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We have cruised previously on HAL and RC, first time on Carnival. We sailed during the mid-winter break for California schools. There were 1500 kids (full capacity on the ship and they were everywhere. We would not knowingly book our vacation during school break again. Embarkation: We traveled about 3 hours to port and embarkation was fairly organized at the 12:30-1:00 PM check-in. The only negative was we were rushed in security as eager passengers threw their carry-on items on the conveyer belt for ex-ray before we completed the process, causing one of our carry on items to be mixed in with theirs. There are a lot of staff placed on the route to the ship guiding passengers to the gang-way. Once on the ship we were welcomed by many of the crew. We found something to eat on the Lido Deck 10 and explored a little prior to finding our room keys in an envelope at the our cabin. Our luggage didn't arrive until after sail-away and dinner around 6:00 PM. Disembarkation: There is a Disembarkation briefing on the last sea day, also a flyer is left at your door with disembarkation information. Numbered luggage tags can be picked up at the briefing or at guest services. If you check your bag you must have a numbered tag on it. If you are in a suite, Diamond or Platinum or have priority status you will be disembarked early. You may put your bags outside your cabin between 9:30 and 11:30 PM to be picked up for checked baggage on the last sea day. Passengers must vacate the cabins by 8:00-8:30 and wait on the Lido deck or the Liquid Lounge. Decks are disembarked one at a time beginning with Deck One according to the deck your cabin was on. You may also choose to carry off your luggage yourself and disembarked ahead of passengers with checked baggage. Ship: The ship is new and offers many different spaces to explore on decks 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12. There are deck maps at each elevator bank, along with a touch screen for selecting the your floor, make the floor select6ion prior to entering the elevator - there is no option inside the elevator. Pay attention to ships time reflected at some elevators, on your cabin telephone and on the television screen. You will pass through different time zones and there was a couple that almost missed the ship at one port due to the time difference. I found the Carnival Hub App helpful. You can't really see the menu until you board the ship. What I didn't know prior to boarding is while the App is free, they charge $5 extra to use the chat option. Shame on Carnival for nickel and diming their passengers. Especially after they purchase the internet plans. Dining: Caution: While in port on Day 1 you will be charged tax on drinks even if you have the Cheers and Bubbles pass until sail away. There are plenty of dining options and most are good, some are excellent. JiJi's was excellent one of my favorites. This is not ordinary Asian fare. Staff at this restaurant go all out to give you a special evening. Each person gets 2 entrees, 2 starters, 2 sides and 2 desserts and it is served family style for sharing. If you gave special requests they are most accommodating. Very Important: Let them know what your desired spice level is, they want to get it right. The steakhouse is also very good with the meat prepared as ordered every time we went. The portions are small on the surf and turf but enough. I also can rave about the taco (fish, port and chicken) and burrito bar and Guys burger joint (best burgers) and the pizza place (24 hour pizza operation-hand made) all on deck 10. I think the fish and chips are good too at the Seafood Shack also on deck 10. The buffet is at the market place on the Lido Deck 10, breakfast is good here and a fine selection of desserts. You can also find the same breakfast on a smaller scale on deck 5 near the Coffee Bar which is also highly recommended. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating there. Pizza delivery is $5 or you can pick it up. They make them fresh and there is always a line. Entertainment: I saw and recommend the Rock Revolution production show in the Liquid Lounge on day 4. I also saw a female comedian who was hilarious and an older male comedian who was disgusting and centered his routine on insulting the audience, as people were walking out on him he would chase them out and insult them some more. Even though it was an adult show, I didn't find him funny or entertaining, only vile. There were some musicians located in different areas that were very good - Nightshift band was one of them. Activities: There were many activities, trivia and puzzles and contests and bingo, mixology and towel folding along with an ice carving demonstration. Carnival Kitchen cooking classes: Between my husband and I, we took 10 classes. Chefs graciously assist and make sure you are on track to prepare the dish or dishes you signed up for and answer all your questions. The classroom has new stainless equipment and quartz countertops and is well appointed. There is an I-pad with the recipe at each work station and students follow the chef on the I-pad. Depending on the class, you may sample what you make during the class or it will be sent to our dining venue that evening or you will have a sit down dinner in the Carnival Kitchen. I have received all of the recipe cards by e-mail for the classes we took. I have already made my own pizza. Something I would not have tried before this class. Spa and relaxation: I had relaxing massages from Lal in the spa and a very nice facial from Hardashi. I had my hair braided by Shannon at 9:00 AM and it was undone by 2:30 PM; when I returned to have it repaired I was told she was booked and couldn't be worked in by the blonde European lady, so I cancelled my other appointments. You can get massages for much less in the ports and a braid as well. Thermal Suite: This is a nice area but they overbook it and it is so crowded I couldn't relax most of the time I was there. Staff does not control the chair hogging where people put their towels on the lounges while they do other stations. Also, staff isn't good to pick up towels people leave in the steam room, but there are always fresh towels available. Spa is too small to accommodate all the spa suites and day pass guests. Over all, nice concept and facility but overbooked, too small and underkept. Gym: Very busy on sea days, but well equipped and everything seemed to be working fine. I like that the machines are positioned in front of the windows. Too bad the locker rooms aren't closer. Be ware the bathroom is tricky to lock inside the locker room. Casino: Too smoky to use and no hand sanitizer in sight. Pools: Water was cold even in the warmer climates. Spa on the Serenity deck is too small for the size of that deck. Also, there should be enforcement of chair hogging with towels. This is done on all decks and every pool and spa area. Overall: The staff and crew were friendly and went out of there way to make the cruise special for all passengers. I was impressed with the staff and considering the ship was at full capacity, most of the passengers seemed happy and friendly. Staff kept the ship clean but it would be nice to have more focus on germ control with rail and surface cleaning and hand sanitizer dispensers. There were health questionnaires in the Carnival Kitchen prior to each class and at the Embarkation lines. Information: There isn't enough signage and information given to passengers. They are left to navigate the processes and ship themselves. In ports: Other cruise lines have air conditioned buses to transport their passenger to and from the ship and nice welcome tents and welcome towels and water where Carnival has a open air tram in Maztalan with a long line and a long wait and no information or welcome tents. In fact there is very little information provided throughout the ship. You are left to figure it out on your own.

Great ship,friendly staff - Booked the wrong week!

Carnival Panorama Cruise Review by 2theC

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2020
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We have cruised previously on HAL and RC, first time on Carnival. We sailed during the mid-winter break for California schools. There were 1500 kids (full capacity on the ship and they were everywhere. We would not knowingly book our vacation during school break again.

Embarkation: We traveled about 3 hours to port and embarkation was fairly organized at the 12:30-1:00 PM check-in. The only negative was we were rushed in security as eager passengers threw their carry-on items on the conveyer belt for ex-ray before we completed the process, causing one of our carry on items to be mixed in with theirs. There are a lot of staff placed on the route to the ship guiding passengers to the gang-way. Once on the ship we were welcomed by many of the crew. We found something to eat on the Lido Deck 10 and explored a little prior to finding our room keys in an envelope at the our cabin. Our luggage didn't arrive until after sail-away and dinner around 6:00 PM.

Disembarkation: There is a Disembarkation briefing on the last sea day, also a flyer is left at your door with disembarkation information. Numbered luggage tags can be picked up at the briefing or at guest services. If you check your bag you must have a numbered tag on it. If you are in a suite, Diamond or Platinum or have priority status you will be disembarked early. You may put your bags outside your cabin between 9:30 and 11:30 PM to be picked up for checked baggage on the last sea day. Passengers must vacate the cabins by 8:00-8:30 and wait on the Lido deck or the Liquid Lounge. Decks are disembarked one at a time beginning with Deck One according to the deck your cabin was on. You may also choose to carry off your luggage yourself and disembarked ahead of passengers with checked baggage.

Ship: The ship is new and offers many different spaces to explore on decks 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12. There are deck maps at each elevator bank, along with a touch screen for selecting the your floor, make the floor select6ion prior to entering the elevator - there is no option inside the elevator. Pay attention to ships time reflected at some elevators, on your cabin telephone and on the television screen. You will pass through different time zones and there was a couple that almost missed the ship at one port due to the time difference. I found the Carnival Hub App helpful. You can't really see the menu until you board the ship. What I didn't know prior to boarding is while the App is free, they charge $5 extra to use the chat option. Shame on Carnival for nickel and diming their passengers. Especially after they purchase the internet plans.

Dining: Caution: While in port on Day 1 you will be charged tax on drinks even if you have the Cheers and Bubbles pass until sail away. There are plenty of dining options and most are good, some are excellent. JiJi's was excellent one of my favorites. This is not ordinary Asian fare. Staff at this restaurant go all out to give you a special evening. Each person gets 2 entrees, 2 starters, 2 sides and 2 desserts and it is served family style for sharing. If you gave special requests they are most accommodating. Very Important: Let them know what your desired spice level is, they want to get it right. The steakhouse is also very good with the meat prepared as ordered every time we went. The portions are small on the surf and turf but enough. I also can rave about the taco (fish, port and chicken) and burrito bar and Guys burger joint (best burgers) and the pizza place (24 hour pizza operation-hand made) all on deck 10. I think the fish and chips are good too at the Seafood Shack also on deck 10. The buffet is at the market place on the Lido Deck 10, breakfast is good here and a fine selection of desserts. You can also find the same breakfast on a smaller scale on deck 5 near the Coffee Bar which is also highly recommended. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating there. Pizza delivery is $5 or you can pick it up. They make them fresh and there is always a line.

Entertainment: I saw and recommend the Rock Revolution production show in the Liquid Lounge on day 4. I also saw a female comedian who was hilarious and an older male comedian who was disgusting and centered his routine on insulting the audience, as people were walking out on him he would chase them out and insult them some more. Even though it was an adult show, I didn't find him funny or entertaining, only vile. There were some musicians located in different areas that were very good - Nightshift band was one of them.

Activities: There were many activities, trivia and puzzles and contests and bingo, mixology and towel folding along with an ice carving demonstration.

Carnival Kitchen cooking classes: Between my husband and I, we took 10 classes. Chefs graciously assist and make sure you are on track to prepare the dish or dishes you signed up for and answer all your questions. The classroom has new stainless equipment and quartz countertops and is well appointed. There is an I-pad with the recipe at each work station and students follow the chef on the I-pad. Depending on the class, you may sample what you make during the class or it will be sent to our dining venue that evening or you will have a sit down dinner in the Carnival Kitchen. I have received all of the recipe cards by e-mail for the classes we took. I have already made my own pizza. Something I would not have tried before this class.

Spa and relaxation: I had relaxing massages from Lal in the spa and a very nice facial from Hardashi. I had my hair braided by Shannon at 9:00 AM and it was undone by 2:30 PM; when I returned to have it repaired I was told she was booked and couldn't be worked in by the blonde European lady, so I cancelled my other appointments. You can get massages for much less in the ports and a braid as well.

Thermal Suite: This is a nice area but they overbook it and it is so crowded I couldn't relax most of the time I was there. Staff does not control the chair hogging where people put their towels on the lounges while they do other stations. Also, staff isn't good to pick up towels people leave in the steam room, but there are always fresh towels available. Spa is too small to accommodate all the spa suites and day pass guests. Over all, nice concept and facility but overbooked, too small and underkept.

Gym: Very busy on sea days, but well equipped and everything seemed to be working fine. I like that the machines are positioned in front of the windows. Too bad the locker rooms aren't closer. Be ware the bathroom is tricky to lock inside the locker room.

Casino: Too smoky to use and no hand sanitizer in sight.

Pools: Water was cold even in the warmer climates. Spa on the Serenity deck is too small for the size of that deck. Also, there should be enforcement of chair hogging with towels. This is done on all decks and every pool and spa area.

Overall: The staff and crew were friendly and went out of there way to make the cruise special for all passengers. I was impressed with the staff and considering the ship was at full capacity, most of the passengers seemed happy and friendly. Staff kept the ship clean but it would be nice to have more focus on germ control with rail and surface cleaning and hand sanitizer dispensers. There were health questionnaires in the Carnival Kitchen prior to each class and at the Embarkation lines.

Information: There isn't enough signage and information given to passengers. They are left to navigate the processes and ship themselves. In ports: Other cruise lines have air conditioned buses to transport their passenger to and from the ship and nice welcome tents and welcome towels and water where Carnival has a open air tram in Maztalan with a long line and a long wait and no information or welcome tents. In fact there is very little information provided throughout the ship. You are left to figure it out on your own.
2theC’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8B
Balcony room was small but laid out to optimize space. 2 wardrobe type closets and 1 closet with shelfs and drawers and a safe. A desk with a large mirror over it and small refrigerator under it and a1200 watt hair dryer already plugged in - inside the desk drawer. You have to hold the button on the entire time you use it. It was adequate. There were 2 electrical receptacles at the desk and 2 USB. None by the bedside. Storage drawers under the sofa. Storage under the bed and in the small bedside tables. You have to insert a card in the slot near the door to get electricity. The bed was comfortable and linens were nice. Each room has its own thermostat. The bathroom is small but had shelves on each side of the sink for storage. There is a pull-out clothesline in the shower. Our cabin was starboard - aft and quiet, even though all the teen hang--outs were on our floor.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins