My wife and I were interested in taking her mother with us on a cruise to Mexico during spring break. The criteria included a short plane trip, easy access from the airport, a highly rated ship, a smaller ship and reasonable rates on a suite. The Mexican Riviera cruise on the Oosterdam seemed to meet our needs. Actually, we had sailed to Alaska on the same ship in July of 2005. We flew into San Diego the morning of the cruise, were on the ship by noon and the stateroom was available at 1:00 p.m.. Unlike us, the Oosterdam showed no signs of aging during the past two years and the crew was extremely helpful and friendly. The suite was about 400 square feet and featured an entrance/bathroom (7x12) with three small closets, a double sink, a shower and a bathtub/shower combination. The living area (19x12) contained a queen or two twin beds, a sofa/bed, a desk and dressing table. The balcony (7x12) had two wicker chairs with footrests and a table with two chairs. The cabin seemed almost new with no visible signs of wear and the steward was outstanding. The evening meals were taken in the main dining room. The food was exceptionally well-prepared and the service was impeccable. The other meals were in the Lido buffet or room service with no drop in quality. The nightly entertainment included the initial show with a preview of the entertainers, two production shows by the 10 dancers and four singers, one show by John Davidson, and evenings with an illusionist and a comedian. The venue is two-tiered and features a large stage with a lift and multiple devices. On our previous cruise the ship's band accompanied the acts but the band is down to one horn and rhythm section or just a tape for this cruise. John Davidson, of television fame, is an accomplished singer and the other entertainers were strong. The three destinations (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta) are not world-class, but certainly an enjoyable day can be had in each port. I was interested in getting an overview of each area for future vacation reference. Since my mother-in-law has trouble walking distances, we took a catamaran tour of Cabo, which proved to be a winner. The route goes from the harbor around the scenic arch to the pacific side where whales were abundant and backtracks along the east coast where the resorts are located along the beach. An overview of Mazatlan by bus stopped at the main square, drove through the town and settled at a shopping area where a folkloric show was given. The bus tour of Puerto Vallarta stopped at the main square to get a brief history and reloaded to drive to a restaurant for a drink. Afterwards, the bus continued south along the highway to view prominent water areas and resorts, a discussion of the Night of the Iguana film and a stop at a government store. As a destination Cabo has possibilities due to the small town atmosphere, new resorts, good beaches and water activities. Mazatlan didn't hold much interest but Puerto Vallarta is an established city with multiple restaurants and a Mediterranean atmosphere. After our experiences, don't take any ship tours that include a bus. There are three sea days on this cruise and, if inclined, one can choose from a myriad of informational classes and activities. The library and internet center are large and well-decorated. Wireless internet is available in all the public areas for a fee, ranging from 35-75 cents/minute depending on the plan. The speed is about half as fast as DSL. If you desire privacy, there are multiple lounges on the ship where you can be isolated. Departure times seem to be ill-defined, making it difficult to book and make a flight. We took the first available time at 8:30 a.m. and did get on a 10 a.m. flight but the airport was a zoo. Based on my limited research, this was the best cruise for the money and based on my Oosterdam experience, the research proved correct. While I usually don't have much brand loyalty in that I usually take the best combination of quality and price, I can see why so many of the people onboard are repeat Holland America cruisers.