Myself, DH and our son and his family (kids 12.10, 8 and 2 years old) went on this cruise on March 26th. I was a little hesitant to cruise on this ship, as quite a few people were not very kind in their reviews. We have been on 12-15 ... Read More
Myself, DH and our son and his family (kids 12.10, 8 and 2 years old) went on this cruise on March 26th. I was a little hesitant to cruise on this ship, as quite a few people were not very kind in their reviews. We have been on 12-15 cruises in the past. The ship is smaller than we are used to; however, there are benefits to this. Such as, you don't have to walk a country mile to get to your room or events every day. We booked interior rooms. Normally, we try to get a window or a balcony, but expenses prevented this on this sailing. My daughter-in-law required a frig for medicine and a crib for the 2 year old. The housekeeper had it delivered into the room before 6:00 pm! He kept the room very clean. We only requested morning service. I like to keep the rooms tidy, and with a 12 and 8 year old in the room, it was a must. I know these people work hard, so giving him one less room to turn down was something I thought he would appreciate. He did leave a towel animal every day.
We were supposed to be porting in Catalina on Tuesday, but this didn't occur. We found out that the wind was high, and this made it difficult to run the tenders. Tuesday became our full day at sea. I think the smaller ship and its slower moving caused quite a few people to become seasick. I saw a a young teenage boy vomit in the main dinning room. Fortunately, I was the only one to witness the event. We did hit Catalina the next day. Mostly, we walked around for a bit. There isn't a lot for kids to do, so we headed back to the ship for lunch.
We ported in Ensenada the next day. Again, not a lot to do there for kids. The 8 & 10 year old opted to stay on the ship at their camps. We walked around a bit, and made a few purchases. We returned to the ship again for lunch. Now, I will say this; the kids were fine with this, as they spent two days prior in Disneyland.
The food was good. I found the main dinning room in the evening to be an enjoyable experience. I am in agreement with others who have said that people come to the dinning room very casual. We did dress up (not too formal) for formal night. My favorite dish was salmon and my favorite dessert was Creme' Brulee. Very yummy! The kids enjoyed the dishes served on their menu. The eight year old is a boy, and he was thrilled to have 24/7 pizza and ice cream! The buffet was adequate, and I enjoyed the Blue Iquana was good. I had a breakfrest burrito and I had the tomato and fresh mozzarella sandwich from the sandwich counter twice. The second time I had it on a wrap, as it was too much bread for me. We went to brunch on our sea day, as well as the afternoon tea. Our 2 year old grand daughter is very charming. She waves and smiles at everyone. One of the waiters from another table came over to see her. She ended up liking him so much, she kissed his cheek. He wanted her to dance with him during one of their shows. She wanted to dance with her grandpa. We later learned he wasn't fond of children, so she had worked her charms on him. They made over here every night, as well as the other children. All of them are well behaved.
We didn't attend the shows. Some of our family went to the comedians late show. They said he was funny but very "crude." They said the sing around the piano player was really great. We hit Karaoke and trivia several times. They both were a lot of fun.
My birthday fell the day after we left the ship. I found a birthday card from the staff, as well as a $50.00 gift card to the spa! I was shocked and thrilled. I went up and purchased some expensive hair products. It was a great touch! Thanks Carnival!
The younger three children loved their camp and the crew. They opted to attend more than anything else going on! The 12 year old is shy, so she went less than the others. I do think they all enjoyed themselves.
We purchased the FTTF option for both cabins. We arrived after 11:00 am to the port, so they had already started allowing zone one to board. Although, our room was ready, and not having to drag the bags around was nice. We only tendered once, so it wasn't a big deal to use these. Now, on debarking the ship was another subject. We went down the waiting area for FTTF folks at 7:00 am, so we could try to get to Universal Studios by the time they opened at 9:00 am. We didn't get off the ship until 9:00 am. There were people trying to change their flights over the delay. This was not Carnivals fault. We were told by other cruisers that a passenger had tried to bring in illegal contraband from Mexico and was found out. She got into an altercation over this with a crew members. Port Authority held everything up over this. It was a young lady that had been overly drunk the night before. She had cursed all over the place, talked very loudly and tried to take over the comedians act. He didn't stand for it. The family members left every single place they went when she was present. It was sad that so many were affected by one persons actions.
Overall it was a good trip. I like a longer cruise, but limited time and the kids wanting to go to the amusement parks, we opted this route. Read Less