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589 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

My wife and I took the seven day Mexico cruise out of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, we were not particularly impressed by the Splendor. Having cruised with Carnival many times, we were expecting better food. But there was no Guy Fieri ... Read More
My wife and I took the seven day Mexico cruise out of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, we were not particularly impressed by the Splendor. Having cruised with Carnival many times, we were expecting better food. But there was no Guy Fieri hamburger joint on this ship, and the Splendor's poolside hamburgers were meh. The pizza served at the 24 hour Pizza Pirate was so so. In particular, the crust was crummy. On other Carnival ships, you can see that the dough is freshly made and the pizza guys are spinning the pie crusts right in front of you. Not on the Splendor, where I could see the crust was premade. Even the Indian buffet open for lunch was not as good as on other Carnival ships. As far as entertainment, the Splendor was pretty much like other Carnival ships. But the trivia was poor. Some of the folks hosting the trivia seemed uninterested, and in the past there have been varied prizes, but on the Splendor only the “ship on a stick.” Jeez, how many of those can you take home with you. My wife and I will be steering clear of the Splendor from now on. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Chose this cruise as a 10 day out of San Francisco. Reason for low score is Grand Princess allows smoking in Casino which perimates throughout atrium and smoking on promenade walking deck. It lacks a Thermal Suite and saunas are outside. ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a 10 day out of San Francisco. Reason for low score is Grand Princess allows smoking in Casino which perimates throughout atrium and smoking on promenade walking deck. It lacks a Thermal Suite and saunas are outside. Buffet now closes between meal times and at 11pm not midnight anymore. Full suites still lack nice balcony furniture. Staff and food was exceptional. Embarkation was awful as we had a porter who threatened our luggage as we did not tip enough, wanted more, we reported it and luggage showed up fine. The movies on MUTs were very good. Buffet was great. Sanctuary staff sold our chairs, purchased for duration of cruise to people who wanted sea days, that was a nightmare. Princess shore ex in Manzanillo was good, shopping to flea market with time to walk on beach. Itinerary and many sea days made for a nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were so excited for this cruise. A number of people had told us that Princess had great service and fantastic food. We were excited for SHARE and other specialty restaurants. I anticipated days full of exercise classes and crafts, and ... Read More
We were so excited for this cruise. A number of people had told us that Princess had great service and fantastic food. We were excited for SHARE and other specialty restaurants. I anticipated days full of exercise classes and crafts, and nights of luxurious dinners and dancing the night away. Alas, it didn't live up to expectations. Embarkation took forever - just a ton of waiting and standing around in a too crowded space. Ship activities were a disappointment - most were based around selling us things; a raffle in a jewelry store is not exactly what I had in mind. There were very few exercise classes, and the ones they did have came with a hefty fee - TRX was $20 per session. It turned out, that while we had anticipated that most things on the cruise other than booze would be included, almost everything came at an extra charge. Even room service pizza came with a fee. Food was another area of disappointment. In the dining rooms, servers were not trained properly in how to serve, resulting in an awkward and clunky experience. Room service had tons of rules - you could only get iced tea in an 8 ounce glass, nothing larger or a pitcher (though you could get a carafe of coffee). The food itself was mediocre - the quality was not at all what I expected. Very little use of spices, and traditional ethic dishes such as lamb shawarma in the dining room were laughable parodies of the real thing. But specialty dining was even worse. Salty Dog featured a surly hostess and staff who didn't know the menu at all. The Ernesto burger, which supposedly came with kimchi and pork belly, was actually topped with sad wilted cabbage and undercooked bacon. But SHARE took the prize for a bad dining experience. Curtis Stone should be ashamed that this place is attached to his name. The space was really lovely, very modern and open. But the food was truly terrible. The burrata was inedible, and my salad course was literally grocery store bagged salad mix spilled sloppily into a bowl (greens were falling out one side of the bowl). While the scallops were nothing to write home about, they were the highlight of the meal, as they were followed by an unevenly cooked steak that was so lacking in flavor I did a double take when I bit into it. The dessert course featured ice cream so poorly prepared and stored that it was full of ice - vanilla ice cream shouldn't crunch. So that too was left uneaten. I'm still frustrated that we paid $58 to eat there. On the ship, everywhere we turned there was someone trying to sell us something. Most days, the Piazza looked like a swap meet with tables of knockoff jewelry and t-shirts in every hall. And that continued when we left the ship - in Cabo and Mazatlan you were stopped every few moments by someone wanting to sell you cigars or crafts. We didn't notice the same in Puerta Vallarta, as we did an all day excursion that left yards from where the ship was docked. We did really enjoy our excursions. In Cabo, we took a luxury sunset sail on a gorgeous 50 foot boat, complete with a light meal and drinks. And in PV, we did the Sea Safari, a 7 hour adventure with a speedboat, horseback riding, swimming in a waterfall, snorkeling, and a barbecue on a private beach. Those were the moments we wished comprised the whole trip. Disembarkation was a mess - too many people not knowing where to go, and the groups were too big to fit in the designated spaces. It really ended the cruise on a sour note, although customs and immigration once we left the ship was a smooth and easy process. We would definitely not go on this, or probably any Princess cruise ever again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We decided to go to the Mexican Riviera on cruise ship Norwegian bliss. We upgraded to a balcony stateroom in the back of the ship, which was very nice. We sailed out of Los Angeles for a 7-day cruise. Condition of the cruise ship is very ... Read More
We decided to go to the Mexican Riviera on cruise ship Norwegian bliss. We upgraded to a balcony stateroom in the back of the ship, which was very nice. We sailed out of Los Angeles for a 7-day cruise. Condition of the cruise ship is very nice. Staff on board that works with the customers was very overworked but try to do their best. The food was mediocre and the desserts were poor but presentation of the overall food was very good. Our state room after four days we were writing notes in the dust on the mirrors to please. Clean the mayor. We had dinner at Manhattan room, Cagney’s steakhouse and the onboard buffet. Food was mediocre at best at the restaurants but surprisingly, the buffet was the best with the freshest food. This may sound like I bad mouthing the cruise ship truly when you pay as much money as we did our expectations were high, and we’re very disappointed with the whole experience. We are world travelers, and this is one of the worst experiences we have ever had. Investigate other cruise lines before you choose a Norwegian Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Forth time of a Princess. Pros: The cabin was nice. Easy getting on ship First night anytime dining was good. Cons: Reservations at the Crown Grill were worthless, we stood 30 minutes to get a table. The Ribeye was ... Read More
Forth time of a Princess. Pros: The cabin was nice. Easy getting on ship First night anytime dining was good. Cons: Reservations at the Crown Grill were worthless, we stood 30 minutes to get a table. The Ribeye was not good, too much fat. No more pepperoni pizza, just margarita. Between going to the SPA, having the drink package and the room gratuity, on some days where were tipping out 60 bucks a day. Got unlimited drink package but unless you parked yourself at the bar in front of the bartender it took at least 20 minutes standing at the bar to get a drink. Wait staff never asked if I wanted a drink. First day buffet (lunch) was a step above a Applebees except they only offered salad, pasta and chicken. Overall day to day meals were just ok. We were not given disembark info on time so we had to deal with our bags and figure out asking random staff where to go to get off the ship. Overall, we got the feeling that the staff has been told "don't help the customers unless they ask you for help". That really made us feel like they didn't care. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because we thought we were going to the Mexican Riviera but instead we were informed 1 hour after we left the port that because of a hurricane heading towards Mazatlan the cruise line was forced to revise our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought we were going to the Mexican Riviera but instead we were informed 1 hour after we left the port that because of a hurricane heading towards Mazatlan the cruise line was forced to revise our itinerary. We were informed that our new ports would be San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada, Baja California. I had booked a total of 2 balcony cabins and 1 Haven suite because we were taking our family of 5 on the cruise and our grandchildren had never been on a cruise before. The total cost of the 2 cabins and Haven suite was over $17,000 and we basically never left California. We all had been to San Francisco and San Diego many times in the past and had no desire to go back and there is nothing to do in Ensenada. Needless to say, we all came with shorts, tee shirts and bathing suits so when we got to San Francisco we did not have appropriate clothing to get off the ship with the chilly conditions that we encountered. I understand that the cruise line changed the itinerary due to their concern for the safety of the passengers and crew but they had to know about the hurricane before we left the port in Long Beach and should have given everybody the option to get off the ship if they wanted to. In addition, the cruise line offered no kind of credit or rebate for the inconvenience. We will never book a cruise with NCL in the future and we will advise all of our friends and family of the poor customer service regarding this matter. The food in the Haven restaurant was excellent but in the 3 main dining rooms the food was very average. We ate in 2 of the specialty restaurants and we found that they were mediocre at best. We enjoyed the Jersey Boys very much and we really thought they put on a wonderful show. We did not like the I Havana show at all. Our kids try to use the go-carts but most of the time it was too cold to go on them. We played bingo 1 time but found that $48/ per person for just 3 games was very expensive. We found a very nice selection of bars and wonderful bartenders on the ship. We also enjoyed some of the different entertainers and bands that were performing throughout the ship. We did not get to enjoy any of the shore excursions that we had booked, such as zip line and parasailing because the ports where we booked those activities were canceled. In addition, as part of the package we booked, we were supposed to get a shore credit of $50 per port and we did not get to use it and we were not offered any ship board credit to compensate us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
First and foremost, we are devoted cruisers and have been avid NCL customers for the past 11 years and have thoroughly enjoyed our past cruise experiences. We just completed the 7-Day Mexican Riviera Cruise aboard the Norwegian Bliss on ... Read More
First and foremost, we are devoted cruisers and have been avid NCL customers for the past 11 years and have thoroughly enjoyed our past cruise experiences. We just completed the 7-Day Mexican Riviera Cruise aboard the Norwegian Bliss on Saturday, October 27, 2018. What started out as an idyllic cruise was relegated to a “Cruise of Concessions”. We purchased two staterooms, one for my wife and I and another for my daughter and "potential" son-in-law. My daughter's boyfriend had meticulously planned and scouted the perfect location within Puerto Vallarta to propose to our daughter. He was so thrilled to execute his planned marriage proposal on the beautifully pristine beaches of Puerto Vallarta. He planned for a day of fine dining and pampering our daughter, then on bended knee, propose marriage. All of this was thwarted by the potential threat of Hurricane Willa. Unbeknownst to us, on that fateful Saturday, October 20, 2018, Hurricane Willa was brewing off the coast of the Mexican Riviera. Upon arrival at the NCL cruise port in Los Angeles (Long Beach, CA), we experienced a flawlessly expedited embarkation process. The sun was warm and glistening, the NCL staff was equally as warm and accommodating, which was a promising setting for a magically memorable cruise. Approximately 1.5 hours after setting sail, the Norwegian Bliss Captain announced over the PA system that we were changing course and diverting from our scheduled ports of call due to Hurricane Willa. The complaint that we have is, Norwegian Cruise Line, could have notified us days before the scheduled cruise date about the potential of Hurricane Willa and their intended ports of call diversion. As opposed to a Mexican Riviera cruise, we had a tour of the California coast. The ports of call were, San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico. My wife and I travel extensively for our careers and we have been to San Fran and San Diego too many times to tally. Needless to say, we were not thrilled with this port diversion news. Additionally, we did not pack appropriate attire for the frigid San Francisco bay area un savory weather! Had we had this bit of information, we could have made other arrangements for the "marriage proposal" or postponed our cruise. At this juncture in our cruise, we were deeply disappointed. Trying to be optimistic, we all collectively agreed to make the best of the situation that was presented to us. Over the next several hours and days, we noticed that the ship was inundated with thousands of vacation and cruise agents for the "Inspire" annual conference! Throughout the course of our "Cruise of Concessions", we were met with many of the venues on the ship were off limits to us, because of the private "Inspire" conference. This was annoying! [See attached photo, which illustrates a Venue that was closed] Secondly, being on a cruise ship with several thousand vacation and cruise agents (in conference and work mode) was no fun! The perceived demographics of the "Inspire" conference attendees was >= 40 years old. This was major disappointment to my 24-year-old daughter and her 25-year-old potential fiancé! Once again, had NCL notified us that the ship would have been inundated with conference attendees; we would have re-booked another date for the cruise. In closing, we are deeply disappointed with NCL for withholding information that we could have utilized to salvage our vacation experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I was excited to go on the Bliss to the Mexican Riviera however due to Hurricane Willa the ship was diverted to the coast of Calif the ship didn't make the announcement until 20 mins after we set sail even though they 'probably ... Read More
I was excited to go on the Bliss to the Mexican Riviera however due to Hurricane Willa the ship was diverted to the coast of Calif the ship didn't make the announcement until 20 mins after we set sail even though they 'probably knew' a day before sailing I would have still taken the trip but the option would have been nice beforehand the ventilation and air conditioner didn't work in the smoking part of the casino and you could see the smoke lingering in the air for 4 days finally on the 5th day it was fixed but I got an upper respiratory infection as well as many others elevators floors walls and buttons were dirty and smudged a lot of the crew weren't friendly and cheerful the restrooms weren't stocked with soap and not very clean there was a convention of travel agents and many venues/restaurants were closed Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This cruise was a big let down in almost every area. The food in the lido cafeteria was extremely poor. The food was tasteless and always cold. The service was slow with long lines. The dining room was just as bad. It took us 2 hours for a ... Read More
This cruise was a big let down in almost every area. The food in the lido cafeteria was extremely poor. The food was tasteless and always cold. The service was slow with long lines. The dining room was just as bad. It took us 2 hours for a simple meal and dessert. We ordered wine and an appetizer and never received the wine until the dessert arrived. There was not much variety of entertainment on the ship or in the lounges. BB Kings and the piano bar were ok but it was the same for 11 nights (never changed). The long lines and waits for food shows what the service was like. The ship was clean and public areas were well maintained. Our cabin was what we expected and service was good. Our itinerary was changed due to weather so we visited ports we had already been to so we didn’t do many shore excursions. Of all the lines we have cruised with, HAL has been the worst. I would not recommend this line as one to use. Many others give you more for your vacation dollar. This was our second cruise with HAL but the last for sure! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It was supposed to be the newest largest and best ship. Embarkation is up 3 stories of ramps. If you are Smoker and go on this ship you will say never again as almost all smokers did on this cruise and no one cares complaints go ... Read More
It was supposed to be the newest largest and best ship. Embarkation is up 3 stories of ramps. If you are Smoker and go on this ship you will say never again as almost all smokers did on this cruise and no one cares complaints go answered and ignored. There is capacity for 32 smokers (outside the casino when its open, but you can only smoke while actively betting) on the entire ship and both areas are so smoky that none of us want smoke that thick airport lounges have better ventilation than the Humidor and they always close the door when people try to open it to let some smoke out on deck 8 mid.which is labeled cigar smoking only. There are no signs or directions and the crew is misinformed the only other smoking area is deck 17 aft port side outside in theory the only pace cigarettes or vaping is allowed seats 16 and is so smoky and standing room only that even in the wind your eyes water. If your a smoker let NCL know if this is the reason you decide not to book the Bliss. Shows as a past cruiser you expect to be Able to see all main shows and plenty of capacity however the Bliss really skimps on entertainment capacity and reservations are required for all shows but notice of this was given to us. We were only able to 2 shows the whole cruise due being overbooked show reservations. Havana was by far the worst production Ive ever seen. Others were saying Jersey Boys sucked but I went anyway and was amazed at how good it was for a low budget production but then found out that was the 1st night of a new Vegas based group of actors performing it. The theatre was about 1/3 the capacity of of much smaller ships and only a single deck. Props were lacking compared to other ships. Main dining rooms were great food with mediocre service and were the positive highlight of the cruise for me. We had a specialty dining package and ate at The Steakhouse which claims to be all prime black Angus beef, but dog food might have been better both our steaks ended up in the trash after 2 bites, The Tepanyaki which was a good show at the table next to us but we had a rookie appetizers and rice not salad dressing was awful not good ginger dressing, steak was again 2 bites then trash, Mexican was pretty good for everything again except the meat. So don't waste your money at the specialty dining, though we did hear the French restaurant was good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife gave us this cruise for my 50th Birthday. Unfortunately it was the worst cruise we have ever been on. The food was awful at The steak house and buffet. The staff didn’t know what was going on regarding several issues. The bed ... Read More
My wife gave us this cruise for my 50th Birthday. Unfortunately it was the worst cruise we have ever been on. The food was awful at The steak house and buffet. The staff didn’t know what was going on regarding several issues. The bed was too soft. Rules not followed by staff not to mention the staff did not seem happy to be there in many places on the ship. The Italian restaurant and wait staff was excellent along with the Lotus Spa and the treatment staff. We spoke with several other passengers that were unhappy also including our friends that we paid for their way on board to help us celebrate. We go on a cruise to be pampered but that sure didn’t happen on this cruise. It was my first and last Princess Line cruise. The ship was supposedly updated or refurbished November 2017 but is sure didn’t look like it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The price was good. But you know what they say, you get what you pay for. The drinks were watered down so I ordered "shots" instead. But let me tell you, I had 4 shots of (supposedly, PATRON Tequila) and after the 4 shots, I ... Read More
The price was good. But you know what they say, you get what you pay for. The drinks were watered down so I ordered "shots" instead. But let me tell you, I had 4 shots of (supposedly, PATRON Tequila) and after the 4 shots, I didn't even have a tiny buzz. They were very easy to go down, but even Patron has a bit of a kick. It tasted like water with a bit of alcohol. I am normally a lightweight. One shot and I feel a lil buzz. But after 4 shots? No, something was just not right. And the last cruise I went on, all the food was included, but this time, Room Service was not included and at dinner, if you wanted anything like steak or lobster you had to pay an additional $20 each meal!! That was crazy!! Regarding beverages, it use to be all included except Alcohol, which is understandable. But now, you have to pay for sodas as well... The rooms weren't always cleaned properly and I felt that our person who cleaned our room, was constantly in there. Moving our stuff etc.... we didn't like that too much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Disney gone cheap. Halloween bags not delivered to room, only four characters appeared once each in Halloween outfit over a 2 hour period, 2p trick treat at 7 stations on deck 3,4, no Halloween on Day 1 and only 2 characters in lobby. Cat ... Read More
Disney gone cheap. Halloween bags not delivered to room, only four characters appeared once each in Halloween outfit over a 2 hour period, 2p trick treat at 7 stations on deck 3,4, no Halloween on Day 1 and only 2 characters in lobby. Cat room 4a very small. Characters were common 4..no villains or scary ones. Boring. Concierge guests did not receive lithograph and had Stich at Private meet and greet. Shows were Frozen and Golden Mickeys. Time for a change. Concierge guests were not told of private escort for walk off. Little upset when they were standing in line and saw concierge escort group off so htem. Same happened to us on the Magic. Checked in online first day, first minute but was assigned group 9 at cruise terminal. First to check in at port. Tip sheet and comment card were delivered to room at 11p. No bag tags were ever deleivered . Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My experience on the Bliss was fair/poor compared to other Norwegian cruises I’ve been on. The entertainment geared more toward the 20-40 age group, not much for the more mature adults. The food was mediocre. The 24 hour Local bar ... Read More
My experience on the Bliss was fair/poor compared to other Norwegian cruises I’ve been on. The entertainment geared more toward the 20-40 age group, not much for the more mature adults. The food was mediocre. The 24 hour Local bar dining option served chicken wings that were some unidentifiable pieces of meat from some poor animal, “disgusting”. I was told other guest complained to the cook as well. Why continue to serve that item? Was it because it was complimentary? The specialty restaurant “Q” served a peach cobbler that lacked flavor and substance. The stateroom staff and bartenders were awesome. We had 4 sea days skipped a port, due to a hurricane, that’s understood. After 3 days, I was ready to go home. As far as I’m concerned, the Bliss have a lot of tweaking to do, otherwise back to Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity Cruise lines for me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The Disney Wonder is indeed wonderful except in one area: Dining. Both the food quality and the dining options were substandard. When I worked at Disneyland for 3 years we were told that high menu prices are justified ONLY IF the food ... Read More
The Disney Wonder is indeed wonderful except in one area: Dining. Both the food quality and the dining options were substandard. When I worked at Disneyland for 3 years we were told that high menu prices are justified ONLY IF the food is first rate. On the Disney Cruise we were served steaks that were tough, shrimp that had a definite bad taste from being too old, dry chicken, and cheaper cuts of meat that we had to cut the gristle and fat away. The food is very fancy but not very good. Cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean cost less than half the Disney cruise and have better quality food and dining options. As to the dining options, other cruise lines offer a buffet with a wide selection as an alternative to the sit-down dinner. On the Disney Wonder the buffet, “Cabanas”, offered only menu service. Room service menu was very limited and while you can order a full breakfast on other cruise lines, Disney Wonder offers you only a Continental Breakfast similar to what you would find in the lobby of Motel 6. Other than the expensive and hard-to-reserve “Palo” the dining choices become extremely limited. If you want something other than the sit-down dinner your best bet is the low quality fast food served outside by the pool. A warmed over slice from Pinocchio’s Pizza can be had most of the day. There are other places with snacks but very limited times. The Crown and Fin Pub has hot dogs with stale buns for 1 hour (10:30 to 11:30). Tried ordering a pretzel from the Pub and was told they had to be ordered in advance. Please don’t get me wrong: Everything else was outstanding. Great service and caring, helpful employees, wonderful shows, amazing program for our kids, immaculate ship, easy embarkation, and everything else you would expect from a first-class expensive Disney cruise. Walt Disney once sampled the food at the Employees Cafeteria at Disneyland and said, “I wouldn’t serve this to my dog!”. Very soon the food was upgraded to the same wonderful food served to the guests. I hope Walt’s successors will do the same for the food quality and availability on the Disney Cruise Ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
1. Being disabled & in a wheelchair, they have you waiting for hours to disembark when we should go 1st for medical reasons. 2. They ran out of luggage tags and we couldn't get our luggage checked. They use to slide the tags under ... Read More
1. Being disabled & in a wheelchair, they have you waiting for hours to disembark when we should go 1st for medical reasons. 2. They ran out of luggage tags and we couldn't get our luggage checked. They use to slide the tags under the door along with your bill. 3. The food is terrible and not cooked thoroughly. This was my wife & I 4th cruise and will be our last. The room was very warm and usually the air conditioning would be cold. The Internet was ridiculous & didn't work at all. 4. The Captain's dinner was nasty & it seemed like the cook rushed to make the food. The shrimp looked & tasted as if came out of a box and was like school cafeteria food. Carnival cruise ship is going down the pits!! If you're thinking about leaving from the port of Long Beach or Los Angels, save your money!! The parking lot spaces for disabled is also RIDICULOUS Only 8 handicap spaces available. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our second cruise on the Splendor to Mexico. The first one was several years ago and was a great time. We chose to go again as my fiancee didn't want to fly across the country to FL to cruise, and this was the closest. ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Splendor to Mexico. The first one was several years ago and was a great time. We chose to go again as my fiancee didn't want to fly across the country to FL to cruise, and this was the closest. SHIP: The ship is unique in its decor, but it is very run down. In places water would drip from the ceilings. Almost the entire cruise at least one elevator in every bank was broken. Many of the hallways near cabins smelled like sewage as did our cabin most of the time. LIDO BUFFET: The seating is terrible -- ripped in places and so work out that you sit too far below the table to comfortably eat. Normally we love the buffet -- everyone can find something they like; however, this time everything on every buffet was horrible. Very limited selection, and what was there was not tasty. All of the fresh fruit was unripe so you couldn't even eat it. The buffet no longer has the wonderful chocolate lava cake. They do a "pudding" type desert with a crust and every night though a different flavor it tastes the same. CABIN: As with the rest of the ship the cabin has seen its better days. The bed was uncomfortably hard. The bed linens were great. The TV barely worked -- couldn't change the volume and had to get right up to it for the remote to work. As for cabin service -- the balcony NEVER got cleaned. The cups from the first day were still there when we left. What really grossed us out was there was a flip-flop on the floor under the table left from the previous guests that NEVER was moved the entire trip! Don't look under the beds if you don't want to be sick. We did as we lost a pair of sunglasses. On our previous Carnival cruises we always got a basket of sample products in the bathroom and always had robes in the closet. Nothing this time. Carnival quality has really gone downhill. SPECIAL DINING: The coffee shop was awesome, and the girls there work their butts off! The pizza was the best meal we had the entire cruise though the one little guy working there was more than busy all the time - probably because he had the only edible food on the ship! The grill was good. Burgers are always top notch though not open long enough. The deli was horrible -- microwaved food that was close to inedible. Who can screw up a hot dog? We wanted to try the BBQ, but every time we went there is was closed - same as the Mongolian Wok. The Steakhouse as always rocks! Incredible food, great service -- can't say enough about it. Worth every penny. We don't go to the dining rooms -- we don't like to sit with people we don't know. We aren't normal cruisers. EVENTS: The movies at sea were good except there are people around the movie area who don't care that others are trying to watch and hear the film. Screaming kids in the pool who parents just ignored. Also people playing ping pong during the movie. We encountered a few teenagers who acted like idiots banging the ping pong paddles on the table for attention. We actually went and got security when they wouldn't stop making excessive noise. MEDICAL: Yes we visited the medical center. One of us forgot all their medicines and had to scramble to get some for the cruise. Luckily the med center had some staples there and they helped us get the rest from authorities in Cabo who delivered right to the ship for a decent price. Caroline in medical went way above and beyond -- she was superwoman! EMBARK / DEBARK: Embarkation was really great in Long Beach. We got there early and only sat a short time before they put us right through. Luggage was delivered to the cabins when it was supposed to be. Debarkation was not so good. We did express and took our own luggage. Of course you couldn't get an elevator because all of the non-express people were hovering in the elevator areas though they were supposed to go to designated waiting areas. We had to carry our luggage down 5 flights of stairs. :( Once there we hung out in the theater on 3 waiting our floor to be called. They announced floors 9, 10, 11 -- the $$$ cabins and suites then called 1 which made no sense. Then they never made another express floor announcement. Finally they came into the theater and said everyone could go. Very unorganized and badly planned. Once off the ship everything was smooth. SHORE EX: We did a Carnival ShoreEx in Puerto Vallarta. It was the wild dolphin snorkel. It was a great time though we saw no dolphins, and the tour operator wasn't even looking for them. We also purchased the bus from airport to pier and pier to airport. Money well spend and very organized. Overall I feel Carnival has increased prices and reduced quality to the point where I highly doubt I'll sail with them again. I'm gold level and was hoping to move up to the next level, but I no longer see that in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just got back from the Sunday-Thursday Carnival Imagination cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. This was our 4th or 5th trip on this cruise in addition to other cruises that were more high end. The cruise has a nickname; "booze ... Read More
Just got back from the Sunday-Thursday Carnival Imagination cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. This was our 4th or 5th trip on this cruise in addition to other cruises that were more high end. The cruise has a nickname; "booze cruise" and it is accurate if you are young and looking to party. If you are new to cruising, you will have a great time. If you are looking for rest and relaxation, you may want to consider other options. PRO: Overall staff was friendly, accommodating and good at their job. Haydee was our primary server in the Pride Dining Room (anytime dining) and she was fantastic. Very warm and hospitable. Old school style cruise server. The food was mediocre at best in the dining room and inexpensive Downtown Vegas style buffet on the Lido deck. This was a great example of "you get what you pay for." We were looking to economize on this cruise and were willing to accept an interior cabin. We upgraded for slightly more money to a room with port holes and it was a good alternative to a cabin with a large window. We were in room E1 and were satisfied. Check in was easy. We spent under $250 on our sign and sail card including gratuities. Again, we were very aware of our budget and were able to keep it that way. CON: Internet was pricey and horrible. Very slow and limited. Although the room was adequate and the steward was friendly (Wayan), he was limited to freshening up our cabin to only once a day unless specifically asked. This is a big change to the personal level of attention experienced cruisers are used to. To me, it says that Carnival has cut back on staff and therefore, the steward does not have time to take care of the guest in a way they once could. Public restrooms frequently needed attention. A subtle clue to the lack of personnel was the lack of trash cans and crew members in the public areas. A lack of trash cans says that there are not enough people to keep them empty and the ship tidy. Meal portions were small and the number of courses were limited from previous. We had a bad experience on one of the nights because the waiter was not supported by other staff and was overworked. It was not his fault but again, speaks to the lack of staff. The Maitre D noticed that we were not happy and made great amends to make up for it. That is where Haydee really shined. Again, not the original servers fault. Our room was ok but my daughter and son-in laws room (R140) was in poor condition with rust, mold and mildew in the bathroom. The bed was made up with stained yellow sheets and the bed, including the pull out bunk, was very uncomfortable. They complained that the walls were thin and they could hear everything coming from other cabins. we also had the experience of smelling the horrible odor of sewage when we disembarked into Catalina and Ensenada. We could smell it in E1 but it was very strong as you came out of the ship. In Ensenada, the photographers held up the line with each passenger so they could take numerous photos for later sale. Each time the line was held up, we would have to breathe in the odor. The photogs should have been positioned elsewhere so we could get away from the smell quickly. Last but not least, I was witness to a near violent episode between passengers in the wee hours of the morning on the Lido Deck. Although it was not surprising, given the alcohol and volatile guests, security failed to arrive even though they were called by another crew member at the Pizza Pirate. This could have been very bad and I had to get involved to keep things from escalating further. Overall, I think this may have been our last time on this cruise. Carnival seems to have cut corners with staffing and the destinations are not appealing. Gratuities are preset and added to your bill regardless of the level of service. That can kill incentive to go above and beyond and tells the guest that they are required to subsidize the crew members salary so Carnival can save money. Overall, I like Carnival but this time only gets 2 stars. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I'll never cruise with Carnival again. Let me just say, I only chose Carnival because I was vacationing with a group of eight people, and the majority chose Carnival. Personally, I would have chosen another cruise line... But ... Read More
I'll never cruise with Carnival again. Let me just say, I only chose Carnival because I was vacationing with a group of eight people, and the majority chose Carnival. Personally, I would have chosen another cruise line... But that's neither here nor there. Carnaval nickel-and-dime for everything. You can't even get up soft drink on the ship without being charged. Other Cruise Lines don't do that. Alcohol yes... But not a soda. Room service is free...until 10 p.m. Then you're charged. This is just another example of the nickel-and-diming! Also, the souvenir pictures they take of you costs $14 each. Yet another example of nickel-and-diming. For the amount you pay for the cruise you should at least be able to get one picture for free. And the others should be less than $14. Our room was decent. Nothing to write home about. The bathroom so so. But I wasn't expecting much. Once I was in the shower I realize that it wasn't clean the way it should have been. There were dirty fingerprints in the shower. Keep in mind that this was the first night we boarded the ship. Neither I or my roommate had yet taken a shower. So these weren't our fingerprints. Thankfully I brought my own Lysol and cleaned the bathroom myself. That's the only way I knew it would be clean. FYI they don't do a very good job at cleaning your rooms. When we'd leave and come back in the evening, the only thing they did was make your bed and gave you towels... IF AND ONLY IF they're left on the floor. Otherwise they would straighten out the towels that was already there. They didn't vacuum and they didn't change the sheets. Our Last Night of the cruise my party and I went to Pride restaurant. We were told that we could bring in our own bottles of wine. We were also told that there would be a cork fee of $30 if they had to remove the corks. However, if we removed them ourselves there would be no charge. Our server offered us a bucket of ice for our wine. At the very end before serving us dessert, our server told us that we will be charged $30 for a cork fee. Be reminded that they never opened any bottles for us. As a matter of fact two of our bottles were screw tops. We asked to speak with the manager. He arrived at our table with and overt attitude. He wouldn't allow us to explain our situation... And went on to tell us that we were being charged for drinking our wine and their establishment. Hmmm... that's not a cork fee. He never let us get a word in edgewise. He told us that these rules were in the contract. But that's a LIE. The contract does not say that you'll be charged for drinking your own alcohol in any of the restaurants. After his speech he walked away without saying anything else. We sat for another 5 to 10 minutes and another manager came over. His name was Christoph. He was friendly and allowed us to explain the situation. He apologized and said that $30 charge would be removed. However, we were still charged the $30. I had to call Carnival once we returned home from the cruise to get a refund. The last morning of the cruise, we woke up to no water and malfunctioning toilets. The toilet wouldn't flush there was no water in the sink or the showers. I was forced to leave the Ship Without a shower, and had to brush my teeth with the remaining Margarita from the night before. Later we found out that there were busted pipes in some of the the rooms on our floor. I assume that's the reason for no water that morning. But it would have been nice to have received some type of notification. One thing you should know that I did not is that the Imagination ship is an older ship. It's not as big as others. There's one pool and 1 small hot tub to fit about 6 people. We never got into the pool because it was always so crowded and kids splashing everywhere. The hot tub was absolutely disgusting with hair and other things floating around. I made do with what we had. I had a great time with the friends I was with, but I will never cruise with Carnival again. They've put a very bad taste in my mouth! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our third cruise with Carnival, and hands down the worst. If you are a smoker or unfazed by the pervasive smell of cigarettes, this cruise is great. They allow smoking in the casino, casino bar and the lounge areas nearby Deck 5 ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Carnival, and hands down the worst. If you are a smoker or unfazed by the pervasive smell of cigarettes, this cruise is great. They allow smoking in the casino, casino bar and the lounge areas nearby Deck 5 midship. As a result, Deck 5 midship is saturated with cigarette and cigar smoke. Additionally, we saw vaping twice in line at the Black Pearl restaurant, and no staff seems to notice or care. We have not experienced this On our other recent cruises (Celebrity and Holland, as well as other Carnival ships) and therefore were totally surprised with the liberal smoking policy on Splendor. This ship is getting pretty old. We noticed much wear on the outside wooden railings and also on the surfaces of the aft swimming pool. Also, at times our stateroom sink water ran brown. The positives: the food was excellent as was the wait staff. We ate in the Black Pearl all seven nights and thoroughly enjoyed the selection and the quality of all our dinners. Breakfast in the Gold Pearl was wonderful, as well. The Lido buffet was perfect for lunches, too. Bedding was very comfortable and everything in our oceanview stateroom was very nice, except for the brown sink water. Waiters and serving staff were wonderful. Bottom line, we totally enjoyed the food and service throughout the ship. Ports: all three Mexican ports were a pleasure. The locals residents were very nice and when we said no, they were accepting and respectful. The harbor side walk in Cabo was surprisingly clean and we felt very safe. Highly recommend a boat ride out to the arch where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortes. Amazing. We spent our day in Mazatlan at a hotel pool, which was perfect. In Puerto Vallarta we took an all day tour, including a seaside lunch of fresh fish and driving through several neighborhoods along Banderas bay. Beautiful town. In summary, except for the stench of cigarettes throughout midship Deck 5 and the very noticeable wear on this ship, we enjoyed this 7 day cruise. But, we will inquire before our next cruise regarding inside smoking policies, and never again cruise on a ship that allows it in the public areas as Splendor does. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Overall, not impressed. The cabin was the worst part of the trip. It was incredibly cramped, the lights would have to sort of warm up and flicker to life on a delay, there was only one power outlet, and the bathroom was very poor. The ... Read More
Overall, not impressed. The cabin was the worst part of the trip. It was incredibly cramped, the lights would have to sort of warm up and flicker to life on a delay, there was only one power outlet, and the bathroom was very poor. The bathroom was so cramped we had to sit mostly sideways on the toilet to use it, and the shower head was busted in two ways. It would constantly swing downward and needed to be held up half the time in use, and the head itself was partially damaged and was spewing a lot of water out of the seams. Also, the walls may as well have been paper. I could hear everything in the hall and the room next door. Every conversation, every person walking down the hall... Every time my neighbors decided to go at it in the bed... The staff was mostly fine, but guest services was not. I went looking for some dramamine and the stores were closed, so I asked guest services about some and they told me to go to the stores. I told them the stores were closed and they told me that they were open. Now, the store that sells dramamine is directly visible from the guest services booth. The gate was closed, the lights were off. I pointed this out and was still told that the store was open. It wasn't. It didn't open for another hour. I didn't use my steward, he seemed like a good guy. Food was okay. The fine dining is quality, but portions were skimpy. I ordered the grilled chicken with red potatoes. Should read Red Potato. The chicken breast was sized okay, but I got half of a typical red potato, cut in half. That's embarrassing. The same portion control was present in the buffet, with premium items like bacon, pork loin, ham, or roast beef. If you asked for any of those, you'd be doled out an extremely small portion, and servers were reluctant to keep cutting you more, though they would if pushed. The breakfast buffet was very unimpressive. Both mornings I tried it, the pancakes were cold, even when I grabbed them right after they were put out. The eggs were cold the first time, and only mildly warm the second. The butter offered is not suitable for use with pancakes or french toast as it is served chilled and is very hard to spread on food that isn't warm to begin with. Some of the amenities that are advertised are a LOT less than Carnival will lead you to believe. The Arcade especially is a total joke. It's by majority very shifty prize games to milk people for money. Very few actual games, and it's all jammed in a very cramped and uninviting space. The Carnival website leads you to believe that their arcades are actual arcades. This doesn't qualify. I've seen run down bowling alleys with more significant arcade offerings. The pool is not large or especially good. THE WI FI IS TERRIBLE. It's extremely expensive, and even with their best, fastest service, I was finding myself without connection over much of the ship, and when I did have connection, it was sloooooooooow. Sub dial up slow at times. It took 11 minutes to load a page, and it didn't even load any images from that page. It's a shameful ripoff. Overall, I don't intend to sail this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Disclaimer: This review has nothing to do with the medical evacuation, weather, or the itinerary changes we experienced on this sailing. This review is based entirely on our on-board and ship life experience. Empress (Deck 7 AFT) ... Read More
Disclaimer: This review has nothing to do with the medical evacuation, weather, or the itinerary changes we experienced on this sailing. This review is based entirely on our on-board and ship life experience. Empress (Deck 7 AFT) Balcony Room; Reservation party of 4 My wife and I are experienced cruisers, with over 30 years combined on various cruise lines and routes. We understand and appreciate the "old school" ways - when you would stuff the envelopes with cash tips at the end of the week in appreciation for the service you received. We understand how prepaid gratuities have deteriorated service and affected the lifestyle of cruise staff on-board. To compensate, we still tip the old school way on top of the prepaid gratuities. We are fairly easy to please and love sailing. In fact, this is the first review we've ever decided to write, because we felt it was necessary. We had big expectations for the Splendor, despite a poor review given to us over lunch during a chance encounter with a Splendor passenger in Belize last year. She had nothing good to say about the Splendor. I thought she was exaggerating, or perhaps being a bit "snooty." Despite her advice to avoid the Splendor at all costs, we booked a 7-day from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera on the June 9, 2018 sailing. The cruise itinerary itself had quite a few changes because of Hurricane Bud. Many passengers were disappointed and abandoned the cruise on day five, receiving a 110% refund (which at the time, was word-of-mouth on board and not announced by Carnival - at least not to us). We advocated for Carnival based on the unpredictable Mother Nature and elected to stay on board and continue spending money, etc. For that, we received a future cruise credit of 100% with a cut-off date of December 13, 2019. A far cry from the 110% refund, which we have now confirmed was given by Carnival Corporate to those who left the cruise ship. From day one, this cruise ship was unimpressive. The food was repetitive. In fact, I don't recall one lunch or Lido buffet which had any variance in food choice. The only popular choice was the Mongolian Wok, which was food made to order. Unfortunately, this food choice had a line which wrapped around into the elevator areas and an average 45 minute wait time the entire week. The grill advertised chicken sandwiches and all types of grilled choices. However, when we asked for a chicken sandwich, the chef looked at us like we were crazy. All that was available was hamburgers and hot dogs. We settled and made the best of it. The 24-hour pizza choice was hardly 24-hours. We were lucky to find someone there at 2:00 PM. There was never any pizza readily available. For every order, there was an extensive wait time. On countless other ships, we have had sliced pizza choices available and on-display for a quick snack midday or late night. The entertainment was the worst we have ever experienced. Each day, there was no music at the main pool area until around 2:00 PM. Even then, it was either a single steel drum player with accompanying CD track, or a DJ with obnoxious tunes. Never a live band and certainly not that island music feel we have had on prior cruises. Only once did a band make an appearance on the pool deck, which was at 11:15 PM one night for a glow deck party, which was attended by about 30 people. On one of only three sail-aways, from San Diego (alternate port of call), there was NO music or festivities on Lido. Instead, they started the movie Star Wars. Some fans were excited, most were dumbfounded. Our final sail-away from Ensenada (alternate port of call) was the same thing - no entertainment, dancing, etc. for the sail away. The main pool layout is simply odd. No Jacuzzi at the main pool and a lot of shade because of the design for the retractable roof. You have to walk upstairs or the aft to use a Jacuzzi. Bar choices on lido near pools are limited and were constantly backed-up. Once you left deck nine for anything higher (Jacuzzi, sports area, mini golf, water slide), there were no bars. And, you definitely wouldn't find a pool waiter. We were constantly up and down stairs trying to get drinks. Bartenders were rude and in no hurry to help, and we tip well! We did find two or three we liked and stuck with them., even if it meant walking all the way to the other end of the ship from where we were. All week, the ship advertised the "Playlist Productions" evening shows on the big screen as "EVERY NIGHT." T his was false. In fact, it was only on four, maybe five nights. Also, the video advertising was completely misleading. It showed a fantastic and dramatic performance for the 80s show. When we arrived, it was just the performers seated on stools in front of the stage curtain singing medleys, with hardly any dancing. And no, the seas were not rough that night. The dining room was average as far as food quality. Not too many complaints there. However, service was awful. Perhaps it was our mistake electing for anytime dining. We've mostly done late dining with a dedicated waiter. At one point, on the first formal night, we had three courses of plates stacked up on our dinner table. We were so surprised by this, we simply got up and left. Nobody even noticed. We were seated near the entrance, so I decided to walk by 20 minutes later and take a peek. The plates were still there. I almost handed this particular waiter a $20 bill when we sat down. Perhaps I should have. I'm glad I didn't. The cabin (balcony - empress) was acceptable. The only complaint here was that it had only one outlet. People were looking for outlets on the ship in order to stay charged on multiple devices. In fact, it became is running joke among passengers who were diving into the Alexandria Library to charge laptops, iPads, phones, etc. On debarkation day, we coincidentally found an inconspicuous outlet on the ceiling in the bathroom inside of a weather cover. Go figure. If you chose the Splendor, look for this one. The positives: Boarding was the easiest we've experienced (Port of Long Beach). The new terminal was nice and staff was wonderful. The cabin queen bed was very comfortable. The cruise director, Steve Knisley ("Steve from Canada") was superb. You could tell he was very much affected by the dissatisfaction of passengers. This was his first week on the ship, and according to him, it was only a short term contract. We have explored itineraries for 2019 with our credit. We have found several that match dates which coincide with our kids' school schedule on the west coast. Unfortunately, they are all on the Splendor. Our last cruise was a shorty on the Inspiration. We've also sailed the Imagination back in the late 2000s. The Inspiration blows the Splendor out of the water - pun intended. This trip, with all on-board expenses, cost us over $4,000. Bottom line - never again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Carnival Inspiration Stayed in a Grand Suite on a 3 day trip to Catalina and Ensenada (with a day at sea). The suite feels dated and a little scruffy (scraped paint, marks on the walls, etc.). But it was fairly comfortable (once I ... Read More
Carnival Inspiration Stayed in a Grand Suite on a 3 day trip to Catalina and Ensenada (with a day at sea). The suite feels dated and a little scruffy (scraped paint, marks on the walls, etc.). But it was fairly comfortable (once I figured out the non-intuitive and loud air conditioning). On the other hand, the water in the shower never got above tepid. The toiletries were extremely limited. And I could only find two outlets! The room service menu is limited but the food we ordered was good. The main dining room breakfasts were very good (I recommend the eggs Benedict). Portions were small but (although they don’t tell you this) you can order as many sides as you want. Dinner in the dining room was also very good. (Ditto the portion size comment.) Decent wines. I had steak three nights in a row (filet, prime rib, and NY strip) and all three were cooked to order and tasty. The wait staff was friendly and attentive. The Lido deck food service was okay (the taco stand is the best) but the whole Lido deck vibe is kind of hokey and unappetizing. The vaunted soft serve is not up to Dairy Queen standards. The equally vaunted Guy Fieri burgers were limp and unappetizing. The passengers are an odd mix of geezers and youngsters. Everybody was very friendly, but almost everybody drank a lot. And in some cases, quite a LOT. The social activities seemed mainly geared to the young crowd (hairiest chest contests, Harry Potter trivia contests, twerking, etc.). The “premium” satellite internet connection was slow. Very slow. Lousy TV service. We did our own shore excursions. The sales pitches—photos, shops, future cruises—are relentless. It got old quick. Annoyingly, when we tried to cancel spa reservations more than 24 hours in advance, they did not refund our money. Seemed like everybody on board smoked when they got into the bar and casino. My clothes reeked of smoke when we got home. All in all, we had a good time but we made most of our own fun by taking private shore excursions. Other than the food service, the on board experience was at best “meh.” I very much doubt we’ll take another Carnival cruise. Definitely not on Inspiration. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The crew was great! This ship is worn out and out dated. Not worth the money being paid for a four day cruise! Poor up keep and loud. Carnival is just sucking the money out of this ship. I guess it would be okay if you were drunk alll the ... Read More
The crew was great! This ship is worn out and out dated. Not worth the money being paid for a four day cruise! Poor up keep and loud. Carnival is just sucking the money out of this ship. I guess it would be okay if you were drunk alll the time on board. The cruise director was good and funny. Long Beach port is bad and under staff. Back to ship, very poor information on getting around on ship. Carnival wants your money. Stay out of the casino at all costs. The sail and sign accounts they make you have, gets charge for everything that carnival wants. The beverage packages have an automatic 15% gradutiy no matter what and they do not tell you that you still have to pay tax on the all drinks. Top notch restaurant staff and fun. That was the very few positive points that this ship had. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Carnival needs to fire the head chef of this ship. I’m not even sure the food met the standards of a typical Denny’s restaurant. Bland and overcooked or undercooked or just plain stale, was what we found at every meal. The ... Read More
Carnival needs to fire the head chef of this ship. I’m not even sure the food met the standards of a typical Denny’s restaurant. Bland and overcooked or undercooked or just plain stale, was what we found at every meal. The pinnacle steakhouse food (sides and appetizers) were done well but my New York steak, had so much gristle in it, it couldn’t be cut. The pinnacle steakhouse staff also has a very bad attitude. We made a reservation for two at 5:30 PM and arrived about 10 minutes early. We walked in the door and saw no one so we continued on into the dining room where we were met by a very rude female manager? who (non politely) told us to leave because they were having a meeting. She quickly ushered us out the door. When we were allowed back in and seated it was obvious that her attitude had set the mood with the servers who again were not friendly and polite and were obviously under trained. Everything they said was if it had been scripted. They knew the words but their actions showed it was forced. At the Lido buffet, other than the bussers and some of the servers, the staff was very mediocre at best. In the black pearl dining room, Even our headwaiter admitted that the food preparation was subpar. Entertainment. One of the song and dance shows was great but the other one (70s/80s/90s) was simply awful. It was so bad we were thinking that maybe there was something wrong with the speaker system which put the singing off key. It was a terrible production. Many of the staff on the ship left you with the impression they did not want to be there. Obvious very low morale. At this point I’m reconsidering ever sailing with carnival again. If it wasn’t for the fact that we have a family cruise coming up on one of their other ships Carnival would not be our choice. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018

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