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10 Cabo San Lucas to Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

I read quite a few bad reviews about Carnival Miracle before we left so I wanted to write a good review. We had an amazing time. The food was excellent don't listen to people who moan about the food they are pathetic the food was ... Read More
I read quite a few bad reviews about Carnival Miracle before we left so I wanted to write a good review. We had an amazing time. The food was excellent don't listen to people who moan about the food they are pathetic the food was excellent. Didn't matter where you were in the dining room or at one of the buffet areas it was always great. If you are a family with children then I highly recommend a cruise with Carnival. I was looking forward to playing Bingo but it was pretty average compared to my last experience. We went to one live show and it was average but if you like that sort of thing then pretty sure you would like it. Get the drinks package well worth it although I did find one lady who was a dragon when it came to ordering for your kids but all the rest of the staff were excellent so very easy to ignore her and her grumpy ways. If I was to rate our experience on the ship out of 10 then I would say a healthy 8.5! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We just got back from our cruise on the Norwegian Sun to the 11-day Mexican Riviera and I wanted to write a review, not so much of every detail of this cruise, but more as a comparison on how this Norwegian cruise compares with similar ... Read More
We just got back from our cruise on the Norwegian Sun to the 11-day Mexican Riviera and I wanted to write a review, not so much of every detail of this cruise, but more as a comparison on how this Norwegian cruise compares with similar Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruises we have taken. This is a popular Cruise Critic question, so I thought I would add my comments. First some background. This was our first Norwegian cruise but we are pretty experienced cruisers, having completed maybe 6 or 7 cruises on Royal and another 6 or 7 on Carnival over maybe about 15 years time. Both Royal and Carnival have evolved greatly over this period, so for clarity we are only comparing this cruise to the last Royal and Carnival cruises we have taken. These cruises were definitely much fancier and better in the past, but that is another story. For here I’m comparing recent (within 2 years) cruises. So this was the longest cruise we have ever taken, and I would say 11 days might be my max length, but on to the review. We started off in San Diego at about 11:30 and had to wait almost two hours to board the boat. The lines were long and slow. I can’t blame Norwegian for this because they don’t own the port, but it is by far the longest we ever waited in line. Going through security was easy and no problem bringing on board 24 cans of soda in our carry-on. Carnival and Royal are on much tighter alcohol watch than Norwegian, which was nice. They actually trust you. THE SHIP When we got on the ship, as far as I can tell everyone’s room was ready. With many Carnival and Royal cruises that wasn’t the case and we often had to wait until 3pm to get in our room. Luggage arrived at 4pm or 5pm which is typical. Our balcony room was a bit bigger than I remember on a similar size ship from Carnival. The Sun had lots of storage, but the bathroom was tiny, and the shower, round with a curtain was tiny to. I’m not sure how some bigger guests even fit in the thing. This was probably my biggest criticism of the room. Otherwise lots of space. The mini fridge is filled with stuff you can purchase, but we emptied it out and put in our soda. Again lots of room to store it. The Sun itself is a mid-size ship, 2000 passengers, and I think about 14 years old. Overall I liked it once you get used to the crazy layout. It never felt over-packed. Although Norwegian has much larger and newer ships, this one compares with many Carnival ships we have been on, and the price of the cruise was similar as well. The Royal ships we went one tended to be bigger and newer, and the price much higher as well. I won’t compare apples to oranges, but this ship was very similar to Carnival ships like the Glory, basically at the lowest step of the price spectrum. One VERY different aspect of Norwegian compared to Royal and Carnival was that I the 11 days of our cruise, we were NEVER approached once to buy a drink. On Carnival and Royal this can be unrelenting from the second you step aboard. Many passengers likely took the drink package they were offering, but we never saw anyone drinking in excess. Because this cruise was in Oct./Nov. it had a minimum of people under 30, and only a few kids. Although a smaller ship, we never felt much motion except for one rough day at sea. Even then, it wasn’t bad at all. ENTERTAINMENT There were 3 or 4 “Broadway” type products that were maybe 45 minutes long each, so one every 3 or 4 days. This is similar to recent Carnival and Royal we have experienced. The days of longer events every night are gone. Other than that they had the usual Bingo and trivia contests, and craft activities. One nice event was a 4 day Spanish class, which I have never seen before on a cruise. Norwegian gives you an activity card you get signed at each activity you attend, and at the end of the cruise they give you prizes based on how many activities you completed. Nice touch. We got a deck of cards for completing 13. There were only four cruise staff conducting everything, and they seemed very overworked, but they were always very friendly to passengers. We were a fan of Hector, who ran everything from Spanish classes and bingo to trivia contests. One day he showed us his schedule, and he was running some event every 30 minutes from morning to late at night. He was VERY overworked. Other than that, I say it was pretty standard stuff. Art auctions, wrinkle cream seminars, gold by the inch, and $10 watches and bracelets. FOOD / DINING Now on to the important things, food. Let’s start at lunch. There were the usual buffets and overall, I’d say they were about equal to Carnival and Royal. Maybe quality slightly above, and variety slightly below. There was pizza and pasta bars and an ice cream shop, but no deli, or Chinese or Mongollian BBQ like on Carnival and Royal. There was two soup choices and the usual salad bar. On the plus side no long lines like Royal and Carnival. Instead you just pop in and out of line and get what you want, which I think is easier anyway. Breakfast is typical cruise breakfast fare, with the addition of smoked salmon and herring everyday. Royal used to have this years ago, but now long gone. I haven’t seen either on Royal or Carnival in many years. Diner is where I think Norwegian excels with lots of choices. First there is the buffet which has DIFFERENT choices than what the dining rooms are serving. On Carnival, the buffet usually serves the same stuff as in the dining rooms. The next option is the Sports Bar which serves food (free) from 5:30pm to 5:30am. You can get chicken wings, salads, fish and chips, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and even Won Ton or Tomato soup. The chicken wings were a bit dry, but all the rest was pretty good. There there are the dining rooms, two large single level dining rooms. Both looked about the same size, but one was for long pants and collared shirts, and the other, anything goes. Norwegian does not have formal nights or casual nights, nor do they have set dining times. Feel like dressing up, you can, wear shorts, you can. The food in each dining room was almost all the same with very slight differences between the two. They both seemed about equally busy and we never waited for a table for two. In my opinion, this is the best way to go. In the dinning room they had 5 or 6 appetizers and 5 or 6 entrees that were the same everyday, then they added 3 or 4 appetizers and 3 or 4 entries new each day. Overall this felt like a bit less variety than Carnival and Royal offer. On the plus side, all entrees were free, no extra cost items like steaks Carnival likes to charge you extra for. There were also other differences on Norwegian compared to Carnival and Royal. I felt the Norwegian quality was a bit better, and the size of Norwegian appetizers and entrees were definitely bigger. Carnival and Royal definitely had smaller servings. On Royal or Carnival, I would order 2 or 3 appetizers and 2 entrees. You really had to. On Norwegian, 2 appetizers and one entrée is all I could eat. For example, I would almost always get the spring roll on all cruises. On Royal and Carnival this was a small spring roll with some lettuce garnish. On Norwegian, it was a large egg roll with lettuce covered with a very fancy cantaloupe garnish. I also always got the salmon, and Norwegian’s was bigger and better. I never get desert, but wife did and these seemed bigger also. I’d say service and speed were about equal on Norwegian, Carnival and Royal, but Norwegian does not have someone pushing drinks or shots, and the servers don’t do any dance numbers, which slows the service. Now a BIG Norwegian negative, the $7.95 room service charge. I rarely use room service, but this seems so petty to me that I may never go on Norwegian again for this one reason. Carnival and Royal do NOT charge for room service. On Norwegian room service is free ONLY at breakfast and only if you order pastry and juice only. Get eggs or bacon and its $7.95. I heard complaints about this fee everywhere to no end. If Norwegian is smart, they will drop it as soon as possible. That about sums it up. A great cruise, good food, but that $7.95 charge leaves a very bad taste in my mouth, and again, I very seldom even use room service. Food choices were a bit limited, but food quality was a bit better than average in my opinion. I heard several complaints from other cruisers while on board, but this was definitely an older crankier crowd, but I don't think these were always fair. This was an 11-day cruise with a balcony room under $900, so please don't compare it to much more expensive cruises. It needs to be apples to apples. One last thing. On this cruise we had a Cruise Critic Meet and Greet, so got to meet many other Cruise Critic people. We had 50+ people, and Norwegian provided cookies and iced tea. Had the same on Carnival and they provided alcoholic drinks for our Cruise Critic event, so Carnival wins there. :-) Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The drop down boxes on the review input form do not have an option for the Sea of Cortez or San Jose Del Cabo so I used what I had to file the review. The ship departed from and returned to San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, and ... Read More
The drop down boxes on the review input form do not have an option for the Sea of Cortez or San Jose Del Cabo so I used what I had to file the review. The ship departed from and returned to San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, and cruised the Sea of Cortez. We choose this cruise because it was focused on birding in the Sea of Cortez. The expedition leader kept that focus throughout the trip. A birding guide from the area was on board and stayed available on-board as well as during the excursions. Those passengers less interested in birding had most of the whale watching, snorkeling, hiking and zodiac cruises still available. There were 72 passengers on this 84 passenger boat. We met at the Barcelo Grand Faro for the transfer to the ship. Un-Cruise provided us with wristbands that gave us access to the amentities of the all-inclusive Barcelo prior to the transfer. We were on-board and away on time. The captain greeted us all and a photo book of guests and staff was prepared from our arrival photos. The book stayed in the lounge to help when names escaped the memory. The cabin was a bit small but we expected that. Most of our time was on the observation decks or in the lounge. We had asked for the twin beds to be pushed together as a king and found that left one of us up against the wall. We decided to keep the arrangement and it caused little problems for us during the trip. The food was very well prepared and menus varied. Service was friendly and professional. Meals were at a set time but seating was open. There was a very good early risers breakfast for those up early. The bar was well stocked with premium brands and the bartenders well trained. Drinks were quick to arrive and well prepared. The espresso machine was a big hit. Guest to staff on this boat was 72/36. This was the last cruise of the season in the Sea of Cortez and everyone was doing the additional work of getting ready to steam to Annacortes, Wa. for dry dock in addition to their normal duties but the work was always done properly and you always got a smile from the staff. The captain and other ranking officers were often out and made a point to visit with guests. There was a medical emergency mid-week that ultimately required that we change itinerary and get to a close spot for medical attention. Guests were kept informed of decisions made without intruding on the individuals privacy and the person was taken to a local hospital for treatment. I thought it was well handled by the crew. There was a presentation most nights about the cultural and natural aspects of the areas we visited but no nightlife other than that. They really do brake for whales. Spotters on the bridge kept expedition staff informed about any sightings and we frequently slowed down and spent some time with whales or dolphins. There are a couple of hot tubs and some exercise equipment but no pool. There are no specific facilities for children. The mountains' islands' and waters of the Sea of Cortez are ruggedly beautiful. Water temp of 70F was bit cool for us but the ship carries wetsuits and snorkeling gear. There was fitting and instruction the first morning then you used the same equipment all week. The Sea of Cortez was not an option in the drop down box so I used the Mexican Riveria to be able to file the review. The cruise departed from San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur and returned there. Fellow passengers were generally middle-aged and up' as we are' and well traveled. It is easy to find an interesting conversation during the cocktail hour. The schedule for the next day and sign up sheets for excursions were handled after dinner. The itinerary was changed one evening because the wind had changed and we had an opportunity to visit a beautiful cove that was usually too choppy. The expedition team and captain kept looking at the conditions to give us the best experience possible.There were usually one or two snorkel outings, one or two zodiac tours. beach activities, and normally one highlight excursion. These included burro rides, swimming with sea lions, swimming with whale sharks, and a cultural walk in Loreto. We used a couple of afternoons specifically cruising to sight whales and dolphins. The expedition team kept things moving without being intrusive about it. It was clear in all their behavior that safety was a top priority and it was constantly reinforced. This was our third expedition style cruise and was very good. The ship, staff, and location combined for a great experience. We were in cabin 203. This is a captain class room with two movable twin beds. We had them set up as a king but meant one side was against the wall. We were OK with it but consider it before setting up your bedding request. There is a small desk and chair, a good sized wardrobe, and a small ensuite. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We traveled the Sea of Cortes on the Safari Endeavour over the New Year's period. We chose this holiday because we were multi-generational group who all love adventure and active trips. Un-Cruise was recommended to us by our seasoned ... Read More
We traveled the Sea of Cortes on the Safari Endeavour over the New Year's period. We chose this holiday because we were multi-generational group who all love adventure and active trips. Un-Cruise was recommended to us by our seasoned expert travel agent. She knows cruises and she knows us, which is why we are still shaking our heads over the whole experience. To say it was a misfit is an understatement. But i have to say that we were in the slimmest minority of passengers who left unsatisfied. Most of the other passengers were delighted with the program, the staff and the ship. Here are the PROS as we saw them: The Sea of Cortes is truly a breath-taking landscape. It is such a remote and desertic place it is best visited on a ship. There were lots of other families on board so plenty of socializing opportunities for our children. We got to swim with shark whales and sea lions (pretty incredible). Staff is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the region. There is no internet onboard offering us a heavenly tech-free week. We really got to interact with our kids! Loreto, a small traditional Mexican town, we visited was a real 'find', tranquil, beautiful, authentic. They had a wonderful bar-tender onboard (Heather), the only staff member who rivaled our staff experiences on other ships. The CONS, sadly, well outweighed the PROS for our group: FIrst of all, the cabin and ship are very poorly maintained (from a cleanliness perspective). Our cabin, a Commodore Suite (their highest grade) never felt truly cleaned. This is partly because the cabins are maintained by the crew which also waits tables in the dining room. When we arrived in the cabin I mentioned to my mother that our duvet cover (a horrid navy blue thing that belonged in a college dorm) looked slept in. She was incredulous but, on our last day as we were packing up, the cleaning crew asked if they could come in to strip the beds while we ate breakfast. When we got back to our cabin to retrieve our carry-on luggage we saw that the beds were stripped but the duvet covers were indeed left on! DISGUSTING! The coverlet on the hide-a-bed was visibly filthy with brown dirt. Dirty towels were frequently left forgotten on the bathroom floor after the morning cleaning. Our shower curtain was similarly dirty from past use. The floor was vacuumed precisely once during our whole stay (sand and candy wrappers were left as evidence on the floor). Again, no one else onboard seemed put off by this so I think our housekeeping expectations may have something to do with our past cruising experiences on SeaDream, Seabourn, and Paul Gauguin where spotlessness is the norm. The staff is more reminiscent of a summer camp than a cruise ship or a resort: they are gung-ho but not really trained for ship service. They remind me of kids taking a break from college to do a bit of travel. Several of them are precisely that, few if any are career ship staff from what I saw. They are nice enough (although not really service minded at all) but wildly uneven and unsophisticated (they would forget the simplest requests like a glass of water, ice, a wine refill, an extra dollop of mayonnaise). The ship lacks polish in every respect, from the staff to the ghastly common areas to cabins and all the details are way more Best Western than luxury ship (and the prices are definitely in the luxury ship zone). Pillows, sheets, TP, toiletries were all strictly budget motel grade. There was never, until the very end with one or two (Ashley and Jeryd in the dining room stand out) the sense that the staff was concerned with getting to know our likes and dislikes, or what they could do to make our trip better. We hooted with laughter at Jeremy's proud proclamation that Uncruise prided itself on having "a plan from which to deviate" ethos. The only plan this ship deviates from is when weather makes whatever was on the books untenable. Otherwise, and here is where we were really fish out of water, Uncruise has the most rigid guest policy I have ever been held to. They must be scared to death of litigation: we were give ZERO allowance to do as we pleased on shore except when we were in one of the two towns we went to. One is not allowed to deviate in any way from the planned activities. Should you want to walk at a faster pace on the hikes, paddle a bit further in the kayak, go for an impromptu swim, eat at any time other that the hour set for each meal, well, pall, that is plan from which Uncruise will strictly NOT be deviating. The staff are infuriatingly unconcerned with your preferences. It's all about keeping to a schedule and maintaining everyone in a manageable group. It is adventure for the timid, the leery of autonomy, the utterly malleable. The very fact that in this spectacular landscape they have no place or inclination to serve drinks or even a snack in the open air (everything is served in the grim dining room- everyone at once) is a travesty. On a sunny day there is no comfortable place to sunbathe, not an outdoor cushion in sight, no staff to offer you so much as a glass of water. We were there on New Year's Eve. There was no attempt to decorate the ship or serve a festive meal. It was all so ho-hum. These are people who have no sense of occasion (and nor apparently did the guests- hardly any one did so much as change into a nicer shirt for the dinner- so sad!). In fact, this is how they manage the food service - breakfast is at 7:30 sharp (on holiday!) no and ifs or buts, and then at breakfast you are told what the lunch and dinner choices are and you are to give your preferences then for those meals!! Who doesn't love planning what they're going to eat for lunch and dinner at breakfast, on holiday no less! My son and I who are avid hikers and climbers had to stage an escape one day to scale a hill that caught our interest. I hated having to be duplicitous and sneak around the guides but they left us no choice. After that we felt a distinct chill from Jeremy the cruise director. He's a nice enough guy but he clearly likes his guests sheep-like and undeviant. Ah well, Uncruise is not for us. We like our freedom too much (and cleanliness and sophisticated service). But if you like everything planned to the un-th second, and an all-American crew, and super safety conscious adventure dolled out in thirty minute increments (as the majority of our fellow passengers did) - then this is for you. On a last note, the food was fine (not one memorable bite but not dreadful) but we all had upset stomachs the last few days until the day or so after we got back... The coffee is cafeteria bad. The butter is not real butter. The cocktail hour snacks were truly awful. There is no maitr'd to greet you at the entrance to the dining room and help seat the groups so it's a sort of undignified game of musical chairs at every meal. If you go, don't bother packing binoculars (they have plenty, sun lotion (again they provide reed-safe sunscreen), any sort of nice clothing (this is a strictly beige/sage-toned, Tevo sandal crowd). Do bring reading material and DVDs you're likely to have a lot of time on your hands between activities. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
First, some clarification: we were on Safari Voyager, not Endeavour...I believe this is a replacement for the damaged Safari Spirit, no longer in service. And we were on the Sea of Cortez off Baja California, Mexico, not the Mexican ... Read More
First, some clarification: we were on Safari Voyager, not Endeavour...I believe this is a replacement for the damaged Safari Spirit, no longer in service. And we were on the Sea of Cortez off Baja California, Mexico, not the Mexican Riviera. That was not listed as an option, though oddly, Cabo San Lucas as embarkation point was. My wife and I have travelled with Adventure Life about six times in the past decade, and have been more than pleased with each trip. The latest was the Baja Whale Bounty, on the Un-Cruise Line, our first experience with that company, and it was as good as it gets. The trip was a week on their luxury line, Safari Voyager. This was no floating casino like the huge cruises tend to be (hence the "Un-cruise" designation). The vessel was smaller, 65 passenger and about 25 crew. Cabins were clean and comfortable, maintained daily. Food was wonderful--the chef and his staff were amazing. Meals were varied and very tasty, with small enough portions that we were always satisfied but never stuffed. And that meant a dessert course with every lunch and dinner. The pastry chef also made fresh bread, a different kind every day. And for happy hour and after dinner, there was a well-stocked bar with anything one could ask for, and a skilled and charming bartender, all included in the price of the trip. The trip itself was pretty amazing. Whale watching while underway was pretty amazing -- one day we kept having schools of dolphin playing around the boat, while humpbacks kept breaching as if to compete for photo ops. We had an amazing trip to Magdalena Bay on the Pacific side, where grey whales and their calves would come right up to the small boats we were in. The rest of the trip was hiking, snorkeling, kayaking around beautiful islands in the Sea. We even had a once-in-a-lifetime sighting, when a pair of oarfish swam under our kayak and beached themselves. The oarfish is huge...these were each 15 feet long. They're a deep water species, only filmed alive first in 2001. One of our guides, with a marine biology degree, said that her profs told her that she would never see the oarfish, like the coelacanth and the giant squid, alive in her professional life, though one might wash up dead on the beach. They were wrong. The doomed critters were intent on dying, and probably coming up into shallow water from the deep had already doomed them. It was sad, but quite an experience. As wonderful as the trip itself was, it was made even better by the wonderful staff--every member was superb. They were knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and lots and lots of fun. Any one we dealt with was just delightful, from the guides to the servers to the crew to the chef and his sous chefs, to the two wellness lasses--we each got a massage from one of them, and they alternated dawn and dusk yoga sessions. They all made us feel at home, and I can't thank them enough. As you can tell, we're quite satisfied customers!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Loved this cruise itinerary as it went into the Sea of Cortez. We got to swim with the Whale Sharks. It was amazing! Water was chilly in January, but I came prepared with tights and swim jacket. We met so many nice people on Princess. ... Read More
Loved this cruise itinerary as it went into the Sea of Cortez. We got to swim with the Whale Sharks. It was amazing! Water was chilly in January, but I came prepared with tights and swim jacket. We met so many nice people on Princess. We've cruised with many other lines, but this was our first Princess. Was a little disappointed in the food quality. Had better food on Carnival and I had to turn down most desserts as they contained milk (I'm lactose intolerant). At least I didn't gain any weight! The kitchen seemed to struggle to prepare substitutes for me. Never realized how many dishes contain milk! We had a balcony room for the first time and loved it. Some public areas were somewhat crowded but there were plenty of other areas that were not. Overall, it was a good value. We experienced great service from all of the ships personal, especially our room steward. My favorite area is the forward deck, near the spa area. Very quiet. If you like noise, then the main pool area is for you. Embarkation was a breeze. Disembarkation went really smooth as well. Entertainment was just o.k. Ports and shore excursions were good. Although some excursions in Mexico are somewhat sketchy (I expected that). Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This 7 day "Un-Cruise" left from Cabo San Lucas on Jan 25, 2014. In short, it was a great cruise with a great crew, packed with lots of activities, amazing whale watching, many nature and photography talks and sunny warm weather. ... Read More
This 7 day "Un-Cruise" left from Cabo San Lucas on Jan 25, 2014. In short, it was a great cruise with a great crew, packed with lots of activities, amazing whale watching, many nature and photography talks and sunny warm weather. Un-Cruise Adventures is a new company that seems dedicated to providing great cruises with a staff of "naturalists" that are wonderful, smart, well educated people. I'll provide lots of details in this review to help the reader get prepared for the cruise. Embarkation - An Un-Cruise agent met passengers at the Cabo Airport and drove us about 25 minutes to the Hilton Hotel in the "hotel zone" between Cabo San Lucas and San Juan del Cabo. There we checked in our bags with an agent in a conference room. The room had couches and chairs and beverages. We had full use of the Hilton's amazing pool and beach front. At 4:45 pm, they loaded the 40 or so passengers onto a nice bus for a 20 minute ride to the port in San Jose del Cabo to board Voyager. A few passengers went straight to the ship from the airport. Once we boarded, we went to our cabins, did the safety drill and then we pushed off. Itinerary - The staff explained that the itinerary in the brochure was tentative and that the actual itinerary depended on weather and other factors. We did manage to do all the major activities listed in the brochure, but the islands we visited changed somewhat, which was really not significant. Activities - we were always on the lookout for marine animals and the ship would detour to watch whales or dolphins or even jumping rays. On 4 of the 6 days we snorkeled; took small boat rides to get close to sea lions or birds or something interesting like a sun-rise photo shoot; hikes both easy ones along the beach, or up the hillside a ways for some great views. There was a Burrow ride one morning, a beach fire one night after dinner, and many nature and photography talks. Whale Watching - this was the #1 thing people were interested in, so we had 2 days devoted to that. On Tuesday we did the cross Baja trip to the bay of Magdalena to watch the grey whales up close and personal. Passengers were divided into about 5 boats and went out for two hours into the bay. The whales came close, but not close enough to touch (so we'll have to go back). The whales would stick their heads out of the water to look at us. The last day of the cruise was spent cruising the southern part of the Sea of Cortez looking for whales and we saw dozens of them. Most of them were a distance away, but we saw many breaches and fluke and tail slapping. It lasted all day until we had no more light. A great day for everybody, even though we didn’t snorkel, hike or kayak. Each cabin was supplied with a large pair of binoculars (7x50), and they were vital for whale watching. We brought an extra pair in our luggage so we both could watch. Cabins - We were in cabin 204, one of the best cabins. It had a double bed, a flat screen TV and a DVD player. Not all cabins had the TV's. Some nights the activities were done by 9pm, so it was nice to watch some DVD's. We brought our own. The ship's DVD and book library was rather slim at this point. The ship as just put in service in December and they are still adding amenities. There were no iPhone docking stations in the room for music as was advertised. The storage in the cabin was adequate and the bathroom had a roomy shower. The mattress and the sheets were very good. The beds are built in and cannot be reconfigured into singles, nor can the rooms with singles be pushed together into a double, so make sure you know your room’s configuration. The A/C units gave nice cold air, but no warm air. We just turned off the A/C unit and the room warmed up. There were plenty if hooks for hanging clothes for drying out, although damp clothes did take a couple days to dry. Food & Beverages - the day started with the early riser breakfast in the bar at 6:30, full breakfast at 7:30, lunch at 12:30, snacks and happy hour at 5:30 and dinner at 6:30. All drinks, mixed drinks, wine, soft drinks were included. Frequently they would leave a bottle of Kahlua next to the self serve coffee. There was a mixed drink special creation everyday. The food ranged from good to very good. Portions were small, so you didn't overeat like most cruises. You could have a second helping if requested. Choices were limited at lunch to the special of the day or a vegetarian variant of the special. At dinner, you had 3 choices, a meat, seafood or veggy entree. Excellent wines were served with all meals. Scenery - The Sea of Cortez has many uninhibited, craggy, islands and is quite beautiful, if somewhat similar to the last island. These islands make for great sunrises and sunsets. We saw very little boat traffic and no other cruise ships during our 7 days. Weather - It hardly ever rains here in the winter. We had one day of clouds and some light rain, which made for our best sunset. The rest of the time the highs were in the 70's, with lows in 50's. As soon as the sun dropped below the mountains it was time for a sweater. The wind was the main weather variable, which dictated if kayaking was offered. Snorkeling - The ship provided everyone with full wetsuits and excellent snorkeling gear. Each room has 2 mesh bags with room numbers on them for hanging wet snorkel gear on the back of deck 2. You also hang your wet suit on room identified hangers, so you don't have to bring them into the rooms. You receive a sport Personal Flotation Device at the beginning of the cruise and you store them in lockers, so you always have the same PFD. The water was a little cold, high 60's I would guess, so the wet suit was necessary. The snorkeling spots were not the best I've ever seen, but we did snorkel with Sea Lions and Rays one day, so that was memorable to say the least. Kayaking - The kayaks were the "sit on top" versions, very easy to operate. All the launches were from shore. We always kayaked in protected coves, so there were no waves to deal with. Hiking - some of the hikes were steep with some good vertical elements. Good hiking shoes were important here. Most of the beach landings were a little wet, so wear your water shoes on the skiff and then change shoes on shore. You can leave your water shoes and PFD's at the beach. There are always crew members to make sure they are safe. They also bring water, sodas and beer to enjoy after your hike, kayak or snorkel. They also bring beach towels and camp stools, a really well run beach program. The beach walks were fun and included some tide-pooling. Make sure you have thicker soled shoes for these walks, lots of rocks and loose sand. Photography - this cruise had a professional photographer on board, Peter West Carey, from Seattle. Peter gave photography talks and took thousands of pictures. Many of his pictures, along with a couple hundred taken by the rest of the crew were shown to us at the end of the cruise. Each cabin received a thumb drive with these pictures on it, a wonderful thing that all the Un-Cruise cruises do. Clothes - Casual clothes is the order of the day. Wear pants that you don't mind getting a little wet. Brings some sweatshirts and a light jacket as it does get cool in evening. I recommend 3 swim suits as they do take a while to dry. There is no laundry service on these small boats. The sun can get pretty intense while sitting on deck looking for whales, so bring some light weight cover ups to prevent burning. The ship provides sun block. They also put two aluminum water bottles in each room for taking on hikes. The Voyager - This 1983 vessel was refitted in 2013 in Columbia. The crew is still fine tuning things. Little things go wrong now & then and the crew makes repairs while underway. We did have one rough night at sea when we were headed north bound from Cabo to La Paz. The ship was comfortable at all other times. There are 4 pieces of cardio equipment on the upper deck for working out. Two stationary bikes and 2 elliptical machines. There are no weights to work out with. Wi-Fi - There is no wi-fi on the ship. On the trip to Magdalena Bay, there was a bathroom break in a hotel in the middle of Baja. They had free wi-fi. The password was posted at the small registration desk. This stop takes about 30 minutes, so you can get some emails downloaded and respond to some. Passengers - There was only one child and only one person in their 20's on the boat. Most passengers were between 50 & 80 and were quite capable of hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling with Sea Lions. All passengers spoke English. All passengers were very easy to talk to and were very nice. About half the passengers were from the UK. Tipping - The suggested tipping rate is 10% of the total price of the cruise. This is a lot of money, but the crew provides such great service, that they are worth it. Disembarkation - bags outside by 7:30am, then breakfast, board the bus at 8:30 for the ride to the Hilton, bags were brought into the Un Cruise waiting room. People were transferred to the airport at 10:30 or 12:30. We used the pool again and then changed into our airplane clothes and finalized the suitcases. The United check-in was mobbed, a huge line. We were in the Premier line, which still took 20 minutes to check the bags. The flight to LA was full, so everyone in line must have made it through the long line on time. Conclusion - No cruise is perfect and every time you decide to take a cruise you have to juggle many factors before picking one. The pluses for this cruise far outweighed the few minuses. Small boat cruising is significantly different from big boat cruising and it's not for everyone. It's definitely for active people. There is no ship doctor, so bring meds in case I'm happy to answer you catch a cold or a cough. The cabins are usually smaller than those on large cruise ships. Un-Cruise is a wonderful company and I hope they can continue this cruise concept as the passengers on this cruise sure seemed to love it. I'm happy to answer questions. kentennis@cox.net   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014

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