First off, we have cruised 3 other times and I don't remember ever the embarking or debarking process to be so fast and efficient...Things have really changed for the better! The ship was always clean, the staff was always polite and helpful but in my opinion I prefer less sea days and more ports...The food was ok but I must add (you may not want to read this) On 2 separate occasions, we were served food with hair cooked INTO it:((( The first time I said no big deal. They are in a hurry and well, stuff happens...The second time, I thought can we be the ONLY ones??? Then when we did the galley tour, lo and behold there is a plate of food for viewing with hair in it:(((On the first instance someone came up and apologized and the second time they brought us chocolate covered strawberries.. But really, your appetite is gone by then...I would definitely give the food a thumbs down but the waiters we had were excellent and funny.
Our rooms were great with port side cabins and a terrific steward who was nice and friendly as could be...The production shows left a lot to be desired if you are used to seeing high quality entertainment, just skip the shows and find something else.. The passengers on the boat were more talented. I was kind of embarrassed for them and did notice many people leaving during the shows......It really is amateur entertainment at its best. However, if you don't regularly go to broadway productions, the theatre and such then you may not notice? I just felt like it was a high school talent show everytime the singers and dancers performed..The comedians were great especially the first one , he was top notch entertainment at its best...We did visit the spa on one occasion and it was great as well as the gym.
As for the ports the first one is Puerto Vallarta and we spent the day at the Krystal (5 star resort) and had a couples 4 hand massages that was positively the best we had ever had...Mazatlan, we did the city tour with Mazatlan Frank and Gingers Bilingual horses...Frank offered us a customized tour for the family and we saw so much.. Hes a very nice guy. Gingers Bilingual Horses was I think the best excursion of our trip. She has 8 horses, so its not a 30 plus person nose to tail ride. You get her at Playa Del Bruja I believe, and you horseback ride on the beach going as fast or slow as you prefer, in the water or out, and relatively inexpensive..It was beautiful riding along the beach, through a coconut plantation and back to the beach again...I highly recommend her and the horses were absolutely amazing. They were so well trained that they would do anything with ease..Of course we saw the cliff divers, markets,and Cathedral and our guide took us to an exclusive area that celebrities live in. Its very nice to have the excursion planned and a tour guide waiting for you when you get off the ship. Then it was on to Cabo San Lucas. This was by far the most Americanized and beautiful port by far. I could have stayed there for a week. We got off the boat and found a glass bottom boat to take us the arches and Lovers beach. Along the way we saw a sea lion colony up close and personal. The water here is crystal clear so if you like to snorkel this is THE place. I should add that I had read about the water taxis being dangerous and have read horror stories. Well,when we went to get off, my husband was thrown out the boat (by a big wave) it was a little scary and our camera got submerged so we we lost all our pix not mention our new camera. Thankfully the rest of us got out ok...But it is a little scary and at least he didn't hit a rock like so many others have....I can see how people get hurt!If you have children or elderly with you be forewarned! After we left there we went to the dolphin exhibit, and Cabo Wabo which was really cool. We walked around the town and everyone was quite helpful. On the way leaving Cabo, we saw a family of dolphins swimming next to the boat which was pretty to see.
We did have kids enrolled in the Circle C program which is basically Camp Carnival...I know I have said everytime I cruise that its not impressive.It really isn't! The kids can check themselves in and out:(( which is frightening with all that happens on cruise ships these days. On many occasions, when we followed their capers of kid activities, they were not where the paper said they were or there was just kids running amuck with no supervision at all...I don't like that all. And any good activities seemed to be happening when we were at dinner??? Do they not realize there are two dinners and not everyone eats early?I was Not impressed with the kids programs at all unless they are infants or toddlers...All in all it was a great trip that I wish would have lasted longer:) it did have some downsides (the food, Camp Carnival) along with pluses (the waiters, stewards, ports, cleanliness)but it was still a fun and memorable trip!!! I just wish that for our next cruise from Long Beach we have more port days....