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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We like to cruise in December, so we organized a bunch of friends to go. The ship is out of drydock so pretty clean and I like the neutral color palette. The new TV's are wall mounted and have On Demand shows and recent movies, it was ... Read More
We like to cruise in December, so we organized a bunch of friends to go. The ship is out of drydock so pretty clean and I like the neutral color palette. The new TV's are wall mounted and have On Demand shows and recent movies, it was good once you learned how to use it. One weird thing, you can't change the channel until you watch the safety show on the TV once or twice on the first day. We had a Mini Suite and it was very comfortable with tons of storage. We are Elite, so got free internet, which is good, because if I had to pay, I would have demanded my money back. I would have to stand under the router in the hall, and if it was a busy time with lots of people using it, it still took forever or never. We get up early, so that was the only time we could get on and check E-mail or research ports, still had 2/3rds of my minutes left at the end because it was such a hassle. The staff told me they have the same problem and can't really get on until after midnight. They removed the mailboxes and name plates and have a digital panel that you pass your room card over. Has it's plus and minuses, no junk mail all day, but poor room stewards have to stuff it in cabin with your Patter at night. We found the ship very impersonal, and some of the staff uptight. Not a "Happy Ship" this comes from the top down. Our cabin steward Lector was excellent and had a great sense of humor. Our waiter Al and assistant waitress in the main dining room for late seating were excellent as well. I can not say the same for the bartenders in the Casino. I was sitting at the bar and no one ever came to ask what I wanted, once I finally got it and needed another I had to wave my card in the air for five minutes to get their attention. Don't order a fancy drink there, they don't make them right. Only bar with great service was Adigio, beautiful and under used, go there! Other bars OK but no enthusiam for the job, but I think it is coming from the top, not letting people have a bit of leeway to be themselves. No "Wake Show" on TV to see what was going on, really missed that. The App to see what is going on, message your friends is somewhat useful, when it works. I don't think this high tech stuff is really ready for Prime Time, when the "Medallion" comes out, I'm thinking it is going to be a big Cluster, it's not ready for Prime Time. I really don't want them to know where I am and what I am doing anyway. The food was hit and miss, if I had to say, I would say that the meat quality was slightly better than some of our recent cruises, but both me and my husband had to send both of our meat dishes back on the last night for being overdone. Getting on and off was very fast and easy. We have been cruising with Princess for 20 years, so see how they are cutting corners, our friends don't know this, all had a great time, so for the money, it is a very good vacation value and we all had fun. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I had a very long review, but it disappeared! Too tired to repeat it, so I will just do this: Pro: Easy on and off, no waiting for anytime dining (a first for us, much longer on other ships). The food was ok first 4 nights, great on ... Read More
I had a very long review, but it disappeared! Too tired to repeat it, so I will just do this: Pro: Easy on and off, no waiting for anytime dining (a first for us, much longer on other ships). The food was ok first 4 nights, great on the last 3. First night had the flourless chocolate cake...best ever! Cabin was fine. The steward, Alfredo, was good. He did everything we asked, even provided us with a wine bucket and kept it with ice. Did do the balcony champagne breakfast, which was very good! Cons: No luxury bed, a pillow top instead, my back was so looking forward to it! Did Hawaii in Jan. and had the luxury mattress and it was fantastic! Smoking: No more in Skywalkers or near the aft pool. Only in the cigar bar (The Speakeasy) and starboard aft outside on deck 7 by Club Fusion. There is a place forward I was told, but it involved stairs. We were aft in a balcony on Baja. Entertainment: Excellent, but only went to 2. The comedian was fantastic. Colors of the World was also very enjoyable. Los Brilliantines was in the Piazza and they were excellent. Lots of dancing passengers on this cruise, that was fun! It was a good cruise, but too short! We need to do a back to back in the future on the Mexican Rivera. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Very good cruise. Food in both the main dining room and the buffets was better than it has been in recent years. The steaks were actually good, rather than the shoe leather that Princess has been serving. And I did not have to ... Read More
Very good cruise. Food in both the main dining room and the buffets was better than it has been in recent years. The steaks were actually good, rather than the shoe leather that Princess has been serving. And I did not have to resort to the Crown Grill upgrades. Entertainment was same as usual -- and the same exact production shows as last year (and maybe the year before). The timing of the shows via-a-vis the dinner schedule was terrible. 6:30 show and 7:30 Second Seating Dinner. Several times, the shows were not out in time for me to be at the dining room (up one flight, go down the entire length of the ship, down one flight to the Botticelli Dining Room) by 7:30. And some genius scheduled the show The Voice for 7:00 p.m. , ensuring that Second Seating diners had to skip The Voice or blow off dinner -- the American Menu, Turkey, Roast Beef, Surf and Turf, Baked Alaska. Movies Under the Stars was blasting all day and all evening, ruining the peace and quiet of the aft pool. But there was quiet space upstairs. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We just returned from the 10-day Mexican Riviera cruise out of San Francisco. I should preface this review that this was my very first cruise. I am 62 and retired. Middle class. Embarkation was a breeze. Quick and easy, with polite, ... Read More
We just returned from the 10-day Mexican Riviera cruise out of San Francisco. I should preface this review that this was my very first cruise. I am 62 and retired. Middle class. Embarkation was a breeze. Quick and easy, with polite, friendly, helpful shore-side staff. I had read a lot of reviews about the Grand Princess being a little run down. This being my first cruise I had nothing to compare it to, but aside from a few rusty spots and some worn carpet here and there, I had no problems with the condition of this ship. We had a balcony cabin on level 14 and loved it. We chose anytime dining and only had a few meals in the dining room. We seldom dine out fancy at home and frankly I thought the food in the buffet was just as good selection. Staff at both places were very attentive and friendly. We often had a delicious sandwich for lunch from the International Cafe or grabbed a piece pizza poolside. There was a wide selection of desserts. Regrettably the cookies were often over cooked. We went to 3 shows in the Princess theater and they were all good and entertaining. We always arrived early to get a seat as there was standing room only by the time the curtain rose. We watched several programs on the big screen "under the stars". Staff and crew were very friendly and polite. Although at times there was a little language barrier with some thick foreign accents. I liked the fact that we had 3 sea days before ports. Got to know the ship and such. Then 2 sea days before the end to wind down after the ports. We just went shore-side at Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, shopped and swan. We did the Copala-Concordia excursion out of Mazatlan. It was nice. Did the Chileno Bay snorkel excursion out of Cabo and had a blast. Great time there. Overall we had a great time and we're sorry to see it end. For a couple in their early 60s like us, this was the perfect cruise. Mainly folks our age and very few children around. Thumbs up for Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Booked this on one of their last minute deals. The price was right. The service was excellent throughout’ the crew and they were extremely friendly and helpful. The dinning restaurant food was excellent. Every meal was a pleasure and ... Read More
Booked this on one of their last minute deals. The price was right. The service was excellent throughout’ the crew and they were extremely friendly and helpful. The dinning restaurant food was excellent. Every meal was a pleasure and servers were wonderful. This is an older ship but for the price, didn’t mind the imperfections. We did notice a lot of seniors including ourselves so I’m not sure if this would be for the younger people. Maybe it was just the time of year??? We have sailed Princess many times throughout the years and never seem disappointed. Enjoyed the port of calls offered and weather was excellent this time of year. They did an excellent job upon arrival and departure. The only negative I would say is how cold it was in Horizon court upon sailing back to San Francisco. Especially when the doors would open up. Made it measurable eating. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We cruise Princess a lot. This was the first time that I would actually comment that the boat needs to go back into dry dock and get fully painted and the rooms refreshed. Normally their boats sparkle. Things we clean and maintained as ... Read More
We cruise Princess a lot. This was the first time that I would actually comment that the boat needs to go back into dry dock and get fully painted and the rooms refreshed. Normally their boats sparkle. Things we clean and maintained as well as they could but some attention is needed. One negative would be that the couch in our room was very worn out and needed to be changed out. The cruise staff was wonderful from top to bottom. Wait stafff in the dining room was outstanding this trip. Great food. Helpful in describing and giving us feedback on the items on the menu. I normally hate going to Cabo but this cruise we went on a luxury sail excursion and had a wonderful and relaxing day. Sails were up and we actually sailed. Food was a notch above and we loved the whole day. If I am in Cabo again, I am going to seek them out again. Love the number of sea days since we were coming from San Francisco was a luxury. Great trip! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Just got off the boat today. This is my 20th cruise (RC, HA, Carnival and Princess Past Cruiser) -Hot Food! Learn it, Everything was COLD This is my 11th Mexican 4 Day. Ive never seen such cold food. Quality's gone down a lot ... Read More
Just got off the boat today. This is my 20th cruise (RC, HA, Carnival and Princess Past Cruiser) -Hot Food! Learn it, Everything was COLD This is my 11th Mexican 4 Day. Ive never seen such cold food. Quality's gone down a lot but... the price is cheap... -Music in ALL areas to damn loud In between a comedy show I don't like screaming at the people besides me and my waiter needs a written paper to understand what I am saying its SO LOUD. Took my kid to the Holiday "carol" in the atrium and it was so loud she wanted to leave. There was a show on Tuesday that woke me up in the atrium FROM MY ROOM. (E55) Yikes! Get your sound checked. LOUDER IS NOT BETTER. With that said our room guy was awesome. I couldnt belive they stopped cleaning rooms twice a day I cant belive that Lobster on Fancy Night is gone Trashy people on board: I can NOT Blame Carnival for this. The price is amazing. I literally witnessed a woman try and get money out of the ATM machine....trasshhhyyyy *checked it though she didnt use it*. I loved everything else. MY kids wouldn't shut up, all they wanted was to go to the kids club. The towel animals on deck were awesome. The Dr, Seuss breakfast was amazing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We needed one more cruise to put us into the Elite membership tier for our 30 day South American cruise February 2019, so we added a 5 day Cabo onto our existing 15 day to Hawaii. We were curious how we would like all the sea days. The ... Read More
We needed one more cruise to put us into the Elite membership tier for our 30 day South American cruise February 2019, so we added a 5 day Cabo onto our existing 15 day to Hawaii. We were curious how we would like all the sea days. The ship was in fairly good shape considering its age, plenty of places to get away from everyone if you wanted. We never really felt crowded unless there was a big deal in the Piazza. The shops had plenty of current fashions and the jewelry shop carries exclusively Effy. Quality at a fair price. It seemed they were always having a new line to showcase. The food was presented well, in reasonable portions, warm and most meats were cooked as requested. We found that most often if you asked nicely you could have whatever you wanted.Not all of the offerings were something we would eat at home, but you could always order from the standards if needed. We had requested the 7:00 dinner time and on all our precruise paperwork it was confirmed. When we boarded the ship our cards said 5:00. We spoke with the Maitre d"Hotel Neville and we were assigned the 7:15 dinner at a table for 4. The first night we arrived to have dinner with a nice couple. The next night we arrived to find the early sitting were still there and hadn't ordered dessert yet. We were seated at another table.The 3rd night we had an excursion that kept us from getting back in time for dinner, we had let our waiter know this was a possibility. The following night we showed up at 7:15 and the table was still occupied. We left, letting the head waiter know we would not be back. The next morning we received a letter from the Maitre d'Hotel letting us know he had reassigned us to another table. When we started the next cruise, we showed up at 7:15 and were escorted to our table to find that there were still people eating, at this point Larry the Head waiter (who knew our past experience) had us wait a few minutes when he escorted us to a table for 4 and told us that this would be our table for the remainder of the cruise. It would be ready for us by 7:00 every night. We told him we didn't mind sharing, but he insisted we had been through too much. It was a quiet area in a corner with water views, Our staff Herman and Jay treated us like royalty! The rooms are quite comfortable. We had an obstructed OV for the 5 day and took an upsell to a balcony for the 15 day. The configuration of the OV E405 was amazing giving us more room than previous OV that had the bed under the window. We were able to sit in chairs and look out the window. We never did see why it was obstructed, nothing in front, left, right or below that was disruptive. For the balcony we were in B415. Both of these rooms were midship, close to the elevators which made getting to places a snap. We were required to get off the ship as an "in transit" group about 10:00, go through customs, walk outside and come back in the entrance, up the escalator and were checked in, given new cards and waited in a separate area for about 30 minutes before being invited back onboard. Our cabin steward moved all of our belongings for us. We were able to leave hanging clothes as is and we packed the rest into our suitcase which they delivered to our new room. We were eating lunch by noon! The Elite lounge Happy Hour was moved from Skywalkers to Fusions, a little bigger room, and with the curtains open we still had the water views. Because they moved the dinner times to 5 and 7:15, they moved the cocktail hour up to 4:30-6:30. I'm sure it was a struggle for the 5:00 to get to dinner on time. The drink menu was changed and we found that if you asked they would make several drinks less sweet. We hope that they will revamp this menu a bit. We do miss the Chairman of the Board! Because we ate dinner at 7:00 and were done by 8:15 or so we didn't want to wait around until 9:45 for the shows to start. We did see one or two acts that started around 9:00 but mostly we went back to our cabin and enjoyed our left over wine on the balcony or watched a movie on TV. Because we have been to Hawaii so much with our timeshare we did not do any excursions. In Cabo I did book the sunset sail on a 55' catamaran which was an amazing time. There were 16 people on our boat, we enjoyed champagne as we motored out into the ocean, pictures being taking on the bow as the sun set. Cocktails or wine were offered as well as "heavy snacks" which was more gourmet than snacks. We then hoisted the sails and sailed around for 90 minutes, watching fireworks off one of the hotels in celebration of their new president that week. We were back on the ship by 8:30 so had pizza in our room. I think our one major gripe is that when we went to Vines to enjoy a glass of nice wine, we had a hard time finding a table that wasn't occupied by people playing card games or eating their food from the International Cafe. The internet was horrendous, to say the least. I used 80 of my free 250 minutes trying to pay 2 bills. Constantly getting kicked off. Needless to say I should have used my Verizon Mifi when we were in port instead of relying on the ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I have sailed over a dozen times with Holland America and we keep returning because of the quality of service that is provided by the crew staff. It might have been the itinerary this time but I noticed an overwhelming number ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed over a dozen times with Holland America and we keep returning because of the quality of service that is provided by the crew staff. It might have been the itinerary this time but I noticed an overwhelming number of elderly passengers on this 10-day cruise to Mexico. I'm talking people in their 80's or 90's. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but admiration for seniors that want to travel, but I truly have never seen so many mobility assistance devices in my life in one location. Because HAL is known for its opulent ships, this cruise line tends to attract a more elderly clientele. However there are exceptions. I've sailed to the Caribbean on HAL ships several times, and the passengers tend to be much younger. On this cruise we had to tender into Cabo San Lucas and Loreto. In Loreto I witnessed an elderly woman nearly have her leg crushed when it slipped between the dock and the tender. The only thing that saved this woman from being seriously injured was the quick action of the crew, and the bumpers on the dock. Crew members were forced to lift heavy electric wheel chairs onto the tender. Again, I'm not against the mobility impaired, but when it comes to the safety of the crew and other passengers common sense should dictate who should be allowed to board tenders that are bobbing in the water. This is the first cruise that I have been on where I heard announcements made requesting a "stretcher team" respond to a cabin, and for the medical team to respond immediately to the ICU for an emergency. At two of the ports there was an ambulance waiting on the pier to off load a passenger. (A reminder to purchase travel insurance) We didn't go on any shore ship offered shore excursions but we did get off the ship to see the towns of Loreto, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta. Our favorite was Loreto, a quaint Mexican village that isn't on most cruise line itineraries. We booked a veranda room at the aft of the ship on deck four. The view was fantastic, but bring earplugs because of the noise of the prop wash, especially at night when the ship is underway. The cabin stewards kept the room very clean, but there were noticeable signs of age, such as a broken rail on the vanity, stains on the carpet, and rust on the veranda. Our shower drain backed up depositing some unknown coffee ground like substance in the tub. Maintenance responded and fixed the problem within 10 minutes. The neighboring cabin had the same issue. Lighting in the cabin in the area of the closets was inadequate. The Greenhouse Spa offered a variety of products that were constantly being pushed on passengers that utilized the facility. The hydro pool, albeit a bit overpriced, is a must for those that wish to relax. The food was excellent in the main dining room and the specialty restaurants. As on most cruise ships, the drinks were overpriced. Would I sail on the Eurodam again? The answer is probably not until I've sailed on other HAL ships in the fleet that I haven't sailed on yet. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our 41st cruise and 10th on HAL. The ship is only about 10 years old and is very nice and well kept-up being quite clean comfortable and smooth sailing. Our only disappointment was the food in the main dining room... the ... Read More
This was our 41st cruise and 10th on HAL. The ship is only about 10 years old and is very nice and well kept-up being quite clean comfortable and smooth sailing. Our only disappointment was the food in the main dining room... the selections left much to be desired, food arrived barely warm and the meat (steak and prime rib) was never cooked as ordered (either too rare or too done), Service in the dining was spotty and ranged from poor to good, but never exceptional. Actually the Lido had a much better selection, food was always hot and was better prepared. Dive-In and Pizza were not worth waiting for. All in all we did have a very nice cruise except for the above and we hope that HAL will do better in the future. I think that Master Chef Rudi wold not be too pleased with the lowering of HAL's food over the past several cruises. However I feel that we will still sail with HAL as we prefer sailing from San Diego and not Los Angeles (we live in Arizona and do not fly any more). Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first cruise. We had a mini-suite--the bedding was extremely comfortable and our Attendant Alex was perfect. Lots to do, we missed most of the shows. The comedian on the last night was great, the dancing was fun. Buffet was ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We had a mini-suite--the bedding was extremely comfortable and our Attendant Alex was perfect. Lots to do, we missed most of the shows. The comedian on the last night was great, the dancing was fun. Buffet was mediocre but got the job done in the mornings. Evening anytime dining was good. We paid extra for Share (Curtis Stone) and it was absolutely worth the extra $29. It was the best meal of our vacation and the service at Share was impeccable. (Service from all dining rooms was great.) We also bought the Salty Dog Gastro Pub, not our favorite. Pizza from 11 am to 11 pm was my fiance's favorite feature, and the soft serve was my daughter's favorite. Shore excursions were made easy through the transfers. I recommend the Tortilla Workshop and my daughter loved swimming with dolphins in Cabos. Spa was pricey, but my nail tech Anna was fantastic--probably the best manicure I've ever received, and 2.5 weeks later it's still holding strong. Craft program for adults could be upgraded, as it was "sold out" (although free) every time. They added second classes to accommodate. Kids program seemed empty most of the time. My child was on the cusp between kid and teen and so she didn't use the service. It wasn't a kid cruise, but seemed like enough for all ages to do. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are platinum members of Carnival and always love our Carnival cruises. We were told to try Princess so we did this on the Emerald for a 5 day cruise. We got on ship with no problem and straight to our room. We usually get a balcony ... Read More
We are platinum members of Carnival and always love our Carnival cruises. We were told to try Princess so we did this on the Emerald for a 5 day cruise. We got on ship with no problem and straight to our room. We usually get a balcony room, but as it was a short cruise decided to save a bit of money and get inside room. The room was clean, bed super comfortable and our steward kept it clean. We liked the ship very much, found it to be clean. The food in buffet was good, no complaints. We loved the lox every morning along with the excellent servers! The staff was very accessible and always offered their services. Lunch was basic. Dinners were great! Choices were fine, I am a sweet freak so I really enjoyed the desserts. I did miss a lobster dinner and refuse to pay money for a specialty restaurant. I feel all food should be special. Pool area was great, especially enjoyed the big screen and watching Sunday football. I was not impressed with cruise director and entertainment staff. Very little energy. I am used to carnival and party ship. Emerald did not have that same feel. But, I did enjoy Pinnacle the live band. They were great! Overall we really enjoyed our experience on the Emerald. We will return to Princess. Our choice between princess and carnival will be price. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise for the Mexican Riviera itinerary. We had never been to any of these ports. I always call my favorite Carnival agent, Sherell, to book our cruises, and she gets us the best deal. Flew into Long Beach day of cruise, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Mexican Riviera itinerary. We had never been to any of these ports. I always call my favorite Carnival agent, Sherell, to book our cruises, and she gets us the best deal. Flew into Long Beach day of cruise, but flight had been delayed 2 hours. So there were no porters to take our bags (around 2:35 pm), but no lines! Just walked right on board with our luggage and headed straight to our room. Our room steward, Richard, came & introduced himself. He and his team did an excellent job! We always have really good service on Carnival. The cruise director, Lee, was a blast! You saw him everywhere. He introduced the captain to the passengers, who was very friendly and accessible also. Food was the usual (very good, I think) Carnival fare. My favorites are: chocolate muffins, French Toast, cinnamon rolls, Tandoor Indian food, BBQ on Deck 10, mac n cheese, pumpkin soup, beef brisket, pork chop, whipped potatoes with brown gravy (!), and of course, warm chocolate melting cake. Oooh - and the chocolate pudding on the Chocolate Extravaganza Buffet! Can't go wrong! Our waiters in the Main Dining Room were wonderful. Zyra, Jasper, and Karl greeted us every night like we were family. Took care of our every need. Talked with us and kept us entertained and well-fed. We went to the Comedy Club every night that it was offered. Very funny comedians. I really liked the band that played in the lobby also. Liquid Groove & Solid Brass. There was a huge, beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby. And the Balloon Drop was crazy! We watched a couple movies on the Lido Deck on the big screen. I love the pink decor on this ship, and circles everywhere. Some others do not appreciate it. The sliding cover over the Lido Deck makes it nice for night time or bad weather. I walked on the track every morning. The workout room was WAY crowded. As far as the ports, we had all private tours booked. Nothing through Carnival. CABO: Booked online with caboyachtlife. Had our own boat with captain and first mate. Saw El Arco & the sea lions, headed to Santa Maria Bay and came across a bunch of whales on the way! Then snorkeled in the bay. Awesome experience! MAZATLAN: Emailed sailboat Captain Eduardo at sailmicasa. He picked us up (just my husband & myself) in his own vehicle, took us sailing past Bird Island, then to Deer Island. We kayaked over to the island from our sailboat. Very nice day. Wonderful captain! PV: Got rained out. Had a Yelapa tour booked through JetsPrivateBoatTours. He texted my phone early that morning to let us know they had to cancel because of the bad weather. Got our money back right away. Great customer service! Will call them again if we return. Great, fun cruise overall. Would do this itinerary again. Love Carnival! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
2018 Mexican cruise The drive from My house, Central western Nevada to Long Beach was a very uneventful drive until reaching the LA basin where at 4:00pm-ish traffic was horrendously miserable bumper to bumper traffic but was steadily ... Read More
2018 Mexican cruise The drive from My house, Central western Nevada to Long Beach was a very uneventful drive until reaching the LA basin where at 4:00pm-ish traffic was horrendously miserable bumper to bumper traffic but was steadily moving with virtually no stop and go. Reaching our destination of the Inn of Long Beach. The hotel was nothing to call home about, but by the same token, was clean with friendly staff. The walk to a place to eat was enjoyable with no problems as far as finding a place to eat. There were restaurants galore! We chose Dave’s Smokehouse where everybody pretty much ordered different meals. I ordered the salad as I am on a typical post heart attack diet. The salad was very large with a clump of shredded pork centered on the pile of lettuce. The salad had no salad dressing, so I assumed I was supposed to mix everything together. I mixed and shoveled a big ole bite down the gullet. The meat almost tasted bad, thinking it was me, I tried another bite, just a bit smaller and yes, it didn’t taste quite right. So I attempted separating the two and requested salad dressing. Back to the hotel for a good nights sleep and off to cruising! Not so fast though. The hotel pillows aren’t made for belly sleepers! Could not sleep what so ever. (Anticipation of the cruise couldn’t have anything to do with it, or could it...LOL)Tossed and turned all night giving myself a very sore neck. Morning couldn’t come quick enough. Finally morning daylight starts creeping over the horizon, we load everything back up. 8:00am and we head off to park as we’ve heard that parking sometimes takes up to 45 minutes. We pull into the parking structure and walla! the first available non-reserved or handicap parking spot! Ok that didn’t go bad at all. We walk over to the Queen Mary to have coffee and breakfast and wait for the line to the carnival terminal to open as we are FTTF. Day 1: Emdarcation & Sea day The rest of the family shows up and you guessed it! No parking at all for the additional 2 vehicles. They ended parking in the Queen Mary parking lot.TIP TIP TIP! (Which by the way, parking was free for them! A mistake by the gate keeper? Not sure, but as we followed them, pulled up to the gentleman at the gate, whom asked us for our parking ticked, we told him we were off the cruise ship coming from the parking structure and he opened the gate and waved us through!)TIP END! So we all grab our bags out of our vehicles to start heading to the cruise terminal to get in line where we were basically directed from parking structure to terminal by security personnel, temporary fencing and orange cones that directed us through the porter area where we were basically attacked by the porters yelling that we cant take our own luggage in. We ignored them for the most part (this is our third Long Beach cruise, sixth cruise all together and we consider ourselves experienced cruisers that know our situation very well) until they started calling us mother f—ers! That was it! We turned around and started to complain to them as we are on vacation and don’t want to take their crap! Long story short, the Long Beach porters are worse than Mexican beach vendors. TIP TIP TIP! To avoid these aggressive porters, pull all of your luggage along with you early, or, stay at the Queen Mary at around $100 a night per cabin and park there. Walking from the Queen Mary to the big white dome without going through the insistent porters.TIP END! The terminal doors open and we enter the beautiful new terminal building. We’re directed to the FTTF area to wait our very short wait boarding times. Boarded TIP TIP TIP! The uphill personel ramp is a workout! Not that it’s steep, but long. END TIP! and headed straight to the bar for the drink of the day. Then went back to the main dining room to check our table location and were showed our area. The staff that were there could only show us the general area (not the table) we would be seated. That first evening my stomach was hurting and upset, (remember the dinner last night at the Smokehouse) ended up with diarhea for the night, after crapping myself.LOL a story for another time! Days end, kind of a weird start to the cruise, but it does get better and weirder as we go, Orient ourselves to the ship...... for our second Carnival Splendor Cruise, we sure have forgotten her layout and have become quite unfamiliar her deck patterns and getting from point A to B or fore and aft. But we all seem to be on the same boat, so to speak as complete strangers would either offer up directions or merely point the proper direction! Thank you fellow lost cruisers and also, “ you’re welcome as we were sometimes the pointers and or information givers. The lifeboat area drill lasted wwwwaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy ttttttoooooooooooooo llllllllloooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!! And being basically pinned against the deck bulkhead with approximately 5 to 6 rows of packed in people in front of me and family, I started to get a panic/claustrophobic feeling of being on a boat pinned against a deck bulkhead with rows of packed in people blocking my possible exit! Okay, calm down, it’ll all be over shortly..... All be over shortly.... Shortly............. What is going on?! It’s not ending shortly.... panic coming back.... this isn’t fun! To make a very, very, very, long and disturbing story, short! It wasn’t but we’re all alive and well. After the nightmare lifeboat drill (I will NEVER show up to early again) things got to be like an actual pleasant and relaxing cruise. Checking out the shops and getting fairly lost and misdirectioned again and again. But enjoying the adventure completely. Day 2: Sea day DWs actually birthday (same night as elegant night) we reserved the evenings dinner at the Pinnacle along with our adult Daughter, Son-in-Law and their friends, another couple. We had dressed in our best coattails with top hats, vests, puff tie, spats etc. and the women in their finest shaker dresses with accessory head dress, jewelry, long (but fake, no ciggy smokers in the group) cigarette holder and feathers. The maitre d approached us and melted, saying excitedly, “I wish more people would dress up like you guys! Can I take your picture to put on my beautiful people wall?” And of course! We didn’t dress up to not get our photos taken, of course you can put us up on your wall! We were beaming about that point! We were seated and napkins were kindly and gentle placed on our laps by our wait staff! This is getting good! We were brought our water and ordered our drinks and were chatting about what we were going to order and the next thing we see is a neighboring dinner collapsed on the deck and was immediately surrounded by two other gentlemen dinners and one lady dinner from other neighboring tables. The lady on the deck was having a seizure. Her husband is an EMT, the gentlenam from the (different) table directly in front of me was an EMT and the lady directly to our right was a registered nurse and they were all surrounding the victim on their knees protecting her from spasms etc. This all took place in about a 45 minute stress filled time frame. A wheelchair was wheeled in and the seizure victim was wheeled back the her room where her husband said all’s well, she goes through this sometimes and will wake in the morning, not remembering a thing about the event. Long story short; Wine was fine, dinners were all great! Seizure victim woke up and finished her cruise without further incidents,food was fantastic! Art deserts were the bomb and as one EMT explained to us, “stupid good! Ellegent (photo) nights were amazing with the photographers doing a great job! Every one of them! We bought so many photos that we were offered the big canvas portraits at one hell of a deal! So we got a few of those too. Day 3: Cabo San Lucas Let’s all go rogue here cause we’ve booked a fairly expensive excursion for Porta. So we all met dockside as a couple of us didn’t take advantage of FTTF, so we waited at the first bar and watched as people were tendered off-ship. We all decided to take one of the glass bottom boats to lovers/divorce beach, be picked up in a few hours and boated to a resort beach across the estuary and we could walk to the Cabo Waco for pictures and a shot! Great! Watch for the boat, “ the big bitch” not her real, as they laughed and dropped us off. The beach has changed big time from the last time we cruised there. The hurricane shifted the sand! We sunned and repelled, purchased and shewed away many local vendors. TIP TIP TIP! Never, never pay the asking price! They always ask double or more for their wares! They will usually agree and say that you are their first sell and will bring them luck for giving you such a good deal! TIP END! Made our way to the beach to watch for our boat, located it in the awaiting boats to pick up their fares. We loaded and of course, tips were requested but I was busy gathering our bags that were placed on the bow. Dropping one of the warm local beers that we weren’t drinking anyway, I hollered keep it! Got a smile, a thumbs up and a wave good bye. We were dropped off at the crowded beach resort and vendors surrounded us immediately as we decided to work our way to the Cabo for a drink as it’s way to crowded here! After an hour walk to nowhere near the Cabo, we landed at a local tourist trap restaurant that cost way too much and then they aggressively asked for tips that were clearly stated on the menu, that a 16% gratuity was automatically added to the very expensive food that we purchased. So we left rapidly catching a van to get us to the Cabo. Dropped us off in front of the Cabo at the GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS strip joint where we offered my teen grandson and his buddy to go take a look, they refused embarrassingly. We walked across the street to the Cabo, took pictures and drank. Finally making our way back to the docks and back on board. Day 4: Mazatlan Again, we decided to go rouge and play it safe by going to a beach resort early get a spot and play whatever they had going on for the day. We caught three separate little VW type vehicles, going to the same place, but all took different routes. We eventually all got to the same resort. The same resort as on our last cruise as well and oddly enough, almost the identical spot, close to the bar and banios. Right across the small jetty were many activities that some of our group took advantage of, like the parasailing, the fresh oysters on the half shell, the water rides! It was a great day and everyone reboarded our ship exhausted. Day 5: Porta Vallarta Our big expensive excursion day! It’s pouring down rain!!! Excursion has been canceled. We get our money back onto our accounts and head over to the local Walmart to check out the local stuff. It is different from our U.S. stores but the same super type store, but different. Nothing we liked fit or has the right size. We headed to the pier to see what we could get a good deal on. We bought a bunch of souvenirs and Crap! LOL Back to the ship for onboard activities and set sail for our two day sea days adventure! Day 6 Sea day Do Mexican dolphins birth in November December? First cruise that we’ve seen open ocean wildlife several times from dolphin, whale spouts and fins, either marlin or sailfish jumping 5-8 feet out of the water off the port side on the return trip! Hundreds of smaller white fish jumping off the starboard aft! Elegant night at the Main dining room and photos. We dressed not quite as formal but still nice shirts, vests bow tie and top hat once more. The photos went very well as the night progressed and the wine flowed we were tasked to funny photos in some sessions and were hilarious. Dinner was great as usual. Tried to keep up with the kids late night shows and clubbing. Couldn’t keep up so no reviews on that otherthat what I heard about them. Day 7: Sea day Not much other than a lot of wandering adventurously like to the secret door on deck 6 & 7 at the bow. Not really secret but who goes there if not living as it’s just cabins. But then there is the open deck doors that lead out to the front of the ship. And it was very rough so everyone was having fun up there! That night we lost a few of our new comers to seasickness. Shame because rough seas are my favorite! General opine: Ships internet options getting worse. The $5 a day option isn’t offered. I like to not be attached by by my phone on vacation, but do like to send out photos showing our special moments, you know, try making those stuck at home envious...LOL. But it seems the ship wants me to buy more distracting time. Nope! Not this cruiser! Dinners were awesome, from the MDR, the “Pinnacle” restaurant (top o the ship) to the amazing “Chiefs Table” many course dinner plus a few cooking tips and recipes, amazing just amazing! We will do this dinner again if offered. With the many, many complaints directed towards the entertainment crew, from some other elder cruisers. Why are Cruise personal all millennials now. They have nothing in common with the elder cruisers, you know, the people that carry/pay Carnival. When did Carnival become a pornographic late night embarasment? Some props to these crew mates! These folks made a difference on our cruise! Miroslav good guy! Emilia. Young lady made my day every time we bumped into fear! The cigar guy-Chedomar Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We've been wanting to try Princess after having done three Celebrity and two RCI cruises. Pros: Fastest embarkation and debarkation we have ever experienced, and the stateroom was ready upon boarding at 12:30. Stateroom: We ... Read More
We've been wanting to try Princess after having done three Celebrity and two RCI cruises. Pros: Fastest embarkation and debarkation we have ever experienced, and the stateroom was ready upon boarding at 12:30. Stateroom: We had Mini-suite E721 which was very spacious with a very comfortable bed and covered balcony. Decor is somewhat dated, couch sat very low and not comfortable. Nice layout with tons of storage. Wonderful room steward although, initially, there was a lot of dusty/dirty surfaces but our room steward apologized and cleaned it up. Dining: We had the early traditional dining at 5:00. Yes, it's early, but then you have the whole evening to make the first or second show of the various productions. We loved the food and service in the dining room. Well paced too, dinner didn't take forever, we had a table for 2 and enjoyed conversation with our table neighbors. Breakfast in the dining room was also excellent. As for casual dining, we loved their pizza - new york style - the best. The hotdogs were also delicious. Bar service was very good too. Entertainment and Activities: We enjoyed most everything, we did trivia, dance lessons, watched events in the Piazza. Lots of fun and varied things. I especially liked the Explorer's lounge, great intimate venue for music or comedy. Some performances were great - some not so much. Wonderful cruise director - Natalie Costa. I like the $6 min. for blackjack . We spent some time in the Sanctuary which is a great space with comfy lounges, but it can be windy. Service: Excellent service except that our tub was clogged, and was not fixed although we asked three times so we showered in ankle deep water. Used the ship's acupuncture doctor, he really helped my back. However, I didn't appreciate his tough sales pitch for more sessions. Ports: Cabo was a tender port so don't plan an excursion too early. Great beaches on PV and at Mazatlan - Stone Island on own Cons: Internet - worst at sea - until they implement their upcoming improvements it is so slow and you need to work in a public area to help with that, and you still get disconnected frequently. Stateroom Location: Under out stateroom was a small smoking area placed randomly on deck 7 so smoke wafted to our balcony at times. Stateroom - needs updating, bathroom really feels old The rough seas caused me to be seasick on the last day, others were affected too, not fun. The Ruby Princess is a very pleasant ship and never felt crowded. All in all, a great cruise, thanks Princess! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Just completed a Mexico Riviera cruise on the Ruby Princess on 12/1/18. I have cruised many times on various ship sizes and found the Ruby to be a great cruise. I've read the less positive reviews from cruise patrons the ... Read More
Just completed a Mexico Riviera cruise on the Ruby Princess on 12/1/18. I have cruised many times on various ship sizes and found the Ruby to be a great cruise. I've read the less positive reviews from cruise patrons the previous week. My experience again reinforces the fact that some so called "seasoned cruisers" could not be satisfied unless sailing on a brand new luxury class ship catering only to whatever wish or whim that might come to mind as the sole passengers Princess do a fine job for the demographic they serve with amenities and service expected Of any cruise at this price point. My cruise on The Ruby met and exceeded expectations I had for food quality, entertainment and ports of call. Embarking and disembarking were seamless. Princess have this down pat in San Pedro. Overall ship condition was good. All public areas were operational and clean. Ships crew were great. The average age of passengers on my cruise was 55-80. I have seen on many cruises that this demographic can be challenging when expectations of cruise passengers in this group can be challenging to say the least. The Ruby did a fine job and I'm looking forward to an Alaska cruise in April on the Ruby. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Left out of Long Beach. Splendor could use a few aesthetic repairs but overall the ship seems to be in good shape. I love the pink decor! Comedy shows were super fun, best Piano Bar performer I've seen on CCL, Dara Jazzlin! Go see ... Read More
Left out of Long Beach. Splendor could use a few aesthetic repairs but overall the ship seems to be in good shape. I love the pink decor! Comedy shows were super fun, best Piano Bar performer I've seen on CCL, Dara Jazzlin! Go see her. Bartenders were great. Best Chocotinis at sea. 4 stars instead of 5 because my brother didn't get a towel animal in his room for the first 2 days! Also the Serenity deck does not have a hot tub which was kind of a bummer. However there is an adults only pool and hot tubs at the back of the ship. Food was excellent in my opinion although there is no Guy's or Blue Iguana on this ship. I recommend getting the the mac and cheese in the dining room....always available even tho it's not on always on the menu. The gym was clean and not overly crowded. Wonderful vacation overall! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Background: We did a family trip (6 adults) for thanksgiving. My husband and I have only sailed previously on Disney Cruise Line to the Caribbean, so admittedly have little to offer in terms of comparison. We chose this ship/itinerary ... Read More
Background: We did a family trip (6 adults) for thanksgiving. My husband and I have only sailed previously on Disney Cruise Line to the Caribbean, so admittedly have little to offer in terms of comparison. We chose this ship/itinerary because of the length (5 nights) and sail date (over Thanksgiving). The fact that half of the group was in driving distance of LA helped us choose as well. Port: there are no car rental agencies on site. We dropped off half the group and all the bags at the terminal (approximately 1030am), then dropped the car at Hertz in San Pedro. The weather was nice so we walked back to the port (approx 1 mile). Post-cruise, we rented from Avis so had to Uber to Long Beach Airport (about a 20 minute drive). Had we chosen to park a car, it was under $20/day at the port. Embarkation: tagged our bags with our preprinted tags and the porters took them. We walked into berth 93 with our carry-on luggage (including 4 bottles of wine). The check-in process was pretty quick and the agent checked passports and gave us our keycards and boarding group number. They didn’t take a photo (for the keycard) until we actually boarded the ship. We then went through security and the X-ray scanners. From there, I was directed to the alcohol desk/table to register my wine. Because we were 6 adults through 4 cabins, we had no corkage fee, but I had to have someone from another’s cabin come with me to show we had multiple cabins to avoid a fee. It was actually really easy. Then we waited for the boarding process to begin. There were several folks continuing on from the previous cruise (a 28 day Hawaiian trip!) who were able to reboard first. We had group 4 so had to wait a few minutes. When called, we boarded through the aircraft jetbridge-like walkway up to the ship. There were photographers taking group photos in front of a green screen. When we got to the ship, a Princess employee scanned each keycard and took a photo (no glasses) before allowing us on the ship. We were onboard by 1230pm and headed to the buffet. Cabin: wasn’t ready until 2pm and our bags didn’t arrive until closer to dinner time. We stayed in B757 which is a balcony cabin in the rear of the ship. The rest of the group were in inside cabins on the Aloha and Baja decks forward. All the cabins were quite roomy. Our cabin had a massive balcony with two chairs and a table, two chairs inside, a small tv (note that most channels showed a loop of two shows or a movie each day all day; if you happen to be sick and stuck in your cabin, you will become bored of the limited selection quickly), a queen sized bed, a small refrigerator, and loads of storage in the closet area as well as the desk/nightstands. The view from the balcony watching the wake was really nice, especially later in the trip leaving Cabo. Dining: we chose late dining but tried two specialty restaurants as well. Share - was fantastic, I can’t recommend it enough. Our server was Magdalena and she recommended ordering several from each course and sharing. We did that for a few courses but eventually each just ordered what we wanted. Everything was delicious and we’d all go back without hesitation. Crown Grill - also delicious, but honestly the Share steaks were better in my opinion. Still, no real complaints. Botticelli (dinner) - Princess offers some entrees every night and then has special entrees only available on a given night. Again, no complaints, everything we tried was great. On the final night, the seas were rough and I was feeling it, so I ordered the beef consommé which helped tremendously and tasted good. The only negative at the restaurant is the kitchen was really slow, reportedly because they share a kitchen with another dining room. Botticelli (breakfast) - again, slow kitchen, but since Michelangelo doesn’t serve breakfast, I don’t know what the rationale was. The pancakes and the French toast (especially the James Beard cornflake crusted version) were excellent. On one morning where I was feeling sick, I asked our server, Wellington, for a box of Frosted Flakes to take with me and he actually had to go up to the buffet to get it for me. I appreciated the effort on that since I wasn’t able to easily get up there with the seasickness. Horizon court buffet - most of the food was really good. I didn’t care for the chili, but everything else I tried (including some Indian dishes I hadn’t had before) were delicious. Afternoon tea - I don’t like tea, but enjoyed the tea service nonetheless. Servers come around with different pastries and scones with quite the large selection. I would recommend it. Spa: I didn’t try the workout area but did get a massage. I probably wouldn’t do that again on this ship since my treatment room was right next to the hair salon so was loud, plus faced out to the deck so my therapist kept struggling to get around my table in the small room and kept knocking into the blinds. It wasn’t exactly relaxing. Wine tastings: we tried two of the wine tastings. The first was an additional $25 per person and included 6 wines and canapés. I would highly recommend the tasting. The one later in the trip was under $10 per person with 5 wines and prepacked crackers and some cheese cubes. I would probably skip that one. Both tastings had sommeliers and servers explaining the wines in detail, but honestly I would have preferred a shorter explanation on most of the wines. Some speakers were long winded. Entertainment: I only watched one of the game shows, part of an art auction, and a few of the musicians in the lounges, so I can’t accurately comment on most of the entertainment. The musicians were hit or miss. Ports: we only went to Cabo, so had mostly sea days. Cabo was a 24 hour stay, so some passengers chose to stay in a hotel/resort overnight. The tenders began around 2pm and continued throughout the day/night until 1130am. (Every half hour overnight.) I found the tender process to be a bit disorganized. Again, I don’t have a ton of experience but the line to get a tender was so long, we decided to wait on the ship until 4pm. (Note: this was where we decided to go to afternoon tea to wait it out.) My parents chose an excursion in Cabo to a resort for the day, so they didn’t have the long tender wait that the rest of us without an excursion faced. The rest of us ventured to land around 4pm and yelped taco shops. We enddd up at Tacos Guss, which was just a short walk from the main tourist walkway/boardwalk/malecon. After lunch, we walked around a bit more and over to the mall by the aforementioned tourist walkway. The mall has seen better days but looks like they’re renovating most of the second floor. From there, we kept walking to the end, then turned back to walk around the harbor back to the tender area. Lots of people trying to sell everything from bracelets to cigars to pictures with an iguana, but no one was rude about it; a polite “no thanks” was sufficient. Upon return to the tenders, the line was several hundred people long (approximately 645pm). We were concerned we’d miss our onboard dinner at 745pm, but the line moved fast enough that we were on a tender by 715pm and back on the boat around 730pm. We didn’t choose to return to Cabo the following morning, so we really only spent 3 hours in the town. Disembarkation: everyone who didn’t purchase Princess airport transfers was assigned a walk off group based on cabin number. With 4 cabins and around 7 bags, this was not a great way of doing things. We spoke to the front desk and they put us all into one of the later groups and gave us some luggage tags to put on our bags. We had to have the bags out by midnight before disembarkation. We had to be out of the cabins by 800am but our group wasn’t scheduled to exit until 945am. We had breakfast at Botticelli and then hung out by a table in the Lido Deck for a while before heading to the Wheelhouse Bar for our meeting location. This process seemed far more difficult than necessary and we ended up waiting about half an hour extra in the bar until we actually got off the ship. Customs was easy (we are all Us passport holders) and bag claim was very quick (likely because most people had to carry their own bags when they walked off). Overall thoughts: Cons - I struggled to understand many servers/speakers/other personnel. They spoke English, but many had very thick accents. The deck plan is strange - i continually walked into dead ends all over the ship. I’m not sure if it was a retrofit that caused it or if that’s original. Also, there are many parts of the upper decks that effectively require stairs. There’s only one elevator on the ship that goes to some of the aft top decks but it can be quite slow. Public restrooms on the main decks were hard to find. The cruise line seems to have chosen to keep the signs small and discreet, but that left me continually asking people where the restrooms were or going back to my cabin regularly. Compared to DCL, the staff were a bit less friendly (though not rude) and the ship’s upkeep wasn’t as good (though not unsafe). The price for this cruise was significantly less, so I expected some decline in service, but many times I was still left wishing I was on the Disney Fantasy. Tendering/disembarkation - given that this ship has been sailing for years to ports around the world, I don’t understand why the tendering and disembarkation processes were so slow and disorganized. Photos - all the photos the ship photographers take are out up on deck. I’m surprised they don’t have a feature where they scan your keycard so you can easily find/access your pictures. App - there is no app, only the Princess @Sea site. You can message others only if you know their unique id number. Also there are no push notifications so you are forced to continually refresh the screen to see if your family/friends messaged you. As this was a holiday cruise, there were many kids (especially teenagers) onboard. I actually found them much more obtrusive in this ship than I have on DCL. Pros - The food was fantastic. There are bars and lounges throughout the ship as opposed to Disney where most are tucked into one part of the ship. The Piazza (atrium) is a nice place to relax but is a bit small for some of the events they use it for. Overall, I’ll probably sail Princess again but not in the immediate future. I think it was a fairly good choice for our group, given our constraints on geography and timing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We sailed on Ruby Princess during Thanksgiving week 2018. Ports of call were Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. Weather was nice and warm other than the first and last sea days which were noticeably cooler. We reserved a ... Read More
We sailed on Ruby Princess during Thanksgiving week 2018. Ports of call were Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. Weather was nice and warm other than the first and last sea days which were noticeably cooler. We reserved a balcony cabin on Caribe deck 10, had very large balconies compared to higher decks. Steward Ryan was very nice and helpful, he obtained synthetic pillows for me since I had a feather allergy. Rooms were spacious with plenty of storage and a refrigerator. Ice bucket in the fridge was refilled daily. I found the shampoo/conditioner combo in the shower was better than what's supplied in many hotels. Shower gel is also supplied and a tube of lotion. Beds were very comfortable. TV's were very large with lots of programs and movies on demand. Hubbie brought his own water kettle with auto-shutoff feature to make his coffee, and it was not confiscated, but we always unplugged it and put it away after use. Ships other areas were very clean. Service was generally very friendly all around the ship, perhaps a few that were too busy to take note of needs without being flagged down, but no apathy or rudeness was experienced. Heard complaints of excessive sales, but was never directly approached by anyone other than the photographer and my massage therapist, who were not overly pushy, just offering opportunities. There is a also free 30 minute stretch class also on the first and last sea day and the instructor took the first 15 minutes as an opportunity to try and sell Good Feet insoles. I was curious and so this didn't bother me too much either. However the princess patter seemed to have a huge number of items listed that I suspect were "sales oriented", and we just avoided attending those events. Food on board was very good. While I didn't have any particular food or meal that was mind blowing (we've been around the block a bit in the food world), we enjoyed all that we ate. The duck was delicious, I was even pleased by the turkey served on Thanksgiving which I assumed would be dry and tasteless. I think they brined it. In general the food is underseasoned, but with good reason as to not harm anyone's health, there are always saltshakers on the tables. We ate at the Salty dog the first night and the dishes were creative and tasty. Some descriptions were unclear though, so make sure to talk them over with the server to avoid disappointment. Pub lunch on the first sea day offered many British dishes were were not familiar with. I should have tried the steak and kidney pie, but was craving fish and chips. Share was good and creative, but not mind blowing for us. Liked that they had a vegetarian 6 course option and liked that their wine list was different than the main dining room, and the quieter atmosphere than the main dining room. Tea time at 3PM in the dining room had lots of tasty sandwiches, scones and deserts, a full meal actually. Wish there were more entre options at breakfast in the dining room, so we more often preferred the buffet for breakfast. We never ate in the buffet for lunch or dinner so can't comment on the quality of that. Don't love the hectic nature of the buffet much. Food at the international cafe in the piazza was really good, best salad dishes of the cruise and changed daily. My one and only pet peeve about the cruise was the super tiny wine glasses. Even in Share, they served the wine in a more delectable thinner rimmed glass, but it was still so small it didn't allow for aeration unless they only put 3 oz of wine in it (which is what they did when I ordered a glass of Chardonnay, and never got the other 2 oz of wine.). Vines has some proper bordeaux glasses (Reidel), and even let us use a couple for a special bottle we brought on board, but we had to leave the glasses with them and could not take them into the dining room. To compensate for this issue we started telling the wait staff we'd like to use the water glasses as our wine glasses ( as they had a little larger bowl), once our waiter disappeared and showed up with the glasses used in Share, and another time they showed up with the glasses from vines, though it was Thanksgiving that night and they may have been going out of their way to make the holiday special as we didn't get charged corkage that night either. Entertainment was generally very good. All the bands and singers were good to great in quality. Love Boat Disco deck party was fun. We only saw two of the production shows, but enjoyed them. Didn't love the guest comedian, but I may be more easily offended than some people. Gameshow type events were pretty fun to watch, including the Voice of the Ocean on the last night. I would like more musical acts during the day rather than just clustered in the evening. Ports- Puerto Vallarta was the most interesting and enjoyable for strolling around in our opinion. This was our first visit to any of these cities, so I'll leave advice on ports and excursions to those who are repeaters (and there were many repeaters on our cruise). If we ever do go again, we'd probably book excursions in all of them rather than city exploration now that we've seen them each. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We usually go on this cruise every year. We know the ship, could see some new things that have been upgraded, so that a was nice. Fake grass around the neptune pool and the Mix bar and Salty Dog were upgraded too. New tellys in the ... Read More
We usually go on this cruise every year. We know the ship, could see some new things that have been upgraded, so that a was nice. Fake grass around the neptune pool and the Mix bar and Salty Dog were upgraded too. New tellys in the cabins was a nice feature too. The food however, it's not as good as it used to be. The horizon cafe, the food is the same more or less every night. And it's cold. The fish was dried up and had been there for ages. The main dinning room food was not very good either. Boring selections, but then I'm a vegetarian so maybe that's why but my husband and son aren't and they said the meat dishes were not that good. However, the staff are great as always. Overall Princess is going down a little, the food is blah, but the staff are always kind and caring. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
First cruise. This was a fun trip. I do wish they had a 3 day cruise that just went to Catalina Island and a "fun day at sea". Room: very nice, big, clean, great shower, comfy bed. Nice balcony. Room U88. Food: ... Read More
First cruise. This was a fun trip. I do wish they had a 3 day cruise that just went to Catalina Island and a "fun day at sea". Room: very nice, big, clean, great shower, comfy bed. Nice balcony. Room U88. Food: the food is fine - nothing amazing and nothing horrible. service in the sit down dining rooms is touch and go - they are overworked and underpaid so... - very nice people working on the ship. Burger and mexican food on the Lido deck is always good. Pizza late night is a good choice as well. Did room service once and it was fine and pretty fast - BLT, all good. Drinks: great! we did the cheers package and I just could not get my money's worth because we had two days on land - next time, pay as you go for me! But there were some people on the cruise who were proud of their 15 alcoholic drinks a day record! Cruise Director - Melissa - amazingly hard working woman. she gets the crowd going every time she starts talking. I hope they pay her lots... Catalina Island - just beautiful and so fun shopping and we rented a golf cart. I wish we spent more time on this island. Had to take a tender but no problem at all Ensanada - not my favorite - run down / we did the atv wine trip. they dont tell you it is 40 min to get to the location to do the atv's. the atv's are a blast! lots of fun and a good long ride. the wine tasting is kind of a joke. the winery we were at was "too busy" to give us a tasting so the guy who did the atv tour gave us the tasting and of course he was not an expert but he did his best. nice young man named antonie? the cheese and crackers are very limited- especially with the more people in your atv tour. so atv gets an a+ and the wine/cheese gets a C. They dropped us off in town and we very quickly went back to the ship on board events - very fun! we watched melissa do the "hairy man chest" competition on the lido deck and it was really, really funny! We did bingo (lost but the MC was an english fella who has a good future as a potential cruise director). There are live bands all over the place. GO DO LOTS ON THE SHIP - it is fun and people WANT to have a good time so they are looking to get involved. Download the carnival app - it gives daily "to do's" They take a million pictures of you. Gets tiresome after a while. Stuff goes on sale the last day of the trip! Pool - way too small for 1800 people. I think they fill it up with the sea water so it is chilly. I did not go into pool. I did not use hot tub either. Pool could use an update. Explore the ship - there are some beautiful views. The gym is very nice, lots of machines and clean. We used the wrist bands and never got sick but you can feel the boat moving sometimes. I will never be a cruise person, dont think I could go for more than 4 days, but this was a very fun and relaxing first cruise and I would do it again. Carnival did not dissapoint. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We took the 10 day Mexico out of San Francisco on the Grand Princess. Departed on 8 November and had wonderful weather till the last dayout of San Francisco on the Grand Princess. Had outstanding the entire cruise till the last day. the ... Read More
We took the 10 day Mexico out of San Francisco on the Grand Princess. Departed on 8 November and had wonderful weather till the last dayout of San Francisco on the Grand Princess. Had outstanding the entire cruise till the last day. the return to San Francisco saw the city quite cool and blanketed in smoke fro the fires near Chico. The Grand Princess is a medium sized ship with a capacity of around 2600 guests but was far from full. The only time we encountered any crowd was during the Emergency drill The ship was comfortable but is showing the wear. We were in A517 an oversized inside cabin. Princess offered us an "upgrade" to a midships cabin that would have been smaller, further from the elevators and under a bar. We declined the offer. The cabin was comfortable but had totally inadequate power outlets for modern electronics. We had a mechanical issue with the shower valves which was corrected immediately. Our room steward was excellent and procured us an extra chair when requested. Have to comment on the bed. It was marvelous, if I could buy that mattress I would. As I mentioned the ship is showing wear and could use a refurbishment Not really any problems just general wear giving the ship a somewhat shabby dowager image. The crew was without exception excellent. any request was met and expectations were routinely exceeded. The crew seemed genuinely friendly without being overly intimate. Food was adequate, well prepared and resented without being exceptional. The exception were the soups and salads many of which would have been at home in a 3 star restaurant. We ate in both specialty restaurants and had a mixed experience. the Crown Grill wa a decent steakhouse experience with good quality beef well prepared and presented. Sabatini's was disappointing. the quality varied throughout the meal with courses ranging from outstanding to poorly prepared with overpowering sauces and poorly cooked pasta. Probably the most disappointing food was the buffet. It was no better than you would find in a cheap Reno venue. I have to comment on the wine. While not outrageously priced the wine list was nothing to justify the level of pride and promotion it was presented with. With the exception of a couple of high value bottles it was no better than I would expect to see in any mid range restaurant. The wine list is in serious need of an upgrade. Still we quite enjoyed the cruise and would happily have spent another week or longer onboard. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my first time on the Eurodam but I am a veteran 3 star HAL cruiser. I liked the additional amenities available especially the Tamarind restaurant. I ate there two nights as well as once at the Canaletto and one dinner and two ... Read More
This was my first time on the Eurodam but I am a veteran 3 star HAL cruiser. I liked the additional amenities available especially the Tamarind restaurant. I ate there two nights as well as once at the Canaletto and one dinner and two lunches at the Pinnacle Grill. The main dining room service was slow and uneven, especially at breakfast. the Lido food is good but I don't like the crowds and waiting in line. The DiveIn hotdog and hamburger place has good food, especially the seasoned fries. I tried the pizza place once and did not care for it, thin crust with thinner toppings. I enjoyed the MainStage entertainment but as always the room is cold and the amplification is too high for my taste. I like the singing and dancing shows as the kids have a lot of talent and work hard. I never go to the comedians. I attended the Billboard two piano bar for the Beatles night, BB King Blues two nights and the Lincoln Center Stage three times. I love classical music and the players were OK. I don't take excursions so I cannot comment on those. As usual disembarkation is the most difficult and needs the most work. Trying to funnel 2000 people through one door with two security card machines is difficult. Each time it seems HAL gets better at managing the lines but what a pain. I wait in my cabin until my color/number is called then wait a bit more hoping the line will get down but somehow it never does. I don't have an answer for this problem except to use more personnel and a second exit which may not be possible. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Over the many years that we have been cruising (since 1982) we have met some wonderful cruisers that have become special friends. We chose this cruise because someone in our group of cruise buddies booked and so did we along with 9 ... Read More
Over the many years that we have been cruising (since 1982) we have met some wonderful cruisers that have become special friends. We chose this cruise because someone in our group of cruise buddies booked and so did we along with 9 others. Our cabin was enjoyable and the service was excellent. Clean and well kept. We ordered room service each morning, just coffee, danish and fruit to enjoy on the balcony. Great way to start the day. It was always delivered on time. Food in the buffet was never ending. Too much to choose from. The omelette station was excellent and a good show to watch as our special order was being made. Dinner in the Black Pearl dinning room was excellent. We sat with our cruise family during early dinning 5:45pm. Seating, service and quality of food was outstanding. Some of the best pork chops, salmon, tenderloin, filet and prime rib ever. PAN Fried oysters as an appetizer were served. I should have ordered 10 more. We have cruised the Mexican Riviera many times and have special places we enjoy when ashore, so do not do ship tours. In Cabo we enjoy a glass bottom boat ride out to Lands End.and walk along shops before returning to the ship. Mazatlan is always a trip to the public market and then over to Stone Island. We hang out a Lety's where the $1 beer and best guacamole in Mexico at an unbelievable low price is found. This time we help the fisherman pull in a net that was about 1,500 feet long and watch as they load the fish into a boat. Always something different on Stone Island. Puerto Vallarta is always a public bus ride south to the river and then a walk down hill through the shops to the bay. Then turn south along the sea wall for a short walk to The Cheeky Monkey our very favorite place to enjoy beer and food while people watching. You will find Cris and crew to treat you like old friends. Would we do this cruise again? Sure. Our next cruise we are thinking about will be in May and we are booked to Alaska on the NCL Jewel in September. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first cruise out of the west coast and we were impressed with embarkation. From the time we arrived at San Pedro, we were on the ship in only a few minutes. The public areas of the ship were in good condition, as the ship ... Read More
This was our first cruise out of the west coast and we were impressed with embarkation. From the time we arrived at San Pedro, we were on the ship in only a few minutes. The public areas of the ship were in good condition, as the ship has very recently come out of dry dock. Everything looked great. We did notice that the clock at the aft pool was out of service during the entire voyage - a minor annoyance. Once we were permitted to go to our cabin, we found the temperature a bit warm. The climate control had no impact, so we simply closed the drapes and waited for the evening. Once the sun set, we were able to open the drapes and the slider, and allow the ocean breezes to cool the cabin and lull us to sleep. The larger television mounted on the wall was great. It freed up a lot of room. We also liked the motion-sensitive nightlight on one on the nightstands. The fridge in our room was caked with ice and badly needed to be defrosted. Food on the ship was mostly disappointing. The first morning, we were searching high and low for the omelet station. We were finally directed to where we could place an order only to find that our order would be taken and would be delivered to us in the dining room within five minutes. Sure. We gave our claim slip to a dining room attendant and he returned, literally, 25 minutes later with a cold, sorry excuse for an omelet. It was thin, like a crepe, and the chosen fillings were stuffed inside like an enchilada rather than cooked into the eggs like a proper omelet. The spinach was not fresh and appeared to be thawed, frozen spinach. Disgusting. That was the last morning we attempted to order fresh eggs. Extremely disappointed that Princess has decided to discourage guests from ordering "omelets" and freshly cooked eggs by serving the dreck they served. In the restaurant for dinner, we were disappointed to see that the steak offering had been removed from the "classics" section of the menu and if one wanted a steak it was only available for a fee. On the evening that surf & turf was offered in the dining room, I was quite disappointed to see the steak served to me. While B's "filet mignon" was about an inch thick, mine was *literally* no more than 1/4 inch thick, though it was cooked to the requested medium temperature. I could not believe the kitchen had the nerve to serve that cut of meat as a "filet mignon." Service throughout the cruise was hit or miss. Efren in the dining room was great and we really enjoyed his thoughtful service. The grill attendants at the Salty Dog Grill on the pool deck were slow and inattentive. The dining room attendants at the buffet became noticeably less attentive as the week wore on. By the final morning, it was like they weren't even trying to be cordial. They also had "run out" of cranberry juice by the final morning. Our cabin attendant, Julio, was great - very friendly and eager to assist. What happened to the late night food offerings/buffets on board? Buffets closed promptly following dinner service and it appeared that the very limited menu at the International Cafe was the only thing available until morning. Overall, the cruise left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth regarding Princess. We have cruises currently booked on other lines and hope they will not be following in the Princess manner of a noticeable decrease in food quality. Read Less

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