February 2016 - 7 Night Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Miracle
This was my first cruise. I am not sure I will go on another one. The carnival miracle was just so so. I felt like service was moderately good, but the facilities were very ho hum. The food was obviously prepared way ahead of time and sat under heat lamps for a long time. The desserts spanned the spectrum from awful to pretty good. I also felt a bit annoyed at being nickle and dimed for gratuities, exercise classes, coffee drinks, etc. I would have preferred these things be included in the price of the cruise.
Before the cruise, I imagined myself and my family and friends sitting around the pool on the sea days, and getting some workouts in in the fitness center. The pool facilites were terrible, They were tiny and the water freezing. Because of this the hot tub was filled with children during the whole cruise (mine included.) There was an adults only pool area that I didn't check out, because I was travelling with my kid, so maybe that was nicer. The few workout classes offered, yoga and pilates once a day, were all at an additional cost. I wish there had been some cardio classes offered included in the cruise fare.
There were a lot of cigarette smokers on the cruise and they were allowed to smoke on one side of the pool deck, in the night club that had good music for dancing at night and in the casino, that you had to walk through to get to the activities and theatre in the front of the ship. I guess i have gotten really used to people not being able to smoke in public indoor spaces, so it really bothered me. One day, I was trying to play a game of outdoor giant chess on the pool deck with my 7 year old and we were inundated with smoke the whole time.
I like to experience the culture of a place when I visit, and I felt like it was very difficult to get away from the total tourist zones in the time we had at port and with the options available for excursions away from the ship on port days.
I did like being out on the ocean and waking up in the morning and looking out the window to see the waves. We got to see a number of whales and dolphins, and that was cool. Overall, I think I would prefer to go stay at an all inclusive resort and go out to explore the area from there. I am glad I tried cruising, now I know what it is like.