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2,652 Carnival Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because I live in Southern California and there was no airfare involved. Also, the fact that it is a brand new ship. Now, that I've had some time to think more clearly I'm going to put some of my thoughts ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I live in Southern California and there was no airfare involved. Also, the fact that it is a brand new ship. Now, that I've had some time to think more clearly I'm going to put some of my thoughts down about the Panorama. Where we were situated on the ship Deck 1, Cabin 1214 was not the best place to be. We had an outside cabin but could hear every noise possible at night. The waves crashing against the ship, the cabin next door to use, banging and loudly talking. We heard it all. Hence we didn't get a lot of sleep. The beds were extremely comfortable. The shows were fantastic! Like the other Carnival ships, the food was mediocre up in the Lido and in the dining room. On Royal Caribbean, we ask for broccoli and berries at dinner and receive it every night like clockward. Here, we asked once or twice and only received the broccoli and they ignored our request for berries entirely. The extra restaurant, Bonsai Teppanyaki was wonderful and well worth the extra cost. The other eating places that I liked were Guys (both of them), Bueiguana (Mexican fare) and the Mongolian Wok. I had lunch half the time and avoided breakfast because breakfast was the worst, especially the brunch. The Liquid Lounge Theater layout was really strange to us. The seats made it nearly impossible to see all of the show due to the way they were arranged. It is a mix of individual chairs down below and cushioned seats that are really close together up above. It was a tight fit for us and we're short. Not set up for 4,000 people! Emma, the cruise director was full of energy and shows like Motown, Dancing Through the 80's and the Glow Party were a lot of fun. The Comedy shows we enjoyed. Don't forget to do SkyRide. It is fun. It only looks scary. None of the swimming pools on Carnival are heated. But, I did manage to swim twice towards the end of the cruise. I did my laps. The debarkment was horrendous to us. Being Royal/Celebrity people we weren't used to Carnival. People were getting off and getting on in the same place. It made it extremely confusing and hectic. This is a beautiful ship, but it is still Carnival run. My grown-up children would like it. I am going to book it again with them in mind. We still prefer Royal, Celebrity and Princess though for our normal cruising. We have been on over 60 cruises. So we consider ourselves active cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a cruise to celebrate my friend's birthday and a gift for 40 years of being best friends. I've sailed on a total of 34 cruises from 5 different cruise lines: Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, NCL, and Celebrity. ... Read More
This was a cruise to celebrate my friend's birthday and a gift for 40 years of being best friends. I've sailed on a total of 34 cruises from 5 different cruise lines: Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, NCL, and Celebrity. For perspective, my favorite, which tends to change over the years, is probably NCL, with Princess a close second. My wife's favorite (who didn't attend this one) is Celebrity. Carnival Panorama: Pros: Dining ranged from very good to excellent. The casual lunch food was terrific, with many options (Guy Fieri's burgers, pizza, deli, Mongolian Wok, Pasta Bella, Blue Iguana Cantina, Guy Fieri's BBQ). Fun factor was excellent and high. I was like a little kid going on the water slides and I even splashed in the kid's water zone, replete with a bucket of water slamming on my head. The Sky Zone was fun, and was enhanced by the nighttime glow event. Elevators were great, unusual, but great. You push a touchscreen to indicate your floor, then you are assigned an elevator. Once inside, you cannot press, or change floors. This cuts down on the 87 people trying to jam into one elevator. Entertainment was excellent. They really pulled out all the stops with certain production shows. One show even had Drones. The comedians were also good to excellent. Ship was huge, and beautiful, holding over 4K passengers with many options to keep people entertained. I love how Carnival has so much music in so many different venues. Recommendation: If you do not download the Carnival Hub App, you are making a big mistake. We had "Your Time Dining" and we simply pushed a button when we were ready to eat. They would then send a message like "estimated wait time is 5-10 minutes." You would get another text when your table was ready. No lines in front of the MDRs and no waiting around. The app also had menus as well as the daily planner. The planner was interactive so you could choose your events for the day and they would be filed under the "my planner" tab so you would receive reminders, as well as a note telling you who in your party was also interested. Cons: The lido buffet was underwhelming because, though they had plenty of room and space for dishes, they were repeated. IE, they would have a 4 place station on one side, and often they would have the same dishes for the other 3 stations. They did have a lido buffet in the front and the back, which was sometimes different. Wait times could get high. The Deli often had only 1 server, so even with 10 people, it could take a while. The burger line and pizza lines could get really crowded at peak times. Allow me to make the caveat that, despite a few wait times, the overall ship did not feel overwhelmingly crowded and Carnival did a great job of managing throughput for so many. Overall, I loved this ship's experience and will not hesitate to sail her again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had a wonderful family cruise on the Panorama. We flew to LAX the day before and stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown. The cruise passengers are a diverse group of all ages. Pros- The ship is big, you don’t feel like their are 4000 ... Read More
We had a wonderful family cruise on the Panorama. We flew to LAX the day before and stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown. The cruise passengers are a diverse group of all ages. Pros- The ship is big, you don’t feel like their are 4000 other passengers on board. Embarkation was easiest ever- we walked right on at 12:15. Rooms were ready at 1:30. Service was excellent. Staff is extremely friendly and helpful. The food in the Vista dining room was delicious. Lots of music venues across the ship. Tons of activities going on. The serenity deck is nice- it’s for 21 and over. Very quiet and peaceful. Has its own delicious Salad Bar. Great views. The water slides are so much fun. Movies on the pool deck at night were great. It is a great value for the money cruise. We had inside rooms and loved them. We had a party of 8 and we all thought it was the best cruise ever. Cons: Not many cons My son is vegetarian and the main dining room had one vegetarian option each night and it was the same thing all week- odd. Debarkation was extremely slow- worst I have ever had. I think because they did not have enough customs agents. I love a massage - but as on every cruise I have been on- they give you a hard sell to buy products at the end. Not enough room for everyone that wants to go to the shows. It gets crowded fast. Tips: the elevators are different- you must pick the floor you want before you get on the elevator. JJ’s Asian, the Italian restaurant, and Guys BBQ are free at lunch but charge extra at night. We LOVED Guys BBQ! My son and his wife waited an hour for their food at JJ’s Asian. Very few items are free on the room service menu. At Cabo you have to take a water taxi from the ship - not a big deal. We did the horse back riding excursion and BBQ supper in Puerto Vallerto and loved it. In Cabo, as soon as you get off the boat, people are asking you to buy stuff. We loved our cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were so excited in anticipation of a brand new ship for Carnival on the West Coast leaving out of Long Beach, CA. This was so worth the wait. As background, we were on the early cruises of the Carnival Vista and had been greatly ... Read More
We were so excited in anticipation of a brand new ship for Carnival on the West Coast leaving out of Long Beach, CA. This was so worth the wait. As background, we were on the early cruises of the Carnival Vista and had been greatly disappointed. The Vista was new and shiny, but was crowded and poorly designed. This gave us some hesitation because the Panorama is a Vista class ship. So we would run into the same type of issues on Panorama as we did Vista? Nope. Not even a little. We would certainly have to mention that the Long Beach port is not used to boarding a 4,000 passenger cruise ship so traffic flow into the actual port was slow, but we are sure that will improve. Once we checked our bag with a porter, we walked the 1,000 feet over to the Queen Mary and took advantage of our free (unguided) admission to see the QM that came with our Panorama boarding pass. We had priority check-in as part of the Premier Cruise (Carnival Players Club) so we wandered over at about 1:00 to embark. They have really worked hard on the embark process with most Carnival Cruises we've been on and it shows. The issuance of the Sign and Sail Card on your cabin door has been a game changer. We were on the ship in about 15 minutes. Of note is that there is quite a bit of walking up ramps to get to boarding level, so if you have any issues with mobility you might want to consider the elevator option. The first views of the Panorama are breathtaking. Shiny and brand new she sits proudly in Long Beach waiting for you to board. Although you get a glimpse of her full profile, you cannot fully take her in until you are on a tender heading to Cabo or docked in Mazatlan or Puerta Vallarta. The crew is there to greet you as you stream on guiding you to Lido or to Pig & Anchor BBQ for an embarkation lunch. Since we were always Guy's Burger on Embark day we switched it up and went to Pig & Anchor for a delicious buffet style lunch with no wait. The slow roasted pork is one of the best we’ve had anywhere. We had a Havana Cabana (5215) on the Havana level. We have been on over ten cruises and this is by far the nicest cabin we’ve had. The cabin itself is standard size but being shiny new and barely used certainly adds to its appeal. The Havana decorations and the handy USB plugs make this a very clean and comfortable place to live for seven days. The key to the enjoyment of this room is the cabana/porch outside your room. Larger than a standard balcony, it’s a perfect place to relax. You are not directly on the water as you are in a standard balcony but you have a small walkway outside your gate and then see directly off the side of the ship. The swing chair and your own dedicated chaise lounge and table make it a wonderful place to relax. It was January and a little chilly at night and during sea days, but we still made the best of it. You may be concerned that people would be walking by your patio door all the time, but the only ones you would see is the 15-20 that are on your side of the Havana area as others cannot access this area without going through the Havana pool area (wristband required) or out their own Cabana door. What a pleasure this was to walk out your cabin sliding door, through your patio and down twenty feet to the beautiful and never busy Havana pool area. We have been on over ten cruises and have NEVER been in the hot tubs on Lido or Serenity because they are always mobbed and a lot of times by loud teenager or young kids. Not so in the Havana area! Excellent views off the back of the ship and a beautiful pool and hot tub to swim in with your new neighbors. Yes, the water was too cold in the pool but the hot tub was perfect. Get a drink from the wonderful Havana attendants and relax in the plentiful and never busy chaise lounges and couch lounges. What a perfect and relaxing time! The surprising fun time of the cruise was the Carnival Kitchen. A series of cooking classes available for a fee includes small classes with lots of one on one training from Carnival Chefs and allowing you to prepare and cook your own meal – and eat it! At the end of the training and demo the chefs also make you a nice meal an let you sample what you’ve made as well. We did two classes: the Master Pizza class and the En Fuego Latin Cooking class. We had an absolute ball in both of these. We would have done more, in fact really wanted to do the pasta from scratch class, but it was sold out quickly. Do not hesitate and book early through the “specialty” dining area of the website. We were on the “Players” cruise for Carnival so we spent a few hours in the casino. Nice room with excellent servers and staff but you just cannot get away from that horrible stale smell of cigarette smoke when you are in there. Not to go off on a rant, but how they still allow cigarette smoking in casinos on a ship is beyond me. With that in mind, we really did enjoy our time playing in the casino. The ship entertainment was pretty good. The first night show was a Broadway review and a performer who worked the earlier show got injured so they couldn’t do the choreography so they sang from stools in the middle of the stage. That certainly might impair our review of this show, but it was average. The second night of shows, the zombie review was visually excellent with great music and a lot of fun to watch. My wife said it was her favorite show of any cruise line we’ve seen. I’m not ready to go that far but I enjoyed it. We missed the rock and roll show (that we heard was excellent), so I cannot provide any feedback on that. The Love & Marriage show was hilarious as always and even though we’ve seen this show ten times or more, the older couple they got on this cruise that was married 64 years was hysterical. The L&M show is a cannot miss event ! Finally, the Lip Sync Battle was the last night of the cruise. We didn’t expect much and really didn’t plan to go but were just outside the showroom as it was about to start and wandered in. it was PACKED and we ended up standing up in the top level way in the back, craning around a pole to see the show. And you know what? We thoroughly enjoyed it. The two finalists were fellow cruise passengers that were amazing. We had a great time. Of note with the showroom, it is very small for that size ship – so get there early for a big show. They did away with the tables and benches and put regular chairs on the floor. It makes bingo more challenging (they do provide you with clipboards) and you don’t have a table to set your drinks on. We only did one night in the Main Dining Room (“MDR”) on the Panorama. It was beautiful and brand new and the service was excellent. The food was, as is becoming the norm with the “free” food on board very average. We had a beautiful table next to a big window the first night but they asked us to move to a nearby table going forward to help accommodate others. We would be joining this older couple, so we said yes. Then of course we stole some glances at our new “friends” and they were arguing and complaining about everything so we never made it back into the MDR. With specialty reservations (Steakhouse = wonderful) and Teppanyaki (also amazing) and the aforementioned Carnival Kitchen meals, there was no need to go back there. We did take in the Sea Day Brunch in the MDR a couple of sea day afternoons and it was very good. We also had “free” lunch in the Italian Restaurant and it was very good. Debarkation was one of the best experiences we’ve had. We had an 11:30 AM flight out of LAX on debark day (yes, I know….cutting it close), so we carried our own bags off and met in the Casino at 7:30 AM for the unadvertised “early flight” debark. We exited the ship at 8:05AM and were in an uber by 9:00 AM. We were at LAX by 10:00 AM. Such a wonderful time, such a beautiful new ship full of proud employees that are really glad you are there. We cannot wait to go back! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had 10 cabins and were there to celebrate a birthday. I was expecting an unruly party crowd and was surprised to see people behaving maturely on this ship. Perhaps it was the time of year and the fact that kids were still in school. ... Read More
We had 10 cabins and were there to celebrate a birthday. I was expecting an unruly party crowd and was surprised to see people behaving maturely on this ship. Perhaps it was the time of year and the fact that kids were still in school. There were kids there but most were kept in check. The ship was easy to navigate and nothing was too far away. Cabin has only one plug so bring a strip. Nothing good on tv that has two complimentary movie channels. Casino is nice with all games, including craps. Bingo paid well if you won unlike Celebrity’s bingo. Water slide looked like a blast but it was too cold on this voyage. Entertainment that we saw was pretty boring. Dress like the 50’s, sing 50’s songs. Next night, dress like the 70’s, sing 70’s songs, etc. The high energy cruise director made things fun when he was in charge. Service in the cabin and the dining room were excellent. The food was good but not memorable. Karaoke was fun as was Papas and Beer in Ensenada. I would go on this cruise again. For an inexpensive getaway it can’t be beat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The cruise was chosen by a friend because of the destinations and the price. I had never been to Cabo San Lucas nor Escenado but picking the right cruise line and the right cabin mate is essential. We had an oceanview cabin (1137) which ... Read More
The cruise was chosen by a friend because of the destinations and the price. I had never been to Cabo San Lucas nor Escenado but picking the right cruise line and the right cabin mate is essential. We had an oceanview cabin (1137) which was just enough room for the both of us. Made' our cabinet stewart took excellent care of us and ensured that every need was met, whether it was additional towels or simply opening the door when we both had our arms full. The Miracle is an older ship but it was ok. The decor was the most outdated to me but the crew made up for it. The Lido deck was small and a little off centered compared to the other carnival ships that I've been on like the Fantasy, Inspiration, Sensation, Glory, ect. Alex in the Bacchus (restaurant) was very attentive and ensured after a small hiccup the first night that the other 5 nights were wonderful. The food was ok but nothing to write home about. The Entertainment was so so, I've seen better on the other ships. Burgers on the lido deck were awful so I stuck to the deli and the restaurant. The burgers seemed to have been made earlier that day and just left on a warmer. If possible get on one of the ships with Guy'S Burgers, no won't be disappointed. Cabo San Lucas was really nice with beautiful beaches. Our first day we did the Top 10 Best of Cabo which was our 2nd choice since Explore Cabo: Sightseeing, Tacos, Tequila, & Shopping tour was full. For $60 it was acceptable but there wasn't a lot of time to walk around and shop it you wanted to get something to eat. Since we were there for 2 days we decided to do the tour day 1 @ 10am. On day 2 we decided to walk around downtown on our own where we explored the shops at the dock and inside the city with a couple of hours at the beach which was about a 30 minute walk from the cruise dock. Day 3 was at Ensenada which was ok but the vendors at La Bufadora Adventure where exhausting. You couldn't turn around without having 3 or 4 people coming at you at the same time to buy something. I had to pretend to have a hearing problem just to make it down the street which made that whole experience my least like of the whole cruise. Needless to say we didn't even get to see the blow hole "blow". Tide didn't get high enough. The 2 days at sea were okay but again my cabin mate and I got a long splendidly so it was nice. The gym on the Miracle was one of the better ones I had ever experienced on any of the carnival ships but it could have had more room to move around. The staff at the Guest Service desk were amazing. Would I go again, for the right price, absolutely. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were offered a last minute uograde which we paid for to go from the very back of floor 1 to floor 6. The logistics of such a move put some strain on the system. We received document, invites and other messages for the previous ... Read More
We were offered a last minute uograde which we paid for to go from the very back of floor 1 to floor 6. The logistics of such a move put some strain on the system. We received document, invites and other messages for the previous occupants until the third day. I turned platinum this cruise but got a gold card which was corrected when we went to guest services. Here's the rub, everything on the ship was small and crammed in. Atrium tiny and cramped. Casino all smoking so I feel sorry for those who don't smoke, I do so not problem for me. If you didn't like what was on the menu for the MDR the buffet seemed to serve the same thing. IT seemed that they wanted to steer towards added charge specialty restaurants. Casino bar had stainless steel fixtures that were broken for such a new ship . Several slot machines were non functioning. Many of the crew seemed unhappy save a few. Wife's big highlight was coffee place where the barista remembered her name from day one and greeted her by name each trip. Tapanyaki place fun and good food. $38 bucks a head more expensive than another line we cruise any of their specialty restos. We never bothered with the sky zone or the aerial bikes. Smoking areas on deck 11 were confused. Sometimes o.k other times (not refueling) nope can't do. Emma. Now Emma isn't for everyone but I thought she was a hoot. At sail away I never saw the Lido deck so alive. Anytime she was on the Lido she worked the crowd 110%. This class of ship I would say not our style. Many will like it especially for the first or second time cruiser. Maybe it was still working the bugs out of the operations but I would not cruise this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Although this was cruise #50 for me, we have only done a few Carnival weekend cruises. When I saw a new ship from our home port (1/2 hr drive!) we booked immediately (3/18) for our Jan 2020 Family cruise. DH was a bit afraid of such a ... Read More
Although this was cruise #50 for me, we have only done a few Carnival weekend cruises. When I saw a new ship from our home port (1/2 hr drive!) we booked immediately (3/18) for our Jan 2020 Family cruise. DH was a bit afraid of such a large ship, as he has mobility issues, but did fine with the new elevator system. Grandaughters ages 5 & 9 loved the water park. Embarkation went really fast, and boarded "special assistance" with our boarding zone to be on board before noon! We booked adjoining cabins, and with the balcony divider down loved it! Cabins were new, comfortable, bur a bit smaller than other balcony cabins. However, family fit 4 in fine with a sofa bed & a bunk bed over it. Kids loved it1 Can't compliment staff enough! Everyone seemed to know my name by the second day, and went out of their way to say "hi". Everyone loved being on the ship, and you could feel the vibe. Our server, Jenny, in particular, was outstanding. Every day when we sat down had shrimp cocktails waiting for us! kids meals were served with our appetizer course, and kept the drinks coming on Cheers! Only other comment- DH had salt-free diet, but was very bland. I changed to regular menu, which I thought was better than any other cruise, including Celebrity & Oceania! Cruise Director Emma was energizer bunny- she was everywhere, keeping things going. I am collecting social security, but don't like a ship where everyone is in bed by 9pm! The live music was exceptional- the musicians knew all requests, keep the mood going for the most part, and had some crazy-fun jams! Rock show was my favorite- lots of classic rock. Other shows were ok- too loud for DH, even with his hearing aids off! Although we usually do our own excursions or through cruise critic, this time we did ship excursions for DH. Prices were fair, and we had done both before. In Cabo we took the Pirate Ship for the kids. Loved it, food was great. Best to do it as a snorkel, but we did not snorkel. There was a bit of a mix-up at first about alcohol- as we weren't snorkeling they at first weren't going to serve us, but got sorted out & we had plenty to drink! Also, boat left late as was a bit oversold. But crew more than made up for these. i made a comment at shore excursion desk, and they refunded 30%, although i didn't ask for anything and didn't really complain, just commented. Would definitely recommend Cabo Pirate ship, especially for price. if you do it is PV it is alot more expensive. In Puerto Vallerta we did the Mexican Fiesta for the girls. Beginning of tour was shipping & downtown, which we really didn't want. Fiesta and tequila tasting was good. Tour leader, Hugo, was a bit curt, but i guess needed to do that to keep the group together. Bus was late due to ADA problem I was told, so they gave us free margaritas. Would not recommend this tour. I know alot of people put down Carnival as being a "booze cruise" and lesser quality than other lines, but I disagree. They are really stepping up their game by catering to families, excellent food, etc. My family is ready to book their next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this ship for a short family vacation and trial run with the kids and my husband at cruising. We took the 3 day Ensenada cruise out of San Diego. The ship is old, the food is not fantastic, there are not a lot of things for kids to ... Read More
I chose this ship for a short family vacation and trial run with the kids and my husband at cruising. We took the 3 day Ensenada cruise out of San Diego. The ship is old, the food is not fantastic, there are not a lot of things for kids to do as on the newer ships, and they seem short-staffed. We did manage to make the most our of the experience and make memories. However, I couldn't imagine being on this ship for the Alaska or Hawaii itinerary. We had one of the Vista Suites and the kids had an interior room. Our room was just old and outdated looking, the closet doors didn't slide, the drawers weren't easy to open, and the balcony was pretty dirty. On every cruise I have ever been on, steak and lobster are included in the dinner on formal night, apparently this is not the case anymore. If we wanted that it was a $20 up charge in the main dining room, very disappointing. We also got the Bubbles package. I drink but my husband doesn't drink a lot of alcohol or soda; however, he does drink Propels. Carnival was supposed to switch the Pepsi products in January so I bought the Cheers package. Our cruise was on January 3rd and was the last cruise with Coke products...lucky us. There were no sugar free/low carb drinks offered other than sodas and energy drinks. Our kids (boys) spent most of their time on the basketball court. We tried to play a game of darts in the Red Frog but there was one dart left...kind of makes for a boring game. There were a few "big" football games on during the cruise and the Sports Bar was the only place that had them on. It was packed, stuffy, and only had one bartender! Not sure why they couldn't have turned it on in more places? Service at the main dining room seemed to be slower on this cruise than I had experienced in the past. It didn't matter if there were 11 people at our table or 2. I sat at several bars without even being acknowledged and eventually got up and left. I've never experienced this before either. Needless to say, my husband hated it and will never cruise again. I'm looking forward to booking more cruises in the future with the kids and I doubt I'll be cruising with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I just wanted to post some thoughts on the Miracle. We sailed her on a short 3-day out of San Diego, leaving last Friday and returning yesterday morning. This is technically my 4th cruise overall- the first was on Royal Caribbean so ... Read More
I just wanted to post some thoughts on the Miracle. We sailed her on a short 3-day out of San Diego, leaving last Friday and returning yesterday morning. This is technically my 4th cruise overall- the first was on Royal Caribbean so many years ago I can't remember it, then the Carnival Imagination (or Inspiration... I get them confused) almost 4 years ago, Ruby Princess in March 2019, and then this one. We tried an inside cabin for the first time to see if I could stand it (prior cruises all had at least a window) and we knew it would be a "booze cruise" type experience but we just wanted to get away for the weekend. We flew from PHX to SAN and walked the 2.2 miles from the airport to the cruise terminal (we were carrying only regular sized backpacks so no luggage to speak of). Overall, I do prefer the decor of the Ruby Princess to either of the Carnival ships I've seen. I thought the Princess atrium/piazza was more elegant and so was the Princess theater. I did not care for the Phantom theater or the Mad Hatter area on Miracle at all. The entertainment on Miracle was, IMO, far and away better than what we saw on the Ruby. Those 8 young people sang and danced their hearts out and they were really very good- no off key notes or half-hearted performances. We saw an 80's rock and roll type show, a "piano" (keyboard) heavy show, and a 60's beach party type show. All three were very very good. The Alchemy Bar (recommended by several on a Carnival social media group I visit) was not decorated in a very exciting manner but it had unique drinks that my husband appreciated (well, he appreciated being able to get one with Absinthe, which I despise), and we enjoyed the bar staff very much. That was the one lounge we kept going back to. The interior room was fine and I didn't get claustrophobic. We were in 6201 which was a middle-ish deck in the middle-ish of the ship. The only downside (and this surprised me as I thought we were high up enough to avoid any such thing) was that there was a constant, yet intermittent (if that makes sense) vibration that I could feel when I was trying to sleep. It actually felt like my husband's leg was twitching... about 3 times in a row, pause for a couple seconds, and then it did it again. I have trouble falling asleep with that type of movement, so that was a minor annoyance. Out of three nights, we had dinner in Nick and Nora's Steakhouse the first night (that was unplanned... the first night comes with a bottle of wine. We don't drink wine so we had planned to take it with us and give it away to some young couple but we weren't allowed to remove it from the restaurant so that was a bust). Our steaks (cowboy something for my husband and the filet for me) were VERY good. The sides (mac and cheese, fries with smoked paprika, and garlic rapini) were just OK. We got the "art" dessert and had an enjoyable time with that although flavor wise, I would not get it again. Second night we had the Chef's Table dinner. We aren't sure if they were a bit disorganized or perhaps inexperienced- but we had a good time. I was not expecting to eat in Frankenstein's Night Club but that's where we were! I might do it again on a different ship. We never got around to eating in the MDR which was OK with me because we went to visit it and I found the decor to be a bit over the top, which was an ongoing theme with me. Still, most of the decor was better than the black ceilings and neon on my last Carnival cruise! Overall we had a really good time and we would do that cruise on that ship again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose the Panorama since its a newborn ship, Lovely, clean and new. Bad part was the room above a gym. Unfortunately a suppose to be a very relaxing cruise is ruined by a very loud morning spin class that blows the room with Noise. I ... Read More
Chose the Panorama since its a newborn ship, Lovely, clean and new. Bad part was the room above a gym. Unfortunately a suppose to be a very relaxing cruise is ruined by a very loud morning spin class that blows the room with Noise. I almost had a nervous breakdown. If management is listening, I suggest that the room within the vicinity affected by the noise be transformed into a room for the hearing impaired or redo the rooms to make it noise resistance. Being in the SPA area, I think about relaxing, smooth, dreamy music. Last thing I was expecting was "very loud rap or whatever music" early in the morning in tandem with the spin class. What a headache. Giving cash incentives or comps can only go so far. I'm cruising for my sanity, so I can relax not to get comps or have a nervous breakdown. The room should be sound proofed or the spin class moved to another area AWAY FROM THE ADVERTISED AS "RELAXING SPA". Kids are NOT allowed but apparently blaring music is. HELLO!!!!! The spin class is held almost every morning. Almost reminded me of the time I was in Basic Training on my first morning. The music from the spin class reverberating into room scared the living daylights out of me. The same will happen to you. The noise will wake you up with a rumble that goes louder and louder and no matter how much you complain the loudness of the music will not change. Now, I carefully choose the cabin rooms I stay in. I don't want to have a nervous breakdown. Other than that the rest of the cruise was lovely. The crew amazing. Over and Out. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have taken many cruises but this was our first time on carnival. I would like to summarize my families pros and cons in hopes of helping others. 1. Boarding in Long Beach- was easy, took an Uber to the port, was dropped off right ... Read More
We have taken many cruises but this was our first time on carnival. I would like to summarize my families pros and cons in hopes of helping others. 1. Boarding in Long Beach- was easy, took an Uber to the port, was dropped off right near the entrance and was even able to board early. We had a noon board time and we were on board by 11am. 2. The rooms- felt much smaller than NCL, RCCL and disney. 4 of us in a room. 1 king size bed and one set of bunk beds, one bunk is on the floor and one comes from the wall. Once the bunkbeds are open you are unable to walk around the king size bed. I had to climb over my husband to get to the bathroom. Window was dirty and hard to see out of. 3. Housekeeping- Once we boarded we were asked if we wouldn’t housekeeping in the morning or at night, you could only pick One. So this meant the bunk beds were always down and left little room to actually walk around in the room. 4. Bathroom was a nice size, when you flushed the toilet it flushed either once or three times. There is a safe in the room, You just need a card with a strip on the back to be able to open and lock the safe. I used my sail card. 5. Only one outlet in the whole room. We brought a power strip. 6. Walls are thin, we brought a sound machine . 7. Catalina island- tender was rough, didn’t take long. Island was nice, not a lot to do. We rented golf carts. First golf cart company was cash only, $50 per hour. Another block down the street another company took credit card for the first hour and cash for the second hour(50$ per hour) so if you are going to do this you will need cash. If you take the cart for only one hour and return it within that hour they will give you your $50 cash back. We took the full two hours and got to see the entire island. I believe kids under 5 are required to have a car seat. They do provide a map. We took bottled water with us. When we board the ship the odor of garbage was overwhelming wheels waiting to get through security. 8. Ensenada- got off the boat and took the four dollar bus to “downtown”. This was only about a mile from the ship. Once off the bus they offered to sell us discounted excursion tickets. We opted to walk around down town and were hassled by store workers every 4 feet. Some even sent small children, poorly dressed and with no shoes on to try and sell us items. Very sad. The offered my husband drugs, women and guns. We went back to the downtown shuttle and it took us back to the boat. The 4$ was roundtrip. 8. Many times while walking around the different floors of the ship you could smell sewage. Especially near the steps and elevators. Last sea day was very rough, many people throwing up on the floor. 9. Main dining room we had early seating and had Z as our waiter. He was awesome!! 10. Third night on the ship i ordered a glass of wine during the theater show. After the show when the lights came up I saw my wine glass was covered in lipstick marks, I don’t wear lipstick. Took the glass to customer service where the representative called the bar manager. Ryan Martin, he was less than helpful and angry that the desk clerk called him down to speak to me. He said there was nothing he could do. Disembarkation was easy and we paid 34$ to Uber To lax. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We picked this cruise to go with some friends who were also cruising. It also is conveniently located to some family so we could maximize our vacation over the holiday. This was my first time on carnival. Embarking the ship was so easy ... Read More
We picked this cruise to go with some friends who were also cruising. It also is conveniently located to some family so we could maximize our vacation over the holiday. This was my first time on carnival. Embarking the ship was so easy and not a long process at all! Very fast and friendly! The cruise director and entertainment staff were very fun and entertaining. The Motown show was very fun. We enjoyed the NYE celebration on the top of the deck. And the comedians were pretty good as well. Let me say that my previous cruises have all been with NCL. So maybe my standards were a little high. The pictures are overpriced. They took up so much space doing the portraits and the packages were overpriced. The food on the buffet was not at all what I expected. It was not open as often as i thought the buffet should be and the food that was on it was not flavorful or appealing. We stopped there for lunch and ate dinner in the dining room. The burger, taco bar and pizza were the best food on the boat. I would say that the salsa bar was great it just needs tortilla chips to go with it. They didnt have any. The lunch time deserts were great! Better than the after dinner options that we stopped to see after dinner. The food in the dining room was ok. It was definitely better than the buffet at lunch. The desserts were ok. The best was the chocolate cake. The service by Z is outstanding. He was wonderful at keeping the drinks full and the kids happy. He really wanted us to feel at home during dinner. His other co-wait staff wasnt very friendly. The girl was rude and looked inconvenienced the whole time. The Atrium bar staff was extremely friendly and the drinks were great! The Alchemy bar had the best selection of mixed drinks on the ship. The tall bartender with glasses was fantastic and friendly. On a separate visit to that bar we recommended someone join us, we had a different person and he was not as friendly. Finally, the cleanliness of the ship could use some work. The sanitizer stations were empty. The bathroom by the atrium on the 8th floor is a busy bathroom after a show. It was also busy on the last morning. To have 3 stalls broken, clogged and not flushing seems to be a maintenance issue. The housekeeping staff, Nat, for our room was very friendly though and he really had that room clean upon our arrival and was great! The only complaint about our room was the location. We were right under the kitchen and 3 and 4 am or 4 and 5pm are extremely busy. It sounded like someone was dropping ovens on the ceiling. Kids are pretty easy going. Other than the ice cream machine, burger bar and pizza bar I didnt see many of our kids eating much of anything else. In the dining room even the older children liked the kids menu food. My daughter loved the kids club. The scavenger hunt was her favorite thing. My younger daughter enjoyed the ice cream. I would definitely recommend checking weather for this timeframe before choosing this cruise. It was fairly chilly and if your family enjoys pools and sun decks, this cruise may not be for you this time of year. Catalina was beautiful. Get off the ship and get a golf cart and see it all. It was probably my favorite part of the trip. If you are getting off the boat in Ensenada, Papas and Beer was the only thing downtown that we would recommend. There is a beach south of the ship but we didnt realize that until later in the day. I will say that the sunsets are beautiful! Make sure to be upstairs at sunset and take in that amazing view on this cruise. You wont forget that! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday before the cruise. I had never been to the west coast so I wanted to see as much as possible before the cruise. I am in love with LA and probably will not return anytime soon because it a long way ... Read More
I arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday before the cruise. I had never been to the west coast so I wanted to see as much as possible before the cruise. I am in love with LA and probably will not return anytime soon because it a long way from home but it is still a domestic flight with limited food selection and no on board entertainment. I was with a friend and her daughter for the four days and met up with the final member of our party the day before cruising. I had rented a car from Enterprise and was given the option to return the car to Long Island. That was a great decision because after we turned in the car, my party was given a ride to cruise terminal. A five minute ride. This was the second time on the Inspiration, the first time was in March 2010. I fell in love with cruising. Embarkation was easy with no lines or waiting. My assigned time was 1:00 pm but I got there by 12 noon. The food was excellent then and is still good, however I was not happy to pay $20 for lobster and it was given to us free back then. The ship has been refurbished since my first sailing. The old girl looks great for her age. She has balconies, I don't remember if she had them in 2010. There was new tables and chairs in the buffet along with new carpeting. I was in an inside room, M 219 and my friends were in M 251. The room was spacious and easy to get around in. I was on the upper deck the first time with three boys with two to three showers daily was a bit tight. I love the older ships because the rooms are larger. The only area I was not happy with was in the Carnivale dining room. My group of four was seated with eight other people and it was tight. The others were very nice but sometimes my party was not seated next to each other. There was only one other seating of twelve. One couple seated with us, had family members at a table with ten. It was somewhat awkward eating next to a woman who was left handed, I am right. I always love the Motown Show and it did not disappoint. The comedian was good, but the trivia show, I will take a pass. New Year's Eve, my group spent on the Lido deck. My group was given tiara's and horns that were on the dresser the first day of the cruise. In the lounge where they had the trivia, I got 2020 light glasses and light sticks. They were passing out party favors when we got to the Lido deck. Just before midnight champagne was passed out. It was an good party. I absolutely loved Catalina Island. My group and I rented a golf cart to explore the island. I kept the golf cart for about 90 minutes and were given a refund of $23. Our next port was Ensenada Mexico. My group split up and went different ways, one took a tour of the island with a stop at the blow hole, mother and daughter rented a golf cart to explore the city but was chased by dogs, neither was hurt or injured. I took the bus in town for $3 up and a dollar back. I arrived in town around 9 am and everything was closed. There were very few people walking around. I saw several people sleep on the ground. I saw a 7-Eleven and walked into the store to get something to drink. The young girl spoke some English and was very helpful. I spoke some broken Spanish. Around 10 am, shops started opening up. Most of the vendors wanted you to come into their shop. I found some great leather purses. I bargained with the gentlemen and brought two for my daughters. I walked back to the buses and before I actually got to the parking lot, a bus was parked near was I walking and asked if I was going back to the ship. I got on the bus and it was one dollar. Disembarkation was easy and by time our floor was called, finding our luggage was easy. All of us rode the bus back to the airport for $29.99 each person. Overall this was a great cruise. I would definitely go on the Inspiration again if I am in the area. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
So incredibly nice to leave from San Diego! We had a very relaxing time. If you are looking for negative you will find it. Staff was so nice and helpful. Food was good, we ate in dining room and buffet. We both found plenty to eat ... Read More
So incredibly nice to leave from San Diego! We had a very relaxing time. If you are looking for negative you will find it. Staff was so nice and helpful. Food was good, we ate in dining room and buffet. We both found plenty to eat that we liked and a few things we did not. We enjoyed the salad bar and the pizza was delicious! My husband thought the gym was the nicest he has experienced on a ship.Embarkation was simple, organized, and efficient, debarkation was very quick as long as you listened to instructions and were patient. Cabin was nice, balcony for us was key to relaxation! We would definitely go with Carnival again. Variety of activities available onboard for all ages. We walked around Catalina and did not exit ship in Ensenada. Fun to watch people who did though! Yes, the ship was showing some wear and tear but the crew was working hard everyday to keep it clean. We have cruised Disney, Princess and Holland America. They all have pros and cons. I hope Carnival and other cruise lines continue departure from San Diego. OH if you like to have a straw with your cocktail you need to pack your own! ( or pay $6 for five straws ) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Carnival Miracle did a great job and this was one of our favorite cruises. We've been on Royal Caribbean several times,and 5 on Carnival.The negative reviews made me weary,YET,they were proven to be sooo wrong. Embarkation ... Read More
Carnival Miracle did a great job and this was one of our favorite cruises. We've been on Royal Caribbean several times,and 5 on Carnival.The negative reviews made me weary,YET,they were proven to be sooo wrong. Embarkation was smooth. Service in all areas was great. Balcony Cabin was very clean,very comfortable beds,good towels. Food was awesome!! Main Dining Room did a fabulous job! Public areas were very clean and well maintained.Very cool decor thru out ship. Casino was fun and very large. Spa-The best massage ever had.(didnt go into port,so pampered myself all day) Good choices for music areas for which you can choose from. New Years Eve was sooo fun and festive-champagne was served,hats,etc,Live Music ! We will go back on the Carnival Miracle.(She'll be in dry-dock in Feb) Kudos to Carnival! Note-We love to cruise and fell blessed to be able to enjoy cruising. Ignore the negative reviews-so not fair,especially since we had over 15 to compare to. Hubby isnt easy to please,and was extremely content with all aspects of this cruise,and insisted I write our review. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our 7th annual New Years Cruise with Carnival. We were excited to be on a new boat, and were looking forward to our trip. Although overall we had a great experience, Carnival Panorama seemed to try very hard to not make it a ... Read More
This was our 7th annual New Years Cruise with Carnival. We were excited to be on a new boat, and were looking forward to our trip. Although overall we had a great experience, Carnival Panorama seemed to try very hard to not make it a good trip. I will start with the negatives, and move on to the positives: Walking on board was a huge disappointment for us as we were used to walking on to a large and sprawling atrium. This one is 3 levels high, and we did not even enter the boat at the atrium itself. The floor to ceiling video projection pillar is very cool. But it was not the atrium we were used to on other ships. Checked luggage. Two of our three bags arrived right on time. Our third bag (the one with all of my girl-friend's clothes) did not arrive until nearly 6 pm. When I asked about this from a luggage person, I was told that it was because one of our bags had an item confiscated, and suggested I go to guest services. I said there was no way an item would be confiscated as all it had was clothes. But he insisted. So I went to guest services. After waiting for 35 minutes (the line was full of people having difficulty with their keys), I was told that the bag would probably not arrive until 7:00 pm and that was their policy and that I could read the website and find out the same thing (I did read it, Carnival, and nowhere does it say that your luggage will arrive 2.5 hours after departure). The bag finally arrived, but well after the time we were hoping to have dinner in the dining room. Dining room. Carnival hub allows you to request a table and not wait in line. We did this three times, and never once did it work well. We were told to go to one part of the ship and we went there, and then were told our table was not available at that restaurant, and we had to go elsewhere. Every time we went to the dining room they couldn't find our correct table from the app and we had to wander around following someone trying to find it. The service was ok. However even though we requested it, we were never seated in a spot in the dining room where you could watch the show the servers put on. Room-service. We like to take advantage of the limited breakfast delivery service and like to put in an order for coffee, cereal, and bagels to start our day. Never once did our order come correctly or on time, and once not at all. They advertise that if you put out your order by 3:00 am, they would deliver. On New Years Eve we put out our order at 1:30, and the next morning it was still on our door. The "Liquid Lounge" theater where the nightly shows are put on was a huge disappointment. The shows themselves were outstanding. But the theater is way too small for 4,000 guests. On the last night guests were lining up 3 hours in advance to get a seat. We estimated that MOST of the seats are obstructed in some way - both upper and lower level. (Tip - they will allow you to stand at the bar for the show which was by far the best "seat" we had). The "Limelight Lounge" served as the venue for the comedians and the New Years Eve night-club. It also had Karaoke. While the lay-out was great, it was WAY too hot and stuffy most of the time. Even the DJ complained about it. This stuffi-ness was present many times around the ship and in the cabin. Be prepared to pay extra: Everywhere you go on the ship there are people trying to sell you stuff. Every time we ordered a drink, the server requested we make it a "double shot for just $2.00 more." They were often annoyingly insistent. It was difficulty to walk across the ship without someone shoving a "raffle ticket" in your hand requesting you come back to hear their sales pitch. There are multiple dining options, but almost all of them have extra costs. "Open Times" are not as advertised. On our last day the only thing we had left that we really wanted to try was the Mongolian Wok restaurant which states they are open until 2:30. We got there at 1:15 and were turned away because they were "too busy". Another time at lunch in the lido buffet one of the buffet bars was randomly closed at 2:00 - even with food still there. I just wanted a bread-roll and was told I would have to go to the other buffet. It rained on us during one of our port days. No problem with rain, it's unavoidable. But what really bothered us is that on the lido deck the rain pools up in the bar area. You cannot walk across even the covered areas of the lido deck without walking through an inch or two of water. The PROS of Panorama: THE ENTERTAINMENT IS BETTER THAN ANY WE HAVE SEEN. As at least one other reviewer said, the Rock Revolution is better than any show we have seen on Carnival. THE FOOD IS OUTSTANDING. Guy's burger joint is an upgrade. Even better is Guy's "Pig and Anchor" - even though there is almost always an extra cost. However we went down during our first sea day and it was a free buffet with some of the best barbecue we have ever had to be sampled. We ended up paying extra for two dinners there because it was so good, and the extra cost was not extravagant. The taco stand was also a favorite as they make fresh tortillas as you order, and are some really great tacos. THE CABIN STEWARD "RICKY" WAS OUTSTANDING! Ricky really went above and beyond for us. We had a bottle of champagne that we were saving for our last night, but Ricky made sure it was always on ice for us. CLOUD 9 SPA IS AN UPGRADE! We have done several cruises with Cloud 9 amenities, and we liked this one the best. Although the whirlpool is way smaller, it was overall a better experience. We just got back today and both agreed that was a good experience and we do not regret it. But we will not be going with Panorama ever again, and may give up on Carnival all together as the direction that the company seems to be going is to pack more nickel-and-dime opportunities on their ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise for the New Years celebration and wanted to check out the new ship. This would also be our first Carnival cruise as we have sailed Royal Caribbean once and twice on Princess. Embarkation was fluid and the most ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the New Years celebration and wanted to check out the new ship. This would also be our first Carnival cruise as we have sailed Royal Caribbean once and twice on Princess. Embarkation was fluid and the most organized part of the cruise. We scheduled to arrive at 2 but got there at 11:30 and they let us right on. Being our 4th cruise I felt like we knew what we were doing somewhat though it's been a decade since our last so things have changed. But there is so little information given and it seems the cruise line relies on you seeking information or already knowing what you are doing. I also felt the food outside the main dining room was pretty below average with the exception of Guy's Burgers, Blue Iguana and the Omelet Bar. I do not get the hype on the pizza, it is just globs of cheese on soggy bread with very little flavor to the sauce. Pig and Anchor free lunch is also terrible but the paid meal was alright. Buffet always looked gross with the exception of fruit or sealed items like the yogurt. The sandwitches at the sandwich station were all flavorless and just not very good. The premium coffee's weren't that great. The entertainment was great if you could catch it, but the fun times is so overwhelming that it is tough to really plan your day around it, so you just catch what you can. Emma is a great host though and had loads of energy the whole cruise, I'm not sure how she is going to keep it up for 9 months straight. The new year's deck party was kind of lame, even the countdown was somewhat botched. The new years eve eve party was actually better. They really struggled keeping billing correct. We were billed for laundry service we never used. We received a happy birthday gift card in someone else's name. We were double billed for a spa treatment. And we got charges to our credit card that exceeded what we were supposed to be billed for the final sign and sail total. The ports were great though, had the most fun in Cabo which coincided with the best weather we had the entire cruise. Puerto Vallarta was ruined by unseasonable torrential rain, not the fault of Carnival of course. And debarkation took forever. They start with people on deck 1 who didn't check luggage and work their way up. They got to deck 6 then started calling people who checked luggage. It took almost 2 hours to get to deck 9 and then another 30-45 minutes to get through customs. I'm not sure I'm cruising Carnival again, I think I need to cruise another line to see if the entire industry has gone down hill or it is just Carnival that is the problem. Or maybe it was just a product of a new ship and crew still learning? I hope that is what it can be chalked up to. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
First off, the ship is new and definitely nice. I appreciated knowing everything would be somewhat clean and barely used. Rooms were decently sized and our ocean view on the 1st floor had 2 bathroom for just the two of us, which was ... Read More
First off, the ship is new and definitely nice. I appreciated knowing everything would be somewhat clean and barely used. Rooms were decently sized and our ocean view on the 1st floor had 2 bathroom for just the two of us, which was appreciated. However, some big gripes. They charge extra for a lot. Specialty restaurants, items on the menu every night, internet is a huge rip off, $1.25 per game arcade, and much much more. I was not willing to spend extra for anything and it really felt like 40% of the experience was missed. While I know that isn't true, it just felt that way and that I was missing out on a lot of what the ship had to offer. The cruise ran out of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Peroni, certain basic wines, and much more with 3 days left on the trip... I am not sure how that is possible. Do they not have accurate estimates on how much they need to have on board? The dining experience was lacking. We ate in the dining room where you choose your time. Each night we had a different waiter and they were slow and it took a while every night. The main issue I had with the dining room was that the dinners and desserts always came out luke warm as if they had been sitting for a while. Entrees were warm and ice cream on the desserts was melted every single night of the cruise. The last 2 nights I stopped ordering entrees and desserts and just went to the buffet or pizza afterwards (I had to go to the dining room to be with extended family for dinner). The cruise is packed and every morning people had their beach chairs picked out by 9am. Anything left after 10am was in the wind and cold locations. No one would be sitting in the beach chairs until noon, but there was no enforcements and people just left towels clipped to the chairs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our twenty-something cruise with Carnival. We like the price of the cruise and now what to expect. This was the 3rd sailing of the new ship. Still smelled like new carpet. In all, it's a very ship. While I don't miss ... Read More
This was our twenty-something cruise with Carnival. We like the price of the cruise and now what to expect. This was the 3rd sailing of the new ship. Still smelled like new carpet. In all, it's a very ship. While I don't miss the the rack hold accents, this ship is pretty plain jane. Most public walls are laminated maple with iron railings. There is no atrium which is a huge loss. the main gathering at spot is now centered on the ground floor with 2 levels of shops abov.e. The changing tornado scree is centered in this area. Really miss the glass elevators. Food was the same as recent menus. Prime rib was featured 3 nights since it was New Years cruise. Missing the filet mignon and chateau briand. The staff was amazing as usual. I have always been impressed with Carnival's quality control. We had one incident with our meal and the wait staff went way beyond to make it right with sincerity. The buffet lines have been the biggest improvement I noticed. Instead of 2 long lines along the sides, they have broken up the hot buffets into 4 smaller central buffets. The cereal and fruits are in other areas. It works well. Very impressed with Heroes Sports Bar. Any appreciation for our military is very deserved in these politically divided times. Playlist Productions have improved a lot of over the few years. Rock Revolution was amazing in talent, technology and production. Carnival has made up for the days of silly sailing shows with the addition of Epic Rock, America Rocks, and now Rock Revolution. Hope they continue this rock theme for a while since the rock generation is currently buying cruises (Gen X and Gen Z). All in all the Carnival product remains solid but affordable. I do miss some of the upscale decor and finer dining but there has been some balance to the cutbacks. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We sailed on the ship's 4th voyage, over New Years 2019. Overall, we had a great time. The positives - we always choose an inside cabin because I can't see spending big $$ for the amount of time you are in your cabin. This ... Read More
We sailed on the ship's 4th voyage, over New Years 2019. Overall, we had a great time. The positives - we always choose an inside cabin because I can't see spending big $$ for the amount of time you are in your cabin. This is our 8th cruise and I have to say these were the best inside cabins we've been in. They were spacious (actual room to walk around the bed) and the bedding was quite comfortable. The free on demand movies were great too. Before bed time each night we watched a movie, saw 5 in total. Typically cruise TV consists of a loop of pre-recorded stuff. We actually got CBS news, HGTV and Food Network, along with a few other channels. We also enjoyed all of the fun activities that were planned for families (i.e. Interactive Trivial Pursuit, trivia contests, Sky Ride, Ropes Course, Fooseball Tables, nice workout facilities, Sky Zone (costs extra), Lip Sync Battle, etc.). Emma, one of only a handful of female cruise directors at sea, was terrific! She is loaded with boundless energy and conducted a very informative Q&A session with guests, which we attended, in which guests could ask her anything about life on a cruise ship. Even though there were 4,000 passengers on board, it never felt that way. We didn't feel like we had to push to get food or rush to miss out on getting a seat. Probably because there are so many things to do, passengers are doing things at different times, which helps to spread out the crowds. We took excursions in each of the three ports, two of which were booked through Carnival and one we booked independently. Actually, the one we booked independently was the one we enjoyed the least. At Cabo, we took the camel excursion, which was excellent! In Mazatlan, we booked our own tour and in Puerto Vallarta we booked the Extreme Adventure excursion, which was extreme, but so much fun! The negatives - You almost had to bribe someone to get you any fresh fruit. It became a running joke in our family. We are in Mexico, for crying out loud, so where are the fresh pineapples, mangoes, and so on?? I wanted a banana one morning and I asked our waiter for one. The look on his face when I mentioned 'banana' was priceless! My family told me I just ruined his day. He eventually came back with half of a mushy, overripe banana, but I am not picky, so I gladly took it. On the buffet each morning on the Lido deck, was just canned peaches, grapefruit, cantaloupe and honeydew. No grapes, pineapple, banana, mango, etc. Very strange.... Being that this was our 8th cruise and having sampled many buffets, this was our least favorite. Carnival needs to up their buffet game. We ate there the first day, because there wasn't another choice, but only returned each day afterwards to see if anything had changed. It's more quantity over quality. Even the presentation was bland. Simple rectangular trays lined up over warming plates, in a small, crowded space. The salad bar was nothing more than plain lettuce (no spinach or anything else) and a few toppings. When I say few, I mean few, bordering on pathetic. Norwegian and RCCL buffets blow away Carnivals - not even a comparison. So, we scoped out other places to eat, like the taco stand, which was tasty. Here is our other MAJOR complaint, and I'm putting this here in case others have a dietary need like mine. I have to be gluten free, not the other members of my family, just me. So, if someone does a search of these reviews for 'gluten' they will hopefully come across my review. I have recently cruised with both Norwegian and RCCL and those lines handle GF needs wonderfully! Not so with Carnival. Now mind you, I did not starve. It's just that things were more of a hassle for me to eat and I did not have as many choices. I spent a lot of time standing and waiting around while the rest of my family had their food and ate. Basically, the best way for GF to be handled on the Panorama was to eat in the main dining room. The buffet items were not tagged as being GF. The buffet area also did not have any GF waffles, bread, pancakes, etc. in the morning. Both Norwegian and RCCL not only have these items readily available in the morning on the buffet, but they also have a dedicated GF toaster oven in the buffet area as well. This toaster oven is behind the buffet area, so only cruise personnel can use it, but you can see it. And both Norwegian and RCCL have an actual GF section on their buffets. Not so with Carnival. One morning I asked for GF bread and literally spent 20 minutes waiting for toasted bread, just standing there, while people stared at me and asked me if I needed help. I was told the sandwich station would have GF bread, so one day after a long excursion and returning late, I went to the sandwich station and ordered with my family. I waited 15 minutes past when my family got their sandwiches before I got mine. Apparently the GF bread isn't kept at the sandwich station, you can just ask for it there. The sandwich must be made far away and brought to the station. All my family members received french fries with their sandwiches, mine was plain. I am going to guess that they don't have a dedicated fryer for GF items, so it would have been cross contamination. I figured out that if I asked in advance at the taco station, they would put an order in to get me corn tortillas, because again, it took time to get those tortillas made and brought to the taco area. Strange as we are in Mexico, where corn tortillas reign, but everything at the station was flour. One afternoon they advertised a 'Chocolate Extravaganza' up on the Lido deck, stating that they would have treats for 'everyone.' Well, the GF option was a slice of something that tasted and looked like chocolate jello. I took one bite and that was it - tasteless. If I can buy a GF box of chocolate cake mix from Aldi or Pillsbury, why couldn't the pastry chefs of the Panorama come up with something (anything) for the Chocolate Extravaganza or for dessert in the main dining room? Besides eating ice cream (they only have vanilla, chocolate or strawberry - really, how about butter pecan, peppermint or chocolate chip for those GF folks who need a little variety) I had a baked apple one night for dessert. There really isn't much in the way of sweet offerings for GF folks. The moral of the story is if you have a dietary need, you will be best served in the main dining room - kind of a pain to have to go there, during set hours, each day. We ate all our dinner meals in the main dining room. Carnival handles the GF dinners in the same fashion as Norwegian and RCCL. Each night your waiter gives you the next night's menu and you pre-order. However, instead of ordering with the head chef (who probably knows more about how dishes are prepared and if they can be made GF) you order with your own waiter. I think Carnival needs to follow their competitors and have the head chef come out to take a pre-order from those with dietary needs. Since I like to cook and know what substitutions can be made for things, at times, I was telling our waiter that yes, this particular dish can be made GF. Our waiter also told me that I could pre-order a breakfast (like GF french toast) and it would be available for me the next morning, in the main dining room. So, we ended up eating most of our breakfasts and dinners in the main dining room. Lunches were spent waiting around the ship for GF bread or corn tortillas, etc. Now, did this ruin our vacation - no. It's just that Carnival has a way to go to meet the competition regarding satisfying dietary needs!! I hope this review helps someone else. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this new, Carnival ship to compare to the new NCL ships we have been on in the past. Over the Christmas week, my husband and I were lucky enough to be on Carnival’s new ship, the Panarama. As a life-time NCL cruiser, I offer the ... Read More
We chose this new, Carnival ship to compare to the new NCL ships we have been on in the past. Over the Christmas week, my husband and I were lucky enough to be on Carnival’s new ship, the Panarama. As a life-time NCL cruiser, I offer the following comparison: The processes to get on board vary as much by company as they do for location. Carnival has their own terminal in Long Beach, Ca where the boarding process is seamless. I have been on four Carnival cruises so far, and any bad experiences about boarding escape me. Likewise, we offer nothing ill to say about boarding NCL in Long Beach or New York. Being long-time east coasters now benefitting from the close port in CA, we find it convenient to take advantage of shorter cruises on both Carnival and NCL. On Carnival ships, both brand new and older, the casino offers no non-smoking area. I found the Carnival casino staff had a greater command of English, and were very “laid back” and generous with their complimentary casino perks. The Panorama’s casino drink policy is pretty straight forward: you either get a drink card with your casino stateroom (how we book), or you don’t. We had a card given to my husband and I received a credit on my card. Regardless, anyone playing at the casino enjoys complimentary drinks once the player’s card registers 1500 points. The NCL’s new ship, The Escape, which we sailed on last year, did offer a non-smoking area at the casino. This was an AWESOME benefit. I find that non-casino people also come to the smoking casino areas to take advantage of the ashtrays, which severely impedes the casino fun. I found Carnival more generous with perks at the casino, while NCL has a more regimented, seasonal approach to counting points. Combined with offers from long-time cruising, NCL offers more perks. From a strict casino point of view, I have not sailed Carnival long enough to offer a fair comparison of point perks. All in all, I find Carnival’s staff more friendly, but their attention to detail and pride of job performance is not as high as NCL. Both are important; personally I appreciate the attention to detail approach over laid-back and chatty. My pet peeve on Carnival was the lack of hand sanitizers; no one spraying before entering ships, and no one encouraging hand sanitation before meals. I predict a major stomach illness spreading quickly on the Carnival ships if they don’t improve this. The entire casino on Carnival’s Panorama only had one hand sanitizer which I thought was totally inadequate. In addition to casino experiences, we enjoyed fine dining on both cruise lines. Sorry, NCL, but Carnival beats you. No one makes you feel like you are using food stamps when the Carnival’s casino sends you to dinner. No complaining about ordering a second starter. NCL, I love you, but you need to cut down on buffet and splurge on those paying up charges for dinner. For example, at the Japanese steakhouse restaurant on Carnival, a young girl who only ordered lobster, asked the chef if she could have some filet. He immediately, without blinking an eye, got more filet and all parties applauded. The JiJi restaurant. chef on the Carnival ship went out of his way to make us a fresh ginger sauce. As well, the Carnival’s Captain’s Italian restaurant was outrageously good, especially the homemade, cheese appetizer. I also liked the buffet being divided into areas on Carnival. I don’t know how they they did it, but a sold-out ship did not look full. The casino was not crazy-crowded, nor were the main spaces. But, there were not enough bathrooms, especially near the casino on Carnival. Besides more facilities, the views on The Escape were amazing. I liked getting up early and getting breakfast while overlooking the ocean in a relaxing, comfy chair. It required more effort to get a glimpse of the ocean on Carnival’s ship. Speaking of views, I disliked the portable chairs for the main theater. During one rock tribute show, the extensive, dramatic gestures of the cast were over the top. They were talented, but it was excessive and I ended up leaving. On the other hand, the female comedian on Carnival’s Panorama was phenomenal, but the older male comedian was just plain disgusting during his “adult” session. Overall, NCL’s talent out does Carnival’s, with the exception of a few of the comedians. I have never found the Second City group on NCL funny, at all. I cannot comment favorably enough on the Latitudes program on NCL. I love its perks. As we go forward, we will be enjoying both lines, and look forward to NCL making the wise decision to park a new, large ship permanently in LA. I do feel more confident with NCL’s captain after Carnival’s recent mishaps. I do like that extra attention to detail, and appreciate sleeping without worry. Good job to both lines; cruising is my passion. Happy New Year from Platinum Cruise Muse Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I picked this cruise despite the fact we swore we wouldn’t sail with Carnival again after our last trip a couple years ago. Compared to NCL and RC, we just weren’t impressed with our last cruise. But we booked because we ... Read More
My wife and I picked this cruise despite the fact we swore we wouldn’t sail with Carnival again after our last trip a couple years ago. Compared to NCL and RC, we just weren’t impressed with our last cruise. But we booked because we wanted a quick weekend getaway on the cheap. Well we got what we paid for. First off, if you have even slight concerns about motion sickness, avoid this ship at all costs. It has no stabilizers so you can feel every wave. Even with my bonine pills, I still had occasional moments of queeziness. The ship is relatively small compared to others I’ve sailed. So the entertainment options were kind of limited. The pools are not really that kid friendly and there aren’t a lot of things available to entertain kids, so it’s not an ideal family cruise compared to others we’ve been on. They had a water slide but it’s not accessible from the main pool deck so you can’t keep a close eye on the kids if you want to sun bathe while they slide. The dining was mediocre at best. The main dining room had pretty standard options each night. The “Featured Vegetarian” entree was the exact same dish all three nights. Not great for my wife. Seriously? They couldn’t come up with 3 different entrees? I had a pork chop on the first night which was tough and dry. The other dishes were decent but nothing compared to the elegant dishes I had on NCL and RC. Breakfast room service was a bit of a joke. We normally order it out of convenience but their offerings were extremely limited if you didn’t want an extra charge. We could get fruit, cereal, danishes, yogurt cups, juices, and coffee. Basic Continental breakfast. No hot plates. One of our bananas was half mush and the melons were all under ripe and flavorless. We went to the main dining room after the first morning. Much better options, which were quite good. The stateroom was clean, with the one exception of a leftover sock in one of the cabinets. The air conditioning was impossible to adjust. We had a thermostat but it didn’t appear to do anything. Always chilly in our room. And it was incredibly noisy. Constantly sounded like we were on an airplane. It was that loud. The ship is in desperate need of a makeover though. Lots of salt-wear on deck rails, chipped paint, etc... The mandatory safety briefing was not great. They communicated relatively well but never gave us a warning for when the alarms would sound. They just blasted in our tiny stateroom and scared us to death! Just give us a heads up. My one real complaint was regarding their prohibited items policy. We have packed a small power strip for every cruise we’ve ever taken, including our last Carnival cruise. This time they confiscated it before we embarked. I pointed to their website policy that says power strips are an exception (they said with careful use, whatever that’s supposed to mean) but they refused to return it until the end of the cruise. They had no explanation for why I was allowed to use it on our last cruise, nor why it was such an objectionable item. They basically just said, sorry not sorry. The stateroom only had one US compatible receptacle. How are we supposed to charge two phones and two watches at night? Again, the ship is out-dated. With regard to entertainment, the only show we saw was one of the comedians. We went to the PG show so it seemed he felt restricted in his act considering there was a 10 yr old in the front row. He wasn’t all that great to be honest, but in fairness he had a pretty quiet crowd. We did listen to a few musicians at random times. They were alright. Nothing spectacular. Found it funny when we went to a bar that advertised “acoustic jams” and were greeted by a blues musician playing electric guitar. Must be that “new” acoustic all the kids are talking about! He wasn’t bad though. As usual, there was lots of attempted upselling for photos, drinks, art auctions etc... Pretty typical in our experience. We did actually buy a couple of photos from the studio photographer on the Cruise Elegant night. She did a nice job. The prints were overpriced but good quality. Speaking of Cruise Elegant night, the dining room was not strict on the dress code for that evening. There were plenty of guests in T-shirts and jeans. We took one excursion but it wasn’t booked through the cruise line so I’ll rate it separately. Overall, we made the most of it. Easily our least favorite of all our cruises but for the price it wasn’t awful. We spent plenty of time relaxing. Not much on deck due to chilly temperatures but still pretty comfortable. If you are a local resident to the Miracle’s embarkation point, it might be a nice weekend booze cruise. But not worth an expensive flight and long term vacation expectations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Upon hearing that Carnival was beginning to leave from San Diego, my family decided it would be a great first cruise for 5 year old twins. We took a New Years cruise to fit in winter break. My husband and I have cruised previously ... Read More
Upon hearing that Carnival was beginning to leave from San Diego, my family decided it would be a great first cruise for 5 year old twins. We took a New Years cruise to fit in winter break. My husband and I have cruised previously (including on Carnival). Embarking was pretty quick and straightforward. We had one of the first embarkation times and made it fairly smoothly on. Getting off the boat was unexpectedly quick if you checked luggage. We were off the boat hours before we anticipated we would be. Spa To take advantage of a discount emailed to me, I had booked a massage for 3pm on embarkation day. Well, turns out kids club does not open on embarkation day until 8pm. There was no way of knowing that before getting on the ship. Then I go to the salon to find out that since the 3pm was in the middle of the safety drill, the massages had to be rescheduled. As I was at the desk, I was not the only one who had prebooked online showing up and being rescheduled. Why would we even be allowed to book at that time if they could not perform services? The staff did work to find a time that evening for the massage, but it was at a higher rate than what I had prebooked for. I was not told that at the time of booking either. The massage was nice, but I really disliked the sales pitch before and after. I stayed away from the salon the entire time following that. Kids Club The kids club was honestly what we were most excited about. Problem is, the hours were always varied. We'd drop our kid off and be told that it closes at a random time for an activity (that was not previously posted). It was a little frustrating in that regard. I had my kids there for one late night (New Years) and picked them up close to 1 am. Instead of droopy kids calmly watching a movie or something, they were running and jumping around. It was hard getting them to sleep that night. My kids had only warm feelings about the kids club. They made a request to not go one day, but when they went they had a good time. Overall, I'd say it was an average experience for them there. Food We ate in the main dining room most nights with some buffet trips. We never did any specialty dining (partly because of the lack of information for when I could drop my kids off prior to sailing). I was really disappointed that my kids received the same menu every night. The adult food was fine, nothing too special. But if the adults have tacos on the menu, how hard is it to make a kid's special of a taco? Hamburgers, hot dogs, spaghetti, and chicken nuggets were pretty much their only choices. One night we walked by where the kids club was dining and they had better meal choices for kids there. I was not impressed. We also did the Green and Ham character breakfast. The characters coming in were fun, but we also saw them for pictures later in the cruise and would not have had to pay for it. The meal options were pretty much the same thing you'd get on the buffet, except "green eggs and ham". That was buffet scrambled eggs dyed green and Canadian bacon. My husband ordered it, and it was meh. Pretty much I paid $20 for my kids to eat cereal and take pictures with characters they saw again for free two days later. For something we were excited about, it was a disappointing experience. New Year's Celebration The party was pretty fun with fun wearable giveaways (like light up glasses) and complimentary toasting champagne. They did combine all the parties at the end which made for a packed lido deck for a count down. Overall Impression I had some specific criticisms that I pointed out, but overall it was an okay cruise. They kids had fun. Their favorite items were all you can eat soft serve and the mini-golf course. They also really loved the on board Build-a-Bear activity, complete with Carnival themed clothing options for the dolls. If you do that, line up early. My husband and I were able to enjoy some peace and quiet, which is what we really wanted from the trip. It was a budget cruise and felt like it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our 9th cruse with Carnival and we booked the Panorama because were excited to finally have a new Carnival ship on the West Coast. We are in our 50's and our kids are 18 and 15. We drove into Long Beach from the SF Bay Area. ... Read More
This was our 9th cruse with Carnival and we booked the Panorama because were excited to finally have a new Carnival ship on the West Coast. We are in our 50's and our kids are 18 and 15. We drove into Long Beach from the SF Bay Area. Departure City: We drove into Long Beach and stayed pre cruise in Seal Beach at the Pacific Inn with their park and cruise package. My family enjoyed the included breakfast and the room was adequate with 2 Queens with a microwave and fridge. Tip: reserve your shuttle times in advance. They had overbooked the shuttles but payed for a Lyft to the ship the on cruise day. It took about 20-30 minutes to get to the ship due to a parade. We have stayed at the Hotel Maya right in the cruise port before and found that hotel to be more convenient to the port. The drop off area for luggage takes a bit of patience as people are still departing the previous cruise or waiting for rides. This was expected and they do their best. Embarkation was a breeze as we were on time for our reserved 1/2 time slot, did every pre-requirement, had documents and passports in hand and had set up our onboard accounts online. We were onboard very quickly with absolutely no waiting. We booked 2 Havana Interior rooms on the 7th floor. I chose this floor to get as far away from the late night live Havana band noise spilling into the room. I could still hear the congas and bongos in the room but I do have very good hearing. They often played until 12:30AM but it wasn't a big problem for us. What I didn't expect from the new ship is that our cabin room door was sticking and very hard to unlock, close all the way and lock. I had to put all of my body weight on the handle to unlatch the door. Because the ship is new it hasn't settled and the screws and moldings are still so tight that they cracked and popped very loudly when the seas were a bit rough. I imagine this will lessen as time goes on but we did have 2 nights of horrible sleep with loud creaking and snapping from the ceiling area. If you book the upper Havana areas on deck 6 and 7 it is important to know that the online floorplans show a staircase on port and starboard side on the aft but there is actually only a staircase on the port side. We used this staircase all the time to access the Havana Pool area. We missed having the usual 3 closets but managed with the 2. We used the large open shelves by the fridge for room service dishes (which were removed daily), pool towels and the bottom for shoes. I was able to fit a pop up hamper in the closet but not many shoes. Our closet was packed with wooden hangers. Havana Pool: We loved this area! It was usually quiet and always well taken care of. The hot tubs were wonderful and not crowded and the infinity pool lovely. Pool temperature was not too cold and we waded or swam in it very comfortably. There are attendant buttons on each cabana for service but we got our own drinks from the outside bar which wasn't crowded. Sometimes there was light music and sometimes no music. This area was a game changer for us and it would be hard to return to packed deck chairs and constant noise on the Lido. Too each his own but as we age we like the party noise less. Havana Bar: We loved this area but didn't stay very long inside as the air conditioning was too cold. Others used the game areas constantly for domino games or cards. It is beautifully themed and the design of the Havana bar is very nice. On the other Vista class ships there are tapas and snacks served in the Havana area but the bartender told us they removed this from the Panorama. Ocean Plaza deck 5: There is a small breakfast buffet here to avoid main deck 10 buffet crowds. My teens (18 and 15) enjoyed the live evening bands and it always seemed to have some trivia or crafts scheduled if you enjoy that in this multipurpose area. Room service: I use this regularly and didn't care for the quality of the room service food on this ship. The delivery people were nice but the quality was lacking in comparison to our other cruises. Dining: The waiters did a great job. We chose assigned dining at 8:15 but we were very disappointed that assigned dining is now in the smaller one story Horizon dining room. It felt cramped and with low ceilings. You can find videos about this on youtube. We really missed the grand open 2 story dining rooms we always had in the past. The "any time" diners get this larger Vista dining room now. So if you enjoy the large open opulent dining rooms be prepared to select "any time" dining. However, I've heard that the anytime service is much slower with long wait lines. We purchased a wine package of 5 wines and the waiters always pulled our bottles and had them ready at our table when we arrived. Entertainment: We enjoyed the entertainment a lot. I am a retired dancer and the show Rock Revolution was absolutely the best I've ever seen on a cruise ship. Don't miss this show! The fresh choreography, live music, projections, wonderful costuming, talent, unique makeup design, direction and most importantly commitment from the dancers was exceptional. Audiences loved the lighted drones. We also enjoyed the show Celestial Strings but the music of Rock Revolution was my favorite. Get there early for a good seat and note that the entertainers work throughout the main floor. We did have difficulty with the volume level in the Atrium Bar where musicians play in the evening. The string players were wonderful but the speakers were way too loud. It was impossible to sit at the Atrium bar and have a conversation. Service: Our servers were all very pleasant. There were a few items I had to ask my room attendant for (fresh washcloths, ice, clean glasses) but they were always provided when I asked. The wine I preordered was waiting for us in the room upon arrival. Our room service attendant asked us to pick a time for cleaning each day and I appreciated knowing when that would be. Excursions: As a veteran West Coast cruiser I arranged our excursions. We've done Carnival excursions before and there are benefits to that also. In Cabo I booked a 42' sailing yacht independently with Cabo Sailing. They provided snorkeling gear, towels, unlimited drinks and lunch. The team was personable and we loved it! Cruisetipstv has a great youtube video about this. We stayed onboard and enjoyed the ship in Mazatlán as it's not our favorite. In Puerto Vallarta we hung out in the Havana pool in the morning and took a taxi to the Malecon in the late afternoon for lunch at Bar Oceano. Walk all the way out of the port area for a less expensive taxi ride to Hotel Rosita and enjoy the walk along the Malecon to your lunch destination. Our taxi ride back to the cruise port was only $2 per person. Our children 18 and 15 enjoyed the water slides, pizza, ice cream and ropes course. They enjoyed the sky ride. The sky ride line was usually about 20 minutes but we talked to a fellow passenger who waited 1 1/2 hours. Our kids wanted to use the trampoline area but the only open reservations were during dinner. It's $12 per hour but more expensive for the rock and glow time. Food: Our favorite lunches were the Guys Pig and Anchor (free lunch on sea days out door bbq). Or at paid times the Pig and Anchor trash can nachos. We also like the Guys burgers on the Lido area. We tried the sushi place and it was great. I did not enjoy the $12 lobster roll from the crab shack. I asked for butter instead of mayo but still got mayo. I didn't finish it but the fried were good. My son really loved the fish and chips from the crab shack. Our drive home over the grapevine to northern CA was gorgeous as they had a huge snowstorm while we were gone. We are exhausted and I can't wait to book our next get away! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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