It was a pleasant experience. I never got the towel creations, not once in my cabin so.. that was a downside... I believe it is only for more expensive decks. Food was really good, ports were ok, especially Mexico. Personally that should not be cruise port.
Everything is set to make us experience a fun and restful days on the ship. Casino is larger than we expected, good selection of machines and tables. Food is great and plenty. Night time comedy theatre was reasonably good. Pools are small, not enough for the ship that size. staff is friendly and knowledgeable.
It was one of my best vacations ever! There was so much to do. The ionithermie treatment I had in the spa really made my curves show up (besides losing inches). 2014 I took my 1st great cruise on Carnivals inspiration; I had no Idea it could get better. And I still haven't done everything you or the ports offer that I want to do. I could not be in the Studio 54 show & still go to elegant dinner night is why not all 5 stars were given. I had so much fun! I sure hope I can go again! .
Overall I'd say that his was a really great cruise. I had feared that the bathrooms in the rooms would be really smelly and that our room would feel cramped, but neither was true. (The bathroom smelled, but only because the ventilation worked so well that it pulled the smell from the septic tank. If someone showered the smell disappeared.)
Catalina is a pretty island. It's very much a tourist town. It reminded me of Park City, Utah. We just walked around the place and looked at the old houses and stayed on the beach.
The next day at Ensenada was fun. We took an open-top bus tour (double-decker type.) I felt like all the shop owners just saw us as walking wallets, some of them quite open about it, "Come buy something you don't need!" It was still fun though.
The boat itself was a decent size. This was my first cruise, so I can't really compare it to anything else, but we walked all over that boat. The adult only section was actually 21+ so my sister-in-law who is 19 wasn't able to go. So we didn't either. (It was just the three of us and we didn't want to leave her on her own.)
The only things I didn't like were the limited events on the boat for those who don't drink or gamble. And the second thing was my dining time. When I booked my room I had the options of 5:15, 6:15 or unassigned. I was told that unassigned meant I could go whenever I liked and would just wait for a table like you would at any restaurant. However when I got my sign and sail card I discovered we had been assigned to eat at 8:15! We're used to eating at 5:30 or so and this was way too late. I tried to change it when we got on board and they wouldn't let me. We kind of got used to it, but really we just got used to sleeping on a full stomach. Sort of.
We did love our wait staff. They were probably the best part of the cruise for us. They knew us by name and already knew what drinks we would request. (We got the endless bubbles package and mostly stayed supplied with ginger ale.)
The last night of the cruise was a little hard to sleep through. We were going faster than we had previously in order to make it to port on time and the ship rocked a lot more than it had previously. But none of us got sick the entire time. (we had Dramamine with us just in case but didn't have to open it.)
I think it was a good cruise for a first-timer. Next time we go we'd like to try a different, bigger ship.
I took a friend on this cruise with me as it was her first time to cruise. To say she had an outstanding time, is by far way short of what she had. The food was so superb and plentiful and the entertainment was awesome. There were so many things to do on board and the shore excursion in Ensenada was very exciting.
overall the experience with the cruise's staff was exceptional. they were friendly and helpful especially at dinner. we became friends with out wait staff as well as many other employees on-board. this was the most enjoyable aspect of the trip.
On the final day you can go to the lido buffet and have breakfast while waiting to get off the ship. if you take your time and have breakfast and get off the ship at about 10, quicker through customs and parking lot. You do not feel like your getting the bums rush to get off the ship.
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