My husband, Steve, and I first booked a 15-day cruise to Hawaii in July 2010 for a sailing in April 2012. We were so excited as the date approached and had bought all the little stuff you need for the trip including personalized t-shirts. Ten days before sailing I got a call that changed our lives.
My mother was critically ill and I needed to fly there ASAP. As it turns out Mom passed away the day the cruise started. We had cancelled a few days earlier knowing there was no way we could make the trip.
We hadn’t bought insurance and the official policy is that we were SOL. I emailed Carnival with the situation, a link to my mom’s online obituary and asked for some consideration. To be honest, I was hoping for some sort of credit but would understand if they said no.
To my surprise Carnival gave us a full credit. The standard policy on credits is that they are only good for certain itineraries not including Hawaii. I appealed to them about this restriction as well since that was our original cruise route. They came through again with an exemption. A couple of months later we were ready to book the trip for October of the following year which is my husband and I ended up on the October 19, 2013 sailing of the Carnival Miracle. Oh and yes, we did buy the cruise insurance.
We were planning to drive to Long Beach the morning of the cruise since it’s only 100 miles away but then we found a hotel with free parking would be less than paying for 15 days of parking at the cruise terminal.
Hotel Maya has a Carnival rate that includes parking and if booked early enough it’s very reasonable. We paid $125 for a garden view room with a King Size bed. Our room was nice-sized and had a balcony with two chairs and a table. We had a side view of the bay and could see the tail and slide of the ship in port when we checked in the afternoon before our cruise.
The room décor was very unique and we enjoyed it. I know some people complained about the river rock headboard but we liked the touch.
The room is stocked with a Keurig coffee maker and we got extra k-cups at the front desk. It also has a flat panel TV, and free wifi.
What was missing was a make-up mirror. There really wasn’t a closet door so no mirrors there; just the mirror over the farm style bathroom sink. One of the cruise critic roll call members organized a dinner that evening at Bubba Gumps and there were 22 of us ready to start the party. She gave everyone leis to get them in the mood and we had a fun time getting to know some of the fellow cruisers.
When we got back to the hotel we went to the restaurant/bar area for drinks. I ordered a coconut mojito and my husband has his usual = bourbon and coke. We also ordered guacamole and chips to have with the drinks and sat around the fire pit outside. It was very relaxing.
A new tv series was taping at the marina right next to the hotel so we heard lots of “gunshots” as they filmed some kind of shoot-out scene. Another cruiser whose room was close to the action said they were still filming at 2 am.