Overall, my family and I had a great time on the cruise and are discussing about going again!
Getting to the cruise terminal was a mess, there was a long line of cars dropping off cruisers. There were even some picking ... Read More
Overall, my family and I had a great time on the cruise and are discussing about going again!
Getting to the cruise terminal was a mess, there was a long line of cars dropping off cruisers. There were even some picking up cruisers who had just gotten off. It took about 20 minutes to get from where you pick up the parking pass to where the drop off location is. Once we got there we realized it was because all of the cars were stopping at the front but if they were to drive more down there would be much less traffic. As we were getting off the car there were workers helping us to get our bags and they took them and said they would be dropped off at our room later, so we wouldn’t have to carry them around with us. The process after getting off was really fast, we were on the boat in under 20 minutes.
We had lunch on the lido deck and it was hard to find somewhere to sit. We all ate hamburgers which were pretty good given they weren’t Guys Hamburger Joint. After getting our rooms our luggage came within 30 minutes. We were on the 1st floor, Rivera and since they were using the elevator for luggage it was tiring to go back up to the lido deck on stairs. Afterwards we wandered the ship until the mandatory safety briefing which was quite boring and crammed but important in case there to be an incident where we need to abandon ship.
I would suggest giving yourself extra time to get there as there really was a lot of traffic to get into the parking lot regardless if you were parking or getting dropped off. My family took 3 12 packs of soda to drink whilst cruising as you cannot take plastic bottles on. We purchased a 12 pack of water from carnival and it was delivered to our room. We put everything in the little fridge once we got the chance to.
There was plenty to do from going to the pools, the water slide, the hot tubs, to a variety of activities with Lee the cruise director. My family and I had brought some cards so we could play.
The shows that they provided were really great and enjoyable for the entire family, in particular my 4 year old cousin loved them so much that I took him to both showings. I highly recommend attending those.
Dinner was always great and the staff were really attentive and tried their best to learn our names and our preferences at dinner, I.e. I always ordered a Caesar salad so he Kadek took note and already knew that was my appetizer. The best dessert that everyone has to get is the carnival melting chocolate cake. It truly is amazing and it’s what my family and I each and for dessert every single night. Even my 12 year old cousin who was supper picky about food and uninterested in trying new dinner items would attend just to get a baked potato and the carnival chocolate melting cake. The steak and the prime rib were really good and my mother really enjoyed the ribs as well as the lobster and giant shrimp for the elegant dinner.
An important thing to note for getting to Dinner. You cannot walk across deck 3 or 4 and depending on where you are on the boat, you can get easily lost trying to get to your dining room. We at dinner at the gold pearl, towards the back of the boat, and we found it best to go to the 5th floor and then walk across towards the back near the piano bar and the lounge where the comedy shows take place and from there take either the stairs or elevator down.
There are many different choices to eat for lunch as well as late night. The burgers and fries at the grill by the main pool were always good. The 24hr pizza honestly wasn’t the best and it’s because the sauce was almost sweet. The best way to order pizza for us was to order it without the sauce although the chef gave us a weird look every time that we ordered it. The Mongolian wok always had a long line, I made the mistake of ordering the medium sauce which was like a green salsa and it ruined my entire dish. I’m not too sure how it tastes with the mild or the spicy sauce. The spicy sauce looked good on others plates though. I never really ate at the chefs choice but every day it was different. Then in the back by an adult pool there is an Indian place that I unfortunately didn’t get to try, and the deli. The deli was great, they have the best grilled cheese that I think everyone needs to go have of they are aboard this boat. Then upstairs is the BBQ place that much of my family enjoyed. The coffee was not the best as they do not provide creamer, so if you’re a coffee lover be sure to take our own creamer or you’ll find yourself purchasing coffee from the coffee shop on the 5th deck. They also had sushi for purchase, we got the tempura rolls and they were great, granted it was my first time having sushi and nothing to compare it to.
The best place to sit down and eat at breakfast or lunch was upstairs by the BBQ because it was always empty and you could always find a place to sit. This worked for my family because we were such a big group of 11.
Cabo San Lucas:
First thing to note is that there is no port to get off the boat at Cabo. The way that you get off the boat is by taking a water shuttle. There are 3 different ways that you can get on the shuttle; the first is by booking an excursion through carnival, you will be on the firsts shuttles out in order to get to your excursion on time; the second is by waiting in line the day prior to get passes, after the excursion people are off they call pass numbers, once yours is called you’re able to get on a shuttle the smaller the number the earlier you can get off; the last is simply waiting until the shuttles are open, about 3 hours later. My family and I got the passes the day before on deck 5, there was a long line and wait to get them, you only need one person to go down to get them for the entire group. They are on a board and are almost like business card style and you grab what you want then go. When our number was called we went down to deck 0 and gave our passes (which they didn’t even look at our count) and we were able to get off. Once we got to the land we knew that we wanted to go to the beach and were trying to find a way to get there. Apparently you have to take a water taxi a short distance unless you want to drive or walk for 2 hours. I don’t know how true that is but we took the water taxi and honestly were upset on how short a distance it took us. After paying the taxi driver, when we got off we had to pay another fee to get off the boat. It didn’t make sense to me, I guess because we used the small port and that was the port fees. I don’t know. Anyways we walked to the beach. After walking on the sand there were things that looked like ice. Turns out they are Jelly Fish, so be careful where you step. They are dead so my cousin touched them and they didn’t sting but you could still possibly get side effects later. If you plan on eating at one of the restaurants on the beach I suggest just taking Uber (it works in Mexico) because the walk was wayyyy too long and that’s what my cousins used to get back to where you get on the water shuttles. Everything is expensive there so be careful on where you go unless you don’t mind spending money. The water and the beach were so beautiful and breath taking that I believe it’s something that everyone should experience in their life.
The cruise ship passes the famous arch so get out there early to get some good pictures. It is extremely humid in the summer time.
After the tiring day at Cabo we all decided that we did not want to go to the beach, instead we wanted to go have tacos. When you first get off it is a little under whelming as there are crates and such, you take a little shuttle, like the ones at Disneyland but much smaller, to get out of there and into the city. We negotiated with a van driver who promised to take us to a really good taco place and off we went. He dropped us off and told us that he would be back in an hour and a half to pick us up. The tacos were actually pretty good and down the same street there was a Thrifty’s ice cream shop that we went to go eat at. He was right on time to pick us up and took us back to the port. Right across there was an Oxo, which is Mexico’s 711 we stopped there to buy some chips and drinks, this time they let you bring on plastic bottles.
This was where my family and I had the best experience, My cousin’s dad come from Manzanillo to come see her. We got off the boat as soon as we ate breakfast and again bargained with a vender to take us to a beach that wasn’t crowded. On the way going to the beach we saw many restaurants and places that we recognized from the states, there’s a Walmart right when you get off the boat, but I’ll talk more about that later. We saw dominos, outback, Starbucks, Sam’s Club, and even a Macy’s. If you’re tired of the food from the ship and want something more from home, Puerto Vallarta will be the stop for you. I’m not too sure what beach it was that he took us but there were many little shops and restaurants. We were able to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas through a restaurant and we didn’t have to eat there. The ocean has very many rocks for if you aren’t wearing water shoes you can’t go in very far without hurting your feet. We mainly just relaxed and talked. My brother and 2 of my cousins went parasailing, and they said that they had a great time. It was $100 for the 3 of them, after negotiating. From $45 per person. We were ready to go to the boat earlier than what we had told the driver, we called him and he was there in about 30 minutes. Before we got back on the boat my mom, brother, and I decided that we wanted to stop at Walmart to buy some souvenirs and again more chips and soda. The Walmart was very big and had plenty of souvenirs to choose from for a low price. I highly recommend checking it out to get a feel for everything they have that you can’t get in the states. Again it was really hot and humid, just like Cabo and Mazatlán.
There are two options on what to do with luggage, you can either carry it out yourself, and get off faster. Or you can have them take it off for you and get out later. You have to leave your luggage outside your door the night before. We choose to carry it off ourselves. We had to be out of our rooms at 8:30 so the only places to wait were on deck 5 or deck 9. It was honestly so crammed there was nowhere to sit on deck 5 that we just sat at the slot machines in the casino. When our deck number was called for debarkation. The elevators were so crammed because you could only use the front elevators. We went down the stairs with our luggage, only 2 floors. It was indeed crammed and hard to get in. once you push through past the elevators there is plenty of room. After we got off the boat it was only about 20 minutes until we were out of the cruise terminal. However, there was some festival going on that day, the LBC festival so because of that we had to wait an hour before we were able to get picked up because of all the traffic going in to the terminal. Again people were waiting at the front to get dropped off and picked up, if only some went further down it would go by a lot faster. Read Less