This was our 9th cruse with Carnival and we booked the Panorama because were excited to finally have a new Carnival ship on the West Coast. We are in our 50's and our kids are 18 and 15. We drove into Long Beach from the SF Bay Area.
Departure City: We drove into Long Beach and stayed pre cruise in Seal Beach at the Pacific Inn with their park and cruise package. My family enjoyed the included breakfast and the room was adequate with 2 Queens with a microwave and fridge. Tip: reserve your shuttle times in advance. They had overbooked the shuttles but payed for a Lyft to the ship the on cruise day. It took about 20-30 minutes to get to the ship due to a parade. We have stayed at the Hotel Maya right in the cruise port before and found that hotel to be more convenient to the port.
The drop off area for luggage takes a bit of patience as people are still departing the previous cruise or waiting for rides. This was expected and they do their best. Embarkation was a breeze as we were on time for our reserved 1/2 time slot, did every pre-requirement, had documents and passports in hand and had set up our onboard accounts online. We were onboard very quickly with absolutely no waiting.