We drove from Utah and stayed at a hilton near Ontario, then spent the day crossing LA and seeing some sights. We then stayed at Hilton Long Beach, using the stay, park and sail. The hotel was great, but they didn't provide a free ... Read More
We drove from Utah and stayed at a hilton near Ontario, then spent the day crossing LA and seeing some sights. We then stayed at Hilton Long Beach, using the stay, park and sail. The hotel was great, but they didn't provide a free shuttle to Princess Pier 93! I didn't know that when I booked, and didn't see that point in any of the literature. We did talk them into a trip over, but had to take a taxi on our return trip.
Overall, we loved the ship. It seemed more classy, with wood trim in several of the bars, etc. It didn't have that cheap vegas feel like other ships have.
We loved the ports, with the caveat of Cabo. It took 2 hours to get off the boat, leaving us with about 3 hours to wander. If we were to go again, we would stay on the boat at cabo.
We loved Las Caletas shore excursion at Puerto Vallerta. Perfect relaxing day.
Manzinio was the first time Princess went there, and it is an interesting port. We went on a shore excursion to Camilo, and the tour guide said that 16 cruise ships come a year, and later learned this was the first for Princess. It is an industrial port, with very little tourist attractions within walking distance. The Camilo tour was excellent, giving us a peek at the local culture without all the pushy vendors and tourist traps.
The cabin was great, we had D219 mini suite. It was wonderful. We had 3 in this cabin, and it didn't feel crowded at all to us. We loved the balcony.
My wife is very hard of hearing, relying on hearing aids. The theater has a listentech system. It is headphones, as well as a neck loop. My wife used the loop, activated her T coils, and could hear EVERY WORD. We spoke with the sound guy in the theater, and he was kind of quizzical at first, but then reached up on the top shelf, dusted off a case, and found it for us. We picked the neck loop up about 10 minutes before the show, and it worked great. Listentech is the same system we use at our church. It was truly amazing.
We also requested the door knocker, and amplified phone, as well as a flashing smoke detector. Mixed results there, as I was with her 99.5% of the time, and I have no hearing loss, unless dishes need to be done.
Hopefully that helps. I saw quite a few hearing aids, but as far as I know we were the only ones requesting the device. My advice would be request it, even if you don't have the success that we did, so the cruise line knows there is a need.
As for the theater, the band was super, however the vocalists were not. I am not sure if they couldn't hear the music or what, but they were routinely flat. I have been to better high school performances vocally.
The house band Fusion was awesome! How they know that many cover songs and do them well is beyond me.
The piano entertainer at Crooners was great as well. His wife played the violin a couple nights. What a relaxing space.
We had scheduled dining. This seems to be where the cruise fell short for me. We are laid back, fairly compliant people. This shouldn't put us on the back burner for service. The waiter was working a high needs table that requested a lot of extras. No fault to the waiter, but service was routinely slow. Most people were leaving when we were getting our main course.
The bar staff around the pool deck, crooners, and other places seem to have mastered the "look busy but do nothing" move. It took many minutes to get service from them. I started going straight to the bar to get drinks and take them back to my seat.
We did self disembarkation, and it was super smooth.
Aside from the mixup with Hilton Long Beach, and the long dining times it was a great cruise. Read Less