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Sail Date: March 2019
The Star may not be the biggest, newest or glitziest of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, but it is the Little Ship That Could! We found the crew to be positive, engaging, friendly, and accommodating from top to bottom. We attended the ... Read More
The Star may not be the biggest, newest or glitziest of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, but it is the Little Ship That Could! We found the crew to be positive, engaging, friendly, and accommodating from top to bottom. We attended the Meet and Greet given by the officers and heard from all of the major departments on board, all were very keen that we bring any concerns to them. I complimented the Food and Beverage lead about how they are now putting Vegetarian and Gluten Free symbols on the menus in the main dining rooms (which he told us was rolled out about 6 months ago), which was very helpful for our party. The buffet had all the food you could ever want, the two main dining rooms were elegant with adequate choices, the specialty restaurants provided that something extra in terms of food and service. Our cabin was large enough for the time we spent in it, and our room steward Joe was super sweet. Shore excursions were just what we wanted and needed. Never had to look too far to find an available lounge chair on deck, which has been an issue on previous cruises. The greatest compliment I could pay is that I would immediately get back on board and do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was my third sailing with Norwegian after cruising on the Escape and Getaway. I was a little worried that the ship would be too small and that there wouldn't be enough activities on board for our two teenagers. The teens had an ... Read More
This was my third sailing with Norwegian after cruising on the Escape and Getaway. I was a little worried that the ship would be too small and that there wouldn't be enough activities on board for our two teenagers. The teens had an amazing time at the Entourage Club and made a large group of friends that they hung out with the whole cruise. I found the Star to be a wonderful ship for many reasons. First off, embarkation out of the San Pedro port was VERY fast and so easy. The friendly staff on board the ship continually went above and beyond. Secondly, it never felt crowded to me. There were always lounge chairs available and never had to wait long at bars for drinks. In fact, waiters actually came around and took drink orders which is something we rarely experienced on the larger NCL ships. DINING (Gluten Free Perspective I'm going to start by saying that the dining was way better than the other competing cruise line that we've sailed on three times. I have a NCGS (non-celiac gluten sensitivity) and it's always a worry that I'll experience symptoms while on vacation from accidental exposure. This was the BEST NCL experience I've had as a gluten free cruiser. Every evening they had a special diets coordinator named Valan come and meet me at dinner to take my order for the next evening. Usually on cruises they forget to do this or I have to make a special trip to MDR to place the order myself. I did not have to do this and Valan always knew where and when I was dining and found me to bring me the menu. We ate at Moderno, Sushi Bar, Teppanyaki and Le Bistro and I never had a problem ordering something that I liked. My youngest son celebrated his 15th birthday and they even made a special gluten free cake so that I could enjoy it as well. I never asked for this and it was such a thoughtful gesture. I had to eat lunch at the buffet a couple times but I just asked to speak to a chef and he pointed out all the options that were safe for me to eat. I never experienced any gluten exposure symptoms the entire cruise. Most of the Indian food options (except bread of course) were always safe and were very delicious! We did eat at the Topsiders Grill a couple times but I'd be careful if you are celiac as the mayo and condiments in open containers were definitely contaminated with bread. We just ate the burgers with lettuce and other veggie but again be careful if you are super sensitive as the tongs may come in contact with bread. We also ate at O'Sheehans for both lunch and breakfast. They do have gluten free bread if you ask but the hashbrowns are not GF friendly because of the fryers. My husband and boys are not gluten free but both my mother in law and myself are and we had no problems. Amost all requests were accommodated with ease. Food takes a little longer as it is prepared in the allergy free kitchen but it's always come out fresh and tasty. My husband is SUPER critical about food and a bit of a snob and he commented on how the food was really good on this ship and we only had a few things that were mediocre. ENTERTAINMENT and ACTIVITIES We enjoyed seeing most of the shows on board the Star. We saw Paradis, Band on the Run, a comedy act, and an Acrobatic show with a husband/wife team and their son. All shows were enjoyable and the costumes were incredible! We also did karaoke and merengue dance lessons. We enjoyed the live music throughout the ship. I did book a Thermal Spa pass at Mandera Spa. It was very uncrowded but a little small. I still enjoyed it but I didn't use it as much as I would have liked to. The gym is a little small and is missing equipment like kettle bells, slam balls and medicine balls that other ships have. It does have a lot of cardio equipment but the weight lifting area is so tiny and gets crowded. The group classes were a little pricey in my opinion. I personally don't feel $20 for a 30 minutes class is a very good deal but if you book a class pack (only offered on the first day) you would save money if this is something you are interested in attending more than 3 times during the week.They at least have a gym but it is not the nicest one I've used on a ship. I was happy to find out that they recently added a Spice H2O to this ship with two hot tubs. I liked that it was covered by an awning but if you wanted sun you could go up the stairs to the helicopter pad for lounge chairs. We also enjoyed the Sky High Bar at the top of the ship because you could listen to the music and enjoy the views. We went up here on a sea day with family traveling with us to play some card games. We enjoyed all the bars on the ship but we particularly we enjoyed Sky High, 5 O'Clock Somewhere and Bliss Ultra Lounge. We were disappointed that the Sugarcane Mojito bar had very limited hours and didn't open until 5:00 but you could order your drinks to go and take them with you to enjoy poolside. SERVICE Our cabin steward did a great job cleaning our room each morning and turning it down for us at night. We rarely saw him or talked to him and he really didn't go out of his way to introduce himself to us. This doesn't really bother me at all and is really just an observation and comparison from previous cruises where the steward went out of his way to talk to us. Our cruise director was Dingo Dave and he was a fun guy. I would see him around the ship and he came to our Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. They had a very entertaining Meet and Greet and all the officers introduced themselves and even gave us their numbers to reach them. They were all very funny and it was nice meeting other cruisers from this forum. As I mentioned earlier, the staff was very accommodating and friendly. We did run into two staff members (O'Sheehans and Versailles) at the end of the trip that were a little grumpy at first but after making small talk with them and joking around a little bit, they came around almost instantly and they were smiling and happy. The staff members all work so hard and I always give a little grace and extra smiles if they seem to be having a tough time. I can only imagine what they deal with on a daily basis. PORTS This was my first Mexican Rivera cruise and I enjoyed all of the ports. We don't typically book our excursions through the cruise line. We go through reputable outside websites and find the excursions less crowded, less expensive and more personable. We went to the Marriott in Puerto Vallarta for a day pass. It was only 650 pesos and 500 of those pesos go toward food and drink. It was a beautiful hotel and not too far from port maybe 10-15 minutes. In Mazatlan we booked a city tour and the guy gave us like an extra 2 hours! It was awesome. We went to Tabascos Beach Club in Cabo and it was uncrowded and they had 2 for 1 drinks for about 145 pesos. My in laws ordered breakfast and it was huge and they said it was delicious. We had the beef nachos and they were so good. I ended up getting an hour massage for $35 and my husband and son rented a jet ski for $40. You can totally haggle on prices with them. I would do this itinerary again because we enjoyed all these ports so much. SUMMARY The Star has had a brand new makeover and she delivers on friendly above and beyond service and a relaxed fun experience. If you want things like rock walls, water slides, mini golf and ropes courses then this would not be a good choice for you. If you want an uncrowded ship with relaxed activities, delicious food and friendly service the Star provides great value and an enjoyable smaller ship experience. 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
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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise for a unique 8 day cruise to the Mexican Riviera that included a 4th port in Ensenada. Thar star is a great ship that was just updated in 2018. Every area of the ship is beautiful! This is our 3rd cruise with NCL and I ... Read More
We chose the cruise for a unique 8 day cruise to the Mexican Riviera that included a 4th port in Ensenada. Thar star is a great ship that was just updated in 2018. Every area of the ship is beautiful! This is our 3rd cruise with NCL and I rank this as the best overall. We loved the cabin and felt is was very roomy for two. The ports were all very nice and we had excursions at each port that were all fun. Our cabin steward Tan was the best one we have had yet! He was very prompt and never missed a beat going from the daily cleaning to the turn down at night. We enjoyed the shows and by far our favorite was "Band on the Run" but we saw some show every night and they were all good. The food was alright but I felt it had changed a bit from our last cruise. In fact a couple different servers in the specialty restaurants commented that there had been recent menu changes and some of the old items had been discontinued. The buffet was always good to have for breakfast but we never ate dinner there. You could always find a table relatively easy as well. I have to also mention that service was slower at almost all the restaurants that what we encountered on our other cruises.It wasn't bad but just caused us to miss the first show on three separate nights when we started at 5:30 PM. Our favorite excursions were Salsa Salsa and Luxury Beach Resort and well worth the money. One of our favorite things about NCL is the Thermal SPA areas and we bought the access again here. It is absolutely worth the money.We spent time there every day. It included a wet spa, dry spa separated in the women's and men's rooms and the shared pool and hot tubs. The quiet areas at the corners were great for reading and almost always vacant except a couple people.We also got a couple's warm stone message and it was awesome! For the first time we also enjoyed the pool area and the stair stepped pool levels were very nice. I am sold on NCL and will continue to sail with them and I highly recommend this ship and itinerary. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with ... Read More
Since I live near the Port of Long Beach, the terminal is only about a 15-20 minute drive. Plus, the price was right for a four night cruise. I had never cruised with Carnival before and wanted to give it a shot. Having cruised with Disney, I didn't come in with the highest of expectations. The ship is older (one of the oldest in Carnival's fleet) and it shows. The main entertainment venue is a lounge--style theater instead of the more-modern broadway style. There are no speciality restaurants (this is made up for with upcharge options at dinner and chef's table). The ship is showing its age, but Carnival has appeared to have kept it in ship shape during dry docks. Hopefully the next one will bring some new life. I was in an upper/lower birth cabin. Having this does give you a little more room, since the bunk leaves more space. However, I'd have preferred this configuration with a balcony or even an ocean view. Unfortunately, Inspiration's balonies are only in suites. That said, no complaint on the room. It served its purpose well and was clean. Dining on the ship was amazing. We had anytime dining. Had the same server team 3 of 4 nights. The food was amazing. The "rare finds" are worth a shot each night. There is a nice mix of poultry, pork, beef, fish, and vegeterian/vegan items. On Sea Day, I did the brunch and the filet mignon melted in my mouth. The flat iron steak from dinner came very close to melt in mouth, but was tender and well flavored. The chefs know how to cook. I also loved the desserts, especially the banana cream pie. The Lido Buffet does a new theme each day, which is nice. Plus, you can't beat a Guy Fieri burger. Main show entertainment was pretty good, but given the loung style seating, I tended to just watch from the back on deck 9. I preffered the comedy acts the most in the Punchliner. BT was a riot and I went to two of his shows. Service was amazing. Carnival has hired a great diverse crew for this ship, from crew to staff to officers and everything in between. If you want great service, I have found cruises do it best. I'd most certainly recommend this cruise and I'm eager to eventually cruise with Carnival again. They are truly the Fun Ships. Warning to those who want the upscale experience, Carnival is not for you. If you like a relaxed, casual, fun atmosphere, this is the cruise for you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We live in the Pacific NW and a quick trip down to LA and then to Mexico sounded like the perfect antidote to winter. We really enjoyed our cruise on the Emerald and except for a few small issues had an absolutely perfect time. Th e only ... Read More
We live in the Pacific NW and a quick trip down to LA and then to Mexico sounded like the perfect antidote to winter. We really enjoyed our cruise on the Emerald and except for a few small issues had an absolutely perfect time. Th e only issues we had is that the lock on our stateroom ran out of battery power, which took about an hour to fix. The other issue is that our experience in Matzalan wasn't everything it could have been - the "City Highlights tour" that we took we would not recommend as the city highlights seemed to include mostly street vendors who could be somewhat aggressive. We had an amazing time in Puerto Vallarata where our snorkling trip turned into a whale watching expedition as they seemed to be everywhere in the bay. Our special thanks to the crew of Emerald who went out of their way to look after us, make sure we got gluten free food, and in general made us feel like part of their families. We highly recommend this cruise, this ship and this line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Friends have been touting the Princess Line to us for several years and we chose it on a whim. The size and old refined elegance of the ship was impressive. The food was outstanding and the service was exemplary. Only negative of the ship ... Read More
Friends have been touting the Princess Line to us for several years and we chose it on a whim. The size and old refined elegance of the ship was impressive. The food was outstanding and the service was exemplary. Only negative of the ship was the entertainment; the atrium piano player who sang show tunes, was okay for a while, but he then became overpowering and annoying. Also, we wish there was a venue of performers that sang/performed other types of music, like jazz or blues. We dined in the DaVinci dining hall and thoroughly enjoyed our waiter Heuerto and assistant waiter, Evalinda. The variety of menu options was good and suggestions from wait staff were on target with our culinary desires. We did not take any excursions offered by the cruise line but chose to go off and choose our own. The groups were smaller and we could tell tour guide exactly where and what we wished to tour, plus it was less expensive. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to go to the Mexican Riviera, especially Mazatalan and Puerta Vallarta. San Francisco was chilly when we departed, but always breathtaking sailing under the GG bridge. Princess new pier is terrific and embarkation was quick and ... Read More
We wanted to go to the Mexican Riviera, especially Mazatalan and Puerta Vallarta. San Francisco was chilly when we departed, but always breathtaking sailing under the GG bridge. Princess new pier is terrific and embarkation was quick and slick. Because it was cold during transit, we hung out a lot at Crooners bar. The martinis were delicious but the bartenders and wait staff were the best I ever experienced. Our cabin, a balcony, was quite comfortable. The bathroom was very functional with adequate room. Our room steward was quietly competent. We chose the traditional dining option. Food was excellent every night and the wait staff was the best I ever had in 12 cruises. The afternoon English PUB Lunch was really yummy and a nice change of pace to the buffet. Exceptional service and great food is what you'll get on Grand Princess. Every member of the crew was happy and eager to serve! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We have cruised before and like Princess. This cruise exceeded our expectations. The ship was miraculously clean and looked great. Yes, it's not new, but that wasn't an issue. Boarding in San Fran was the normal controlled ... Read More
We have cruised before and like Princess. This cruise exceeded our expectations. The ship was miraculously clean and looked great. Yes, it's not new, but that wasn't an issue. Boarding in San Fran was the normal controlled chaos, though I am disabled, but not in a wheel chair and was not accommodated. On the ship and excursions staff were more than happy to assist. I got the feeling that folks really liked their jobs. Our steward was great, as were the wait staff at the traditional dining which we prefer. There were only 3 production shows. We miss them. They did have other shows with magicians and comedians that were good. Our cruise was 10 days. The first 3.5 were sea days, then 4 days of ports, followed by 2.5 more sea days. I like the sea days, while my wife prefers ports. So, we had the best of all worlds. The trend still continues with folks not dressing for formal nights, but that's OK, we do. We mostly took time to relax and enjoy as we usually do. I will say that the dining room food was FANTASTIC! The buffet was good too, with hot foods hot and cold foods cold. I'm not a great fan of the "good" deserts being behind glass where one has to ask for them. I was a great fan with the speed of waiters getting drinks. None of the ports was more than we expected, so we weren't unhappy. We prefer the eastern part of Mexico to the western. All-in-all, this was a great cruise which we recommend. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise because it left from SF and fit into my travel dates, It was a good value for the money, exceptional food and service, good accommodations and fun times on board. I would take this cruise again. Shows and onboard ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it left from SF and fit into my travel dates, It was a good value for the money, exceptional food and service, good accommodations and fun times on board. I would take this cruise again. Shows and onboard entertainment were very giood, staff were very friendly and helpful wherever we went. The ship is showing its age, but this did not detract from the experience. Variety and quality of food, especially in the dining room was top notch. Crown Grill food and service was exceptional. We used the fitness centers extensively and jogged around the promenade deck at 3 revolutions to the mile. Itinerary was good with six sea days and four port days. A good mix of passengers was on this cruise. We did enjoy the onboard shopping and port shopping. Waiters, Room service stewards , bartenders , and service staff were exceptionally friendly and responsive. We had a great experience and will try other Princess cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this crews for a group of 48 , because it was a good value for the money , and most of the group was from the west coast. Port in Long Beach the best. very well ran , and really no wait at all. Got to cover the bad first ... Read More
We chose this crews for a group of 48 , because it was a good value for the money , and most of the group was from the west coast. Port in Long Beach the best. very well ran , and really no wait at all. Got to cover the bad first , them give the praise. Bad Excursion though Carnival I do think Carnival should make sure that tour guides they use, do not have there own agenda. We were really upset with the Mexican Fiesta excursion booked through Carnival. It was a tip, tip, tip and then tip some more excursion. We counted 10 times we were expected to tip. We also were directed to a store called Joy Jymmys for a "honest jewlry dealer". We brought a ring , the opal cracked before we could even get back on the boat. We tried to go back to the store , but they were closed. we called , but they did not answer, we have sent emails to no avail either. Dont shop there. The Cruise was very nice though, The MDR Staff was great, We were able to tell that they had reduced the amount of waiters assigned to each table, but we like dinner to take a while so we were happy with that. Tables were often not cleaned off as quickly on the Ledo, as I have seen in the past. But Carnival has kept the prices down. Still the best for the money. Lee the cruise director was the best ever. very involved and funny. The entertainment staff was good as well, learned our names. The Clue Game was fun, and the Adult "quest" is the most I have laughed in a long time. I hope other Carnival Cruises offer the quest. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Second time on Ruby and just as great as the first time. Everything was excellent. Embarkation/ Debarktion was great and we were on and off the ship and through the terminal both times in 30 min or less. The crew was great, the food in MDR ... Read More
Second time on Ruby and just as great as the first time. Everything was excellent. Embarkation/ Debarktion was great and we were on and off the ship and through the terminal both times in 30 min or less. The crew was great, the food in MDR was great, buffet was good but it is a buffet so don’t expect 5 star food. Room steward was wonderful and very on top of things. We love MUTS and we watched Bohemian Rhapsody on this cruise which was great on that screen and with the sound. We took my wife’s parent on this trip and it was there first cruise and all they could do was rave about the ship and the quality. As soon as we got back they started talking about booking more cruises immediately. We had a wonderful time! We love Princess and definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a premium cruise without the premium prices. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Good value, right length, many sea days. We had a wonderful time. Minor complaints are that a coffee card is fixed price, and no longer able to be carried forward to Future cruises. It does not make sense to spend $31 dollars for a coffee ... Read More
Good value, right length, many sea days. We had a wonderful time. Minor complaints are that a coffee card is fixed price, and no longer able to be carried forward to Future cruises. It does not make sense to spend $31 dollars for a coffee card on a five day cruise when you cannot carry it forward. They either need to allow you to carry it forward, or sell it at discount for a short cruise. The TV seems locked into "video tape" mode in our cabin, and there was no way to change it. This should be remedied. Despite these shortcomings, we still had a wonderful time. Excellent service from everyone on board. Great embarkation, great debarkation, wonderful service in the dining room and from our cabin steward. Cruise director Natalie was always upbeat and made the voyage a real pleasure. Food was excellent, we will travel with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
What an amazing experience we had! Embarkation – We drove to San Pedro from Phoenix. Started out around 0330, a couple of gas and restroom stops along the way. We did not have a hard time finding parking at all. We parked right ... Read More
What an amazing experience we had! Embarkation – We drove to San Pedro from Phoenix. Started out around 0330, a couple of gas and restroom stops along the way. We did not have a hard time finding parking at all. We parked right across the terminal building. We got there around 0930, sat inside the terminal and waited until about 1030, when they started processing passengers. The staff were very helpful and after about 30 minutes, we were onboard this magnificent vessel! The cabins weren’t ready yet, so we went to the International Café to eat, and soon after went to the Lido deck to check out the buffet. We also went to look for our Muster Station. At 1300, an announcement was made that the cabins were ready. We headed to our cabin, put up my door decorations, then after about 10 minutes, our luggage arrived. Cabin: The room was bigger than I thought it would be. Our Oceanview was unobstructed, so we were able to look out our big window and that was so awesome! The bed was comfy, and our Steward Johnny M. was absolutely amazing! He accommodated my requests throughout our stay and always greeted us with a smile. We requested for 2 robes and got them, too. I would definitely recommend bringing an air freshener, though, because there’s no vent in the bathroom. Food: I really don’t understand all the negative reviews about the food here! They were all excellent. We dined at the Horizon court, Salty Dog grill, Slices, Michaelangelo, and Da Vinci. We opted for Anytime Dining, but never waited more than 5-10 minutes for a table. True, sometimes we shared a table with others cause the wait line for tables for 2 were about a 20 minute wait and we were in a hurry to watch a show. Well one night, we enjoyed the company of our tablemates that we didn’t even make it to our show. It was so fun to get to meet others. Their selections were excellent, and I often found myself ordering two appetizers and two dinner plates, which hubby and I shared. The desserts were also great, not too sweet. Our servers were amazing as well – Noni G., Ferdie A., Samuel E., Roy, and a slew of other great staff. The receptionists always smiled upon greeting all the guests. Horizon court – you usually have to walk through to find an open table, but so many others were willing to share their table with us, and we did the same when we had extra seats. I had asked for a special fish sauce and staff got it for me two times from their own staff kitchen. We did not do any Specialty Dining, nor order any specialty or alcoholic drinks. The only thing we spent money for was Gelato, and that was $1.50 for three scoops (oh, and a souvenir magnet). Now where can you go and find gelato for that price? Also, the coffee and specialty coffee they had like fraps, mocha, etc, the prices were not that expensive. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised at how low they were priced. They looked really yummy. We didn’t order them, though, because I’ve always been fine with just water and the occasional iced tea (which was good, too). On our last day, we ordered lemonade and regret not doing that earlier during our cruise because the lemonade was very good! Shows: We watched almost all of their shows, except for the country shows. We attended both auditions for The Voice of the Ocean, and that was a lot of fun! Yes, get there about 20 minutes early to get good seats, just like you would at any other show. The Cruise Director and her staff really put on good shows. Activities: We didn’t travel with children, but we signed up for Discovery @ Sea Planetarium, and that was a good experience. Sign up early so you don’t run out of the limited space. The times to sign up will be on the Patter. We also attended a Stargazing session, and it was amazing! We went to the very top of the ship and got a lecture about the solar system. Movies Under The Stars: This was my absolute favorite! All the movies shown were fairly new. Heck, I even went even though I’ve seen the movie! Staff was going around offering pizza. There were flannel blankets to keep you warm. Excursions: At Cabo, we booked the pirate ship snorkel excursion. That was great, too. Their excursions are very well organized. We got tickets to all 3 excursions on our first night. It told us where to meet, what time, and any special instructions like clothes to wear or bring. At Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, we did the city highlights tour. I thought it was a great way to see Mexico. Lots of art. I would say that the only bad thing was the street vendors trying to sell you their goods, but that is expected of all tourist spots. Disembarkation: We set out our luggage on the last night. We got a newsletter that told us where to go at a particular time. That went smoothly as well! I can hardly wait for our next cruise on the Ruby! I am a fan, and I know you will be, too. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Excellent costumer service, great entertainment, friendly personnel, nice facilities and a lot of more good things to say... I had a lot of fun at the onboard activities, every day I enjoyed the performance of the mariachi band “Los 3 ... Read More
Excellent costumer service, great entertainment, friendly personnel, nice facilities and a lot of more good things to say... I had a lot of fun at the onboard activities, every day I enjoyed the performance of the mariachi band “Los 3 Brillantes” & the Walker Black Duo at night, and they were amazing. “Los 3 Brillantes” played many of puertorrican popular songs; they made me feel at home. Every time that Mario Lee Gonzalez saw me around welcomed me saying: 'La Boricua" or "Puerto Rico" that made me feels really special. Walker Black Duo played all our songs requested and I was surprised when I hear James Dulin playing and singing "Oye Como Va" a Spanish song it was impressive, this gentleman play the guitar just like Santana, also he used Spanish phrases while he was performing other days that was a plus and Angela delight us with her beautiful voice and grace. Angelo our room attendant kept our room impeccable all the time and our favorite waiter was Jose Lezama during the day and at night was Leidi Cuesta they were simply amazing. These vacations were absolutely unforgettable; thanks to the entire Princess Cruises crew for making it so memorable. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Enjoyed the warm weather. The Ruby is our favorite ship. Staff is friendly and professional. Relaxing in Skywalker with a book, sipping wine in The Vines or drinks in Cooners... so enjoyable. There is always a game of Trivia in one of ... Read More
Enjoyed the warm weather. The Ruby is our favorite ship. Staff is friendly and professional. Relaxing in Skywalker with a book, sipping wine in The Vines or drinks in Cooners... so enjoyable. There is always a game of Trivia in one of the clubs... testing the memory and brain... lots of laugh. One can always be entertained with people watching or the activities the crew has on the fifth deck. If one forgets to pack a book there is always the library. Movies movies and more movies... whether Under the Stars or in ones cabin... the latest movies are offered. For fun and shopping... the twice a cruise big sale... reminds me of a sale at Macys...lots of deals! The shopping in stores... one can find almost anything one forgot to pack plus souvenirs. Oh the ports... entertaining and great shopping. Give me a cruise on the Ruby... 100% great cruising! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I have cruised about 6 times before. Been on this same Mexican Rivera itinerary for most of those... Splendor was the best!! The staff on this boat was without a doubt THE BEST cruise staff I have ever had. Yes, the decor is pink. But ... Read More
I have cruised about 6 times before. Been on this same Mexican Rivera itinerary for most of those... Splendor was the best!! The staff on this boat was without a doubt THE BEST cruise staff I have ever had. Yes, the decor is pink. But is that REALLY why you cruise? Because you need to see a certain color on the walls?!? I appreciated the "older" decor. I liked that the rooms and areas were more themed, and less of the streamlined modern look. Lee, the cruise director was one of the warmest and most exciting cruise directors we have ever had. We walked right on at embarkation since we had fastest to the fun! (Highly recommend that!) Our cabin was ready at 11:30am! My kids (ages 9, 8, and 2) LOVED camp carnival. They couldn't wait to get in there every day. Masimba was their favorite staff member there. He even wrote my youngest an extra special note when we left. We ate at the Steakhouse and enjoyed every bite! My kids very much enjoyed the sandwich station at the back of the boat. The movie nights were super fun! The kids loved being in the pool and watching some of their favorites :) I loved the splendor and booked a second cruise on it :) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our second cruise on the Splendor. The first time was on the east coast going to the Caribbean. We enjoyed the Splendor both times. Our family of 5 flew to California 2 days before our cruise. The day before our flight, one ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Splendor. The first time was on the east coast going to the Caribbean. We enjoyed the Splendor both times. Our family of 5 flew to California 2 days before our cruise. The day before our flight, one of our daughters slipped on ice and broke her ankle in 2 places. The doctor said she could still go, but could not put any weight on that foot and had to wear a boot. The airlines provided a wheelchair from our car to the plane and we rented a wheelchair for Disneyland the day before our cruise. We also rented a wheelchair for cruise. We spent two nights at the Best Western Plus Convention Center Long Beach. It was a very nice, clean hotel at a great location. The free breakfast was very good! The hotel was very close to the port. Embarkation was the quickest ever. We were on the ship less than 30 minutes after we entered the terminal. It was a very pretty terminal. Our room steward Adi did a great job. He was the friendliest steward we have had since the last time on the Splendor. He did a good job keeping our room clean. I asked him to clean our room mornings but to make sure we had enough towels and washcloths in our bathroom every night. He was a very hard worker. Our servers in the Gold Pearl were excellent. We had Tutut, Pratama and Iryna. They were so nice and also very hard workers. We had the best service from them than any other cruise. We always had our desserts before the servers did showtime. The food was also very good! My husband said all his meat was cooked perfectly! I never had to wait in long lines on the Lido deck and I never saw any long lines. I guess I timed it right because even at the Mongolian Wok, I was first in line one time and 3rd in line one time as they opened. We didn't go to shows but my husband did hear a few minutes of one and said they were very talented. Lee was definitely the best cruise director as most people say in the reviews. He was great! During the talk about excursions at the different ports, Lee drew names for prizes throughout the hour. Our daughter with the broken ankle won 2 free excursion tickets. She gave them to her sister and brother because the excursion was not for people with mobility problems. She was happy to give the tickets to them. She just wanted a t-shirt from her brother. They really enjoyed the excursion in Puerto Vallarta. We are glad Carnival has live musicians playing throughout the ship. We prefer that in the theater shows instead of the Playlist. We had 2 spa balcony rooms. It was very quiet on our floor. We ate on the Lido for breakfast and lunch except for one day when we went to the dining room for the sea day brunch. It was very good! The pink that a lot of people complain about did not bother us. I imagine they will change it though when it moves to Australia. The beds were the most comfortable we have had in years. I started out in one. Our daughter with broken ankle started out on the sofa bed the first night. I thought it would be easier for her to get in. In the middle of the night, she decided she wanted to change to my bed, so we switched. She was having a lot of pain. I ended up letting her have it for the whole cruise. She needed to be as comfortable as possible sleeping with the boot on. They do need to improve those sofa beds. We are Platinum and enjoyed the free laundry. We also liked the Carnival throw blankets that were given this cruise. We chose to carry off our own luggage. With the wheelchair, we bypassed the long line going out and went right to customs. I appreciate how helpful the Carnival crew were with our daughter being in the wheelchair. Thank you Carnival for another great cruise! Read Less

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