I was tentative about my first cruise because of the few bad reviews on this board. I went aboard with reasonable expectations and an open mind and came to a quick conclusion that those rated the ship as unacceptable were those who would probably NEVER be happy in any situation. We had a suite with a balcony and thought the room was lovely and well maintained by our ever-present room steward. Dining, overall, was very good at the formal seatings but pretty much average at the alternate dining at the buffet and grill on the Lido deck. If you keep in mind that the formal meals can only be prepared in advance (banquet quality), and not cooked individually for you, you will find them well prepared and nicely presented. We chose to eat at the buffet one night and really regretted doing so. Informal breakfast and lunches were good. Midnight buffets were very average, good only for a late nite snack instead of a meal. Entertainment... something going on all the time! Plan on staying up late and resting when you get home! We cruised during Easter vacation and would never do that again because of the hundreds of unsupervised children, whose parents were nowhere to be found. That wasn't Carnival's fault, though. Embarkation and disembarking were well organized, considering 2,600 passengers were involved. Ports of call (Catalina and Ensenada) are VERY unspectacular and we would not repeat this itinerary. My wife and I were pleased with the cruise, overall, and would recommend Carnival to others with the caveats already stated in this posting. Four stars is a little high of a rating, but three is not enough.
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