Our cruise left on Mother's Day, 5/10/09 and it was a little chilly in Long Beach! On this cruise was myself, my husband, my kids, 5 and 10 yrs. old, my sister and my mom. This was my 3rd cruise, my husband's 2nd, kids 1st, sister's 2nd, mom's 2nd. A first on Carnival for everyone. Embarkation was pretty smooth, we moved to the "special needs" line because my mom had a broken ankle and was in a wheelchair. By the time we were helped the long line was almost nonexistent but that was ok. We got on the ship and went to our rooms, 2469 and 2467, insides next to each other on the Main Deck (2). Right away we were impressed, not knowing what to expect and worried about an inside room for 4 people. Not to worry, there was plenty of space for all of our clothes and belongings and our suitcases fit nicely under the bed. It was soon time for Muster drill and so that's what we did next. It was pretty painless, and hurried to put our lifejackets back and made it back up for sailaway! It was a very nice evening, a little chilly though! After sailaway, we went back to the room to unpack and get ready for dinner. This was the only night our kids ate with us in the dining room. The seas were pretty calm except on Tues., the 2nd sea day, I was pretty sick all day from the swaying of the ship. I've never been seasick and I have a pretty strong stomach, but it was a little much for me. I stayed in the room and watched Baby Mama. Room service came and brought some pills and after I ate some bread I felt a lot better. The trip back was MUCH better!CabinOur cabins were aft insides and were pretty loud and shaky the 1st and last nights. The first night was a little loud and shaky, the engine I guess? On the last morning I swear it felt like a huge earthquake was waking us up at around 7 in the morning! I don't know what it was, but it was kinda scary. I was glad my kids slept through it. Other than that it was fine. Our steward Sugeng (I think that is the right spelling) was very helpful and friendly too!Dining We had a table for 6 in the Gold Pearl table #308 and our waiter and asst. waiter was Joel and Benjie. We came to fall in love with them by the end of the week! They were very funny and friendly! Dinners were very good, I had mostly fish and shrimp dishes, and I really couldn't complain about any of them. My husband ordered steak almost every night, and he said the first night was his favorite. We also ate at the Pinnacle steak house on Thursday night and it was very very good! I can't remember our server's name but she was from the Ukraine. My husband got the porterhouse, which he really really liked. All the items we ordered were really good! There was also a huge Lido buffet, and all the different stations. The food in the buffet was pretty good for a buffet, the mac n cheese was really good! The mushroom and goat cheese pizza was really good too! Sometimes the buffet could be a little crowded and it was closed a lot of the time, which was a little disappointing. Oh and the hot chocolate in the buffet was really good too! Camp CarnivalMy kids LOVED Camp Carnival! They went to it every night after the 1st night from 6-10. They had many fun activities for the kids to do and had their faces painted when we went to pick them up! Entertainment and LoungesWe didn't really go out too much at night, karaoke was fun, and we liked the El Morrocco and Robusto the best for places to hang out. Overall they were all very nice and I think there is definitly something for everyone on this ship. The casino was typical, not really paying out anything :(. It was nice and had a pretty good selection of machines. We never went in the pools and used the hot tubs a few times. My kids loved the waterslides and mini golf. There was lots and lots of things to do on the ship, all day long! We liked the afternoon tea.Since I have read so much discussion about the decor, I will also comment on that. It was very strange, but did not affect or ruin my cruise in any way. Yes there are wierd pink zebra circles in the elevators and black tile with green grout. I would describe it as funky. :) There was lots of copper and some wierd over easy egg things in the dining room too. My mom really liked the copper. It's not my favorite, but who cares? I loved the ship despite that!
Victoria was overcast and got rainy late in the day. It was still beautiful! We took a cab downtown and walked around and went to the shops and I took my kids to the Victoria Bug Zoo. It was pretty neat, but my 5 year old got bored after a while. We went back to the ship and enjoyed looking at the rain from the inside of the ship! :) We heard that a lot of the passengers went to Butchart Gardens, which we had been to before and might have gone if not for the weather, and The Empress Hotel for tea. The taxi was about $8 each way, and they take American dollars.
We really liked Vancouver, my daughter now wants to move there! It was a beautiful day and not knowing what to do there, we asked one of the ladies in the terminal where would be a fun place to go with the kids and she recommended Granville Island (I think that's what it's called). They had a whole building with cute kids shops and a playplace similar to something from Chuck E. Cheese. It was $6 per kid for unlimited play I believe. After that we walked around and went to the building that had a HUGE farmer's market. It was so good, it had any kind of food you could possibly want, fresh fish, food, desserts, soups, vegetables, etc. The lady at the terminal compared it to Pike's Place market in Seattle, but we thought it was better. I HIGHLY recommend it if you like that sort of thing! The taxi was a little more to get there, I think it was $9 or $10. Sailaway from Vancouver was very nice and beautiful!!!Overall, we had a great time, the ship was very nice and easy to get around with a wheelchair. I would recommend this ship to anyone!! I hope this review was helpful!!