very smooth. We were assigned to wait in the Limelight Lounge and we only waited to leave for about 1/2 hour since we arrived in the lounge early. They had coffee and Danish waiting if you wanted it. Our cabin (Cove Balcony) was clean and always ready each day for our return. Our room stewards were wonderful. My only suggestion on that room is someone needs to check the drawers in the closet since they were hard of open and close - I think they were off the track. We had only one problem with a Port - it was Puerto Vallarta. Did realize you could not walk to the shops - needed to take a taxi after we walked to the area we thought had shops. But, overall we still enjoyed all the ports. One suggestion: Our mix and mingle get together didn't have anyone there in charge so it was a little awkard. We still meet the Panorama staff and some very nice cruisers. I certainly would said again on the Panorama, especially with this crew. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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
We stayed in Suite 11221, which was a beautiful comfortable room but I would advise people to avoid this particular cabin and the ones around it unless you don't want to get any sleep. This suite was directly under the weight room in ... Read More
We stayed in Suite 11221, which was a beautiful comfortable room but I would advise people to avoid this particular cabin and the ones around it unless you don't want to get any sleep. This suite was directly under the weight room in the fitness center and meatheads above us were slamming and dropping heavy weights on the floor (our ceiling) from 8 am on. The fitness center was supposed to close at 10 pm and yet there was someone slamming weights into our ceiling until 10:45 the first night. I was told by the customer service desk that they let the staff go work out after 10. We nicknamed the room, 'Thunderdome' after a while, and continued to complain. They did have the spa manager go over there and tell people to cease and desist, which helped a little. They also gave us a $300 cabin credit for our pain and suffering. I personally think on a ship that rocks, there shoudn't be any free weights except for light ones, you can so easily injure yourself or others. I watched a guy throw two 80 lb hand weights to the floor when he decided it was too much weight and his steroided arms got weak. I really wanted to like this ship. It's new and nice, and lots of free things to do. We loved the comedians, they were really talented. The big shows were forgettable. The food - nearly nothing for good desserts. If you wanted a really decadent dessert, you had to pay a fortune for it at the coffee bar. The main dining room has lots of blind spots so you can't see the waiters dance, which is always fun. We paid over $4k for a suite, you'd think we'd get some consideration and a better table but no. You had to tip them to get a decent table. I realize they are serving thousands of people a night but the food was always barely warm, including the salad dressing. They actually had the bottles of dressing under a heat lamp, I kid you not. We had dinner in the steak house and they overcooked my filet mignon into beef jerky. I ate part of my husband's steak, which was excellent and they didn't charge me for my meal. I took some cheesecake to go and that was divine. The myriad activities were fun, we enjoyed the cruise elegant nights and got some really nice pictures. HUGE improvement now with their online system to pick the photos you want to buy at the end of the cruise and don't have to hunt down your printed shots, which anyone could throw away. Embarkation was a breeze since we arrived a bit late, as our flight to LAX was delayed. No lines whatsoever in the afternoon, took our bags straight to our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
the design of the ship reminded us a lot of Royal Caribbean, it is disappointing they don't put lemons on the tables every night only formal nights. We had a great time the extras like the hand washing stations in the lido deck and at ... Read More
the design of the ship reminded us a lot of Royal Caribbean, it is disappointing they don't put lemons on the tables every night only formal nights. We had a great time the extras like the hand washing stations in the lido deck and at the cherry on top Candy shop we're great additions. Ship featured a large effy jewelry selection and the piano bar had a fantastic host for the sailing we were on the design was well-thought-out also.they could have done more karaoke is that was a big hit and they stopped it mid cruise. My wife and I really enjoyed tee time on sea days at 3 p.m.going this early in February we saw whales at breakfast when we were pulling into Cabo breach over 15 times. Well worth the money. I just wish they would offer more non alcoholic drink packages besides just bubbles. Leaving out of Long Beach it is awesome to be able to use your ticket to board the Queen Mary and take a tour for free. The liquid lounge their main entertainment venue is rather small for a ship this size however they did not hold great enough entertainment to keep it full most any night.the one annoying thing in the room is you have to leave a card in a slot to turn the lights on most people end up just shoving a piece of paper in that dead man switch so they can use that feature without leaving their seapass card. This is the second type inaugural Cruise my wife and I have taken, in both cases there were surprises and let Downs overall this is a good ship for a good value. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The Panorama was new and beautiful. Our interior was tight, but expected. The staff on top of things and the food was fine. Our dining staff were meticulous. I especially enjoyed the blue iguana and guy burger joint. Yum! The rooms were ... Read More
The Panorama was new and beautiful. Our interior was tight, but expected. The staff on top of things and the food was fine. Our dining staff were meticulous. I especially enjoyed the blue iguana and guy burger joint. Yum! The rooms were clean and my family and I had a fun time. All three ports were lovely and we felt safe and welcome at each one. Our whale watching excursion rocked! I wish the adult section on board the ship had a pool though and bigger hot tubs. Covering that section from the wind would have helped as well. Unfortunately, some parents were using the hot tubs in the common areas as a day care center, which is tacky when the kids literally have floaties on and are swimming in a hot tub around adults trying to relax. Thank goodness the staff stopped a father from distributing ice cream cones to his kids in the hot tub. But, this isn't a Carnival problem, it's a parenting problem. There is so much to do and see, you make your trip and experience your own. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have a lot of fun on Carnival and chose this ship because it was new and we had never sailed from California before. We had never been to the Mexican Riviera. We did a back to back. The first week my daughter and her husband joined us. ... Read More
We have a lot of fun on Carnival and chose this ship because it was new and we had never sailed from California before. We had never been to the Mexican Riviera. We did a back to back. The first week my daughter and her husband joined us. First, what did we not like... never having sailed from California before, I thought that southern california had similar weather to florida. No such luck. It was fairly cool in southern california. It warmed up in Mexico during the afternoon, but it just wasn't as warm as I prefer. That is all I can basically complain about. The ship was beautiful. It is more spread out than I was used to, so I found myself wondering if I needed to go to deck 4 or 5 lots of time. The port were very fun. As excursions we did the Camel and Mexican Outback in Cabo and Hidden Mexico in Vallarta the first week and a Whale watching, coastal tour the 2nd week. All of our excursions were fun and well done. When we did not take an excursion the 1st week we went to Stone Island at Mazatlan and hung out on the beach and stayed in front of a restaurant where we got free chairs and umbrella as long as we bought our drinks and some food from them. It worked out well for us, Lots of people trying to sell you stuff but we just kept saying no thanks and shaking our heads and they would go away. The 2nd week when we were not on excursions we did the board walks and had a great time there also. We stopped at a few places for drinks and had some lunch at the cheeky money in Vallarta and in Mazatlan we followed the blue line to the middle of town and stopped and had drinks and lunch at one of the paces there. The food was fine, but we did not eat in any of the pay places this time. We did eat at the Mongolian Dining and the food was as good as always but I do not like the way they have set it up. You can only eat in Ji JI's Dining so if it is full they make you take a buzzer and wait. You should be allowed to get your food and take it down to the cafeteria. We had a great time over all. Coming home the airlines managed to totally ruin one of my suitcases and we are working on getting it replaced. Emma was our cruise director on the ship and she is an angel. Very personable, and funny.We also loved the new programs they had in the Liquid Lounge. Especially loved Soul Bound. Also the comedy acts were so funny. We went almost every night . I recommend this cruise but I would go a bit later in the spring if I was doing it again. 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 for two reasons first because it was departing San Diego (our hometown) and second because it was going to Cabo. We choose a 1:00 pm check in and it was so easy. We did not have to wait in any lines, our bags were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons first because it was departing San Diego (our hometown) and second because it was going to Cabo. We choose a 1:00 pm check in and it was so easy. We did not have to wait in any lines, our bags were checked and we were able to go to our cabin and put our carry on luggage away. We were surprised on the size of our cabin, it was a lot bigger than expected and the bathroom was also large with a lot of counter space and little shelves to place our toiletries. There were three closets and and two small dressers a mini fridge and a desk with four small and one large drawer. Next we explored the ship and put our names in for the raffle at the Spa ( which we were given a tour of by Spa staff ). We joined in the Sail Away party as we departed. This was a high energy party with dancing and a Conga line led by the Cat in the Hat and Thing one and Thing two. There were cruisers of all ages ( we are 55 and 58 ), everyone we having fun. We had dinner in the dining room a few times which we joined strangers for dinner and made new friends. Then we chose to have the buffet for dinner, and we liked that better because it was faster and we did not want to miss out on any of the fun. We participated in the Lip Sync Battle auditions and the Scavenger Quest Game ( do not miss playing this if you have the chance, it was a riot ) . We did the Luxury Sail and Snorkel excursion. This was amazing we saw so many whales I lost count ( actually jumping out of the water ). The crew was outstanding, we actually sailed. We also spent a lot of time in the casino and earned free drinks and a bottle of wine. The staff on ship were very helpful and polite going the extra mile when asking for directions by escorting us to the location. I loved the Serenity Adult area, it was so relaxing. The clam shells with a few extra towels make for the perfect place to spend a day at sea. The entertainment team was great they were able to pull everyone together and make connections. Brilliant ! We did have to go to Medical due to a slip and fall accident in which there was a sore ankle. Guest services picked up my friend with a wheelchair and took her to medical, after hours. The Medical staff was very thorough and gave her ankle an ex ray. There was a sprained ankle . Security checked out where she fell and took a report. Of coarse the was not any charges. We are booking this cruise again. The Miracle is going to dry dock for a face lift very soon and adding a couple new places on the ship. I look forward to my next Cabo cruise on her. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was my second cruise and it was a day longer than last time and even better than my Carnival Cruise from last year. The service was excellent, the staff was always helpful and engaging and the room was perfect. I loved the activities ... Read More
This was my second cruise and it was a day longer than last time and even better than my Carnival Cruise from last year. The service was excellent, the staff was always helpful and engaging and the room was perfect. I loved the activities and all that was provided for us guests; I took advantage of everything I could and enjoyed every minute. The gym was clean and had all the equipment I would need to stay on track with my exercise plan. Meal time was always delicious and the nightly dance routines were so much fun to participate in. It was a perfectly relaxing time away for me and my husband. Not only did we enjoy all the amenities on the ship, we thoroughly enjoyed the excursions that we purchased for our time in Cabo. Purchasing the excursions ahead of time was easy and convenient. We are ready for our next cruise already. Read Less
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
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