Forty years ago, we taught school together at the American School of Kinshasa. This cruise brought 14 of us together again, as we are mostly now retired. Some flew to LAX or Long Beach. We drove 4 hours on Saturday and stayed at the Long Beach airport Holiday Inn, which provided free parking for the 7-day cruise.
The ship is the largest we've been on, with 3,600 passengers on this cruise. We experienced great service and a variety of activities and entertainment on board. For dinners, we could sit together at two adjoining tables in the Gold Pearl Restaurant, with Albert and Rodney as our superb waiters. They made the dinner hour a fun and delightfully filling experience.
Our stateroom was interior, but well designed with great facilities and a great bargain. Some friends had exterior or balcony rooms, also well designed. Daily service for the room by Ing was courteous and timely.
The first port was Puerto Vallarta, which included an adventuresome snorkeling trip in the rain. Not the best weather but we saw lots of fish at Los Arcos. We chartered a boat for ten with Puerto Vallarta Tours. At the second port, Mazatlan, we had a gorgeous sunny day. Our walking tour of the "Historic Centro" was really fun. Lots of restored buildings, a nice waterfront walk (Malecon), and fun Plaza Machada. We missed the rock divers but saw the place. At the last port, we only had a few hours, with tender transport to shore. We did take a boat to see the "land's end" rock, a worthwhile excursion.
A special treat for our "reunion sharing activities" was the use of the Pink Pearl Room that the cruise services director provided us. Having that available was a great plus for a group tour.
Disembarkation in Long Beach was somewhat poorly organized and thus our time off the ship was delayed for more than an hour. However, overall, the cruise was fun and above our expectations.