The dome Long Beach Terminal is neat. We dropped our bags with the porters, who were collecting luggage in the parking garage. Our embarkation check in slot was 11-11:30 am. Unfortunately, when we got there a few mins after 11am, they were calling any boarding time could get in line. However, our boarding pass had a pre-assigned boarding group C01, so we did not lose that spot. Check-in was pretty quick; they checked our passport and that is all. Then we went through security. They did a small rip in the 12 can soda cardboard box during the check and let us through. Then we sat and waited for boarding to start, and this was slow. Excited for a boarding announcement, instead they kept announcing rooms not being ready until 2:30 pm, which seemed late. Our luggage also arrived at our cabin later than I expected. This is the biggest ship that we have been on, so maybe I did not have the right expectations. When they began boarding, they boarded in the following order: suite guests, Diamond, Platinum, Faster to the Fun, A01, A2, A3-10, B01 to C01 (us). Then we slowly moved in a long line until finally reaching the ship. The slow part turned out to be the picture for face recognition for passport control at disembarkation later. Embarkation took a little over an hour and a half, so not speedy.
Muster drill was not the full in person (good) but required that we go to our station and wait for enough people for a life jacket demonstration. We were eager to get to JiJi's Kitchen, or the Mongolian Wok for lunch, before it got too crowded.
We were on deck 1, in an inside cabin, so lots of stairs to the Lido deck. The room was well laid out, functional, and very comfortable. When arriving, we were afraid that the shower looked small and that the material shower curtain would cling while showering. However, I had no issue with the size or curtain. The closet was small and too stuffed with hangers (plastic ones that someone else brought and left). I moved some to the bottom of the closet, so that we could get to the clothes that we did hang.
The in room on demand movies were very nice; on previous cruises, we have never been able to catch all of a movie from start to end (and then have to watch them on the plane home instead). The ones that were not free looked to be the ones shown at the Dive-in theater by the pool. I also liked the channel by Carnival showing people going on exodic shore excursions across the fleet. My husband liked the music video channel.
Light switch above the bed in a good location -- I guess a small thing, but bumping it accidently in the middle of the night is bad.
Our room steward was awesome. Carnival only does once a day service now; he asked the first day what we needed and what time we would like our service. I had not thought about this, so was not very prepared. We went with 6pm since we eat dinner early with Your Time Dining, and it worked well. We requested ice and an extra hair towel for me. We had both everyday along with a towel animal. He also always greeted us in the hall.
We got to see the Arch on the sail in, which was very nice. We planned to hike to it, found a trail over the hill online, the low tide time, but the trail was fenced off -- boo. I wanted to get Pesos since we had 3 Mexican stops, but all ATMs only dispensed USD, for a very high fee. The town wi-fi only worked for a few minutes.
Planned a hike up to the lighthouse with glass bridge overlook, called Faro Mazatlan. The glass bridge was about $3. There was some catel/govt violence here at the beginning of January. Carnival noted that they are monitoring and finding a backup if Mazatlan is not safe on the day of our visit. It was safe and had a lot of police presence. We stopped at a convenient store before the hike for interesting Mexican candy/snacks with USDs. We walked to the lighthouse hike start. Good hike with great views. The glass bridge was nice, but had a long wait to get our turn. Then we headed toward town, walking along the coast. A tour of the Teatro Angela Peralta was highly recommended in a blog that I read before, so we tried it. This was hard to get a ticket, charged more in USD than noted, and then hard to get into to. There was no tour. The theater had pretty architecture, they were setting up the set for a play, and had a display about Angela Peralta and the theater, but not as exciting as I expected from the recommendation. Then we walked to the central square that was most busy and with the most police. There were some interesting art statues, but we did not find nearly all of them. There is a blue line back to the ship from downtown. Overall, Mazatlan is much less touristy than the other two.
We did the Carnival whale and dolphin watching and snorkeling excursion. It was good; they were very accommodating offering drinks, food, and paddle boarding and kayaking, in addition to the snorkeling. We saw a few whales and snorkeled. Husband paddle boarded. Unfortunately, I got sea sick, so had less fun. We cleaned up after and got back off to visit the famous Walmart. The wifi worked for a google voice call to a kid about school. The same US Walmart app and Walmart pay does not work. We got some more Mexican candy/snacks.