The wife and I live in San Francisco and like leaving from LA. We stay at the Double Tree because you can park your vehicle and take a shuttle to and from the port. It makes it very easy to cruise from there without having to fly. It also allows you to bring lots of extra things that you can't bring when you fly.
The wife and I are Elite members with princess and have done the Mexican Riveria many times. We were really looking forward to the cruise to see how the referbished Sapphire had changed. Friends of ours had invited us to their son's wedding aboard the Sapphire. A great excuse to cruise. We wanted a mini but the owners suite was available so it was a great choice. The owners suite was beautiful with lots of space, a large bathroom with a tub with whirlpool jets. The best part though was the varanda. At the stern you have the best view and no wind, a great place to just hang out on the recliners. Only one very small complaint, they do offer priority baggage delivery but that never happened. We kept checking and they just delivered us last since we were at the stern of the ship.
A quick word about the wedding. It was fantastic. The wheelhouse lounge was reserved for the wedding and the captain preformed the service. The captain was very gracious and the service was beautiful. After cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and many pictures all over the ship we were hosted for a private dinner at Sabatini's. A very memorable affair.
The Sapphire Princess was in beautiful shape and all the new additions made her very special. All the additions to the Atrium are great. Vines wine bar, Alfredo's Pizzeria and international Cafe are a very warm and inviting.
Many of the family of the newly weds had early seating in the MDR. We chose anytime dinning and ate at the 4 different dinning rooms. No problem getting a reservation anytime after 7 pm. We loved the Vivaldi and the Savoy dining rooms and their caring wait staff. All the dining rooms have thesame menus except each offer one entree that is special for each room. The special for the Savoy was osso buco, terrific. Our overall favorite restaurant was Sabatini's. For a small fee it had the best selection of plates on the Sapphire. We loved the wait staff here, they took care of us like family. We also ate there every morning, a special for suite passengers.
This cruise had only two stops, Puerto Vallarta and and over night in Cabo. The only excursion we took was whale watching. It was well worth the effort to get up early, sleep late on vacation, to see the many pods of whales in the bay of Cabo. This was jammed packed with whale sightings. We were all glad we chose this tour.
The only down side of the trip to the Mexican Riveria is that there are fewer and fewer stops because of the crime issue in Mexico. The last time we traveled to this area we were on a 19 day Panama Canal cruise on the Coral and the day we left LA Princess cancelled all five stops in Mexico due to the H1N1 flu. We still love this area and wish things will get better so we can again visit the place we enjoy.
In closing, this was a fun cruise on the Sapphire. We enjoyed our cruise.