October 18, 2002
First we got to the ship. I was stunned by the size this being my first time. It was huge. Even against the RC Vision of the Seas that was also in port in Los Angeles. We got to the ship ay about 4:15 so we rushed a bit to get there, but we had plenty of time. We got checked in and were on the boat in 15 min. Security is fairly lax, we had discovered that my wife's passport was expired the night before departure, so I spent hours finding her birth certificate and marriage paperwork so we could prove who she was. They told me at the terminal that they would have taken the expired passport. Hmmm....
Anyway we got on board, took the picture and headed for our room. We had a cat 11 suite on the V deck. The room was smaller than I thought, but we had a little balcony. Unfortunately the view was partially blocked by a lifeboat. Carnivals web site does not mention this, but Travelocity's does. Wish I would have known that. The room was ok.
My wife was already feeling the movement of the boat, so we went to the gift shop to get some barf medication. We are on a ship heading to sea, and they were all out before we even left. No worries though, if that happens to any of you, just go to the purser's desk; they will give it to you for free.
The crowd on deck was young. I knew we were in for a good party. We got drinks, and explored the ship. Best part about the trip was the bars serve Bass Ale. One of the best English beers. I was very happy to see that. Everything up top was great, but when you go below decks, sometimes the smell of, I don't even want to know what, is revolting. It's really bad in some places. I had read that you get used to the smell. I would say to those people " liar liar pants on fire ". You can't get used to that smell.. Our bathroom in our room had a hint of the same smell. That didn't bother me as much as the other places on the ship. The ship is a little cheesy with all the Vegas decor, but I liked it. I did not notice the carpets, or the lights being out, and I did look. I guess some people really have nothing better to do. The crew worked hard every day cleaning and polishing. I thought it was fine. We had a late seating for dinner. Our tablemates were great, we had a lot of fun with them.
The food was good. Mine was bSo on to day 2 and 3. We pulled into Ensenada early. My wife and were not even going to bother getting off the ship. We have spent a lot of time in Mexico, and it has to be one of the most depressing places on earth. I can only take so much plight. We spent most of the day by the pool, which was indeed filled with salt water. The pool could not have been more that 55 degrees, so nobody except a few psycho kids were getting in. I think they could not resist the water slide. They need to do something about that. Anyway the boat was nearly empty with everyone on shore. We had a very relaxing morning. About 2:30 my wife started to wonder if we should get off and go look around. We went down to get off, but the computer system was down so nobody was getting off or backs on. Correct me is I am wrong, but didn't they have cruise ships BEFORE computers? I was laughing that they only had to take us to one port, and they couldn't even get that going right. After about 30 min of standing around, they finally let us off tails, so don't be shy about ordering as much as you want. We planned on making the comedy show that night, but once we went back to the cabin to change, we both laid down to rest a min. I woke up at about 2am fully clothed including shoes. Maybe eating all of that was not a good idea. We actually only made 1 show the last night. It was the Mambo show, and it was fun.
We gambled on the last night, and here is where my only real gripe comes in. I am a blackjack player so I sat down at a table with 4 others. Within 5 min we got a new dealer, and this was bad. The 2nd hand in she deals all the cards out. She has a face card, so she checks it with the reader to see if she has a BJ. She says nothing, so people are playing their hands, doubling down and so on. Well once everyone is done, she flips over her down card and it's an Ace. She had a BJ the whole time. She took everyone's money including the people who had doubled down. 1st mistake. Then about 3 hands later, she deals the cards, and she has a 9 showing. We are all playing our hands, and again some people have doubled down, one guys has 150.00 out there. Then to our shock she calls the pit boss over and tells him she had forgot to take a 2nd card. All she had was the 9. We are all stunned. We tell the pit boss Hector that this is a misdeal, not the first, and they should cover the bets. The pit boss tells us that they wiAnyway, that's about it for our trip. I would give them a 4 out of 5 for the entire cruise. We really did have a good time. The only downgrades would be for the gambling, and that smell on the lower decks. The crew was very attentive, the food was great, the one show we saw was fun, getting on was a breeze, and so was getting off. They started calling tags at 8:30, and I was in my car leaving the parking lot at 8:55. I think most people's problems with getting off are because of the cabins they choose.. I would pay the extra for a nice room just to get on quick, and get off first.