2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Looking to get away for a short vacation, we traveled on the 4 Day Baja cruise. It was our 4th or 5th Carnival Cruise, but first one since a Celebrity Cruise to the Caribbean. First let me say that you get what you pay for with Carnival. ... Read More
Looking to get away for a short vacation, we traveled on the 4 Day Baja cruise. It was our 4th or 5th Carnival Cruise, but first one since a Celebrity Cruise to the Caribbean. First let me say that you get what you pay for with Carnival. It was a fun trip with at lot of activities. The big shows are pretty average, but one of the comedians was very good. Dining room food was also very good, but the buffet food was sub par. Recommend eating lunch at the two restaurants just outside of the buffet (Blue Iguana and Guy Frieri's). Since school was back in session there weren't a lot of people under 21 on the cruise. If you are looking for a quick vacation it is a nice getaway! This cruise is a great value in the off peak months of October/November and January/February. I would avoid anything close to Spring Break unless you want to be with a bunch of drunk Spring Breakers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
It was my first ocean cruise and I wanted to take a short weekend cruise to try it out and see if I liked it. I traveled with a friend. We gad originally booked a mini-suite on the Verandah deck but were offered a chance to book what was ... Read More
It was my first ocean cruise and I wanted to take a short weekend cruise to try it out and see if I liked it. I traveled with a friend. We gad originally booked a mini-suite on the Verandah deck but were offered a chance to book what was called one of the "Owner's Cabins". For what we thought was a reasonable cost, we decided to take the opportunity to upgrade, just to see what it was like. The room was on Deck 12 - Spa Deck and we had to be walked to our room because we would never have found it otherwise. The room was very large (900 sq. ft.) and included a large bedroom with a king size bed, a "living room" with a small table and chairs, a sitting area with three comfy chairs and a couch, and a small bar area with seating for four and a small fridge. The room made the trip feel very special. We only had one port day in Ensenada and had a fun time walking around the town. We didn't take any excursions - just took the bus to town (easily walkable) and walked down the main street to Papas and Beer, enjoyed Guacamole and Chips with Beer there, and walked back. We brought lots of small bills of American currency and that worked everywhere we went. The people are friendly but you have to be stern with some who try to hard to sell you things - mostly, we just ignored them and they would finally go away. Getting off and on the ship was a very easy process - although they almost force you to take many different pictures when you get off and that was a little annoying. The rest of the cruise was spent on board and we tried to explore and try out everything. Guy's Burgers were great, the restaurant was good, the Lido deck on the sea day was lots of fun and not too crowded, the entertainment on board was mostly very good, and the show in the Paris Lounge "Motor City" was much better than expected. We tried the Casino but the fact that smoking is allowed made that some place I didn't want to stay at long. We went to the Punchliner's lounge to catch two different comedian shows - one was very funny but the other one was not. You need to sit there long enough to see if the comedian is your style or not. Alcohol - there is a lot of drinking on board but I never saw anyone that made me feel uncomfortable. We tried out many of the bars on board and found the drinks to be expensive but not watered down. Service on board was generally very good - friendly and fast. Overall, this was a very fun, if short, trip. I would definitely cruise with Carnival again but I think only on a longer trip with a slightly newer, more modern ship. My favorite things were Guy's Burgers, the Motor City show, and the fancy room we ended up with. My least favorite thing was the hot tubs in the Serenity area - they weren't working properly and the water was only lukewarm. Since the weather was chilly that day, getting out of the hot tub was miserable so once in, we stayed in. For a three day trip, having things not working was a disappointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
My husband and I flew to CA to bring my father back to KY after his visit with my brother in CA. Since we were going to be in LA, we decided to take the four-day cruise. We arrived two days before departure and stayed at the Hotel ... Read More
My husband and I flew to CA to bring my father back to KY after his visit with my brother in CA. Since we were going to be in LA, we decided to take the four-day cruise. We arrived two days before departure and stayed at the Hotel Maya--a great place to stay. Had dinner at the hotel the first night and at the Reef (within walking distance) the second night. Spent the entire day before the cruise exploring the Queen Mary--which is within walking distance. Took the hotel shuttle to the cruise port, although we could have walked it. This was only our second Carnival cruise and was exactly as expected. However, we purchased the "Faster to Fun" pass which was wonderful. We arrived at port at 11:15 and was on the ship by 11:30!!! No long lines for lunch--went straight to Guy's Burgers and had the delicious hamburger. Although the service in the dining room was excellent, the food was so-so. We did really enjoy the Sea Day brunch! The room was very clean. We only saw our room steward upon arrival and that was it. Room service was very quick in the morning and also when I called for a hairdryer. Unlike Princess cruises that have production shows every night, there were only two production shows in the four days which were pretty good. Comedians were okay. Disembarkation was very quick. Got our luggage and walked straight to the Uber pickup and waited less than a minute for a ride to LAX. Overall, we really enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
..theonly good thing i enjoyed on this cruise was the cabin steward was great and i really was impressed with how hard they work .. the ports were good liked catalina island was fun and really liked ensenada mexico ..shopping there was fun ... Read More
..theonly good thing i enjoyed on this cruise was the cabin steward was great and i really was impressed with how hard they work .. the ports were good liked catalina island was fun and really liked ensenada mexico ..shopping there was fun ..the tour we took was good .. i would go again but would not like those cabins .. the buffet is ok but really like the pizza bar and the guy hamburger grill was good ..there was always something to eat if you were hungry .we played bingo the first day and it was expensive and was so many people there . the casino was good and won a little money to play all week and the only thing that was bad was all the smoke in there ..if i could have gotten more sleep would have been better . but with all the noise from the galley made it hard to sleep .. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I booked this cruise maybe 9 months before we sailed. This was a return of an annual party cruise trip I used to throw for friends and family. I was disappointed at the time that I could not book it as a 'Group' trip as I had in years ... Read More
I booked this cruise maybe 9 months before we sailed. This was a return of an annual party cruise trip I used to throw for friends and family. I was disappointed at the time that I could not book it as a 'Group' trip as I had in years past, so I could not take advantage of the cocktail party or room comps that sometimes go along with them. Regardless, I was able to get my travel partners to use my reservation code and link theirs, so we could all sit together at Dinner. I learned about 1 month prior to our departure that Carnival had made this date cruise a theme cruise called 'Country Booze Cruise' which included bands, parties and all. This was a huge group for sure, which explains why the 'group' reservation option was not available to me at the time. Once on board however, all my quips re the Group thing went away. I purchased the 'Faster to the Fun' package so I could get on as soon as possible, and also so we could debark early. It was well worth the price. We were the VERY FIRST people off the ship, and some of the first on board. I have done many cruises, and enjoy the party aspect of them. This weekend cruise is perfect for that purpose. I have done this one before (weekender to Ensenada), on Carnival Paradise, as well as several RCCL ships, and hands down this was the best to date. This is solely because of all the Country Music and People and Attitudes. I am hoping Carnival does this Country theme again. This really was the reason this experience was so good. Dancing and Music was non-stop. People's attitudes were amazing and everyone was smiling all the time. So much fun was happening everywhere and by everyone. Food was fine. Drinks were fine. I loved the PYOB (Pour Your Own Beer) stands. I was able to drink Heineken and the Carnival beer for ~$4.75 out the door. Couple things I noticed different from past cruises... - I never met my cabin steward. He/She did a great job and I have no complaints, but I wonder if because of pre-paid gratuities this is becoming more of the norm? - It was hard to get drinks at pool bars. Many people now do the Cheers program (up to #15 drinks/day for around $55/day. I wonder if because of this, and Carnival has your money already, if there is less incentive to push drinks, therefore less desire to hustle and serve customers. Seriously, I waited 30 minutes at a bar for a drink, and it was not that crowded. There was not many waiters walking around taking drink orders near the pool either, so getting drinks near the pool was a challenge. Again, I loved the PYOB stands for this reason as well. My 15 year olds were not able to meet many other teens on board. I think because of the Theme 'Country Booze Cruise' that may parents chose to not take their kids. Not many younger kids either. Despite this they had a great time. Loved the 24-hour Pizza and Ice Cream. Also, Guy's Burgers are AMAZING! All in all, a great cruise, and cannot wait to do this again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Staff on cruiseships are always friendly and helpful, and this crew was no different. The highlight for us was the Alchemy Bar (deck 9 aft) -- great drinks! Strangely the "homemade" and secretive pineapple and strawberry ... Read More
Staff on cruiseships are always friendly and helpful, and this crew was no different. The highlight for us was the Alchemy Bar (deck 9 aft) -- great drinks! Strangely the "homemade" and secretive pineapple and strawberry infused vodka are not listed as ingredient in any of the drinks, ask the bartenders about them. They are delicious. The worst part of the cruise was the food without a doubt; 90% of what we had were overcooked, lacking flavors and just blah. For example, it's hard to screw up fried chicken and yet they managed to serve fried chicken that were fried beyond recognition with zero flavors. In the dining room, they can't seem to cook steaks to correct temperature. Expect medium-well to over-well done regardless of your preference. You do get what you paid for, not a lot in this case so can't complain too hard. A quick tip regarding Ensenada. If you book your own excursion (not via ship), you have to walk about a mile to get out to the meeting area. There is a small fee to take a bus out but we didn't know about it until after the fact. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose Carnival cruise lines because of the lower prices and a younger crowd. I had a bad experience with Princess Lines as a Gold member and wanted to try something new. The entertainment and staff are less professional and there was not ... Read More
I chose Carnival cruise lines because of the lower prices and a younger crowd. I had a bad experience with Princess Lines as a Gold member and wanted to try something new. The entertainment and staff are less professional and there was not a good dance band for mature cruisers, but I knew that for less money we get less luxury and benefits. The food was OK and the ship was clean. All things functioned in our cabin without problems. We had very slow service in our formal dining room late seating and missed a few shows, (took over one and a half hours to finish a dinner). I think this was due to our table being located in a back corner. The entertainment was not very professional and was only 70's R+B, which got a little old. The comedians were OK. There is limited space on the main open pool deck and a shortage of seating for the big events, but that is due to it being an older ship. For the money it was a good overall value, but if a person has cruised Norwegian or Holland lines, or even Princess it is best to have lower expectations and not be disappointed. There is a little more rudeness with a younger L.A. crowd. I have nothing but praise for the Long Beach poet facility for Carnival! Very easy parking, hotel access and very quick embarkation and departure process. We got off 1 1/2 hours early! That has never happened to me before on a score of cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We booked a sxuite since I need a balcony and this is an older ship and only suites have balconies. We had a blast we went with 3 other couples.The food was fine in the dining room if you didn't something you just ordered something else. ... Read More
We booked a sxuite since I need a balcony and this is an older ship and only suites have balconies. We had a blast we went with 3 other couples.The food was fine in the dining room if you didn't something you just ordered something else. Sure it's not Ruth Chris but never had a bad meal and the molten cake is always a yummy desert. Our dinning staff Priyesh, Sheena, and Jordeesh always made our dining experience a joy! The best bar on the boat is the Alchemy Bar it is in front of the theater on the top portion. We called it the foo foo bar they don't have beer but the best mixed drinks!! Katie, Michelle, Zolton and bar manager Marin always went above and beyond!! We also booked a tour with Valley Girl tours in Ensenada I didn't want to get off the boat at first but found another person's post who was sailing on the same cruise and they mentioned wine tasting in Guadalupe Valley. A a was our tour guide and even though we had some issues with things being closed on New Years day she gave us the best tour!! I asked to see the best brewery and best winery since we had both beer and wine drinkers and an authentic Mexican lunch and she met those needs for sure I would highly recommend her!! All in all it was a fun time and I chat see why people would complain!! The comedian on the boat was hilarious! It is an inexpensive fun time in my eyes!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was a Christmas cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. Not very exotic and they did double the normal rates - but it is something nice at XMAS. The cabin was roughly the size of most cruise ships we have traveled. Room was unadorned ... Read More
This was a Christmas cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. Not very exotic and they did double the normal rates - but it is something nice at XMAS. The cabin was roughly the size of most cruise ships we have traveled. Room was unadorned and very plain. It was clean. AC was not thermostatically controlled, rather and adjustment dial for force of air only. Ample closet space. The main bed was raised enough to store normal suit cases underneath which is a nice touch. Desk was not very big. Window was normal size but not very clean. Bathroom was about the size of other ships but had only one small shelf above the sink. Shower was adequate. Had wall mounted body soap and shampoo dispensers only. However, the room was set up with a king and two bunks. The steward pushed back the bunks and brought in a cot. My wife called Guest Services and spoke with Filip who told her that is the best they can do (problem is that the folded back bunk frame takes some of the room size away). She thought it a safety hazard. While we were ashore the supervisor came into the room and found the bed arrangement fine but they confiscated our one foot tall Christmas tree as a potential safety hazard. I did call Filip that the plug was labeled UL approved and if it were a problem simply unwind the lights (likely a 15 second task) and return the unadorned tree but he said no (we did see plenty of other guest rooms with XMAS lights). I would have simply accepted this but a staff member (anonomous) indicated it might be retaliation for lodging a complaint about the room. Readers will likely consider safety first and so would I. The only reason I mention this incident is that it displayed a similar cold, stoic and production line mentality I saw throughout the cruise. For example, in the dinning room we felt like it was a get them in, get them out fast attitude. They did not even recognize a birthday despite our mentioning it to the waiter and head waiter. Entertainment was just OK. Only one movie shown aboard. Pool was large rectangle with a hot tub on each end. Despite the cold weather these were occupied well into the evening. There are two hot tubs on another deck but we did not use them. Buffet was very good. Unlike other cruises, Carnival wisely spread out the food stations to prevent bottleneck traffic. Room was decorated but I really cannot define what that was. There are two other restaurants. One for those that reserved a time. The other for those that want to use at their leisure. Food was good. There is a casino but smoking was allowed so it can be torture staying there for very long. Surprisingly there are but two small stores. I thought this is how cruises make money? There is a large, tall atrium with a large glass skylight. Interestingly, the glass elevators have been removed. We did not use shore excursions. Catalina uses tenders. Avalon can be seen in 1/2 hour if you walk slowly. Highly suggest renting a golf cart and touring the perimeter of the town - lots of fun! The port in Ensenada is a quick walk to the main shopping street. Ship was generally clean. Again, my only complaint was the near universal attitude of the crew. Perhaps it was because the ship was completely full and that might have made it challenging. However, it might be because it was Christmas and they were apart from their families?? Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We thought this would be a nice vacation for Christmas, we were wrong. The pool is unheated and very cold, same with the water slides. My daughter did not use them because she was freezeing. Forget using the hot tubs, full of children and ... Read More
We thought this would be a nice vacation for Christmas, we were wrong. The pool is unheated and very cold, same with the water slides. My daughter did not use them because she was freezeing. Forget using the hot tubs, full of children and even infants. Food is very low quality no matter where you eat, but the bufet is the worst. To add insult to injury we all came down with the flu. Even though we got flu shots. Perhaps because 80% of the passengers appeared to be from mainland China. Lots of cigarette smoke near the pool and casino. The ports are a joke, Catalina Island is nice but not much to do. Ensenada is a dump, unless you like getting ripped off and harassed to buy gum and have your hair braided. For $1684 it was the biggest rip-off I have ever experienced. I would never book again with Carnival. Read Less
Carnival Inspiration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.1
Rates 2.0 4.3

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