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2,611 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

I chose the Royal for a new sailing experience, looking for exciting adventures and it was all this and more. The ship is absolutely stunning and has great offerings of food, entertainment and activities. Many events centered in the ... Read More
I chose the Royal for a new sailing experience, looking for exciting adventures and it was all this and more. The ship is absolutely stunning and has great offerings of food, entertainment and activities. Many events centered in the Piazza. However, with a larger passenger list, there is not enough crew. Longer than usual wait times for drinks and meals at dinner. At times we were unable to find waiters for a glass of ice tea, or coffee in Horizon Court. Our room attendant was unable to keep up with the demands of having 18 mini-suites to clean thru little fault of his own. Sadly, the Effy store had so many aggressive sales people I was turned off and refused to buy an anniversary ring. The Sanctuary service was fabulous! We tried the Sanctuary Cabana and were very pleased to not regret the $140 per afternoon cost... it was that great. Also, I got a world class hair makeover from Yureli in the Salon and I couldn't be happier. I wholeheartedly recommend the Royal... bear in mind to be flexible and in some ways lower your expectations. Who knows, may your cruise on the Royal Princess will be a 10. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Organized embarkation. Had lunch at buffet and luggage was waiting in room. I always practice extreme sanitation— wipe down room (doorhandles, light switches, remote, desks, patio furniture, bathroom), frequent hand washing, no ... Read More
Organized embarkation. Had lunch at buffet and luggage was waiting in room. I always practice extreme sanitation— wipe down room (doorhandles, light switches, remote, desks, patio furniture, bathroom), frequent hand washing, no touching handrail/elevator buttons (elbow) and being very selective about exposure to crowds. Did not get sick, and I notice this cruise did not have a lot of sick coughing people by the end of cruise (sorry, but that’s been the norm). This is our 11th cruise, all on Princess, and the 4th on the Grand. It was our 50th anniversary and did not disappoint. We made it restful and relaxing and did not overdue things. FOOD: First, I want to compliment the food. Where do these reviewers normally eat that they find the Princess food below standard? There are so many places and things to eat on the ship, how can you not find something? We started in the buffet— even mundane things like rice or carrots were perfectly cooked and seasoned. The pasta was al dente. The buffet had some basic things that would be there every time, and many things were switched out. A seafood salad contained shrimp, baby scallops, oysters with no grit– sweet! The Grill (hamburger stand) had great offerings, this time including tacos, and a pizza stand. We didn’t eat there, but our travelmates did. Alfredo’s Pizzeria is gourmet. More selection than in the past, and they will customize, ie: adding pepperoni to your vegetarian pizza. The International Café is perfect for a light snack. The main dining rooms were great with a mainstay menu on the left, and changing offerings on right. I love the salmon and am hard-pressed to stay with it or try something new. Service is still slow and harried– they’re too busy. We did not see any lines except when passengers gathered prior to opening, but we also showed up to eat on the later side, around 7, when early diners were leaving. Here’s a secret for anytime dining— go to DaVinci from 7pm on and the maitre D (head waiter) will get you right in. On our anniversary night, we ate in the Crown Grill and it was stupendous! They now limit the steak and lobster and have a $10 additional fee to have both. Probably from that cruise our party of 5 ate too many! Food complaints? The coffee cards are different. We brought an unfinished card from the last cruise and it was ‘confiscated.’ The barista keeps them in a cup and punches them each time you order. When that card was used up, we purchased another, calculating using the last on departure morning. Otherwise, you’re out of luck! And there’s so much card swiping and key entry on the part of the barista it was hilarious– what industrial engineer thought that up? You can’t get a large orange juice in the buffet— have to order 2 small. I’ve been a critic of the 2 sink hand-washing station in the buffet but it is closely monitored. It’s still glitchy in that you have traffic heading to the pool, or returning from the rear dining area but it’s not disastrous. I like the ‘smart casual’ dress code in the main dining room. It needs to be more proactively displayed so it doesn’t put the maitre D in a tough spot. On formal night, there were several diners who were not formal; a group of 4 girls next to us were in their bluejeans and Ts, except one had her jammies on. PHOTOGRAPHY: The photogs make you look good. Picked our favorite photos and got digital files too. Included one with Captain John Smith who was very obliging. There were not as many set-ups on formal night, but there would be photogs on ‘casual’ night. Hate the port jackass photos and ducked out of every one. ENTERTAINMENT: CD Steve Campbell was talented. Attended every art event, especially the history or artist lectures, and the auctions. Art Director Henry was a walking encyclopedia. The Crew Show is always entertaining. The last night was a new Princess production, Born to Dance. It was fabulous! No Spanish class, no port lectures. CABIN: The cabin size is fine. You want to hear about my brother’s facilities in the USN? We booked with adjoining travelmates and kept the patio door open between balconies for memorable visiting. There’s shampoo/conditioner, bath wash, soap, lotion, hair dryer. There’s now plug-ins on bedside lamps to recharge phones. I don’t go on a cruise to watch TV, but it’s limited– you select an on-demand program or movie, it plays, then ends until you select another program. The ‘live feed’ includes 2 sport channels, MSNBC, CNBC, and Fox but they don’t have ‘news,’ only politicizing. Entry is a swipe of key card, no more mail box or name on room. Greatly reduced ship mail, tucked under door handle. We had a problem with shower temperature water– tepid at best. Reported, argued, and it was never fixed. SHIP: The Grand is in good condition, with the expected rusty places the sea demands. The numerous repainting causes drips on the balcony— painters don’t bother with drop cloths. The elevators can be slow. The sofas in the venues sit too low. The public can lack consideration: jumping on elevator before riders can get off, stopping to have a conversation in an aisle, and please, don’t take your shoes off and put your bare feet on the table!! This was a wonderful, relaxing cruise to a warm place. I’m happy to celebrate with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We've taken this cruise a number of times specifically because San Francisco is the point of departure. We don't need to fly, worry about parking the car, or leaving our house at the crack of dawn. We also love the Mexican ... Read More
We've taken this cruise a number of times specifically because San Francisco is the point of departure. We don't need to fly, worry about parking the car, or leaving our house at the crack of dawn. We also love the Mexican Riviera. Embarkation and Disembarkation were a snap. We arrived at 1:30 pm, dropped off our luggage and were through check-in and on the ship in our cabin within 30 minutes. There was plenty of staff in all areas: all x-ray security lines were open and staffed (first time). Disembarkation was called right on time and we were out and ready to head home within 45 minutes. We lead hectic lives and look to relax and let go of stress on this particular cruise. This is our 4th time on the Grand Princess (Hawaii & Mexico) and while she is an older "work-horse", the recent spring 2019 refurbishments were nicely done and appreciated. The service all around the ship was great. We were greeted with smiles everywhere. The crew seemed genuinely pleased to be on the ship; no grumpiness or surliness. We ate all dinners in Club Class dining. We enjoy this because of the specialty dishes, the level of service and attention and the more intimate surroundings. Being able to order a steak from the Crown Grill for a nominal fee was a delightful surprise. The specialty pastas and the beef dishes were delicious. I also had salmon from the 'everyday' selection and that, too, was prepared perfectly. We didn't experience any poor tasting food. We're not big on in-room dining or breakfast so our day usually started with 'brunch' at the Horizon Court. There was a wide selection of food choices and while they did seem monotonous by the end of the cruise, the food was well prepared and tasty. The daily assortment of fresh fruit was perfect...best watermelon ever. We ate at Alfredo's Pizzeria, the International Cafe, the Salty Dog and the food was good. An afternoon treat was the soft serve ice cream, which tasted smooth and creamy like ice cream...definitely not ice milk. Entertainment has vastly improved. We attended the nightly shows in the Princess Theater (9:30 pm) and were pleasantly surprised with the improvement in quality of the material and expertise of the performers. I usually pass on a number of shows but not this time. The cruise director and his staff were the best we've experienced. We explored each port on our own as we've been to each one many times and have taken a lot of the tours. Relaxing and letting go of stress included spa time. I got the Seaweed Wrap, Thai Poultice Massage, Reflexology and Bio-metric Facial, spread over the 10 days. I've had each on prior cruises and I look forward to this 'me' time. I was not disappointed. Each attendant was knowledgeable and proficient. Many knots and kinks were massaged away. One thing I wish is that the Grand Princess had a Thermal Suite or Thalassotherapy pool. For swimming and pool time, we avoided Neptune's Pool and headed each afternoon to the Terrace Pool (adults only). It was filled with fresh water and the temperature was refreshing - not too hot or cold. Met a lot of the same people each afternoon; nice social time. We were sorry to learn that the Grand Princess will reposition to Asia next year so this was probably our last time on board. It was a great cruise - a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose a Princess cruise because of how highly recommended Princess was by many friends. I knew I did not want to add the time or price of flights to or from another port, so I chose a round trip from my local Los Angeles port. The ... Read More
I chose a Princess cruise because of how highly recommended Princess was by many friends. I knew I did not want to add the time or price of flights to or from another port, so I chose a round trip from my local Los Angeles port. The destination was really not much of a factor in my selection. I was so impressed with the service all over the ship. I've never experienced service like this anywhere else. Everyone was so friendly, helpful, attentive and welcoming. It was amazing! The ship itself is beautiful and the room was much larger than I expected. The food was really good too. I couldn't believe the speed of the service in the restaurants on a sold out cruise. It blows my mind how they can serve so many people so fast. Everything about the cruise was top notch. The bartenders in the Good Spirits at Sea bar were truly memorable. Agus, Don and Patricio were just amazing. Their service was the best and their sense of humor had us in stitches the whole cruise. Matt "O", our cruise director really made the whole cruise enjoyable. He was so nice, friendly, knowledgeable and full of energy day and night. I can't wait to cruise with him again! Amazing crew and ship!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It promised a short getaway and definitely lived up to it ! We were able to relax in the Spa’s Enclave. The pool there is so therapeutic, the steam and sauna rooms are a must. Then top it off by lying on the warm stone bed. I also ... Read More
It promised a short getaway and definitely lived up to it ! We were able to relax in the Spa’s Enclave. The pool there is so therapeutic, the steam and sauna rooms are a must. Then top it off by lying on the warm stone bed. I also benefited from the seaweed detox treatment and massage. For anyone who needs to rejuvenate this is the place to be. Fasted embarkation and disembarkation ever!! It was very organized and everyone along the way was helpful and so friendly. The food was delicious and always fresh. We had two great dinners in the Symphony Dining room and the rest of the time we frequented the Horizon Buffet and enjoyed the convenience and variety there. And don’t forget the delicious pizza on Deck 16! We took advantage of room service in the morning and it was always on time and exactly what we had ordered. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise due to multiple reccomendations. A wonderful experience and our first cruise! We will return! The dining room experience was awesome We used the buffet for breakfast and lunch. There were many healthy choices. ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to multiple reccomendations. A wonderful experience and our first cruise! We will return! The dining room experience was awesome We used the buffet for breakfast and lunch. There were many healthy choices. We exercised each day and were pleased with the work out choices. The highlight of our cruise experience was the Balcony Dinner and th excursions in Cabo. We did the snorkeling and swim with the dolphins. The experience in Cabo felt save and relaxing We were glad we were able to stay 2 days. Getting on and off the ship in Cabo was easy and effortless. The return back to the U.S. port in San Pedro was just the right amount of time being on the ship Leaving the port, we took the airport transfer provided by Princess, the bus was reasonable and air conditioned All in all no negative incidences. This was my husband and my first cruise, we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our short trip from LA to Cabo on the Royal Princess was very relaxing and refreshing. Just what the doctor ordered. We arrived a little before our scheduled embarkation time, but we just got in line and wound our way through. I had ... Read More
Our short trip from LA to Cabo on the Royal Princess was very relaxing and refreshing. Just what the doctor ordered. We arrived a little before our scheduled embarkation time, but we just got in line and wound our way through. I had already received our Medallions, so we didn't have to show anything other than that! It really couldn't have been easier. Once on board, my husband, who was a first time cruiser, was amazed at the grandeur and beauty of the Piazza. Even though I had shown him pictures, seeing it in person is amazing. We dropped our luggage off at our room and then hit the buffet. Again, my husband was amazed at the selection and quantity! Our room was M535, a balcony room, just below Horizon Court. I was worried there would be noise from there, but it was insignificant compared to my husbands snoring. I brought earplugs for the later and apparently it blocked out the former :) Our cabin steward had our room looking great and kept it that way the whole trip. He really did a great job and was always friendly when we passed in the hallway. The wait staff in the traditional dining room, Allegro, was delightful. My husband enjoyed chatting with our waiter, Victor, so much, that he didn't want to miss a meal. We had a gift meal at Sabatini's (which was very nice) so we did miss one meal there, much to my husband's chagrin. I loved the food. I'm not hard to please, I will admit. If someone else makes it and cleans up, I'm fairly certain that I will be happy with any food that is not too adventurous. The very first night I had the prime rib. It was so good I wanted to cry happy tears! The next night was filet mignon, and another night was chicken and another night was salmon. I wish I could eat there every single night of my life! Again, I am not a foodie, far from it. But my husband and I both enjoyed the food. Horizon Court was great for lunch and breakfast. My husband loved the cookies! We watched the movies in the afternoon and napped. I got caught up on several movies that I didn't see during the summer. That was a bonus! The bed was comfy. I was very pleasantly surprised at how awesome the dancers and singers were for the big show performances. We saw "Soul" and "Encore" on this cruise. Both were wonderful and had my husband standing up and cheering at the end. I was cheering too, but that isn't remarkable :) Jeff the Juggler was super funny and very entertaining. Getting off the ship to go into Cabo was the only glitch, but it wasn't anyone's fault but the weather. We eventually got into Cabo and stayed about 30 minutes. It is true what people say about bartering. Decide what you are willing to pay for something, and you will probably get your price. We also had the free tea every day at 3:00pm. I loved that so much I want to continue it at home! Their scones are so delicious. The tea itself was only meh, but I like regular Lipton tea, so bear that in mind. Disembarkation was a little tedious (be prepared to wait for elevators), but since we were walking off with our luggage, we just left when we were ready. Typical lines to wait in, but honestly, when you are off-loading about 3,000 people, what do you expect? Overall, it was a wonderful time to relax and getaway from the daily grind. I honestly didn't want to come home and have to think about what to fix for dinner the next day! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship was absolutely beautiful and very elegant, not to mention, huge and well maintained! Everything you need is conveniently found on the ship; variety of shops, restaurants and other eateries, casino, theater, spa, pools/jacuzzis, ... Read More
The ship was absolutely beautiful and very elegant, not to mention, huge and well maintained! Everything you need is conveniently found on the ship; variety of shops, restaurants and other eateries, casino, theater, spa, pools/jacuzzis, bars, cafes with specialty coffee, Internet cafe, gym, The Sanctuary, the private adult only pool area, plenty of seating throughout the entire ship on nearly every level, AND MUCH MORE... including a medical area!! They provided exceptional service from our stateroom attendant, (MARIO!!) to room service, the Horizon Buffet waiters, and every other staff member aboard the ship. There were great sights on and off board. The views were exceptional! The excursions were great, but please note, the Princess excursion options are much better than private shore ones! The best part of all, we truly were treated like royalty, which is very fitting for the "Princess" line of cruise ships! We will be back cruising again SOON!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
1. Overall comments: This cruise exceeded all my expectations. I’d give it 10 stars if I could. I had read many reviews of this ship on Cruise Critic and they were decidedly mixed. Thus, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This cruise was ... Read More
1. Overall comments: This cruise exceeded all my expectations. I’d give it 10 stars if I could. I had read many reviews of this ship on Cruise Critic and they were decidedly mixed. Thus, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This cruise was amazing! The ship was wonderful and I saw no signs of the age and decay that I had read about. Everyone from Princess we met was great. The food was excellent. Our mini-suite cabin was very comfortable. I don’t know why people are so negative about this ship. Perhaps some people have ridiculously high expectations that no ship could live up to. For us, the experience on the Grand Princess was truly “grand.” How much did we enjoy this cruise? We only got off the ship one time even though we visited four ports in Mexico! 2. Food a. Horizon Court: The food in the buffet was uniformly excellent. Things were very fresh and everything was really tasty. So many people posted negative things about the Horizon Court, but I don’t get it. The staff was very friendly and the hand-washing station at each entrance was very comforting to see. All passengers entering were gently encouraged to wash their hands. There wasn’t a piece of brown lettuce in sight, typically the sign of a bad buffet. The smoked salmon was plentiful at breakfast, one of our favorites. The baked goods and fruit was all fresh. What REALLY surprised me was the overall atmosphere in the Horizon Court. It was downright calm and low-key. The indirect lighting, the carpeting, the comfortable chairs all worked together to create a very pleasant ambiance. b. Sabatini’s: We ate there one night and it was spectacular. The food was very rich and tasty. So many great flavors. The 3-pasta course was amazing. Service was also great. This was worth every extra penny. c. Crown Grill (Daniel from Brazil): We ate there early in the cruise. One of the steaks (the Sterling Chop) was perfect while the 14oz ribeye was a bit disappointing, although my partner ate it. The next day, he casually mentioned it to someone at the Guest Services desk. That person was named Oana who turned out to be an Assistant Maitre’D. She was very apologetic and said she would make this right. She invited both of us to dine again at the Crown Grill at no cost. This we did a few nights later. This time, the waiter (a wonderful guy named Daniel from Brazil) brought the raw steak to our table to get our approval before cooking it. The piece of meat was great and was cooked exactly as requested. d. Alfredo’s Pizzeria: Several Cruise Critic reviews suggested having lunch here on departure day, since it would be a lot less crowded. They were right. We had some wonderful pizzas that kicked off the cruise deliciously. They are hand-tossed and made to order. The view outside the window as the ship was getting ready to sail was a bonus. I thought about eating again at Alfredo’s later in the cruise but didn’t make it there. e. Salty Dog poolside: Food here was fresh and VERY tasty. The regular burger was great, but the Ernesto Burger made with prime rib and pork belly ($5 extra) was well worth it. Two thumbs up here! f. Coffee and Cones: Right between the two big pools, this location was great. I am not a coffee drinker, but I sure do like soft-serve with sprinkles on a hot pool day. There were almost never an lines waiting to get served here. g. International Café: Very popular spot located in the Piazza area. Even at peak times, I didn’t need to wait too long. The offerings were fresh and the options changed all the time. The sandwiches and soups were very tasty. This is a great concept. 3. Condition of cabin: Despite reviews to the contrary, everything worked in E729. All the doorknobs matched (a common complaint), the safe was handy, and the bed was very comfortable. The linens were like silk. The twin LG flat-panel TVs worked just fine. There were a number of lighting options. Closet space was more than ample, and the large bathroom was great. Having a tub was nice, and the water pressure in the shower was STRONG! 4. Elevators: On two occasions, elevators were out of commission. But, in both cases, crew members were working on the issue and the elevators were back in business very shortly. 5. TVs in cabin with on-demand programming: I knew that all-new LG flat panel TVs had been installed during the retrofitting earlier in 2019. We had two of these and they worked great. The choice of live TV channels was limited but acceptable. The on-demand programming was quite extensive. We watched several movies from the comfort of our mini-suite. 6. Production shows (Motor City, comedian, British Invasion) and movies in the Princess Theater. The two production shows we saw were quite good. The one comedian we saw was also very funny. We also took in the film “Rocketman” in the Princess Theater. That worked very well and the sound and picture quality were great. 7. Balcony: We carefully chose our mini-suite because it had the double-width balcony that was private. Nobody could see onto it and the balcony wrapped around the stern of the ship providing views in two directions. That was great! 8. Ease of boarding and disembarking: Nothing could have been easier. The relatively new cruise port at Pier 27 in San Francisco worked super well. In the ports, people seemed to be getting off and on the ship with no major issues. I didn’t see a single “pier runner!” 9. Pools: We mostly used the Neptune and Calypso pools, neither of which were ever very crowded. There were always plenty of chairs and loungers available; space was never an issue. The pools were large enough and the water was just warm enough. With one pool exposed and one covered, these were great choices. I didn’t visit the other pools on the ship, but they looked nice. I didn’t watch any “Movies Under The Stars” poolside, but I did see some other shows shown there. Watching an NFL game on the giant screen while lounging in the pool was a major highlight of this cruise! 10. Casino: I spent some time there. It was decent sized but a bit dark and forbidding. The smoke smell was strong, but not on the smoke-free days they had there. Most of the staff was Eastern European and not uniformly friendly. Still, it was a positive experience. 11. Internet: Despite what cruise lines say, internet speeds are slow. Princess claims to be fixing this with its Ocean Medallion service, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Speeds were no slower or faster than I’ve experienced on other ships. 12. Cabin steward: We had the best steward ever: Roberto Leynes. He was always hanging around in the hallway outside our cabin, but not in a creepy way at all. He was just so friendly all the time! 13. Friendly staff: Leo and Oana at the Guest Services deck were exceptionally helpful. Knowing all the crap they must deal with on a daily basis, I was so happy to receive such excellent service from them. 14. Walking on the Promenade Deck: This was our regular form of exercise with great views and fresh air to boot. In order to completely circumvent the ship, one had to go up a flight of stairs to the Emerald Deck at the bow and back down the stairs to the Promenade Deck on the opposite side. The deck narrows down quite a bit in some locations, but things never got too crowded and it was easy to work up a sweat while circling the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Excellent 7 day itinerary, loved this ship and staff and especially our ocean view room. Very quiet and peaceful. Skip the excursions booked on board, much better value in port (Same tour half price) Camp Ocean is Amazing, they took ... Read More
Excellent 7 day itinerary, loved this ship and staff and especially our ocean view room. Very quiet and peaceful. Skip the excursions booked on board, much better value in port (Same tour half price) Camp Ocean is Amazing, they took wonderful care of our kids, made it seamless, and were super chill (not too many unnecessary rules) CABO: Had a beach day in Cabo, walked to Cannery Beach (Playa Empacadora) rented an umbrella for the day for $6 (they were asking $10). MAZLATAN: Took the 3hr city tour that you can book from the terminal, $30US and kids were free! PUERTO VALLARTA: Took our 4yr old on the "Dolphin experience and sea lion kiss" tour, it was perfect! The brochure had a min height requirement of 4'5" so we didnt book, but the Vallarta Adventures people had a booth on the dock and we asked and they said he was fine, so booked it from the dock. Included lunch but it was pretty average. Tour was awesome, I paid $46 to be an "Observer", but they yelled at me not to take a photo at the sea lion kiss (i did anyway, I'd paid almost $50 to be there!). BEHIND THE SCENE TOUR: Available on the last sea day, you can go on a 3hr behind the scenes ship tour, only 32 spots available, so book early, hightly recomend it if your interested in seeing what most passengers dont. $96 and you get to visit the bridge, engine control room, galley, back stage of the show, etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We went as a group of nine people. We enjoyed the Fun on the Sea and the tours at Cabo, Mazatlan, and Pto. Vallarta. The ship crew were very courteous, kind, and the service was Excellent. We were assigned in Deck 8414. I love the cute ... Read More
We went as a group of nine people. We enjoyed the Fun on the Sea and the tours at Cabo, Mazatlan, and Pto. Vallarta. The ship crew were very courteous, kind, and the service was Excellent. We were assigned in Deck 8414. I love the cute surprises Dennis created using a white towel. The cabin is always kept clean and sheets & towels always changed . . David (Peru) and his team served us during dinner at the Gold Pearl Upper. I loved that he remembers our names and call us by our first name. He remembers what drinks and dessert we love. I rate the team 11/10. . . The embarkation and disembarkation were done smoothly. . . I love the Entertainment and Activities. . . The excursion we chose at Cabo was Parasailing. I rate this FIVE STAR. We felt like we were celebrities and the three crew gave us their Excellent Customer Service. . .Yes, I will go again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My family and I went for the first time on a cruise. We didn’t really know what to expect, but we have heard it’s a lot of fun!! So this is how we decided to spend my mom’s birthday. We booked a cruise with Carnival Imagination! It ... Read More
My family and I went for the first time on a cruise. We didn’t really know what to expect, but we have heard it’s a lot of fun!! So this is how we decided to spend my mom’s birthday. We booked a cruise with Carnival Imagination! It was what we had expected and much more!! My family and I had a wonderful time! We felt welcomed from the first step we took on the ship. The entertainment program and the crew was fantastic! The cruise Director, Benjamin, (which by the way I will miss waking up to his “Gooood morning, ladies and gentlemen”) and Jackie were great! We enjoyed the shows throughout the day, as well as the evening program. So many things to do!! The dancing and singing was amazing, I truly felt like I was watching a show in Vegas. The entire crew had so much energy, enthusiasm, and happiness like it was the first time performing the show!! I do remember Ryan’s name because he celebrated his birthday the same day as my mom’s, but the entire crew was awesome!! The comedy show with Benjamin, Geoff and Michael was great!! We laughed so hard!! The host, CJ was very funny too!! The food and desserts on the buffet were very good, many different options to choose from. We were assigned to the Pride restaurant for dinner, where we had the great pleasure to meet Srdan. He was our waiter the first evening. He was very professional and also pleasant to talk to. Although we didn’t get served by him again throughout our cruise, he made sure he came to say hi every time he saw us dine. He went out of his way one morning, making us two lattes, when we asked for regular coffee, even though it wasn’t his section to cover. I also remember Dwi, Rody, and Wahyudi, our service team the second evening. The hostesses, Dragana and Martina were extremely nice too. Although they were there morning and evening, every day, working lots of hours a day, they were always welcoming us with a smile on their face. Viktor, our housekeeping member, was awesome too! Always making conversation with us, asking us how our day went, or what are our plans for the day. Every evening we came back to a clean and organized room, with cool towel faces welcoming us “home”! We know how many hours you guys work every day and my family and I would like to Thank Carnival Imagination and the entire crew for keeping us safe, your hard work and dedication, for offering us a wonderful vacation and making us feel special every day! See you soon!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Overall, my family and I had a great time on the cruise and are discussing about going again! Embarkation: Getting to the cruise terminal was a mess, there was a long line of cars dropping off cruisers. There were even some picking ... Read More
Overall, my family and I had a great time on the cruise and are discussing about going again! Embarkation: Getting to the cruise terminal was a mess, there was a long line of cars dropping off cruisers. There were even some picking up cruisers who had just gotten off. It took about 20 minutes to get from where you pick up the parking pass to where the drop off location is. Once we got there we realized it was because all of the cars were stopping at the front but if they were to drive more down there would be much less traffic. As we were getting off the car there were workers helping us to get our bags and they took them and said they would be dropped off at our room later, so we wouldn’t have to carry them around with us. The process after getting off was really fast, we were on the boat in under 20 minutes. We had lunch on the lido deck and it was hard to find somewhere to sit. We all ate hamburgers which were pretty good given they weren’t Guys Hamburger Joint. After getting our rooms our luggage came within 30 minutes. We were on the 1st floor, Rivera and since they were using the elevator for luggage it was tiring to go back up to the lido deck on stairs. Afterwards we wandered the ship until the mandatory safety briefing which was quite boring and crammed but important in case there to be an incident where we need to abandon ship. I would suggest giving yourself extra time to get there as there really was a lot of traffic to get into the parking lot regardless if you were parking or getting dropped off. My family took 3 12 packs of soda to drink whilst cruising as you cannot take plastic bottles on. We purchased a 12 pack of water from carnival and it was delivered to our room. We put everything in the little fridge once we got the chance to. Sea Day: There was plenty to do from going to the pools, the water slide, the hot tubs, to a variety of activities with Lee the cruise director. My family and I had brought some cards so we could play. The shows that they provided were really great and enjoyable for the entire family, in particular my 4 year old cousin loved them so much that I took him to both showings. I highly recommend attending those. Dinner: Dinner was always great and the staff were really attentive and tried their best to learn our names and our preferences at dinner, I.e. I always ordered a Caesar salad so he Kadek took note and already knew that was my appetizer. The best dessert that everyone has to get is the carnival melting chocolate cake. It truly is amazing and it’s what my family and I each and for dessert every single night. Even my 12 year old cousin who was supper picky about food and uninterested in trying new dinner items would attend just to get a baked potato and the carnival chocolate melting cake. The steak and the prime rib were really good and my mother really enjoyed the ribs as well as the lobster and giant shrimp for the elegant dinner. An important thing to note for getting to Dinner. You cannot walk across deck 3 or 4 and depending on where you are on the boat, you can get easily lost trying to get to your dining room. We at dinner at the gold pearl, towards the back of the boat, and we found it best to go to the 5th floor and then walk across towards the back near the piano bar and the lounge where the comedy shows take place and from there take either the stairs or elevator down. Food: There are many different choices to eat for lunch as well as late night. The burgers and fries at the grill by the main pool were always good. The 24hr pizza honestly wasn’t the best and it’s because the sauce was almost sweet. The best way to order pizza for us was to order it without the sauce although the chef gave us a weird look every time that we ordered it. The Mongolian wok always had a long line, I made the mistake of ordering the medium sauce which was like a green salsa and it ruined my entire dish. I’m not too sure how it tastes with the mild or the spicy sauce. The spicy sauce looked good on others plates though. I never really ate at the chefs choice but every day it was different. Then in the back by an adult pool there is an Indian place that I unfortunately didn’t get to try, and the deli. The deli was great, they have the best grilled cheese that I think everyone needs to go have of they are aboard this boat. Then upstairs is the BBQ place that much of my family enjoyed. The coffee was not the best as they do not provide creamer, so if you’re a coffee lover be sure to take our own creamer or you’ll find yourself purchasing coffee from the coffee shop on the 5th deck. They also had sushi for purchase, we got the tempura rolls and they were great, granted it was my first time having sushi and nothing to compare it to. The best place to sit down and eat at breakfast or lunch was upstairs by the BBQ because it was always empty and you could always find a place to sit. This worked for my family because we were such a big group of 11. Cabo San Lucas: First thing to note is that there is no port to get off the boat at Cabo. The way that you get off the boat is by taking a water shuttle. There are 3 different ways that you can get on the shuttle; the first is by booking an excursion through carnival, you will be on the firsts shuttles out in order to get to your excursion on time; the second is by waiting in line the day prior to get passes, after the excursion people are off they call pass numbers, once yours is called you’re able to get on a shuttle the smaller the number the earlier you can get off; the last is simply waiting until the shuttles are open, about 3 hours later. My family and I got the passes the day before on deck 5, there was a long line and wait to get them, you only need one person to go down to get them for the entire group. They are on a board and are almost like business card style and you grab what you want then go. When our number was called we went down to deck 0 and gave our passes (which they didn’t even look at our count) and we were able to get off. Once we got to the land we knew that we wanted to go to the beach and were trying to find a way to get there. Apparently you have to take a water taxi a short distance unless you want to drive or walk for 2 hours. I don’t know how true that is but we took the water taxi and honestly were upset on how short a distance it took us. After paying the taxi driver, when we got off we had to pay another fee to get off the boat. It didn’t make sense to me, I guess because we used the small port and that was the port fees. I don’t know. Anyways we walked to the beach. After walking on the sand there were things that looked like ice. Turns out they are Jelly Fish, so be careful where you step. They are dead so my cousin touched them and they didn’t sting but you could still possibly get side effects later. If you plan on eating at one of the restaurants on the beach I suggest just taking Uber (it works in Mexico) because the walk was wayyyy too long and that’s what my cousins used to get back to where you get on the water shuttles. Everything is expensive there so be careful on where you go unless you don’t mind spending money. The water and the beach were so beautiful and breath taking that I believe it’s something that everyone should experience in their life. The cruise ship passes the famous arch so get out there early to get some good pictures. It is extremely humid in the summer time. Mazatlán: After the tiring day at Cabo we all decided that we did not want to go to the beach, instead we wanted to go have tacos. When you first get off it is a little under whelming as there are crates and such, you take a little shuttle, like the ones at Disneyland but much smaller, to get out of there and into the city. We negotiated with a van driver who promised to take us to a really good taco place and off we went. He dropped us off and told us that he would be back in an hour and a half to pick us up. The tacos were actually pretty good and down the same street there was a Thrifty’s ice cream shop that we went to go eat at. He was right on time to pick us up and took us back to the port. Right across there was an Oxo, which is Mexico’s 711 we stopped there to buy some chips and drinks, this time they let you bring on plastic bottles. Puerto Vallarta: This was where my family and I had the best experience, My cousin’s dad come from Manzanillo to come see her. We got off the boat as soon as we ate breakfast and again bargained with a vender to take us to a beach that wasn’t crowded. On the way going to the beach we saw many restaurants and places that we recognized from the states, there’s a Walmart right when you get off the boat, but I’ll talk more about that later. We saw dominos, outback, Starbucks, Sam’s Club, and even a Macy’s. If you’re tired of the food from the ship and want something more from home, Puerto Vallarta will be the stop for you. I’m not too sure what beach it was that he took us but there were many little shops and restaurants. We were able to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas through a restaurant and we didn’t have to eat there. The ocean has very many rocks for if you aren’t wearing water shoes you can’t go in very far without hurting your feet. We mainly just relaxed and talked. My brother and 2 of my cousins went parasailing, and they said that they had a great time. It was $100 for the 3 of them, after negotiating. From $45 per person. We were ready to go to the boat earlier than what we had told the driver, we called him and he was there in about 30 minutes. Before we got back on the boat my mom, brother, and I decided that we wanted to stop at Walmart to buy some souvenirs and again more chips and soda. The Walmart was very big and had plenty of souvenirs to choose from for a low price. I highly recommend checking it out to get a feel for everything they have that you can’t get in the states. Again it was really hot and humid, just like Cabo and Mazatlán. Debarkation: There are two options on what to do with luggage, you can either carry it out yourself, and get off faster. Or you can have them take it off for you and get out later. You have to leave your luggage outside your door the night before. We choose to carry it off ourselves. We had to be out of our rooms at 8:30 so the only places to wait were on deck 5 or deck 9. It was honestly so crammed there was nowhere to sit on deck 5 that we just sat at the slot machines in the casino. When our deck number was called for debarkation. The elevators were so crammed because you could only use the front elevators. We went down the stairs with our luggage, only 2 floors. It was indeed crammed and hard to get in. once you push through past the elevators there is plenty of room. After we got off the boat it was only about 20 minutes until we were out of the cruise terminal. However, there was some festival going on that day, the LBC festival so because of that we had to wait an hour before we were able to get picked up because of all the traffic going in to the terminal. Again people were waiting at the front to get dropped off and picked up, if only some went further down it would go by a lot faster. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
There was 5 of us. Two adults, two kids, and grandma. Everyone had a fantastic time. We purchased Faster to the Fun (FTTF). Worth every penny, especially for the tendering priority at Cabo. We were in the first group on embark, had ... Read More
There was 5 of us. Two adults, two kids, and grandma. Everyone had a fantastic time. We purchased Faster to the Fun (FTTF). Worth every penny, especially for the tendering priority at Cabo. We were in the first group on embark, had immediate access to our cabins, dropped our luggage, and were on the Lido by 11:30. From then on our was one pleasant surprise after another. We found the food to be very good, and the choices plentiful. We ate breakfast or sea day brunch and dinner in the MDR every day. Our waitstaff was outstanding. Quickly learned or preferences and had a second shrimp cocktail on standby for the 14 yo. Our steward did a great job. Room and bath were always clean, beds made. He knew we went through lots of towels and we never ran out. Best thing is that 98% of the staff seemed genuinely happy and interested in making sure you're were having a great time. DW and I did the Chef's Table. I don't want to tell how good it was... But, it was an amazing experience. One of the most memorable meals of our life. Anthony, the Splendor's Soux Chef spent 2.5 hours with our small group of 15. Described every component of every course (11 in all). Educated us about the techniques and chemistry of the food preparation. He made it a truly amazing evening! Entertainment on the ship began and ended with Lee our indefatigable cruise director. There was so much to do! You've got to let go of you FOMO on this cruise. Great music throughout the ship. We enjoyed the various trivia contests, loved the comedy shows (both the family friendly... But especially the adult ones later in the evening... OMGosh!) One of the highlights for me was spending alone time with my 14 yo watching the "dive-in" movies. It was such great bonding time. There were a number of times (other than at meals) that I actually saw him NOT starting at his phone. Dad for the win!! Ok... That's it for this little novel. We all had a great time. Jo Bob says check it out! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our second trip this year on the Carnival Splendor and we were very happy with the number and quality of live music venues and performances, the food in both the restaurants and the buffet, and the service throughout. For live ... Read More
This was our second trip this year on the Carnival Splendor and we were very happy with the number and quality of live music venues and performances, the food in both the restaurants and the buffet, and the service throughout. For live music they played a lot of classic rock as well as quite a bit from the 1980's and 1990's. We are not big fans of Latin Jazz, but if you are into that, they did feature quite a bit of that too. Unlike our Hawaii trip in January, the internet worked quite well throughout his entire cruise. It wasn't perfect but it worked as well as most of my other cruises. We'll be taking one more trip on the Carnival this year in October, the Transpacific from Long Beach to Singapore. We are looking forward to our return to this ship and spending 24 days on it. If we didn't love it so much we would not be willing to spend 24 days on, especially with very few port stops on that cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husband and I wanted to go on a cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We choose this cruise because it was closest to where we live and the date worked perfectly for us with our kids getting out of school for the summer. We ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to go on a cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We choose this cruise because it was closest to where we live and the date worked perfectly for us with our kids getting out of school for the summer. We completely loved the cruise! We got an inside room because I heard that you can feel the motion of the ship more in outside rooms. I was prepared for our room to be tiny, but it wasn't as small as I expected, which was great. With the closets and the desk drawers we had plenty of room this our things. Embarkation and debarkation were quick and easy. The food was great, especially in the dining room. The service in the dining room was excellent, and we loved the little shows that the waiters did at dinner. Our cabin stewardess was really nice and helpful, she fulfilled all of our requests and kept our cabin really clean. The selection of excursions was great. We went snorkeling at Catalina island and we went on a tour to La Bufadora while we were in Ensenada. We had a great time in both Ports. The day at Sea was fun, too, there were plenty of shows and games going on to keep us entertained. Benjamin, our cruise director, was really awesome and kept the fun going. The sea day brunch in the dining room was so amazing! Going on this cruise has wet my appetite for them! I would happily choose this particular cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I actually got married aboard the Carnival Splendor on embarkation day 05/25. The ship is unique in its decor, but even more so in its staff. Our cruise ended up leaving late due to engine troubles, but it was a fun and exciting cruise! My ... Read More
I actually got married aboard the Carnival Splendor on embarkation day 05/25. The ship is unique in its decor, but even more so in its staff. Our cruise ended up leaving late due to engine troubles, but it was a fun and exciting cruise! My grandmother is in a wheel chair and has a hard time moving around, but everywhere we went their was someone there to help her! The Carnival Splendor staff seem to be a tight knit family and a truly fun to be around. Did I have to wait in lines to get my food, grab a drink, or ride the elevator? Yes, but the staff were always friendly and accommodating, so I’m not sure why people complain so much. Food was amazing and above our expectations. Entire ship was spotless! Someone even dropped something and shattered a tile and it was being replaced within the hour. Our room steward was always timely and so sweet. I think our party of 22 had an awesome experience that we will never forget and I look forward to cruising on the Splendor again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My grandparents did it to me, I have to admit it. God rest their souls, but they only did the fancy fancy cruises and would ROLL in their graves at the thought of us taking a carnival 4 day-er to mexico... So when I used some of the ... Read More
My grandparents did it to me, I have to admit it. God rest their souls, but they only did the fancy fancy cruises and would ROLL in their graves at the thought of us taking a carnival 4 day-er to mexico... So when I used some of the money grandpa left me to do this, Well I was nervous ok ... But Let me tell you, we were 100 % amazed and thrilled and delighted with our Carnival Inspiration journey. We cried when we had to get off Ok? I'm not kidding I really did cry. I mean, I dont even know who I am anymore. I just want to stay on the boat I even have been looking for job opps on board. It was literally just perfect. the food was honestly very good, and trust me I was again not optimistic. Thank You carnival !! most especially Thank you Ryan Rose !!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took our family of 9 (2 grandparents, with daughters and 1 son in law, 4 grandkids age 9-16)....we had a fabulous time! Lots of entertainment for kids and adults! We felt our grandkids were safe running around the ship playing Clue ... Read More
We took our family of 9 (2 grandparents, with daughters and 1 son in law, 4 grandkids age 9-16)....we had a fabulous time! Lots of entertainment for kids and adults! We felt our grandkids were safe running around the ship playing Clue and Hasbro games not to mention the arcade! 9 year old granddaughter had that ship figured out in one day! The cabins were kept clean on a daily basis as is the entire ship! All staff were very friendly and never failed to greet us with a good morning and a big smile! Highest marks go to June, Edwin and Marshal in the Black Pearl dining room! Excellent service and a very good personality for this job! Day in and out, June greeted us all with warmth, a smile and a great sense of humour! Great dancer too! My husband and I have been on many cruises some higher end than Carnival but the food and service on this cruise was far above any Celebrity etc cruise we have had! Shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta to Los Clentias (sp) hideaway was excellent and well worth the money! Very organized as was embarkation and disembarkation!! We were very,very pleased! Highly recommend this cruise line to anybody! It was a blast! We will be back! PS....thank you , thank you June for your excellent service...made our holiday! (mom Maureen) Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This cruise was provided by Harrah's casino. This is my 1st time to board the Royal Princess. I did my pre-boarding process on line. On the day of my departure, i still have to stay in long lines. I observed some passengers were ... Read More
This cruise was provided by Harrah's casino. This is my 1st time to board the Royal Princess. I did my pre-boarding process on line. On the day of my departure, i still have to stay in long lines. I observed some passengers were attended first who are not on the line. The ushers/usherettes did not provide any explanation why other passengers were provided special treatment as i see that they are not handicapped or need special assistance. Upon boarding, i went to my cabin and was surprised to see a very spacious room. My sister and i stayed in room A 516 on deck 12. Our room is so clean and have lots of space for my personal items. The bed is comfortable and have a high definition TV. Jovito, our cabin crew, greeted us with a big smile and asked if we need anything. He fixed our bed 2x a day and always leave chocolates for us to enjoy before bedtime. He always make sure that we have everything we need before he retire at night. Our dining experience is also excellent. Ian Virgenes is an amazing guy. He always make sure that we are happy and satisfied with the food and his service. He is an asset to your company. We always look forward to see him during breakfast on deck 16 and dinner at Concerto dining Room. I also want to acknowledge Karen, Freddie and so many others who made our dine in experience on deck 16 a memorable one. The food is excellent! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate 50 years of friendship of our husbands, dating back to their Navy days in Italy. We chose this week because we figured it was not a "Spring Break" week, and the few children on board were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate 50 years of friendship of our husbands, dating back to their Navy days in Italy. We chose this week because we figured it was not a "Spring Break" week, and the few children on board were well-behaved. The Royal Princess met all of our expectations. It has attractive and elegant public areas. It took a day or two to figure out how to get around the ship because of the central piazza area - there are some decks where you have to go up or down in order to get from the forward to the aft part of the ship. There were about 3500 passengers on the ship, but most of the time it didn't feel crowded. From the moment we arrived at LAX to the moment we left, we were greeted and taken care of by Princess employees. Our transfers to and from the ship and the embarkation/disembarkation process were very smooth and efficient with plenty of friendly personnel to direct passengers. Our cabin, aft-facing E-733, was smallish, but perfectly adequate, and was well-maintained by Emmanuel, our cabin steward. There was plenty of room for clothing and toiletries. If hair care is important to you, bring your own products, since there is only "shampoo-conditioner" provided. We had some trouble with the toilet not flushing occasionally, and there was some minor soot on the balcony. However, the cabin was nice and quiet, and we enjoyed the aft view. There were lots of loungers all over the ship, so it was never a problem to find a place to relax. We chose Anytime Dining and enjoyed our meals in both of the MDRs and the Crown Grill and Alfredo's. We never had to wait for a table in the MDRs. The buffet was extensive - massive, really - with many choices. We were pleased to see so many staff members keeping the buffet clean and refreshed, and there were many servers in the buffet dining area clearing tables and serving beverages. As far as entertainment goes, Matt O is an enthusiastic and energetic CD, and his staff members were all very fun and friendly. We played a lot of trivia games and they had a nice variety of topics. As often happens, there were either many enjoyable activities that happened at the same time, or occasionally there were no events that appealed to us. However, that was a good reason to do some reading or lounge by the pool or walk a few laps on the track. The production shows were good, if not outstanding. We particularly enjoyed the presentation by Paul Burrell, Princess Diana's assistant. Service from every employee (stewards, bartenders, wait staff, cleaning staff, front desk) was polite and friendly. We took shore excursions in each port, and I expect I'll be able to report on those below. In brief, we really enjoyed our half-day sailing experience in Cabo, but thought the Mazatlan City Highlights was just OK, and we couldn't really recommend the Best of Puerto Vallarta tour. The tour guides on both excursions were fine, but the PV tour included a long drive over rough roads, and we got back to the ship more than 2 hours later than we expected. We absolutely would take another Princess Cruise - this was our third cruise with Princess. We really enjoyed it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have taken a Princess Cruise to the Mexican Riviera six times. Have very much enjoyed The Crown Princess and The Ruby Princess but, Wow, The Royal Princess with the Medallion technology is fantastic! Having the Medallion streamlines so ... Read More
We have taken a Princess Cruise to the Mexican Riviera six times. Have very much enjoyed The Crown Princess and The Ruby Princess but, Wow, The Royal Princess with the Medallion technology is fantastic! Having the Medallion streamlines so much and quickens the lines, waiting periods, and simplifies getting into your cabin, ordering meals and drinks, making purchases, pretty much every activity on board, and that means casino gaming is even easier, if you are so inclined. A noticeable improvement is consideration for those traveling with wheelchairs and walkers. The entire ship is navigable and that includes The Sanctuary. Previous trips have made The Sanctuary inaccessible because there was no elevator that went up there and even worse, no bathroom. Finally, that has all changed with elevator service and a pretty large accessible restroom. My favorite part of this trip was the fantastic Cruise Director and his team. I always think I have the best C.D. but Matt O’ Brien is in a class by himself. Funny, clever, inventive and his enthusiasm was inspirational to jump in and join whatever was going on. His team of Assistant Crew Directors has excellent hosts with many fun games and shows. We will do this trip again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful ... Read More
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful weather. We went out on a limb to experience an interior cabin just to make the shipboard and port fun budget go farther. Here's what we learned ... Port = San Diego knows how to process two ships at once. Despite the spring break crowd the Disney ship leaving at the same time, luggage loading, processing and boarding ran efficiently. Holland America gives you a time window for loading based on your stateroom deck. Adhere to this and it should go well for you! Parking was $11 a day at the Wyndham hotel directly across from the port. Nieuw Amsterdam Ship = We liked the classic interior, beautiful sculptures and artwork that lined the ship walls. The main staircase isn't dramatic like the Princess ships and their main dining room isn't as cheery and bright like Celebrity Dining Rooms but it does have a small ship feel with large sea viewing windows and offers cozy alcoves like the Billboard Onboard with dueling pianos and the Crows Nest for reading/watching the sea and drinking a good cappuccino. When you stay in an inside room, you are quite interested in alternative places to hang on sea days. We frequented the well equipped gym and Tamarind Bar for views, without music, and comfy chairs for lounging and reading. I would not pick this ship for the pool experience because the pool is small and the deck is somewhat crowded with people and privately rented cabanas around the perimeter. If you choose to sunbathe, visit the Seaview deck on the back of the ship with a small pool. Bring your towel clips because it can be a bit windy. The pool dome is closed at night or cool weather, so the pool area stays busy during the day and night. You don’t see a lot of kids onboard but you do see them during afternoon pool hours. With all the mega ships now offering adventurous amenities for families or partiers, HAL is wise to cater to the interests of grandparents and people over 60 first. I wouldn’t hesitate to book a family reunion on the Nieuw Amsterdam but I think it’s real attraction is that it is not a "TEEN SHIP". It’s sophisticated and classy vibe is perfect for a couple getaway. My favorite feature on the ship was the elevator. Each elevator rug was changed daily to announce the day of the week…brilliant! Entertainment = Holland America has thoughtfully considered it's clientele. They have the BB King Blues Club for mo-town and dance music, the Lincoln Center for classical recitals and the Dueling Pianos in the Billboard for 60, 70's, 80's and singer songwriter favorites. The talent was incredible this cruise! The main stage dance shows by Step One Dance Company were skillfully produced with technical lights and lasers and the comedian- Chris Pendleton and illusionist Leon Etienne - couldn't have been better. Activities = Highlight of this cruise was the America Test Kitchen sessions and the games hosted by cruise directors. EXC cruise talks for this Mexico cruise need improvement. Folklore dances on the sundeck need a stage for more passengers to see. I didn't use the casino but KUDOS to Holland America for offering a SMOKE FREE casino so all passengers can enjoy the Onboard Billboard Entertainment. I was surprised to see that the library limited to games and primarily travel and educational books. Bring your own novel. Food and Service = This aspect is pretty important to cruisers and I was worried how it would par with our previous Celebrity and Princess cruises. I can happily tell you that steak tastes like steak (not liver) and lobster portions are wonderful! We didn't have to go to a specialty restaurant to find food we enjoyed. I was most impressed by the Lido Food court and enjoyed being served. This was far different from milling around Horizon court or encountering a traffic jam at the Celebrity food stations. Passengers may have to wait a bit longer for the crew to dip up your food choices, but it is more sanitary. The Nieuw Amsterdam offers an outstanding salad bar. While ice-cream offerings and desserts don't compare to the Norman Love creations on Princess they were tasty, plentiful and enjoyable. Servers were quick to clean tables, serve drinks and always friendly. Booking last minute, Anytime Dining was our only option. We learned to call up to two days in advance to request a dining time. This cut down on waiting in line like other guests. It was also enjoyable to sit and meet other guests. Bar drinks on cruise ships are expensive. Check the rules and consider bringing your allotment of beverages (including water) on board at each port or enjoying in port. Ports = Mexican ports are not particularly spectacular but with a little personal research and port reviews you can book some great tours. My husband and I have never felt afraid or had any concerns about getting off the ship. The people in Mexico are friendly and tourism is quite important. Keep in mind that local taxi drivers don't always speak English but they know the way to popular tourist areas. I can't comment on HALS ship tours as we typically book our own. I highly recommend the following ... Mazatlan - Enjoy the city with a personal guide on a bike along the water. We saw cliff divers, fishermen feeding huge birds, harbor sculptures, city square and the greatest local food market. We gained knowledge of the city's history and learned to appreciate what the locals love from Daniel at Blue Foot City Bike Tours https://bluefoot.mx Cabo San Lucas - This port requires a tender but there is enough to do in the vicinity if you choose just to shop or refill your prescriptions for half the price. Our preference is to get off the ship and negotiate with locals for a tour. We have taken a whale ride excursion in the past. This time we enjoyed and recommend taking a water taxi (both ways) to Medano Beach. Once there you can enjoy the day at a local resort with a perfect view of the ship and Lovers Beach. Puerto Vallarta - The port is nothing to see except a huge Wal Mart across the street. Instead, opt for a taxi to and from the Malecón. Walk the large boardwalk along the ocean to shop, view beautiful art sculptures, street performers and colorful flowers. There are plenty of great restaurants along the way. Visit the Lady of Guadalupe Church downtown, avoid most city streets and sightsee in touristy areas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were looking for a west coast cruise for the family. This was our first time on Norwegian. The bliss is a beautiful new ship and never seemed really crowded even though it holds 5,000 passengers. The smaller complimentary restaurants ... Read More
We were looking for a west coast cruise for the family. This was our first time on Norwegian. The bliss is a beautiful new ship and never seemed really crowded even though it holds 5,000 passengers. The smaller complimentary restaurants (Taste and Savor) were much more warm and inviting than the Manhattan. The food and service was great in all the restaurants and the garden buffet. We didn’t try any of the specialty restaurants although we heard great things about cagneys steak house. We weren’t really impressed with puerto Vallarta. Did an excursion to stone island beach in mazatlan which was actually nice. All the alcohol you could drink. Cabo was our favorite and we will probably go back by plane. Saw jersey boys and it was fabulous. They aren’t kidding when they saw broadway productions. Also tried the go carts which was pretty cool knowing you are on a ship in the middle of the ocean. All in all a great cruise. And we were amazed at the speed they got us on and off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
It's been 2 years since my last cruise and I was ready. I'm so glad we chose this one. Getting on the ship was pretty easy and fast. I expected it to be hard considering the number of people. We had lunch in the buffet and it ... Read More
It's been 2 years since my last cruise and I was ready. I'm so glad we chose this one. Getting on the ship was pretty easy and fast. I expected it to be hard considering the number of people. We had lunch in the buffet and it was good. We were in our room by 2 PM. The room was small for a mini suite but adequate. There is a lot of storage in the room. The bathroom was great. I loved the full body shower. I was not impressed with the majority of the food. Other than the specialty restaurants, the food was bland. My least favorite was The local. We found the service poor and the food the same. We loved all 3 ports. I wish we would have had more time in Cabo, but I got a beautiful ring, so i cant complain. My advice for Mazaltlan if you want to to just look around and your is to just take the open air taxis to town. $12-$15 one way and you see everything. We paid $45 for the double decker bus and it's not worth it. I would totally recommend this cruise. I have to give props to the Cruise Director, Silas Cook and his entire staff. Silas and Alex are the best in the business. Alex is the life of any party and one of the nicest people I've ever met. By far, Silas is just the most wonderful person ever. I had the chance to just chat with him for a while and I loved just getting to know him. I hope I cross paths with he and his staff again. Was the cruise perfect, nope. Nothing in life is perfect. I will say 1 week felt like 3. I cant wait to go back!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019

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