I am a retired clergy person on my 5th cruise (8 if you count riverboats on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers). So far I have sailed only on Carnival Corporation cruise lines: Cunard (2), Princess (2) and Carnival (1) and have had great experiences on all of these ships and itineraries.
I chose this itinerary because I have always dreamed of a Panama Canal transit. I chose this cruise because my wife and one of her daughters were in Spain waling the last 115 km of El Camino de Santiago de Compastello, and i didn't want to spend 3 weeks staring at the dog, being an extrovert.
Arrived at LAX in the morning before the cruise began. Princess rep was waiting for me at baggage claim, introduced herself. We had a nice chat before she got me on the hotel shuttle to the LAX Marriott. turns out we were both from NJ and both worked at one time for the telephone company. Checked into the Marriott around 10am. They had a room ready from on the ground floor with an exit to the pool area. A while later Princess invited me to come to the lobby to check-in and get my pass for the 1st bus to the pier on Embarkation Day. Not much to do at hotel which was not anywhere near the tourist spots, but just relaxed. Dinner in Manhattan beach that night with my wife's cousin. On the 1st bus as promised on Saturday to the pier. Princess had collected luggage from my hotel room and would deliver it my stateroom. 1/2 hour bus ride from hotel to pier at San Pedro. Very fast and efficient check-in at pier. No more than 15 minutes from getting off bus to boarding ship. Checked in to stateroom.. headed for lunch in Provence Dining Room.
As I expected having sailed on Princess before. Spacious, comfortable, great bed, plenty of storage. excellent water pressure in tub/shore and plenty of hot water, but bathroom sink never had cold water, just warm or hot. Room was uncomfortably warm prior to sailing, but once at sea was fine for the whole 2 weeks. Balcony furniture needed a little cleaning, which I took care of. Balcony Glass walls are due for some major cleaning. TV remote should be replaced... one button not working at all. We've booked a mini-suite on the Crown Princess for next October.
Not much to do at LAX Marriott, but nice hotel.
Visited crocodile sanctuary after a short 15 minute boat ride. Enjoyable... but hot