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Ak4n3

Carnival Panorama 01/04/2020 – 01/11/2020

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I hope everyone had a good weekend. Onwards!

 

Thoughts on the Spa and Spa Pass

 

I never won in the Spa Raffle before.  However, I guess I was lucky (or Aria brought me luck) and won $150 credits in the spa.  Since it was our anniversary, I decided to splurge on a couple’s massage.  I probably won’t do it again unless I will win in a raffle. 

 

We also purchased a couple’s spa pass.  We were spoiled on the Splendor and loved the T-pool and spent most of the mornings in the t-pool and saunas during our 7 day, sometimes twice a dat, so we want another go with the spa pass. 

 

This time on the Panorama, we weren’t so thrilled about the spa.  The experience showers were nice and aromatic, and the sauna and heating rooms were nice.  We just miss the T-pool.

 

Also take note, there are chair hogs in the spa!  Ugh.  They were in the whirlpool and they weren’t even using the warm recliners!  If they were napping on the recliners, I would understand.  But to call out someone who wanted to use the vacant recliners is something else. SMH. 

 

In the end, I think we only used our spa pass 4 times.  We’d most likely not do it again and there are other activities during the day to occupy our time.

 

Sorry, no pics on the spa.  We couldn’t find the time when the spa was empty.

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Thoughts on Cabo San Lucas Day

 

The tender tickets were given the noon on the first sea day at the lido deck.  According to their posting, you don’t have to get tickets IF you have a Carnival shore excursion.  The excursion tickets should have the meet up time and location.  If you will go to Cabo on your own, it’s better to get the tender tickets.  We got ticket number 24 and the posting said we do not get off until about 12noon!

 

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I had a feeling that we will be able to get on the water shuttles earlier.  And indeed we did!   They called our number at around 1030am I’m so happy that our cabins were at the forward Deck 1, it was only a flight of stairs away from Deck 0. 

 

It was a pretty quick ride to the dock.  However, the Royal Princess and Sea Princess joined us that day so it was quite a wait for us to get our turn on the dock area.  Lots of people.  But once the excursion people left, it wasn’t so bad.

 

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Weather was HOT!   

 

Since the parentals were new to the area, I decided that all of us take the Arch Glass bottom boar tour.  I haggled for a $10/person glass bottom boat ride (45 minutes) and no additional dock fees.

 

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After the boat trip, we went back to the dock.  I didn’t want to go to Medano Beach as I can see that it was super crowded.  I decided for us to  walk towards the Naval/Coast Guard area for the locals’ beach.  You can rent umbrellas and there are port-a-potties available.  There are no vendors in the area, but there are no restaurants either.  If you’re looking for peace and quiet with a nice view of the ships, this is your spot.  The waters are calmer, too, which is a huge plus if you have little kids.  I felt safe in the area. I have a feeling we'll do this beach on our own when we sail the Mexican Riviera again.  And this time, we'll be prepared!

 

Path to the beach.  Playa Empacadora (Cannery Beach)

 

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It's an easy walk, you can't miss it.  Just go left towards the smaller boat area pass the coast guard/naval base.

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Getting sand out of our shoes.  Like I said, we weren't prepared.  Bren wasn't planning to swim at all so he wasn't too thrilled to walk to the beach.

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This is closer to noon.  Lots of space.

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If it wasn’t too hot for the parentals and if my kids were prepared, we could’ve stayed and swam for a bit.  But, everyone was melting and wanted to go back, so back to the ship we went. 

 

 

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Really enjoying your review! We sail on May 16th, can't wait. I signed up for the Sushi Class, very excited about that.

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Thoughts on Mazatlan Day

 

Now Popsie is very wary about going to Mexico especially the news at the time we booked them in October 2019.  I told him that it’s relatively safe, as long as you don’t veer off the tourist path.  So, instead of my original plan of us  just hanging out at Stone Island, we would be walking the Blue Line and find the Cathedral.

 

We basically walked off the ship, rode the shuttle, and avoided the tour vendors in the market place  and taxis at the entrance of the cruise port.  I researched tips from the Mexican Riviera forum that we have a choice of walking towards the left, along the wall to get to the Stone Island Ferry (until my next trip, sigh) or to the volunteers for the Mazatlán Blue line who will give us a walking Map. 

 

Shuttle to the cruise port entrance because the Mazatlan port is industrial.  Not good to traipse around.

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The volunteers are very friendly and would gladly give pointers to sights and how to go around Mazatlán.

 

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The literal Blue Line

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Halfway to the Cathedral (Plaza). The blue line volunteers are around so there are people you can ask if you feel like you're getting lost.

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Immaculada Concepcion Cathedral

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The kids begging to go back so they harrassed Señor Frog .  Again it was HOT!

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The blue line is walkable,  and I think we returned to the ship at about noon-ish for lunch and other activities.  

 

Next time, I will definitely hit Stone Island  where I'll be beach side enjoying drinks and locally sourced food.  But, it wasn't meant to be. 

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Great review! How far and how long did it take to get from the ship to the cathedral?  One person in our group has recently had hip replacement, so not sure unless it’s a relatively short walk. 

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1 hour ago, Greektreats said:

Great review! How far and how long did it take to get from the ship to the cathedral?  One person in our group has recently had hip replacement, so not sure unless it’s a relatively short walk. 

If memory serves, it take 15-20 minutes walking.

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14 hours ago, Greektreats said:

Great review! How far and how long did it take to get from the ship to the cathedral?  One person in our group has recently had hip replacement, so not sure unless it’s a relatively short walk. 

 

Yes, what Jim said.  It's 20 minutes one way.  The sidewalk and road are pretty ok.  Be wary of dogs within the house gates, they're angry.  I've seen accessibility ramps so if anybody has to ride on a wheel chair, it would be easy.  I've seen people from other cruises with canes.  A caveat:  the old area sidewalk is cobblestone, so it will be a bit bumpy at times. 

 

This is the route we took.  There are police around so its pretty safe and the Blue Line volunteers are there along the path.  My daughter decided to turn the map into an airplane so I can't point out the places we went to before we returned.

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Thank you all for sticking around with me so far!

 

Thoughts on Puerto Vallarta

 

I asked the parentals what they wanted to do in Puerto Vallarta.  We ended up going to Walmart for some well needed  free Wifi and souvenirs.  I guess everyone is feeling tired and the temps are very summery.  Like I said, the ship is HUGE!  Going from Point A to Point B is a long walk.  I think I raked in a minimum of 15K steps on my FitBit per day.

 

We overnighted once in Puerto Vallarta on the Splendor.  I felt safe in the area.  We just don't fee like going on excursions this time around

 

Presenting Walmart (if you need to stock up on sodas and other things like free wifi).  They accept US dollars and will give change in USD, though the cents parts are given in Mexican Pesos.  I received 18 Pesos.  No problem, there is a small McDonald kiosk in Walmart and one cone is about 12 Pesos.  We have coins left over for our collection.

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Our stalker for the week 😛 

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It feels so good to walk on terra firma after a few days on sea.  I made everybody just spend time off the ship before we return to our ship board activities.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thoughts on Activities

 

Sky Ride and Ropes Course

 

I like it better when I'm on the floor.

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My recommendation:  Please do not use the Sky Ride and Ropes Course when the ship is underway.  Make sure that you’re firmly docked and there is no wind.  I discovered that I was very afraid of heights and being high up on wobbly things.  But even when docked, it’s scary as *^&#!  Then again, I think it’s just me.

 

We rode the  Sky Ride on Puerto Vallarta day so we were nicely docked.  I felt good getting on the bike.  Once I was on the rails with nothing beneath my feet, I became anxious.  I know that I was safely harnessed in, but the combination of a  breeze and looking down (NEVER LOOK DOWN!) is terrifying.  DH was also scared a bit, especially the part where the bike dips downwards (PREPARE YOU BRAKES).  He said the ride was fine but he will never do it again.

 

The Ropes course is another story.  There are two sides, the easy side and the hard side.  The easy side has more hand holds and a bit stable than the hard side.  But still!  We did the ropes course on the 2nd sea day (after Puerto Vallarta) and the ship was happily underway.  You can feel the wind and the swaying. 

 

There was a man who gave up after the very first part of the ropes course and went back to where we started.  I thought after the initial part, most foot holds are stable.  Only the first part of the course is scary.  Also DO NOT LOOK DOWN. 

 

We’re allowed to go through the ropes course twice.  Nope, never again!  Both of us said we’re getting old for this $#!&. 

 

 

 

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Miscellaneous Thoughts

 

 

Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse

 

We always try to go on a family vacation on our anniversary week.  This time, we’re on a cruise and DH and I wanted to try the Steakhouse.  Since the  last thing the kidlets want to do was to stay in a dark steakhouse for about two hours,  they joined the Olds for dinner at the MDR and then send them off to their kids’ club activities afterwards.   

 

I must say, our last meal prior to dinner was breakfast and we really prepared ourselves not to eat much during the day.  Dinner at Fahrenheit 555 was worth the extra cost.  I promise myself to go to Carnival Steakhouse at least once from now on.

 

Sorry about the grainy photo.  Potato soup compliments of the Chef

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Pork Belly Appetizer for me

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Ta-da!

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Dh's bone marrow and beef tartare

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Filet Mignon  and wasabi mashed potato for me.  Don't let the angle fool you.  I couldn't finish it.

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DH's Wagyu with french fries as his side.  He wanted to finish it but Bren discovered that we were at the Steakhouse and he demanded leftovers.  

 

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Art at the table (because we thought it's be fun).  And we couldn't finish it either.

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The dining staff were nice and attentive.  When we told them we want to take our leftover steaks to the cabin because of our son, they graciously packed it for us and gave us an extra macaroni and cheese side for him to enjoy.  

 

As soon as we messaged Bren to come back to the cabin, he was happy even if he was kind of miffed at us for not including him. Sorry kid, it's our anniversary and there are plenty of things to eat on the ship anyway.  We promised him that next time we cruise on the bigger ships,  we will take him to the steakhouse and let him order from the regular menu and not the kids'. (well, not Aria, she hasn't discovered the joys of steaks yet.  But she will eat the bread) 

 

You could say it was 5 stars from all of us.

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On 1/21/2020 at 11:33 AM, RenoNanaOz said:

Really enjoying your review! We sail on May 16th, can't wait. I signed up for the Sushi Class, very excited about that.

 

Thank you.  Sushi Class was one of the classes I considered to go to, but we wanted to do something else on that time slot.  Maybe next time, I'll try that.

 

On 1/22/2020 at 2:18 AM, grima625 said:

Great pictures!  Enjoying the review.

 

Thank you so much for following along

 

On 1/22/2020 at 10:07 AM, adriennerm said:

Great review. We sail this Saturday on the ship. I can't wait

 

I hope you have nice weather and enjoy your upcoming cruise.

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Bonsai Sushi

 

Bren was hankering for some ramen.  You know how it is with teenage boys.  They’re basically bottomless pits at this age.  So at around 830-9pm on Cabo day, even after we had dinner at the MDR , we had dinner number 2 at Bonsai Sushi. Aria still absent because she will not appreciate the fried goodness laid in front of her.

 

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We didn't try Cucina, Jiji, or the Teppanyaki.  We have that all lined up the next time we cruise on the Panorama again.

Edited by Ak4n3

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Sky Zone

 

We all wanted to try the Sky Zone Trampoline park but according to the fun squad members, the jumping times are broken up to Toddlers ($5), Teens ($12), Adults ($18). 

 

Bren jumped by himself on the first sea day afternoon. Aria and I took a 9AM schedule for Thursday (Second Sea Day).  DH didn’t get to jump with  us but we were allowed to be at the spectator gallery to take his photos. There are probably 10 kids bouncing all over the place.  It was entertaining to watch, especially Bren, who wasn't in any way athletically inclined.

 

Aria was devastated that she couldn’t get to jump with her brother right there and then.  It took all of her Marshmallow test effort to stop herself from joining in.  So near yet so far.  It was fine.  With the way the older kids were playing (dodge ball throwing and fast jumping), I’m glad that Carnival decided to separate the age groups.

 

 Her patience was rewarded big time, as it turned out that we were the only ones jumping on that time slot.  Apparently, it was too early for other toddlers to come in and jump.  I don’t blame the parents.  I needed coffee myself but I didn’t trust that I will not be sick all over the trampoline place if I was jumping with anything in my stomach.  There better be a special place for me in Parent Heaven for giving up coffee for the sake of my child’s happiness.

 

Waiting for the 9AM opening.  We just woke up at 8:30... It's too early for this...

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It was deserted and only us.  Yippee!  Aria had the full attention of the fun squad members.  Keep in mind that kiddie songs like Baby Shark will be playing while you're there.  DH was there for photo duties

 

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The jousting beam. I could've bashed her with jousting sticks...but I don't want to deal with a crying child without being fortified with coffee first.

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We tried the rock climbing wall.  I have no upper body strength at all.

 

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I think Aria enjoyed the Sky Zone although I doubt if she would want to do it again.  She was alone with only Michael of the Funs Squad and me to play with.

 

After an hour, it was time to go.  Good thing because I was starving.  And coffee...don't forget coffee.

 

 

Edited by Ak4n3

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Last Thoughts 

 

The Panorama is a solid Carnival ship.  After being jealous that the East Coast has both the Horizon and the Vista, I’m happy that we West Coast cruisers have a big ship to call our own. 

 

The MDR and buffet offerings were as expected.  The taste was consistent and there are a lot of choices for picky eaters like my kids.  Even the additional charge restaurants are surprisingly good.  My only regret was not getting to try the other places like Jiji or the Teppanyaki place.  There are just so much to choose from.  Next time, there better be a next time.

 

DH and I always visit the comedy club and we feel that this is what Carnival is best known for.  We've only seen 2 shows, Broadway Beats and Celestial string.  They were nice and different from the other shows, but we tend to skip the others in favor of the Comedy Club.

 

In between comedy club sets, we would be hanging out at the Piano Bar.  Piano Dude Gregg is great!  I hope he’ll be back on the Panorama when we decided to cruise again.  I believe he is either going on the Sunshine or Sensation…or another Carnival ship with an S.

 

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The casino didn’t like me so much.  I didn’t even get to manage 500 points.  Popsie on the other hand had played to get enough points by Mazatlan day that he received a DOU card.  I think he ended the cruise with over 2000 points.  He doesn’t even drink alcohol!  What a waste.  He did use it on pineapple juice at the bar. 😭 I hope at least I get some nice cruise offers.

 

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Debarkation day wasn't too much of a hassle.  We have Tag 11 and our zone wasn't called until around 9:30.  We just hung out at the Havana Bar/Ocean Plaza area on Deck 5 after breakfast.  Debark is on Deck 4 so the crew are pointing people to Deck 5 to hang out rather than clog the hallway.   If it was just me, I would've stayed for as long as possible and nap.  But the olds and Bren were getting anxious to go home.  They are ready to go home.  Unlike me and Aria... who was crying bloody murder because she wanted to stay at Camp Ocean.  We had to tell her that we will come back soon.  I hope she won't be disappointed when we cruise on the Imagination instead of the Panorama on April...

 

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The Panorama is huge.  There are a lot of things to do and see.  I doubt if you can do everything on one trip.  We just planned to do what we need to do at least once and hopefully we'll be back to book on her again.

 

Thank you so much for sticking with me until the end .  I apologize for my ramblings.  Do let me know if you have any questions.  I hope to answer you to the best of my knowledge.

 

Edited by Ak4n3

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44 minutes ago, Ak4n3 said:

 

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The Panorama is huge.  There are a lot of things to do and see.  I doubt if you can do everything on one trip.  We just planned to do what we need to do at least once and hopefully we'll be back to book on her again.

 

Thank you so much for sticking with me until the end .  I apologize for my ramblings.  Do let me know if you have any questions.  I hope to answer you to the best of my knowledge.

 

What would you say is a good tip per day per child for Camp Ocean? 

Edited by sanmarcosman

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I'd give 5 per day?  Depends if your kid is really happy there and made them feel special.  Can we ever put a price on our kid's happiness?  😛 

Edited by Ak4n3

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Just now, Ak4n3 said:

I'd give 5 per day?  Depends if your kid is really happy there and made them feel special.  Can we ever put a price on our kid's happiness?  😛 

 

8 minutes ago, sanmarcosman said:

What would you say is a good tip per day per child for Camp Ocean? 

 Don't forget to mention them on the survey!

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Great Review, it reminded us of a Great Cruise. We will be on the Panorama again!!

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19 minutes ago, MEUB1112 said:

Great Review, it reminded us of a Great Cruise. We will be on the Panorama again!!

 

It was, wasn't it?  I hope to book again soon.

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Thank you so much for this delightful and informative review. We board the Panorama tomorrow and your review added to our anticipation and answered any questions we had. Thanks for covering all the age groups. We are a family group of 8 and we are "the olds" 😄 Thanks again! 

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Thank you for such an interesting  and detailed review.  We sail on 1st February and you have given us lots of useful information.  Was great to be able to see the Fun Times.  So excited now.  Thanks for taking the time to do this for us and for sharing your lovely photos.

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