We (2 friends and myself) went on a 4 night cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada Mexico on 3/8/10 and had a great time. We got to the cruise dock around 1:15 and were in our cabin by around 2:00. The cabin was well laid out with 2 beds down and 2 beds up. The bathroom was bigger than the one on Celebrity and Princess. We had an inside cabin on the Main deck midship. The beds and pillows were comfortable. There were only 2 robes and 2 beach towels in the room but the steward brought more. There were plenty of towels for the 3 of us ladies. We asked for more hangers which they brought to us. Muster went fairly quickly you did not have to bring your life jackets with you which was nice. We requested a large table for early seating and were at a table for 6. The food was better than I expected, I ate only fish dishes all were good. The cream soups were very good and served hot. The desserts were OK, but not quite as good as Celebrity ones. Our assistant waiter was a lot of fun, they did a dance every night. We never made it to breakfast we slept too late every day. They had bagels and lox at the Paninni bar in the back of the ship which made a good breakfast sandwich for me. I asked for extra lox which they gladly gave me ad I wanted mozzarella cheese which was fresh not the sliced kind. The salad bar was good ad they always had a fresh fruit salad. There was never more than a few minutes wait on the buffet lines. I asked for honey for my tea and one of the staff got it for me right away. The staff was very friendly. Every night we would get our picture taken by their photographers which was always a lot of fun. The best thing about this ship was that we never noticed any areas that were smokey. we went to the REX disco every night and there was no smoking there which was why we could stay until 2:00 am. There were always lots of security around ad usually security right near the ladies restrooms which made you feel safe. We did not buy any drinks onboard but the bar staff always gave us water when we asked for it. The DJ in the REX was not friendly at all, in fact I do not think he liked music or his job. The rough seas prevented us from going to Catalina we had Tuesday as our sea day instead of Thursday. We did get to go there on Wed and Ensenada on Thursday. I was not happy when the captain made the announcement at 7:30 am on Tuesday that we were not going to be able to dock in Catalina, the speaker was in the cabin and WAY too loud, he then made another announcement at 8 am saying pretty much the same thing woke us up again. The ship I thought was kept clean. The midnight buffet was just fries and hotdogs nothing special. They did have soft serve ice cream and cookie which looked good. We did not take any of the ship's excursions. We rented a golf cart for 45 minutes on Catalina which was a lot of fun. In Ensenada we just walked around and did some shopping. There were a lot of college students on Spring break on our ship. They were all a lot of fun and even danced with us "old folks". Two of us were in our early 50's and one of us was 35. We only went to one show called Shout which was fairly good. The ship was laid out well it never felt crowded at all. One of my friends got sea sick the 1st night, but went and bought the wrist bands from the gift shop that helped a ton. There were large ocean swells making the ship rock a lot. The one negative was when we were disembarking there should have been a Carnival staff member by the elevators directing passengers where to go. Some people got off the elevators and cut inline instead of going to the back of the LONG LONG line. That got me mad as I got on the long line which took about 20 minutes while people just ditched in line and did not care (or know) what they were supposed to do. Once we got to customs it only took about 2 minutes. People that posted reviews and said they did not like the food, cabins, or just complained, probably would not be happy on any ship. My expectations were low because of some of the reviews, and we only paid about $300 (that included tips) each for a 4 night cruise. Where could you eat 3 meals a day and have a room for that price in the US?? The person who said there was sewage in their bathroom did have something to legitimately complain about. Would I go on another Carnival cruise? Yes.
Our cabin M174 was just fine for 3 adults. The bottom beds were not directly across from each other, one was against one wall and the other was against the wall where a window would have been if it were not an inside cabin. There was a curtain on the wall as if there were a window there. There was plenty of closet space for 3 people. One closet had a door it was next to another closet that had only shelves and a door. Right by the cabin door was another closet with no door. Across from the closets was the bathroom, you had to have the closet door closed or you could not get into the bathroom. The bathroom was plenty big enough. There was a full size mirror and behind it were shelves for your toiletries plenty of space for 3 ladies things. The shower had soap and shampoo dispensers. They had a little basket by the sink that had a small tube of toothpaste, a razor and pepcid.
Catalina Island was very pretty, just not a lot to do. We went to some of the shops after we rented a golf cart for 45 minutes. I would not have wanted to be there more than a day, maybe in the summer it would be better.
We took the bus to the shopping area as we did not feel like walking. It would not have been more than a 10 minute walk. There were a lot of bars and restaurants there, we did not go in any of them. There were people trying to sell your things on the streets but when you said no thanks they left you alone. The shops all had pretty much the same things for sale but the prices were reasonable.