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Cruise Ratings
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We live locally in Southern California and went on this cruise to celebrate my husbands birthday weekend. We purchased Faster to Fun - embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on the ship. The ... Read More
We live locally in Southern California and went on this cruise to celebrate my husbands birthday weekend. We purchased Faster to Fun - embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on the ship. The ship is not very big and it’s easy to get around. Our cabin in Empress Fwd was nice and clean but we found it to be very noisy all night till 1am. They had some kids activities in a theater right above our cabin involving running and jumping, every night. I wouldn’t recommend this location for the cabin. Dining in the main dining room was good, but service could be little bit better. We never got our meal at the same time for everyone in the party. Your plate gets cold while waiting for your friends plate to be served, sometimes 20min later. They just bring meals whenever it’s ready for each person. Although, day at the sea brunch was very good and we enjoyed tea time in Mardi Grass restaurant. The major surprise was the Chefs table dinner. Beyond everyone’s expectations. It cost additional $75/person but it worth every penny and many more. It’s a truly amazing culinary experience and I will be back on this cruise just for that. Good Entertainment and overall atmosphere makes it Happy time and great place to celebrate any occasion. We liked all the music, theatre performances but most of all the comedy club. All comedians were very funny and we had great time. The gym is nice and there are yoga and spin classes in the morning. We took a spin class which was very good and equipment was in a good shape. Sunday we arrived in Encinada. It’s easy to get out the ship on your own and either take a bus or walk in to a town. There are number of shops, restaurants and bars in few blocks of downtown. We took a tour to 2 vineyards and we were glad we did it. The vineries are ok but ride was very scenic and we could experience a country side while we still had enough time left to check out downtown and visit few shops before the bus took us back to the ship. The disembarkation starts at 7am from Empress level. We carried our bags and left the ship early without any delays. This was overall very enjoyable trip, I only wish we had a different room in a quieter corner. We most likely will be back soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
DW & I have been on four other cruiselines and this was our first on Carnival. We went on this one since we wanted to join a large group gathering of about 50 folks. Even though it was a four day Carnival Long Beach-Catalina ... Read More
DW & I have been on four other cruiselines and this was our first on Carnival. We went on this one since we wanted to join a large group gathering of about 50 folks. Even though it was a four day Carnival Long Beach-Catalina Island-Ensenada-Long Beach trip from embark Monday and debark Friday, it was still a party crowd. We usually prefer a quiet, refine cruise but wanted to join the many folks we knew. Since there were many we have known for many years, the party type atmosphere worked well and we were pleasantly surprise that we enjoyed it. The cost was relatively inexpensive and we set our expectations lower and were overall happy with the cruise. The Guy's Burgers, deli, and pizza were great. The other dining venues, such as buffet and sitdown dining were disappointing. The servers often did not bring us and others what we ordered. Even request for crackers was given a response of call room server. A request to clean some chairs with food debris was met by the worker slapping the chairs with her dish towel. What was worst was that the sour cream and butter were not fresh, i.e. the potential for an upset stomach or worst. The cabin was larger than other cruiselines for the same category but the restroom had a foul odor that repeated attempts to pour water down the floor drain only partially helped. A number of folks got seasick even though they never had before on other sailings. Being a smaller ship of about 70,000 tons is part of the reason. But more likely it was the short sailing distance between the ports. Long Beach to Catalina is about 29 miles and the sailing was a leisurely 13 hours which meant say 2 miles per hour which is far too slow for the stabilizers to be effective. Also this slow speed means the wave actions will affect the ship more. The shows in the main theater were not Broadway type productions. They were just singing with related dance moves and much of the time was wasted with pulling audience members up to the stage to participate. The timing of the show comedians were too close to the main theater shows so we could not see them. The raffles at the ship stores were a big waste of time. They kept on delaying the start of the drawings and the prizes were terrible, such as a cheap shopping bag. The embark and debark were fast since for the short cruise we did carry on luggage. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a family cruise to celebrate an eighty-fifth birthday. We were 23 in number with many young people on their first cruise - no one under 16. I mistakenly had my bags checked aboard and had a bottle of wine removed. I would carry ... Read More
This was a family cruise to celebrate an eighty-fifth birthday. We were 23 in number with many young people on their first cruise - no one under 16. I mistakenly had my bags checked aboard and had a bottle of wine removed. I would carry my bags on board next time. We had a suite which was excellent - spacious, clean with amenities. We were not fond of the main entertainment but the smaller venues were good. The zip-lining in Catalina was excellent and the wine tour in Ensenada was good. The cruise ship food was good and the evening dining and service quite good. Birthdays were acknowledged at dinner and the serving staff entertaining. All areas were usually kept clean. The main pool and spas were always full with children. There was an adult pool, but on this cruise, it was full as well. The main entertainment was not very good, but the smaller venues were fine. On a previous 3 day cruise, the entertainment was excellent with Broadway -type shows. The drawbacks - a valuable ring and an article of clothing were take from the room. Obviously, the only people with access were the steward and cleaning personnel. Also, while we paid for internet access, we never had it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This is mainly a shore excursion review. My daughter (on spring break from college) and I did the Bufadora Kayak excursion. Rebecca and Carlos were our guides and they were great. (Jose-Luis was our driver and he was great as well, but ... Read More
This is mainly a shore excursion review. My daughter (on spring break from college) and I did the Bufadora Kayak excursion. Rebecca and Carlos were our guides and they were great. (Jose-Luis was our driver and he was great as well, but didn't get in the water.) Nice drive out to the point, and then suited up. I recommend the wetsuits - they will keep you warm if the water is cold. Also, take Dramamine or other seasickness prevention. We had 5-6-foot swells, and when you're out in a small (even 2-person) kayak, you feel it more than in the cruise ship. We had great views of La Bufadora, far better than what is seen up top. Carlos led the way, and my daughter and I learned pretty fast how to paddle straight, how to turn, all with the help of Carlos and Rebecca. We got some great pics. If you have a waterproof camera or a waterproof sleeve for your phone, you may want to plan to take those. After paddling back in and rinsing off and changing, we headed up to the top of the Bufadora shopping street for great tacos. Then a quiet drive back to the ship, or to town to do some shopping. The cruise itself was great. I've done this particular cruise two other times, and the staff works hard to make sure everyone has fun. The weather was a little colder than we hoped, so less time for my daughter to sun on deck, but we lounged and read books in Serenity and other places on deck. We won a Thomas Kincade print at the art auction, and recommend those events as a fun thing to do. They had an egg-drop contest, and let individuals or teams build whatever they could to protect an egg dropped from the 10th deck to the 7th in the atrium. All winners won a medal. Our team used a parachute and straw design and won our medal. That was a fun part of the sea day. Shoutouts to Putu (room steward) and to Abigail and Angela, our dining room dinner staff. Highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I took this cruise to the Mexican Rivera on March 9th. Embarkation was a breeze. We had a balcony cabin midship on 9. It was spacious and had enough storage for all our gear. Our steward was excellent as well. We made ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise to the Mexican Rivera on March 9th. Embarkation was a breeze. We had a balcony cabin midship on 9. It was spacious and had enough storage for all our gear. Our steward was excellent as well. We made reservations for all the restaurants before we left home. I highly recommend this because it is very difficult to get reservations, especially at the specialty restaurants, after you board. We ate at Cagney twice and La Cucina once. They both had excellent food and service. The other nights we ate in the lovely Versailles dining room. We sat in several different locations and received wonderful service and food each time. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Garden Cafe. The food and selection was very good but it was difficult to find a table. We had drinks at most of the bars and encountered very good service in all. The entertainment was outstanding in the theater. The musical numbers were fabulous, the magician and contortionist were amazing and the comedian was entertaining. The shows are at 7:30 and 9:30. We enjoyed the ports but were disappointed not to see any whales on our tour in Cabo. Disembarkation was easy as well. We opted to carry our own luggage off and breezed through customs in Los Angeles, ordered an UBER and were at the airport all within an hour. Overall this was a great cruise on a beautiful ship with a wonderful crew. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise is perfect for people who want to relax. The ship was fantastic. We had the best service all around. The shows, comedians, piano guy was all entertaining. We participated in trivia with the fun squad. The best was when the ... Read More
This cruise is perfect for people who want to relax. The ship was fantastic. We had the best service all around. The shows, comedians, piano guy was all entertaining. We participated in trivia with the fun squad. The best was when the comedian hosted a trivia. The ports were easy to visit and stress free. Puerta Vallarta is beautiful, you must walk the boardwalk. We had a 12 yr old with us. She moved around the boat no problem. She made friends in circle c.We loved the service and attention we received through out the entire ship. You must stop at the coffee bar, great drink options and desserts. Our whole group said we would do it again once a year. The ship is pink, be prepared for pink everywhere. After a few days you don't notice. The new embarkation in Long Beach is so much easier, made the start of the trip faster and calmer. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We traveled with our 3 children for spring break on this ship. The ship was clean and comfortable. The food, drinks and service were average. The staff varied from attentive to average. We ate at 3 specialty restaurants, Cagney's ... Read More
We traveled with our 3 children for spring break on this ship. The ship was clean and comfortable. The food, drinks and service were average. The staff varied from attentive to average. We ate at 3 specialty restaurants, Cagney's (3.5-4*), Le Bistro (3*) and Moderno Churrascaria (3*). If we went on this cruise again the only one of the 3 that I would consider paying extra to dine at again may be Cagney's. I don't think that any of them are much better than the main dining room. We ate twice at O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill. The food was below average (2*) both times, average (2.5-3*) service. The buffet food was average, good selection and well maintained. The entertainment onboard was very good. We all enjoyed the nightly shows in the main theater. Our children enjoyed the cruise but they did occasionally get bored. I think they would have enjoyed a ship with more activities appropriate for young teens. The cabins were well maintained and clean. Embarkation and disembarkation were well run and efficient. Overall I would give this cruise a 3.5* and would go on this ship again if the intinerary and price met our needs. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The convenience of where the cruise leaves port (west coast) along with the pricing make this an attractive cruise for my wife and I . We were on this same cruise 3 yrs ago. I can say the check-in process is better ( asking for an arrival ... Read More
The convenience of where the cruise leaves port (west coast) along with the pricing make this an attractive cruise for my wife and I . We were on this same cruise 3 yrs ago. I can say the check-in process is better ( asking for an arrival time) however the check out process still needs work. You are certainly reminded that you must be out of your room by 8:30 am on the last day ( Saturday) and you will definitely be reminded to be off the ship by 10:30 am! We have not been on other cruises so cannot compare others ( this was our 7 th with carnival) the rooms are clean and not a bad size and the balcony is a pretty good size for 2 adults. The decor definitely needs updating. The seats on the lido deck have almost no cushion left so you sink right into them . The biggest complaint on food is on the LIDO deck. The food there the is normally cold. The grill, tandoor, pizza and deli live up to expectation ( did not try the bar bq ) Staff were always greeting you, Entertainment was pretty good ( comedian John Dicrosta is hilarious,) The excursions were okay..but wow have they ever gone up in price. Hey Carnival most people just want to go to a beach.. I think you need more of those at an affordable prices. Families would like to play in the sand and water and not have to dish out big bucks to do it. On a more personal note we were shocked at the lack of supervision by staff in the casino when it comes to minors. The fact you are gambling, drinking and smoking should be enough to ensure security is better. We saw young children (10 and under) in the casino on a fairly regular basis. In one case we witnessed a minor helping his parents feed quarters into a machine. Yes the parents should know better but As a responsible corporation that should never be acceptable. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I just completed my 9th cruise, five of which are the same itinerary, the 7-Day Mexican Riviera from the Long Beach port. I had never done a cruise until February 2014 and now I have completed nine with the tenth I anticipate being on the ... Read More
I just completed my 9th cruise, five of which are the same itinerary, the 7-Day Mexican Riviera from the Long Beach port. I had never done a cruise until February 2014 and now I have completed nine with the tenth I anticipate being on the Carnival Panorama. I drove in from Scottsdale, AZ for this trip. I actually got to the cruise terminal a bit early so I wandered over to the Queen Mary and grabbed some breakfast. I try to always purchase the Faster to the Fun package so that I can take advantage of those benefits. The most important one to me is to be able to go straight to my cabin and dump off my stuff and then go to Lido Deck for some lunch. Embarkation was incredibly smooth. When they let us into the terminal, I honestly believe we were seated for only 45 minutes before they opened the doors to go aboard. I went straight to my Ocean Suite cabin, 7253, of course, the room was all ready. I dropped off my carry on luggage and went up to the Lido Deck. The first place I went to was the Ol' Fashioned BBQ on deck 10 aft. This is a hidden gem. I have never seen a line at this spot and the food is great. I wandered around the ship to see what was new and what was happening. After a while we did the Safety Muster. I got to station A, but no one was really taking charge at the site and I never did get my Sail n Sign card scanned to show that I made it. The Muster only lasted about 15-20 minutes (woo hooooo). However later that evening, I got a letter stating I did not make it to the mandatory safety muster and that I should review the process of an emergency evacuation of the ship. The first evening I ate in The Steakhouse restaurant. Carnival increased the price from $35 to $38 but it is still such a great bargain. I started with the Bone Marrow and Hand-Cut Beef Tartare. I have never eaten either before but I make it a point to eat things I would never eat otherwise on the ship. Both were very good. I could not get enough of either. I have to admit I got the shrimp cocktail too. I just wanted a Plan B in case I did not like the other appetizer. For the main course, I got the Australian Wagyu. And for the dessert I got the Chocolate Sphere. I also did the wine pairing for this complete dinner. So I got some Layer Cake Pinot Noir with the Bone Marrow and Beef Tartare. I got some Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc with the shrimp cocktail, and Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon with the Wagyu, Lastly I got some Graham's Six Grapes Port with the Chocolate Sphere. The wine pairing was only $18 extra. Like I said, the bone marrow and the tartare was delicious. The shrimp cocktail was pretty good. (It's shrimp. What can you do to shrimp.) The Chocolate Sphere was absolutely fantastic. The restaurant is a MUST DO. It is $38 per person including gratuities. The first sea-day was pretty much as you might expect. Lots of trivia and shows. Plenty of entertainment choices for all. Cabo San Lucas was great. I did a day trip to a local resort and hung all day on the beach. In my opinion, one of the best sites to see at Cabo is found ONLY when you are tnedering in to or out of the piers. I love watching the sea lions hitching a ride on the back of the fishing boats begging for fish. In Mazatlan, I took the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours. I got off at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and chatted with some of the volunteers. I went over to the market and it was pretty amazing. The next port was in Puerta Vallarta. I hired a cab to take me around the unusual sites in town. He drove me to where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton lived, he showed me around the Romantic Zone of PV and then showed me an errant crocodile in the marina. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The splendor is a smaller more intimate ship missing the 2.0 upgrades. That being said the cruise director and entertainment staff were anazing, the ship very clean, with plenty of activities for young and old. Food was great in the dining ... Read More
The splendor is a smaller more intimate ship missing the 2.0 upgrades. That being said the cruise director and entertainment staff were anazing, the ship very clean, with plenty of activities for young and old. Food was great in the dining room and service was very good as well. Our cabin Stewart Ana was amazing her smile infectious and the level of service well above expectations. Carnival continues to meet and exceed while staying family and wallet friendly. This was our tenth cruise in carnival and third on the Splendor. We are sold in Carnival and continue to be loyal to the brand. Looking forward to booking our platinum cruise and getting a few more perks. Kyndall Fire is a ball of energy and keep the entertainment rolling we enjoy the west coast of Mexico and with the beautiful pacific and amazing people there is always plenty of great activities to meet any need. We went to the all inclusive beach at El acid and had a great time great food and the beach clean and well supervised. Then being able to use the pools and bars at the resort really topped off the day. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Overall, the ship is great. It's nicely furnished, the food is great, the entertainment was the best I've ever experienced, and the exercise room was excellent (unlike the Sapphire Princess that we were just on in January). The ... Read More
Overall, the ship is great. It's nicely furnished, the food is great, the entertainment was the best I've ever experienced, and the exercise room was excellent (unlike the Sapphire Princess that we were just on in January). The comedian was hilarious and the stage productions were extremely well done. Even the daily musicians were good. That's why the ship gets my high rating BUT ... 1) If you value privacy, do not get a minisuite on the 11th deck. The privacy screen does not extend out to the railing. If the next-door neighbor is at the railing, they can not only see into your balcony, they can see into your cabin as well. If you want to dress, be sure to close the curtain. 2) Our particular mini-suite, Cabin 11188, was simply the worst ever. Do NOT choose this cabin or 11182! Every night from midnight to two a.m. somebody or something drags stuff across the floor, drops things, bangs, etc. It was seriously loud and the folks next door were hearing it, too. I thought it was the H2O lounge or the dining room, but it wasn't. Instead it seems to have been the crew moving things around. I called to complain after two nights and the officer noted the noise and it quieted down ONCE but repeated again the rest of the cruise. We were given a free specialty dining but it doesn't 3) Our cruise got off to a nasty start with the lifeboat drill in which a crewmember at Muster Station D decided she was going to be our Drill Sergeant for the day, giving orders and lining us up. I was in line "as ordered" but that wasn't good enough for the Drill Sergeant, who actually ordered me to move forward two feet (!) to fill in the gap in the ranks. Other groups were not "lined up" like this. She was just generally bossy and unfriendly. She also talked during announcements over the intercom so we couldn't hear either one. When I confronted her afterwards about her unfriendly demeanor, she just gave me more attitude. I reported this behavior to her superiors and received an apology but no followup. 4) We experienced very slow service in Cagney's. 5) I called for a wakeup call that never came (fortunately my own alarm worked). 6) I was amazed to be in Gatsby's on the next to last night to see two (2) guests using four chairs; i.e., sitting with their feet up on the other chairs. 7) The 5 O'Clock Lounge is nice but poorly set up for the karaoke activities they hold there. Unlike other NCL ships, the Star has no forward lounge where you can sit inside and watch the ocean. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Love this cruise to Cabo. I have been several times but this is the 1st time I took a princess excursion. Two actually. They were a great value and lot of fun. Went to hotel California And whale watching. Because I went by myself I did ... Read More
Love this cruise to Cabo. I have been several times but this is the 1st time I took a princess excursion. Two actually. They were a great value and lot of fun. Went to hotel California And whale watching. Because I went by myself I did things by myself That the group didnt wanna do. Like staying at EFFE's jewelry For the big drawing of the diamond earrings. I stayed and I won the diamond earrings. Yahoo!!! I want the 1st day and had my hair done and it had several other appointments made for different spa treatments. Probably bought more products and I should have but I like them and I'm having fun with them. Met Dimitris Vrahnoss In the Fitness Room. What an asset to the princess Cruise lines. What a great spirit very knowledgeable of his background And the programs that he taught. Plus what a great smile. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
A quick day cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico... The ship was recently refurbed/drydocked and left to the traditional look of "The Love Boat"... really nice touch. Some of the best ... and worst... entertainment I have ever ... Read More
A quick day cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico... The ship was recently refurbed/drydocked and left to the traditional look of "The Love Boat"... really nice touch. Some of the best ... and worst... entertainment I have ever seen on a cruise ship....(worst-magician...best-production dancers in the showroom) Some of the best ... and worst... food I have ever had on a cruise ship (worse-2 undercooked and bad steaks in the Crown Room...best...service in the dining rooms). Really friendly steward (James)... The cruise activities were very good and thought out.... It was cold out most of the cruise, so not able to lay out that much....so indoor events were really important....Yessy, the assistant cruise director was funny, charming and the life of the party- got things going... Embark (5 minutes) and Disembark (5 minutes) was the fastest transition I have even been on. Smooth and efficient. We got a really good price and a quiet inside stateroom.... loved the big TV in our refurbished room.. Medallian.net phone app was not finished and need tweaking.... Not great, but good to have something for an itinerary to carry with me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The three areas that were disappointing were entertainment, menu selection and smoking venue. The comic, diva, trio and pianist at Crooners very good; the dance band, guitar players and Wallace Black dIsappointment; The trio played a ... Read More
The three areas that were disappointing were entertainment, menu selection and smoking venue. The comic, diva, trio and pianist at Crooners very good; the dance band, guitar players and Wallace Black dIsappointment; The trio played a great selection of mariachi and dance music. Tea Cake Forest Diva performance of Aretha and Whitney Houston excellent; the comedian offered a good show. The dance band played with no soul and the Wallace Black Duo especially the female singer not at quality level for Princess Cruises, the pianist at Wheelhouse advised me doesn’t do requests - really? Movie selections impressive and availablity to see in Princess Theater was a positive option. The menu selection on Horizon for breakfast and lunch unappealing Friday and Saturday. Sailed on Ash Wednesday and a Friday in Lent and found selections of non meat sparse. Salty Dog Street Tacos selections disappointing and exception of Saturday night menu of Michangelos limited, two nights orders were incorrect and avoided ordering wine or drinks as it seemed delayed menu orders. The Speakeasy was a cramped room for smokers and drink service available lnconsistent in comparison to smoking bar on The Star Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted a shorter trip and this one fit the bill. A day and a half at sea, 24 hours in a warm port (Cabo San Lucas), and another day and a half to get home. The Ruby is spacious and well maintained. She is just in the process of ... Read More
We wanted a shorter trip and this one fit the bill. A day and a half at sea, 24 hours in a warm port (Cabo San Lucas), and another day and a half to get home. The Ruby is spacious and well maintained. She is just in the process of switching over to Princess's Medallion system. Right now, all you can do is wave you cruise card at the medallion reader outside the cabin door. The food was delicious as usual. I appreciate that, besides the daily menu, that Princess had favorites that are available every day. Pizza was up to snuff (after a dip in quality as reported on Cruise Critic a year ago). The burger grille by the pool is the only weak link. Bar service was prompt and the drinks were strong and tasty. We liked the Walker-Black band and it was nice to see them again after sharing the Emerald with them last July. My daughter (23) fell in love with at guitarist singer, Mary {something} who made my daughter come to enjoy classic rock. I am sold on Princess and have my next Princess cruise booked for a year from now (too far away!). Next up, though, is a turn to the dark-side as I go on reunion cruise on another line with an alumni group that I belong to next September. I don't want to cast aspersions, but it will be a carnival on that cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
When it takes 4hrs to have your toilet plunged or at least 20min for room service to answer the phone, what else really needs to be said? This was by far the worst cruise I've ever travelled on. Staff dragged their feet for ... Read More
When it takes 4hrs to have your toilet plunged or at least 20min for room service to answer the phone, what else really needs to be said? This was by far the worst cruise I've ever travelled on. Staff dragged their feet for everything. Barely a smile from staff the entire cruise. People just going through the motions. The itinerary is built for travellers 70+. Nothing except comedy show and bingo worth going to if you are 40 or below. The 80s night at Skywalker's was the newest music you will find. I made the mistake of bringing my 3 and 6yo on this cruise. If you do not drop them in kids club, you will be spending the time with your child in your room watching movies. Movies only because there were no kids channels or cartoons. Jeffrey Santiago (steward) and Edgar (Front Desk Manager) were lone superstars on the cruise. Unless you want to bid on art or do nothing for 5 days, book other cruise line. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I am a veteran when it comes to cruising. I have done over 20. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Holland. This was my first and last on Princess. This ship was supposed to be refurbished but our bathroom smelled moldy. I have to steam and ... Read More
I am a veteran when it comes to cruising. I have done over 20. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Holland. This was my first and last on Princess. This ship was supposed to be refurbished but our bathroom smelled moldy. I have to steam and use fabreeze to try and fix the smell. I had heard that the service was ok in the beginning and tapers off towards the end of the cruise. That was exactly what happened. By day 4 the waiters in the Buffet areas were down right rude. I always pre-paid gratuities but this was the first time I had to fight myself not to have them taken off. This cruise closes down at midnight, no bars open, disco was dead and only played music from 60-80s. Bingo was over priced and the host talked non stop. It took over an hour to play 4 games. Only one live show in 5 days. The shore excursion desk took us to tender then told us to walk to dolphin encounters. They cut it so close , we never had time to shop. I was offered free play on my next cruise but I tore the paper up. I won’t ever go on princess again. Can’t give me a free cruise. Royal Caribbean or Carnival for me. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I are both in our early 60's have sailed on 12 Carnival Cruises before and this one number 13 was the first on the Pacific..Even though it was due to go into drydock this year we were amazed by the upkeep on this ... Read More
My wife and I are both in our early 60's have sailed on 12 Carnival Cruises before and this one number 13 was the first on the Pacific..Even though it was due to go into drydock this year we were amazed by the upkeep on this ship...The facilities even though not up to the new refurbished ships like Guys burgers and other amenities were still very good...The staff all through the ship were outstanding and did not fail to please....One of the highlights was a male singer named Stewart in the lobby bar...I grew up with MoTown and this man was the closest thing to Motown that you can possibly hear.He was truly amazing along with his orchestra and female singer....Carnival has scored a big one hiring this man. The shows in the main theatre were outstanding and the meals in the main dining room were just as good if not better than previous years. The ports of call were unique with the highlight for us being the beauty of Cabo San Lucas...Embarkation was a breeze and debarkation was as well...Great job Carnival. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I had cruised this itinerary on the Splendor twice before this cruise and so looked forward to this cruise despite the Splendor aging (like we all do...). I was surprised by the many changes I noted that included the elimination of the ... Read More
I had cruised this itinerary on the Splendor twice before this cruise and so looked forward to this cruise despite the Splendor aging (like we all do...). I was surprised by the many changes I noted that included the elimination of the tablecloths in the dining-room except on "Cruise Elegance" evenings. There were no chocolates left on our beds with the turn down service., the art auction lacked selection and variety, but the flat iron steak was still tough as shoe leather. They even cut the note pads in half that were left in the cabins now w/4" pencils instead of pens! I know this is all little stuff, but the devil is in the details and the cuts all add up. I realize these trims make it possible for Carnival to continue to offer wonderful cruising experiences to the average person. You do definitely get a lot of bang for the buck! I will commend the staff though very highly for taking such good care of a room full of us late arrivals. Our flight didn't land at LAX until 2:25 P.M. Our taxi arrived at the port at 3:10P.M. Cutoff time for embarkation was at 3:00P.M. I was so worried that we would be waving at the ship sailing away without us, but they boarded us and we had a great time. Our room was comfortable with 2 portholes and 2 beds; one of which was a couch made into a bed for our week long trip's duration. We were at the forward end of the ship that gave us ample exercise to the dining rooms and lido. Our cabin steward was Bagus. He was attentive, smiling, and knew us by first names. We dined in the Gold Pearl Dining Room all but one evening. The quality of the food and service was all very good with one exception: the flat iron steak, which was tough. Our waiter even arranged for specially requested escargots on our last eve at dinner too. I enjoyed the lobster and tenderloin dinners the most. They were tasty. We enjoyed the entertainments on board the ship. The "Pop to the 80's and "The Epic Rock" shows were good. We liked going to the movies for the "Dive-in" to see "The Green Book." We were not impressed with 2 days in Cabo San Lucas. We probably would have enjoyed ourselves there more if we'd been able to take a motorized raft trip like we did a few years back, but we couldn't locate the same this trip..Puerta Vallarta was the highlight of this trip for us though all we did was walk around there. The tendering process at Cabo was much better organized on this trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This ship is old and needs to be updated. Cabin on the Riviera Deck was dirty and dusty. We found a pair of shoes in the closet from a previous cruiser. Empty plastic shopping bags in drawers. Beds were very uncomfortable and felt like air ... Read More
This ship is old and needs to be updated. Cabin on the Riviera Deck was dirty and dusty. We found a pair of shoes in the closet from a previous cruiser. Empty plastic shopping bags in drawers. Beds were very uncomfortable and felt like air mattresses. There were lights in the room that were out and not replaced. The TV is tiny and everything looked green. The decor is old and gaudy. The food was mediocre and not served hot. We retuned several meals because they were cold. The coffee bar had only 1 person working and there would be lines with 8 to 10 people waiting for their fancy coffee. Lots of children running around the ship and occupying most pool areas. The spa had mold on the ceilings and were not quiet and relaxing. This was our first and last Carnival Cruise. We have always cruised with Princess and will be going back to Princess from now on. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This review is of the suite experience in NCL STAR Mexican Riviera. They are so many reviews of the MR cruises, I decided to concentrate this review on the suite experience. There are many online videos, but sometimes I find the reviews ... Read More
This review is of the suite experience in NCL STAR Mexican Riviera. They are so many reviews of the MR cruises, I decided to concentrate this review on the suite experience. There are many online videos, but sometimes I find the reviews often answer more questions, so an additional reason for this review. As many of you know, the STAR does not have a Haven area. Although we have not sailed in several years, we do have previous experiences in a suite, including the STAR on NCL. Those experiences were great as well. I would say this one was further refinement towards improving the experience. Suzanna, the concierge, seems very efficient in her role. She did head for Miami at the end of our cruise, so not sure where she is now. Jeffery and our cabin steward were great, as were Josephine and Salisam(SP, sorry) at Cagney’s/Moderno’s. Cabin: We had the 11530, Opal suite. It is a 2bedroom family suite with balcony located foreword on deck 11. There are several of these same suites on deck 11. This location is keeping with my goal of booking a cabin with cabins above us and cabins below us. The suite is very large and as the name implies has 2 bedrooms. The smaller bedroom is accessed to the right immediately after entering the “hallway” from the deck 11. It has a pull out Futon type sofa that can sleep maybe 2 children but a bit small for more than one adult. It also has a pulldown Murphy type bed with a nice 5 inch or so foam mattress. It has a small tv, closet and it’s own bathroom with a shower. The door to this cabin will lock when closed. Once back out Ii the cabin hallway there is the second door to the main cabin. It also locks when closed. When you enter the cabin, you encounter the same Futon bed but larger. A nice flat screen tv, small end tables. There is a bar/ counter area with your coffee and tea service. A small refrigerator and cabinets. There are glasses, cups, plates silverware, etc. The butler handles this area and restocks it, brings ice and treats. The balcony only covers the living room lengthwise. That is because the whirlpool tub and the shower look directly into the water in the next room which is the master bedroom/bath ensuite. This room has pocket doors, not curtains. There is a king size bed with small tables on either side. Master bathroom: This is really nice. The tub has whirlpool jets. Bath salts and products provided. These products were nice enough. The shower also looked over the water with several different sprays, including a rainforest type faucet. The toilet has its separate enclosed space with door. The windows have shades which can be lowered for privacy. We purchased the spa pass, but quite honestly, I will reconsider that if booking this cabin. Also, of note, we had three sea days on this trip. Electrical plugs/ lighting: So, I was only able to find 2 plugs. One in each bathroom. However, I did not trace the receptacles for the blow dryers and coffee maker. They did seem to be hidden. There is ample lighting but multiple switches, so could take a day to become familiar with them. The closets are very dark however, but plentiful space and hangers. Embarkation: We arrived early, (due to our flight) and went to the check in and over to the lounge with no wait. Refreshments came later as the room began to fill. Suzanna, our concierge came in and we were all given the Dallies for Day one along with other forms such as restaurant reservations, spa offerings. Then after waiting some more time, (due to US customs clearing the STAR from the previous Panama Cruise) we were led as a group into the ship and up to Cagney’s for lunch. Because we were so late, the cabin was ready as we finished our lunch. Breakfast/Lunch: Very nice perk. Breakfast was at Moderno’s. There was a small European style Buffett with fruits, cereals, breads, cheeses, cold cuts, nuts, dried fruits. A few times, we simply had this. A full hot menu was available as well. There are a few posts on cruise critics with recent pics of both breakfast and lunch menus. Dinning reservations: I made our reservations at the 130day point. This is ten days before general reservations open. Some on our roll call some reported difficulties with the times/dates they wanted even at 120 days. I also contemplated adding another dinning reservation about a week before sailing and all that was left was 2100 or later. I don’t think even Suzanna could help with those who did not book in advance. I was able to alter a reservation, though, when we decided to dine with two other suite passengers, but it was the same restaurant and the same night only about 30 minutes apart. Afternoon treats/ coffee service/room service: this was all handled by Jeffery our butler. Treats came every day between 4-5pm I think. It varied from small sandwiches to cheese and crackers, cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, tarts. We also wanted one type of coffee pods. No problem. The room service menu is in the cabin. Breakfast was standard. It was delivered hot and on time. We ordered dinner twice after long days. It has about 7 offerings including a steak, spaghetti, chicken, plus the usual turkey sandwich, hamburger, pizza. Dessert was all on the menu, but we already had the cookies!!! So we order milk then. LOL. Priority tender and port disembarkation: Every evening there was a note from Suzanna on instructions for the next day. There was no need to call and arrange anything. Also, Suzanna (along with the butlers) met with all of us on the last sea day and gave many instructions with a Q & A session. Very nice touch. Probity disembarkation: if you want to walk off with your own luggage, you can literally be among the first off the ship. Our flight was changed by our airlines a month before and involved a much later departure than we wanted. We decided to take a chance on an earlier flight on standby and get off early and head for the airport. Luck was with us and we got on that flight. Of course, I am not recommending anyone rely on that strategy. I would book this cabin again in a heartbeat, very nice experience. First Class all the way. NCL jhas the suite experience down pat. I am happy to answer any questions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We stayed in the Deluxe Owners Suite. Our butler and housekeeping were top notch and need to be recognized as such. The concierge on the other hand completely abandoned her job when it came to my family and I. We had 3 of the 4 Deluxe ... Read More
We stayed in the Deluxe Owners Suite. Our butler and housekeeping were top notch and need to be recognized as such. The concierge on the other hand completely abandoned her job when it came to my family and I. We had 3 of the 4 Deluxe Owners Suites and 3 other VIP rooms. Our group had a total of 11 rooms in the ship. One of the perks with the Deluxe Owners Suites is dinner reservations. Because NCL offered 3 days of ultimate dinning as a incentive perk to sell rooms on the ship they overwhelmed the premium restaurants on the ship, so my family and I who had purchased a total of 8 days of udp not only couldn't get into the restaurants, we left the ship with three unused udp dinners. All ports we visited were spectacular and fun. A "veterans" activity was in the schedule, it was at the 5 o'clock somewhere bar, the whole event was left to the veterans to manage. It was a very much missed opportunity. 4 of people in my group are coordinators for military reunions and all agreed NCL'S venue defiantly does not support any consideration when planning any reunions. I will say all the veterans made the best of the time. There was no assistance or help getting off the ship. In the past we have sailed in the Havens and Garden Villas and always could depend on our concierge, the ball was seriously dropped on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband & I always cruise on NCL because we have never been disappointed. This time we choose the Mexican Riviera onboard the Star. The crew works so hard to keep the ship so clean & well cared for. Although the food is slightly ... Read More
My husband & I always cruise on NCL because we have never been disappointed. This time we choose the Mexican Riviera onboard the Star. The crew works so hard to keep the ship so clean & well cared for. Although the food is slightly above average the specialty restaurants are fantastic. A balcony room gives limited storage but we usually overpack ! The ports were very nice ....... much nicer than the Caribbean ports. Service was above & beyond from the bars, pool area & food areas. This ship was just refurbished in 2018 & is transformed back to the way ships used to be with the glass elevators in the atrium & is a very beautiful atmosphere. I did miss a bar in the lobby but there is one located just around the corner. The atrium is a much quieter area on this ship with a Starbucks & seating for listening to the musical entertainment. Very enjoyable trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Third cruise on Norwegian, 24th cruise overall. Our first cruise on Norwegian was on the Jewel. We had more problems on that cruise than we ever had on board a ship but so enjoyed the ship and the food that we cruised on the Bliss last ... Read More
Third cruise on Norwegian, 24th cruise overall. Our first cruise on Norwegian was on the Jewel. We had more problems on that cruise than we ever had on board a ship but so enjoyed the ship and the food that we cruised on the Bliss last October. Only problem with the Bliss was embarkation but the onboard experience was wonderful in every respect. This quickly became my favorite ship. Food and entertainment was great. So for this reason we booked the Star which is smaller than the Bliss and about the size of the Jewel. Because I know that Norwegian has small rooms in the oceanview category (which is what we usually book), we booked a balcony room (smaller than most other cruise lines' balcony rooms). Found food to be mediocre in buffet with limited variety (particularly in area of vegetables/potatoes). Temperature of food was adequate. We ate exclusively in the Versailles dining room fro dinner and this was a step up from the buffet in terms of food quality, but not by much. The best complimentary food to be found, in my opinion, was at O'Sheehan's, the 24 hour pub restaurant. Unfortunately, they have discontinued the fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce which I used to love at O'Sheehan's. Maybe to many other people loved them too and Norwegian decided they were spending too much money on them. Norwegian is also the only cruise line that does not allow you to bring your own soda pop on board. They want to be sure you either buy theirs at $4.25 a can or buy the unlimited soda package which is exorbitant unless you and your partner drink tons of soda a day. The specialty restaurants which you pay an extra fee for have always been good, particularly Cagney's steakhouse. We did not east at any of the speciality restaurants this trip but heard others comment that they were good on the Star as well. Entertainment was very good. There were three different production/review main theater shows with singing, choreography set and costume changes which were excellent. My wife and I enjoy these type of shows and these were right up there with some of the best we have seen. There was a husband and wife magician/contortionist act. The magician part husband was standard magic/illusion fare but the wife's ability to contort her body was astonishing and unique. Really incredible! There was a comedian who did different accents and dialects and was funny and entertaining. In the lounges there were guitarists/singers, a pianist singer and the Melodic Trio who sang and played instruments. Musically, there was adequate variety to find something to enjoy. My wife and I seldom do excursions nor do we book cruises for the itinerary. We book cruises to be on the ship for a certain length of time, relax, forget about everything and be pampered and taken care of. For this reason, I do not comment on ports. I only review the internal ship experience in terms of the four things that are important to my wife and myself: food, entertainment, comfort and service. I have already commented on food and entertainment. See my review of the cabin below in regard to comfort. With only one exception, service was outstanding. The crew members were friendly, accommodating, helpful and could not be nicer. They worked harder than most of us would ever want to. The one exception was this. I was supposed to get an onboard credit as part of the package I booked. On the second day, when I got a print out of my account, I remarked to the lady at guest services that I did not see the credit on my statement. She checked and said it was not in their computer. She asked me if I had some documentation showing that I was entitled to it. I did in my room. She asked me to bring it back to guest services so they could verify. As i had the documentation and thought this was a glitch that would be easily fixed, I waited until the next day rather than going up to my room right then and getting it.The next day I went down to guest services with my documentation and provided to a young man on duty who, as I was to learn, should probably not be in any kind of customer service job. The young reiterated that it was not in their computer. I reiterated that I was already aware of that which is why I brought the documentation to him, per the instructions I received from the woman at guest services the day before. I told him that I was aware he did not have the power to correct this buit surely there was a senior officer who did, maybe the captain if necessary, and I had the proof I was entitled to it right there in black and white. He went into a room in back, was there for a while and then came out with several sheets of paper. He started to explain to me that I had received an upgraded room ( same type of room I paid for but in what the cruise line considered a better location on the ship) from Norwegian and implied that either my credit had been absorbed by the upgrade which I did not ask for and could care less about, or that I should be so happy that I received an upgrade on my room I should forget about the onboard credit. I told him this had nothing to do with my issue and started to get a little steamed that he seemed to want to talk me out of pursuing this problem. He kept showing me on the pieces of paper saying, "this is what you paid for your room and THIS is what the room you are in goes for. Look at the difference!" I finally was screaming at him saying," I don't care!!! Get me on board credit that I payed for and I am entitled to." he mumbled that he would start an inquiry. I asked loudly when I would get an answer about my onboard credit. He hesitantly said tomorrow night. So he took an issue that I had mild concern about and exploded it into a huge conflict where I was very disgruntled, determined to do everything I could on social media to turn people away from cruising with Norwegian. I was in a very bad mood all through the night until the next day complaining to my poor wife and telling her all the ideas I had for waging war and getting even with Norwegian, making sure that I would cost them many times what they would have given me in onboard credit. The next day I went back down to guest services where I encountered yet another woman at the guest services desk. I explained everything that had happened to date and again showed my documentation. She was very nice, understood the situation immediately and explained to me (unlike the jerk I encountered the evening before) that the credit was to have come from my travel agency, not NCL and for whatever reason, they had not received it yet. There was an inquiry that had been sent to NCL's home office in Miami but in the meantime she arranged a ship to shore phone call to my travel agent so I could take with him about the issue. I spoke with him and he did not know why it hadn't gotten to NCL as everything from his end showed that it should have but he told me in the event it did not arrive in the next few days, get a print out of my onboard account from NCL and he would send me a check for the credit amount. This was all it took to set the matter at rest and could have done by the jerk, instead of aggravating a guest. I received the credit the next day. When I got home I got an e-mail from my agent in which he told me that I was not the only one who had this issue and his what not the only travel agency it happened to. Some snafu occurred with NCL. OK, so I have vented. Back to the ship. The public areas were pleasantly decorated and very clean and well cared for. There was one swimming pool on board and a numebr of hot tubs in different location. I did not use the fitness center but my wife did and said it was fine. The library on board (one of my wife's major interest) was quite extensive for a ship's library. If you like to read on board, you will enjoy this library. There is also an internet cafe on the 9th deck which overlooks the atrium. There are a few tables for playing games. Unless one wished to use the eating tables in the buffet or around the pool, the ship really lacks tables to play games, do jigsaw puzzles or any kind of writing or paperwork other than the few in the internet cafe. I probably will never sail on the Star again as it had to many deficits for me personally. The food was not as good as on the other two NCL ships I sailed. Read Less

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