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20 Carnival USA Cruise Reviews

I went on my cruise Oct 7th 2016 with my girlfriend. Our original cruise was suppose to go to Cozumel, Mexico and Key West, FL. Hurricane Matthew came through the Bahamas on Oct 5th and our cruise was set for Oct 6th but it was canceled ... Read More
I went on my cruise Oct 7th 2016 with my girlfriend. Our original cruise was suppose to go to Cozumel, Mexico and Key West, FL. Hurricane Matthew came through the Bahamas on Oct 5th and our cruise was set for Oct 6th but it was canceled and pushed back for Oct 7th. We were told that we could no longer go to Mexico and would be taken to the Bahamas. Since the Bahamas was damaged due to the Hurricane, carnival was only able to take us to Key West, FL, mind you we live in Tampa, FL and could have drove to Key West. We was only given $71 back for the trip. Mind you we did not board the ship until about 9pm on Oct 7th which means we missed a full day of the 6th and 7th. So we paid $770.00 for a trip that was not worth it in the end. The ship was empty due to all the last min changes. only about 600 guest showed up for the trip. we only went because it was my 30th birthday!! The food was good and the room was okay. There was no production shows on this trip. This is my 6th cruise and expected more but made the best of the trip overall. I will use Carnival again in April only because I have already paid for the trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We were suppose to go to the Bahamas but because of Mattews we had to go to Key West which was great. The Captain keep us away from the storm .I don't think we even had rain . This ship is old but still looks good.The staff was ... Read More
We were suppose to go to the Bahamas but because of Mattews we had to go to Key West which was great. The Captain keep us away from the storm .I don't think we even had rain . This ship is old but still looks good.The staff was great.The food was okay.The shows are not very good. The Jacksonvlle port was great. I have been cruising since 1989 on all size ships and I have found out you are the one who makes the cruise and you get what you paid for.I have seen people having a great time.on all of them. When you have people waiting on you hand and foot and all you have to do is watch the sun come up and go down it is worth every penny.I can't wait to book my next cruise. We have fun watching roll call and counting down the days PS They should get rid of smoking in the casino .It was so bad you could smell it on the floor below Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was the only cruise line that did a short trip in June. We purchased the extra fast to fun package because I use a walker and we could avoid long lines. Embarkation and debarkation were really with no lines and very little waiting. ... Read More
This was the only cruise line that did a short trip in June. We purchased the extra fast to fun package because I use a walker and we could avoid long lines. Embarkation and debarkation were really with no lines and very little waiting. Our cabin with window was just fine. Our stewards were exceptional and always went above and beyond expectation. Part of the fast to fun fee included getting to our room as soon as we boarded and getting our luggage sooner than most. Both of these amenities transpired for us. Our daughter however, who had the next door cabin, had a difficult time getting her luggage. Her luggage had my grandson's insulin. She decided upon getting to the ship that she did not need to carry to heavy bag the insulin was in because the ship's crew would take it to the ship. Long story short, they lost all of her luggage and for 3 hours we were frantic to find the insulin and if they didn't find it, we were going to have to get off the ship. We could not sail not knowing where the insulin was. Fifteen minutes before we had to get off, the luggage came to the door one at a time by 3 different people. Not a good way to start a cruise. Food was average, rock show was really good, and we had fun celebrating my grandson's fifteenth birthday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I take a nice cruise yearly, typically over 7 days. When I choose, I choose warm weather. I selected this cruise due to the Ports we would be visiting. We like repositioning cruised and thought that this was one when we ... Read More
My husband and I take a nice cruise yearly, typically over 7 days. When I choose, I choose warm weather. I selected this cruise due to the Ports we would be visiting. We like repositioning cruised and thought that this was one when we booked it. It was not. The pink and black color scheme was outdated and did not make the first impression that I was hoping for. (I thought that the 80's group Poison might come out at any time). However, when we got to our room it was roomy and comfortable. We selected the Spa Cloud 9 cabin with a balcony. They could upgrade the mattress for this Cloud 9 cabin but it was not worse than any other twin turned into queen bed. We were thrilled that we could board early and that the cabin was ready for us. It was in the PERFECT spot onboard. The Cabin Steward, Putu (probably misspelled) was wonderful and attentive. We walked around the ship and ended up in the Spa for the tour. During the tour we met Milos, the hair dresser/ Barber. He was very welcoming and engaged my husband in converation and invited him to get a shave. My husband and I both scheduled appointments for later that day. I must say that I received the BEST cut, color and scalp massage EVER. Now I'm dying knowing that I won't get it cut and color like this again. I scheduled a follow up for conditioning. I don't fall for lots of tricks to get you to come back but I could tell such a difference in my hair, I was sold. My husband's shave was amazing...he was a fan. My husband is bald with a goatee, so he knows a good shave when he got one Since that first interaction, my husband spent more money in the Spa than I did. I've never had my hair done in the spa because I wouldn't trust someone that I did not know...Milos was so knowledgeable that you were immediately comfortable. With the Spa Cabins there are good discounts along with the daily specials. We did have a miscommunication about a mud bath type special (mostly on my behalf) but Marina, the lady at the front desk quickly took care of it and called us to let us know. I was very appreciative. Everyone was nice and all of our service were good. The ship was a bit difficult to navigate but EXTREMELY clean and cared for. I am not sure if I've ever been on a cleaner ship. We had a hard time finding breakfast and dinner...even though it was the same place daily. LOL Everyone onboard did a great job making you feel welcome. Even the Drill prior to disembarking was pretty painless and seemed organized better than some. We really did not participate in too many onboard activities. There were plenty of children onboard that we just did not feel like dealing with so we stayed in the quiet areas. We did not mind. The shows were GREAT! The dancers and singers were Great. The costumes did not look like they'd been worn a million times. We did not go to the comedy club. The other clubs were good and played a good mix. We enjoyed the lobby trivia and Andy (the guitarist). My husband is a musician and was Wow'd. That says a lot about Andy. The ports of call were great. We took a cab type tour and got our money's worth. Since we'd never been to any of the ports...it was a great way too see a lot in a short amount of time. If and when we go back, we can zero in on some of our interests. Now let's get to the Food......it could not have been better!!! Arnold, Bragus and Reynoldo were taking care of us nightly. The service was really good and we enjoyed their upbeat personalities. Arnold has worked for Carnival for 10 years and was very proud of that. You could tell that his job is fullfilling. We looked forward to seeing him nightly. The quality and taste of the food was FABULOUS!!!!! I can't say enought about it. That was just in the dining room. The Pinnacle restaurant was outstanding. We have not had better food on any other cruise...even Holland America. The surcharge for that restuarant was not bad either and well worth it for one night. Don't do the Pinnacle on the first formal night or you will miss the lobster and steak dinner in the main dining area. You don't want to miss it.... I don't eat a lot of pizza a home but the pizza aboard was really tasty and I ate plenty of it while onboard. Overall...the ship could use some updating. Other than that it was a great trip. The ports of call were awesome! We met a lot of nice people. I predict that next year (since my husband picks) we will go where it is cold...and take Holland America....but I will look for a reason to take this cruise again. Ending in NYC was awesome! Good memories! PS. There was another passenger that was needing critical care, not sure what, but that was handled very well considering the Coast Guard had to fly in and remove the passenger. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Took the 3 day cruise to Baja, CA. I was celebrating my 60th birthday with my daughters. We upgraded to the penthouse suite and booked massages ahead of time. We spent extra money to make a great memory. I have taken 8 cruises with ... Read More
Took the 3 day cruise to Baja, CA. I was celebrating my 60th birthday with my daughters. We upgraded to the penthouse suite and booked massages ahead of time. We spent extra money to make a great memory. I have taken 8 cruises with Carnival Cruise lines in the past 20 years. All were pretty good except this one. I would not recommend the Spirit Dining Room late night seating to my worst enemy. The service was the worst ever. Servers were rude. Not accommodating and we waited an hour before getting greeted. When we complained they said, that they were very busy. We would just have to wait. BOTH NIGHTS. First night....we waited patiently. Second night, we changed tables thinking the servers would be better.. Not so. Waited another hour for a glass of wine and they brought the wrong wine. Then rushed through every course!! Complete disappointment. It has always been a pleasure dining with the cruise lines. The servers have always taken special attention to details and made our experience a great one. This time not the case. The last night we switched to anytime seating in The Pride Dining room. Excellent.!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our shortest cruise, we typically go 7 night cruises instead of 4 nights. This was our 5th Carnival cruise, the food on board was wonderful. The crew was exceptionally friendly and very helpful, our cabin steward was perfect, ... Read More
This was our shortest cruise, we typically go 7 night cruises instead of 4 nights. This was our 5th Carnival cruise, the food on board was wonderful. The crew was exceptionally friendly and very helpful, our cabin steward was perfect, anticipating our needs (ice, towels, water...etc) The ship does lack some of the Carnival "color extravagance" that we have seen on other ships, which did not bother us at all. The comedy clubs and the piano bars were very fun. The ports were a bit boring, Catalina is a nice an American tourist town on the beach while Ensenada was a disappointment. However after 2 hours we got back on the ship and enjoyed the ship practically to ourselves all day, until about 4pm. The cabin location is great for being near everything, it was a bit loud at dinner time as we were near the elevators and people walk by on their way out but it did not bother us at night, in the morning and we had no noise from either above or below. Water pressure on the shower was great, they put the mattress together to form a king my side sagged a little, my wife's side was comfortable. The ship has a pretty small adult serenity area but that area does have 2 hot tubs, the area always seemed to be almost full, but somehow we were always able to find a place to relax. The hot tubs were crowded but they usually are on most ships. The weather wasn't great but that is hardly Carnival's fault :). Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
The Imagination is a little dated in terms of decor, but the staff certainly made up for the lack of ambience. We had 18 women traveling in our group to celebrate a friend's 50th birthday and we were there to have a good time. The ... Read More
The Imagination is a little dated in terms of decor, but the staff certainly made up for the lack of ambience. We had 18 women traveling in our group to celebrate a friend's 50th birthday and we were there to have a good time. The staff was great in putting up with our sometimes rowdy party going, and we had a fantastic time. The two stops in both Catalina and Ensenada were beautiful, and I would highly recommend the wine tour in Ensenada. The tour guide, Melanie, did a fantastic job of combining a little history with some fun facts, all the while keeping folks informed and entertained. We toured Catalina on foot and had a great lunch at El Galleon, with a view of the beach. The only small disappointment was the food. Having been on other cruise lines in the past, you may find Carnival's lack of selection and quality a little less than other ships. The staff at the night club was great and entertaining. We spent a lot of time on the LIDO deck and experienced good drink service there. The casino staff was ok- the payouts on both tables and slots were poor in our experience, but still we managed to have fun. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was a first cruise for myself and my children. My husband had traveled on many cruises when he was a child and had expectations that this cruise would live up to his memories Our children are 12 and 14 years old. They chose to not ... Read More
This was a first cruise for myself and my children. My husband had traveled on many cruises when he was a child and had expectations that this cruise would live up to his memories Our children are 12 and 14 years old. They chose to not participate in the the teen club so spent much of their time in their rooms playing on their iPhones -which they could have done at home for free. Had they participated in the Teen Club and made friends, they would have had a more fun. We had chosen to eat at 6:00 in the Carnivale dining room. Our waiter was good - but not great. If we asked for a soda it took a while to get it- if he remembered. I ordered the Prime Rib on Elegant dining night. I opted to have the "juice" poured on it. It was really gravy and ruined the flavor of the prime rib. I would recommend not getting the "juice". The macaroni and cheese with bacon was good as well as the mashed potatoes. I am not an adventurous eater so not the best to give an opinion. I had read reviews about the wait staff bringing all the food at once to the table. Our waiters did not. They did a good job serving us. On the last night, I had ordered a baked potato with sour cream. The sour cream never arrived and my son was given the wrong entree. The waiter was quick to bring the correct order. We stayed in rooms M78 and M74 - adjoining rooms. The beds were very comfortable. It is difficult to adjust the temperature in the rooms. Even when I thought we had closed the fan on the ceiling all the way, it was still cold in the room. Naturally the rooms are small, but having nothing to compare them to, they were what I expected. I seemed to be the only one who had trouble keeping the water in the shower stall and not on the bathroom floor. All the floors have drains in them in the bathroom, so I suspect it is a common problem. We accidentally set the smoke alarm off in our room twice with the steam coming from the bathroom - so make sure to keep the bathroom door closed. The fire marshals were quick to respond when the alarm went off. Overall, the experience was ok for our first cruise. Had we been able to go ashore in Catalina Island it may have been better. Ensenada is also not a very nice town, so a better Mexican town to stop in would have also been much better. I am glad we didn't pay extra for any excursions. We would have been forced to brave the waves to get to Catalina Island and in Mexico- the weather was chilly so scuba diving or any outdoor actives would have not been pleasant. I would say I would go on another cruise, but not on this ship nor to these locations. We choose this particular cruise so we could stay a few days longer in California and take the kids to Disneyland. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
I hate seeing this port no longer offering cruises. It is easy peasy to park, get shuttle and there you are. So we decided to do the last cruise cruise to nowhere. We always book a balcony and did so even though there was nothing to see. ... Read More
I hate seeing this port no longer offering cruises. It is easy peasy to park, get shuttle and there you are. So we decided to do the last cruise cruise to nowhere. We always book a balcony and did so even though there was nothing to see. Unfortunaletly we booked cabin 6363 which we actually thought there was a speaker in our room blasting what was happening underneath us. Housekeeping told us to go ask for ear plugs. I did and to my surprize we were given another, much quieter room. The food was very good and we loved the adults only pool, which had the roof closed due to rain. We sat in the hot tub and just really enjoyed ourselves. The Red Frog was a delight. Our waitress had me in stitches and the drinks were goo. Try their beer - I am not a big beer drinker but wanted the glass - it was good. Guys Burgers - were okay. The chain 5 Guys are much better Alchemy Bar - loved the bar tenders and the drinks were great. I won a charm for martini tasting. We ate in the dining room only on the last night -rest of meals at buffet. Food at both venues was very good. Down sides were (this is a suggestion) somebody needs to teach these people how to do the safety drill. Very, very unorganized Some also needs help with disembarkment. Nobody gave real instructions on what to do and everyone just went down to the gang plank on their own to get off the ship. All in all, I was pleasantly surpirized (hated our other Carnival Cruise) and had a great time. Thanks you hubby for booking this. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Our first cruise was on Carnival almost 10 years ago and we really had a good time. Our second cruise was on Royal Caribbean and after that, we decided we would never do a cruise with Carnival again. We are glad we gave it another try. We ... Read More
Our first cruise was on Carnival almost 10 years ago and we really had a good time. Our second cruise was on Royal Caribbean and after that, we decided we would never do a cruise with Carnival again. We are glad we gave it another try. We would sail with Carnival again. Our very first impression wasn't good. It took us over 2 hours to get on board. There is no excuse for lines that long. There just were not enough people to process all the people. We arrived at 1:15 and didn't get on board until after 3:00. We have NEVER had to wait that long. We were told that the "Groove Cruise" charter before us was to blame because it took them so long to get everyone off the ship and have it ready for us, backing up the early check-in lines and jamming the entire process. A better bet may have been to arrive at 3:00 instead. On the upside, our cabin was ready and our luggage was already there. The entire purpose of our cruise was a quick, and cheap, getaway. We knew from our past experience not to expect much. We were pleasantly surprised. The Inspiration is a very nice ship. While the décor was more “cheap 70s plastic” than what we had become more accustomed to, we didn’t mind. It reminded us a bit of old school Vegas. The exception was the absolutely beautiful library. Very well done. After setting down our things in our stateroom, we grabbed a bit to eat at the buffet. We purchased one soda package at the bar inside, but had to find a place on the pool deck to purchase the tumbler. We were also surprised that there was virtually no wait staff in the dining area. While we expected to get our own drinks, on other lines, the wait staff offered to help find us a table, bring us drinks, etc. Still, we found a good table with an aft window view and enjoyed a casual lunch. We then decided it was time to grab a cocktail and find our muster station. We were muster M, which turned out to be the Candlelight lounge right below the buffet and just above our restaurant and stateroom. Perfect. We sat and visited with another cruiser while the muster drill was called and the room started to fill up. Muster went without a hitch and we headed out to the pool deck. Out on the pool deck, we purchased a tumbler and were approached at least six times in ten minutes asking if we wanted to try the Drink of the Day. No we knew where the all the staff was. This was pretty much the theme for the rest of the cruise. When we did order, they pushed us to order more. Order a beer, they try and talk you into a bucket. Order a mixed drink, they try and talk you into a double. There is also a 15% gratuity automatically added to each drink order. Something we were a bit surprised by at first, but also decided it was fine. I usually tip a little better than that so the 15% actually worked out OK. We always choose late seating but decided to skip the sail-away show in favor of exploring the ship. We then went to our stateroom to change for dinner. We were seated at a 10-top and had a great time with all of the couples at our table. Two of the couples did attend the sail-away show but were not impressed and left before it was over. Our server, Christopher, was excellent. He worked very hard and never missed any detail. Our assistant waiter was slow to refill drinks and handle bread service. We found it awkward that the bartender had to bring out soda, even if we had the soda package. If that is the way other lines work, they make it more seamless. Dinner service was quick but not rushed. The food selection was great and all of the dishes were well prepared and tasted very good. The only thing that was odd, is the portion sizes were very small. While you can (and we did) order more than one item, we were surprised that even the baked potato was smaller than a baseball. I do have one tip on a desert to avoid. The sugar free pumpkin pie. The only thing that resembled pumpkin pie was the shape. The color, texture, taste and consistency were all WAY OFF. Christopher encouraged us to order ice cream with it. We found out later it was because he has never had a guest that ordered it and liked it, but oddly enough, he didn’t tell us at the time not to order it. We dined in the main dining room every night and enjoyed it. The entertainment on board was good, but not great. There were two comedians on board (Thomas Brown and John Caponera) and we liked them both. Our cruse director was Jeff Brrronson and we were told this was his first cruise as a cruise director. He did the love and marriage show, which we found to be pretty funny. I guess we were easy to please in the laughs department. While we skipped the sail-away show and the “Fiesta Latina” show, we did take in “Shout” in the main theater. First a word about the theater. It was set up more like a lounge with a balcony. It was even called the “Paris Lounge”. The problem is the sight lines were poor as a result. There wasn’t enough of an upward angle and most seats in the balcony were obstructed in some way. As for the show, we knew it wasn’t going to be a full broadway production show, we didn’t expect it to be as plain as it was. The music was good, but stuck to very common tunes. Only the two lead vocalists were performing live as the ensemble was dance only. The choreography was uninspired and the costumes were not very elaborate. The performers were also good, but not great. The vocal range of the lead was limited , but within range, was very good. Even though our expectations were low, they were not met by this show. The best entertainment we had all cruise may have been out on the pool deck with the DJ. This is where the fun was at and where we spent most of our time, either just lounging around reading a book or sitting in the hot tub. In all, we had a very good time. It was just about what we expected for the price, nothing fancy, spectacular or breathtaking. Good service, good food and decent accommodations. Overall, this cruise was a good vacation value that afforded us the opportunity to relax and unwind, which was just what we needed.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I was hesitant to posts a review, because there were some good parts of our cruise; however, the bad parts were disappointing and I wanted to share! It is glaringly obvious that Carnival has taken major cost cutting measures and it ... Read More
I was hesitant to posts a review, because there were some good parts of our cruise; however, the bad parts were disappointing and I wanted to share! It is glaringly obvious that Carnival has taken major cost cutting measures and it definitely shows! Through Cruise Critic Roll Call we met and sailed with a group of 60+ fun, amazing people who I will not soon forget! If it wasn't for them, I think this cruise may have been our last. So, here it goes... Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the Port Canaveral terminal at 11:30 and we were on board by 11:45. Like everyone else, we headed to the Lido deck for lunch - I went to the Grill, my son to the Pasta Bar and my DH to the Mongolian Wok. All were good, not great...just good. I bought an unlimited soda/juice card only to find that since our last Carnival cruise when you order a soda you no longer get the can...now they just fill your glass with ice and then put as much soda in as the glass will hold. I ordered my soda with no ice and got ice from the buffet drink stand. The Pizza, Hamburger/Hot Dog Stands, Tandoori, and Grille stand offer a nice variety however only the Pizza bar is only open 24 hrs. The others have limited hours outside of normal dining times. (another cost saving measure I guess?) Buffet food - what you'd expect, typical salads (same stuff every day) then hot items. If you like to eat Pork Loin, Ham and Turkey you'll love the buffet for lunch and dinner (cheaper alternatives.) However, if you do not eat pork products you'll have to settle for one of the chicken or fish dishes floating in cream or oily sauces. My husband waited all week for the carved roast beef but it never showed up at the buffet. On the last night it was on the dining room menu but the slices were paper thin and my DH ordered 3 sliced to get a "normal" portion. While we're talking about the Dining room...we selected the anytime dining option. We figured without 6 yo son we would have the flexibility to feed him around Camp Carnival activities. The Dining Room opens at 5:45. People start lining up at the door at 5:15! No joke! We would go around 6:15 and were disgusted to find that Carnival allowed large family groups to select Anytime Dining as an option - I'm talking groups of 36, 42, 23, etc. AND, when they arrived at the Dining Room the Maitre D sat them all at once splitting them into smaller groups and filling every table. Shame on Carnival and the Maitre D for not stopping this after the first night when everyone else had to wait over 1 hour to be seated! We only got to eat in the Dining room twice due to this (both times no earlier than 8 pm) and found the wait staff tired, over worked and the food lukewarm at best. To say "sorry" they sent a small plate of tiny pastries to our stateroom. We did (by default) eat at the optional Steakhouse 3 times! IT IS AWESOME and worth every penny of the up charge! Next time we'll be selecting a specific dining time so we don't get locked out. The ship...she is beautiful and big. Holds lots of people! More people than other Carnival ships. No, the pool areas were not expanded to accommodate the additional numbers of people so on sea days you still have to hunt for a chair, or wake at 7:30 to "hog" a chair or chairs! Serenity deck...more comfortable chairs and adults have to monitor that kids don't plant themselves in that area. Water slides are great...both kids and adults alike used them from the time they opened till closing! The Lanai area on Deck 5 is a good place to hang outside and meet up with friends throughout the night. It's convenient to the casino, Punchline, piano bar and Encore Lounge. As for the shows...a must see is the the show featuring the Fun Force Dancers. They are an amazing group of break dancers and gymnasts who entertain!! Two of the four comedians were funny; the Legends show...not so much. But..no matter which show you're going to...get there early (like 30 minutes before) if you want a seat! (again...more people, same size public spaces.) Deck parties...packed. Laser shows...started at 8pm when it was still light out. This was the fist time we ever saw or interacted with a Cruise Director. Corey Rodgers was great! He and his assistant Brittnay, were all over the ship giving face time to everyone and making sure that everyone had whatever they needed. Great Job guys! Our Stateroom - we had an Ocean Suite, deck 7, mid-ship and loved it. Gave the 3 of us room to spread out and our son loved the jacuzzi tub and balcony! The walls are thin and you will hear everything (yes everything!) that goes on in the adjoining room. Our room steward was a living doll! She worked so hard and deserves the highest accolades! Shopping on the ship - one word - DON'T!!! I have never bought any jewelry on a ship before. Usually I purchase items on shore; but, this time I saw a ring I loved and bought it. It had to be sized to my hand and (when I got home I found out that) the store worker LIED TO US!! He said that he gives me a 'certificate of authenticity' and I take the ring that does not fit. When I arrive home I call their corporate office, tell them my ring size and an exchange for the correct size ring would be made. He also said the ring is Tax and Duty free. Both lies! Apparently anyone who buys jewelry over $800 on board is reported to Customs Agents by Carnival. On arrival we were pulled aside and had to pay duty on the ring. Wouldn't have been an issue if he told us the truth! Also, when I called their Corporate Office they said they would cut and size the existing ring rather than replace the ring with the correct size. Another lie. Today I took the ring to be appraised and it didn't even appraise for 3/4 of what we paid. So...the ring is being returned!!! Bottom line...I will continue to buy jewelry on shore ports but not on a Carnival ship! Camp Carnival (6-8 year olds) My son loved it but came home asking me what "douche-bag" means, and using the words "fuck-in" and "dam it" which he said he learned from kids at camp. Where were the Counselors??? I know they can't be everywhere at all times but really????? Ports and Excursions - Cozumel was the only place we booked an excursion through Carnival. We did the Dolphin Push, Pull and Swim at Chankanaab Park. On our own we stayed and did the Manatee Swim as well (awesome.) Beautiful park and a place you can go on your own by taxi and sign up for any/all of the encounters at your leisure (probably a cheaper option.) Belize - we booked cave tubing through charlies cave tubing. Carnival wouldn't allow children under 8 - so we booked on our own. So glad we did. Charlie gave us a great rain forest tour and got us out on the river before the masses! Carnival booked 300+ people to cave tube - thank goodness we got out before them!! Roatan - again we booked our own guide through Victor Bodden tours. Anna was great! She took us to the Iguana farm where we fed over 1000+ protected iguanas; played with the monkeys, and zip-lined through the jungle (my son flipped upside down and had a blast!) she also gave us a great tour of Roatan, took us for a great lunch and made sure we had a great day! Costa Maya - all I can say is Maya Chan Beach Resort!! Great drinks, food, beach, kayaks, snorkel, palapas with beach beds, massages on the beach, etc.!! Too bad Carnival cut the day short and we had to back on board by 1:30...don"t know why...?! Owned by Americans and managed by their son. Not your usual beach escape. Disembarking...Carnival couldn't wake us up and get us off early enough. We were supposed to be called at 7:456 but were called at 7:15! We then waited 30 minuted for our luggage. All in all it was an ok trip. We made some good family and friend memories; but, it will be a long time before we consider Carnival again. Overall, we found a big difference in the service, food and quality of this Carnival cruise compared to others in the past. I can live with the 'hairy chest contest' buckets of beer, tattoos in places that I'd rather not see, and Luby's Cafeteria caliber food for great people and quality service. All our vacation "bests" were not made because of Carnival....they were made on non-Carnival excursions, and with friends we met before boarding the ship. Unfortunately, we will be looking at either RCCL, Disney or other child-friendly lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Wow! Just got back today from my first cruise and what an experience! I'm not the write a review type, but I read so many before I traveled it only seems fair I do the same. This was not only my first cruise, it was the first vacation ... Read More
Wow! Just got back today from my first cruise and what an experience! I'm not the write a review type, but I read so many before I traveled it only seems fair I do the same. This was not only my first cruise, it was the first vacation my girlfriend and I have taken together-no pressure. ! She has been on 2 other cruises and was very good in allowing me to go crazy planning, reading, pre-packing and being consumed on finding out everything I could to make sure we didn't miss anything on our trip. Carnival Inspiration as I had read is an older ship that had been retro fitted not to long ago, I was very impressed with how well maintained the entire ship was considering how much it is used. Only took 30 minutes after early check in to get on the ship and get lunch! Got in our room by 1 pm, had our bottles of booze waiting in room, I highly suggest ordering bottles instead of smuggling on board. Also, get the soda card for both, it made life so much easier for us during dinner or laying pool side. I read so many reviews about the food it seemed to be a love it or hate it, very little middle ground. We thought the food was very good, you have to remember there are around 2300 people on board hard to get 5 star food. Dinner was nice, had a fun table to sit with and catch up on the days events. Great selection for dinner staff was amazing! Lunch choices were a bit limited but we found some favorites at the Deli and grill that satisfied. My Big complaint was the Sushi Bar..... Or Cart as it should have been called. I was looking forward to an off night from the dinning room to have Sushi, they had a cart with pre made rolls very disappointed by this. Lots of fun activities to keep you busy; trivia games, game shows, etc. the biggest thing I found is that all the planning I did, it was just nice to hang out and relax. This is a great cruise, be it your first or one of many Carnival does a great job!!! I will be on a cruise again, sooner rather that later! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
My husband and I with our two daughters, son and his wife with a three year old went on Carnival dream Eastern, a couple of weeks ago. We sailed on Carnival dream back in Dec, western cruise:)We had a blast and decided to try eastern ... Read More
My husband and I with our two daughters, son and his wife with a three year old went on Carnival dream Eastern, a couple of weeks ago. We sailed on Carnival dream back in Dec, western cruise:)We had a blast and decided to try eastern Caribbean. Once again we had a blast! We are not complainers and don't expect the world to revolve around us. Our food was always hot, the longest we had to wait in line was about five min, and we can't blame the staff. My husband and I thought it was funny to see how long it took people to figure out a lunch selection on the buffet line:) Our first port was Nassau:although we are not fans, we enjoyed the beach. St. Thomas was beautiful! we walk about a mile from the port and rode the local bus for two dollars per person instead of eight dollars per person. Be careful, don't jump into any taxi without asking the price per person. The locals are very friendly. We needed to go to red hook about a 20 min ride " remember give yourself time, the local taxi bus will stop along the way to drop off and pickup passengers. Our shore excursion was Eco Kayak& Snorkel with Island Marketing. We have never kayak or snorkel before " what an experience, our daughters had an amazing time!. Our guide name was Harlie, she was wonderful! St Maarten: I would love to move to St Maarten. We hired Mr Herman, his shirt says Rusty taxi 17. We toured both the dutch and French side, both island are beautiful. We took our grand-daughter to the Butterfly farm, I believe we enjoyed the Butterfly farm more then she did. Two days at sea was not bad, we never felt like it was to many people. we always found beach chairs, etc. I will assume on Carnival dream maybe 700 or less kids on board. Never had a problems with kids running or misbehaving. I notice Carnival is trying to let parents' know, be responsible for your kids. It's not the crew responsibility it's the parent's :) We are planning a Cruise out of New Orleans for 2013, can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Because this was a repositioning cruse following the Alaska cruise season, the price was right! We booked short notice (less than three weeks) and received a great deal. We were put in an aft facing, extended balcony cabin on the main deck ... Read More
Because this was a repositioning cruse following the Alaska cruise season, the price was right! We booked short notice (less than three weeks) and received a great deal. We were put in an aft facing, extended balcony cabin on the main deck (deck 4). It was wonderful! The roar of the water as the ships screws pushed the ship through the water was great! If you want to sit on a quite balcony and enjoy the view, then don't get an aft facing cabin. You had to raise your voice to be heard. It was worth it because the view and cabin were great! Carnival's entertainment was standard, song and dance shows in the main area and comedy shows in the lounge each night. The embarkation was very slow because the computers in Vancouver were down and everything had to be hand written and verified. We ended on a slow note also in LA because they could not get the brow to setup correctly with the ship. We had to stay on board an extra couple of hours. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We flew a day before departure in order to avoid any arrival problems as we usually do. The Bourbon Orleans is a nice hotel with the rear of the hotel bordering Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street seemed a little more seedy, if possible, than ... Read More
We flew a day before departure in order to avoid any arrival problems as we usually do. The Bourbon Orleans is a nice hotel with the rear of the hotel bordering Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street seemed a little more seedy, if possible, than on our last trip. There are plenty of other areas in which to spend your time. We recalled a food vendor in the French Market calling out last year they had the best crab cakes. Went back and they did live up to their word. We tried the legendary Ferdi sandwich at Mothers. Highly recommended. The Orleans Grapevine restaurant was outstanding . Their service was top-notch not to mention their gumbo and crab-stuffed mussels. Embarkation You need to be cognizant they are boarding 3000 passengers. Some are prepared when they get to check-in. Some are not. With a 4pm sailing, we planned to arrive at 230pm in hopes the lines would be shorter. The wait was not too lengthy. Next time, we will probably shoot for 60 minutes prior to sailing. We were one of the last to board. Remember, Carnival allows a couple to bring a total of two, one person each, 750ml bottles of wine on board. The terminal is vastly improved compared to our last New Orleans departure which was several years ago. Sailway The trip down the Mississippi is probably one reason we like to sailing from NOLA. From our deck 7, aft balcony, we could see both banks as we wound our way to the Gulf. With the twists and turns of the river, the downtown high rises seem to jump from one side to the other. It always amazes it takes 8 hours plus to get out in open water. Accommodations Only issue with our cabin was it was over the rear dining room, and we could smell the food all night. However, this only happened on the first night. Plenty of room to store empty luggage. Carnival'staterooms always seem to be spacious and bedding and pillows were very comfortable. A/C worked well. Itinerary Originally, Progresso and Cozumel were the ports of call. With the approach of hurricane Paula, the captain diverted to Key West. Hot and muggy. Usually, we do not take tours in ports which we have visited before. However, we did sign up for the bus/trolley to see some sights we missed before. An hour tour took us around town and to the Southern-most point in the US. We had to depart before sunset as the Triumph would be blocking the view for the traditional group who gather on the waterfront to watch the sun going down. Totally overcast. No sunset. The track of the storm was eratic and two ports/two sea days turned into one port/three sea days. Seas were actually very calm throughout. Some passengers grumbled we should have been taken to the Bahamas, but the path of the storm could not be predicted. Food & Service The food on a cruise probably not the biggest draw for us. In our estimation, the menu items we selected were all excellent. Wine selections were good and we could buy a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio for the same price as we paid in 1992 when first sailing on the Island Princess. Anytime dining turned out to be a good option since only one port was visited . It was interesting to have different tables/servers each night from the Philippines to Goa. If a table was not ready, the hostess gave you a flashy buzzer. We did not wait long any night to be seated. This dining option was limited to the forward London dining room. Entertainment Usually we do not see most shows, but one in particular was absolutely hilarious. Mark Marverick , a Vegas hypnotist, put 15 or so passengers out on stage and what followed had the packed audience laughing for 60 minutes. The large screen on the Lido deck shows the Today show in the morning and two to three movies in the evening. Remember to grab the extra blanket in the stateroom closet as you might need it on deck if watching a late movie. Summary Overall, we would give this cruise/ship an excellent rating. We hope to book this one again next fall when the Triumph sails out of Galveston. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was a short getaway to relax after a family visit in California.   I was not unhappy with the change from Ensenada to Catalina - I've been to both before and either one was fine with me.  I didn't plan to do an excursion ... Read More
This was a short getaway to relax after a family visit in California.   I was not unhappy with the change from Ensenada to Catalina - I've been to both before and either one was fine with me.  I didn't plan to do an excursion in either place.  I had a spacious 1A cabin - it was perfect for one person.   Never met my cabin steward, but he did a great job.  I haven't had an inside cabin for a while, but it was fine for a short cruise.   Room service every morning was a nice way to wake up.  I had late dining and was assigned to a table for 8.    We were only 3 for dinner but my dining companions were very pleasant and we had a great time.  Our waiter and assistant were terrific.  I also ate in the dining room for breakfast and lunch on the sea day - all very good.   At the buffet, I prefer the grills and pizza to the other offerings.  I didn't do much as far as activities went, preferring to spend most of the days on the adults only serenity deck.   I saw a couple of shows, which were good and visited a couple of the lounges for karaoke and other music.   I spent just enough time in the casino to make a small deposit - rare for me since I usually win.  Embarkation and debarkation were quick and easy.  I carried my one small roll-on on and off myself. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
We (my mom, sister, daughter (age 5) son (age 2) and I) sailed on the Carnival Paradise May 18th - 22nd . We booked this trip 1 week before due to the drastically reduced price and thus only visited Catalina Island and anchored off of ... Read More
We (my mom, sister, daughter (age 5) son (age 2) and I) sailed on the Carnival Paradise May 18th - 22nd . We booked this trip 1 week before due to the drastically reduced price and thus only visited Catalina Island and anchored off of Ensanada for 4 hours (to meet the Jone's Act). This was my 14th cruise (2nd on Carnival) my daughter's 4th and my son's 1st. We had a wonderful time and it was a great trip, complete with beautiful sunny weather and the ocean cooperated with very calm seas. Embarkation: We drove over to Long Beach from Gilbert, Arizona the day of sailing and parked in the LB Port parking terminal. I appreciated that it was covered parking and the parking spaces easily accommodated my SUV. The cost was $15 a day. We checked our luggage with the porters (located on level one of the parking structure) and then stood in a really unorganized line for over an hour. We arrived around 2pm and did not get on the ship until close to 4. Apparently customs decided to do a full inspection on the off coming passengers and it held up getting us on. Why they did an inspection when they only sailed to Catalina is beyond me. We stood outside in an unorganized line and then proceeded to be shuffled over to another line just outside the terminal doors, then another line through security, a line to check - in, a line to take your picture (unavoidable), a line to get on the gangway, a line to scan your Seapass (I can't for the life of me remember what Carnival calls this?) and then we were on. Yip-eee.  Ship overview: The ship was decorated in very loud colors and the green eggs and flower inlays in the lobby/atrium were ugly. The hallways to the rooms were really dark, we were on the blue side. However I do not cruise to be offended by a ship's decorations so it was fine. Just different than any other ship I have been on. Goofy golfing was fun, the adult area had nice padded loungers but was always packed, the gym was small but had nice equipment (at least it looked nice I was lazy this trip), there was lots of loungers around all the pool areas and Camp Carnival was set up great for the 2-5 aged group. The cruise director Filipe was a hyper little thing and would make announcements in the hallways at 10:45 at night and always ended his spiel with "WOO-HOO". Luckily my kids were so worn out these late night (for families) announcements never woke them up. Room: We had an inside room M71 and it was laid out very well. I had lots of room my all my stuff and we never felt cramped even though there was 3 of us sleeping in the room. The 2 beds were against the wall and my son's bed was on a small cot just a couple of inches off the floor. I love insides rooms for 1 thing only - it is pitch black and makes for a great night's sleep. Our stateroom attendant was wonderful and always made sure to say hi to us and give my kids a high-5. The bathroom also had plenty of room although I hated the friendly shower curtain - those should be banned. The only bad thing about our room was there is a sizable space at the bottom of the door that lets light and noise into the room. I rolled up a towel and put it here at night to help block the light. This cruise we were cursed with LOUD neighbors across the hall that thought it fun to keep their doors open and yell down the hall all day and night. Too bad I forgot earplugs because we could even hear them when both my door and their doors were closed. Entertainment/pools: I had the kids so we did not attend any shows. The live music on the ship was good as long as you are not a music snob. The jazz band was a favorite of my kids - they loved to hop and dance around to their songs. The kids pool was really just a small Jacuzzi and was really lame! It appears that they moved the kids pool and made the old one the adult area. I am not sure if Carnival is planning something else more elaborate kids pool or not because there is a lot of room on deck 12. For right now it is just a small circle tub that is heated. The larger pool next to it was freezing in the wind so we only swam after we got back from Catalina in the kids bathtub - I mean pool. On the last sea day all of the pools looked like they needed a good scrub down - they were a nasty dirty green color. Food: The food was only OK however being in cruise mode we did not starve and managed to get in our 10 square meals a day. Nah - in truth this was the first cruise I managed not to come home with an extra chin which is good. The lobster on elegant night was wonderful, some of the best I have had on a cruise and the warm chocolate melting cake was divine! Most of the food was just really bland and did not have a lot of flavor - just my cruising parties opinion. The pizza on the lido deck had really good crust and my kids loved the soft serve ice cream. Our waiters in the main dining room were fantastic , we loved them. We never ordered room service - the menu was very limited to a few salads and sandwiches. The deli on lido was always busy and I had a good turkey Panini there. The Mongolian grill looked fantastic but I was not thrilled with the sauces they cook it in - just not my taste. The wait staff in the lido was lazy - poor things were worn out and they would only clear the tables when their supervisor walked in to check on them. Dirty dishes were piled up on the tables and would sit there for quite a while. This only created a problem during breakfast when the Lido was packed with people trying to find a clean table to sit at. Camp Carnival: My kids were both in the 2-5 aged group and my 5 year old LOVED it, every time I went to get her she begged to stay longer. My 2 year old went the first night and was happy to go in and then after 15 minutes my phone (they provided me) rang with him screaming in the background. I quickly went to go get him and he was completely traumatized and refused to go near it the rest of the trip. That was a bit of a bummer but he was my little shadow the rest of the trip and behaved like a gem for me praise the toddler heavens . The activities were numerous and changed almost every 30 minutes. The counselors were great and very nice and enthusiastically greeted each child - they knew my daughter's name by the second day and would act so excited to see her. This made it so much easier to leave her there, knowing she was having fun and being supervised by nice professionals. I would drop her off for 2 hours in the morning and for an hour or 2 in the afternoon, depending on what activities seemed of interest to her. There were not too many kids on our cruise so the kid center never had more than 10 kids there at any time. They were also very good to allow the kids to color or play with toys if they did not want to participate in the schedule activity. Debarkation: Another crazy unorganized line... of course. We chose to do self assist disembarkation and there was not formal line and everyone was merging and cutting the line. However it only took about 45 minutes to get off the boat and through customs. There they just counted that I had 3 passports for the 3 of us, didn't even open them, and then sent us on our merry way. I filled out the custom form and handed it to the Carnival workers as we left the terminal. It seemed appropriate since we never left the US - very quick and painless minus the line to get off. I would definitely do a Carnival cruise again if the price was right and good thing it usually is. It helps that Carnival is now our only choice for a quick 3 -4 night getaway on the West Coast. The most appealing thing for me about Carnival is that my 2 year old can go to the kids center - we will have to try it again in a few months, next time with my hubby and the kids. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
1st cruise for a family of 4, including 2 daughters (aged 17 & 12). This appears to be a budget cruise. The ship is generally clean, but decor is dated. We chose the least expensive cabins and they were adequate in size and ... Read More
1st cruise for a family of 4, including 2 daughters (aged 17 & 12). This appears to be a budget cruise. The ship is generally clean, but decor is dated. We chose the least expensive cabins and they were adequate in size and accomodations. The only real complaint I would have with the cabins is that there is no hair dryer. The bathroom/hallways smell slightly and while not overpowering, also not pleasant. The food was mediocre. Even on lobster/seafood night, I expected more. the lobster was overcooked and dry. However, the flatiron steak, which I got twice, was great both times. Service in the Imagination dining room was usually good. The pool was under maintenance the day we boarded and not availble until the 2nd day which was a disappointment for the kids. The entertainment was mildly entertaining. A moment doesn't go by with Carnival looking for ways to get more money out of your pocket via pictures, bingo, shopping, extra charges for internet, tipping, overpriced drinks. If you don't drink, smoke, gamble, and eat excessively, cruising may not be your thing. Because we had only one port (Catalina Island - Ensenada was pulled due to swine flu) we were bored. Cruising us just too slow a pace for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
We are just off the Elation.  Here are my impressions.Typically, we cruise Holland America.  No, we are not old.  We just enjoy the elegance and service.  We'd sailed the Elation before, and the first time we sailed her, we ... Read More
We are just off the Elation.  Here are my impressions.Typically, we cruise Holland America.  No, we are not old.  We just enjoy the elegance and service.  We'd sailed the Elation before, and the first time we sailed her, we experienced some culture shock.  Carnival simply does not have the same elegance that Holland America has.  It is a very different cruiseline.  It is more of a college-party-like atmosphere.   In fact, our first time aboard her, we got stuck with loud, falling down, obnoxious drunks for dinner.   I remember that I was about to deck a guy at dinner after he tried to stick his tongue in my wife's ear.We thought that we'd never sail Carnival again.  However, we got a gonga of a deal.   That was how we came to sail the Elation a second time.This time, we got room E126, a window room, right by the elevators, and very close to the atrium bar.   This was a great location.   The room was much like I remembered: orange and gray.  I think that that has to be the oddest color combination very obnoxious.  It also has this large box that holds the life-jackets in the corner by the bed.   It is a bit awkward because whoever sleeps by the window has to climb over it in the middle of the night when nature calls.  But, since we'd been on the ship before, all this was no surprise.My wife and I have a tradition of drinking champagne for sail-away.  We grabbed a bottle and two glasses and headed for the new, adults only, Serenity Deck.  There we found a couple of deck chairs overlooking the back of the ship, and opened the bottle, and watched San Diego harbor go by and eventually disappear.   One thing that I should note, however, is that the Serenity Deck is supposed to be adults only no kids.   However, as we sailed away, there were plenty of kids there.   I am not sure how well this in enforced. The atrium bar is one of my favorite places on the ship.  It was good that it was so close to our room.   The bar sits at the bottom of a six story atrium, with a piano straddled by two curved staircases, between two glass elevators.   After sail away, and before dinner, we spent some time there.We were crossing our fingers at dinner the first night.  Please no obnoxious drunks.  Please no obnoxious drunks.  To our pleasant surprise, our tables mates were quite nice.  There were two younger couples, 20-somethings, and an older retired couple.   And, thank God, none of them tried to stick their tongue in my wife's ear.Dinner was quite like I remembered.  No, it was not as good as Holland America, but it was not bad by any means.   For instance, I remember having prime rib on board our last Holland America cruise aboard the Oosterdam.  I remember thinking, this is so incredible!  The Elation also had prime rib one night, too.  It was good, but not incredible.   I'm not sure what made it different.   Was it the quality of meat, the marbling perhaps? Maybe, it was the was it was prepared.  I simply do not know.   The one thing that Carnival has over Holland America, however, is the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake.   That is awesome.  I had it for dessert every night.  I was told that if you ask for the recipe, they will give it to you.  I tried twice throughout the trip, however, without any luck.The day after sail-away, we went to Catalina.  We took the tender into Avalon.  Upon arriving, we made our way to a booth where we could rent golf carts.  After renting the cart we took all over the hills surrounding Avalon.  It was quite nice, and there were some incredible views. The next day, we arrived at Ensenada.  Of course, we could not get off the ship because of swine flu.  That day, my wife and I went out on deck, on the second level, found some lounge chairs, and caught some rays.  In fact, it was nice to see the sun.  Most of the trip, the weather was quite hazy and gray. That night, we saw the blues band on board.  Really, in many ways, this was the highlight of the trip.  It was a packed house in the Romeo and Juliet lounge standing room only.   I guess that this is where Carnival and Holland America really differ.  I mean, who would of thought that you could see a New Orleans style show on a ship.   On Holland America, there are soft Jazz standards played for ballroom dancing.  Here it was dark, smoky, and horns blaring, guitar and bass jamming, all character night and day, really.  They did say, however, that the blues show was unique to the Elation, that no other Carnival ships have it.   Too bad, because it really was something. The last day aboard, we befriended a nice couple from California.  We hung out with them all day, spending some time at the Drama Bar, and the Serenity Deck, in the hot tub.   At night, we decided that we would like to have dinner with them rather than our regular table mates (not that we had anything against our regular table mates).  The dining room staff was more than accommodating, finding us a table for four, even though we all had fixed dining at other tables.Debarkation was easy.  They had called our group before we even left our cabin.  We did not even have breakfast.  We just got right off the ship.In the end, I have to say that this trip was much better than our first one aboard the Elation.  We knew what to expect no surprises.  Not to mention, we had much better table mates.  All it all, it was a good time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
I returned just a few hours ago from a 4 day Carnival cruise to Baja California. In short, I was not not at all impressed with the experience. The Ecstasy cruise ship is old and very dated. The color scheme is "loud" and tacky. ... Read More
I returned just a few hours ago from a 4 day Carnival cruise to Baja California. In short, I was not not at all impressed with the experience. The Ecstasy cruise ship is old and very dated. The color scheme is "loud" and tacky. The ship's crew hailed from a multitude of countries and the various accents were difficult to understand. The cabin decor is not at all warm and inviting, but rather a "modern- style" grayish green and maroon motif with strange geometric art. My two pre-teens (ages 12 and 14) were unimpressed with the whole "teen" program. Yes, the ship offers a "teen disco", but the counselors did little to help break the ice among this awkward age group so mostly my children and others stood around the room looking at each other instead of interacting. Another complaint is that the teen disco was open in the evening to kids 12 to 18 years olds. That's way too big of an age spread in my opinion. My 12 year old teeny bopper was overwhelmed and very uncomfortable in a room crowded with 16 to 18 year olds. Carnival needs to strictly break this group into 12 to 14 year olds (ONLY) from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and then allow the 15 to 18 year old set. Also needed is a youth cruise director in the room each night (along with the DJ) who runs fun games that help teens get to know each other. As for the casino, I have never seen worse odds. Over the course of the cruise I lost about $500.00 in the various machines and was appalled that I was also charged for my drinks while gambling. "Rob's" Karaoke night turned out to be nothing more than a group of little girls using the opportunity to pretend to be Britney Spears. Carnival really needs to separate the children's karaoke from the adults. Or at least limit children to two songs a night. My heart goes out to "Rob" who MC's this show 7 days a week. What a guy. I hope he's paid well, because he deserves every penny he makes. The meager TV selections in the cabins was a major disappointment. I hoped for movies on demand instead of the one or two selections offered -- neither of which were films I wanted my young-teens to watch. After weeks of homework, my son and daughter looked forward to being able to lounge in bed in the morning watching movies during their spring break, but that didn't happen. A few more minor complaints; the 24 hour pizzeria never seemed to have enough pizza slices in stock. We had to wait every time for a piece. Likewise, the ice cream machine was always short on cones. The activities on ship were OK. But give me a break..... $20.00 dollars for a "one-game" bingo card. That's outrageous. I don't know who does the pairings for dinner, but my wife, two teenagers and I were seated at a table each night with a coughing grandmother recovering from respiratory infection, and the 6-year old "very chatty" granddaughter she's raising. Not a whole lot of interesting dinner conversation there. And who on earth at Carnival selected Ensenada as a port of call? What a run-down, dirty, disgusting destination with absolutely nothing to do ----unless of course you get a thrill watching water shoot up from a cliff crevice (La Bufadora), or like buying cheap silver that ends up turning green in three days. Very disappointing. On the good side, I was impressed with the Ecstasy's cabin storage space. Ample room for everything -- and my wife is not a LIGHT packer. I also enjoyed the food selection. Pretty good. And the cruise director was funny, likeable and entertaining. The ship was clean and my kids got a kick out of the "towel" animals on their bed at night. The embarkation process was very smooth. Catalina was a fun and enjoyable stop. However skip the glass bottom boat tour. All the fish you see are the same. And you're charged on board for food to "attract" the fish. A bit of a rip off. Will I go on another Ecstasy cruise? Not a chance! I'd rather take the $3000 the trip cost (cabins, photos, drinks, tips, parking, gambling, parking, etc) and stay at a fine resort for four days. Even with the added expense of food and activities I should come out ahead and still have enough money left over for tickets on the Catalina Express if I desire. As for Ensenada......you can have it. Come on Carnival, you've got plenty of room for improvement. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
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