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1,619 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date April 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
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
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
An exceptional (whole family) vacation experience - we highly recommend! The brand name might scare all us 6 star luxury cruises away, (I certainly was for years!), but I will admit Disney delivered a fantastic product for everyone of ... Read More
An exceptional (whole family) vacation experience - we highly recommend! The brand name might scare all us 6 star luxury cruises away, (I certainly was for years!), but I will admit Disney delivered a fantastic product for everyone of us 'kids' (from 3 to 73). The 4 Cabins and Suites we booked were all well appointed, dining was a lot of fun and always delicious, and the entertainment was Disney quality. Surprises for the kids were everywhere on the ship. The product is also VERY expensive when you consider it is not all inclusive - full stop... And you will leave the ship with another 3K in shipboard expenses … But there are enough (adult) spaces to keep the ship classy, and more than enough (child friendly) spaces to keep them all busy and happy - and this is why we were onboard. We all had a wonderful time, a perfect family week escape. Disney delivers. Read Less
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
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first time with so many passengers, and it was also the ship's first visit to Los Angeles, so there is hope most of these issues will be addressed. The embarkation was a disaster. The shore personnel handed us a group ... Read More
This was our first time with so many passengers, and it was also the ship's first visit to Los Angeles, so there is hope most of these issues will be addressed. The embarkation was a disaster. The shore personnel handed us a group number, then later a letter for boarding. No one knew what to use or what the order would be. Half of the large crowd in the structure could not hear announcements because speakers were broken. It took 2 hours for us to finally board with preferential boarding. Disembarkation was equally chaotic. We were to leave at 0715 but after waiting in long lines finally made it off at 0900. The buffet was huge, and always crowded. Breakfast was a feeding frenzy with passengers wandering about aimlessly, blocking aisles, making a run for food if something yummy was put out. After two days we never went back. The service was wonderful. The food in the dining room was delicious. The Chef's Table Lumiere was excellent. Sabatini's was wonderful with the food and service. We did not leave the ship for the cruise and cannot comment on shore excursions, etc. Nor did we attend many of the events on board. We saw one show, which was quite good, as was the Mexican Folkloric program. As always we thoroughly enjoyed Los Tres Brillantes, but some of the music in the common areas left something to be desired. The shops no longer carry paperback or CDs. The ship was so large we had trouble finding items in shops. The atrium feels somewhat claustrophobic. The deck is so truncated as to be unusable and there were few accessible windows to look out. Otherwise the décor was quite stunning. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I am one of the passengers that thought the ship and the ports in Mexico were really exceptional. Why this was the right choice for me: 1) I have cruised on the Regal and Royal in the past so I know the rooms are a little more compact ... Read More
I am one of the passengers that thought the ship and the ports in Mexico were really exceptional. Why this was the right choice for me: 1) I have cruised on the Regal and Royal in the past so I know the rooms are a little more compact than some of their smaller ships rooms and balcony’s. If you tend to hang out in your room a lot, this may be an issue. With all the different places and things to participate in on the ship, the size was not a priority to me only a place to sleep. 2) Really enjoyed the track on top of the ship for a brisk walk/jog in the morning with the beautiful sunrise and view. There is not a promenade deck that is typically more enclosed so if that is a priority for you, it is something to consider. 3) We booked our lounges in the sanctuary for a little bit extra you have a reserve chase lounge chair in a private adult only area. Was able to accommodate those in my group that wanted shade and those that wanted sun. Waiters served food from a wonderful spa menu and offered iced citrus water. I was in heaven. Don’t think any other cruise line has anything like this. 4) The new Medallion system is partially activated so it’s not ideal the way it is because you have to have both your card and the Medallion. Once it is setup, it is going to be INCREDIBLE from the little that we experience with the lockup and unlock automated at your door and the ability to pay/charge quickly and easily. You can tell if your friends are in their room or not. In the future your will be able to use an app on your phone and see where people in your party are on the ship (they can opt out). 5) I’m a business person and was expecting phone calls on a project I was working on. For about $50 I was able to get unlimited Wifi with their new MedallionNet. My cell phone provider offers WiFi calling and that is how I kept in touch while at sea. Had the phone on airplane mode/wifi calling and sent and received calls just like I was at home. The connection was incredibly fast. You wouldn’t think you were on a ship. What could have been better: 1) The one thing that I wish they would look at is the reservation system for dinner. The late seating is too late and to get an earlier setting with anytime dinning, you can’t make a reservation. You are left with waiting in line to get a pager which usually takes an hour so plan accordingly you can’t be hungry when you get to the dinning room. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We tried NCL for the first time as we found the itinerary from LA convenient as we live in Boise, Idaho. We have always cruised from the east coast but having moved to Boise, east coats cruising is too cost prohibitive. Leaving Boise ... Read More
We tried NCL for the first time as we found the itinerary from LA convenient as we live in Boise, Idaho. We have always cruised from the east coast but having moved to Boise, east coats cruising is too cost prohibitive. Leaving Boise on a 6am flight to LA, we were on the Star by 12:15pm. Embarkation was smooth. We had no special perks and had an ocean view cabin so we were surprised how quickly we were on board. The ship is lovely, easy to navigate around and all the public spaces were clean and bright. We had specialty dining three times during the week. La Cucina was our favorite, we ate their twice. Our waiter Sameer was excellent. On our second visit we were seated next to a two women who were having a loud and intrusive argument, I asked to be re-seated and it was done immediately. All the dining was wonderful. Whether at the Topsider for burgers, either of the main dining rooms or specialty dining. Bar service was very good. we got coffee and pastries each morning in our cabin. It was good, only once the coffee was undrinkable, it was so strong, otherwise the coffee around the ship was good. Entertainment was wonderful. The theater was not. The seats were broken and very uncomfortable. The recent refurbishment left the theater out and that was a big mistake. The condition and comfort of the theater was our only complaint. Shore excursions were way over priced. Even with the $50.00 per port excursion credit we got, we only did one the whole cruise. We did a walking tour of Puerto Vallarta that was very informative.. We took a $10.00 pp. glass bottom boat tour to the Arch and it was amazing. This was in Cabo. We did not leave the ship in Mazatlan. We got the Thermal Suite package which was wonderful but as the cruise went on it was so crowded we stopped going. it was billed as a quiet sanctuary but in the end it was too crowded. Our cabin steward was great. Efficient and unobtrusive. Our cabin was always clean. Sunny did a great job. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I've been meaning to cruise on the Splendor for some time, finally got around to it and was so looking forward to it. This was my birthday cruise so we booked a cloud 9 spa balcony cabin with hopes of spending time in the spa. Plus ... Read More
I've been meaning to cruise on the Splendor for some time, finally got around to it and was so looking forward to it. This was my birthday cruise so we booked a cloud 9 spa balcony cabin with hopes of spending time in the spa. Plus we were looking forward to visiting new ports. The best part of our cruise was hands down our cabin steward Sharlene. She was wonderful. The next highlight was the Steakhouse, by far the best meal we had onboard, and highly recommended. MDR and entertainment were just okay, I was a bit disappointed in both. The worst part of my cruise was the spa, after finally deciding to spend the extra money on the spa cabin, I was very disappointed when the rooms and pool we're having temperature issues. I'm sure I will try it again on another ship, but was very disappointed that I could not enjoy these amenities while on the ship. Myself and several other guest did speak to management regarding it and received a $40 OBC and the standard we are sorry. Over all my sister and I had fun entertaining ourselves and already booked our next adventure. I'm very happy I got a chance to sail on the beautiful, funky pink ship, before she arrives in her new home in Australia. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Food was just okay. Dining room staff was FANTASTIC. Too young and too loud Cruise Director. Wonderful Captain. We couldn't have been happier with the overall experience. A cruise is what you make it. We made it FUN! Embarkation ... Read More
Food was just okay. Dining room staff was FANTASTIC. Too young and too loud Cruise Director. Wonderful Captain. We couldn't have been happier with the overall experience. A cruise is what you make it. We made it FUN! Embarkation was incredibly smooth. You just walk on and your keys are waiting at the room. Mongolian Wok is the best. Be there EARLY! Music was all over the ship. We even played some Bingo. Our server Meyhela was awesome for dinner. We had Rika's table for sea day brunch. So great. The unique thing about Splendor is that it rarely felt crowded. 1000 kids on-board but plenty of room. Speaking of rooms, our steward Carter took excellent care of both of our rooms. He always had a smile, was rarely seen but our room was always PERFECT. Piano bar with Patrick was some of the most fun. Signing all night was hilarious. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because it was the Royal and we loved it almost two years ago. Embarking went very well .. our room was lovely on the aft A734. The balcony gorgeous but soaking wet and puddles of soot in them .. the beds were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the Royal and we loved it almost two years ago. Embarking went very well .. our room was lovely on the aft A734. The balcony gorgeous but soaking wet and puddles of soot in them .. the beds were not the nice new wonderful beds as promised. They were old and hard as a rock. Linens worn. We hurried and booked a cabana in the Sanctuary which was wonderful each day. The staff amazing and a lovely memory. The black soot in our feet and not being able to use our balcony as much not the best experience. We were always chasing down our room steward who honestly we could not often find . He was not as wonderful as the last two we have had. But maybe he has lots of duties elsewhere. Disembarkation in Los Angeles felt more like a cattle call than Ft Lauderdale or Whittier which I’ve done recently. There were lots of wheelchairs waiting in long lines I felt bad for them . No one to help with luggage not enough porters .. lots of older couples could have used the help. It was sweaty in there too I hate to think of how bad it gets as the weather gets warmer. They should have had a water station perhaps as well. Buses to the airport were a long walk to drag your baggage too. Lots of help outside which was not as necessary as hiring more porters if you have to walk that long and drag your luggage as you stand in a hot sweaty line. Note to self hire a private car to meet you to go to the airport. It would have only been $10 less and they have water and comfortable air conditioned seating. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had a nice time about the Splendor. Really enjoyed our spa suite and amenities. All the staff with the exception of the bar staff were very pleasant and seemed to always be smiling. The embarkation process was very smooth and ... Read More
We had a nice time about the Splendor. Really enjoyed our spa suite and amenities. All the staff with the exception of the bar staff were very pleasant and seemed to always be smiling. The embarkation process was very smooth and easy. We were among the first 50 aboard so we had first dibs on the seating and buffet. All the staff at the buffet were happy and willing to assist us. Met our room steward Sharlene.. what a very nice lady! Her and the team did a wonderful and thorough job on our suite every time we left. She came to us the first hour we were there and asked if we needed anything extra (towels, pillows, etc.). Our spa suite was nice and had lots of storage space and extra room. The bigger balcony was nice as well. We went to the spa and did the tour...signed up for some specials. Massages and accupuncture were very nice. Made our bodies feel more relaxed. The young lady at the desk.. I think was Tilana not sure on the spelling, always remembered us and would call us by name when she saw us. Ate in the MDR anytime seating. Had a different team the first few nights until we were seated in Gusti's area. WOW what a difference it makes to be seated where they are smiling and happy. Gusti introduced himself and his team.. from that point on he remembered our names and what we drank. We had nice discussions with them about how long he had worked there, where he's from etc. But he always took care of all his tables. Best part was the last night wacthing one of his team members cut the steak for the little girl. I can't remember his name but he smiled the whole time. Then off to do whatever else he does. We ate in the Steak house one night for our wedding anniversary. Sat next to a table where there was a screaming child that would not give up and the parents wouldn't do anything about it. Ate the Onion soup.. no flavor. Waiter came over and asked us if we wanted special salt on our steaks. We both chose the spicy salt. Steak came.. no salt or spicy flavor, just normal grilled steak flavor. Very dissappointed!! The best part of staff interaction during the whole cruise was our very first encounter with Marvin every morning.... We put the room service list out the first night for delivery between 7 and 7:30. Knowing how that works, we figured they would get there around 720. At 6:58 there was a knock at the door.. open it and see Marvin, a young man with a beaming braced-teeth smile and a cheerful good morning Mr. Lee.. then once inside Good morning Mrs. Lee... He appeared at our door every morning at the same time with the same smile and cheerfulness!!! What a way to start the morning! All the ports were nice to visit. We took the vans to see the area and would last for about 4 hours. Next time I think we will pay extra to get our own van so we can stay longer in some places and request to see other parts of the towns. We went to the shows a couple of times and just couldn't get into them. Not sure if this was the "B" group or what but they didn't sound good. Had a number of people around us say the same thing and then some were cheering and saying how good they are. If you want pictures on formal night.. I think it was deck 5 they had a bunch of different ones set up. We didn't know this until the next day when we were walking around. So instead of standing in line by the MDR Black pearl we could have gone down there and had some taken. Now onto that.. 2 - 8x10's cost about $50.00 so be prepared! Debarkation was easy.. didn't seemed rushed and was off the ship early. Captain was there as we left thanking everyone. Nice touch! Overall a nice relaxing way to spend our wedding anniversary. Will we do this again?? Of course we will! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Decided to take the family on a cruise during spring break, which was a little earlier than most, so we were able to get closer to off-season pricing. What was really exciting is that they had great deals when we booked on guaranteed ... Read More
Decided to take the family on a cruise during spring break, which was a little earlier than most, so we were able to get closer to off-season pricing. What was really exciting is that they had great deals when we booked on guaranteed oceanview rooms, which we've never tried. That was a real plus (ended up with picture windows), were able to see lots of good scenery, my daughter saw a group of dolphins looking out their stateroom, added a nice element we've never had with inside. Service on the ship was great, with a couple of exceptions I'll explain later. Room stewards and most dining experiences were great. Had the dining options on another ship, nice to see they were there as well. Pros: Loved the updated dining areas, such as O'Sheahan's and Ginza, in addition to the Main Dining Rooms and buffet. Didn't try the paid dining. Staff was very on top of things 95% of the time and very friendly First time in the Mexican Riviera, loved the itinerary and ports Oceanview! Had a Mexican cultural show that was amazing, acrobats were good as well. The communication features on the app were more than worth the $9.99/device. Huge plus. Staterooms had USB chargers, so easy for kids to keep devices charged. Cons: As I've read in other reviews, the layout of the ship is weird. It's because they added the newer dining and other amenities (which is absolutely worth it), but it was often hard to navigate the ship to get where you wanted to go (for example, not very direct entrance to kids club). Related, the main buffet area feels very cramped and doesn't hold many people. It doesn't need to with other options, but that's a problem. Needed a reservation for everything really quickly. For example, really hard to get into Ginza. Service in some dining areas was really slow. I think that they just had too many people for what they could handle. I would say overall felt very crowded. I've been on bigger ships that felt less crowded than this one. Lots of lines for the same things. I'm more conservative, but the music shows weren't to our taste, a little too frisky, glad we didn't take our daughter to the first one (skipped the second one). Didn't have some of the bells and whistles that my active kids would have liked (no splash pad, water slide, ice skating, basketball had a low net, things like that) For the app, didn't have a place to check the schedule for the kids. Also, could have had an option to get more detailed informaiton about an activity on the schedule, similar to the description seen in the print guide. Rough sea day on the way back, I hear that's normal. It's a cruise so I'm always going to enjoy it! I hope NCL could take some of this feedback and fix things (though some things they can't fix). I enjoyed it and would take this itinerary again. I would go on this ship if the price were right. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were very pleased with the ship overall and the staff. They were helpful and service was good. We especially enjoyed the specialty French restaurant. On the third night, my 2 year old grandson had a seizure due to a fever from a ... Read More
We were very pleased with the ship overall and the staff. They were helpful and service was good. We especially enjoyed the specialty French restaurant. On the third night, my 2 year old grandson had a seizure due to a fever from a possible lung infection at about 4am. We were extremely satisfied with the medical attention that he received from the doctor and staff onboard. They arranged for an ambulance to pick us up when we docked at 9am. The onboard care was excellent but very expensive. The ship arranged for the ambulance to take us to a private hospital almost 2km away. From locals, we know there are reputable private hospitals closer. I am not sure why this one was chosen - it had only 16 beds and a rotating pediatrician. Of these 16 beds, only 5 were occupied. Perhaps it was a private hospital just for Norwegian guests. We were not able to rejoin the ship. Thank goodness for travel insurance as it was very expensive! We had no chance to do any of the tours before leaving. We found the entertainment to be quite good. On previous Norwegian cruises, we enjoyed the dueling pianos but they were not on this voyage. It had the potential to be very good if we could have returned to the ship but our insurance would not cover my grandson if he returned. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We booked this itinerary as it lined up with a conference we were attending in California. It is one of the smaller ships we have sailed on. Embarkation was fast and efficient. The staff was amazing. Somehow we were bumped up to ... Read More
We booked this itinerary as it lined up with a conference we were attending in California. It is one of the smaller ships we have sailed on. Embarkation was fast and efficient. The staff was amazing. Somehow we were bumped up to concierge level. Suzana was wonderful, reminds one of your favorite aunt, Food Service The food was excellent. We did Cagneys and La Bistro. Both were great. We used the Venetian as our main dining room. Food service and quality was excellent. My only feedback is that we had reservations for 5:15 PM and the Venetian only opened at 5:30. Did understand the timing. The casino was extremely smokey. This limited my time in the venue. The smoke stuck to your close merely walking through. Entertainment - excellent The 5 O'Clock Somewhere bar was ok. I preferred the Mondavi Wine bar on the Dawn. They use this location for live music, I would suggest they improve the sound system as the sound did not carry through the bar. Beverage Service The bar tenders were great. We were disappointed with the lack of options on the by glass wine offerings. Every cruise we have done over the past 2 years has continuously decreased the offerings. They had many bottles at $30 ish and they would give a discount of 20% with the package. They also increased the costing on premium liquors, IE Ron Zacapa 23 went from $17.95 to $22.95. The nickle and dimeing has to stop... Peurto Vallarta We did a discover PV tour. Great little tour. Mazatland We hired a cab for a 2 hour tour. Cleanest city we have ever been in. Beautiful scenery. We will go back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We like to sail out of SoCal so we got a balcony on deck 8 below lido deck (bad choice, massive chair dragging well into the night). Balcony was nice except for noise Food was very good, I've been on many other lines and their food ... Read More
We like to sail out of SoCal so we got a balcony on deck 8 below lido deck (bad choice, massive chair dragging well into the night). Balcony was nice except for noise Food was very good, I've been on many other lines and their food was on par with others, Cunard, Princess, HAL. We ate in no specialty restaurant's. BBQ restaurant was good as was the deli where I liked the buffalo chicken sandwich. Hamburgers were also very good. Dinners and service in MDR were great and breakfast was good in MDR. scrambled eggs in Lido were a little fluid. Cakes were great More lively with a younger crowd, on HAL I get run over with scooters, on Carnival it's children. I did not like the deck layout, no walk around Promenade deck. Entertainment was not that good. Princess much better Good fitness center, they have a rower . Our one excursion was a zodiac looking for whales, great fun found a mama and baby whales Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first time ever on a cruise. We got a great deal, so we ended up booking the family suite. It happened to come with a concierge and butler. We thought that was pretty cool, except the concierge was completely useless. He ... Read More
This was our first time ever on a cruise. We got a great deal, so we ended up booking the family suite. It happened to come with a concierge and butler. We thought that was pretty cool, except the concierge was completely useless. He booked 3 reservations for us and made huge mistakes on all of them. The butler was pretty great, he came when we called him, but otherwise he never called or popped in to check on us. It was obvious the staff on these cruise ships are super overworked. We saw some employees in multiple restaurants spanning 13+ hours throughout the day. They get about 5 hours of sleep per night and see their families every 8 months. I am not sure how I felt about that. The suite we stayed in was nice, but there were some things that were not the luxury suite it was sold to be on the site. The phone was so incredibly filthy, most of the curtains were ripped off their holders (they use curtains to divide out the "rooms" within the cabin), and the carpet had stains that looked to be quite old. Definitely not what I was expecting after paying $6000. We were charged $10/phone for the internet service to be able to communicate with one another while on the cruise, but the NCL app is SO incredibly bad that we ended up hardly using it at all. We will cruise again, but not sure we will dish out the extra money - doesnt seem like it was worth it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We live locally in Southern California and went on this cruise to celebrate my husbands birthday weekend. We purchased Faster to Fun - embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on the ship. The ... Read More
We live locally in Southern California and went on this cruise to celebrate my husbands birthday weekend. We purchased Faster to Fun - embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on the ship. The ship is not very big and it’s easy to get around. Our cabin in Empress Fwd was nice and clean but we found it to be very noisy all night till 1am. They had some kids activities in a theater right above our cabin involving running and jumping, every night. I wouldn’t recommend this location for the cabin. Dining in the main dining room was good, but service could be little bit better. We never got our meal at the same time for everyone in the party. Your plate gets cold while waiting for your friends plate to be served, sometimes 20min later. They just bring meals whenever it’s ready for each person. Although, day at the sea brunch was very good and we enjoyed tea time in Mardi Grass restaurant. The major surprise was the Chefs table dinner. Beyond everyone’s expectations. It cost additional $75/person but it worth every penny and many more. It’s a truly amazing culinary experience and I will be back on this cruise just for that. Good Entertainment and overall atmosphere makes it Happy time and great place to celebrate any occasion. We liked all the music, theatre performances but most of all the comedy club. All comedians were very funny and we had great time. The gym is nice and there are yoga and spin classes in the morning. We took a spin class which was very good and equipment was in a good shape. Sunday we arrived in Encinada. It’s easy to get out the ship on your own and either take a bus or walk in to a town. There are number of shops, restaurants and bars in few blocks of downtown. We took a tour to 2 vineyards and we were glad we did it. The vineries are ok but ride was very scenic and we could experience a country side while we still had enough time left to check out downtown and visit few shops before the bus took us back to the ship. The disembarkation starts at 7am from Empress level. We carried our bags and left the ship early without any delays. This was overall very enjoyable trip, I only wish we had a different room in a quieter corner. We most likely will be back soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I just completed my 9th cruise, five of which are the same itinerary, the 7-Day Mexican Riviera from the Long Beach port. I had never done a cruise until February 2014 and now I have completed nine with the tenth I anticipate being on the ... Read More
I just completed my 9th cruise, five of which are the same itinerary, the 7-Day Mexican Riviera from the Long Beach port. I had never done a cruise until February 2014 and now I have completed nine with the tenth I anticipate being on the Carnival Panorama. I drove in from Scottsdale, AZ for this trip. I actually got to the cruise terminal a bit early so I wandered over to the Queen Mary and grabbed some breakfast. I try to always purchase the Faster to the Fun package so that I can take advantage of those benefits. The most important one to me is to be able to go straight to my cabin and dump off my stuff and then go to Lido Deck for some lunch. Embarkation was incredibly smooth. When they let us into the terminal, I honestly believe we were seated for only 45 minutes before they opened the doors to go aboard. I went straight to my Ocean Suite cabin, 7253, of course, the room was all ready. I dropped off my carry on luggage and went up to the Lido Deck. The first place I went to was the Ol' Fashioned BBQ on deck 10 aft. This is a hidden gem. I have never seen a line at this spot and the food is great. I wandered around the ship to see what was new and what was happening. After a while we did the Safety Muster. I got to station A, but no one was really taking charge at the site and I never did get my Sail n Sign card scanned to show that I made it. The Muster only lasted about 15-20 minutes (woo hooooo). However later that evening, I got a letter stating I did not make it to the mandatory safety muster and that I should review the process of an emergency evacuation of the ship. The first evening I ate in The Steakhouse restaurant. Carnival increased the price from $35 to $38 but it is still such a great bargain. I started with the Bone Marrow and Hand-Cut Beef Tartare. I have never eaten either before but I make it a point to eat things I would never eat otherwise on the ship. Both were very good. I could not get enough of either. I have to admit I got the shrimp cocktail too. I just wanted a Plan B in case I did not like the other appetizer. For the main course, I got the Australian Wagyu. And for the dessert I got the Chocolate Sphere. I also did the wine pairing for this complete dinner. So I got some Layer Cake Pinot Noir with the Bone Marrow and Beef Tartare. I got some Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc with the shrimp cocktail, and Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon with the Wagyu, Lastly I got some Graham's Six Grapes Port with the Chocolate Sphere. The wine pairing was only $18 extra. Like I said, the bone marrow and the tartare was delicious. The shrimp cocktail was pretty good. (It's shrimp. What can you do to shrimp.) The Chocolate Sphere was absolutely fantastic. The restaurant is a MUST DO. It is $38 per person including gratuities. The first sea-day was pretty much as you might expect. Lots of trivia and shows. Plenty of entertainment choices for all. Cabo San Lucas was great. I did a day trip to a local resort and hung all day on the beach. In my opinion, one of the best sites to see at Cabo is found ONLY when you are tnedering in to or out of the piers. I love watching the sea lions hitching a ride on the back of the fishing boats begging for fish. In Mazatlan, I took the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours. I got off at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and chatted with some of the volunteers. I went over to the market and it was pretty amazing. The next port was in Puerta Vallarta. I hired a cab to take me around the unusual sites in town. He drove me to where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton lived, he showed me around the Romantic Zone of PV and then showed me an errant crocodile in the marina. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Overall, the ship is great. It's nicely furnished, the food is great, the entertainment was the best I've ever experienced, and the exercise room was excellent (unlike the Sapphire Princess that we were just on in January). The ... Read More
Overall, the ship is great. It's nicely furnished, the food is great, the entertainment was the best I've ever experienced, and the exercise room was excellent (unlike the Sapphire Princess that we were just on in January). The comedian was hilarious and the stage productions were extremely well done. Even the daily musicians were good. That's why the ship gets my high rating BUT ... 1) If you value privacy, do not get a minisuite on the 11th deck. The privacy screen does not extend out to the railing. If the next-door neighbor is at the railing, they can not only see into your balcony, they can see into your cabin as well. If you want to dress, be sure to close the curtain. 2) Our particular mini-suite, Cabin 11188, was simply the worst ever. Do NOT choose this cabin or 11182! Every night from midnight to two a.m. somebody or something drags stuff across the floor, drops things, bangs, etc. It was seriously loud and the folks next door were hearing it, too. I thought it was the H2O lounge or the dining room, but it wasn't. Instead it seems to have been the crew moving things around. I called to complain after two nights and the officer noted the noise and it quieted down ONCE but repeated again the rest of the cruise. We were given a free specialty dining but it doesn't 3) Our cruise got off to a nasty start with the lifeboat drill in which a crewmember at Muster Station D decided she was going to be our Drill Sergeant for the day, giving orders and lining us up. I was in line "as ordered" but that wasn't good enough for the Drill Sergeant, who actually ordered me to move forward two feet (!) to fill in the gap in the ranks. Other groups were not "lined up" like this. She was just generally bossy and unfriendly. She also talked during announcements over the intercom so we couldn't hear either one. When I confronted her afterwards about her unfriendly demeanor, she just gave me more attitude. I reported this behavior to her superiors and received an apology but no followup. 4) We experienced very slow service in Cagney's. 5) I called for a wakeup call that never came (fortunately my own alarm worked). 6) I was amazed to be in Gatsby's on the next to last night to see two (2) guests using four chairs; i.e., sitting with their feet up on the other chairs. 7) The 5 O'Clock Lounge is nice but poorly set up for the karaoke activities they hold there. Unlike other NCL ships, the Star has no forward lounge where you can sit inside and watch the ocean. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019

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