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We just finished sailing on a 10 day Mexican cruise out of San Francisco and had a great time. Embarkation was a breeze. Since we live close we just took an Uber to the port. We arrived around 10:45 and were onboard in less than 30 minutes. We had time to kill so we went to DaVinci's for lunch and had a great start to our cruise. Afterwards we toured the ship on our own and while it is a 20 year old vessel and it does have rust stains here and there overall I thought the ship was in great shape and a pleasure to be on. We were in our room at 1 and our luggage arrived around 2 so no issues there. You can see the room description below. The sail away was incredible. Having spent the last 35 years in the Bay Area I always wanted to take a cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge so this was a big Bucket List item checked. It was cold and stunning which is exactly what we expected. From this point forward we had three days at sea followed by single days in Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Cabo in that order. We booked no excursions since we love just striking out on our own and loved every minute of it. It was warm and humid which took some getting used to but we adapted well. The people are incredible and while I do recognize that some people are bothered by all the peddlers I bring some empathy and smiles which is always the best medicine in my opinion. This was our first trip to Manzanillo and wasn't quite sure what to expect. As others have said it is still new to the tourist trade so that wasn't an issue. Turns out it is a beautiful city and as we strode further into town found it to be an authentic Mexican city that gives you a true taste of how Mexican's live in real life. We had been to all the other ports before so just did our normal exploring which was just the way we like it. Our return home was uneventful and sad to say we had to leave the ship yesterday morning. Now just a couple of comments on the ship. I don't quite understand the negative reviews on the meals. We have spent a number of years in the Bay Area and have eaten at many fine restaurants. While the meals weren't Michelin star quality I thought they were excellent. The buffet is the buffet and I still thought they did a great job. I have Celiac disease and that just wasn't an issue on this ship as everyone went out of their way to accommodate me. So truly not sure what the negative reviewers were expecting but the ship certainly met or exceeded our expectations. I do believe and I saw it on this ship that some people (very few) are either very difficult or impossible to please. Thank god I was never in the customer service business because I know I would be lousy at it. The entertainment was also outstanding. We went to all the shows which will identify us as relatively novice cruisers but really enjoyed them all. They had Alex the magician, Jayson the singer, and Noodles the comedian along with the production shows. Alex Ramon was especially fun as he has the ability to really connect with the audience. Very fun. We didn't go to the Casino or hang out at bars so can't comment there but they did look fun. My only complaint is that the smoke from the Casino and the aft area smoking section tend to drift about which makes things unpleasant when you're near them. Found it easy to avoid so not a big issue. We are back on the Grand in May for a trip to Alaska and can't wait. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Great trip to Mexico

Grand Princess Cruise Review by Soman

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We just finished sailing on a 10 day Mexican cruise out of San Francisco and had a great time.

Embarkation was a breeze. Since we live close we just took an Uber to the port. We arrived around 10:45 and were onboard in less than 30 minutes. We had time to kill so we went to DaVinci's for lunch and had a great start to our cruise. Afterwards we toured the ship on our own and while it is a 20 year old vessel and it does have rust stains here and there overall I thought the ship was in great shape and a pleasure to be on.

We were in our room at 1 and our luggage arrived around 2 so no issues there. You can see the room description below.

The sail away was incredible. Having spent the last 35 years in the Bay Area I always wanted to take a cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge so this was a big Bucket List item checked. It was cold and stunning which is exactly what we expected.

From this point forward we had three days at sea followed by single days in Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Cabo in that order. We booked no excursions since we love just striking out on our own and loved every minute of it. It was warm and humid which took some getting used to but we adapted well. The people are incredible and while I do recognize that some people are bothered by all the peddlers I bring some empathy and smiles which is always the best medicine in my opinion. This was our first trip to Manzanillo and wasn't quite sure what to expect. As others have said it is still new to the tourist trade so that wasn't an issue. Turns out it is a beautiful city and as we strode further into town found it to be an authentic Mexican city that gives you a true taste of how Mexican's live in real life. We had been to all the other ports before so just did our normal exploring which was just the way we like it.

Our return home was uneventful and sad to say we had to leave the ship yesterday morning.

Now just a couple of comments on the ship. I don't quite understand the negative reviews on the meals. We have spent a number of years in the Bay Area and have eaten at many fine restaurants. While the meals weren't Michelin star quality I thought they were excellent. The buffet is the buffet and I still thought they did a great job. I have Celiac disease and that just wasn't an issue on this ship as everyone went out of their way to accommodate me. So truly not sure what the negative reviewers were expecting but the ship certainly met or exceeded our expectations. I do believe and I saw it on this ship that some people (very few) are either very difficult or impossible to please. Thank god I was never in the customer service business because I know I would be lousy at it.

The entertainment was also outstanding. We went to all the shows which will identify us as relatively novice cruisers but really enjoyed them all. They had Alex the magician, Jayson the singer, and Noodles the comedian along with the production shows. Alex Ramon was especially fun as he has the ability to really connect with the audience. Very fun.

We didn't go to the Casino or hang out at bars so can't comment there but they did look fun. My only complaint is that the smoke from the Casino and the aft area smoking section tend to drift about which makes things unpleasant when you're near them. Found it easy to avoid so not a big issue.

We are back on the Grand in May for a trip to Alaska and can't wait. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Soman’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MD D619
Love the Mini-Suites on Princess. The extra room and more importantly the larger bathroom with tub (my wife's preference) is well worth the upcharge. The rooms do need some work though as the sofa and outdoor furniture need to be replaced. The rest of the room was great.
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