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6 San Diego to Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

My 2 good friends and I chose this option because it wasn't terribly expensive. We were supposed to go to Catalina Island and then Ensenada. The day before we leave, we get an email stating that due to poor weather we weren't ... Read More
My 2 good friends and I chose this option because it wasn't terribly expensive. We were supposed to go to Catalina Island and then Ensenada. The day before we leave, we get an email stating that due to poor weather we weren't able to go to Catalina and had to change ports from Long Island to San Diego (about three hours further from us). We were upset but decided to make the best of it. One of my friends had an unexpected death in the family and had to cancel. "Luckily" we purchased the trip insurance. It has been a complete hassle to get a refund for her portion of the trip. You all but have to sell your first born to make any progress. The cruise line doesn't assist you and the insurance company is awful. Back to the cruise, the activities on the ship are poorly planned and they don't cater to young adults (twenties). So, being stuck on there an extra day wasn't great. The only reason we had a good time was being with a friend and being able to get off the ship in Mexico. The food was not great and the drinks are inflated like crazy. In our cabin, there were two outlets but we had to tape our device to one of them because it wasn't holding anything. Their are MUCH better cruise lines out there. I will never go on another Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Well I booked a Nowhere cruise from the port of San Diego. 2 hours in the sun waiting to get on board. There was a guy (Mid 20's)missing his left leg and on crutches with a USMC tattoo on his arm, he waited the same amount of time ... Read More
Well I booked a Nowhere cruise from the port of San Diego. 2 hours in the sun waiting to get on board. There was a guy (Mid 20's)missing his left leg and on crutches with a USMC tattoo on his arm, he waited the same amount of time standing right in front of me. Shame on Disney part 1. The ship is nice. Service was average. dinner both nights was served at cool temperature and took 1 hour from ordering it. Asked for another got one 2 degrees warmer I decided not to eat spit so I ate it. Kids club is a joke. Early 20 year olds sitting around shooting the breeze attempting not to interact with the kids. My 6 y/o got punched by a 10 y/o. I was told about it after my son told me about it. My daughter (10 y/o) was told to watch TV no activities at kids club. The pool was dirty my 2 boys got Strep throat. About 100 kids in the mickey pool total nightmare. The ship rocked like a cork. I was in the NAVY for 12 years was on a frigate that rode better. The whole cruise was at 7 knots so slow we where rocking around the whole time. Image trying to ride a bike super slow. I played foos ball on the top deck with a ping pong ball as a foos ball. The housekeeper only left a towel shaped as a swan on the last night with tips envelopes under it. Tacky at best. I was so disappointed in the cruise 2 days 2 nights for 2 adults and 3 kids $2355. What a joke. If you like to stand in lines and like to pay premium prices skip Disneyland and go on one of their cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I never do this, but I flew into San Diego the morning of the cruise. I arrived at 10:15 AM. I was meeting my cousin who arrived in CA two days earlier. Because of the extremely low rates for this repositioning cruise, we each booked ... Read More
I never do this, but I flew into San Diego the morning of the cruise. I arrived at 10:15 AM. I was meeting my cousin who arrived in CA two days earlier. Because of the extremely low rates for this repositioning cruise, we each booked our own cabin. Originally we booked 4K interior with French doors, but due to price drops we were able to upgrade for very little cost to these adjoining balcony cabins on deck 7. I had cabin 7132 and he had cabin 7136. Embarkation was quick and easy. Luggage drop off was a bit confusing as there were no porters, just one cruise line person with a luggage cart that they were piling multiple passengers' luggage onto. We arrived at 12:45 and were one the ship at 1:10. Hopefully this is my last Carnival cruise "not VIP." Hallway doors were already open so we headed to our cabins. We ate some lunch and did the spa tour. We had prebooked massages plus there were great specials offered. I added "taste of spa" and my cousin added a seaweed wrap treatment. We met with Cruise Critic members (over 100 on our roll call) in the Atrium lobby at 3:00 pm. Following this was the muster drill (no life jackets required), then back to cabins to unpack. I am a "friend of a friend" of Dorothy so I went to the GLBT meeting, attended by about 10 people. Following this, we signed up for a private cocktail party (also Cruise Critic) in the Shanghai piano bar from 5:30 to 6:30, all you could drink for about $12 pp. We had Your Time Dining confirmed, so met with a couple of new friends and went to dinner where we got a table for 4. Dinner was very good in the MDR. Second night also ate in MDR with new friends, this time a group of 14. We went at 7:45 and were able to be seated within 10 minutes at two tables next to each other, one for 8 and one for 6. Pretty good for YTD with a big group, on a full ship!! Second night was also the one formal night on this short cruise. Third night we had booked the Steakhouse for 2, they were able to accommodate our request to increase to 4 the day of the reservation. Food was great! I had the NY strip, companions had other steaks and all were good and prepared to our liking. I also had escargot, the spinach salad, and the chocolate sampler. Meal was LONG, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Comments about services / entertainment we experienced: Gym: wonderful equipment and view. I used bike, treadmill, and the Nautilus weight machines. In my local gym I do a circuit of about 12 Nautilus machines. They had at least 8 of the same ones available in the gym. Spa: excellent services, I had my first hot stone massage ever. Very nice! Danelle did not try to hard sell me on all the products. Housekeeping staff: wonderful, we met him the first day and then did not see anyone again but they kept our cabins spotless and our ice buckets filled. Dining staff: excellent service and very quick with the YTD meal service both nights. Ate breakfast once in the MDR and also very good. Steakhouse already mentioned, and Lido deck buffet used for rest of meals was adequate. I really liked the deli sandwich station. Asian food was not as good as prior cruises. Did not make it to the free sushi. Room service: I used room service twice and service was very prompt and accurate. Can't beat free room service!! (tipped of course) Art auction: I attend the art auctions and sometimes I buy, sometimes I don't. It was a nice diversion on this Cruise to Nowhere. Casino: nice casino, not too smoky. Won a little, lost a little, it was fun. Entertainment: we went to the Welcome Aboard show the first night. It was just ok, both comedians did a brief standup. I did not go back to the comedians in the Comedy Club but they had a lot of different showtimes so it would be convenient to catch them. I went back for the show the third night but it was cancelled due to rough seas, and they showed a movie instead. Debarkation: our number was one of the last ones called but off the ship by 10:30. Collected luggage and had a cab give us a city tour on the way to the airport. Total time in cab about 1 hr 15 minutes and only cost $70 plus tip. We were lucky to have a knowledgeable cabbie who had lived in Vancouver for 20 years! I went on this cruise knowing it would be cold and windy with very little "outside" time due to weather. They did put the dome over the middle pool and all three pools were open. You could check out blankets as well as pool towels. I did not try the new waterslide but it looks scary. I would have to say the weather was worse than I expected. We moved along at a pretty fast clip. The seas were VERY rough although I don't think the waves looked that high. I did use my balcony for a few minutes at a time and was glad to have it for the view. There were barf bags posted next to all the elevators and I noticed that a lot of them were taken. I took meclezine but still got seasick on the second day. If I were taking this cruise again I would book a lower deck and at the middle to rear of the ship instead of forward. We had a lot of up and down as well as the usual side to side rocking of the ship. Overall this was a really fun getaway for a long weekend! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My fiancee and I cruised Carnival for the first time, June 4th for my 30th birthday. It was going only to Catalina Island, and that's why we booked it. We have been there many times and I have worked on the island many times and know ... Read More
My fiancee and I cruised Carnival for the first time, June 4th for my 30th birthday. It was going only to Catalina Island, and that's why we booked it. We have been there many times and I have worked on the island many times and know it well.Us:A little background on us, both in our early 30's no children, 3 dogs, active, work in detail oriented jobs and travel often, and we LOVE to eat. We have sailed three times on RCCL's Monarch of the Seas and loved every bit of it. Booking:We booked the cruise directly through Carnival for $139 for 4 nights.Hotel:We live very close to S.D. but stayed at the Westgate hotel, as I had a photo shoot in San Diego two days before.The Westgate is LOVELY, palatial to say the least. Check out my tripadvisor.com review if you want to know more. Embarkation:Got to the port, got on the ship very fast.Cabin:Went directly to the room and was kind of put off by the dark gray, black and orange decor. Layout was great for an inside cabin, loved the medicine cabinet and storage. Decor was not pleasing to the eye. There was black long hair all over our duvet. We are both blonde. After calling the cabin stuard, this was fixed immediately. Excursions:We did not do any excursions, I know Catalina island well. We went to the beach club and layed out, and had some cocktails. If anyone wants suggestions about Catalina, shoot me an email. There are alot of fun things to do, and places to eat. **Get a chocolate covored frozen bananna at the candy shop! They are the best. Entertainment:We missed the captains reception while we were at dinner, I guess they only have one, and really did not take in any of the shows.The New Serenity Deck:No serenity at all. The most annoying thing, and it was bad, was there were two different set of speakers, playing two different sets of music, loudly We sat in the middle and could hear both. When brought to the attention of the towel attendant, he stated "what would you like me to do about it"? I said, please fix it. He stated he could not. WOW. Get there early for a place to lay, people leave their things on the chairs and leave for the day. There is no one to enforce any standards.Sports Deck:Closes at 8, so our attempt on the last night to do anything there did not work out. Mind you it is not dark until about 9 right now. This was disappointing. Library:Lovely to look at but not so comfortable. None of the chairs or small tables move so you are stuck sitting on one position. Stocked with games and books. The last night we opted to play a quiet board game there but the library was made very loud by the crazy piano lady singing down below in the atrium bar. It would have been ok if she was any good. She did not know half of the songs she was singing, and she sang in a monotone, like an American Idol tryout, gone very very very wrong. We retreated to be early. Pools and Hot Tubs:Hot tubs were so overfilled with drunk people that they were touching, there should be a limit of 10 people per hot tub. They were so over filled, I wish I had a photo to show you. I could put it on the cover of a greeting card. Its like seeing how many people you can put in a phone booth. Someone could enforce some kind of limit. We did not go in the pool.Layout of the ship:Confusing to say the least! Was not easy to navigate. Some staff gave us wrong directions also, The Casual Dining:Buffet: Ok, below what I have to compare it to which is RCCL's Monarch.The Mongolian Grill: Very neat concept, and fresh and good.The Sandwich Deli: Great Panini's but if you like real cheese not process pasteurized American, than you must find it on the buffet which they have if you are lucky, but if you give it to he Sandwich chef he wil gladly use it. I'm allergic to fake cheese so this is a big deal for me.The Pizza Bar: Order the calazoni, takes 8 minutes but you will love it, made fresh just for you.The Dining Room:Breakfast all days: Breakfast was never as ordered, my order was never complete, and the wait staff should really take better notes for orders of picky people like me. When I over my eggs over medium well, and get them runny it grosses me out. When I have to pick the fat off of my bacon, I am disappointed.Lunch: We did not eat lunch in the main dining room.Chocolate Buffet: The was just chocolate added to the regular buffet. This in no way compares to Monarch of the Seas midnight chocolate buffet which is a feast for the eyes are well as the palate.Dinner: Way too many problems. We ate at the first seating one night and "my time dining" the others. Food on formal night was fine, but every other night there were MANY issues with the food and service.Here is my list of main issues I had:-Shrimp cocktail was very soggy. Lke the shrimp was frozen, let thaw and not boiled or rinsed after. Not bad taste though.-Lasagna was not truly lasagna. Chucks of cheese was not melted, green sauce and green olives was not appealing, and was not heated all the way through.-Drinks take forever-Bread is not fresh*I could go on and on.* More than anything, is the issue of the staff not getting the orders correct or complete, even when asking for cheese for a potato, simple items like splenda or butter, this got annoying very fast.The biggest issue we had was on the last night in the dining room, (our servers were Nii, and her assistant, I am sure his name was spelled Nigher) could not get anything right, I am picky and I like my condiments. We were rudely told by Nigher that "do you need anything else? Are you sure? I hope you are sure because I have other tables to deal with and other guests that need to eat". Now, mind you, I ALWAYS give my complete order when I place my order. How I want it, and what I want with it. If the servers listened the first time it would not have been a problem. I have never had this issue on RCCL. I have food allergies and have to be careful. We left angry, before desert and without tipping. I am SURE he would not have said this if we would have been at a bigger table. Ours just happened to be for two. The server who oversees the assistant (Nii) should pay better attention. The same one just by chance that we had eaten at that morning. By chance, the same servers assistant. De embarkation:We vacated our cabin about 10 minutes before the dining room closed. We like to sit in the dining room and eat while we wait for our tags to be called. Just by chance, the same servers assistant came to our table that morning. Immediately our tags were called and we left the table without eating, I was NOT going to be served by someone who was that rude to me. We smoothly got off the ship, but were shocked to see our luggage just sitting there for anyone to take. It did not look secure at all. In conclusion:For $139 it was worth it. Would I ever cruise on Carnival again? No way. Its style is definately not for me. The staff was the major problem, both in the dining room and in common areas. The food way below par. PS. The warm chocolate melting cake was HEAVEN. Looking forward to RCCL's Radiance on October 4th to Ensanada and Cabo for our 5 year anniversary! D1 here we come!  Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
Let me start out by saying that we have cruised several times before, and even cruised on this ship once before, and overall, this is a pretty fun cruise with great value attached. Due to the Swine Flu scare in Mexico, we fell victim to ... Read More
Let me start out by saying that we have cruised several times before, and even cruised on this ship once before, and overall, this is a pretty fun cruise with great value attached. Due to the Swine Flu scare in Mexico, we fell victim to missing out on a visit to the garden spot of Baja...Ensenada.  The only thing we really missed was watching people get drunk and embarrass themselves at Papa's and Beer, which is worth a few laughs, but otherwise, Ensenada is worth missing.  Instead, the Captain found us a sunny spot and we floated around for a couple of days at sea having a pretty good time.  We did actually sail to Ensenada, but never got closer than a mile from shore.  From there you could see the Swine Flu hanging over the town like a dark cloud.  Ominous yes, but it did make for some nice sunsets! Besides the flu, my wife and I were a little concerned about our shipmates, considering tickets were selling for as low as $99 each a few days prior to departure, but it wasn't too bad.  Yes, there was a lot of facial hair and tattoos (and the guy's didn't look too hot either!), but they were all good people looking to relax and have a good time just like us. This cruise is by no means luxury or gourmet, and some may say it lacks romance, but I say you can find romance anywhere.   With that said, the rooms and ship overall are clean and well cared for, the staff is very friendly and helpful, there are some excellent entertainment options, and although the food is not great, it actually surprised us a little.  The Elation has also added a Serenity Deck for adult lounging with new fully cushioned chaise lounges, two small spa tubs, and a few stationary umbrellas.  We spent a lot of our daylight hours there, and it is definitely better than the other tanning decks, although to call it "serene" is to use the fun ship interpretation.  There are no kids allowed, but that doesn't eliminate loud gen x's and y's from making their presence known, plus there is fairly loud rock music playing at all times.  Still, it's a great spot, but it's small and very popular, so stake out your territory early. As for the food, as most everyone comments, it's not great.  I have been in the high end restaurant and resort business my whole life, and I like good food, and it can be found on this ship with a little work.  Breakfast faire is pretty standard, but if you want real eggs you can ask for them and they will fix them anyway you'd like.  The made to order omelets aren't bad either, but keep in mind that all the eggs they scramble and make omelets with come out of a giant pre-processed bag unless you ask otherwise (that's why a lot of  the scrambles eggs on cruise ships kind of look like yellow cottage cheese).  By all means avoid the ala cart breakfast...it's a disaster.  For lunch, the Elation has a great new addition, an Asian stir fry buffet.  It's made fresh, there are several tasty options, and it's fairly healthy.  As everyone comments, the pizzas are very good, but make sure to order one freshly baked or snag a slice just as it comes out of the oven, that's when the pizza is at its best.  You may have to wait 10 minutes or so, but it's worth it.  Just have the pizza cook toss you a fresh Caesar salad while you are waiting.  The ala cart dinner is not too fantastic, but try employing your server to help you pick out the best options, and make sure to let him/her know how you like your meat cooked (this would include fish and chicken), and don't be afraid to send it back if it isn't any good.  If you like wine, I would highly recommend that you sign up for their pre-purchase wine program on your first day.  It will save you about 25% and takes a lot of the fuss out of the wine ordering process, which is a train wreck on most cruises.  My last tip would be to visit the small sushi station next to the casino before dinner.  They usually make a selection of three items and you can eat as much as you would like.  The trick is to get there when there isn't a long line. We found that if you were in the late seating for dinner and didn't want to see the show, there was no line at all at around 7 pm.  If there are two or more of you, get seats for the show and then send someone back for the sushi and enjoy it with a cocktail while you watch the show.As for entertainment, both comedians on-board were very good, especially their late night R rated shows, and don't miss the New Orleans blues show at one of the smaller venues, it was outstanding.  We did sit in on some Karaoke, which was pretty entertaining, and I notice that the singers were using a monitor, contrary to what another reviewer stated.    Our one stop, Santa Catalina Island, was kind of funky.  There really isn't much to see, but it's cute.  We just happened upon a day spa (Touch of Heaven) and opted for two one hour massages which turned out to be great.  My wife actually said it was the best she has ever had, and she has been rubbed a lot!  And for $60 each, it was about half the price of the same treatment on the ship.  We had some lunch, listened to some street music, shopped a little and walked around a lot...pretty much what you do at every port. Regarding the cabins, the Elation is over 10 years old, and was built before the current balcony craze, so there isn't much bang for your buck to upgrade to a "suite".  There are basically three choices of room on the Elation—window, no window, balcony.  By far the best deal is an inside cabin, and the worst are the "suites".  The best part of all the cabins is the bed...very comfy. Bottom line is the Elation provides you with three to five mindless days of fun at a great price.  Would I fly across the country to go on this cruise?  Of course not, but if you live within driving distance, or are incorporating a little cruise into a bigger vacation, this is definitely the ticket!Have Fun!!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
We have sailed this ship on previous occasions. It was never a 5 star ship as claimed by Holland America. Until this most recent cruise aboard the Statendam, I should have agreed with the Cruise Critic rating of 3+ stars. Now 2 stars seems ... Read More
We have sailed this ship on previous occasions. It was never a 5 star ship as claimed by Holland America. Until this most recent cruise aboard the Statendam, I should have agreed with the Cruise Critic rating of 3+ stars. Now 2 stars seems to be stretching a point. Our cabin was not clean. Let me cite a few specifics: clots of hair on the glass shelf to the right of the wash basin. We requested that this be cleaned...after several requests and several days, all but one of the shelves was cleaned. The small tile on the bathroom floor was obviously dirty. Our bedspread had a number of brown soils on it. After several requests, this dirty blanket was removed from our room only to have the same dirty blanket placed back on the bed the following day as our "new, clean" blanket. Throughout the ship, there was evidence of lack of maintenance. Covering torn off an elevator wall, missing tile in a men's room, gouges/scratches in the walls in the aisles leading to the cabins. The food in the Rotterdam dining room has descended to the point that we ate only 3 meals in that room during a 16 day cruise. The gala Thanksgiving dinner was chewy turkey, uncooked yams and missing brussel sprouts. Most of our meals were taken in the Lido where the food was abundant and generally tasty. The exceptions were the deserts which looked beautiful but were too sugary and/or lacking in taste. The movie selection was third or fourth rate. The live entertainment was unappealing save for one comedian and the ship's company of dancers. Not enough periodicals in the library to read. We used to enjoy our Holland America cruises but this one, our first since the line was taken over by Carnival, may well be our last. As we departed the ship, we noticed people in wheel chairs stacked up on the fourth level unable to get to the third level to get off. We also saw people in wheel chairs on the third level wanting to disembark but with no personnel from Holland America to push their wheel chairs off the ship. This is the first Holland America cruise where the cruise director pitched for "tips" for the crew members advising that giving tips is the universal way to say thank you although, of course, you don't have tot tip. So much for Holland America's vaunted and boasted about "no tipping policy". The computers in the internet cafe seldom functioned properly and when one went to the front desk one was advised that only the person in charge of the computers could credit ones account. And so one had to wait around for that person to credit ones account for time spent on computers that didn't function. I never received an apology for the malfunctioning computer nor did I ever receive a smile from this party. There were smiles aplenty from the rest of the crew including the charming head nurse who came to our cabin after my wife became ill from ill-prepared food. Read Less
Sail Date December 2003

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