Took my mom on the same ship 2 years ago to Alaska and we loved it then and we loved it on this trip to the Mexican Riviera as well. Plus it made it so easy for her to be on the same ship. We honestly love the job Princess does and really do not see a reason to change! I am not saying everything is 100% but for the challenges they face keeping such a wide variety of people happy , they do a darn good job! I think some people look for negatives in whatever they do or where ever they go and in that case I am sure you can find them, but for us cruising is an excellent experience and certainly makes for a relaxing vacation.
We got a Princess transfer at the LA airport to the ship and it is the way to go. Cheaper than a taxi and easy way to get your luggage handled. Lots of Princess agents in the baggage area. We flew from Denver to LA and arrived and departed at 12:30 and had no problems either way. Plenty of time to get to the airport on disembarkation. Customs a breeze.
We did Dolphin Trainer for a Day in Puerto Vallerta and it was great for my mother and myself. Worth every penny, in fact I consider it a deal! Super friendly people and lots of time to inteact with the dolphins and sea lions. Good lunch provided. Lots of water available through out day and lots of towels. I wore a sun guard long sleeve shirt and it was a good idea a water a bit chilly.
We were lucky as Matzalan was cancelled and we got to spend 2 days in Cabo. Loved Cabo! We did "Private Yatch for the Day" and once again super excursion. We saw a whale and caught (and released) a marlin and I went snorkeling while my mom chatted and enjoyed the boat. Great lunch provided. Did sightseeing too. Great snorkling. Once again my long sleeved shirt came in very handy and I also covered my swimsuit with shorts as I stayed in as long as they let us and it did get cold. It was nice to be able to go below deck and warm up afterward. Crew super friendly. Boat not as fancy as name implies but well worth the cost. Snorkle gear provided but I brought my own mask. Princess sent a host along and that is an awesome idea. Our last excursion in Cabo was the "Chileno Bay Snorkle" and we saw a big group of dolphins and a couple of whales, did the sightseeing again. I thought this was the better snorkling. Tons of beautiful fish. Cold again as I stayed in as long as possible. Gave us blankets, gear, snacks. My mom enjoyed the boat and crew very much. Princess also sent a host on this trip.
We did some jewelry shopping at the real McCoy and got good prices and also went to the arts and crafts mall area and got great prices. We always felt very safe and thought the people very friendly. Everyone spoke english and bargaining was fun. No one hassled us.
We always do the buffet as my mom and I love the choices and we don't want a dining experience! We live in a resort area and we eat out plenty. We found lots of variety and appreciate the creativity of the chefs. Always lots of fresh fruits and veggies. It may not be a 5 star experience but we don't need or expect that from a buffet. Service was always good.
We used the spa alot! I do think it is expensive but we think it is worth it and the spa is not owned by Princess so the prices are not theirs. I did boot camp and it was challenging for sure for everyone in the class. Extra charge but like having a personal trainer. I did not bring high impact shoes as I did not know about boot camp and that was a mistake. I did bring a water bottle and a thermal coffee mug and they were nice to have.I saw whales while I was on the eliptical! Our treatments in the spa were great and everyone that worked there super friendly.
We had a mini suite and they are worth every penny. We enjoy spending time in our cabin reading and relaxing so nice to have space. Our steward was not the best but he did his job well, just not as out going as our last one. Did not really matter as we had everything we needed. The only thing I think you must bring is an extension cord and a multi plug outlet if you use electonics. I also brought a can of Lysol and thought that was a good idea.
The 2 at sea days from LA and then on the return to LA were VERY windy and chilly. I had a down sweater and wore it alot.
We really enjoyed this trip> We would def do it again!