April 2, 2004
This was our first cruise, so wanted to share our comments.
Getting on the ship was easy. We did early check-in at the Queen Mary at 10:30 am, walked around, and at 11:30 am stood in the line outside the terminal. They began boarding around 12:15 pm and we were on board by 12:30 pm.
Our cabin was on the Empress Deck, and it was cleaner and larger than we expected. Windows were dirty but guess they are hard to clean with the quick turn-arounds. Cabin steward was nice, helpful, and responsive. Luggage arrived by 4:00 pm.
While ship is slated to be replaced later this year, it was cleaner than we expected. Smoking is only allowed in a few areas, which is good. The musical shows were so-so. We had bar coupons in advance, but they seem to offer no benefit. Anything in excess is charged to your account.
We took the wine country tour which was enjoyable. Bus takes you 45 minutes outside of Ensenada and you visit 2 wineries. La Cetto is the better of the two.
Biggest disappointment was quality of the food. The buffets are of less quality than the Las Vegas buffets. Some of the food in the main dining rooms is poor. Orange juice was watered down. We ordered rack of lamb one night and got some type of lamb roast. We sent it back for another entree. Lobster tail was tough. Portions are small. We expected great food and lots of it, so was disappointed!!!! Probably will not take another Carnival cruise just because of the food.
Drinks are pricy... including sodas. Note: you can take wine and champagne with you on board. No limit .. we had 4 bottles between the 2 of us. We were not charged any corkage fees.
Overall, it was a fun time for a 3-day cruise.