My wife and I are veterans of five previous cruises. Our cruise experience isn't huge, but we do have enough to measure quality of experience.
Our previous cruises have taken us to the Caribbean (twice), Alaska, New England-Maritime Canada, and PNW. One reason we settled on this cruise to the so-called Mexican Riviera is because it's a major cruise venue that we hadn't experienced before. We have family members living in the southern California area, and taking this cruise was combined with a family visit.
Since we lived in southern California for many years, side-trips to Disneyland, blah blah blah, didn't interest us.
Our first cruise in 1979 was via Carnival aboard the ancient Carnivale, a second-hand ex-Canadian Pacific liner but to compare that cruise to this latest one aboard the Pride is probably not appropos because so much has changed in the cruise industry. I will say that in 1979, food aboard the Carnivale was quite good and no corners were cut in that department.
So, as to this latest cruise aboard the Pride. Boarding was a pain in the posterior as when we arrived at the ship, there was a very long line that took approximately two hours from start to walking onto the ship. Only one of our five previous cruises took anywhere near this long.
My wife made the arrangements for which deck and cabin we were to occupy. We were "upgraded" to a balcony cabin. I would say, beware of upgrades. After this cruise, I suspect that sometimes upgrades are given as a way to move cabins that, within their category, are dogs. Our cabin turned out to be on the Panorama Deck 8, which was located just below the Lido Deck 9. The Lido Deck is where the swimming pools, snack bars, and (drum roll) THE BANDSTAND . Our cabin was located below and not too far aft of the bandstand. Now, I assume in the olden days of relaxed cruising, bands such as knock-offs of Guy Lombardo would play pleasant melodies to listen and dance to. In modern times, when cell phones are constantly going off and people are in a hurry to get nowhere fast, the dance music is electronic Island Rhythm, with emphasis on the volume and the bass. Guy Lombardo never had a sub-woofer. In our cabin (and presumably all those in the area around us) for several hours every afternoon, the sounds of the band would pound through the deck and bulkheads making a restful snooze impossible. A couple of night gigs by the band were thrown in, too. There was also a lot of noise that telegraphed through the metal deck and bulkheads from people running above and doors/hatches slamming.
I'm giving a separate paragraph for the following. IF YOU WANT SOME PEACE AND QUIET ON A CRUISE, BE SURE TO STUDY THE DECK PLAN OF THE VESSEL BEFOREHAND. SEE WHERE THE CABIN IS IN RELATION TO ON-BOARD ENTERTAINMENT VENUES. THESE MAY BE A SOURCE OF IRRITATION AT ALL HOURS. SELECT YOUR OWN CABIN; DON'T LET THE TRAVEL VENDOR DO IT FOR YOU. I'm thinking in future, I'd like a cabin with cabin-only decks about and below.
The food on this cruise was somewhat disappointing, and there really wasn't anything special about it. I just had a general feeling that there was a very hurried feeling about it, but anything I asked for I got.
The quality of the entertainment was not as good as our previous cruises.
The trips ashore were not very enjoyable; the weather was beastly hot and made everything an effort. It was difficult to find any bargains in a place where things are supposedly cheaper than the US. This is going to sound pretty boring, but my favorite attraction was in Cabo San Lucas, actually in the next town over, San Jose del Cabo, I believe it is. There is a botanical garden there called "Cacti Mundo" which as the name might imply, is all cactus and succulent plants. My wife didn't feel like enduring the heat, so I went ashore alone. I didn't feel like paying what I thought was too much for a taxi, so I asked a couple of Mexican citizens how to take the bus over to San Jose. I rode the Mexican bus over and back with the locals for a very low price. The locals all along the way were helpful to me in finding the place.
My wife as sick aboard the ship the second and third days under way, and I have to say that the shipboard medical staff were most helpful.
We have learned through experience that cruise venues play a big part in how much you will enjoy them. Certain kinds of people seem to gravitate to certain cruise venues. We've enjoyed the lower-key, relaxed cruises to cooler climates. We've noticed that the cruises to warmer climates seem to attract the more energetic, boozy, shorts-wearing (if that) crowd. If you want to lay around in the sun without much clothing on, booze it up, sing and carry on until all hours, listen to eardrum-bursting music, go to the Caribbean or Mexico. If you enjoy a more quiet atmosphere, and a more sober, mature group of travelers, go to Alaska, New England, or Europe.