If you're looking for a cruise ship that's big and diverse enough to keep even the most active person happy, it's hard to do better than Carnival Panorama. With a capacity of 4,008 passengers, there is something for everyone.
Kids will love the gigantic water slides and water park that take up a significant chunk of top-deck real estate. Couples looking to escape the crowds will find a haven on the adults-only Serenity sun deck. Thrill-seekers will enjoy the SkyRide, the SkyCourse and --first on Carnival Panorama -- the SkyZone trampoline park. Add in the constant stream of activities around the ship, most of them free, and you'll see how the vessel delivers on value. So, this wonderful ship called Carnival Panorama, what class is it? It’s part of the popular Vista Class.
The Carnival Panorama deck plans are nicely laid out for those who want to always be within a short walk of the heart of the action. There are only two cabin-only decks (decks 1 and 9) – in the rest, staterooms and public areas are all mixed together, allowing passengers to easily get to the places they want to be. The only downside of this is that there are few Carnival Panorama rooms that are not subject to noise from public spaces – so check the deck plans ahead of time and choose your cabin wisely.
The flow of passengers works well -- we rarely encountered bottlenecks or crowds, even at full capacity -- but there's a lot of banging around and noise within the hallways. That's partly due to the sheer breadth of passengers, from kids who wake up early with energy to burn to party-hearty types who stumble home late from the bars. (Walls and ceilings have little soundproofing, so you hear it all.)
The Carnival Panorama cruise ship is a great pick for a Mexican Riviera itinerary, and it appeals to a wide range of passengers. It is a non-stop-fun option – but expect noise everywhere.
Still, Carnival Panorama shows that the line's ships have much more to offer beyond late-night revelry (although there's plenty of that). It's a fantastic ship for families, as well as groups of friends or celebratory events, such as birthdays or reunions. On your cruise, you'll see groups wearing matching T-shirts or hats that are bound to make you smile (even though we predict you were smiling already). You have to work to not have fun onboard.
Carnival Panorama activities go from the usual free workshops, dance classes and fun quizzes to more unique option such as the SkyRide, the WaterWorks and The Clubhouse. While Carnival has discontinued the paper version of the Fun Times program, a detailed description of the Carnival Panorama onboard activities can be found on the app, including shows and all other entertainment options.
One of the most popular activities is Carnival Kitchen, a dedicated space onboard Carnival Panorama for cooking classes. There, you can learn to make the line's signature warm chocolate melting cake from scratch or how to cook tasty Indian dishes. The classes are fun, not at all pretentious, and you get to eat what you make.
Foodies will also appreciate all the Carnival Panorama specialty restaurants, particularly some standout pan-Asian offerings. But what's particularly great about this ship is you don't have to shell out money to have a tasty meal. There is plenty of included food, and while service in the main dining room leaves something to be desired, everything is generally yummy.
It is common for cruisers to compare several ships before booking, especially when there’s some flexibility in the destination. In this case, it’s often Carnival Panorama vs Mardi Gras. Despite the differences in size and itineraries (Mardi Gras is bigger and sails to the Caribbean instead of the Mexican Pacific coast) these cruise ships are similar in many ways. They both offer a wide array of restaurants and tons of fun activities for all ages. However, Carnival Panorama lacks the Mardi’s stunning rollercoaster, and Mardi Gras’ cabins are more modern.
One of the most common questions among passengers not familiar with the Vista class or even with the cruise line is: What’s included in the Carnival Panorama cruise fare? Well, let’s say that a lot is free, including tons of dining options, most entertainment, and even all but a handful of daily activities.
· Meals in the main dining room and buffet, and at Pizzeria del Capitano, Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina; also select room service items and lunches in some specialty venues
· Shows in the main theater and the Punchliner Comedy Club, deck parties and live music around the ship
· Use of the Carnival WaterWorks splash park and waterslides, SkyCourse (ropes course), SkyRide, SportsSquare (including mini-golf) and the Sports Court
· Use of the fitness center, excluding classes and personal training
· Most daily activities, unless otherwise noted
· Access to the adults-only Serenity sun deck area
· Movies at the poolside Carnival Seaside Theater
· Use of Carnival's Camp Ocean kids club until 10 p.m. for children aged 2 to 17
• Daily gratuities (amounts vary by cabin type)
• Automatic gratuity on beverage purchases, as well as spa and salon treatments (18 percent for both)
• All drinks with the exception of water, tea, coffee and select juices in the buffet
• Select room service items, plus pizza delivery
• Entry to the SkyZone trampoline park
• Meals in most specialty restaurants
• Use of the thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool in the Cloud 9 Spa
• All spa treatments, along with most fitness classes and personal training
• Specialty coffee
• Shore excursions
• Internet access. Carnival Panorama wifi is only available for passengers who purchase an internet package; Discounted rates are available for those who purchase the plans before boarding.
• Casino play
• Activities like Carnival Kitchen cooking classes, bingo, liquor and wine tastings, and Build-A-Bear workshops
• Arcade games
• Photos, portraits and artwork
• Purchases from onboard shops
• After-hours babysitting in the Camp Ocean Kids Club
With its Long Beach homeport, Carnival Panorama draws a large number of passengers from California, as well as nearby states, including Arizona and Nevada. Expect a large number of families in the summer months and during holidays. Big groups of friends and families also find the ship a draw.
Daytime: Casual is just fine on Carnival Panorama, and during the day you'll see all kinds of T-shirts, shorts, sundresses and bathing suits with cover-ups. You'll want to pack according to the climate and bring appropriate clothes and gear for shore excursions and other activities. Note that even in the Lido buffet, shirts, bathing suit cover-ups and footwear must be worn.
Evening: There are two evening dress codes on Carnival Panorama: "cruise casual" and "cruise elegant." On casual nights, men will want to wear longer dress shorts or pants -- jeans are OK -- and a collared shirt. Women can wear sundresses, skirts and tops, dress shorts and capris.
Carnival Panorama formal nights, of which there are usually two on a seven night cruise, calls for a slightly fancier outfit, such as dress slacks and dress shirts for men and dresses, fancy blouses and pants or skirts for women. You'll see some people going all out in long gowns or a suit, but that's the exception, not the norm.
Not permitted: Flip-flops, sleeveless shirts (for men), cut-off jeans, T-shirts and gym shorts are not permitted in the dining room.
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Carnival Cruise Line.
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