I just returned from my 4 day cruise from L.A. to Ensenada, etc. aboard the Ecstasy. I took my wife and went with another couple. We had a great time but this is not the boat to board if you're looking to spend a few days with well-heeled sophisticated people. Let's put it this way - on formal night, a few tank tops were seen around the room.
1) I have never seen so many obese people in one place in my life. Do NOT get in the way when the buffet starts! It's like a stampede of pigs on the way to the feed trough!
3) Catalina was nice but we took the golf carts around the island, etc. and were done with this island by Noon. Nothing else to do but go back to the boat.
4) Ensenada is an absolute garbage hole. Ensenada must be feeding Carnival millions of dollars to keep them coming there. Carnival should be ashamed that it has this city as an advertized Port of Call. It is filthy and the "tours" and "shopping areas" are a joke. We got talked into going to see the blow hole and it as about 5 seconds of "wow" followed quickly by the realization that you are now 45 minutes away from the boat (by rickety tour bus) and you are in a giant slum. The parents were literally shoving their poor desperate cute little children out at you in the shopping areas and making the do most of the work. It was appalling. I have been to many areas of Mexico (Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Mazatlan, Cabo) but Ensenada is a mess. I will never step foot in that city again.
1) The casino was great. If you are a gambler, the blackjack rules were very favorable and it wasn't at all what I expected. I expected just 2 tables packed 7 people high with 10 people waiting to take their place! In reality, they had about 7 tables and it was acceptable. (I also won about $400 so that helps the rating!)
2) The entertainment area was good with a wide range of stuff for everyone (Disco, hard rock band, etc.)
3) The gym was not bad and had several good quality treadmills and 1 good quality life-cycle. They had dumbbells up to 50 lbs also.
4) The dinners were very good and our waiter was very nice. She broke our heart by telling us how they had to work 13 hours per day, 7 days a week, for 5 months straight before they even get a day off. This seems illegal to me and certainly border-line slavery. We gave her a large tip and hoped she would quit that stinking job ASAP! I am amazed that the crew can keep smiling and do a very good job working hard, etc. considering the sweat-shop conditions.