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1,119 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

Our stateroom had a dirty rug, all kinds of spots. The drape was dirty. The shower had mold and the bathroom floor was vile. Outside on our deck there was problem where the corner was cracked and some substance crumbling away. Other areas ... Read More
Our stateroom had a dirty rug, all kinds of spots. The drape was dirty. The shower had mold and the bathroom floor was vile. Outside on our deck there was problem where the corner was cracked and some substance crumbling away. Other areas of the ship were also bad. The womens restrooms definitely needed refreshing. We are planing a 15 day Hawaiian cruise and do not think we will book with Princess unless we could be assured it is on a newer ship or one that has been refurbished. As for the rest of the cruise--the staff were great. The food pretty good (very good in their specialty restaurants for which there is a charge, We had fun in the casino. Some of the entertainment was good. We were there for super bowl and they did that right--had the smokers watch it in the casino and one bar and separated the Seattle and New England fans. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We chose this cruise having had a very good experience on a previous Princess voyage. Boy were we disappointed. If I wanted a low end cruise, I would have sailed on Carnival. One of the positives was the embarkation which was smoothe and ... Read More
We chose this cruise having had a very good experience on a previous Princess voyage. Boy were we disappointed. If I wanted a low end cruise, I would have sailed on Carnival. One of the positives was the embarkation which was smoothe and quick as opposed to the disembarkation process which was over an hour late, endangering our making our flight. The other positive was the entertainment which was first rate. Now for the negatives : 1. The crew is very poorly trained and lacks basic customer service skills and Is surly at times. 2. The ship is not well maintained and is in fact dirty in many of the common areas. 3. It is not possible to finish your dinner at the 8:15 seating and get to the 10:00 PM show on time. 4. Our cabin was not cleaned well. Several days into the cruise we found a Cheerio under the bed. 5. The surfaces in our head were not cleaned well. 6. The Captain "bragged" about the "small" number of norovirus cases. Only 50 at the end of the cruise. WHY WERE THERE ANY? This ship had significant outbreaks earlier in the year. Why was it not sanitized. 7. With all the warnings about hand washing the restrooms were frequently out of soap. 8. The telephone system did not work properly and people did not get messages. 9. Food was very mediocre. Only a couple of meals were very good. None outstanding Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
A 4-day "New Year's" cruise on the Imagination out of Long Beach was our first trip with Carnival in a number of years, and overall we were satisfied with the brief jaunt, although there were a couple of annoyances. ... Read More
A 4-day "New Year's" cruise on the Imagination out of Long Beach was our first trip with Carnival in a number of years, and overall we were satisfied with the brief jaunt, although there were a couple of annoyances. Check-in was efficient, our cabin was ready at the advertised time. Our standard "ocean view" cabin on Deck 7, although spare (think Motel 6 décor), was reasonably sized with sufficient room to move around the bed and plenty of closet hanging space, a smallish dresser with stool and a single straight-backed chair. Bath was typically compact but did have a relatively large shower. No fridge/mini-bar, hair dryer available by request. Food is of course a major cruise item, and we were impressed with the dining room offerings. Carnival is slanted toward a youthful demographic so the ambience is somewhat less formal than on some other lines (if that's a priority), but the food & service were uniformly excellent. Ship's staff overall was also universally excellent, friendly and responsive to every request. Never a negative moment throughout the trip. Hard to imagine some other reviewers complained on this score. Entertainment was about what you would expect for a short cruise, with pretty good music offerings in the main showroom tailored to the youngish demographic. These were augmented by a handful of lounge acts that were OK but, let's face it, not particularly impressive. There were a couple of negatives related to internal ship's air processing. First was a lack of cabin temperature control. Weather outside at the time was generally in the low 50's and the cabins have no thermostatic control or heat source, only an airflow restricting knob in the single supply duct. Our cabin was constantly uncomfortably chilly, ranging from 60 to 64 as measured by our neighbor's little travel thermometer. Fine for sleeping but not so good otherwise, and we were told nothing could be done about it. Secondly, for anyone sensitive to cigarette smoke over half of the Promenade deck was no-go territory due to its free sharing of air handling with the tobacco-saturated casino. Most unappetizing, and significant because the Promenade deck is a central component of the ship's indoor public area. A third problem was what I felt was excessive noise in the cabin, which seemed to come from everywhere. Voices & walking in the hallway were conducted in with scarcely any loss. Not quite so bad but still perfectly audible were conversations which strangely were apparently being held in cabins on the deck below us. Thump-thump-rumble music from one of the entertainment venues also located on an entirely different deck precluded sleep one evening but fortunately stopped around 10:30. We could not recall ever being on a ship quite so poorly soundproofed.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We sailed from Long Beach to Catalina to Ensenada back to Long Beach the week of Christmas 2014. Everything went well and we all had a great time. Our servers were tired and obviously wishing they were home with their families, but we were ... Read More
We sailed from Long Beach to Catalina to Ensenada back to Long Beach the week of Christmas 2014. Everything went well and we all had a great time. Our servers were tired and obviously wishing they were home with their families, but we were treated very well. The only negative, besides the VERY choppy seas on Christmas Day (which was out of anyone's control), was the horribly planned, ridiculously long and tedious muster drill....COME ON CARNIVAL....seriously???? I'm pretty sure a fifth grader could figure out a better and more efficient way of handling this part of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We sailed on the Norwegian Star for a 7-day cruise from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. We normally sail on Royal Caribbean and this was our first cruise on NCL. We brought 4 first-time cruisers with us this ... Read More
We sailed on the Norwegian Star for a 7-day cruise from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. We normally sail on Royal Caribbean and this was our first cruise on NCL. We brought 4 first-time cruisers with us this time. Embarkation was slow. There were several ad-hoc lines in the loading zones where porters (who were very loudly arguing with each other) took your bags, then you were on your own to find where to go check in. Since we were first-time NCL cruisers we weren’t in the Latitudes line, which seemed to be as chaotic as our line. Once at the counter the staff were slow and had computer problems, often grabbing another agent on their way to getting key cards for help. When our friends checked in the agent disappeared for about 5 minutes looking for their cards. All of the food we had in the MDR (Aqua for dinner and Versailles for lunch) was good, and the desserts were generally excellent. Service time was inconsistent but when we arrived for dinner and 5:30 and said we wanted to see the 7:00 show, the waiter made sure we were out of there on time. One of our friends has a food allergy but by preordering his entree earlier in the day they were always able to take his allergy into account. (I had no idea you could do that!) The buffet, however, was the lowlight of the entire trip. The physical layout is unfortunate and there’s not much they can do to fix that. But the quality and selection was dreadful. Breakfast had very little variety from day to day. Lunch and dinner seemed to have a lot of Indian food for some reason. And I don’t think there was a single edible dessert. I think we’ve been spoiled by the quality of RCL’s Windjammer and our expectations were too high. I highly recommend the martini tastings in Gatsby’s: 6 half-size martinis for $15. Warning: you WILL get buzzed! There was also a mojito tasting in Gatsby’s (not bad) and a margarita tasting in the Star Bar, which was just different flavored syrups mixed with well tequila and can be skipped. The Star Bar was our little hideaway during the evenings and we enjoyed the service from Lori and Rommel. They told us that they are trading places with Moderno and moving to deck 8 in the Atrium during the drydock. Entertainment tip: If you see the Paradis show, leave before they do the grand finale unless you want to endure what turns into a cheesy commercial for NCL. Disembarking, which was the fastest we’ve ever experienced. We did the fast walk-off option, which was a good thing because we never received luggage tags. We were funneled into Ginza where CBP officers were set up. It was incredibly fast and we went from our cabin to our car in about 15 minutes. The Star is scheduled to go into drydock in a few months so some of this may be out of date by the time you read this. In general, the ship was in good condition. There were a few things that could be fixed (broken fountains) and updated (interactive TVs for checking your onboard account and making shorex/dinner reservations).   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We left the port of Los Angeles on Saturday December 27th and returned on Saturday January 3rd. We stopped at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. We (my wife and I) were accompanied by our daughter and granddaughter in the next ... Read More
We left the port of Los Angeles on Saturday December 27th and returned on Saturday January 3rd. We stopped at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. We (my wife and I) were accompanied by our daughter and granddaughter in the next cabin (E406). The first shock was the charge for Wi-Fi... it cost $73 for 2 hours! We also made the mistake of opting for "any time dining." It wasn't any time...we stood in line at 6:30 PM for 30 minutes to get a beeper/pager that got us a table at 8 PM. We took an optional shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta in a bus with non-functioning seat reclines, window tinting that thoroughly distorted the view and an air-conditioning system so noisy that you couldn't understand the guide's narration. The 5.5 hour tour included about 2.5 hours of bumpy bus ride, a tile store where the staff didn't seem to care, a stop at an Opal store, a stop at a cathedral where a Mass was in progress and you just got to stand in the back for a while and then a very late lunch stop at a tequila ranch. The lunch was low grade tacos. The ship was magnificent with a great theater, three topside pools and terrific staff. The New Year's Eve party was done very well and everyone had a good time. Embarkation was very well organized. Disembarkation not so much. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Decided to initiate the in-laws with a "gentle" cruise out of los angeles with a shorter flight from the west coast. The boat holds about 2300 people, not good area to corral the children so they are all over, in the main pool, ... Read More
Decided to initiate the in-laws with a "gentle" cruise out of los angeles with a shorter flight from the west coast. The boat holds about 2300 people, not good area to corral the children so they are all over, in the main pool, on the main deck, in the bars. The state rooms are a bit dated, we got a balcony room to have some air, it was at the front of the boat, so lots of movement. But with the wind the carpet billows, very strange! For the room "connected" to the fancy suite at the front of the boat i would have expected a better kept up room. Lots of dings and bangs, dirty balcony floor. Our steward was amazing and made wonderful towel animals. The rooms creak quite a bit, bring ear plugs. The fitness area is also dated as well as the machines are not in line with the movement with the boat, so if it's rocking, exercising can be a bit tricky, Spa appears well appointed and there is a specialty area with a private indoor pool, whirlpool, etc for a a limited number of guests and extra fee. Buffet is about the same every day, omelet station is in the middle of each line so it backs up the people and makes getting meals difficult. Aqua is a nice option, large restaurant, different meals each day, some good, some not so good. Chocolate night sounds good, but really only the nutella bar is worth eating Versaille dining room is the fancy one, must be dressed to dine there except for lunch. Moderna is the churascaria and most people don't realize what it is, where it is or that it is worth the extra dining dollars. Note: make sure you make them keep coming back with more meat, just keep asking... took me 3 tries to get more, but i got it! Staff is pretty friendly, bar staff remembered us and what we drank within 1 day. The december time frame made the journey rather chilly, and the wind was horrendous so not much pool time, in fact they closed the pool at least one of the return to la days. Port of los angeles is huge and daunting. Hard to move thru the lines, definitely sign up for latitudes to get in the shorter line. The have yet to upgrade the internet so their "app" doesn't work. Sigh. All in all it wasn't an amazing trip, none of the ports were fabulous, none of the tours sounded good enough to spend money on. And the "entertainement" - on my goodness, terrible. We've done other cruises and had second city, a pretty good fake cirque etc... this boat... i nearly fell asleep on both the shows we bothered to go to. The fake cirque was boring and not good, the comedy was british humor, which luckily i have a friend who is british and a commedian, but still it left me bored and hoping for it to be over. I feel bad since he is the cruise director, a nice guy and had the guts to get up in front of a theater full of people, but meh... We only popped our heads in for the duo on one of the nights to see a small child in a lion suit and the other person in a lion tamer suit, oy vey, no thanks. Sadly it was too cold to simply go outside and enjoy the stars, so it was rather boring evenings. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We live in California, and preferred the embarkation of LA and a 7 day cruise to Mexico. All went well on this cruise. I would conclude it was very enjoyable but not the best cruise we have done. For one, before departure, we read about ... Read More
We live in California, and preferred the embarkation of LA and a 7 day cruise to Mexico. All went well on this cruise. I would conclude it was very enjoyable but not the best cruise we have done. For one, before departure, we read about this ship having a outbreak of the norovirus affecting over ~300 passengers. During the cruise the captain informed us there were about 37 cases of such, and all the precautions taken by his crew. I guess this bit of information is worrisome, and we were lucky not to have been infected. The dining experience every night was the best. The waiters who waited on us, were superb. The ship offered other food options (other than one's assigned dining time and place), but those options were not very good--the Horizon Court buffet was so-so, hamburgers, hot dogs--skip it; and the for-fee-extra restaurants were not worth the extra money I heard. The dining staff from the head waiter to the chef each evening gave us a full meal to our hearts content--dessert every night--we ordered nearly every selection to sample. The entertainment was dated, nothing more recent or top 40 hits nor close to any Vegas-style shows really. The sports activities on Deck 19 were attracting many kids and teenagers, but Deck 19 is so small. For teenagers, I would conclude that this trip is not catering to their interests at all. The ports of call were the attractions for us to select this cruise. First stop is Puerto Vallarta, docked at 10am back by 5:30. My daughters went on the shore excursion for Zip Lining in the jungle (hour drive)--though fun, they were bit over 100 times by bugs and had to deal with the itchiness the rest of the cruise. Someone on the staff could have told us about bug spray. Mazatlan was good too, we went to a beach by El Cid El Moro hotel. That was nice. Cabo San Lucas was the next stop, but because there is no ship dock, the use of tenders to get on shore was quite time consuming. The ship docked at 7am, and back in line to tenders by 12:30pm. That is not enough time. I think we should have had more time on Cabo than the other two ports--and Cabo was on Christmas day. It is a very compact port, where you can go to the beaches very nearby or take a glass-bottom boat to Lover's Beach which is by the Arch (rock). Once there, you can walk on one side of the beach facing Sea of Cortez and the other facing the Pacific Ocean. We did this once we exited the tender ride and the many glass bottom boat owners offering us, a ride and tour. What a deal! Having not paid for any cruise ship arranged excursion at Cabo (lowest price was like $70 each person), the locals offered us a tour to the Arch rock, and drop off at Lover's beach for up to 2 hours, for $10/person. Of course, they start by asking for $25/person, and the lowest they go appears to be $10/each. The captain gave us a tourist explanation of the rock formations--really nice. Since it was only like 8am in the morning and cloudy, so our beach time was a bit chilly, when it was time to be picked up by the glass-bottom boat, the sun was fully shining and warmer, but it was time to head back to the tenders for the ride back to the ship--not so great timing. We still enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was my 39th cruise, 12th on Princess. I took this short cruise to get Elite status for my next cruise. They offered ship board credit that made it worthwhile. Embarkation was a breeze and I was able to get into my cabin right away. I ... Read More
This was my 39th cruise, 12th on Princess. I took this short cruise to get Elite status for my next cruise. They offered ship board credit that made it worthwhile. Embarkation was a breeze and I was able to get into my cabin right away. I had a balcony on Caribe 234 which was port forward, but spacious for one person and quiet. I carried my bag on and off so I unpacked and then headed to the buffet on Lido deck. This was very crowded, people entering from 2 sides and exiting in the middle. First evening Anytime dining was a disaster with people lined up out to the atrium and beyond. In addition, there was a band playing in the Atrium which made the congestion worse. The line didn't move at all and eventually we were told the dining room was full and to return at 7:30. The next night I made an adjustment and lined up earlier only to experience the same situation. I ended up at the buffet which had a pathetic offering. I was very frustrated and have never experienced this situation with Anytime dining before, as sometimes we are given beepers. Communication was poorly handled. The third night I went to the Crown Grill. When I called for a reservation, they told me they were full but to stop by. At 5:45 I went there to be told come back later and they would try to accommodate me. Eventually I was seated and the place was only half full. Something is sorely lacking in the dining department here. Nevertheless, I found some enjoyable moments. The pools were swimmable despite gloomy weather and not at all crowded. The steam and sauna were relaxing. International cafe had good offerings. The shows were crowded standing room only. The comedian was mildly amusing. The Mariachi band was entertaining. There was a nice Happy Hour of sorts in Skywalkers for Elite and Platinum. Ensenada hasn't changed one bit. The best entertainment were the seals on the Ensenada pier fighting for space to warm up. I took the behind the scenes tour of the theater which was interesting, did some on board shopping to use up OBC. Happily, I received my elite pin on the last day. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My family and I were very excited to take a cruise that we’d been planning and looking forward to for almost a year. When the day of the trip finally arrived, everyone was excited as we climbed into two large Super Shuttle vans to take ... Read More
My family and I were very excited to take a cruise that we’d been planning and looking forward to for almost a year. When the day of the trip finally arrived, everyone was excited as we climbed into two large Super Shuttle vans to take the 14 of us to Long Beach Harbor. Unfortunately, only one of our vans made it to the ship on time as the driver of the other van went to the wrong harbor. We hadn’t even boarded the ship and yet we were already worried half our family would be left behind. Luckily we had ordered the shuttles to pick us up extra early, so the lost driver made it back to Long Beach in time. We hoped that was going to be the only bump in our journey, but sadly, it was just the beginning. From the minute we boarded the ship we felt an intensely strong vibration in all five of our rooms. If you lay down on the bed, it was like laying on one of those old motel beds with a quarter slot-machine next to the bed to make it vibrate. Sadly for us the there was no “off” button. We hoped the vibrating might stop once the boat left the dock and heard a few others wondering the same. We had five balcony cabins mid-ship on the 7th deck, which we were told was one of the better locations on the ship for rooms. When the ship finally left the port of Long Beach, the vibrating did not stop. Five in our family went to Guest Services to complain and ask what was going on and each of us were told a different excuse (each of which turned out to be fiction). You could barely focus on a book in bed because of the vibrating, but worse was that was it made it difficult to sleep. We were told once that the vibration was from the weather, but we had beautiful calm seas for most all the trip. We were also told that it was just the size of the ship and a little vibration was normal. Guest Services kept assuring us it would get better. It never did. It wasn’t just “a little” vibration, it was more like the ship had Parkinson’s. We finally went online and discovered an article posted by Carnival in April of this year which explained that the Miracle actually had a propulsion problem and all they were planning on doing was to cruise a little slower and not make any real repairs until the Spring of 2015. It seems wrong to post your ships troubles on the internet and then turn around and lie to the faces of your paying guests. My family felt that the Carnival people must think us a bit “slow” to tell each of us a different excuse about the problem with the boat. We would have preferred an honest answer and an apology instead of being lied to directly. We did enjoy the food very much, but our seating at Dinner was bad. We had requested two adjacent tables for our large group (like our previous cruise), but instead they slid two tables together to accommodate us all at one long narrow table which forced any on the inside to either crawl under the table to get out or ask everyone to get up and move coming in and getting out. It was not comfortable or enjoyable. The service was barely adequate (many ordered items were forgotten) but we tried to remain calm so as not to upset the staff and get worse service. We did, however, enjoy the shows onboard and the service for the cabins. This was our second Thanksgiving Family Cruise with Carnival Cruises… and after this experience, it will be our last. My family and friends will never cruise with Carnival again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This review is for our seven day cruise on the Carnival Miracle sailing round trip from Long Beach to Cabo, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. It will be our last cruise with Carnival. We have cruised 15 times and 4 have been with Carnival. We ... Read More
This review is for our seven day cruise on the Carnival Miracle sailing round trip from Long Beach to Cabo, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. It will be our last cruise with Carnival. We have cruised 15 times and 4 have been with Carnival. We have been to these ports many times. This is not one of those “there was nothing edible on board or the crew was fighting all the time” reviews. To the contrary we had a great cruise, but read all the way through. The weather was great. Sea days were balmy, with a slight breeze and calm seas. Tropical clouds filled the horizon. The seas were so calm the entire cruise we commented that one couldn’t feel the ship moving. Usually on the northbound return large swells are encountered in this part of the Pacific, but not on this cruise. Sunrises through the clouds were dazzling. Sunsets beautiful with an especially dramatic sunset in Puerto Vallarta. The sky was so filled with various shades of red that the high rise resort windows along the coast glowed like light sticks. The weather in ports was also mild. In fact, Puerto Vallarta was almost chilly in the morning. We saw dolphins jumping and following us on several occasions, flying fish and at a distance whale spouts. As we sailed south the water turned a light blue. The Miracle is in good shape. Saw nothing worn, broken or outdated. We loved the theme in the halls of posters of great literary works. The end of our hall had a profile of Sherlock Holmes and outside our stateroom was Hercule Poirot, my wife’s favorite. The Great Gatsby’s Secret Garden was well done and a relaxing hideaway. We had a wonderful room steward and his assistant was a continuous source of laughs for us. Always smiling, joking and wishing us well on shore. There were 438 children aboard. We must say, not because we have grandchildren, that the kids behavior was exceptional. Courteous, no rough housing or loudness and parents always accompanied them. Carnival does provide many supervised activities for youth and this can give parents some private time. The slot machines were generous. Hit a $60 bonus and for the trip we made a few dollars. That’s a first. Of course the large Bloody Mary’s in the morning helped with the luck. I bought a deck used Carnival Casino cards for $1. There is a shaved groove on each side to prevent casino reuse, but otherwise like new with the Carnival logo. I believe most ship casinos offer these decks for $1. We ate in the main dining room twice. The room is decorated in bright colors, globes and is awesome. The first day at sea dinner offered lobster and I asked for two and my wife asked for prime rib to go with her lobster. No problem. Service was friendly and fast. Ordered wine that arrived before appetizers. The second meal was prime rib night. Same great service and second portions. Staff did the farewell tribute to cruisers. Couldn’t ask for anything more. We also ate at the specialty Nick and Nora restaurant. A cover charge of $35 per person applies. Another classic meal. Lobster and filet for me and a giant rib-eye for my wife. The table was along the window, semi-private and it seemed like our wait staff were only there for us. All courses were delicious. In Cabo San Lucas we walked along the marina area and did some shopping. Talked to people from the ship. There is a cantina right on the walkway that we like where we had a couple margaritas and a giant nachos and cheese plate in our front row seats. Later we walked and shopped some more as the sun set. The temperature cooled down and it was refreshing for Cabo. There was quite a line for the tenders, so we had a couple more margaritas at the last cantina before the dock. Again, saw and visited with people in line that we had met on board. The group that had a wedding at one of the hotels arrived with gowns in tow. They said the wedding and party was great. We ended up seated in the bridge by the tender Captain for the ride to the ship. It was dark and the ship was pretty all lit up. The captain actually stopped the tender, moved into a good view position and his mate took a picture of us with the ship in background. Very nice. Mazatlán was the next port. It was only the second time a Carnival ship had called since the security restrictions that placed the port off limits were lifted. We weren’t sure exactly what has happened that caused the cruise industry to avoid the port for two years. Rumor was tourist mugging and drug war lord activity. Also it was announced that agreement had been reached to enhance security, but no details were provided. We did see Tourist Police, Federal Police, Municipal Police, and Transit Police everywhere. Everywhere, in cars, on foot, in SUV’s, in trucks and on motorcycles. All with the red and blue lights blinking and speeding up and down every street. Many had troops standing with M-16’s slung over their shoulders. Even observed an “inspector” checking vendors along the beach where the tourist buses stop .Seemed like a little excessive but we felt safe. We took a ship excursion to the beach area and saw cliff divers, many statues of sea life, a cathedral, the beach area, the highest lighthouse in the western hemisphere and a little of old Mazatlán .Our guide was very informative and always reiterated meet times and safety tips. The bus was a double decker but short. The aisles were very narrow and some people had trouble moving in them. We saw a “Folkloric” show that was awesome. The special theater was comfortable and the sound was good. The dancers and their costumes were beautiful. We had a chance to shop and had lunch at a place called Margaritas in the tourist area. Open air, waiters that balance margaritas on their heads when delivering, and good food. The next port was Puerto Vallarta. We toured tequila factories with a ship tour. The guide, Jose was one we had in the past an excellent. The first factory had 10 different tastings. Besides the usual, there was coffee, amaretto (umm…good) and peach. Had some tacos and beans there. Very good with native cactus or nepal. The second stop also involved 10 tastings. Unique was vanilla crème and walnut. The latter was very good. We then drove through the country side, stopped to shop and drove through old Puerto Vallarta. Mandatory stops to observe iguanas, statuary along the malecon, the cathedral and the old cobble streets. As always, we ended the shore day at the old cantina by the entrance to the ship area. On our first cruise this place was all by itself along the water. Improvements in the pier area have hidden it somewhat, but it’s still there. It’s a gathering place for returning cruisers and ship staff. We always run into people we have met on board there. As I said, we had a wonderful cruise because the important things, like the weather, the sea, the sun rises and sunsets, the ports and marine life that we enjoy and are there regardless of what cruise brand you are on. Sitting on the veranda feeling a gentle warm breeze while listening to the sounds of the waves moving past the ship is so relaxing. We don’t let things upset us and our decision not to sail with Carnival again is based on events that puzzle us. Embarkation was terrible. They say you must board between 1 and 3 pm. We arrived at 2:30 and the line stretched almost back to the Queen Mary. Once in the building we were moved from catacomb to catacomb, sometimes having to side step in sync to move our line. Got aboard around 4:15. Many people were very upset. I think the disembarkation discussion would fit here. Also a disaster. We reported to designated areas at 830 am. We finally got to curbside with our luggage at 12:15 pm. It was total chaos as all the people waiting to board were everywhere. It was almost impossible to get to elevators in parking structure. Many people were very upset. The cruise director said that the hold up was the dock workers not being ready, then he said the authorities were not ready and finally he said too many passengers were petting the drug dogs causing delays. Come on! He also said this delay was rare. The guys helping with luggage say this is routine. I agree. The drop off /pickup area is small. There is one small exit from the building. Carnival does not provide enough customs agents to process in a timely manner. This will never change unless they overhaul the facility. On our first sea day our cabin ventilation malfunctioned. It would start and stop, sometimes blowing cool sometimes hot. I woke up sweating first night. Call the ships service desk and was told they would send someone “to educate me on the use of a thermostat”. A guy showed up and said we were at 78 degrees in the cabin. I told him it was at the coolest now. He called for someone to come and make repairs. We got a note saying the repair man had come by and the thermostat is working correctly. I called down and said the problem must be with what the thermostat is connected to. I was told all was working, they could do no more and when I said “but it’s too hot” I was told, “Well sir, that’s just the way it is”. On the first sea day we attended the cruise director welcome aboard and port talk. We were told to move our clocks forward one hour that night and also the night we leave Cabo. We did that. The next morning I was bewildered when none of the food stations were open. I asked why and was told I was an hour early. I brought up the cruise directors direction and was told that could not have happened. Several guys standing by me said they heard the same thing. Oh well. Came back a little while later and saw a breakfast station open, food in all the bins, the cook at parade rest and appearing ready to serve. I grabbed a plate and was told I had to wait. I asked why and was told they could not open for 3 more minutes. I couldn’t believe it and asked why. I was told, “well sir, that’s just the way it is.” Sound familiar already? Regarding the time changes. We set clocks forward two nights, then back two nights. So other than the first and last nights, the time was always changing. There was confusion on board. We’ve cruised with another brand that said use ship time. All ship excursions are ship time. If you go ashore on own, adhere to ship time. Pretty simple and not confusing. At Cabo we anchored about noon. This is a tender port. The cruise director said excursion people got priority but that tender tickets would be available starting at 10 am. However, he said usually by 2 pm you can just walk off, there would be no wait. So about 2:00pm I went to the tender ticket person and was given #37. I said I just heard #2 called. How long before we would be going ashore with #37. He said to relax and enjoy the ship. I asked if he could please give me a rough estimate. He said over 2 hours. I said you’ve got to be kidding. The last tender back to the ship is 7:15pm, so why go ashore at 4:30pm? He looked away with that you are annoying me expression on his face and said, you you guessed it, “Well sir, that’s just the way it is”. Others said they were told the delay was because two other ships were here. I’ve been here when there were 4 ships. Also, they said it was too rough to use the lifeboats as auxiliary tenders. However I saw that the other two cruise ships were using their lifeboats with no problem. So it was announced that ship arrived would arrive at Mazatlán an hour later than planned. So 9 am instead of 8 am. We had pre purchased excursion tickets that said report to the theater to stage at 8 am and the tour would start at 8:30 am. So I assumed these times would be also be moved forward, that is, theater at 9 am and tour start at 9:30am. After all, we couldn’t leave for a shore excursion a half hour before the ship docks. So I called to verify. I was told to do what the ticket says, regardless. I asked how could we eat if the food area did not open until 7:30 and get to our room to prepare for shore then get to the theater all in 30 minutes. You guessed it, she said “Sir, that is just the way it is” Well, we showed up around nine, but many had been waiting for an hour already. We still waited an hour and 15 minutes for some reason. I might add we were give labels with a tour number and assigned to a numerical waiting area. However the call to go was by tour name, and very difficult to understand. This resulted in a lot of confusion. Some observations regarding the Horatio’s food court area. Seating is great. A lot of ocean view seats, comfortable booths and chair seats. The layout is such that food stations are separated into quads that some distance apart. In each quad there can be 4 stations. For example there may be a grill, oriental food, Italian food and a deli in a quad. But they may not all be open. In fact none are open except very specific times. Like say 11 am, and you want to have a snack, nothing will be open. Don’t try to eat dinner early, nothing open. People were perplexed and did not understand the intentional deprivation of nourishment. This is a cruise after all. I saw many people asking why they did this. They all left shaking their heads. Also, say you go to the omelet bar. Good ones they are. But the toast is at the breakfast grill a hundred feet through a crowd away. And drinks are at a central location. No trays, so if you want a couple orange juices and coffees, it is a two trip journey through the crowd. Makes no sense to me, but I guess that’s just the way it is. On other cruise ships we sat, a server asked what beverages we would like and brought them. The food lines were organized so that in one easy pass you had what you needed. On disembarkation day, as 12 noon approached and we had been waiting to disembark for over 31/2 hours, I went to the food court area in search a small morsel of nourishment. It appeared the Deli was open. I took a plate. Three voices yelled “we are closed”, and one officer said to me “move along”, as if I were a vagrant or petty thief. Unbelievable! I mean come on, throw an old dog a bone! Well I got thinking. How can all this this be? It makes no sense. Carnival had 2400 eager happy cruisers show up on disembarkation day. I enjoy reading the blogs and roll calls. You know, people who post the number of days until we cruise, sharing packing tips, what to do at the ports, and so on. All very excited and happy customers. Then think of the ship, a beauty. And of course the best venue of all, the ocean, with its breezes, sun rises and sunsets, marine life and mystical diamond like sheen in the wake of the sun. It shouldn’t take much effort to keep your guests happy. A dream scenario for someone in the customer service business. You would have to intentionally go out of your way to make someone upset in this situation. That is what Carnival did. That’s the only conclusion I can come to. So what is the root of the problem? It starts at the top. The description that best describes the ship staff attitude is “disdainful arrogance”. Check your dictionary. They look at the cruisers as those people that will come aboard and want this, expect that and do these things. How do we put up with them? That position is supported by the managers and I’m sure they have had training and have been told to resolve issues by saying “Well sir or madam, that just the way it is.” Translation, jump in the lake (ocean in this case!), so what, we don’t care and so on. Plug in your own more vulgar expressions. It’s too bad. They had it made and blew it. What a shame. No need to tolerate that. So I quote from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, (Act III, scene II, Orlando) with a message for Carnival; “I do desire we may be better strangers” …and that’s just the way it is!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We were very hopeful that this would be a great trip as we have booked a 24 day cruise on another HA ship next year and were using this trip as a litmus test to decide whether we should continue our booking next year. We also were aware it ... Read More
We were very hopeful that this would be a great trip as we have booked a 24 day cruise on another HA ship next year and were using this trip as a litmus test to decide whether we should continue our booking next year. We also were aware it was a 4 ½ start ship and were lenient! But we will most likely cancel the next trip. Cruise critic advertises that mature passengers are the norm on HA and I would agree. Most passengers I would say were in their late 70's, 80's and beyond. One solo woman passenger was celebrating her 100th birthday! She is my role model for the future!! The ship itself was nicer than we expected. The public areas were clean, nicely furnished and appeared fresh. The veranda cabin (we were on 9th floor which was in a perfect location for going up to lido deck (2 flights) and down a flight for dinner/show) was comfortable in size with plenty of storage space. Nice unobstructed view from Veranda. We had excellent service from our room stewards who quickly expedited the few requests we had for fixing bathroom issues. The entertainment was fair to good. Given the 1000 passengers, it offered much more than our favorite 600 passenger Oceania line. The dancers were friendly and accessible and the last night "Dancing With the Stars" was a fun production. The gym was adequate in size, usually empty except for the regulars, and staffed by excellent and competent trainers. Although we didn't attend most of the scheduled ship activities, they offered a variety of activities on sea days. The two pool areas are well used and i'm sure it was complaints that there were not enough lounge chairs on that first sea day that resulted in more chairs on following days. The back pool area would have been helped by some shady areas and/or umbrellas. The two excursions we took that were offered through the Excursions Desk were Excellent! That was a super surprise as we find exactly the opposite on most of the ships we take...which is why I use cruise critic so frequently to organize trips with others. As mentioned by others, there is a lot of HARD sell of everything...everywhere. There are shirts, hats, trinkets, sweatshirts, jackets, cups, etc., being peddled everywhere! They have enough shops around the ship...if you want to buy...one can go there. It got really tiring to see these makeshift areas infringing on limited walking traffic everywhere. The dining experience was subpar to terrible. Breakfast was good with a lot of variety and the staff were helpful (although it would have been nice if a couple of the waiters would walk around with coffee for refills). The lunch was acceptable only if you liked really large, calorie laden meals. Those wishing lighter fare were out of luck with the exception of an extremely tired salad bar with very limited offerings and no variety. Having a BBQ Chicken sandwich was really the only other choice. Dinner was a disaster. Not only was the food selection limited and unappealing, but when I ordered fish on three nights, it was impossible to eat being overcooked and tasteless. Having a baked potato for dinner was not what I had in mind. Steak appeared rare if you ordered it medium and extremely well cooked if you ordered it medium. The wait staff was usually not available until they cleared your plates and then asked if I wanted another selection...but by then my husband had finished his meal and we wanted out. The worst part though was the lack of accommodation on the part of the host staff for those of us dining on the open seating plan. My husband and I enjoy meeting other cruisers and on every night requested to be seated with others at a larger table. Every night the maitre d explained that they were unwilling to accommodate our request unless we came by at 5:45 or 7:45 (too early or too late for us). The larger tables were mostly empty as we were brought to our 2 person table every night. We just don't get it! On every other ship we have sailed on, the maitre d usually encourages guests to be seated together. The inflexibility to accommodate guests was not only aggrevating, but prevented us the opportunity of having dinner conversation with others and having an opportunity of meeting other guests. And it wasn't because he didn't understand....we argued, asked to speak to the DRM and were consistently told that "their policy" was to seat guests individually unless they had reserved a larger table with specific guests identified. So all in all, every night we were disappointed. And after that, we usually had a pretty lousy meal. Guess we will be canceling and finding a more accommodating ship elsewhere. Which is such a pity because HA has great itineraries and really attractive pricing. But one goes on a ship to have a good time...not frustrated with company policy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My wife and I chose this cruise for a short getaway and to help some friends celebrate her 40th birthday. We haven't been on a cruise ship in almost 20 years but this was our 10th cruise. It will likely be our last but will for sure ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for a short getaway and to help some friends celebrate her 40th birthday. We haven't been on a cruise ship in almost 20 years but this was our 10th cruise. It will likely be our last but will for sure be our last Carnival cruise. Of the other nine cruises we went on, only one was on Carnival. We now remember why we didn't go back to them. The food was very generic for a cruise. If you wanted a steak or lobster tail at dinner, they charged you $20.00 extra for each one except on "formal night". If you wanted an Espresso or Latte after dinner, they charged you $2.25 for it. There were no "shows" at night. No singing and dancing talent. No productions of any kind. There was a Hairy Chest Contest by the pool but my wife wasn't interested nor was I. All in all, a very disappointing experience. They did have WiFi available. $29.00 for 45 minutes. At every turn, Carnival is trying to pry more money out of your pocket. Should we decide to try another cruise in the future, it will not be on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I regret to say that the cruise I just returned from today was disappointment. I'll start with the good. The adult comedy show presented by George Lopez was a blast. I would happily pay for a night out to see the two nut-balls that ... Read More
I regret to say that the cruise I just returned from today was disappointment. I'll start with the good. The adult comedy show presented by George Lopez was a blast. I would happily pay for a night out to see the two nut-balls that were on the cruise this weekend. This was the o ly adult entertainment I found to be good. The music shows were cliche' and of really crap quality (typical cruise ship crew players). Generally speaking, the food was the quality of what would be found ona low-cost cruise. The fare had it`s high points, but much of the grub remided me of Golden Corral. Food just tasted stored-over and a big disappointment for me. By the way Carnival, if you find it necessary to slice the cheesecake into paper thin pieces, you might as well just leave it off the menu. The ship was kept sort of clean except for the last night of the cruise. Berthing deck 5 smelled like the city dump. Trash from cruises past could be found if you knew where to look. Unfortunatelly I can go on and on, but I really do not want to crucify the line since I might of caught an "off" weekend, but if this is typical, sell your Carnival stocks and try soeone else Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We loved the convenience of the new SF Terminal 27 and wish more of cruise ships would schedule cruises from this location. I recommend some 2 day port stays in Cabo, Costa Rica, Vancouver, Victoria etc. With flying being such a hassle ... Read More
We loved the convenience of the new SF Terminal 27 and wish more of cruise ships would schedule cruises from this location. I recommend some 2 day port stays in Cabo, Costa Rica, Vancouver, Victoria etc. With flying being such a hassle many of us in Northern California our looking for round trip cruises that dont require long flights. That being said, I was disappointed in the quality of the scholarship at sea program on this sailing & ditto the entertainment. The Scholarship at Sea was more light weight entertainment than serious scholarship. The 2 main shows in the Princess Theater seemed dated and were short, lasting 30 minutes. I didnt attend the 3 nights of comedians. The entertainers in the smaller bars and Vista Lounge were excellent. We noticed lots of dancing and the passengers varied in age and in fact this group seemed younger than other cruises we have been on. Ditto, I expressed concern to the tour desk on safety issues with 2 of our snorkeling trips booked through Princess in Loreto and La Paz. The snorkeling equipment and life jackets were either non-existent or in poor repair.. ditto the crew on these 2 excursions should have monitored swimmers . Our snorkeling trip in Cabo was excellent and the crew was very safety conscious. I would note that 2 of the 3 snorkeling trips booked through Princess had age limits of 69 years. When I inquired why at the tour desk, I was told it was because of the insurance in Mexico and other areas of the world didnt have age limits for snorkeling.. I found the food to lack flavor and recognize the difficulty of preparing food for such large numbers. It seemed that Princess was always charging us for something and that just as the quality the food seemed lacking so did our group feel the drinks scrimped on the alcohol. Princess automatically adds a gratuity for drinks which I resent as I think tips should be voluntary at the bar. Ditto, we are charged a daily gratuity, but then the waiters and steward seem to appreciate additional tips with tip envelopes being placed in a prominent location at passenger services.. The shops on Princess carry nice merchandise but to me all the tables with cheap sale items around the central areas cheapen the atmosphere. Again, many of the passengers seemed to enjoy browsing these items. Despite some concerns with the quality of food, drinks etc, we did purchase the future cruise discount as we feel its a good value and know that we will sail with Princess while rotating with other cruise companies. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We were on Riviera Deck and had two staterooms R97 and R101 .. The ship looks tired and grubby! It's inevitable as this ship is now really showing it's age .. We cruise regularly and have recently cruised with Costa and MSC and ... Read More
We were on Riviera Deck and had two staterooms R97 and R101 .. The ship looks tired and grubby! It's inevitable as this ship is now really showing it's age .. We cruise regularly and have recently cruised with Costa and MSC and we have cruise very succesfully with Carnival before ... Embarkation was faultless and smooth. Our staterooms were both fine and we very very happy with the room service from our bedroom steward ... It's hard to put a finger on why this cruise was so average and nothing special .. Food was just OK! on one night we paid the extra $20 each for the Lobster. It was AWFUL ... so salty and we did tell our server .. BUT ... Nothing no explanation, no offer of anything else to replace it and we were still charged the entire $20 each for the dish! ... THIS was a big dissapointment as it was not just the dish itself but the way it was dealt with or rather NOT dealt with! (as a postscript I did write to Carnival from home and NEVER received a response from them either).. On other nights we ate in the Star restaurant and some dishes were good and some average and a few others poor .. Overall there was little that we ate that we could honestly say was memorable in a good way. We ate at the buffet restaurant at lunchtime and this was suprisingly good ... especially the carvery dish which changed everyday ... However the bar service was slow at best. We did want to try the Mongolian stir fry but the line for this was so long everyday that we just could not be bothered. .. PLUS ALL those Huge people piling their plates to overful was incredible .. I've never seem so much food being eaten by so many big, big people! ..... Entertainment was hot & cold ... Comedy shows were great! We really enjoyed the venue and the comedians .. The Revue shows were pretty poor though I suspect this was more due to the shows than the performers themselves .. One cover band playing just outside the casino were outstanding !! THANK GOD they were there to entertain us as it would have been a real drudge without them. The band were made up from many nations and included a Bruno Mars type singer who had a great voice .. All the musician were brilliant .. although the guitarist did give the impression that he thought he was better than he really was ... Mr guitarist .. If you read this YOU ARE GOOD! .. BUT sometimes less is more !!! The Karaoke Bar was Terrible ... We went in there twice and the second time a couple of guys were actually swearing down the microphone ... THIS SHOULD NEVER be allowed! We walked out! Getting on and off the boat at the ports was a little slow and in Keywest we actually had to line up in the sun to get back on at Midday, however they did bring cups of water round to refresh us .. It took a good 30 minutes to get from the quayside INTO the ship ... I understand the need for security but they really need to speed this up a bit. All in all we did enjoy our cruise. The Serenity deck for over 21's suited us down to the ground and we spent the enitre sea day there ... Cabin was comfortable, food was ok and ports we visited were great. Would I choose this ship again? NO! .... Would I choose Carnival again .. Maybe? However there are other cruise lines that do things way better! .... Carnival Customer Service .... Why do you not reply to customers who write to you? It leaves a very bad impression of your company! .. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Boarding the ship was effortless. Once onboard was able to go immediately to cabin and a couple of luggage was already there. Other luggage arrived shortly thereafter. The Steward was very attentive. We requested twin beds, but there was a ... Read More
Boarding the ship was effortless. Once onboard was able to go immediately to cabin and a couple of luggage was already there. Other luggage arrived shortly thereafter. The Steward was very attentive. We requested twin beds, but there was a queen bed. Asked the steward about changing to twin, but he insisted that we try the current arrangement and let him know the next day if we wanted to change to twin. We did not change as the Queen bed was ok. we had ordered robes, but were not there. Got the robes 2 days later. The wait staff were very nice, but seemed a bit hurried and displeased about waiting on people. This happened throughout the cruise. Some, of course, were better than others. The food in the dining room did not seem to be too special. At least it did not taste exceptional. In fact it was sub par. Maybe we just expected better compared to cruises we took about 10 years ago. The menu seemed to be the same every night. The dishes were very salty. The entertainment was mediocre. Nothing new and seemed boring. The disembarkation went as smooth as the embarkation. All in all, we were pleased with all aspects of the cruise and enjoyed ourselves onboard and at the ports we stopped. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We had a very good cruise in November 2013 on the Navigator of the Seas sailing out of Rome visiting Greece and Turkey, so we decided to travel to America and spend some time seeing the Utah National Parks and Las Vegas and finish with a ... Read More
We had a very good cruise in November 2013 on the Navigator of the Seas sailing out of Rome visiting Greece and Turkey, so we decided to travel to America and spend some time seeing the Utah National Parks and Las Vegas and finish with a cruise on the Grand Princess travelling to the Mexican Riviera. First thing to say is that they should change the name of the ship, she may be a Princess Ship but Grand she is not. First impression of the ship was that it had aged very badly. We can only compare it to our previous cruise as this was our second cruise only, but the difference in the standard layout and presentation of the two ships was evident from the first day. This ship is not easy to get around and is showing its age with rust. We also had several other guests telling us that they had taken photos of their rooms that had mold around showers and sinks. My wife produced a glass on the third day that she found beside the curtains, it had half a drink left in it from the previous occupants. The shore excursions for the Mexican Riviera were very poor. We cancelled the remainder of our excursions after attending a "Mexican Fiesta". This consisted of getting off the boat, being put into an old taxi and travelling 1 mile up the road to a hotel where we were unloaded and put at some long tables outside in the heat. Drinks were charged at $5 for a margarita and $3 for a can of coke. The food was a line up buffet in the sun with several of the elderly guests leaving early without eating due to the heat. We left early and caught a taxi back to the ship. The staff on board were not interested when we told them we were cancelling further excursions and not interested in why we were cancelling. It is much cheaper to book excursions when you get off the boat, in many cases a fraction of the price that the on-board ship excursions are priced at. We have decided not to travel on Princess again, I have been told by other guest that we met that the other cruise ships in the Princess fleet are in much better condition than the Grand, however, with the choice of cruise lines available and our experience on another cruise line, I do not believe we would take the chance again. The staff were generally very good and answered any questions we had in a friendly manner. Getting off the ship in Los Angeles was also very bad. We booked a pre 9am departure and got off the boat at 10.10am. Luckily we were able to contact the driver and asked him to wait for us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
The ship is showing its age, numerous issues presented themselves on this journey. From the air conditioning not working for two days, pieces of ceiling tile falling down during rough seas, The pool/tile areas could use a good resurfacing. ... Read More
The ship is showing its age, numerous issues presented themselves on this journey. From the air conditioning not working for two days, pieces of ceiling tile falling down during rough seas, The pool/tile areas could use a good resurfacing. The bar service fell short all the way around, the drinks were weak, poorly made and had little variety. Carnival's bar service was far superior. The dining/buffet options were a bit underwhelming. Overall for my first princess sailing I was very disappointed, I expected better Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Ship sailed Sept 28th - Oct 2nd on Carnival Imagination BOOKING - is a great experience. I would advise against travel agents or 3rd party websites. You really can get the best rate through the Carnival website and by keeping up with ... Read More
Ship sailed Sept 28th - Oct 2nd on Carnival Imagination BOOKING - is a great experience. I would advise against travel agents or 3rd party websites. You really can get the best rate through the Carnival website and by keeping up with their promotional rates. When I initially booked, our 3 person, 4 day cruise to Catalina & Ensenada Sun. - Thurs. was $1150 after including prepaid gratuities. I paid this off within a few months. After I paid it off I had called after seeing a promotion online. They gave me the promo rate no questions asked. This brought our cruise down to $900 and the $250 off as an onboard credit. This was unexpected and quite a boost to our onboard credit prior to cruising! Sure it all went to drinks and photos, but still a great, unexpected surprise. EMBARKATION (with Faster to the Fun) - Super Easy, had our own red roped line to go through while the rest of the regular boarding line was a mile long. Boarded right after Platinum/Diamond with our "Priority Boarding" pass. CABIN - We were in cabin V36 on the Imagination. The room was nice, neat, and the right size for the three of us (wife, daughter, myself). Any more and it would've been very cramped. No issues with water, sewage, or any other room complaints from previous posters. The AC worked great and was a perfect cool temp throughout the trip. STEWARD - Was non-existent. Our room was cleaned once a day, but we never got to meet and greet our steward. Didn't know their name, nothing. We got one towel animal in our room throughout the trip and we had an 8 year old in the cabin. I know they know their clientel facts and would have expected more. She loved the one that she got though, since there weren't any others she just went ahead and made her own from there on. CHEERS! - Super great program that saved my wife and I a bunch of money. 15 drinks per day, for every person in the cabin over 21. At just over $400 for the 2 of us is a must for anyone that plans on drinking at least 5 drinks a day. She hit a 10 drink average per day, and I hit 15 twice, 10 the other 2 days. Our drinking tab without CHEERS! would have easily been over $1000. FOOD (daily) - The only items we found to be good/great are the Mongolian Wok, the Panini Station, the Omelette Bar, and the chocolate fountain selections. The pizza is foul, and if you ask for a margherita pizza expect cheese. The people that work at this station are boneheads and don't care about what they are doing. Even my daughter who loves pizza would not eat it after her first 2 bites. I would ask her daily if she wanted pizza and she said "NOPE! It's gross!". Great thing for the omelette station every day, she probably ate 10 omelettes throughout the trip. FOOD (dining) - We had early dining (6p), and it is our favorite time to dine. No waits to be seated. We had a great host, Jomer, who was attentive to everything! He could not have been better at what he did, and we received this on a nightly basis. We were seated at a window table with another family of 6, 2 of which were girls right around our daughters age. We enjoyed our meals every night and enjoyed the chocolate melting cake at the end of every meal. ENTERTAINMENT - We went to the Hasbro game show which is a fun little hour spent with the family. After it went straight to Bingo, which we did play, and we did lose which was expected. $30 for a 9 play card, a "free" Carnival dauber, and 2 pull tabs. The pull tabs are rigged to pay $1 back each. We were at a table with our dinner mates and we had 7 pull tabs between us. 5 of these tabs had the exact same payout picture lineup throughout. We all thought that was pretty goofy. CASINO and CASINO BAR - The wife and I had a blast playing slots and blackjack in the casino. With a $20 bet I was at the bj table for a good 2 hours and it was a great rowdy time! The casino bar is home of our two favorite waitresses. Kunacorn and Svetlana are awesome! Both very sweet and fun to talk to. You won't find better bartenders on this ship, trust me, we ordered a drink from just about all of them... CAMP CARNIVAL - My daughter seemed to enjoy it. She went to the Night Owls (10p - 12a) program the 2nd night, and for $15 it is a good deal. She got a Carnival medal, a shirt, and a night owls piggie bank. The staff seemed to have fun and the kid left happy. The odd part is on the Chefs Table night we had to be there at 6:15p and CC didn’t open until 7p. So we had to leave our daughter with one of the workers until the rest of the kids came to camp. Opening up at 6p would really help those with Chefs Table reservations.. CATALINA - A great island if you take advantage of what it has to offer. We went snorkeling in Lovers Cove, rented our wetsuits, brought our own snorkel gear, no excursion, was a total of $30 for the 3 of us and had a blast! ENSENADA - We didn't feel like it was necessary to go into town with our daughter, so we shopped in port and went back to the boat to enjoy the slides and pool before the crazy sea day. CHEFS TABLE - An experience everyone should try once. Comes with unlimited champagne and wine and for $75 was a worthwhile experience. A lot of it was very good, BUT I did expect amazing, and really only the Wagyu beef met that expectation. The wife and I were at a fun table with a big family that one of the guys actually proposed to his GF with the ring in one of the dishes. That was very cool! BOTTOM LINE – The ship is aged, but is still a “Fun” ship. One of the funnier things about this ship that would be such a cheap and easy fix is to replace the flags. All along the ship there are these flags that look like they were shot by pirates. Buy new flags Carnival, it would really make the ship look a lot cleaner. We did meet a handful of people and exchanged emails/phone #’s and hope to be in contact with. All in all we had a good time. Not sure how soon we will be back on with Carnival. Our next cruise is booked on Disney and we may give another company a chance before pushing off again with Carnival. 3 star cruise at 3 star prices.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I'll echo some of the other recent reviews on here and use the Caribbean Princess for comparison's sake. The ship is older and relatively small. Logistically, that means having to take more odd detours, squeezing through more ... Read More
I'll echo some of the other recent reviews on here and use the Caribbean Princess for comparison's sake. The ship is older and relatively small. Logistically, that means having to take more odd detours, squeezing through more people and queuing up in longer lines. There are also far less waitstaff per passenger than say, Princess. And many also seem slightly less professional and trained (on average). One, ironically named "*******" was even a bit rude. Although I don't exactly blame some of them for being less cheery, since they are all probably stretched a lot thinner and possibly paid less... During our muster drill, we had to crowd into a fairly narrow hallway while listening to inaudible instructions over the echoing PA. I'm not sure how well this would work in an actual situation when people are panicky and also wearing their life jackets? And there are also definitely some occasional sewage and trash smells that appear intermittently in some areas (notably the starboard side of the Continent Pool and the lower-to-mid flights of the aft stairwell). Apparently, their 2011 accident at sea has caused some lingering problems. But they may be there one day and not the next, so honestly it wasn't pleasant but tolerable. And someone who only takes the elevator wouldn't notice them as much.. The food was OK, in the buffet and dining rooms. But both the variety and quality were definitely a notch below Princess (which were actually impressive). The gym is quite large, although you have to walk through your locker rooms to get to it, lol.. As far as demographics go, the (~5000?) Carny crowd resembled your typical Walmart shoppers probably averaging in their mid-30s. There was a contingent of maybe ~100-200 partiers in their 20s & 30s, some families with kids or teens and then some older couples in their 50s. Whereas, Princess crowds skew more towards people in their 60s & 70s with more slow mobility issues. (Just FYI, in case you even care one way or the other..) The medium-sized Continent Pool was generally packed with ~75 partiers drinking heavily. On the second day, this apparently resulted in a 10-person melee that ended up with 2 KOs. Speaking of, they also had to drain that pool twice during the trip for some reason (sanitation problem?).. Meanwhile, the New World Pool in back is smaller but more mellow.. Thomas Drake was a hilarious comedian and juggler who had both very funny clean and adult routines. Kim Harrison's clean shtick was a bit weak, but her adult version better. Their magic show was fine, but there's no way it could compare to the national Vegas act booked by Princess.. But, the Filipino house musicians at The Taste Bar and the Capitol Bar were actually quite good. On the plus side, the cabins were bigger and generally better than Princess. They have a great view, small sitting area, full closets, many drawers and their shower is larger with a lip around the bottom. The only thing missing was a small refrigerator. And unlike some other reviewers, I had no sanitation problems in my cabin. And also, the self-assist debarkment was very fast and smooth. Overall, I'd say almost everything was a notch below Princess and so the cruise in comparison was barely worth it. To be realistic, it wasn't horrible like some reviews might imply, but maybe just a little subpar. I'd probably give it 2.6 stars if I could. A waiter said that the Carnival Magic (2011) and Breeze (2007) were both bigger, newer and better.. But, if you didn't know any better, you could still find the Triumph very enjoyable (as many did). And it was still a fun cruise...it just lacked that "Wow!" factor and required tolerating a lot of minor issues that nonetheless altogether added up over time. However, value is all relative based upon what you are paying and looking for.. So if you find services rendered already perfectly adequate, then it may not be worth it to pay any more for more? As for me, although I don't think the Triumph was a bad value and did make some fun memories, I would still prefer trying Princess again in the future or maybe give the Carnival Magic a chance.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I would consider myself a well seasoned cruiser (11 on RCCL, and 3 Carnival). This cruise was a quick weekended getaway, with a small price. The GOOD: Getting on the ship was very easy, and the staff was very friendly. Food in the dining ... Read More
I would consider myself a well seasoned cruiser (11 on RCCL, and 3 Carnival). This cruise was a quick weekended getaway, with a small price. The GOOD: Getting on the ship was very easy, and the staff was very friendly. Food in the dining room was decent, and gave me no complaints. Always lots of deck chairs on sea and port days. The entertainment was very good. I am a big fan of carnivals comedians, and their multiple shows. I chose self assist disembarkation, and from when I left the room to clearing customs took about 20 mins (really fast)!. Bar service was always fast and friendly. The BAD: Service on this cruise was really bad, especially in the dinning room. We chose the anytime dinning option. One night they cleared my fork with the salad, and never brought me another for my entree untill much after my entree was served (resulting in it becoming cold). Instead of resetting the tables after guests left like replenishing water glasses, they would just poor water in whatever glassware was on the table, usually wine glasses. Fresh pepper or cheese was never offered for salads or soups. Waiters seemed overworked with little help. Took 20 mins to get a drink at dinner multiple nights, and one night it was the wrong drink. This was the worst dinning experience I have had in all my 14 cruises. Room attendent also was bad. Never introduced himself, and would only replace a couple bathroom towels each day. It seems carnivals service has really declined since my last cruise with them. Random notes: The 3 day cruises are very much a party atmosphere. I purchased the cheers program and felt like I got my moneys worth. One night a man collapsed outside my cabin due to drinking in excess. Called security and they were there immediately. I would possibly do this cruise again because it is the only 3 day cruise available on the west coast. When going to the Caribbean, I would stay away from carnival. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I should start by saying the only other cruise line I have sailed in is Disney. I prepared myself before hand not to expect the Disney level of anything and I was still very disappointed. My biggest complaint was that smoking is allowed ... Read More
I should start by saying the only other cruise line I have sailed in is Disney. I prepared myself before hand not to expect the Disney level of anything and I was still very disappointed. My biggest complaint was that smoking is allowed inside the ship. Smoking was allowed at a bar on deck 9 as well as the casino next to the bar. Deck 9 is a main passageway on this ship and the smoke permeates this entire floor. It doesn't matter which stairwell you enter this floor from, you will be overwhelmed with smoke when you arrive. We had an 11 year old in our party who has asthma and required a trip to the doctor when we got back for steroids due to chest congestion that developed during our cruise. The rooms are smaller than small, if you have more than 2 people in a stateroom, good luck maneuvering around the bed. The gym had adequate equipment and what I used was in working order. The water fountain in the gym barely had a dribble and when you have just put in a vigorous workout you really should have a better water source available. I was amazed at how the officer level staff did not take time to interact with guests, while the stateroom stewards always addressed us in the hallway. The officers seemed more interested in talking with each other than with the passengers. The food was just ok, nothing special, I actually lost a pound while on board. The coffee from the coffee bar was excellent, it may have been one of my favorite things on the cruise. Our dining room server was excellent and we enjoyed getting to know him. We went to 2 shows, "rock n roll through the ages" was fabulous and "Win" was just ok, didn't care for the game show theme. The gift shops are cheesy and having an announcer outside the shops announcing deals every hour was just too much to bear, I did not purchase anything in the gift shops. Overall, I probably will never cruise on the Elation again and may never cruise Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Who traveled:  3 boys- 15/17/19  Myself-39 (mom) Trip for boys: 15yr old- He had a great time, met a ton of other kids running around. Played games, hung out at the O2 club and ate all day and night. Never a dull moment. 17 & 19- ... Read More
Who traveled:  3 boys- 15/17/19  Myself-39 (mom) Trip for boys: 15yr old- He had a great time, met a ton of other kids running around. Played games, hung out at the O2 club and ate all day and night. Never a dull moment. 17 & 19- They hung out and met a lot of others around their age. Played miniature golf most of the time. There were contests by Carnival that they participated in, and actually had fun lol It was sort of an in between age though. The clubs are 15-17 or over 21 yrs. this kind of left them wondering in the evenings. Myself: Bored. It was either kids, couples or older people. I tried to meet people at the bars, but people were pretty involved in their own trips. Usually I can talk to the bartenders if I am alone, but they were all foreign, and not very social. There is an adult area that has sunbathing and two jacuzzis, very quiet....if you gamble, it would probably be more fun. Gym- I was looking forward to taking the spin classes. I signed up the first day for two classes. The 1st one, they told me was cancelled and when I went to work out,saw it happening. The second they said Was happening, and did not! This was one of the most disappointing things, since I had been looking forward to enjoying some good work outs on Va-K! Lol Catalina: Getting off the ship- get off before 9:30am if you do not want to wait an hour in line. You will be lined up 4 flights of stairs between 9:30-12. Getting back on is easier. On the island- shopping, eating or excursions. Not a lot to do otherwise. Ensenada- take the shuttle, it's only $3 round trip. They will offer you the Bufadora, shopping and horseback riding for $35. Great deal! Better and more shopping than downtown by Bufadora for sure, and more negotiating. Hazel is a great tour guide BTW! Food: All buffets except dinner and seaday brunch. Ice cream ice cream ice cream! The kids ate like 10 a day!!! Food was ok, pretty much as expected. Kids thought it was great though. Cost: 1 ocean-view ( riviera) and 1 inside with bunk beds ( not as crowded as I thought it would be.) $2000 $500 on cruise included Cheers program and 3 bubbles program & gratuity. I tipped $1 per alcohol drink & a couple random things. Plus spending $ for Catalina and Ensenada Conclusion: Was it worth it? Only to see my kids enjoy their vacation. It's been 10 years since I have been on a Carnival cruise, and probably will not be for 10 more. If I would of had another adult with me, I am Sure it would have been much more fun. They could of fit another kid in the inside cabin, and would of been ok. Check out the comedy shows, good start for the evening after dinner. Hopefully this helps a little, I usually don't write reviews, but thought this one was needed for the single moms traveling with your kids! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was a free cruise given to me by the casino. I actually was offered 2, and I only can take the one, due to work schedule and health reasons. I splurged and booked FTTF, as I am having a hard time with my knee (I am due to have total ... Read More
This was a free cruise given to me by the casino. I actually was offered 2, and I only can take the one, due to work schedule and health reasons. I splurged and booked FTTF, as I am having a hard time with my knee (I am due to have total knee replacement in November of 2014). I figured if I could spend the $50, I would, and not have to ask for any special assistance if I didn't have to wait in line very long. We walked up to the building at the Long Beach port, and instead of check in being in the building, they had a FTTF line next to the regular check in. This was ok, as we were the ONLY ones in that line!! We no sooner walked up than an agent called us over to check us in. Check in was quick and painless, and we were given priority boarding. This meant, due to the time we arrived, I had time to make a restroom run and smoke a cigarette before they started boarding us!! Worked perfectly!!! I think it took all of 10 minutes from the time we checked in until our S & S cards were being swiped and we heard that magic "BOING!!" Went down to our room, which, due to FTTF, was ready and waiting for us. We dropped off our carry ons, and went to have lunch. What a pleasant meal it was, not having to cart around our carry ons!! And there still weren't many on board, so no lines anywhere either!!! After lunch, we went to our room, and relaxed until muster. It's been a stressful week for both my friend and I, so we planned on doing a lot of resting. We scheduled YOUR TIME DINING, and both Friday and Saturday, we went to the dining room about 630pm. We had NO wait for a table, were given a table for 2, and met some really nice people that were sitting next to us. It was their first cruise, and boy, they were CLUELESS!!! They didn't know they could eat before dinner, didn't know about food on the Lido, didn't know about room service... I explained everything to them!!! Went to the casino Friday night. Met another couple there also on a casino freebie, but the one that had you pay $100 and then Carnival gave you that $100 in OBC. Saturday was the usual go into Ensenada and walk around, if nothing else, just to get off the ship for a while. At this time, we STILL had not even met our cabin steward!!!!!!!!!! Didn't end up meeting him until just before dinner on Saturday. And he took my blue pool towels and never returned clean ones!!! After leaving Ensenada, we had rough seas due to a storm off the Mexican Riviera. It's a good size tropical storm, and other than clouds, we just had rough seas. On Sunday, it made walking difficult around the ship, and it was slightly cool, but I didn't see anyone get motion sickness, so it obviously wasn't that bad. DID see a Mexican Coast Guard helicopter come in TWICE to take people off the ship. Don't know what happened, did not hear anything, not even any alarm code words!! Other than that, it was the usual cruise stuff. My meals most of the time were either cold or lukewarm. Service in the main dining room for sea day brunch left MUCH to be desired, as not only was the food cold, it was dry and tasteless, and I had the pancakes! I couldn't even eat it, and ended up going to the buffet and getting a lukewarm burger. I was disappointed that a lot of activities were scheduled Friday and Saturday (port day) and less on Sunday (sea day). I thought there would be more to do on a sea day, but I was wrong.. Enjoyed the "Towel Animal Theatre" and Hasbro Game Show. First time I actually made it to a show after 12 cruises!! PROS: Shows were fun, cabin was nice in location. It was free, besides port fees and taxes. And yes, IT WAS A CRUISE!! CONS: Food lukewarm/cold. Cabin Steward rarely to be found, and only ONCE did I see him. Lack of activities on a sea day.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014

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