We chose a Disney cruise because we thought it would be an ideal vacation for a couple with toddler. It’s a tough age to keep actively engaged. While the character greetings and related events were spectacular, experiences for toddlers ... Read More
We chose a Disney cruise because we thought it would be an ideal vacation for a couple with toddler. It’s a tough age to keep actively engaged. While the character greetings and related events were spectacular, experiences for toddlers overall were really quite limited. That being said, this alone was not why the magic was missing for us.
The stateroom was not in the best shape when we arrived. The safe lock had not been reset (we had to wait for maintenance to reset, which was fine if that was the only issue), the clock alarm had not been reset (getting us up much too early the next day), there was hair on the shower curtain, and a pair of eyeglasses were lost in the cabin (?). The cabin and ship was especially creaky the whole trip. This was not our first cruise...so found it annoying. It negatively impacted our sleep.
The restaurant food was good but too hot for our toddler, every time. One would assume that this would be tested before plating. While the service itself was especially friendly, off-putting was the constant requests night after night for an “excellent” rating. It left us feeling soured. We didn’t need to be pushed so much. Maybe just say it once and leave it. As for the food quality outside of the restaurants and buffet, it was really bland.
We needed cash for one of the excursions and guest services would only take personal checks (in 2019!).
My son and I caught a bad cold by the last day! On balance, this was not the vacation that I hoped for and expected from the magical Disney. Read Less
Affordable worth it price. I miss the tropical beach weather so we decided to do the 7 day cruise in mexico. A day in every port wasn't enough! There's so much things to do. During sea day we were able to do a lot of stuff ... Read More
Affordable worth it price. I miss the tropical beach weather so we decided to do the 7 day cruise in mexico. A day in every port wasn't enough! There's so much things to do. During sea day we were able to do a lot of stuff although I must say there's isn't much for couples. Sea day would be so much if we're traveling with family or friends. Only elegant dinner, spa and pool lounge was enjoyable for a romantic gateaway in the ship. Everything was fine until we're on our way back to los angeles (long beach) port. The ship's direction was against the waves so imagine how rocky it may have been. It was the worst for me. It felt like I was drunk the whole time. Especially at night we could hear like heavy metal dropping and while rocking heavily. It was the worst. There's 3 days left in ship before we arrive home port so those days were my only complaint. To think i have meds with me too. I just think it would have been a nice vacay without the dizziness. Lol. But overall it was ok and fun. Another thing i would suggest to get a cabin 6th or higher floor and in the middle to avoid being dizzy all the time or just so you won't feel everything moving esp with kids! The highlight was the last night too when they had a big party with everyone and it was so much fun. Be prepared to gain so much weight bec food was very reasonable and tasty for me. Read Less
This was our fifth time on a Royal-Class ship, and it was also one of the best times we’ve had. The cruise director was great, Matt O, the passenger mix was perfect, not one age group dominated. We never ate in the dining room. The ... Read More
This was our fifth time on a Royal-Class ship, and it was also one of the best times we’ve had. The cruise director was great, Matt O, the passenger mix was perfect, not one age group dominated. We never ate in the dining room. The buffet food was very good, as usual. This was our 21st Princess Cruise. We had cabin E107, obstructed balcony, EXTRA large. No see-through panel to view the water from the cabin. Steward was awesome. Cabin very clean. All our needs were met. One day they varnished our railing, but they did ask lir permission. We had the option to say no. Another day, Mazatlan day, they decided to paint the bridge which was directly overhead, so we came back to paint spatter on our balcony. No biggie. Too much motion at front of ship.
Lots of good entertainment. Mariachis, dance bands, et cet. Always something going on in the atrium. Production show Bravo is excellent. Strong vocalists, plus opera singers.
Alfredo’s very good. Took one Princess tour to Mahajuitas and Yelapa. Lots of fun.
The Mexican Riviera itinerary is actually lots more fun than the Caribbean.
We plan to sail the Royal often, as long as she is homeported in Los Angeles.
Didn’t really care for new cocktail menu at Crooner’s, though, and drink prices have increased. Ship is in great shape. Very, very clean. All employeees were constantly wiping down and scrubbing everything at the buffet. Lots and lots of variety at buffet. At least 5 types of carving stations on many evenings,vans lots of shrimps and mussels available.
Great variety of salad veggies and fresh fruit. Plenty of lounge chairs. No fights over loungers here on the West Coast, unlike what I’ve noticed when we cruise out of the East Coast where everyone seems so desperate for loungers and sun, those escaping brutal winters everywhere. Out here in California I’ve never seen oversaving of loungers, probably since most of the ship is comprised of West Coast people who have decent weather year round. All the more reason to cruise out of California, no airfare, plus less fights onboard. Read Less
We flew into LAX and ordered a Lyft ride to the terminal. We got there before our assigned arrival time but they let us get in a line for "to early or to late arrivals" which was only a 10 minute wait. We were on the ship rather ... Read More
We flew into LAX and ordered a Lyft ride to the terminal. We got there before our assigned arrival time but they let us get in a line for "to early or to late arrivals" which was only a 10 minute wait. We were on the ship rather quickly getting some lunch at the buffet while waiting for our room to be ready.
Our cabin was a balcony on the 9th floor. We were on the pool and buffet level. I liked that convenience but it was a noisy room. We were close to the atrium where loud music was usually playing down on the 3rd level. Between that and the noise of activities on the pool deck is was not quiet when trying to sleep. Don't forget to bring a power strip. There was only one outlet in the entire room. There wasn't even one in the bathroom!
We were cruising with a group of 9. We met for dinner for our early dining reservations. That's when we found out 7 of us were assigned to one table and 2 were assigned to a different table. That made for a frustrating, uncomfortable evening. They got us all on one table for the other 6 nights. Not as good of a location but at least we were together. We had some amazing servers - Jesus, Maynard and Super. They called us by our first names during the whole cruise, even when seeing us in the buffet. They remembered any special requests we had after the first dinner and brought us milk, extra butter, cottage cheese etc. without us even asking.
They chatted with us when time allowed and we learned about how they live on the ship during working months while earning a living. They are away from home for months at a time, I can't imagine. But like Jesus told us, "I need to support my family". Such hard working men. I really admired them. They are paid with the mandatory tips we all pay during the cruise but we all gave them extra tips on the last evening. They earned them!
We saw some amazing shows during our week on the Splendor. Two of the shows were done by the cast that had been on the ship for 7 months. The new incoming cast did the other 2 shows. The dancing and singing were very good as well as the sets, lighting and the moving parts of the stage. Very impressive! For those taking this cruise in the next 5-6 months, one of the female singers in the new cast was especially fantastic. Wait till you hear that gal sing!!
One of the shows, Studio VIP, takes volunteers from those in line to participate in the show. Two in our group volunteered and it was so much fun to watch. They had a blast!
Our first port was Cabo San Lucas. We had booked a tour thru Carnival so we were allowed to get on the early tender boats. Those that didn't book a tour had to get boarding numbers the night before and wait for their number to be called. This can take hours while all the VIP and booked tour guests were getting tendered first.
We did the Mexican Outback Safari and Camel Ride. It was a lot of fun and also educational. The camels are well cared for in a nice facility. They were led down near the ocean for a nice 30 minute ride while listening to the waves crashing onto the beach. They take really nice pictures of a camel kissing you, riding pictures and even have a drone filming part of your ride. They are kind of expensive but good quality with vibrant colors, I couldn't resist. People comment that they didn't like this tour because they couldn't take their pictures with the camels. However, I took lots of nice pictures of the camels, the facility, the guide - we just couldn't pose with the camels. Don't let that deter you from going on this fantastic journey!
Next stop was Mazatlan were we booked an open air cab tour with Christian who I found recommended on TA. This was our second tour with him. He is amazing! We went for a 4 hour sight seeing tour and trip to the Tequila Factory and Leather Factory. His English is excellent and we learned so much about all the places we went to. Other places we went on our last visit included the Cathedral, Opera House, Tequila Tasting, the Market and touring the city to see all the amazing buildings/homes built many years ago. His rates are very reasonable. You can find him on FB, mazatlanopenairdotcom
In Puerto Vallarta we had booked a Beach Day at a resort thru the cruise line. We had all signed up for the 9:30am departure. While getting ready to go, 2 of the couples noticed the times on their tickets had been changed to 2:30! We went down to customer service and were told they had over booked this activity and had to change those that had booked the latest. However, the 2 couples who's time got changed were the first to book, not the last! What really happened?? Another bump in the road. There are many groups traveling together, Carnival should be on top of this! Tisk, tisk!! We all cancelled and they refunded our money. That was a bummer though as we were looking forward to this.
We left the ship and found someone offering city tours for $30 per person. He had a nice, air conditioned van that fit all 9 of us. So no beach day as planned but we saved a bunch of money and got a reasonably priced tour of the city.
They had 2 craft classes during the cruise but they seemed more for kids, not us adults. We made a card using scissors, kids school glue, and rubber stamps. Other cruises I have been on had fun crafts to do. I always look forward to that but it didn't happen on this cruise.
My favorite adult activities were the Love and Marriage show, Battle of the Sexes, the Hairy Chest Contest and the Quest. Very entertaining! There is always a long list of activities you can participate in on sea days. Bring a highlighter to mark those you may be interested in. Lots of kids were on this cruise and there we fun things for them to participate in also.
When the ship turned around to head back to Long Beach the wind was horrible! The boat rocked like I had never felt before. I have never gotten sea sick on a cruise ship until this trip. I took extra Bonine, chewed on ginger candy and found that I felt a bit better with a full stomach. It was to cold and windy to go out on the outside decks. The pool has a retractable roof that they closed. There were lots of kids in the pool that was more like a wave pool. It looked dangerous but the kids were having a blast until they drained it for safety issues. Good call Carnival!
We had an early flight so we carried off our luggage and were allowed to line up in the showroom to debark earlier. This worked so slick, no need to panic worrying about what time we'd get off.
Another Lyft ride to LAX and we were on our way home. Read Less
We traveled with friends to celebrate my wife's birthday we were picked for the Chefs Table which was very important to her and we all enjoyed the experience very much. We had nice time in all the ports. Dining was nice throughout ... Read More
We traveled with friends to celebrate my wife's birthday we were picked for the Chefs Table which was very important to her and we all enjoyed the experience very much. We had nice time in all the ports. Dining was nice throughout the ship but a little disappointed in the Crown Grill, not up to par at all from past experiences. The ship was in good condition, a few kinks with leaving from San Pedro new pier for Princess. We had a nice time overall. Suites lounge was non existent for embarkation and process was not smooth and Nothing Special for Suites my wife complained, I couldn't care less as long as we get onboard but we pay a lot more for the suites so enjoys it and expects a much better experience. A pleasant surprise was having the Medallion but a little stressful because not expecting it there is a little work required before hand so trying to know which apps and how to download etc. with little information was frustrating and took about to 3rd day to get everything operating correctly. Read Less
It was a chance to sail on the fanciest Princess Ship. The ship is beautiful. Unfortunately,
My ankle was injured and I couldn’t go too many places. The location of the phone jack in relation to one of only two outlets made it hard to ... Read More
It was a chance to sail on the fanciest Princess Ship. The ship is beautiful. Unfortunately,
My ankle was injured and I couldn’t go too many places. The location of the phone jack in relation to one of only two outlets made it hard to plug things in. I was never informed when I booked that my room had bunk beds above our beds. We hit our heads several times sitting up in our beds. We had to separate our beds because thelousy bunk beds were where we needed to walk otherwise. That is a big ship and I struggled to get amidships.I didn’t even go forward of amidships. Just too big for a cripple to get around without a wheelchair(which I don’t own one.) Luckily, I was near the rear elevators which gave me good access to Horizon Court, Allegro dining room and Crown Grill. This is a cruise ship for ambulatory people,just not for cripples. Food was excellent. Francisco did an excellent job asroom steward. I personally didn’t leave the ship. Read Less
We needed to get away and my husband booked this about 2 months prior to sailing. We were towed by a tug backwards out of San Pedro port. I guess the sship is too big to make a u-turn. The food was what you would find on a typical major ... Read More
We needed to get away and my husband booked this about 2 months prior to sailing. We were towed by a tug backwards out of San Pedro port. I guess the sship is too big to make a u-turn. The food was what you would find on a typical major cruise line: not great, not horrible. My husband calls it banquet food. The only complaint I had was with the scheduling of activities. We had late dining and there were too many times where we couldn't see the production shows, go to trivia, or the game shows because of conflicts with dining.
We decided not to get off the ship in Cabo as we don't really like the hassle of the tener ports. In Mazatlan, we took a tour with Flavor Teller and had what the locals refer to as 'second breakfast'. The tour was excellent and the food to die for! I highly recommended Miike (Micah). We took a cooking class in Puerto Vallarta with Cookin' Vallarta where we went to the produce and fish markets with the Chef and then to his home for the cooking lessons and lunch. It was very informative and the food was great!. I also highly recommended Enrique and his hospitality.
Embarkation was mainly smooth, although the Ocean Ready signage needs to be better. We were Ocean Ready but didn't see any signs and ended up at a regular check in desk. It took a little longer because of that because they weren't really sure how to handle us.
It was probably the fastest and easiest debarkation we've ever had. We had breakfast, and pretty much walked off the ship, got our bags, went through CBP and got to the car in about 10 - 15 minutes. If it was always like this, we would travel more often! Read Less
This is my 3rd cruise w/ Princess, and 2nd on the same route. The ship’s decor and public areas are kept neat and clean while our cabin were always pristine. Dining is a big disappointment, both buffet and formal dining, food are either ... Read More
This is my 3rd cruise w/ Princess, and 2nd on the same route. The ship’s decor and public areas are kept neat and clean while our cabin were always pristine. Dining is a big disappointment, both buffet and formal dining, food are either average or below, very poor quality, and salty at times. Ship crews need to smile more and learn to throw pleasant greetings - it’s a stressful job but this is a customer service oriented business. Shore excursions are fun especially with booze included, food are not impressive, no varieties except selections of chicken, pork and steak tacos. Most of the excursion locations are overflowing with other cruise passengers that it’s like a zoo out there - not enjoyable seeing people instead of learning what the excursion is all about. These locations could have served a premium drink instead of unlimited watered-down drinks. Embarkation and disembarkation are well managed and efficient. Read Less
WE just returned from our Carnival Splendor cruise and really had a nice time! The ship is well worn and needs refurbishment, but after a day I didn't even notice! Our balcony room on the 8th deck was very nice and we loved having the ... Read More
WE just returned from our Carnival Splendor cruise and really had a nice time! The ship is well worn and needs refurbishment, but after a day I didn't even notice! Our balcony room on the 8th deck was very nice and we loved having the outdoor space. It was our first balcony. The food was good, but not fabulous. The best meal I had was the filet mignon. The lobster was good but not wonderful.
The ports were nicer than I thought they would be. We signed up for shopping tours with Fernando (which I would highly recommend) and he provided free transportation into all 3 towns and margaritas at Diamonds Intl. After the tour, we were free go to on our own. In Cabo we walked back on the boardwalk thru town back to the ship, stopping for drinks with chips and guac on the way. In Mazalatan, we got taken downtown, which was quite a ways, (free) and after a couple shops we were given a choice of going on a tour of the city for just $20 each--which is a deal! Or going across the street to a hotel where we could sit by the pool or beach for just a drink! We did that and it was better than paying for a beach excursion! In Puerta Vallarta, he took us to the Malecon and after a short trip visiting Diamonds Intl, and a free margarita we went out to explore and have lunch. Fernando was great so I would recommend going with him for free!
The entertainment team was fabulous!!! We thoroughly enjoyed the shows, which were Rock type shows. The pianist, Patrick, who played requests from 9-1 was very good so we also enjoyed that. The casino was smokey so we didn't enjoy walking thru it!
The service was very good as everyone works hard to please, both the room attendants as well as food service workers. We were just 2 older adults who traveled and we had a great time-better than we thought we would. I would do this cruise again, but I tend to like to see new places. I would definitely want a balcony room , if it was affordable! Nancy Read Less
We were three couples trying out the Royal class ship first time as they moved here to our West coast. Embarkation went well even with some confusing information about a late boarding due to drills, we arrived at 11am and were aboard ... Read More
We were three couples trying out the Royal class ship first time as they moved here to our West coast. Embarkation went well even with some confusing information about a late boarding due to drills, we arrived at 11am and were aboard with our elite friends at 12:15pm. The ship is very nice, we liked the larger Piazza and the entertainment was scheduled so that only one band was playing in one area at a time so the sound would not conflict. We did miss the Explorers lounge here, but Wheelhouse was great and bar service very good. We had the beverage package and had no problems getting drinks, however the Ocean Now app is not yet working to order from your lounge at the pool. They did have some servers walking about on the pool decks but you'd have to get your own a lot. The lack of aft pool was missed, but that nice terrace is great back there for breakfast and service was immediate once you sat down getting your coffee and drinks. This buffet is the best at sea that we've seen so far.....just amazing. Entertainment was great, MUTS had good movies, deck party was fun, forward theater worked well for us we never could not find seats for any show. We had anytime dining and made reservations some nights, the staff needs more bodies to keep up with tables. When someone would order a glass of wine it did come within ten minutes or so, coffee always showed up before dessert so they did pretty well. Quality of food we thought was good, prime rib, lobster (got two tails) most of us enjoyed our selections. The meddalian is not working fully yet and we thought is was more of an annoyance at this time...there are tech staff all over the ship working on things. Coffee up in buffet is brewed so did not need to go to IC for good coffee if you like black. We did miss the promenade walking deck for sure, deck 18 is too windy to use some times. Overall we had a great time and would sail this class again. Read Less
We always choose Princess. This was convenient because we arrived at the port by bus chartered by Murdock Travel here in St George, Utah. We love your Horizon Court. It has a great variety of food to choose from. Also traditional ... Read More
We always choose Princess. This was convenient because we arrived at the port by bus chartered by Murdock Travel here in St George, Utah. We love your Horizon Court. It has a great variety of food to choose from. Also traditional dining was excellent. Those that waited on us did a great job. The one complaint we has have was at the Crab Shack. We have enjoyed crab legs in the past on previous cruises but those served that night were fishy and tough. Those that waited on us were excellent. The entertainment in the Princess Theater was outstanding. We especially enjoyed the individuals that were guest performers. Our room steward Dennis, was cheerful and very helpful. We are always impressed with all those that work on the ship. Everyone was very friendly and always looked very nice. We have sailed over 25 times on Princess and will continue to support this fine cruise line. Read Less
We have been on several holland America cruises. Like it because they actually have some computer and photo classes. This 7 day trip out of San Diego is probably my last. We about fell over when we saw the price of wine. It has ... Read More
We have been on several holland America cruises. Like it because they actually have some computer and photo classes. This 7 day trip out of San Diego is probably my last. We about fell over when we saw the price of wine. It has doubled. I ordered an after dinner drink of cream de mint, kahlua and white cream de cocoa. I got a shot glass of nothing but cream de mint. I said this is wrong. They refused to fix it. Kids took over the adult aft pool. We loved the violin and cello guys. The blues group was good. That’s about it. I was more than ready to leave before the end of the cruise. We gave our room steward a tip at the end. Aidet. - he was the best. I doubt our $29 per day for tips goes to those who work so hard. I had a $20 massage in each port. - way better than the ones the ship charges 7 times more for. We are next headed to an adult only ai in mexico. Much better value. We tried to play pickle ball on the ship but it was over-run with basketball players. Ai places have tennis courts. I don’t have to wait for a ticket to be herded off the ship like cattle. I can tip who I want and the drinks are included. Thoroughly disgusted after this last cruise. Read Less
We choose this cruise as it went south rather than the 4 day cruises we have done in the past. The weather did not disappoint.
I was worried about the size of the ship, but there was no need to. With the areas organized the way they ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it went south rather than the 4 day cruises we have done in the past. The weather did not disappoint.
I was worried about the size of the ship, but there was no need to. With the areas organized the way they are, there is always a place to find solitude if that's what you want. Yes, if you want to sit in a specific area for Princess Theatre or Movies Under the Stars, you must get there early and yes, we found lots of people saving spots, but we got to those areas early enough (usually an hour early) and found what we wanted.
The Entertainment was fantastic. We went to the early Princess Theatre production every night.
Horizon is amazingly large and easy to navigate which we were so pleased with that we never even made it to the dining room on this cruise.
We did not choose a cabin that we liked, as we were directly under the area of the outside burger place, and during the day there were chairs scraped across the floor and lots of foot steps overhead, but it was absolutely fine in the evening and at night.
Service was terrific. Wherever we were, lots of people asking if we wanted or needed anything.
I cannot say enough about our Stateroom Steward Christian. He always remembered our names and if he was going down the hallway, he would open our door for us before we even got there.
Medallion is still in it's infancy and we only used it for opening our doors and to pay for drinks and merchandise. Messaging was easy (as long as you check frequently).
Overall, yes, we would do this specific cruise again and yes, we would choose the Royal Princess. Read Less
We always ship Princess. This trip was not up to our expectations. Cleanliness of room, problems with bathroom and continued after steward was notified. Problems with internet usage. Front desk staff not helpful at all. We are elite ... Read More
We always ship Princess. This trip was not up to our expectations. Cleanliness of room, problems with bathroom and continued after steward was notified. Problems with internet usage. Front desk staff not helpful at all. We are elite status and laundry service was charged. Was very difficult to get charges removed. It was necessary for us to visit the service desk multiple times before the correction was done. Horizon staff not accommodating. We had to ask for drinks several times and we were told if we didn’t like something we could move. Our bedding was good. We would have preferred a top sheet for cover.
The ship was not user friendly. Difficult to navigate from one end to the other. Other ships seemed much easier to get around on. We will continue to use Princess however we will probably reserve other ships.
I’m not sure we will travel the Royal Princess again. Read Less
This was our first cruise and everything was above expectations! The crew, service, entertainment and food was excellent. Everyone was always so very helpful, always greeted you with a smile and did everything they could to make sure you ... Read More
This was our first cruise and everything was above expectations! The crew, service, entertainment and food was excellent. Everyone was always so very helpful, always greeted you with a smile and did everything they could to make sure you were satisfied.
We enjoyed the variety of food they offered and all the different restaurants to choose from. The bars were very nice with great views to sit and relax and enjoy your day or evening.
The entertainment was great and a lot to choose from. They have something going day and night to fit your schedule. Or you can even go and relax by the pool and watch movies under the stars! Amazing!!!
We did not know what to expect since this was our first cruise and we are so very pleased with the whole experience!!!
We are looking forward to our next cruise and will be booking with Princess again soon!! Read Less
Full disclosure, we are avid cruisers with 20 trips on different lines. Royal Caribbean always ranks the highest on our list. Our 7 day cruise started with a mis-placed suitcase that was not delivered until 7 p.m. after several calls and ... Read More
Full disclosure, we are avid cruisers with 20 trips on different lines. Royal Caribbean always ranks the highest on our list. Our 7 day cruise started with a mis-placed suitcase that was not delivered until 7 p.m. after several calls and visits with Princess supervisors. Disappointed that after many promises of return calls none we received, including no apologies for the major delay. I should mention that we did receive our other 2 bags soon after boarding at 2 p.m. Our travel partners that checked bags at the same time and location as ours received their bags on time. Princess boarding process is lengthy and cumbersome. A lot of waiting to board the ship. The new medallion system needs improvement. This controls your door locks, however it opens the door at least six feet as you approach your stateroom and leaves it open for 10 seconds after you leave. We also do not like the fact that your names are displayed outside your door on a screen 24/7. Cabin, a mini suite, was fine, however the bath area shelving was very dusty. No greeting from cabin steward or other interaction throughout the week. Dining on Princess was a disappointment. Late seating first night had us on the worst location for a party of four even with advance reservation prior to sailing. We were moved to a much nicer location after speaking to a supervisor. In general staff not real friendly, with the only exception being our dinner waiter and his assistant. Breakfast staff in the dining room not gracious or accomodating. The front hostess was boarder line rude. Lunch in the dining room also fell below service expectations. Note we never ate off buffets since food quality tends to be poor. We were very surprised that dining room and specialty dining room food quantity was also just average, nothing to be excited about. With all the hype for the Executive Chef, he was more “show” then delivery of quality food products. Granted the ship serves thousands of meals, there are other cruise lines that do a much better job. On board entertainment was fine with the same production shows typically booked on other lines. Shore excursions were also average. Recommend booking early as many popular tours were sold out by the time we got on the ship. Disembarkation for us was difficult, we had to carry off early due to an airline flight change. Very long lines and what seemed like miles of dragging bags. We will not do that again. Bottom line, unless you want the ports that only Princess goes to we recommend you pick another line. Our experience with Royal Caribbean with 12 past cruises has always been very good to excellent. Last comment, we saw very little management presence and almost no management interaction with passengers. Dealings with “Supervisors” was frustrating. Follow up promises never fulfilled. , Read Less
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and ... Read More
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and Canadians. Incidentally, we met up with the Cruise Critic roll call members the first morning of the cruise and enjoyed their company throughout the week. Here are a notable features from our cruise:
* Great: Crew, passengers, the ship itself, the food
* Good: the weather, the happy hours (2nd drink $2 and passed appetizers)
* Missing: HAL cats, the onboard ship's band we enjoyed on previous HAL cruises
* Also missing: hand-wash stations and sufficient Purell hand sanitizing stations
* Fabulous: the Lincoln Center chamber orchestra and the BB King's Blues Club band
* Fantastic: the new Humanity dance show with Step One dancers and light show
* Always present but not welcome: sales, sales, sales. Spa treatments, cabanas, on-board jewelry shopping, liquor, future cruises, on-shore jewelry shopping, fee restaurants
* Excellent: folklorico dancers, guitarist, comedian Tim Kaminski
* Fleeting: one show each by truly excellent guitarist and good Elton John/Billy Joel vocalist-pianist
* More detail on food: the Lido had tasty food, well prepared, and served by cooks so that there was very little passenger tong handling. The dining room food was creative, inspired and varied.
* Off-putting: the drink prices, especially the wines. Just no. Cheapest white $9 per glass for a bottle that retails for $7 and wholesales for $3
* Inconsistency: Smart casual in the dining room: Night 1, a passenger at a nearby table wearing a ballcap in the dining room. Night 3, a warm day and evening, my spouse appears in a collared button down shirt and long shorts, gets sent back to the room for long pants, oops, our bad. But what's this? Seated next to us: a teenaged boy in basketball shorts and shirt.
* More inconsistency: 2nd Gala Night: female wearing capris and a t-shirt with words on it, plus a visor; her dining partner (likely husband) wearing shorts, a baggy t-shirt and a cap.
* Final inconsistency in the DR: final night, smart casual again, man wearing shorts and t shirt. Not sent back to change. Also: not a warm day, so no excuse for the attire.
* Final missing: an atrium that's a gathering place. The Ocean Bar wraps around the small atrium, but the ship simply isn't large enough for a central space with a music and dance floor. However, with that comes fewer passengers and a more pleasant ambiance. Read Less
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a ... Read More
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a different boat.
The Nieuw Amsterdam is not quite as nice as the Eurodam. Of course, it hasn't been updated as recently, so that stands to reason. For the most part, they are almost the same-- same restaurants, same staterooms, same places to spend money.
But there are subtle differences. The Nieuw Amsterdam has an identity problem in its decor. Here a little Art Deco, there a little quirky, and over there-- well, the main dining room, it looks like the twin of a fancy Chinese restaurant, all in red and mirrors. It is just missing lazy susans on the tables and a gigantic fish tank.
No shark tale soup on any menu, though.
So, let's talk entertainment. The blues club-- can't beat it. Fun, great music, great entertainers. The classical musicians-- same same. The pianists, well, I guess others liked them, but they didn't do it for me.
Mainstage entertainment-- well, were it not for the parents who decided to allow their children to climb over me (literally) and then sit, screaming, it was pretty good.
The first show, all dancing, was creative-- the lights became both a character and a prop, with them dancing with the dancers. It was something I haven't seen before. The second dancing show was okay-- one dancer was significantly better than the others. She was good, she wasn't great. But entertaining enough.
The magician played to a packed house. I coudn't see it because there was no where to sit. The few minutes I did, it looked like fun.
Dining was hit and miss, but mostly hit. Whoever was in charge of cooking the meat hit a home run each time. Whoever was making the sandwiches needs to learn how to spread butter. Other than that, it was the usual high-quality food we have come to expect from HAL.
The main issue we had with the cruise was the behavior of the children. I like kids. In fact, I have spent a lifetime teaching other people's kids. When they are well-behaved, they add a great deal to a social occasion.
When they are badly behave, they ruin it.
Besides the children climbing on me, then screaming, there were packs of young and pre-teens running around (yes, running,) leaving pool towels in the elevators, using the adult pool, several times, complete with floatees to jump onto, splashing the guests, shouting and jumping into the whirlpools.
Our complaints seem to fall on deaf ears.
And then there is the cell phone issue. Ours were on airplane mode the whole time. And yet we were charged for their service.
So, we enjoyed ourselves. But we do feel like HAL has a few wrinkles to iron out. Read Less
I recommend this cruise. We've been to these ports many times and this was by far the smoothest sailing we've been on. The weather in our Mexican ports was really good, too.
Although there were over 400 children on this ... Read More
I recommend this cruise. We've been to these ports many times and this was by far the smoothest sailing we've been on. The weather in our Mexican ports was really good, too.
Although there were over 400 children on this cruise it wasn't a problem, at least to us. Except for the swimming pools, which they seemed to take over, the children were a pleasure to have around.
We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. Everyone!
I thought the food was very good. We opted to eat in the dining room every night because we found the food very good there. Even the buffet was, in my opinion, a little better than most other lines we've been on.
The entertainment was okay. On the main stage the special effects were good, but they only had six dancers. Excellent dancers , but not exciting. However, the comedian and the magician they had on other nights were very good. We would have enjoyed a little more of a live band around the ship -- maybe by the pool. They had the BB King band, and we enjoyed them.. LOVED the two piano players, and didn't miss many of their performances. Overall, we were satisfied with the entertainment.
I thought the ship was beautiful. The balcony cabin was well appointed and, of course, our cabin stewards were the best.
The only complaint I have isn't with Holland America, but with Cruise Critic. This is the first time we've signed up for a roll call and not had a meet and greet on the ship. I have no idea why not.
We're looking forward to another Holland America cruise. Read Less
We are both Elite level and have traveled on Princess, Carnival and NCL. We expect excellent service. Unfortunately this is not the case on this ship. There where NO robes in cabin and NO laundry bags had to asked for them from cabin ... Read More
We are both Elite level and have traveled on Princess, Carnival and NCL. We expect excellent service. Unfortunately this is not the case on this ship. There where NO robes in cabin and NO laundry bags had to asked for them from cabin steward on both items.
When I looked thru the coupon book that was in cabin found items that had expired in 2018
The food in MDR and Buffet was not good at all, it was rubbery and over cooked. The only good place to eat was in Alfredo's Pizzeria the food was good and it was hot we did use the Crown Grill for two nights and it is always very good and we had great service there. I tried the Trident Grill on two different days and both times there was only one man there to cook and serve. Long lines and long wait.
The IC was and other place where we had troubles on the first day at sea I went to get Specialty coffee when I made my order I was told that there was NOT ANY LARGE CUPS and had to have regular cup. This was for the whole trip and ever one had bought coffee cards for the trip, but could only get regular cups of coffee. This with not being able to carry the coffee cards to next trip made it a bad deal.
With all of this an other troubles, we did not get future cruise sales. We are going to try other lines that may have better service Read Less
Except for embarkation the cruise was very well done. The Royal Princess is a beautiful ship in great condition. It did not seem nearly as large as it was. The executive lounge for suites was great. Breakfast in Sabatini’s for suites ... Read More
Except for embarkation the cruise was very well done. The Royal Princess is a beautiful ship in great condition. It did not seem nearly as large as it was. The executive lounge for suites was great. Breakfast in Sabatini’s for suites was great. Club class dining was very good with only one bad experience. We eat early and there was never a wait for a two top. Service was outstanding. For regular anytime dining there was a wait for early dining.
We had no problem getting lounge chairs around the pool ever.
The gym was large and no wait for equipment.
There used to be bridge on Princess cruises but not on this one even though there were 3 days at sea.
We were surprised by how nice Mazatlan was. It was beautiful and local guides were great.
Best internet speed on any ship we have been on. Easy connection too.
Shops on board do not offer good value. Macy;s prices on Effy jewelry is cheaper than “sales” on board.
If Princess can solve embarkation problems at the San Pedro Port of Los Angeles it is a great cruise. Read Less
Royal Princess, Mexican Riviera, April 2019
My wife and I are both Elite with more than 280 days on Princess. However, up to this point, our cruises on Princess were all with the smaller to medium-sized ships. The Grand class ships ... Read More
Royal Princess, Mexican Riviera, April 2019
My wife and I are both Elite with more than 280 days on Princess. However, up to this point, our cruises on Princess were all with the smaller to medium-sized ships. The Grand class ships had prior been the largest in the fleet which we had sailed. This was our first cruise onboard Royal Princess and will likely be our last. We have not given up on Princess, but do not care for the larger ships (Royal, Regal, etc.).
First of all, larger does not necessarily mean larger. We were very aware that the ship cut corners in order to fit in more cabins, more seats, more of everything. It gave the ship a very crowded feeling and made it difficult to get around the ship.
The low point for us was our cabin. We paid extra to get a Deluxe Balcony, but there was nothing deluxe about it. Even being “Deluxe” it was the smallest balcony cabin we have ever had on any cruise line. The balcony itself was barely large enough for two chairs and a small table. And if a person wanted to get to the far chair, the other person had to get up and let them into the “aisle” to get there. Think of the seats in economy class on an airline and you will get the idea of the lack of space on the balcony. Also, the room design was such where the bathroom door swung out into the closet area, creating a bump zone. The bathroom was extremely small and the shower was one of the smallest we’ve ever seen.
On the plus side, the production shows in the Princess Theater were first rate. Great singers, good dancers and very nice staging. The only negative was that the choreography was severely lacking. The dancers were good, but they simply were not given much in the way of choreography to work with. The Princess Theater itself had excellent sight lines with no pillars, yet the chairs did not have anywhere to put a drink, apparently another effort to cram as many seats as possible into the space.
A strong caution to you if you are thinking of taking this ship, late dining will mean that you will miss out on many of the events and even the evening entertainment on the last evening (which was only one performance at 8:00). The Cruise Director (Matt O) was entertaining while hosting events, but sorely lacking when it comes to scheduling the events. There were several events in the evening that were simply off limits to late diners. The scheduling only allowed early diners to attend. And during the day, there was a general lack of active activities, such as sports. Two ping pong tables onboard, yet zero ping pong tournaments the entire week. Pickleball onboard, yet no tournaments, only “open play” on the calendar. Same for basketball. The closest they came to a sporting event was golf putting. The emphasis on events appeared to be where they could upsell you something (art auctions, wine testing, beauty seminars, etc.).
Main dining was good, but not great. The signature Princess dishes (eggplant parmesan, goat cheese souffle, etc.) have either changed their recipes over the years or were overdone by the chef onboard. And a particular annoyance was the “add on” menu where you would have to pay $19-$29 if you wanted a good steak or lobster.
We went to the buffet the three sea days for lunch. The first sea day it was outstanding with fresh sushi. The other two days, not as much. Even with all of the choices, I had difficulty finding something fresh and quality to eat.
This cruise was trying out the new medallion technology. While it may be a plus for future cruises, it was a negative for this cruise, since it didn’t always work and we had to scan both the medallion and our card (so that they could test it) when getting on and off the ship. They said they will eventually go to just a medallion, although it’s not clear how the waiters will charge for drinks, etc., since they always wanted to see the card (not the medallion) to get the number. There is no number on the medallion. Also, you would think simple things like having your billing available online would be part of the new system, but it is not.
The deck party on the pool deck was essentially a line dance party. We stayed, hoping to dance, but line dancing is not our thing. We thought maybe they would only be doing a couple of line dances, but gave up and left after 30 minutes of line dancing. Like many other activities on the ship, they seem to be geared toward what the Cruise Director enjoyed doing, rather than what the guests enjoyed doing. This was the first time that we left a deck party without dancing a single dance.
Overall an average at best experience. We will continue to sail on Princess in the future, but not on Royal or Regal or other large ships. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean cover the large ship category much better than Princess. Read Less
I've sailed many different Carnival ships, both new and old. I was pretty shocked at the condition of the ship, which is less than 10 years old. Whatever happened to ongoing maintenance? Our cabin had lots of dents and scratches. ... Read More
I've sailed many different Carnival ships, both new and old. I was pretty shocked at the condition of the ship, which is less than 10 years old. Whatever happened to ongoing maintenance? Our cabin had lots of dents and scratches. A couple of the lamps sticking out of the wall were loose. Our fiberglass shower had a huge crack in it. There were hundreds of tiles missing at the main pool.
On to the good: The itinerary was great. We didn't miss Mazatlan and really enjoyed our overnight in Puerto Vallarta.
Food is always good on Carnival and this cruise did not disappoint. Service in the dining room was not good. Very inconsistent spacing with our courses. It seemed like the servers were far too preoccupied with getting our kids food out early. On at least 4 nights, we had to leave the dining room because the next seating was about to happen. We had to rush through dessert and coffee was ordered but forgotten on multiple occasions. We are accustomed to fantastic, efficient service on Carnival and were very disappointed.
Entertainment was great. We really enjoyed the main shows as well as the comedians.
The cruise director, Lee, was great. Very visible and personable. Read Less
We lorikeet the Mexico 7 day cruise for the convenience and price. The weather is always perfect and this time the ocean was completely smooth for the entire trip. The ship is giant, the buffet is huge and the crew were all friendly. The ... Read More
We lorikeet the Mexico 7 day cruise for the convenience and price. The weather is always perfect and this time the ocean was completely smooth for the entire trip. The ship is giant, the buffet is huge and the crew were all friendly. The new medallion system was interesting but not fully implemented for our cruise. I hope that the new screens and WiFi will help eliminate the excessive paper usage on the ship.
The spa was disappointing, it would be nice if you weren’t always pressured into buying expensive products. Also, there are only 3 small pools. One 3’ deep circular pool, a five foot deep rectangular pool just next to it and then another rectangular pool that was for adults only on the back of the ship. On one port day only the circular pool was open and it was extremely crowded. It would be nice if a ship this large had one more pool for everyone to enjoy.
The kid center was brand new with all of the updated activities. Our son (8-12 group) said some of the staff were impatient but it wasn’t enough of an issue to deter him from going.
Overall we had a great time and would definitely go on this itinerary and ship again. Read Less
Some friends wanted to cruise and invited me along. I have been weary of cruising because I really like traveling to places and thoroughly immersing myself into the culture of the place I am visiting. I did ALOT of research on our ... Read More
Some friends wanted to cruise and invited me along. I have been weary of cruising because I really like traveling to places and thoroughly immersing myself into the culture of the place I am visiting. I did ALOT of research on our destinations prior to the cruise to hit a highlight in each port. I was able to figure out what places I would like to revisit - or not. The ship was beautiful and was very easy to navigate - after a day. The Cruise Director Matt O' and his staff: Sin, Dan, Andrew, Justenn, Phil, and Hunter were all great! Very personable, REAL people. No stuffiness there at all. The food was good. We spent more time enjoying the specialty restaurants and pop-ups. The dining room was good. Our waiter was a little stuffy at first and we weren't sure that he was our kind of person. But the last night, he pulled out the stops and showed all his personality. We did go a little wild and definitely caused a scene in the dining room. We figured this is probably why he was so stuffy the rest of the week - because he probably knew right off the bar that he had a rowdy group and he was trying to keep the decorum of the dining room intact. I did enjoy the variety of choices in the buffet the couple of times we ate there. Retreat pool was great. We didn't travel with kids, but it was fun to see the teenagers participating in different activites throughout the week. The only real problem that I encountered was one couple who insisted on keeping their scooters in the hallway. This made it extremely difficult to navigate the hallway with my own scooter. We spoke with the couple and that didn't work, so we contacted guest services. They immediately addressed it with the couple and the couple continued to leave their scooters in the hall. The ship staff continued to address the issue, and the scooters were eventually not in the hallway anymore. International Cafe was a great place to grab a quick bite. Read Less