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1,120 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because the whole family (4 kids, 1 grandkid, mother in law) were all able to have the time off and the price was pretty good. The free at sea offers seemed like a good idea at first, but it turned out we would have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the whole family (4 kids, 1 grandkid, mother in law) were all able to have the time off and the price was pretty good. The free at sea offers seemed like a good idea at first, but it turned out we would have saved more by not using the offer and just adding what we wanted. We ended up not using the internet at all as you can only have one person on it at a time and you share a pool of minutes. There would have been an additional four dollar charge per person who wanted to use the pool of minutes. There was so much to do on the cruise we were not able to do everything. They had two magic shows, a broadway show, karaoke, two comedy shows, crew game shows, trivia, bingo etc. We also went to several of the art auctions and even though we did not plan on it, we ended up buying two "works of art." The dining was one of the best things on the cruise. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a sit down restaurant almost every day of the cruise. It was really great trying the different places and trying new dishes. The food and the service were top notch. One of the drawbacks is there are only two hot tubs and they only let 6 people in each one at a time. There were over 3,000 people on the ship, so I think they need to add a few more. The term "hot" tub should be taken with a grain of salt as I do not think the water was over 96 degrees. We keep the tub at our house at 103-104. The excursions I would recommend you not buy on the ship. Every port we called on had lots of locals offering the same thing the ship was for about 25% of what the ship charged. The absolute worst excursion was the horse ride, kayak, paddleboard, snorkel excursion in Puerto Vallarta. It was a total disappointment. They ran out of horses and stuck a few people on donkeys that were slow and too little to be carrying the large Americans. When we got to the beach there were zero paddle boards or kayaks. The guide claimed they had some but the weather was too rough to be used. This was in plain view of other people using kayaks on the same beach. Disembarkation was a nightmare. We were supposed to get off the ship at 7:45, but they did not have the first group start getting off until after 9:00 so it looked like half the ship was sitting on the staircases and clogging up the halls waiting to get off. Over all I would go on the Joy again, I would just do things a little different. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
While this is only my first cruise I would have say I am disappointed in the overall experience. On arrival I had no idea on what to do or where to go. As a first time on a cruise, I would have thought there would be an orientation ... Read More
While this is only my first cruise I would have say I am disappointed in the overall experience. On arrival I had no idea on what to do or where to go. As a first time on a cruise, I would have thought there would be an orientation session to assist those who are first time on a cruise. Gratuity was automatically charged with no ability to decide on whether it was earned or not . To me gratuity is a reflection of service meeting or exceeding expectation. There were a few occasions I felt this was not the case. I brought the concern on 2 different occasions, once to the service desk and while was told someone would get back ,no one did. Follow up emails also have had no replies. Additionally, I had ordered some items for my wife to be delivered on the Sunday . When I called was told would be delivered later in the day which was not what I requested. Next I was asked why I had not called. Why? I had preordered these items On first day ,had to locate the dinning area as no real indication. When arrived was told there was a 45 minute wait and person stated was not taking names for a wait list. The other room was not open and person stated it was first come first served. Only after further investigation I would found out ,could make reservations. Again it would have been nice if had been advised such as part of an orientation. Overall pricing for services and some of the tours were expensive versus what was being offered. Food provided as part of breakfast and lunch was tasty and great variety of dishes ( Deck 16) Staff in this area were very attentive to serving juice and coffee and for the most part we very friendly. On board shows in the Princess Theatre were definitely a great experience and well worth seeing and in my and my wife’s opinion the best part of the cruise. The excursions were something to participate in ,but important to look at the details of the tour ,as some are nothing more than shopping time versus trying to experience the local culture. Onboard staff were friendly enough ,however no one went out of their way in meeting our needs or addressing concerns. A true customer experience should exceed customer expectations Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I was super excited about the inaugural cruise on the Panorama, i honestly did not find the value in the 3 day cruise i paid almost $1900 with drink package for 2 people in a cloud 9 spa balcony. i was mainly not a big fan of the layout of ... Read More
I was super excited about the inaugural cruise on the Panorama, i honestly did not find the value in the 3 day cruise i paid almost $1900 with drink package for 2 people in a cloud 9 spa balcony. i was mainly not a big fan of the layout of the ship. The ship is big and offers many amenities and restaurants but all those come with an extra cost. it seems carnival just took away and spare space they could have and shoved in other paid facilities. For example the Atrium although very beautiful it felt so small and claustrophobic, with it always being crowed and it not stretching multiple decks like other ships. Another example was the size of Alchemy bar which is a very popular bar, you can tell Carnival decided to down size the bar in order to squeeze in more Specialty paid dinning. So the bar was always crowded with people. Something else that bothered me was that the Cloud 9 spa is co-ed so you have to be sharing facilities with the opposite sex. While on other ships there is a woman's and men's separate facilities, again another example where they squeezed in more places where they could make more money on, like extra massage rooms. I understand it is a business and they are here to make money but i just didn't get the relaxing experience i have gotten from other carnival cruises especially with paying a higher price. i know i can get the exact same things offered for free on this cruise on a much cheaper older carnival cruise ship, and have a better experience. Another thing is that they never had coconut water while i was there not a big deal just annoying. But i can honestly say i will not be sailing on Panorama again or at least not if i am paying that high of a rate. i prefer the other ships Imagination and Inspiration, much cheaper and offer same free restaurants and amenities, at a lower price point. Crew amazing as always on any carnival cruise as well as the food, very very delicious. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My mother-in-law invited my husband and I to do a family trip for the holidays and celebrate my sister-in-laws' birthday and her as well. It was a great ideal, so we went with it. We had a wonderful planner he answered a lot of our ... Read More
My mother-in-law invited my husband and I to do a family trip for the holidays and celebrate my sister-in-laws' birthday and her as well. It was a great ideal, so we went with it. We had a wonderful planner he answered a lot of our questions or directed us to someone who could. We planned excursion, dinners and entertainment. First red flag came when the package we had gave of flight from Charleston to Michigan to LA. Why? Got that fixed. Second red flag; per-paid services they charged me twice; when I called to report it they informed me that the money would go back to my checking account. half went to my bank the other half went on my trips account. Why? once we boarded the meal weren't what we excepted same thing in every dining room. Our specialty dining charged us for meals that should have been part of the SPECIALTY DINING PACKAGE. My mother-in-law paid hers' prior to sailing and ended up having to pay again. All the entertainment shut down early and the night-life was not eventful at all. we spent most night in the casino which is the plan, I assume. fourth flag; we could charge our room at the casino but you couldn't put your winnings back on your room. so our cards were FROZEN until we settled our bill. That made no sense! Oh wait did I mention that before we set sail they froze my credit card for the whole trip, luckily I had cash and a back up card to use for all other expenses. And in closing Saturday night he had dinner in either Toast or Savor, my sister-in-law and I order the Fish Jumbo, that night we both began to feel under the weather, she spent her morning in the bathroom, I went on to the airport, by the time we switch flights in Atlanta I began to feel really bad my stomach was cramping, mid flight to Charleston I requested a ginger ale to settle my stomach. upon landing in Charleston I told my husband I was going to pass out, I needed off the plane, while on the tar mat I keep spitting into Kleenex I had in my pocket. I informed several passenger in front of me to please let me exit, because I was going to be sick. I made it to the entrance of the restroom where I vomited all over the floor going into the stall, then came the explosive diarrhea, sweats for the next 20 minutes. I blacked out in the restroom, and my husband sent the Airport Authority in to check on me, embarrassed and gravely ill; I was wheeled from the stall to my son's car exhausted from what my body was going through. All I wanted to do was lie down, I exited the car and my bowels let loose again, I cried, and went through it all over again. By Tuesday I had not stopped and went to my physician. Food poising/ norovirus?? I contacted Norwegian and have yet to hear from them. So now I've posted this since you failed to return my call or email. I've traveled on Carnival for years and never experienced anything like this! Very Disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
NCL Joy failed to meet expectations based on cruising Norwegian in the past. Norwegian seems to have changed its business strategy from focusing on value to focusing on marketing. Maybe it’s the large size of the Joy, but even the ... Read More
NCL Joy failed to meet expectations based on cruising Norwegian in the past. Norwegian seems to have changed its business strategy from focusing on value to focusing on marketing. Maybe it’s the large size of the Joy, but even the nearly as large Epic was notably more enjoyable. More and more amenities that were previously included in the cost are now add-ons. Add-ons now cost more, sometimes much more. The “free” packages you can add carry a mandatory service charge that results in a cost similar to what the package previously cost (great marketing). Worst of all, I feel the food quality at the premium restaurants has declined while the prices have gone up. The larger ships lack the openness of the smaller ships; most common areas are enclosed in glass (probably excessive precautions to prevent drinks from falling overboard). Sadly, this makes the experience feel more like being at a land based resort rather than on a cruise (a cramped resort). I miss the open air while eating breakfast on the aft deck of the Pearl’s Garden Cafe. Also, the cabins have shrunk. Service on the Joy was subpar. This starts at the top. Previous cruises were replete with frequent announcements from the Cruise Director. They kept us in the know and maintained a high level of enthusiasm. Sadly, I was barely aware we even HAD a Cruise Director onboard Joy. Information was poorly conveyed, sometimes even in the daily newsletter. A few crew members stood out: • Albert (Cagney’s) • Rodel Restrivera (poolside bar) - officer material (are you listening Captain?) Finally, below is a list of tips for Norwegian Joy: • Deck 19 go-karts (extra cost) • Galaxy Pavilion multiple VR experiences (extra cost) • laser tag war on Deck 20 (extra cost) • Deck 8 walkable promenade; the Waterfront quarter-mile route (cut thru the ship at the forward end for a continuous loop) • Deck 7 walkable promenade, less crowded, but less of a view along the lifeboats • Observation Lounge on Deck 15 forward (below Garden Cafe) - two extra buffet lines serving lighter fare (one on each side of ship) - few people find this place (great place to avoid crowds) - great views • Standby lines at Joy Theater almost always successful for entry to shows • Cagney’s upcharge on certain items Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The Good: Food was excellent. Footloose was excellent. The Beatles revolution was great but make sure you show up an hour early if you want a seat at the cavern. Magic Show was okay. Elements was great! Go Karts surprisingly a lot of ... Read More
The Good: Food was excellent. Footloose was excellent. The Beatles revolution was great but make sure you show up an hour early if you want a seat at the cavern. Magic Show was okay. Elements was great! Go Karts surprisingly a lot of fun. They were faster then I expected. Most of the singers in the restaurants were not that great except for Katie Weddle who was one of the best singers I have ever heard. The ports of call were great except for Cabo San Lucas which kinda sucked because people were really aggressive trying to get my business. The Bad: I found myself bored often on this ship. between 6pm to 11pm there is stuff to do. Other times it's very hit or miss. The nightlife was terrible the first few days on the ship. If you like to always have something to do I would not recommend this ship. Also the specialty restaurant Q is not that great. The portions are way to big and quite frankly there are much better barbecue places in the world. The fact that Go Karts, Laser Tag and the Arcade cost extra is a bummer. The 7d game in the arcade is awesome though. I really missed not having a sports complex. They didn't have a ping pong tournament. Lots of little extra things like that seemed to be missing which made it boring at times. The dance lessons offered on the ship were not that good. The Gym seemed a little small. The public bathroom doors were left open all the time every day on the ship. It was gross. You could both hear and smell things at time. Not to mention I don't enjoy people being able to see me use a urinal. Also, you better bring your own band aides because they will charge you an arm and a leg if you need one. Ridiculous. Overall I enjoyed myself but would not do this ship again as I like to have more things to do on a ship. I've done the Norwegian Getaway which I believe is the same class of ship and liked that boat a lot more! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because of the 3 ports - Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta. I had never been to any of them. We had 2 full days at sea after the last port (why didn't we stop in Ensenada?), and it got pretty boring ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the 3 ports - Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta. I had never been to any of them. We had 2 full days at sea after the last port (why didn't we stop in Ensenada?), and it got pretty boring because so few activities were free. Yep, you could play trivia, or learn to make an origami bird, or even sushi for free, but the pools were so tiny, they were jammed with the enormous ship full of cruisers. You couldn't use the jogging track because lounge chairs were always on top of it. It cost extra to drive the race cars on the top deck ($15), play in the galaxy lounge ($7 each activity/ride), or do the large number of tastings available each day. There were 6 bingo games at $39-69 for 3 games at each session. The ship is nice but crowded everywhere, and there are only elevators and stairs at mid-ship and the stern (back) of the ship. Nothing forward like most ships. This made for long walks and crowded elevators. The food in Taste and Savor was decent and we resisted the constant encouragement to pay to eat in a specialty restaurant. The buffet was monotonous but mostly edible. The pizza was good, but I was amazed to see there was no lox to put on a morning bagel. First time I've seen this in 30 cruises. The entertainment was very good, especially Beatles Revolution, and the $29.44 each we paid for Wine Lovers: The Musical was worth every penny. One of the major annoyances was not letting us know the time in Puerto Vallarta was one hour later than ship's time, so people were frantic to reach their private tours when they discovered this AFTER they got off the ship. Why couldn't this have been mentioned in the newsletter? They waste SO much paper and couldn't include that information? Also, their "free" app is free, but if you want to use it to make reservations or message other people with the app, you have to pay $9.95! It was clear to me on this cruise that NCL stands for "nickel and dime you to death." I enjoyed all 3 ports, and it was easy to get on and off the ship. I'd like to see these ports again, but it won't be on NCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Having cruised with NCL many times I've now reached the heady level of Platinum member of their Latitudes loyalty programme. One of the most beneficial rewards is Priority Check In. However, my last two cruises (from New Orleans ... Read More
Having cruised with NCL many times I've now reached the heady level of Platinum member of their Latitudes loyalty programme. One of the most beneficial rewards is Priority Check In. However, my last two cruises (from New Orleans and from LA) didn't have this. Not only that but NCL is trying to con their customers. By this I mean that have a number of general check-in lines (per deck numbers) but they put a large Priority Check In poster at the entrance to this line. When I queried where the general check-in line was I was told it was the same line. Now, I realise this is a very first world problem, however, not providing the benefits promised for my continuing loyalty (and your continuing profits) is bad enough. But what makes it truly unacceptable is that NCL are trying to con, trick, bamboozle their customers into thinking the regular line is the Priority line. We are not that stupid and frankly you are insulting your customers' intelligence attempting to do this. Pity, as the actual cruise was excellent. Lovely cabin in a modern ship.The staff were, without exception, helpful and friendly. We use the speciality restaurants a lot and they really are worth a bit extra. Cagney's is especially good (if you like steak!). The open top decks are a bit weird as there's not much in the way of sunbathing away from the pool and activity area. On most ships there is space at the front and back of the ship but the Joy has a racetrack at the back and a laser tag room at the front. Not ideal but it meant we used our balcony more then usual. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Loved our first 2 cruises on Oosterdam most recent was perhaps 4 years ago to Alaska our first to Alaska years ago this was the Alaska too. We were delayed a day due to repairs on ship we had to miss mazaltan disappointed we went on this ... Read More
Loved our first 2 cruises on Oosterdam most recent was perhaps 4 years ago to Alaska our first to Alaska years ago this was the Alaska too. We were delayed a day due to repairs on ship we had to miss mazaltan disappointed we went on this cruise to go there as weve already visited Cabo and Puerto Vallarta on pasr Princess,We loved how easy it was to fly Alaskan Airlines to San Diego from PDX and really easy to get the bus out front to cruise port was a breeze too.The bus is set up like a airport parking lot bus so you luggage is no worry thing loved it for a couple bucks think 2,50 well worth it.Skip the transfers its right out front only goes to cruise port every 15 minutes or so. on board things have changed we missed the clear staircase in the middle of shop it looked amazing and great in photos.I didn't care much for the buffet seemed to be repeats each day, Hand santitizers weren't always full or available with people montering them in buffet or dining rooms. Weve always had balcony rooms the only way to go.Wished we had doors to leave open a bit to hear the waves and ocean air.Entertainment is no where near as good as I remember on past cruises.The crew were not as happy as before all anxious for their contracts to be done so they could move on.Loved our cabin attendant Dewa a very cheerful hard worker.Hated the tender into Cabo we had seniors that weren't to stable on their feet and I was scared for them but I think theres gotta be a better way for them to get aboard . Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Itinerary fit our schedule. Balcony, mid ship was fine, specialty dining very nice. Menu was very repetitive in complimentary dining rooms. Over cooked beef, chicken, drink pkg was just ok. Cheap liquor maybe. Public spaces can be very ... Read More
Itinerary fit our schedule. Balcony, mid ship was fine, specialty dining very nice. Menu was very repetitive in complimentary dining rooms. Over cooked beef, chicken, drink pkg was just ok. Cheap liquor maybe. Public spaces can be very crowded. Spice H2o adult space had smoking section that we had to breath if we wanted to lounge there. Never used this space due to second hand smoke. Favorite place was observation deck. On and off ship easy. Moderate seas last sea day. Watched movies in our room . overall ship crew very nice and service was very very good. Nothing to shop for on ship as they only have jewellery shops and one sundries store. The food was much better on Royal Caribbean when we visited Alaska. I will not cruise again. Land packages offer much more flexibility.. Enjoyed the Aqua racer and the Galaxy pavillion. Enjoyed meeting lots of pleasant people this week! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I just got back from Mexican Riviera my 3rd time on this particular cruise and second time on the Miracle. Since it has been 2 years cruising with Carnival I don't know if it was the Ship or if Carnival has just gotten majorly cheap ... Read More
I just got back from Mexican Riviera my 3rd time on this particular cruise and second time on the Miracle. Since it has been 2 years cruising with Carnival I don't know if it was the Ship or if Carnival has just gotten majorly cheap but this wasn't my normal Carnival experience. The food was horrible, the selections in the dining room were sad, our service was deplorable and the ship was dirty. I have been a Carnival supporter for 20 years and I had to eat my words this time which is very sad to me. Like I said I don't know why it was this bad, I would like to say it was the Ship is old and they put the worse people on it but I have no idea. Someone said it was going in for repairs soon that is why they moved it to San Diego but the repairs we were told that they were going to do by the crew wouldn't make any difference in what I saw. If Carnival is changing practices by cutting crew and the food to try and save money then we have a problem because it showed. This ship is going all the way to Hawaii and I feel really bad for those people they will be starving by the time they get there and bored out of their minds. Fun Ship this wasn't! If you are going on this ship soon be ready, you will need to eat in the fine dining steak house if you want a decent meal and good service, when you get ready to come back on board from a port day they only have 1 line and 1 scanner so you will be standing in line for 30-45 minutes with no place to sit down. Everyone that serves you has a bad attitude and they literally have nothing to shop for in the tiny store they have on board. 2 weeks before Christmas even zippo! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise to take my elderly mother on a shorter cruise. I also chose it for the price and the way the main dining and other activities are all centrally located so she would not have to walk as much. Summary: The Dining ... Read More
I chose this cruise to take my elderly mother on a shorter cruise. I also chose it for the price and the way the main dining and other activities are all centrally located so she would not have to walk as much. Summary: The Dining was very friendly and accommodating, even when we didn't arrive on time. The food was mostly good. But the formal night did not not have the usual steak and lobster, instead just okay food on formal night. (I think lobster was offered on the first night but for an added cost). The cheapest bottle of wine was $55, and then they brought the wrong one, and since they had opened it, they would not take it back. There was a lot of upselling. The cabin was so small, (a mini suite) that we could not even get a standard walker through the door) The minis suite was smaller than a standard cabin on Holland America. The steward forgot to leave us any washcloths on 3 of the 5 days. Sometimes left us 2 towels for 3 people and other times 5 towels. However he turned out beds down daily and was otherwise OK, but none of those beloved towel animals. The beds were adequate, the couch bed springy and not too comfortable but an extra padding that we added ourselves, helped. Beneath the beds they stored a bunch of linens so we could not easily stash our suitcases. The toilet was had some glitchy flushing mechanism for several days but eventually stopped working all together and when called, they did fix within an hour. The door handle fell apart and they fixed it. We literally could not move a walker through the narrow door, which was a surprise. Disembarkation was the worst. They gave written information about tagging our luggage and setting it out the night before. When we did not receive tags, I called guest services and asked. She grilled ME for 10 minutes as to why I thought we were doing this and I kept telling her it was in the Princess Patter and the disembarkation instructions. She finally said if I wanted tags I HAD to come to guest services and do it myself since on 5 day cruises they don't usually do this. We did because with our elderly mom and all her equipment we did need help with luggage. So the next day everyone was taking their luggage and it was a bit of a fiasco disembarking and especially waiting on the elevators since no one could take the stairs with luggage. Also, several areas of the ship were not WC accessible so we could not participate in them at all. My biggest complaint is the poor communication. First on the phone, we were told yes we can get a WC on the ship. Then we were told no. Then on the ship we were told yes. So we did rent a WC for 20$ a day which help a lot! The Best parts: Super easy Embarkation. Very nice staff in the restaurants. Very fun dancing in the Piazza. The adult swim area is nice but in the windiest area of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This ship was designed for the Chinese market and although they have refitted it since, it still shows ocasionally in decor but mainly in the ships design. Having been on the epic & escape before I thought I knew pretty much what to ... Read More
This ship was designed for the Chinese market and although they have refitted it since, it still shows ocasionally in decor but mainly in the ships design. Having been on the epic & escape before I thought I knew pretty much what to expect but it is not laid out as well at all. There is not enough deck space for sunbathing due to the karting track, Lazer quest & Haven areas. This makes it extremely difficult to get a sunbed especially when at sea. The karting track is ok, very difficult to overtake as it is so twisty & narrow but is quite fun, laser quest is lots of fun & both are worth doing. The issue is that things book up so quickly, not only these experiences but the paid restaurants as well which means instead of mean a freestyle cruise as you expect NCL to be, where you do what you want when you want, you have to book everything on the first day really to stand a chance so need your cruise fully planned out straight away which is a shame & annoying as there is lots to do on the first day. we were very late to cabin due to nauro virus disinfecting which to their credit they did extremely well from serving you at the buffet & taking away anything which could spread it like restaurant buzzers. Staff where regularly cleaning everywhere with disinfectant. The drop slides were excellent but the tube slide was a little boring & a long wait too. Virtual reality zone was great fun with F1 simulators & lots of rides. Paid restaurants Cagney's & Teppanaki were excellent, they steaks melt in the mouth & waiters/chef amazing & worth every penny. Unfortunately Q's BBQ restaurant was poor, limited BBQ menu and aimed at (southern) US guests with many things that we have never heard of in the UK & weren't keen on such as some sort of cake which came with the beef brisket?! They had a band on too which were good but far too loud so couldn't have any conversation. The free restaurants had good food and decent service, but it is a lottery if you get a good waitor/waitress and how busy they are for if you get good service. Probably 50% of our visits were great, the others just average. One problem they have is giving you bread which has been left under a heater which keeps it warm but makes the French stick completely rock hard, one night 3 baskets of bread came before we finally got some edible bread. The main issue we had on this ship was the location & ambiance of the bars on board. Although there are around 14 bars many of them are empty most of the time and when they are busy it is only because there is live music on so no talking, which makes it very difficult if you want to meet new people. Luckily there were a couple of great bartenders we met at the draught house and outside at the cavern club so we could have a laugh & chat with them at least. The gym was tiny, probably about ⅓ the size of the one on the epic so I never used it as there was not enough space for mats only machines. I believe the spa is also very small. The observation lounge is a good addition, making a good place to chill out & read when it's not so warm outside as well as having a bar and small food buffet. The itinary was the Mexican Riviera & had unseasonably cool and cloudy weather. Cabo was a good place with lots of good excursions, Mazatlan was a filler port & to be avoided- I'm surprised ships stop there. Puerto Vallarta was great place - we did the river walk excursion with with NCL but unfortunately was terrible, didn't involve walking in a river as advertised and tour guide was not the best and included a 25 minute stop in a diamond shop... Overall I wouldn't cruise on this ship again but it hasn't put me off NCL, the Joy is unique to them & has many good features but it depends what is important to you, it is probably suited more to families than couples. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a Thanksgiving cruise with the family. My husband & I did a B2B. We had been on the Pacific Princess earlier in the year (service was amazing). So this was definitely a notch down. Service extremely slow in the MDR, buffet ... Read More
This was a Thanksgiving cruise with the family. My husband & I did a B2B. We had been on the Pacific Princess earlier in the year (service was amazing). So this was definitely a notch down. Service extremely slow in the MDR, buffet crowded most of the time. Just little extra's that were left out-like after dinner mints in MDR. No free wine tasting, on the 5 day no captains party and they cut down the # of passengers for the MTP. On the Thanksgiving portion they didn't have enough staff for all the children so our niece couldn't get her kids in the programs on all sea days. I find this difficult to believe they didn't know how many kids would be on the ship. Had an issue in the cabin with something poking thru carpet--They resolved that within about 6 hours that was nice. Our cabin steward was great. But dining room ---took hours to get thru a meal--some of that could be they put all 12 of us at the same table rather than 2 tables. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We selected this cruise for one reason only - to participate in the Monopoly slot tournament ($200K prizes, $100K top prize). We had anticipated at least an average experience in the casino. We are gamblers, along with the other 400 ... Read More
We selected this cruise for one reason only - to participate in the Monopoly slot tournament ($200K prizes, $100K top prize). We had anticipated at least an average experience in the casino. We are gamblers, along with the other 400 participants in this invitation-only event. The experience onboard and in the casino was average, at best. (0) In the end, we could not wait to disembark back at LA. After five days of the experience detailed below we had had enough. Never again! (1) Overcrowding - how others can state that they don't feel overcrowded on this ship makes me wonder if we sailed on the same vessel. The elevators were constantly jammed full (all were in working order) except for the wee hours of the night. 5-10 minute waits to cram on an already full elevator car were normal at peak times. What a turn-off. (2) Anytime dining in the main dining room was average. Nice staff but menu was subpar and nothing special (except for one or two evenings which offered steak and/or lobster). Buffet dining was average at best; overcrowded at most times and same menu each of the seven days. In fact it became quite boring quite fast. (3) Casino - I cannot say enough negative about our experience here. If you are not a gambler then please don't bother to read on. There are a total of 6 IGT Game King VP machines in the non-smoking area (10-coin), together with 4 multi-play IGT machines. No machines at casino bar. Only 4 additional in smoking area. The best game was 100/10/4/3 deuces; the double-double bonus pay schedule is 6/5!! Combine this with over 400 people competing for the same machines and we were done in a couple of days. Almost a joke. The layout often made it impossible to reach a machine without asking someone else to get up first. The usual mix of low-% payback video slots one would expect, although there was a decent selection of these. Table games were average; only one 3-card poker table open per night and this was constantly busy/full. Blackjack pays 6/5 - why bother. Casino was a complete turn-off and obviously a huge money maker for Princess. (4) Tournament - Poorly managed and organized. Ran behind printed tournament schedule every day by at least 60 minutes (if not more). At times total chaos in terms of knowing where to go/what action to take prior to next round. Game selected for tournament (Monopoly) highly skewed in terms of points to the very end of the round where you "randomly" get awarded an amount between 1 million and 10 million points. Your advancement basically came down to that last random bonus. (5) We are players - yet we were rarely offered any type of free beverage while playing in the casino. First time in our cruising history where this has happened. Our points earned were 10-50x those of most other players we saw in the casino. Why would I ever return to give Princess our casino business when we are not treated as players? (6) Ship design - No promenade deck. The have a deck named this, but there is no outside promenade available. Serenity pool on deck 17 was nice; quiet and peaceful. Nice interior design surrounding Piazza on deck 5 up through deck 7. Customer service desk on deck 5 adequately staffed. (7) Ports - no comment here. Cabos was a non-event due to weather which prevented tendering; we did not visit Mazatlan or P. Vallarta other than to shop for essentials which are easily accessible from P. Vallarta (nearby Walmart). Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We enjoyed our week on the Royal Princess, but all in all it was nothing special. The food in the main dining rooms was generally good, but some nights the selection was less than inspiring. The buffet offered a wide variety of choices, ... Read More
We enjoyed our week on the Royal Princess, but all in all it was nothing special. The food in the main dining rooms was generally good, but some nights the selection was less than inspiring. The buffet offered a wide variety of choices, usually tasty. As always, the ship's pastries were better to look at than to eat. Dinner in the Crown Grill was very good, and worth the upcharge; the same cannot be said of Sabatini's, which was very disappointing--the "lobster three ways" was particularly unpleasant. As others have mentioned, the elevators were inadequate for the number of passengers. The casino is a disaster. Too small, too few machines, too many customers, too much smoke, and illogical use of space which had dead-ends and people bumping into one another. No complimentary beverages, no matter how much one played, just an offer of casino credit on a future cruise. A glass of ordinary white wine came in at $13, including the mandatory "tip." Unconscionable. The mattress was heavenly. Our room steward, Michael, was quiet, efficient, and pleasant. The Medallion experience was a very mixed bag--surely not worth the hassle. We never did manage to use it to locate our travel companions. Princess should either fix it or abandon it. One very complimentary comment: the tv selections were excellent--recent movies, lots of on demand shows from travel and home and garden channels, all day access to MSNBC, BBC, Fox, etc., all at no charge. Best in-cabin entertainment we've ever had. Despite a very generous offer of future casino credit, we're not enthusiastic about returning to the Royal Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
So the day we arrive is an easy transition. The boat boarding goes very smooth. Were greeted by pleasant employees that carry infectious smiles on their faces. As we arrive we payed for early to the fun so our room was ready. Our room ... Read More
So the day we arrive is an easy transition. The boat boarding goes very smooth. Were greeted by pleasant employees that carry infectious smiles on their faces. As we arrive we payed for early to the fun so our room was ready. Our room appearance was neat. However the ship was out dated! It had a smell that I couldnt really figure it but it wasn't pleasant. Our rm was u110. We were right next to the electrical room. Every night was HOT! MISERABLE ! THE ROOM SMELLED LIKE BURNT WIRES AND NEEDLESS TO SAY we woke up with severe headaches every morning. We tried to be positive and ask for a fan. Even offered to pay in which we were denied. The ship is of fair size but the ship had alot more movement than many others I have been on. Seasick to say the least. AT THE PORT OF ENSENADA, we get off the ship to do our activity paid and chosen that we paid 189 to do . We rode the four wheelers maybe 30 mins. However the drive to get to them took an hr. No where to use the restroom for hrs. No where to get a drink. However the tour guides were great but did mention because of our American President Trump he could no longer get a passport. Kinda made me wonder. The excursion had so much driving to get to the event we didnt get to explore Ensanada. Back to the ship. The food was nasty except for the outside cooking. The outside food was so much better than the inside. Lastly I'd like to thank the staff because they were tremendously wonderful and were ALL FAR TOO GOOD FOR THE SHIP ITSELF. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We picked this as a last minute cruise vacation because it's close to home, we had sailed the same cruise on Princess before and liked it, and they had a sale going. The ocean view cabin was good. Our steward was great and kept ... Read More
We picked this as a last minute cruise vacation because it's close to home, we had sailed the same cruise on Princess before and liked it, and they had a sale going. The ocean view cabin was good. Our steward was great and kept everything clean. However, the ship is worn. Our closet had broken hinges. The toilet felt like it was going to come clean off the wall anytime I sat on it. [I am not overweight.] it wobbled. The doors sssqqquuueeeeeqqqqqqeeeddd every single time we opened them. The was ONE Power outlet in the whole room. One. This ship was built in the 80s and you can most definitely tell. They literally named a lounge Xanadu. Plus it was slightly racist in the whole Egyptian and "Asian" theme that was underlying everything. The buffet is tiny. It had almost no selection of food. The dining room selection was horrible too. Why don't they have the list of "everyday items" like the Magic did? The elevators run weird. The stairs are very steep. The artwork is super dated and again, 80s. The only thing that looked new was the carpet. They had fans everywhere and randomly we got wafts of sewer, even in the dining room. This was definitely the worst of the 4 ships we have been on. Not because of the crew, they were all great. But the ship itself is in desperate need of an overhaul and modernization. Everything is dented, chipped, and just.. worn out. The only thing that looked okay were the tile tables in the lounges, and the curtain on the stage. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The itinerary was what we wanted, which we enjoyed. I found they nickeled and dimed you more than other ships I have been on. Really to charge you for distilled water. It's an inexpensive cruise and that's what you're ... Read More
The itinerary was what we wanted, which we enjoyed. I found they nickeled and dimed you more than other ships I have been on. Really to charge you for distilled water. It's an inexpensive cruise and that's what you're getting. We usually travel Royal and we can see a definite difference in service and quality of food. The lobster night (my husbands favorite) was a total disappointment. The first one he got was just ok and the second one was mushy, not tasty at all. He couldn't even finish it. Over cooked. Which was a real disappointment for him. The other nights the food was from just okay to good. Never once did I walk out of the dinning room to say wow totally enjoyed that. I think we will be sticking to Royal from now on. Never saw our room steward. Our waiter was very nice and friendly but for someone who has worked on the ship for 10 years, the level of service wasn't there. The entertainment was good. No real complaints with that. The comedian did get a bit raunchy for my liking, I always say a good comedian doesn't have to resort to voguer or be raunchy to be funny. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Embarkation was amazing. We purchased FTTF just a few days prior to sailing. We were on the ship by and had access to our cabin 7233 immediately. Our luggage was not delivered until later. Our first dining room experience left us ... Read More
Embarkation was amazing. We purchased FTTF just a few days prior to sailing. We were on the ship by and had access to our cabin 7233 immediately. Our luggage was not delivered until later. Our first dining room experience left us more than a little apprehensive about further meals. We were served cool entrees. My chicken breast was so hard I could barely cut through it. I asked for bearnaise sauce in hopes to cover the dryness. My first dish was cool. The second dish was cool and had a dried texture. I ended up only eating the cheese place I ordered for dessert. The wine we ordered didn’t arrive until after our meals were completed. We complained bitterly, it was so disappointing to the 4 of us to have something wrong with each meal. The waiters, maitre’d and food manager all came to our table to say that would make it right. The next dining experience was much better with warm food and our bottle of wine being taken off our Cheers tab. But the following 2 nights were back to cool meals, armour plated fried chicken and not to forget the non existent dress codes with tshirts and baseball caps. We opted out of the last night because we were NOT going to give them a tip. Our anniversary dinner at Nick and Noras was fabulous. The food was so good and amazing. I wish we could have eaten there each night. I would suggest they lower the lighting uniformly, as our table was lit up like a football game while others enjoyed a lovely soft ambiance. The steak and lobster was supreme as was the service. We were each given a complimentary glass of champagne as well as a delicious dessert and 4 spoons! It was a wonderful celebration. Our cabin steward, Julius was attentive and always had our cabin cleaned before noon where our next door neighbors, and travel companions had a different experience with another cabin steward. We were delighted to see they actually policed the lounges in the Serenity pool area. On the 1 1\2 days we had weather that cooperated there were a number of towels and personal items being stored at the pool desk. This practise gave everyone an opportunity to to enjoy some sun and relaxation. We played bingo once but found the cost high for the wins. We went to the Piano bar once and felt the entertainer lacked true musical experience. Our favorite entertainers were 3 women from Poland. They are M3Strings. They play a cello, violin and base violin. All are orchestra trained and their performance proves it. Just a delight to listen to their large array of music from rock to pop to classical. We listened to them at either the Atrium bar (loved the service Darius) and in the Alchemy bar each night. The activity coordinator was certainly not someone I would recommend. Many times when we were forced to listen to her, she made mistakes or mispronounced English words. My goodness English is English whether you are in Australia or New Zealand! When we sailed from PV we were told the ship had no more avocados (but still on the menu at the deli each day), clamato juice and worstershire sauce. It just goes to show Carnival is running short staffed because these items should not have been missed. PVallarta has an abundance of retail outlets to stock up the ship for 2 more days. It told us they didn’t care. I would like to mention the thin bathroom towel which were not always white and often stained. All in all I would give this cruise a 5. You get what you pay for and Carnival was a lot cheaper than other lines. The four of us loved our balcony being opened up. When a neighbor smoked the situation was immediately dealt with. Unfortunately we never did find out who was smoking the pot! The cruise line alerted us that the balconies would be washed while in port. I really don’t know what they did but we still had bird droppings and dirt on our balcony and floor gutters were still full of debris and the glass was still green around the edges. I am not an active cruiser. I have been on 3 cruises in my lifetime. 2 were HAL, and 1 was Pride of America (Norwegian). I am used to cleanliness, great food and consistency. We chose this cruise and line because it was a convenient flight from Vancouver and allowed us to be on ship to celebrate our 40th anniversary. It wasn’t expensive compared to other cruise lines and now I know why. I will never cruise with this line again because of the reasons stated. Because we rarely cruise, I would rather spend more and know I am going to enjoy my self in all aspects of my vacation. We realized 2 weeks before sail time that our ship docked at 9am (according to its published itinerary) and we had booked flights home at 12:15. That was one reason why we bought the FTTF package so we could help our debarkation a bit. Our travel agent talked to Carnival and they were somewhat hopeful we could still make our flight. We hired a private van to meet us after going through customs so we could again get to the airport fast. Surprise. We docked at 7 am. Guest services had told us to go to the upper level of the Baccus dining room to wait while others were told to wait somewhere else. Everyone was confused. We did get off the ship fast and customs was a one question and then we were on our way to LAX at 8:45. All that worry for nothing. Why did the ship say 9 am docking in the first place? I have no regrets about this cruise. But I won’t sail with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I wanted to experience a new ship. I don’t like to be negative but I really wasn’t impressed! Nice staff but I had issues with the television and air conditioning unit. Signal on tv was lost constantly. I think the entertainment was ... Read More
I wanted to experience a new ship. I don’t like to be negative but I really wasn’t impressed! Nice staff but I had issues with the television and air conditioning unit. Signal on tv was lost constantly. I think the entertainment was pretty weak and wasn’t really age appropriate. Two of the saunas we’re inoperable and it left over crowding in the remaining it seemed that some staff weren’t very happy. Hard to understand some while others seemed lost when I asked questions. I think if I were to rate this cruise overall I think I would give it a 6 at best. The price was fair but I’d rather pay more for more enjoyable features. I really think that everyone working for this ship should be more informed and educated so that when questions are asked the answers should be correct. All in all I had a fairly good trip Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
because of need, requirement!, to reserve show times i never saw a show. both early showings of jersey boys where reserved out by 4.30 on day of sailing and could sign up on line before cruise. boat had not left the dock and i could ... Read More
because of need, requirement!, to reserve show times i never saw a show. both early showings of jersey boys where reserved out by 4.30 on day of sailing and could sign up on line before cruise. boat had not left the dock and i could not reserve a seat. many of the other shows had same requirement -- did not see a show!! spa was a complete rip off -- they wanted more for 7 day cruise then i paid on longer cruise, 12-21 days. after heavy handed spa tour where u are solicited for all their service u are provided card for free drawing BUT u most be present to win. if i had been told that i had to come back at 5.30 to win i would never have submitted myself to 20 minutes of time share type sales pitch as i had bought package before and new all about the spa benefits. oh and no steam or sauna room access after work out, some ships allow, not the bliss did love the many food locations -- it made for short lines in buffet and main dinning rooms. BUT did wait for more than 20 minutes for service in craft beer venue, left w/o buying a beer. EMBARKATION - NCL still has not got this figured out, some people had waits of over an hour. ADVICE either show up WAY early or WAY late if u don't want to stand in a VERY LONG LINE. NCL seems to be the only cruise that has a serious problem getting people on and off their ships Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I joined this cruise because a friend from my past cruise told me about it. My brother joined me on this cruise. It was his first cruise, my third. We both had transfers from and to the airport thru Norwegian. My brother got in 2 hours ... Read More
I joined this cruise because a friend from my past cruise told me about it. My brother joined me on this cruise. It was his first cruise, my third. We both had transfers from and to the airport thru Norwegian. My brother got in 2 hours before me and it took 30 minutes to find the transfer person that would eventually get him to ship 2 hours later. I never found the transfer person at my baggage claim terminal. I wasted an hour and a half asking the info desk where they were, being sent to 2 other terminals, calling and being disconnected from 3 NCL customer services reps, and finally having to take a 50.00 lift ride to the ship. Once we got to the port gate, the port authority guard said they closed the gate at 2:45pm, It was 2:50pm. There were 7 others in front of me and 4 others came after me with the same issue.We all tried to call NCL customer reps, to let them know we weren't being let thru the gate, and all of us got hung up on or disconnected in the process. I ended up calling my brother, who was already onboard, to let the customer service desk on board, that 12 people had been left at the airport by the transfer company. After talking to 4 people, one of the reps got a hold of the port authority guard and they finally cleared us to go thru the gate. No one ever apologized as we went through the check in process. we got on board around 4pm after going through all that mess. Once on board, the cruise went fairly smoothly. The ship, overall, was a beautiful ship. I thought the pool area was poorly designed compared to my 2 other cruises on the Getaway and Breakaway. But I also realize this ship was designed to go to Alaska most of the time, and not to the Mexican Riviera. The dining was great for the most part. A couple people, in our group of 10 to 15 people, had some bad experiences a couple of the nights. The entertainment was pretty good. Jersey Boys and the Beatles put on great shows and the comedians were really good. The ports of call were beautiful, but the excursion variety was lacking for my taste. We did our own thing on 2 of the ports and did one boat sight seeing excursion on Cabo. Not quite as advertised. The service on the ship was excellent, as always. As opposed to the issues getting on the ship, Getting off was the quickest I've seen in my 3 cruises. LAX is possibly the worst airport I have ever flown in or out of. It is a train wreck. The best thing to come from this cruise was all the new friends we made. We met a couple people from my last cruise on day one. within the next 2 days we had a fun group of 10 to 15 people hanging together at different times and places. We always met up in the Solo Lounge at 5pm to get the nights started. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise primarily for the convenience of the location which required a short plane ride. The Royal Princess was a very nice ship. The Cruise Director was great, and the room steward was outstanding. The beds were one of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the convenience of the location which required a short plane ride. The Royal Princess was a very nice ship. The Cruise Director was great, and the room steward was outstanding. The beds were one of the best ever! The issues we had that took away from the trip we had looked forward to include a room that was as far from the elevator as possible - we were both medically handicapped and this caused us major issues in the distance required from the elevator to the room. We had many conversations with Princess about our conditions in hopes of a room that would be more accessible. Once they had our money, the could not have cared less about the "guaranteed room" status or allowed us to change our choice to being able to pick our room. Additionally, the A/C was not working in our room and there were seven nights of waking up soaked in sweat! Miserable times. The dining room was o.k. except the service was so slow between courses. The beverage choices were extremely limited if you didn't have the beverage package. Our choice was water, coffee or tea. No lemonade unless you were eating at the buffet. The food did not meet our expectations in comparison to Royal Caribbean's dining room choices. (not even close!). The elevators were on their own programming and it wasn't unusual to wait 5 or 10 minutes for it to stop on your floor. Also very disappointing was the lack of evening shows. Very little was published about what was going on in the showroom. Overall, it was o.k. but definitely not to the standards we had become used to on our other cruises with Royal Caribbean. Particularly since the prices were not any less. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We recently returned from our Norwegian Bliss cruise to the Mexican Rivera. These are our thoughts: 1. Embarkation was extremely efficient and quick. 2. Be prepared to wait for the elevators, which aren't conveniently located ... Read More
We recently returned from our Norwegian Bliss cruise to the Mexican Rivera. These are our thoughts: 1. Embarkation was extremely efficient and quick. 2. Be prepared to wait for the elevators, which aren't conveniently located if you are mid-ship. 3. By prepared to pay for things like: race car driving, laser tag, bowling, gelato, coco's, cabaret, etc. 4. The food in Savor and Taste were average at best. 5. We dined at: Cagney's, Le Bistro, The Cucina, Teppanyaki, and Ocean Blue. These restaurants were absolutely outstanding and we would HIGHLY recommend them. 6. The Garden Cafe was a go-to for breakfast and lunch. There was a nice variety of selections, and the food quality and taste were great. 7. The shows: Jersey Boys was Excellent. Six was Good. Happy Hour Prohibition was $39 and not worth it. You're served 5 mini-cocktails laced with sugar overload and the entertainment factor is something equivalent to a high school show production. The Cavern Club featuring the Beatles were good. The Comedy Shows were good. 2 of the 3 comedians were funny. The other was boring. 8. The ship is very large so be prepared to wait and wait and wait. 9. Reserve dining and entertainment quickly or it will be sold out. 10. We had the mini-suite with balcony. The bathroom was nicely equipped with a dual vanity and large shower. The room was spacious with very comfortable beds and pillows. We did not like the fact that you can't charge your phones if your not in the room. The electric shuts off if your Key Card is not inserted. 11. Cabin Steward and Cruise Director Team were very nice. Bar and Dining- with the exception of speciality dining and washy washy team- were not very friendly at all. 12. We took three excursions: Luxury Sailing with Snorkeling in Cabo- was awesome. Private Beach Resort in Mazatlan- Outstanding. City Tour of Puerto Vallarta- Avoid. 13. The Norwegian Bliss is the 10 largest ship in the world, so just be prepared for large crowds who are impatient. Norwegian does a great job of trying to make as much seating available and to ensure spots like the Garden Cafe do have plenty of stations. If you meet someone, the chances of running into them again is unlikely. 14. There are plenty of places onboard to get a drink. There are bars nearly everywhere. Don't expect a straw, plastic or paper, which makes drinking a frozen drink difficult. 15. The food in Savor/Taste were just average. We dined once for breakfast and once for dinner. 16. Use the NCL app when you get onboard. It's a great resource. 17. Use your stateroom TV to reserve shows, specialty dining, onboard activities, and shore excursions. It's much more convenient. 18. There was a medical incident onboard and the team reacted quickly and professionally. It was reassuring. 19. The onboard activities were engaging and fun. We really enjoyed them. 20. You get the impression that NCL is always trying to sell you something. 21. I yearn for the days when you can buy a package and EVERYTHING is included. The Deluxe Beverage package did not include water/soda/Starbucks. 22. Norwegian Bliss does have their Disembarking to a science. It was efficient and organized. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and there is some room for improvement. We wish the staff were more friendly. We sailed on Royal Caribbean in February and that team were so awesome even after a 8 month stint. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019

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