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This was the Mexican Riviera--Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta...January 4 out of Los Angeles (San Pedro). Overall, a very nice cruise... First, even though we live only an hour to an hour and a half from port (depending on traffic), we decided to drive down a day early and stay in San Pedro overnight...Parking at the pier has gone up to $19/day (if my info is correct) and we were able to book the Doubletree using Hilton Points...and they were nioce enough to throw in free parking for the duration of the cruise and shuttles back and forth... The first two photos below are the view from our room (the first one stepping back from the window, the second through one of the panes of glass. The view is great! We were, literally just a few steps from the water...The entire yacht harbor and all of the boats visible, just filling the window. Our room was ample, clean and comfortable...The mattress was VERY comfortable... Since we drove and had our car, we only used the Doubletree shuttle for the ride to the cruise terminal and back. Since we had our car, we drove over to the San Pedro Brewing Co. for lunch...and then back over to the Green Onion for dinner (ordered a three item combo for dinner which turned out to be WAY too much--some very large portions there)...I recommend both of these restaurants. The Doubletree will shuttle you there and back...if you stay at the Crowne Plaza, both are within one short block of that hotels. We signed up for our selected shuttle ride to the pier when we first checked in. Parking at the Doubletree was EASY...nice large lot, close to the entrance and shuttle pick-up/drop-off. Driver even brought us cookies in the van on the return trip. For the ride back after the cruise, we found the Doubletree sign on the curb across from the terminal exit and, to make sure, called the hotel and told them we were there...I think a shuttle left just before we got there, so it was about 20 minutes until the next shuttle came...but it seemed quick. We signed up for the 10:00 am shuttle and we were at the terminal quickly...The baggage handler came and took our luggage right from the van. We walked across the road and embarkation was easy with the medallions and our early arrival--they began boarding at 11:00...and, being Platinum, we were on quick. Went to our cabin and, even though it was not ready, the steward allowed us to drop off our carry-ons..and we then headed to lunch in one of the main dining rooms We had a great cabin...E108--an allegedly "obstructed" premium balcony...There is no real obstruction. What they consider an obstruction is that below the railing, it is solid rather than plexiglass. Didn't bother us in the least... And the cabin, unlike standard cabins on Princess, has a sitting area with a small sofa and a coffee table...and the balcony is way bigger than standard and has footstools along with the deck chairs and a much larger table... The entertainment was fair...a little repetitive...Two nights it was comedian AJ Jamal...he's pretty funny and puts on a good show, but we've had him before on other cruises. Two nights it was the comedy/magician team of Brent and Sarah...they really weren't all that funny, the comedy seemed over-rehearsed and the magic tricks were incredibly basic--the rope trick, the unlinkable rings, etc.--stuff we all knew as kids...and some badly done "telepathy" that most people could figure out exactly how they did it...gee, she was able to determine the first word on page 70 in three pre-selected books--and he was the one who really stopped it on page 70...The other three shows were production shows--singers' voices were excellent...not a lot of dancing...and one of the three ("Secret Silk") was so confusing and disjointed that everyone left the theater shrugging... If there's a problem, it's that, like seemingly every Princess ship, the showroom is FAR TOO SMALL for the number of passengers onboard. If you want a really good seat--like behind the railing with the step down in front of you, you need to show up an hour early...and for most shows, for ANY seat, you needed to be there a full half an hour early--seriously...What you get for putting a 900 seat theater on a 4,000 passenger ship. Marcus Prince was the Cruise Director and he was very good... Weather was great the whole cruise, but chilly/windy heading back to LA so hard to enjoy that balcony... Food was pretty good...and, unlike some Princess cruises we've had, only had trouble getting a table in Anytime once (hour wait, so we went to Alfredo's and ate pizza for dinner). Elite drinks were in Club 6...service was good, appetizers uninspiring. And those "Drink Specials" were $6.50 apiece--way to show appreciation for your most loyal customers, Princess...Makes me really miss Celebrity and its FREE drinks (and creative appetizers in the Elite drinking lounge... The ports: We've done this same itinerary about 10-11 times, so nothing was really new to us... Cabo: We decided to skip all of the shorexes and just wander on our own. The ship arrived ahead of schedule at 10:00, so, after taking a long time at breakfast, we just headed down to the location they were supposed to hand out tender tickets--but they said there was no line or wait for a tender...so we headed right down to Deck 4 and right onto a tender. Walked around town a bit, then stopped for lunch at "Eco Bar"--a nice spot along the waterfront--and got 2 seats at the counter facing the walking promenade...We shared a 3 Fish Taco combo plate ($9.95 US) and a bucket of beers (6 beers of any of Corona, Dos Equis, Pacifico, Modelo, and a couple of "lights"--for $10 US), ate, drank and watched the crowd pass by...then returned to the ship... Mazatlan: Last visit, we had done the Estuary Bird shorex and my wife loved it--so we did it again...Great guide--Hugo (same one we had last time) and a great lunch at Stone Island afterwards... Puerto Vallarta: We've done about every combo that includes tequila tasting here, so this time we chose "City Walk, Tequila Factory and Lunch"...City Walk was nice but included a little too much of the obligatory "bring you to a jewelry store" shopping stop...Tequila tasting good as always (but those prices for buying the product to take home just keep climbing--we bought a couple of sampler packs for gifts, but I decided that I do better back home just buying Costco Anejo (which is REALLY good, BTW) for $19.99 and not have to schlepp it home. The Anejo they were selling isn't quite as good and cost twice the price...The lunch was EXTREMELY disappointing--none of the promised tacos, bad chicken and questionable "beef"...and they ever came with the promised "one drink included"--only came to sell us margaritas for $6 each... But, as I said, overall, a pretty nice cruise...worst thing about it is that it's only 7 nights--I could use a longer vacation!!

Mexican Riviera on the Royal Princess

Royal Princess Cruise Review by Bruin Steve

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Balcony (obstructed view)
This was the Mexican Riviera--Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta...January 4 out of Los Angeles (San Pedro).

Overall, a very nice cruise...

First, even though we live only an hour to an hour and a half from port (depending on traffic), we decided to drive down a day early and stay in San Pedro overnight...Parking at the pier has gone up to $19/day (if my info is correct) and we were able to book the Doubletree using Hilton Points...and they were nioce enough to throw in free parking for the duration of the cruise and shuttles back and forth...

The first two photos below are the view from our room (the first one stepping back from the window, the second through one of the panes of glass. The view is great! We were, literally just a few steps from the water...The entire yacht harbor and all of the boats visible, just filling the window.

Our room was ample, clean and comfortable...The mattress was VERY comfortable...

Since we drove and had our car, we only used the Doubletree shuttle for the ride to the cruise terminal and back.

Since we had our car, we drove over to the San Pedro Brewing Co. for lunch...and then back over to the Green Onion for dinner (ordered a three item combo for dinner which turned out to be WAY too much--some very large portions there)...I recommend both of these restaurants. The Doubletree will shuttle you there and back...if you stay at the Crowne Plaza, both are within one short block of that hotels. We signed up for our selected shuttle ride to the pier when we first checked in.

Parking at the Doubletree was EASY...nice large lot, close to the entrance and shuttle pick-up/drop-off. Driver even brought us cookies in the van on the return trip. For the ride back after the cruise, we found the Doubletree sign on the curb across from the terminal exit and, to make sure, called the hotel and told them we were there...I think a shuttle left just before we got there, so it was about 20 minutes until the next shuttle came...but it seemed quick.

We signed up for the 10:00 am shuttle and we were at the terminal quickly...The baggage handler came and took our luggage right from the van. We walked across the road and embarkation was easy with the medallions and our early arrival--they began boarding at 11:00...and, being Platinum, we were on quick. Went to our cabin and, even though it was not ready, the steward allowed us to drop off our carry-ons..and we then headed to lunch in one of the main dining rooms

We had a great cabin...E108--an allegedly "obstructed" premium balcony...There is no real obstruction. What they consider an obstruction is that below the railing, it is solid rather than plexiglass. Didn't bother us in the least...

And the cabin, unlike standard cabins on Princess, has a sitting area with a small sofa and a coffee table...and the balcony is way bigger than standard and has footstools along with the deck chairs and a much larger table...

The entertainment was fair...a little repetitive...Two nights it was comedian AJ Jamal...he's pretty funny and puts on a good show, but we've had him before on other cruises. Two nights it was the comedy/magician team of Brent and Sarah...they really weren't all that funny, the comedy seemed over-rehearsed and the magic tricks were incredibly basic--the rope trick, the unlinkable rings, etc.--stuff we all knew as kids...and some badly done "telepathy" that most people could figure out exactly how they did it...gee, she was able to determine the first word on page 70 in three pre-selected books--and he was the one who really stopped it on page 70...The other three shows were production shows--singers' voices were excellent...not a lot of dancing...and one of the three ("Secret Silk") was so confusing and disjointed that everyone left the theater shrugging...

If there's a problem, it's that, like seemingly every Princess ship, the showroom is FAR TOO SMALL for the number of passengers onboard. If you want a really good seat--like behind the railing with the step down in front of you, you need to show up an hour early...and for most shows, for ANY seat, you needed to be there a full half an hour early--seriously...What you get for putting a 900 seat theater on a 4,000 passenger ship.

Marcus Prince was the Cruise Director and he was very good...

Weather was great the whole cruise, but chilly/windy heading back to LA so hard to enjoy that balcony...

Food was pretty good...and, unlike some Princess cruises we've had, only had trouble getting a table in Anytime once (hour wait, so we went to Alfredo's and ate pizza for dinner).

Elite drinks were in Club 6...service was good, appetizers uninspiring. And those "Drink Specials" were $6.50 apiece--way to show appreciation for your most loyal customers, Princess...Makes me really miss Celebrity and its FREE drinks (and creative appetizers in the Elite drinking lounge...

The ports:

We've done this same itinerary about 10-11 times, so nothing was really new to us...

Cabo: We decided to skip all of the shorexes and just wander on our own. The ship arrived ahead of schedule at 10:00, so, after taking a long time at breakfast, we just headed down to the location they were supposed to hand out tender tickets--but they said there was no line or wait for a tender...so we headed right down to Deck 4 and right onto a tender. Walked around town a bit, then stopped for lunch at "Eco Bar"--a nice spot along the waterfront--and got 2 seats at the counter facing the walking promenade...We shared a 3 Fish Taco combo plate ($9.95 US) and a bucket of beers (6 beers of any of Corona, Dos Equis, Pacifico, Modelo, and a couple of "lights"--for $10 US), ate, drank and watched the crowd pass by...then returned to the ship...

Mazatlan: Last visit, we had done the Estuary Bird shorex and my wife loved it--so we did it again...Great guide--Hugo (same one we had last time) and a great lunch at Stone Island afterwards...

Puerto Vallarta: We've done about every combo that includes tequila tasting here, so this time we chose "City Walk, Tequila Factory and Lunch"...City Walk was nice but included a little too much of the obligatory "bring you to a jewelry store" shopping stop...Tequila tasting good as always (but those prices for buying the product to take home just keep climbing--we bought a couple of sampler packs for gifts, but I decided that I do better back home just buying Costco Anejo (which is REALLY good, BTW) for $19.99 and not have to schlepp it home. The Anejo they were selling isn't quite as good and cost twice the price...The lunch was EXTREMELY disappointing--none of the promised tacos, bad chicken and questionable "beef"...and they ever came with the promised "one drink included"--only came to sell us margaritas for $6 each...

But, as I said, overall, a pretty nice cruise...worst thing about it is that it's only 7 nights--I could use a longer vacation!!
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Balcony (obstructed view)
Cabin DW
There is no real obstruction. What they consider an obstruction is that below the railing, it is solid rather than plexiglass. Didn't bother us in the least...

And the cabin, unlike standard cabins on Princess, has a sitting area with a small sofa and a coffee table...and the balcony is way bigger than standard and has footstools along with the deck chairs and a much larger table...
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cabo San Lucas
    We decided to skip all of the shorexes and just wander on our own. The ship arrived ahead of schedule at 10:00, so, after taking a long time at breakfast, we just headed down to the location they were supposed to hand out tender tickets--but they said there was no line or wait for a tender...so we headed right down to Deck 4 and right onto a tender. Walked around town a bit, then stopped for lunch at "Eco Bar"--a nice spot along the waterfront--and got 2 seats at the counter facing the walking promenade...We shared a 3 Fish Taco combo plate ($9.95 US) and a bucket of beers (6 beers of any of Corona, Dos Equis, Pacifico, Modelo, and a couple of "lights"--for $10 US), ate, drank and watched the crowd pass by...then returned to the ship...
    View All 1,349 Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port Review
  • Mazatlan
    Last visit, we had done the Estuary Bird shorex and my wife loved it--so we did it again...Great guide--Hugo (same one we had last time) and a great lunch at Stone Island afterwards...
    View All 13,774 Mazatlan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Mazatlan Cruise Port Review
  • Puerto Vallarta
    We've done about every combo that includes tequila tasting here, so this time we chose "City Walk, Tequila Factory and Lunch"...City Walk was nice but included a little too much of the obligatory "bring you to a jewelry store" shopping stop...Tequila tasting good as always (but those prices for buying the product to take home just keep climbing--we bought a couple of sampler packs for gifts, but I decided that I do better back home just buying Costco Anejo (which is REALLY good, BTW) for $19.99 and not have to schlepp it home. The Anejo they were selling isn't quite as good and cost twice the price...The lunch was EXTREMELY disappointing--none of the promised tacos, bad chicken and questionable "beef"...and they ever came with the promised "one drink included"--only came to sell us margaritas for $6 each...
    View All 13,774 Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Review