I would google shuttles in that area. The only one I know of is Super Shuttle. But, we have used them quite a bit on both coasts.
Some ships now have extra restaraunts that you can go to and pay extra for, but only if you want to. We rarely do, since the free dining room food, plus buffets on deck and room service are more than anough for us. We have done the specialty restaraunts to celebrate special occasions and thought that they were worth the extra money. But, you don't have to do that at all.
I would try to arrive at the airport as early as possible, even the day before, if you can. Traffic in L.A. is as bad as it is reputed to be, especially from LAX to Long Beach area. But, allow a LOT of time. You can usually board the ship earlier than they state on their documents. We like to arrive at the ship around 10:30 or 11 a.m. Sometimes the cabins aren't ready yet, but since you drop your luggage off at the pier, all you need to carry around is a bad with med's, jewelry, camera, maybe a bathing suit if you want to jump in the pool asap. The Lido buffet will be open, too, so you can start in on that free food immediately.
I'm not sure who promised you an upgrade, but those are very rare. Unless you had something in writing that said you would be getting an upgrade, don't worry about it. It doesn't happen very often.
Internet on board is not cheap and tends to be very slow, so unless you have to stay in touch, don't bother. Same with cell phones. Charges can mount up fast.
Ask any more questions that you have. We're here because we LOVE talking about cruises!
Internet rates vary by cruise line but most cruise lines charge around .75 per minute or a 250 minute package will run you $100 or .40/minute.
Speeds can vary from unusable to reasonably fast. Most of the time it will remind you of old time dial-up. Don't expect to upload or download large files.
It can be good for checking email or some quick browsing.
Make sure you suspend your updates. On my last cruise a person was sitting by me in the lounge and both of us were using our laptops. He was cursing that it was ridiculously slow while I was having reasonable response time. I took a look at his laptop and the Systray and saw that his Window Update was running as well as his virus software update. Ouch! That would slow down a DSL connection. I terminated the updates and he didn't have any speed issues.
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Upcoming Cruise(s) Carnival Liberty: May 31, 2014. The Anniversary Getaway.
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me