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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was an award to employees of my wife's healthcare facility. I had to pay my own way... We don't have any frame of reference. As a man, I know this may sound strange but I don't like large, tight crowds or high ... Read More
This cruise was an award to employees of my wife's healthcare facility. I had to pay my own way... We don't have any frame of reference. As a man, I know this may sound strange but I don't like large, tight crowds or high stress/high anxiety situations. Initially, I was kind of reluctant about going on a cruise and having to deal with wall-to-wall people. We drove to Long Beach from Phoenix and spent the night on the Queen Mary. As a first time cruiser, I thought it would be more stressful than bording an airplane. It wasn't! We got to the terminal early, they had a convienient parking garage nearby. We walked over to the exit of the parking garage and there was a gentleman collecting luggage for the cruise. I had pre-printed my luggage tags and attached them so I just left my bags with him! Easy peasy! We hung out in the sparse terminal for about 30-45 minutes. They started bording early, (we were in the 1:00-1:30 bording group) and we borded around 11:30. We relaxed until our bording group was called and we went up the ramp and borded the ship. Again, low stress! We borded the ship, were directed to the Lido deck for lunch and only had to kill time until our room would be ready at 1:30. We grabbed lunch, a drink and explored the ship. When we got to our room, our ID cards were tucked in behind our room # badge. We grabbed them, stuck it in the door and it opened. All we needed was luggage. I had noticed luggage carts near one of the elevators on our floor so I went down there and found our luggage, (they would have brought it to our room but we wanted our bathing suits!). From there on, it was smooth sailing! (No pun intended). We didn't have any expectations since we'd never been on a cruise but, I have to say, it was a riot! The party in the atrium every night was a lot of fun! I enjoyed seeing so many people having fun together. We saw a 70's and 80's show, a Motown show, two atrium parties, had an nice dinner, went to a, "Tase of Mexico" excursion in Ensenata to learn a couple of Mexican culinary staples as well as some tequila! (Margarita's while making food then 6 shots of tequila when learning about tequila). There were other excursions but we live near Mexico and the the towns don't vary much so we weren't interested in shopping. Our excursion was within walking distance of the ship so we walked back after our excursion. All in all, I only have a couple complaints. For first-time cruisers, you have to get to know the schedule for on-ship events. Also, there is a new schedule that is put out for each day of your cruise. Some are duplicates, some are different. We'll know to get a new schedule every day on our next cruise. Second, I never received any tickets to the excursion we paid for. I only had the receipt that I paid for it. They asked me for my tickets and I didn't have any! I figured they could get it off my "cruise card". No bueno. We got around it and they wrote a, "duplicate" pass but I didn't know I needed tickets. We're both 60-ish and like to relax in a kid-free environment. Don't get me wrong; we knew there would be kids on the cruise. They have an, "adult" area with two small hot tubs and a bunch of lounge chairs. That's fine. Except, they NEED MORE hot tubs and chairs! The chairs were always full and so were the hot tubs. This adult retreat needs to be bigger. On the Lindo deck, the hot tubs were always full of kids, surlely pissing them. I also thought the pool was quite small considering the ship holds 2000 people. These are minor complaints... Lastly, my wife and I like comedy shows. They had comedy shows every night. The problem was, the early shows, (9:30) were PG rated to accomodate kids! We would have to wait until at least 10:30 or later to see the adult shows. I think, if you have adult comedy, they shouldn't' have to dumb down their act to accomodate kids under 12. Give them their own show in a different room with, oh I don't know, Mickey Mouse telling Minnie Mouse jokes. What I'm saying is, when you're 60 and get up for work everyday at 3:45 AM, trying to stay up until 10:30 to accomodate children is not what I've worked for, for 45 years! I'm still giving the Inspiration 4 stars overall. We've already booked an October cruise, hoping there will be fewer kids.The whole experience was fun, enlightening, easy and memorable! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
For a family of 7 it was the right price. Boarding was easy and quick. We were able to grab a seat by the pool, take a dip in the pool and made our way to the wonderful buffet. The kids (4 of them) favorite part was of course the ice ... Read More
For a family of 7 it was the right price. Boarding was easy and quick. We were able to grab a seat by the pool, take a dip in the pool and made our way to the wonderful buffet. The kids (4 of them) favorite part was of course the ice cream. My mom and sister's favorite part was getting coffee delivered to the rooms. The only downside was the kids zone for ages 13-14 was always closed. the other two age groups would be open. Both of our shore trips were great. We took the glass boat tour in Catalina and the Gold Coast Tour in Ensenada. We came along the devils home right outside of La Fonda where we stopped to take a stroll on the beach, get a free drink and eat some great chips and salsa. My mom is a huge Steven King fan so she enjoyed getting a closer look at the creepy home. Our tour guide was great. Our dinner staff was great and the entertainment was great. Wish they would extend the time for family kaorake and comedy shows. they were kind of short. It was kind of hard to enjoy the over 21 hot tubs when the 13-14 year club was closed so we had to be surrounded by the teenagers who invaded the hot tubs on the Lido deck vice enjoying their club that was open..... The food was awesome. everyone tried something new..... From alligator fritters, braised rabbit and frog legs. Plus the endless seafood on the menu. The only true bad thing about the cruise the pricing of the pictures. it was insane how expensive they were. Other cruises offer a great bulk pricing but Carnival doesn't. Spent over 150 for 10 pictures and left a lot of great pictures on the wall. But overall it was a awesome cruise. Thank you for a great time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This review is mostly about the food the first couple days because that and my family is my true passion (and the Yankees lol) This was the 4th cruise my parents have taken my family and my brothers family on. We were 10 strong. ... Read More
This review is mostly about the food the first couple days because that and my family is my true passion (and the Yankees lol) This was the 4th cruise my parents have taken my family and my brothers family on. We were 10 strong. Embarkation was the easiest we have ever had. The long beach port was great. We arrived early around 11:30am from our drive from Phoenix in case we had any problems. We had trouble parking because the parking garage was not yet open because the spots were all taken by the cruise returning. They wanted to give me a flyer to park off site and take a shuttle back. I was not cool with that since we specifically came early to avoid that. I drove back around to drop off the luggage and family and asked the porter for advice. He said he thinks the lot would be opening up in a few minutes and to drive around a little and try again. By the time we unloaded the bags it was 5 till noon and I was able to take the curve to the left of the parking garage into the entrance to park. There were still very few spots but my brother and I both got spots. After that it was a short wait to get to security where they briefly checked identification and the kids birth certificates. Then they directed us to the open bag check x-ray person and in less than 20 minutes we were through security. We were on board in less than 30 minutes from the time we parked! Took the tips of other reviewers to go to to deck 10 to the BBQ. They were right! It was almost empty up there and paradise for myself who is not fond of crowds. We were a party of 10 and got 2 big tables which was great because we had all our carry on bags. Tried the BBQ beef that was the only food on deck 10 with some Kansas city Guy Fieri sauce. It was wonderfull. Very tender like it came out of a crockpot. (Tried it again a few days later and was inedible so you results may vary, but the pork was very good) Then we headed downstairs to the buffet. Went to the burrito station and had them make me a shrimp, rice, and bean burrito. My little 8 yr old Ryan asked for chicken and cheese and the guy was like that's it? They had tons of addins but he's a picky eater. We headed back upstairs to the rest of our family. Halfway up I turned to Ryan and said do you want me take your tray? I thought it might be too hard for him to navigate the stairs with his food. He said no and we continued our ascent. After passing the top step I turned around to see a proud look on Ryan's face that he cleared the stairway, except he didn't. He tripped on the last step and his tray went flying. I wasnt sure if he was ok. He wasn't. He was crying and holding his hand. He hurt his middle finger. When I looked at it I saw that already it was bruised and looked like it was crooked so I was sure it was broken. They asked if we needed assistance and I said I think so. We ended up icing it down. Thankfully the pain improved and it was not broken. Later that night I looked at the middle finger on his uninjured hand and it was more crooked than the hurt one! He's double jointed so I guess that's why his finger looked broken to me. Eventually after catching my breath from all this and getting cake and cookies for Ryan instead of lunch I was able to have the shrimp burrito and it was very good. Would get that again. Sat sea day brunch. I had eggs Benedict with hollandaise it was very good. Ryan had 12 hour French toast that was the thickness of 5 or 6 slices of bread! It was great and came with some dried peaches that were also great. Wife had pancakes with some kind of ricotta topping that wasn't great SUN night was one of the best if not the best cruise dinners I can remember. For those who don't know you can order as much as you want in the dining room. I typically order 2 appetizers, 2 entress, and 2 desserts and usually dont finish any of them unless its really great. Ths was the first of 2 elegant night where you dress up/ I started with the Mushroom bisque. It was creamy and wonderful. My brother Paul got blackened pork tenderloin appetizer on a crust with kale and cheese. He let me try it and it was SO great I had to ask for one. By the time I got it, I was already done with dinner but still ate it because it was fabulous. Best thing I've had on the cruise. I had the lobster tail which was bigger than I thought it would be. It also came with 3 large grilled shrimp that were very good. It was served over mushroom risotto which I didn't care for. I also had the sea bass. That came well after I was done with my lobster entree and I was so full but had to try it. It was terrific! I ate the whole thing. WHAT A DINNER! The second elegant night was Thursday night and it was also excellent. I started with the crab cakes and they were the best I can remember having outside of Baltimore. Very good crab flavor. I wish I ordered 3 and just had it as my entree. I also ordered the stuffed mushrooms in a tomato cream sauce and that was also very good. For my entree I got the fillet minon, but I wasnt in love with it so ate very little of it which was good because I was already full by the time it arrived. Some other dining room foods I enjoyed were the 2 different flatbreads, The brisket, Mac and cheese with bacon, eggs benedict, Hot apple pie and baked Alaska. We didnt do any paid excursions, but instead did our own thing and it was great. Cabo San Lucas: Theres no place for the ship to dock so you have to take a tender to get off the ship. The day before they hand out tickets to get on the tender quicker. We waited in line for 30 minutes to get on the boat an hour quicker so not sure it was worth it. I would go earlier next time maybe 20 minutes before the scheduled time. We took a water taxi tour before lunch. My brother bargained the guy down from $20 per person to $15. He was really great took us all around to many places and took a ton of photos of us at the famous arch before finally dropping us off on Medano Beach. Told him to return for us in 3 hours. We walked 5 mins down the beach to Omega Sports Bar and Grill. The Office is the most popular restaurant, but I had read more than a couple reviews of people getting overcharged so I was not going there. Omega was great. They had a very large hut covered seating area so we enjoyed lunch and beers out of the sun. After lunch our kids played in the ocean while we relaxed closeby. My wife enjoyed a very tasty mango margarita. I had a couple of beers. For lunch I had the special of 2 fish tacos and a beer for $6. It also added one beef taco. They wee all very good. Ryan got pancakes which was so beautifully presented I had to take a picture. It was served along side with mango, banana, cantelope, and pineapple. Our captain was right on time picking us up. Mazatlan: This was probably my favorite port. Wish we got off the boat a little earlier because we ran a little short on time. We started by walking the blue line which was not easy to find. After you exit the port on the street look for a volunteer in a blue shirt. They will point you across the street to a side street where the blue line starts and give you a map. We took that most of the way until we broke off to go to the market. Its vendors for a square block. The prices were just so cheap it was hard to bargain. I bought really nice shot glasses for gifts that were 4 for $5. I had bought a similar one in Cabo for $4 that he was asking $5 for and refused $3. After shopping we took a large pickup truck taxi to the ferry to stone island. It was only $10 for the 10 of us and it was a 5 to 10 minute trip. We gave him $15. The ride to stone island was also very inexpensive 35 pesos a person roundtrip which is about $2. Save your ticket to return later. We walked awhile to try to find the beach and were unsuccessfull. Ended up taking another pickup truck and he only charged us 50 pesos for all of us or $2.50. We gave him 100. It was quite a ways from the ferry so i dont recommend walking. We went to Letys for lunch which was very good and right on the water. I had shrimp skewers which came with a very good dark pineapple sauce. I also asked for a shrimp dipping sauce on the side which was very good, but didnt come until I was almost done eating. The water was wonderful and warm even though it was overcast and only about 84 degrees out. Water was pretty cold in Cabo so this was a nice change. After taking the water taxi back we couldnt find a taxi large enough to take us to the cruise port and didnt want to split up so we walked. Bad idea it was a far walk. Take a taxi. Puerto Vallarta: Started our day by crossing the street and going to Walmart. Awesome souvenir section! I bought magnets, tshirts, shot glasses, picture frames, and a photo album. Ended up spending over $100, but really got a great value. Since the ship was so close and we had 12 hours in port we smartly decided go put everything back on the ship rather than lug it around all day. After leaving the ship the 2nd time we took a left outside the port to the bus stop with a bench. After a few minutes we got a bus that said Centro. Its only 10 pesos a person or .50. The last person pays and must have exact change in pesos. I told the bus driver the street I wanted to get off on because I had a plan to get some street tacos. Highly recommend the bus over the taxi it was great both ways. I had trouble finding the exact taco stand I wanted, but there were many and the one we stopped at was great. Tacos Mi Esperanza on Calle Constitución. You can find it on google maps and its accurate to where it is. They were great and did speak enough english for us to get by. They let my 12 year old neice help them press the masa into corn tortillas and they gave all of the 4 children some dough to play with. Everyone had Chicken or Beef quesadillas and they were very good. Really felt like we were experiencing mexico there. After that we walked 5-10 minutes tp the Malecon (Boardwalk). That was really nice. We had perfect overcast weather around 85 degrees. We walked over to Cuates y Cuetes to make a reservation on the beach for dinner. Walked around a couple hours and then came back. Had a great dinner on the sand. Beach vendors did get a little annoying coming by every 2 minutes, but still had a great dinner. I had mixed fajitas with shrimp, beef, and chicken. Our waitress Dana was terrific and spoke very good english. She helped get us a couple blocks north of the Malecon back to the bus stop. Jumped onto the bus that said Walmart for another .50 and it got us back in about 25 mins. Disembarking was pretty quick. My brother got us tickets the day before so we could get off earlier, but it didnt matter much. He got baggage tag 6 and they ended up calling 6-10 right after they got done calling all the people with carry your own bags off. They never even checked our ticket to get off, but its possible if you had a higher number and got off early that your bags would not be off yet. It moved very fast and they called us around 940 to get off and we were in the car by 10:10. We stopped for gas about an hour into our return home to Arizona and my brothers car wouldnt start. Jumping it didnt work either. We went to Autozone a few minutes away and bought a wrench. Returned back to take out the battery and luckily it was dead. We replaced it and were on our way. Good thing we were driving together or it would have been very difficult. Great cruise had a wonderfull time with our family. Very thankfull to my parents for taking us yet again and having terrific memories to last a lifetime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary. First time cruisers! We flew into Long Beach airport the morning of embarkation on Jet Blue (love this airline...most leg space I've seen in coach!) Took Uber to ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary. First time cruisers! We flew into Long Beach airport the morning of embarkation on Jet Blue (love this airline...most leg space I've seen in coach!) Took Uber to the port, stopping at a store to pick up our sodas/wine/champagne along the way. Our check in time was schedule at 1 PM. We arrived around 9:45 AM and were able to chat with some the passengers coming back from the cruise before us after having the port steward take our luggage. Once they opened up the building where we could check in, we sat back and relaxed. I believe after 11:30, they started to allow people to board based on the zone # given to each stateroom group. Easy to board and the buffet and bars were open on Lido deck. Unfortunately, awhile after 4 PM when we were scheduled to depart, they started announcing there were issues with the engines they were working on. Around 5 AM the next morning, they pulled us away from the port to allow another ship to dock while they were waiting for the tech from Miami to get there. No casino, no onboard shopping allowed due to not being in international waters. We were finally on our way just before 3 pm, with an adjusted itinerary dropping the Mazatlan port due to lack of time. Cabin 6409: Balcony room, queen bed and 2 pull outs. Well worth the upgrade as I spent several hours out on that balcony over the course of the trip as it was shielded from the wind and I could be close to my husband who had to rest frequently. Only 1 outlet which is outside the bathroom, so bring a power strip. Bathroom was cozy, but definitely doable. Every shower ended up with water on the floor of the bathroom, even with the curtain inside the bottom lip. Dining: We ate at the buffet, deli, and burger place, as well as the Black Pearl dining room. The food was really good in the buffet the first couple days. Enjoyed the omelette bar the most for breakfast. The buffet desserts looked amazing first couple days and the second to last day. Seemed like they didn't try so hard to impress on the other days. The Black Pearl was really good food and the staff were great! The deli was my go to. Entertainment: Cruise director Lee was amazing! I was impressed with how well he dealt with the frustrations caused by the delay! Never saw him off his game once...24/7 always sharing the positive points and what events were available. The entertainment staff were talented. Wished I would have taken the time to see more of the productions. The movie nights by the pool were great picks! Bingo was fun. Art auctions, so-so, but I'm not into that stuff much. Hot tubs were luke warm, just slightly warmer than the pools it seemed. Would bring our kids next time if we come back as there seemed to be lots of kids enjoying themselves at the kids/teens clubs Service: Our steward Sandi was awesome! I am amazed how he remembered our names and would call down the hall to us by name as we were out and about, just to see how things were going. That's personal care! We didn't buy any beverages on the trip, but saw the bar staff walking around, advertising the mixed drinks regularly. The DJ was great! Didn't like the slight overlapping of events. Ended up missing out on the beginning of events a few times. Cabo San Lucas: we bought a lunch to go, took a water taxi around the arch, then were dropped off at a beach. I had my own snorkeling gear, so saved money that way and saw some colorful fish. Were picked up on time and had time leftover to walk around and explore right around the port. Puerto Vallerta: Waited until last minute to get a shore excursion on board and ended up getting the last 2 tickets to a bus taking people to a beach. Were dropped off in front of Si Senor restaurant, sat down on some lounge chairs, and my husband enjoyed a 2 hr foot massage for $50. He loved it!!! Water was nice and warm but not scuba diving quality.Too many vendors hocking their wares. Got old quick. Nice time to just lay back and relax.... Got back to port early, so went across the street to the mall and walked around and shopped a little. We had a late departure due to a couple of drunk passengers slowly walking back over a half hour late. Mazatlan: Oh wait...that was canceled due to the engine trouble. :( Shopping: They advertised a coupon book to use at the ports as well as on board. $25 for the book and a ticket in the drawing for a prize. Waste of money if you ask me. Didn't use any of the coupons. There were plenty of coupons, but only a few for each of the ports. Many other ports, including Caribbean, were in the book, so might be worth while if you go on other cruises within the upcoming year.Also included a few postcards. I ended up passing it on to people going on the cruise after us. Spa: I hate paying a lot for a massage.... but did it anyway. Pretty good. Recommend going cheaper route and getting it done off the ship while at port. Deembarkation: Turned in our luggage the night before we left so we didn't have to lug it around after 8:30 AM when we had to be out of the stateroom. Had breakfast at the restaurant as we pulled into the Long Beach port. Very organized process and went smoothly. Took Uber back to airport, checked in our luggage to Jet Blue 6 hrs prior to departure, then took bus into the city of Long Beach for lunch to pass the time, then back to the airport. Compensation: $50/person on board credit, Mazatlan port expenses refunded. I, as well as many others, were pretty disappointed with the low $ compensation due to losing a day of the trip and missing one of the 3 ports. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise and definitely enjoyed it! I would give the staff service 5 stars as they always took care of us at all times! The Cruise director kept everyone informed and the passengers entertained every day. We were not ... Read More
This was our first cruise and definitely enjoyed it! I would give the staff service 5 stars as they always took care of us at all times! The Cruise director kept everyone informed and the passengers entertained every day. We were not impressed with the food but overall dining was good. The room was very quiet, clean and the bed was really comfortable. (Deck 4 cabin R195) We really enjoyed all the live music playing throughout the cruise. Lady Red at the Piano bar was a favourite! The bartender's were very tentative and professional. I loved the Spa Salon. Not something I normally do but ended up going twice to get a blowout special by Alexander S. Be prepared for bad weather, thankful I had warm clothes and we missed out on Catalina Island but it was for safety. Definitely can feel the rocking at times but we wore a patch and never felt sick. Embarkation and disembarkation went fast and smooth. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this cruise to experience of the remodel Royal Princess. We have sailed this itinerary several times, so main purpose was to enjoy the cruise. This was a Medallion ship and the embarkation was the smoothest I'm had. Just ... Read More
We booked this cruise to experience of the remodel Royal Princess. We have sailed this itinerary several times, so main purpose was to enjoy the cruise. This was a Medallion ship and the embarkation was the smoothest I'm had. Just walk up to the scanner, show your passport and on you go. Also, embarkation started very early which gave us more time on the ship. The entertainment was overall one of the best I've seen. Food selection and quality was good but not exceptional, had a disappointing experience at Sabatini's. Service was great all around. The casino was disappointing. They try to put too many slot machines in a small space, leading to trouble getting in and out of the area. There was an actual cigar lounge on the ship. It was a little small and got crowded sometimes, but a comfortable place when you can get a seat. Overall the cruise experience was good. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked the April 28 Pacific Coastal in October 2018. Then my husband suggested doing this Mexican Riviera cruise on the Bliss so we could experience a B2B. We cruised on the Bliss for its first Pacific Coastal last September and said ... Read More
We booked the April 28 Pacific Coastal in October 2018. Then my husband suggested doing this Mexican Riviera cruise on the Bliss so we could experience a B2B. We cruised on the Bliss for its first Pacific Coastal last September and said that we would love to cruise on her in hot sunny weather and this was our opportunity. Since we booked a sailaway inside cabin only a month prior to the cruise, we had few flights to choose from and flew from YVR to LAX on the day of the cruise for the first time. We booked the NCL transfer from LAX to the pier. As it turned out, we arrived before noon and were on the first bus to the pier, arriving shortly after 1 p.m. The embarkation line was short at that point and with Platinum status we were aboard shortly thereafter. The sailaway inside cabin had been assigned the day after booking. We were already booked in a sailaway balcony for the Pacific Coastal on deck 13 forward, and our sailaway inside on this cruise was also deck 13 forward. We became very familiar with the long walk to these cabins, but other than that, no problems with location. Our cabin was a "family inside" and it was difficult to imagine four people in that cabin. The main issue was storage, as the closet is not large and shelves are few. The side table (with shelves) from my husband's side of the bed wouldn't fit between the bed and the wall so we put it into the closet and used it for shelving. Love the little shelf above the head of the bed and the USB ports, this was perfect for charging phones, batteries and devices. Well thought-out. The bathroom was exactly the same as in our balcony cabin, plenty of room. Our steward was very attentive, he introduced himself when we arrived, asked if we wanted ice (which we did, in the evening) and was always polite, cheerful and engaged when we met him in the hallways. We had two complimentary dining venues with Platinum status and chose Le Bistro and La Cucina. Both meals were perfect. For La Cucina we ate on the waterfront after our day at Puerto Vallarta. We were at LeBistro on our final night of the cruise, fairly late, and enjoyed speaking with a cast member of Jersey Boys and the assistant production mgr who persuaded us to book Prohibition on our next cruise. Jersey Boys is incredibly well done. I said to my husband and the cast member that we met that I almost forgot that I was watching entertainment on a cruise ship, I felt that I was sitting in a land-based theater, everything was so perfect - the moves, the music, the sound, etc. Britain's Finest was exactly that, we went to every performance that our schedule allowed on both cruises, front row if we could. Enjoyed it so much! We did this itinerary on the Star in March 2018 so we only booked an excursion in PV, rather inexpensive $25/person, which was a tour of old town, but unfortunately ended up at a restaurant up in the hills away from town, where we paid for our meals (some folks were unprepared for this). This as it was not mentioned in the description. In fact, the description mentioned a final stop in the Zona Romantica and we didn't go there at all. The beginning of the excursion was not well-led, as the large group almost ended up crossing the street to Walmart because our guide was nowhere to be found. On the Star last year, NCL used Tropical Tours for all the excursions we went on, and those guides and drivers were excellent! This year's tour was not. In Mazatlan, we did our own thing, had a pulmonia driver take us to the Starbucks in the Golden Zone and drop us off, then we walked back along the Malecon to Old Town where we got another pulmonia back to the ship. An awesome day! We are a couple in our 50's travelling on our own. We expected Spring Break to be over, but were told SoCal had spring break at that time. Many local families on board, we avoided the buffet which had many families with strollers and teenagers on their own. We ate at Taste and Savor for lunch every day, we don't really care for the same menu at lunch every day. We had a few dinners at Manhattan Room, we arrived when it opened, but found it very slow. Most large groups book tables here and if they are being served, it seemed everything else slowed down. We relaxed quite often in the Observation Lounge and enjoyed everything about it, especially the bar in the evening, the bartenders are awesome, especially Genie! We did the Platinum ship tour and enjoyed it very much, loved meeting the production manager, she was great. We did a Carnival cruise with family this year and noticed the difference in the entertainment, dining experience, service, the list goes on. We hope that NCL doesn't try to cut corners to the level of a Carnival experience, we much prefer NCL freestyle. We love the Bliss and the itinerary and would do it again. We also love the Jewel class. Looking forward to another cruise on NCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Choose the ship due to look and activities available. There was never a dull or boring moment on board, my grandson had the best time he is 3 years old but was trying just about everything, we mini golfed, he went swimming, he went to ... Read More
Choose the ship due to look and activities available. There was never a dull or boring moment on board, my grandson had the best time he is 3 years old but was trying just about everything, we mini golfed, he went swimming, he went to splash academy, we listened to music, went to see Jersey Boys, watched movies and just had a great experience. cannot wait to do it again. The crew was very attentive and just amazing, the food was unbelievable especially the day had Jamaican food. My grandson and daughter made new friends. My grandson loved all the attention he as getting from the crew. I would recommend this ship to friends and family members. Norwegian Cruise line is the best line I have been on so far. This was our 3rd time on NCL and cannot wait to do it again. Claudia from Canada. Dining was amazing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
BAD: Hot tub from 2decks above balcony was over flowing on my friends balcony Room near ours (hard for me to believe this never happened before. Crew was very good trying to take care of it but she never was able to even sit on her ... Read More
BAD: Hot tub from 2decks above balcony was over flowing on my friends balcony Room near ours (hard for me to believe this never happened before. Crew was very good trying to take care of it but she never was able to even sit on her balcony for fear of getting chlorine hot tub water all over them) Terrible and it was pouring at times Clumps of bacon at breakfast on the haven restaurant. The assistant Maitre-D (Garry Velez) was mortified and spoke to the chef.. They were very nice but even on the last day - clumps of bacon again. I would expect more from the Haven Cagneys Restaurant waited 1 hour 40 minutes for main course dinner. We had apps first and that came out in a timely fashion but wait was horrible - we did say something and they apologized sveral times. The smoke alarm in the cooking area was going off for a good 10-15 minutes - we did tell then about that as well and it was finally shut off Were they not going to shut it off hadn't we said something. Steak was a thin porterhouse like u get at sizzler. I would expect more from a specialty restaurant we have to pay for. Food at haven for my friends daughter plain pasta was ice cold but plate was hot. We have video of it. It was a joke the rest of the cruise. Again this was in the Haven restaurant and we did make the chef and Garry aware. AGAIN, they apologized. Lamb chops were ice cold in the haven restaurant, AGAIN - I don't know whats going on up there but it definalety was not great this time. Very disappointing for us. Light in closet in master room of 2 bedroom suite constantly stayed on. They replaced bulb and the door is the issue not the bulb. This happened in her room and ours. They fixed it finally after the 4th day and after my husband put tape on the door every night Toilet in kids room not flushing. Broken. Told them on 2nd day - this was in room 17110 - by the last day, that toilet still had a delay flush No hot water in master bath last 4 days of cruise. This was my friends room. Spoke to numerous people Who said they fixed it and they clearly did not. Complained every day about it On Mazatlán port day we stayed on ship. No one in haven pool area to change towels on chairs. No pool towels available. Had to complain in order for someone to fix it. Refrigerator in our room was constantly leaking they had to keep cleaning it. Fixed by 6th day When you get out of haven hot tub, everyone been cutting or bruising themselves by the artwork above it. The bottom sticks out above the staircase the way it is situated. My husband left shoulder was bruised because of it. We booked 8 people go karts - double - so all 8 of us can ride together - its only 4 times around the track on doubles and 8 on singles. Not only was it $9.95 per ride but when we got there we were told one car was broken so only 6 of us could ride together we were disappointed but it was still fun. I would rather a ship that has a sports complex like basketball etc for the kids. GOOD: Winshor Baslan - was our stateroom steward. He was excellent. Even better than the butler. Tried to take care of all the issues for us as well. Knew my kids by name, made amazing animals for us with the towels. He was even better than we had last year on the Escape Haven. Just the nicest person Q Restaurant was our best night - no complaints. Food was good. Service was great. Music and entertainment were on point. Great night Shows - Havana and Jersey Boys were excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we traveled on the Jewel 2 years ago and heard about a new boat being built. We love this route as it's an easy one for us to make work and 7 days is just about the perfect cruise length for me. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we traveled on the Jewel 2 years ago and heard about a new boat being built. We love this route as it's an easy one for us to make work and 7 days is just about the perfect cruise length for me. The boat was definitely fresh and new but didn't have that WOW factor we were expecting. Our balcony stateroom had to be the smallest one we've ever had, on NCL and other lines. There seemed to be space wasted in the stateroom, in the name of decorating? The sliding door out to the balcony was framed in oddly, making for stubbed toes! There was a lot of movement (we were on Deck 14), even on days when the ocean was very calm. With that movement came lots of cracks and snaps and noises all night long. I can't imagine being on this boat in really bad weather! The dining rooms were very elegant. The food was good but not spectacular. The entertainment was fun but nothing special, other than the Beatles cover band in the Cavern. Staff was very friendly and mostly attentive. There were a couple of very slow servers but you'd find that anywhere! I was amazed at how they could remember our names and what we were drinking almost immediately! Also, there was a bit of a communication problem at times due to the noise at the pool, or in the atrium at game times and the fact that most workers didn't speak great English. Will we travel with NFL again? Most likely yes, just not on this boat! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise went from Los Angeles to three ports in Mexico and back again to LA. We have taken about 25 cruises with Princess and many with other cruise lines. We have also done this itinerary many times with different cruise lines from ... Read More
This cruise went from Los Angeles to three ports in Mexico and back again to LA. We have taken about 25 cruises with Princess and many with other cruise lines. We have also done this itinerary many times with different cruise lines from San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. EMBARKATION Immediately after picking up our two bags at the baggage claim area, we found the Princess representatives nearby and were told to leave our two large bags with them and follow a representative to the bus. We walked with her and were handed off to a couple of other guides during a walk of about a mile to reach the bus. Fortunately we are in fairly good health and the walk did not bother us. Some of the other passengers were having problems. Luckily it was not raining or we would have been soaking wet by the time we reached the bus. The ride to the ship took about 45 minutes. When we reached the check in area, we were escorted to the elite line and the check in process went smoothly. There we received our Medallions, which replaced the cards usually used for room keys and charging items purchased on the ship. The Medallions have other uses, but we did not explore those. CABIN We were onboard by noon and the cabins were not yet ready, so we had lunch at the lido restaurant on Deck 16. About 1 PM they announced that the cabins were ready and we went down to unpack our carry-on bags. We had room C309 on deck 10. I had a small bath with three shelves on one side of the mirror for storage of personal items. There was a stall shower and toilet. The bath was more compact than on other ships and moving around was difficult. Outside the bath were a dressing area and a large closet between it and the sleeping area. There was also a very small closet with shelves and a safe between the bath and the larger clothes closet. The sleeping area had a queen bed, a dressing table with several drawers and two night stands. Each one had two drawers and a storage shelf. There was a reading lamp on each. Across from the desk was another cabinet with a small frig. Outside was a tiny balcony with a table and two chairs. There was a large, flat screened TV hanging on the wall opposite the bed. The cabin seemed clean and comfortable. Only the floor showed stains on the carpet. Our cabin stewardess greeted us soon after we arrived at the cabin. FOOD We ate most of our meals in the main dining room, but also had some in the lido restaurant. The food in the main restaurant was fair to good. I had prime rib the second night and it was tough and somewhat tasteless. The fish dinners were usually good. There was a noticeable lack of vegetables included with most of the dinners. A typical fish dinner would have the fish placed on top of risotto or succotash with no vegetables. One night I had one slice of potato and a few julienned carrots. For those wanting more vegetables, I would suggest a salad before the main course. The service in the main restaurant was somewhat slow the first two nights, but improved as the week progressed. The waiters were always pleasant and efficient. The food in the lido restaurant was usually tasteless, which is normal. The quality is also not a good as in the main restaurant. There was a good selection and several types of themes were followed. We noticed Mexican several times and one night they had Bavarian food. This ship has a serving area that we have not seen before. There were several lanes running across the ship from side to side with serving areas on each side. Even though the ship had over three thousand passengers on board, there was never any problem getting to the food items. One lane had only desert items. These were very tasty and well prepared and presented. The first day we had hamburgers with fries at the grill near the pool and they were very good. I also had a slice of pizza one afternoon and it was fair. We have had poor luck at the specialty restaurants in the past so avoided them on this trip. The gelato at a cafe on a lower deck was good and the price was right. Two large scoops for $2.10 and they were enough for the two of us to share. ENTERTAINMENT We don’t care for the productions shows put on by Princess, so we usually avoid them. We did see one on this trip and it was just so-so. There was a good comedian who did two shows, one in the Princess Theatre and one in the Vista Lounge. A singer, Lou Gazzara, did two shows and he was quite good. He apparently was on the Idol TV show 17 years ago and now lives and works in Las Vegas. A married couple did a comedy/magic show one night. Unfortunately, they were not funny and the magic was boring. They used people from the audience several times and the tricks were drawn out far too long. Overall, the shows were better than on other Princess cruises we have taken in recent years. One afternoon, we watched a movie in our cabin. There was a large selection of movies and TV shows available on demand. This is a new feature we have not seen on other Princess ships. OUTER DECKS We primarily took this cruse to see the ship. This was the largest Princess ship we have ever been on. At 142,229 tons it was impressive. The interior décor was very well done. We often stay onboard when the ship is in port and use the pools when there are far fewer people around than on sea days. We look forward to swimming in the enclosed pools, because we both are easily sun burned. However we were surprised to learn that this ship did not have one. There is one pool in the center deck and one forward near the Sanctuary area. Neither is covered. VIBRATION The ship has serious vibration problems in certain areas. Mostly it is on lower decks and from the center of the ship to the rear. My wife was in a store on a lower deck and noticed that some watches in a display case were vibrating severely. While she stood near them a glass door on a nearby display case shattered and glass fell all over the floor near her. Thankfully she was not injured, but the glass could have caused serious problems. We went down to the area several hours later and the broken glass was still all over the floor of the shop. We also noticed the vibration while in the dining room on deck 5. Our cabin was towards the bow on deck 10 and the vibration was not as serious up there. We only noticed this problem on one other ship about 25 years ago. DISEMBARKATION On the last morning of the cruise, we went to the Vista lounge, which is the area where Elite passengers wait to leave the ship. The Captain’s Club representative was there to assist in the disembarkation process and did a very efficient job of announcing the departure time for the various groups. We left the ship a little ahead of schedule and were escorted to the bus. Unfortunately, it was another walk of about one half mile to get to the bus. Once onboard everything went fine and we were checked in at Southwest Airlines and off to our waiting area within minutes. The flight back to Sacramento was quite bumpy and the attendants were therefore unable to serve any refreshments. SUMMARY It was an enjoyable cruise with quiet seas all the way down and back. We were surprised that the weather in Mexico was actually cooler than we were having at home in northern California. We expected it to be hot, but most of the time it was overcast and cool to warm. On the two days returning from our last stop in Puerto Vallarta, it was very windy and too cold to enjoy any time on deck. We had one unfortunate experience while on board. We returned to our cabin one morning and found the floor to be soaking wet near the bathroom. I was afraid a pipe had broken so my wife sought the cabin stewardess and was told she had knocked over a bucket of water onto the carpet near the bathroom. She said she had tried to soak up the water with towels, but it apparently did not work. She made no effort to take other measures to clean up the mess. We immediately called the head of housekeeping and asked to have a wet vacuum brought in to remove the water from the carpet. We then left to spend the afternoon at the pool. When we returned, nothing had been done and the floor was still wet. My wife got on the phone to housekeeping and we also went to the front desk to ask for a cabin change. We were told that no cabins were available, but a supervisor was called to the front desk and he made arrangements to have a dryer brought to our room. Unfortunately, we had to stay in the room for several hours while the dryer was going, because we had to leave the door to the balcony open and did not want to leave the cabin while it was open. We had to cancel dinner reservations given to us as a perk by Princess at the Italian restaurant and were unable to get a decent time on another night. We were very surprised that the problem was not attended to without our intervention. We suggest that anyone having a similar problem should immediately get in touch with someone at a higher level. Don’t leave it up to your cabin attendant to clean up the mess or it might not get done. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We had sailed on the NCL Getaway last year so we knew what we were getting into; however, this was during Spring Break time and the ship was very crowded. We are a senior couple and have pretty much decided that if the ship has a water ... Read More
We had sailed on the NCL Getaway last year so we knew what we were getting into; however, this was during Spring Break time and the ship was very crowded. We are a senior couple and have pretty much decided that if the ship has a water slide and race track on the upper deck that it probably wasn't for us. With that being said, the ship is beautiful. Because it is so new everything is great. We both felt the entertainment was below par, and again, because it was during spring break we couldn't get into some shows because they were booked long before we got on the ship. We like to collect art so we went to several art auctions, as well as some specialty dining experiences. We have been on this cruise with other ships so we are very familair with the ports, so we picked this cruise more for the ship and not the ports. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We took this cruise in 2015 and as it was our first cruise we enjoyed the cruise experience and were totally satisfied. With our second cruise on the same ship we noticed some degradation in quality, especially in the dining experiences. ... Read More
We took this cruise in 2015 and as it was our first cruise we enjoyed the cruise experience and were totally satisfied. With our second cruise on the same ship we noticed some degradation in quality, especially in the dining experiences. There seemed to be less staff to bus and clean tables on this trip. The food was mediocre at the buffet, much better at Guys Burger and the delicatessen. Pizza advertised as pan pizza definetly was not and had a coat of flower on the bottom, crust was dry and thin and crispy. We ordered a complimentary Ceasar Salad it was horrible. Did not resemble a Ceasar in any way. The dressing was a tasteless milky substance and we refused to eat it. Room was clean and well tended by Mega, who was very friendly and attentive. Slight odor in bathroom. Cabin windows needed to be cleaned on the outside. Entertainment facilities were well used and fun, the mini golf area had been renovated since our last visit. Shows were fun and lively. Staff throughout the ship was friendly throughout the ship; although, it seemed far fewer spoke adequate English on this cruise and was often difficult to communicate with general staff. The two excursions we chose were fun and informative, great value. Overall a fun experience and we still consider the cruise full of positive memories. Read Less
R&R
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Since we've been to all these places more than twice and have cruised to the ports more than twice. This cruise was strictly for R&R and my hubby's birthday, where the only thing you worry about is getting dressed to eat and ... Read More
Since we've been to all these places more than twice and have cruised to the ports more than twice. This cruise was strictly for R&R and my hubby's birthday, where the only thing you worry about is getting dressed to eat and see one of our favorite cities again (PVR). The medallion is something new where we were lead to believe it's a way of communicating with your friends and family on the cruise with you. It still has a few kinks to it, like ringing, or notifying you that you have a message. For you to know you have a message, you have to constantly look at the app for your messages. Other than that service is always the best the food wasn't as I expected. I've had better on other princess cruise lines. Purchased specialty dining at the Crown Grill for the hubby's birthday, but was not very exciting as I thought it would be. This specialty dining on this ship I'm giving it a thumbs down. Even the service wasn't as good as it should be. We should've stayed with our usual dining and probably would've had a better time and service with our usual waiters. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted to get away for a short cruise so went on this 7 day to Mexico on a Medallion class ship. The medallion level isn't what is cracked up to be. Where as your embarkation is supposed to be faster, I saw no difference from my ... Read More
We wanted to get away for a short cruise so went on this 7 day to Mexico on a Medallion class ship. The medallion level isn't what is cracked up to be. Where as your embarkation is supposed to be faster, I saw no difference from my Elite Priority Boarding. They need to get staff up to speed on this new Medallion boarding, example: We preregistered on line by scanning passports and photos, yet we had to produce our passports 3 times when once would have been adequate. The upgrade of the TV system is excellent when it was working, was down 3 out of 7 days and why they would only have 4 episodes of Love Boat is beyond me as Princess Cruises has always touted their affiliation with the Love Boat series. They should have all of the episodes available. The ones they were displaying were the same ones we had on our Japan Trip last year. The food was not what we consider 5 star, the beef being served in the dining room and buffet was tough and tasteless. My experience in the dining room was excellent (waiter was very attentive) and for the 17th time I did not get assigned to the table with the correct number of passengers, ask for four got two. The 2 production show were superb especially the one with the guest vocalist. The comedian was horrible. , . The disembarkation was was flawless was fast and efficient. Princess air and transfer was excellent, best prices and easy to book, have used it several times and have never had a problem. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
By way of background, this is the 3rd cruise my wife and I have been on and second with my 11 year old son (my wife and I took a short Carnival cruise nearly 15 years ago, and our family sailed on RC's Enchantment of the Seas this ... Read More
By way of background, this is the 3rd cruise my wife and I have been on and second with my 11 year old son (my wife and I took a short Carnival cruise nearly 15 years ago, and our family sailed on RC's Enchantment of the Seas this past summer). We had a good time on this cruise, but have come to the conclusion that the extra money you pay for the Disney name probably isn't worth it for us. Cruise was a 5 night Mexican Riviera cruise with stops in Cabo and Ensenada. I should probably also mention that as Southern California residents we've grown up with Disneyland and have made a few trips to Disneyworld, which we love. I wouldn't say we're Disney fanatics, but Disneyworld is definitely our favorite vacation spot. Ship: We liked the layout of the ship, particularly the fact that it was a manageable size. It rarely felt overly crowded. A few parts of the ship (like the main theater) look a little dated, but the renovated areas like the kids' clubs and adult clubs (the pub, the Azure theater) look good as new. I liked the decor of the lounge areas, particularly the Crown and Fin pub. Dining: Eating in 3 different dining rooms was cool. The changes of scenery were nice. The food was underwhelming. A few dishes were really good (like the sea bass at Tiana's), but in general the dishes weren't as good as they looked in the menu descriptions. Service was fine, not exceptional. One thing that would frustrate me was their insistence that the main server present you with the dishes, which often meant food would be brought to the service station and sit there getting colder while the main server was attending to another table. This would happen despite the fact that the head waiter or assistant server were available to serve the food. I was tempted at times to just go and get my own food from the station while it was still warm. Cabanas buffet had decent options and we didn't have too much trouble getting a table. I was more impressed by the service in some of the lounges, where the servers quickly learned what you liked to drink even if you weren't a very regular customer. We ate brunch at Palo, and while the food was very good the service was surprisingly slow. Maybe it was just our server. If I sailed with Disney again I would probably dine there again. Entertainment: We went to most of the major shows. "Frozen" is an excellent show. Matt Baker (juggler/stunt performer/comedian) was great in both his family and "adult" shows. Golden Mickeys had a weak story line and some odd song choices (being on this cruise would make you think "Princess and the Frog" was the most successful film in Disney history. I've never seen it.) We walked out of the magician's show, we just weren't into it. We missed the Enchanted, um, whatever it was. But we heard it was pretty similar to the Golden Mickeys so I don't think we missed out. Trivia and the game shows were definitely highlights. The cruise activities staff were funny and entertaining throughout, and the games were fun. Kids Stuff: Our son spent a fair amount of time at the Edge, and I think he enjoyed it? It was hard to tell. He had no complaints about it, and said he enjoyed the activities. But often when given the choice between doing something at Edge or playing an "adult" trivia game with us (note- they don't seem to enforce the "adult" part at all during the day) he would usually choose to stay with us. He said he liked the counselors. Maybe it's just part of being 11, but it was hard to get much information out of him about the kids' club. He was technically also allowed to go to the Oceaneer Lab, but only went once (he liked the activity, which was science-based). He liked the water slide. Spa/Fitness Center: This was the first time I tried going to a fitness center on a ship. It seemed a bit small (maybe they all are?) but pretty well equipped. My wife and I got a couple's massage at the spa which was nice. The only weird thing was that at one point we tried to go into the massage room from our verandah and found we had been locked outside with no way to communicate with the staff. Good thing neither of us had fallen overboard... I also got the Rain Room pass which had some nice amenities but seemed a bit expensive for what it was. Excursions: We didn't go through the cruise line for either of our excursions. In Cabo we took a snorkeling trip on the Buccaneer Queen, which was cool. It got a little racy at the end when they started pouring shots into people, but for the most part it was a fun trip and the emcee/snorkeling leader was cool. The port at Cabo was fun to walk around once you got past the 5 million people offering you a tour or water taxi. In Ensenada we took a taxi out to Las Canadas Campamento for ziplining and ATV riding, which was my son's favorite part of the whole trip. We practically had the place to ourselves. The zipline/rope bridge course was a blast, and the guides (who were fully bilingual) were nice, very focused on safety and took tons of great pictures with my phone while my son and I did the course. I highly recommend it. Cabin: See review below. All things considered we had a good time, but we came to the conclusion that for our particular family we probably won't sail with Disney in the future. If the cruises were similarly priced then sure, we would do Disney again. But for our family it doesn't make sense to pay a premium for the Disney aspect of the cruise. We don't take pictures with the princesses (which seemed to be happening all hours of the day). If my son was younger then we'd probably consider it, because the atmosphere on the ship is a bit more family-friendly and there are a lot of kid activities. (The flip side of that is that there are a LOT more kids- they are EVERYWHERE on that ship.) But now that my son is more interested in trivia games then taking his picture with Mickey I'd rather save some money and sail with a less expensive line (hopefully with better food) going forward. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We traveled with friends to celebrate my wife's birthday we were picked for the Chefs Table which was very important to her and we all enjoyed the experience very much. We had nice time in all the ports. Dining was nice throughout ... Read More
We traveled with friends to celebrate my wife's birthday we were picked for the Chefs Table which was very important to her and we all enjoyed the experience very much. We had nice time in all the ports. Dining was nice throughout the ship but a little disappointed in the Crown Grill, not up to par at all from past experiences. The ship was in good condition, a few kinks with leaving from San Pedro new pier for Princess. We had a nice time overall. Suites lounge was non existent for embarkation and process was not smooth and Nothing Special for Suites my wife complained, I couldn't care less as long as we get onboard but we pay a lot more for the suites so enjoys it and expects a much better experience. A pleasant surprise was having the Medallion but a little stressful because not expecting it there is a little work required before hand so trying to know which apps and how to download etc. with little information was frustrating and took about to 3rd day to get everything operating correctly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We needed to get away and my husband booked this about 2 months prior to sailing. We were towed by a tug backwards out of San Pedro port. I guess the sship is too big to make a u-turn. The food was what you would find on a typical major ... Read More
We needed to get away and my husband booked this about 2 months prior to sailing. We were towed by a tug backwards out of San Pedro port. I guess the sship is too big to make a u-turn. The food was what you would find on a typical major cruise line: not great, not horrible. My husband calls it banquet food. The only complaint I had was with the scheduling of activities. We had late dining and there were too many times where we couldn't see the production shows, go to trivia, or the game shows because of conflicts with dining. We decided not to get off the ship in Cabo as we don't really like the hassle of the tener ports. In Mazatlan, we took a tour with Flavor Teller and had what the locals refer to as 'second breakfast'. The tour was excellent and the food to die for! I highly recommended Miike (Micah). We took a cooking class in Puerto Vallarta with Cookin' Vallarta where we went to the produce and fish markets with the Chef and then to his home for the cooking lessons and lunch. It was very informative and the food was great!. I also highly recommended Enrique and his hospitality. Embarkation was mainly smooth, although the Ocean Ready signage needs to be better. We were Ocean Ready but didn't see any signs and ended up at a regular check in desk. It took a little longer because of that because they weren't really sure how to handle us. It was probably the fastest and easiest debarkation we've ever had. We had breakfast, and pretty much walked off the ship, got our bags, went through CBP and got to the car in about 10 - 15 minutes. If it was always like this, we would travel more often! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
WE just returned from our Carnival Splendor cruise and really had a nice time! The ship is well worn and needs refurbishment, but after a day I didn't even notice! Our balcony room on the 8th deck was very nice and we loved having the ... Read More
WE just returned from our Carnival Splendor cruise and really had a nice time! The ship is well worn and needs refurbishment, but after a day I didn't even notice! Our balcony room on the 8th deck was very nice and we loved having the outdoor space. It was our first balcony. The food was good, but not fabulous. The best meal I had was the filet mignon. The lobster was good but not wonderful. The ports were nicer than I thought they would be. We signed up for shopping tours with Fernando (which I would highly recommend) and he provided free transportation into all 3 towns and margaritas at Diamonds Intl. After the tour, we were free go to on our own. In Cabo we walked back on the boardwalk thru town back to the ship, stopping for drinks with chips and guac on the way. In Mazalatan, we got taken downtown, which was quite a ways, (free) and after a couple shops we were given a choice of going on a tour of the city for just $20 each--which is a deal! Or going across the street to a hotel where we could sit by the pool or beach for just a drink! We did that and it was better than paying for a beach excursion! In Puerta Vallarta, he took us to the Malecon and after a short trip visiting Diamonds Intl, and a free margarita we went out to explore and have lunch. Fernando was great so I would recommend going with him for free! The entertainment team was fabulous!!! We thoroughly enjoyed the shows, which were Rock type shows. The pianist, Patrick, who played requests from 9-1 was very good so we also enjoyed that. The casino was smokey so we didn't enjoy walking thru it! The service was very good as everyone works hard to please, both the room attendants as well as food service workers. We were just 2 older adults who traveled and we had a great time-better than we thought we would. I would do this cruise again, but I tend to like to see new places. I would definitely want a balcony room , if it was affordable! Nancy Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were three couples trying out the Royal class ship first time as they moved here to our West coast. Embarkation went well even with some confusing information about a late boarding due to drills, we arrived at 11am and were aboard ... Read More
We were three couples trying out the Royal class ship first time as they moved here to our West coast. Embarkation went well even with some confusing information about a late boarding due to drills, we arrived at 11am and were aboard with our elite friends at 12:15pm. The ship is very nice, we liked the larger Piazza and the entertainment was scheduled so that only one band was playing in one area at a time so the sound would not conflict. We did miss the Explorers lounge here, but Wheelhouse was great and bar service very good. We had the beverage package and had no problems getting drinks, however the Ocean Now app is not yet working to order from your lounge at the pool. They did have some servers walking about on the pool decks but you'd have to get your own a lot. The lack of aft pool was missed, but that nice terrace is great back there for breakfast and service was immediate once you sat down getting your coffee and drinks. This buffet is the best at sea that we've seen so far.....just amazing. Entertainment was great, MUTS had good movies, deck party was fun, forward theater worked well for us we never could not find seats for any show. We had anytime dining and made reservations some nights, the staff needs more bodies to keep up with tables. When someone would order a glass of wine it did come within ten minutes or so, coffee always showed up before dessert so they did pretty well. Quality of food we thought was good, prime rib, lobster (got two tails) most of us enjoyed our selections. The meddalian is not working fully yet and we thought is was more of an annoyance at this time...there are tech staff all over the ship working on things. Coffee up in buffet is brewed so did not need to go to IC for good coffee if you like black. We did miss the promenade walking deck for sure, deck 18 is too windy to use some times. Overall we had a great time and would sail this class again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and ... Read More
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and Canadians. Incidentally, we met up with the Cruise Critic roll call members the first morning of the cruise and enjoyed their company throughout the week. Here are a notable features from our cruise: * Great: Crew, passengers, the ship itself, the food * Good: the weather, the happy hours (2nd drink $2 and passed appetizers) * Missing: HAL cats, the onboard ship's band we enjoyed on previous HAL cruises * Also missing: hand-wash stations and sufficient Purell hand sanitizing stations * Fabulous: the Lincoln Center chamber orchestra and the BB King's Blues Club band * Fantastic: the new Humanity dance show with Step One dancers and light show * Always present but not welcome: sales, sales, sales. Spa treatments, cabanas, on-board jewelry shopping, liquor, future cruises, on-shore jewelry shopping, fee restaurants * Excellent: folklorico dancers, guitarist, comedian Tim Kaminski * Fleeting: one show each by truly excellent guitarist and good Elton John/Billy Joel vocalist-pianist * More detail on food: the Lido had tasty food, well prepared, and served by cooks so that there was very little passenger tong handling. The dining room food was creative, inspired and varied. * Off-putting: the drink prices, especially the wines. Just no. Cheapest white $9 per glass for a bottle that retails for $7 and wholesales for $3 * Inconsistency: Smart casual in the dining room: Night 1, a passenger at a nearby table wearing a ballcap in the dining room. Night 3, a warm day and evening, my spouse appears in a collared button down shirt and long shorts, gets sent back to the room for long pants, oops, our bad. But what's this? Seated next to us: a teenaged boy in basketball shorts and shirt. * More inconsistency: 2nd Gala Night: female wearing capris and a t-shirt with words on it, plus a visor; her dining partner (likely husband) wearing shorts, a baggy t-shirt and a cap. * Final inconsistency in the DR: final night, smart casual again, man wearing shorts and t shirt. Not sent back to change. Also: not a warm day, so no excuse for the attire. * Final missing: an atrium that's a gathering place. The Ocean Bar wraps around the small atrium, but the ship simply isn't large enough for a central space with a music and dance floor. However, with that comes fewer passengers and a more pleasant ambiance. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a ... Read More
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a different boat. The Nieuw Amsterdam is not quite as nice as the Eurodam. Of course, it hasn't been updated as recently, so that stands to reason. For the most part, they are almost the same-- same restaurants, same staterooms, same places to spend money. But there are subtle differences. The Nieuw Amsterdam has an identity problem in its decor. Here a little Art Deco, there a little quirky, and over there-- well, the main dining room, it looks like the twin of a fancy Chinese restaurant, all in red and mirrors. It is just missing lazy susans on the tables and a gigantic fish tank. No shark tale soup on any menu, though. So, let's talk entertainment. The blues club-- can't beat it. Fun, great music, great entertainers. The classical musicians-- same same. The pianists, well, I guess others liked them, but they didn't do it for me. Mainstage entertainment-- well, were it not for the parents who decided to allow their children to climb over me (literally) and then sit, screaming, it was pretty good. The first show, all dancing, was creative-- the lights became both a character and a prop, with them dancing with the dancers. It was something I haven't seen before. The second dancing show was okay-- one dancer was significantly better than the others. She was good, she wasn't great. But entertaining enough. The magician played to a packed house. I coudn't see it because there was no where to sit. The few minutes I did, it looked like fun. Dining was hit and miss, but mostly hit. Whoever was in charge of cooking the meat hit a home run each time. Whoever was making the sandwiches needs to learn how to spread butter. Other than that, it was the usual high-quality food we have come to expect from HAL. The main issue we had with the cruise was the behavior of the children. I like kids. In fact, I have spent a lifetime teaching other people's kids. When they are well-behaved, they add a great deal to a social occasion. When they are badly behave, they ruin it. Besides the children climbing on me, then screaming, there were packs of young and pre-teens running around (yes, running,) leaving pool towels in the elevators, using the adult pool, several times, complete with floatees to jump onto, splashing the guests, shouting and jumping into the whirlpools. Our complaints seem to fall on deaf ears. And then there is the cell phone issue. Ours were on airplane mode the whole time. And yet we were charged for their service. So, we enjoyed ourselves. But we do feel like HAL has a few wrinkles to iron out. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Except for embarkation the cruise was very well done. The Royal Princess is a beautiful ship in great condition. It did not seem nearly as large as it was. The executive lounge for suites was great. Breakfast in Sabatini’s for suites ... Read More
Except for embarkation the cruise was very well done. The Royal Princess is a beautiful ship in great condition. It did not seem nearly as large as it was. The executive lounge for suites was great. Breakfast in Sabatini’s for suites was great. Club class dining was very good with only one bad experience. We eat early and there was never a wait for a two top. Service was outstanding. For regular anytime dining there was a wait for early dining. We had no problem getting lounge chairs around the pool ever. The gym was large and no wait for equipment. There used to be bridge on Princess cruises but not on this one even though there were 3 days at sea. We were surprised by how nice Mazatlan was. It was beautiful and local guides were great. Best internet speed on any ship we have been on. Easy connection too. Shops on board do not offer good value. Macy;s prices on Effy jewelry is cheaper than “sales” on board. If Princess can solve embarkation problems at the San Pedro Port of Los Angeles it is a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We lorikeet the Mexico 7 day cruise for the convenience and price. The weather is always perfect and this time the ocean was completely smooth for the entire trip. The ship is giant, the buffet is huge and the crew were all friendly. The ... Read More
We lorikeet the Mexico 7 day cruise for the convenience and price. The weather is always perfect and this time the ocean was completely smooth for the entire trip. The ship is giant, the buffet is huge and the crew were all friendly. The new medallion system was interesting but not fully implemented for our cruise. I hope that the new screens and WiFi will help eliminate the excessive paper usage on the ship. The spa was disappointing, it would be nice if you weren’t always pressured into buying expensive products. Also, there are only 3 small pools. One 3’ deep circular pool, a five foot deep rectangular pool just next to it and then another rectangular pool that was for adults only on the back of the ship. On one port day only the circular pool was open and it was extremely crowded. It would be nice if a ship this large had one more pool for everyone to enjoy. The kid center was brand new with all of the updated activities. Our son (8-12 group) said some of the staff were impatient but it wasn’t enough of an issue to deter him from going. Overall we had a great time and would definitely go on this itinerary and ship again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We sailed on the Wonder 10 years ago with our then 1 year old and had the most glorious time. We had since cruised on both the Fantasy and Allure of the Seas, so it’s interesting to compare experiences. The Wonder feels very small ... Read More
We sailed on the Wonder 10 years ago with our then 1 year old and had the most glorious time. We had since cruised on both the Fantasy and Allure of the Seas, so it’s interesting to compare experiences. The Wonder feels very small compared with those larger ships. I love that it’s quick to get anywhere on board. We never felt particularly crowded except around the pool. We all felt the ships movement much more than the larger ships but overall I quite liked the size. Just wish there was more space around the pool!! I LOVE the magical Disney touches. Disney music piped in the halls, the horn’s tune, entertainment, themed restaurants. It seemed like most people on the cruise were there primarily for the Disney-ness of it all. Service was good. Not as over the top as it was 10 years ago but still good. We had two major disappointments. Our kids hated the kids club! I couldn’t believe it. Especially my daughter who loves participation in kids activities. She said she couldn’t understand the staff because of their accents. Second was the wifi. My hubby needs to stay connected for work so he bought the highest package of 1000 MB that claimed “will suit all needs including streaming shows”. What a joke! He burned through that in just a couple days of periodic email checking and one hour’s worth of work. And yes, he logged out of the wifi each time. It was also insanely slow. We had perfect wifi when we cruised on the Allure so assumed it would be similar. Read Less

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