This itinerary was quick and affordable, and the boarding and disembarkation process (in every port) was efficient and easy.
There was a nice spa, with lots of services (for a price) but the gym seemed small and ordinary - treadmills and step machines, not much else.
The public address system was quirky - too loud, too soft and/or indistinct. It was hard to understand most announcements (especially with the variety of accents,) and many days we excpected announcments/instructions and there were none (disembarkation).
We loved the destinations (Catalina and Ensenada), but sorry to say: I will not sail with Carnival again.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
The dining room staff were wonderfully gracious, helpful and hard working.
Our biggest disappointment of the cruise was the food - it was mostly overcooked and bland, especially the seafood. The dining room menu promised a nice variety, even having items for dieters and diabetics, but the delivery almost always disappointed our table of 10. The Brasserie (cafeteria) food was also overcooked and bland - institutional. The only bright spot was the pastry chef seemed to have some skills - some morning pastries and occasional deserts were tasty and well-executed, but they were rare, and we were trying to avoid extra calories.
1 out of 5
The entertainment was sophmoric - raucous rather than refined, and amplified to the point of painful - but Carnival is, after all, all about "fun," so we didn't expect string quartets.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
The dining and cabin staff were very gracious, friendly and hard working. Staff at guest services were attentive and helpful.
We tried calling guest services a couple of times from our room - the number was invariably busy. Out of several tries to the room steward number, they answered only once. Not a big deal, unless one has an emergency (we didn't).
3 out of 5
The ship is very clean and relatively modern on the inside but the exterior shows signs of age and deferred maintenance.
It was hard to find a comfortable place on board to get away from it all - the aft "Serenity Deck" was nice, but often had piped-in rock music playing, not exactly relaxing. There were a number of small lounges/bars, but they were either smokey (Avante Gard) or closed most of the time (Rhapsody in Blue). Seats around the ship were barely comfortable - even in the library.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Rooms were well-lit and clean, room size and storage space were adequate. There was no exhaust fan in the bathroom, so things stayed wet. The beds were very cozy, so with little comfortable seating around the ship, we would retreat to our cabins more than we cared to.
Pros: Destinations, friendly waitstaff and cabin crews
Cons: Food was overcooked and bland; constant pop music in every part of ship, pervasive smokey smell on casion deck
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