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623 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because of the low cost (ha! you get what you pay for!) and the allure of a *fun* experience. The first disappointment was with the room's ventilation system. Freezing cold! To moderate the air flow you had to ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the low cost (ha! you get what you pay for!) and the allure of a *fun* experience. The first disappointment was with the room's ventilation system. Freezing cold! To moderate the air flow you had to REACH up to a knob above one of the beds. This was pretty high up...I don't know how a person who is vertically challenged would manage it (I am 5'8"}. There was a horrible odor in the room as well...like a Sulphur smell which made it hard to relax. Turning the system all the way "off" made the room become stuffy since there was then no circulation. I could not breathe at night and woke up puffy eyed and stuffed up. Food: Bad. Very bad. The main dining room, the Mardi Gras, had beautiful menus with descriptions that did not match the actual food being served. A shrimp cocktail arrived on a plate. Not around the rim of a glass. Shrimp were small and flaccid. My Mahi Mahi was overcooked. The so-called grilled chicken breast looked like a Tyson frozen breast with grill marks (although it was moist). Baked potatoes were overcooked and flavorless. I could go on and on. Very disappointing. The food on the Lido deck, for lunch, was just a tad better. The hamburger joint was good. The desserts were good some days, just ok the others. Self serve ice cream station was good. The chocolate chip cookies tasted homemade and were stellar. There was "tea time" on Valentine's Day which was a joke. The tea offerings: Lipton and Green tea. That was it. Unless you wanted to pay out of pocket for herbal. Outrageous. Spa: Clean and well appointed with shiowers, sauna and steam. I enjoyed both the steam and sauna. Treated myself to a pedicure and was hustled to buy every product she used on my feet!!! Not a relaxing experience at all. Weather: Not the ship's fault, but it was terrible. Rained almost every day including the port stop in Ensenada. Not happiness. Could not sunbathe on deck or read. There were a couple of really bad days with the waves in the ocean really rocking and swaying the ship. In the cabin, in the bed, it felt like someone was shaking and tilting the bed frame! Scary. Adult Only deck: The "Serenity Deck" was for adults only. Small but ok. The lounge chairs were plentiful but did not position in a "straight sitting up" position. The straight back chairs were in the back, away from the great views of the water.There was a waiter that came around to take drink orders. Elevators: Very hard to navigate and figure out "what" was "where" and the best way to get there. Cleanliness of ship: Very clean. Carpets, elevators, glass panes in doors. This was impressive. Entertainment: I don't gamble so can't comment on the casions. I attended a couple of comedian shows that were unprofessional and crudely funny, making fun of audience members instead of relying on their own material. Karaoke, however, was entertaining! Drinks: After the tax and gratuity were (automatically) added, all drinks were $11+. I had brought my own Diet Coke onboard so saved that way. I bought the 12-pack bottled water package and that actually lasted for the 5 days for 2 people. Library: Didn't get a chance to really enjoy this room. The times I wanted to go were after dinner (7) and it was being used for the "Chef's Table" sitting. Can't they find somewhere else for this? Staff: Very accommodating and friendly and concerned about any problem brought to them. I complained at just about every meal and every effort was made to satisfy me. Unfortunately, I still wasn't satisfied but at least they tried with a smile. Running into staff in the hallways and asking for directions was not a problem. Everyone was very nice and helpful. Embarking and disembarking: Very organized and fluid. No problems, there. That's about all I can think of right now. I think this was not the ship for me. I like a little more "high end" dining experience and a higher caliber of entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
It was a good itinerary and list of ports for a quick cruise. Weather was great. It was convenient to get to and from the LA cruise port. The ship was well maintained and clean. The embarkation process was as good as it gets; no wait, ... Read More
It was a good itinerary and list of ports for a quick cruise. Weather was great. It was convenient to get to and from the LA cruise port. The ship was well maintained and clean. The embarkation process was as good as it gets; no wait, no lines, and efficient. The meet and greet at the airport was handled well. Disembarkation was equally efficient. The food at the Horizon Court had great variety and quality. The horizon court was very clean. We love the ocean and the fresh air while getting to visit ports we want to visit. However, overall Princess Cruises has continued to decline. We have been on 20 cruises with Princess and have watched service and entertainment continue to decline over the years. Understanding that the cruise line is trying to hold fares down, Princess has clearly lowered their standards for service and entertainment to meet their cost goals. We have seen little declines in each cruise we take. We travel on other cruise lines, and cutting back is not unique to Princess, it is just we have been on Princess ships for more cruises and more often, so it is very noticeable With the invent of drink packages, bar service has declined to the extent you can't get the value out of the packages. You won't find enough waiters to get a drink and get the value out of the package. Plan on trying to find an open bar to do self service waiting. (The bar service in the open decks was practically non-existent.) It is really not worth taking buying a drink package. The entertainment has also declined over the years to a new low. The quality of the entertainment was poor compared to the past and the number of activities and shows on board has been significantly reduced The production shows have moved to bare bones props and themes. production shows are put on on a bare bones budget apparently. The number and variety of bands/musical groups has really been cut back. They have cut back on the number and variety of entertainers apparently to cut cost. The number of shows has been significantly cut back. Even with the reduced activities on board, the cruise staff came late and ended activities early. One activity they didn't bother showing up for and made no announcement that the activity was cancelled. Cruise staff really didn't seem enthusiastic about leading activities. The cruise director was telling old cruising jokes that have been circulated for 15 years; nothing original. The dining room experience has significantly changed. Anytime seating guests are brought in and seated in the middle of traditional seating in the same dining room right between traditional seating guests. It was disruptive to the waiters and to the traditional seating guests that were in the middle of their meal. The quality of the food in the dining room has declined to the point that the Horizon Court has better quality and better variety than the dining room. We have traditionally enjoyed the formality of the dining room and the quality of the service, but the standards have slipped for service and stated dress codes for the dining room are not enforced (any dress is acceptable even on formal night including shorts). The waiters in the dining room are stretched over many tables spreading them really thin. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This is the 4th of 4, back-to-back cruises we are “enjoying”. It is very apparent that once they have your money, they’re done! What can a guest do? Jump ship? A definite improvement over being held captive. It is quite evident ... Read More
This is the 4th of 4, back-to-back cruises we are “enjoying”. It is very apparent that once they have your money, they’re done! What can a guest do? Jump ship? A definite improvement over being held captive. It is quite evident that Princess’ focus has turned completely around from “guest services” to “guest warehousing”. The food...although there were definitely some very bright spots, for the most part, RAW food (especially the Salmon), appears to be the norm. The wait staff acknowledged, “yes, we have had many complaints”. THEN FIX IT! At least get a thermometer. The entertainment...again, a couple of bright spots however, very few options for dancing, limited choices for music, poorly timed events as well. The room...FANTASTIC bed, FABULOUS sized closet with new carpeting. This is the first time, EVER that we were able to hear our neighbor ‘s conversations, their TV and their disagreements. The wait staff...our wait staff was TERRIFIC! Our water glasses were never empty, coffee cup...the same, despite the chef sending out RAW salmon, our wait staff was apologetic, and was genuinely concerned about our dining experience. Unfortunately, the dress code in the dining room is not enforced, another couple questioned the head waiter and his response was, “ it’s a suggestion, we can’t turn anyone away”. SHAME ON YOU PRINCESS! Baseball caps turned backwards, shorts and flip flops, football jerseys...all allowed. The Captain’s party, usually a formal event...now “dumbed down” to smart casual. The same jersey wearing male was allowed in...smart casual?? A male with the aforementioned shorts and flip flops was also allowed in...smart casual?? Definitely not! So sad, disappointing and downright disgusting that the individuals aboard have zero ability to enforce the policies that the parent company has put in place for fear, as one crew member stated, “ we are forbidden from saying anything to anyone for fear of offending someone. They would fire me!” As a shareholder, I am embarrassed, especially when I hear others voice the same concerns, over and over and over again. And the response?? CRICKETS! Remember, they already have your money! Except for specialty dining, except for the coffee card, except for the beverage package, except for... Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The food on Princess has gone way downhill. Very few tasty dishes, having to ask for butter is just a sign of cheapness. Repeatedly, night after night. So you sit down, see the bread that should tide you over until the ordering and ... Read More
The food on Princess has gone way downhill. Very few tasty dishes, having to ask for butter is just a sign of cheapness. Repeatedly, night after night. So you sit down, see the bread that should tide you over until the ordering and delivery of appetizers, have to ask for the butter, wait until someone (with a major attitude) retrieves it and delivers it - then you can eat the bread. Such a hassle!! Steaks were tough and small. Lobster tails were ok - and you can order 2 at a time to speed it up. Specialty Dining - Share by Curtis Stone - awful appetizers. Whoever assembled the Charcuterie platter had never seen one before. Hint - more then one tiny piece of meat or sliced cheese. The pork tenderloin was very nice and service here was good. Good bed, nice TV in the room with a great happy Steward. Lotus Spa had good steam rooms and the hot stone beds were lovely. The staff at the Spa seemed to enjoy their jobs the most Getting on and off the ship was a breeze - they have these procedures worked out perfectly and was very smooth and fast. Well done! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we live in Northern Cal and wanted to avoid the hassle of air transport. Getting on the ship was a breeze as embarkation staff were a delight, but things began deteriorating quickly. We made our reservation ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live in Northern Cal and wanted to avoid the hassle of air transport. Getting on the ship was a breeze as embarkation staff were a delight, but things began deteriorating quickly. We made our reservation six months before sailing and had a confirmation of a table for 2 at dinner. However, we were seated at a table for 12. We protested and were given a table for 2 for the first night and on the following night we were shown to a table for 2 which had been set up so that one of the chairs was actually in the entry corridor. We declined this table and thereafter took our meals at Anytime dining. Not wishing to make this any longer than needed I will make a partial list the problems we encountered. (1) worn out or poor quality mattresses in cabin (we turned them upside down to get added support}. (2) poorer food quality in the dining room than on previous cruises (sorbet that was akin to a snow-cone). (3) carpet replacement in the cabin above us beginning at 8:30 AM which sounded like barbells being dropped on our ceiling. (couldn't we have been advised the day before?) (4) a loud metallic hammering which lasted for 2 hours on the last day and which destroyed the ambiance of a balcony breakfast. Our cruise last year on Princess was our Gold Standard for cruising and we had expected a similar experience this time. We were disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Same food...same entertainment (or lack thereof)..screaming infants and children every night in the dining room...dodging strollers and numerous other types of mobile transportation in the hallways, the elevators and the dining rooms. ... Read More
Same food...same entertainment (or lack thereof)..screaming infants and children every night in the dining room...dodging strollers and numerous other types of mobile transportation in the hallways, the elevators and the dining rooms. Absolutely no enforcement of the stated dress code...Captains party now "casual"...flip flips, shorts and baseball caps are the norm. The " nickel and diming" of guests is simply embarrassing. There is an obvious downward free fall spiral of most everything...food, entertainment, activities and most importantly...SERVICE! As a shareholder...I am appalled as well as embarrassed and need to rethink my loyalty. Definitely not feeling like a valued guest...at all! We cruise approximately 6 times per year, we are currently in the middle of 21 days. We will be home 6 weeks and gone again for 30 more. We will take a four month break and again be gone for 30 days, followed by a two month break and 25 more days at sea. Following the completion of these cruises, we will be resuming our travels with a cruise line that provides the highest level of service possible. If more folks expressed their dissatisfaction and disappointment by realigning their dollars, perhaps Princess would rethink some of their decisions. Specifically... The dining...although some different options in the menu selection were available, the usual repetitive items were available. RAW salmon was served not once, but twice. Other guests at neighboring tables were also given RAW salmon. In the dining room the dress code was not enforced, a staff member responded when questioned, “ it’s only a suggestion, we can’t turn anyone away, for fear of offending them. Also, I would be fired.” The activities...the same two music options were available. Nothing suitable for dancing. The bars did have some EXCELLENT listening music. The lineup of planned activities were the exact same as every other cruise. Nothing new or exciting. There were several “enrichment” seminars that as some guests reported were, “ worth going to, as there was nothing else to do”. As indicated, although there were definite POSITIVE aspects regarding the service, like our dining room wait staff and our room steward, other areas were extremely lacking the service model. We saw people busing their own tables and retrieving their own drinks, all while staff were busy trying to refill the utensil trays, provide salt and pepper, clear tables, etc. The room...the bed was FANTASTIC! Our room steward was TREMENDOUS! We were pleasantly surprised with the “invisibility “ of our room steward. We cannot say enough great things about him! The staff..it was very difficult, if not impossible to get a straight answer from staff. No one seemed to want to take responsibility for anything. It was always, “ that’s the policy...that’s how it is to be done...my supervisor indicated...that was corporate’s decision...etc.” shameful that folks are put in a supervory role, yet unable to make a decision or take responsibility or be accountable for those decisions. Please give serious thought before entrusting your vacation to a cruise line that apparently has forgotten how and why they were once successful and the benchmark of the cruise industry. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Have sailed with Princess before and overall enjoyed. We live in Los Angeles and if we want to sail without traveling we only have 2 options, Just the two of us in our early 60's with out any kids. Princess and Carnival. Same ... Read More
Have sailed with Princess before and overall enjoyed. We live in Los Angeles and if we want to sail without traveling we only have 2 options, Just the two of us in our early 60's with out any kids. Princess and Carnival. Same company different line. Seems that Carnival is having more influence on Princess with cut backs and quality. We had an inside cabin on deck 7 which was fine with us because we are always out on deck and we booked last minute so it was really not expensive. Without a doubt the best thing going for Princess are 3 things. The Beds are amazing for a cruise ship, Movies Under the Stars for concerts and movies throughout the day, and the International Cafe and the PIZZA!! Staff: really sad to see that so few of the staff smiling. Our room steward had an attitude on day 2 when he left robe in our cabin that were damp and still not dry. We left them out open on the bed , but that afternoon asked him for DRY robes. He argued with us that they were dry even though they were not. Finally he took them and THREW them into his cart and said "you can call my supervisor if you want" and left. So unnecessary. Dinning room was the same way, they all seemed to be bothered to get you anything. They NO longer serve butter just olive oil. I you want Butter you have to ask and it is either melted or frozen solid. Food. OMG, so sad what has happened to the food. I realize that this is subjective, but I would have to say that the new menu id really bad except for 1 night that was excellent. I do not care about quantity as you can always have more, it is the quality that matters, and that is where they fail. Not only the dinning room but the Buffet was even worse. If you had something on the dinner menu you could expect to see it "re imagined" the next day at lunch. We don't expect every meal to be 5 star, but we are talking about 2 stars mot days. Bars: No staff, maybe 1 person at the bar and if you were lucky there might be two. The menu for drinks was new and instead of having learned it, they make things up and the drinks presented are not what you asked for. Bar service at the pool was non existent. If you wanted a drink it was go get it yourself. Entertainment: We did not partake as we have seen the shows before. We did go to one singer that was on board but walked out as he was really bad. As mentioned before Movies and Concerts at the pool and even on the TV in the room are top rate. Ports: did not get off ship as we have been to all the ports in the Mexican Rivera many times before. Bottom Line: Would we go again? Well we are on her again with friends and past cancellation so yes we will go again, but it will be the last time. I would rather fly east and go on Celebrity and pay for the airfare, be taken care of with staff, food, etc Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
After traveling on 25 cruises with different lines we have always enjoyed Carnival even though we are platinum members with other lines. While anyone can find something to complain about if they look we usually take things in stride as we ... Read More
After traveling on 25 cruises with different lines we have always enjoyed Carnival even though we are platinum members with other lines. While anyone can find something to complain about if they look we usually take things in stride as we make our own vacation and enjoy meeting people from all over the world. I must say though that this cruise was the worst we have ever had and the service was seriously lacking in places you would expect it to be good at such as the Steakhouse. We have eaten many times in the Steakhouse and while some meals are better than others the service has always been wonderful. This time the service was so bad that we cancelled our second reservation that we had. Just did not seem to have enough people working in the restaurant. Took forever to be seated as the hostess just disappeared. They have raised the prices which we had no problem with but they admitted to us that they had changed their menu and others had made negative comments as well. As to dining in the dining rooms we booked our cruise in April and requested second dining at a large table to meet new people. We had a confirmation however when we got to the ship we noticed that no table was listed on our room card. Simple they switched us to anytime dining at their discretion which we did not want. No big deal as we went to the dining room that afternoon to have them change it. That is when we met the rudest person we have ever met in 25 cruises. I had my confirmation which she grabbed out of my hand and tossed it on the counter and said that it came from corporate. I booked thru Carnival so what does corporate have to do with it. She would not even explain anything. Said she would find us a table but we would sit at a table for two people. Now I found that amusing. Just rude. So we ended up just eating at other places. I also had guest services switch all the gratuities from the ding room to the cabin steward. Not paying them for nothing and we didn't want the money back so the cabin steward and his assistant got it all. They deserved it. Let me say that the crew on this ship was wonderful as they always are. They try to please passengers to the best of their ability and they succeed from what I have seen on all our cruises. The one lady was not going to ruin our trip but she sure left a lasting impression. It will be a long time before I will go on another Carnival ship or any in it's group if ever. Other passengers were complaining as well about the food and things but we just didn't want all the negatives so we just agreed and went on about our trip. The spa was great and we purchased the couples package to use the pools, saunas, and relaxing rooms and had unlimited use in them. It was worth every dime as we used it several times. We paid $219.00 for both of us for the seven night cruise we were on to mexico. Spa personnel were always smiling and quick to offer any help you might need. Very clean and enjoyable. It was the best part of our trip. Getting thru check in was easy and took less than ten minutes after we got to the terminal in Long Beach. Easiest and quickest we have ever been on a ship. Got into our cabins about 1:30. So this was a pleasant change from past cruises. Debarking was as always a little bit of turmoil but it always is but honestly it wasn't that bad. We have been to Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta many times so did not book excursions but went into town to buy the trinkets for the grand kids lol. The port of Puerto Vallarta is torn up with all the buildings and it is a fair distance to get to the Market in Puerto Vallarta. If you watch there will be little shuttles that will take you to the market free of charge. They are not marked so you have to watch. They will stop and ask if you want a ride. We walked most of the way but caught in going back. The market at the port is always a favorite as the vendors there are always appreciate you coming to their store and have always been friendly. Don't let the building going on stop you from going. It is safe and had no problems at all. We had a balcony cabin and it was always spotless thanks to our stewards. Can't say enough about them as they again were just fun to be around and always laughing. They said we needed to mess our cabin up more as it was always too organized LOL. They were just fun guys. Entertainment was so so as expected on the ship. We went to the outdoor movie one night but people were playing in the pool so they turned up the sound that it drove people away. They should shut the pool for the two hours that the movie is playing for a better experience but each passenger deserves to do what they want as well so we just went for walks on the ship. The ship is always clean and they are always painting something to keep up with the maintenance but they never closed any venue to do it that I saw. Bottom line is the dining was definately sub par as the service when it came to dining and while I am not a food person the dining is a part of your experience. It took a lot away from the cruise in itself. We had a good time as we chose not too let it bother us while on the cruise but some cannot do that and their trip was just completely ruined from what we were told. Sad that it happened but due to cutbacks I guess it should have been expected. Any cruise is a good cruise. Enjoy them as we who take them are fortunate to even be going.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My family had a great time yet my wife and I have taken 7 Princess cruises and a total of 31 cruises. My general assessment is that Princess has bee Carnivalized. Everything about the ship, the service and the food demonstrates cutting ... Read More
My family had a great time yet my wife and I have taken 7 Princess cruises and a total of 31 cruises. My general assessment is that Princess has bee Carnivalized. Everything about the ship, the service and the food demonstrates cutting corners at the expense of not just the passengers, but the staff as well. We had a mini suite serviced by an overworked housekeeper. On Celebrity, for the same cabin, you have a housekeeper and a butler, fresh fruit in your room and canapes in the afternoon. You also eat in a special restaurant and drink premium booze is a seperate lounge. Not the case on Princess. The cabin was tired; the sofa was dirty, cushions did not stay in place, surfaces of counters and furnitures were marred and chipped, the bathroom floor had dirt that could not be cleaned, the balcony was dirty, the sliding glass doors were always dirty. The food was mediocre at best, except for the Crown Grill where we had a great dinner. The public spaces were always far to noisy. It's great to have a good time, but you can barely hear anyone when talking to them. The bars were quite nice and the service was very good. I was amazed that the Crooner's bar ran out of peanuts and some of the booze. Shouldn't that be better planned? The fitness center decent and my wife had 2 good massages. This was my last Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were on the New Year’s Cruise 2019 of the star and paid for our Garden Villa about US$ 30'000 for a week. Included was an “Ultimate Beverage Package” with a value of about USD 100 per day….. The suite is great but the ... Read More
We were on the New Year’s Cruise 2019 of the star and paid for our Garden Villa about US$ 30'000 for a week. Included was an “Ultimate Beverage Package” with a value of about USD 100 per day….. The suite is great but the suite is on the wrong ship. The service of the butler and of our steward were excellent. The remaining service of the ship (including the concierge) were unacceptable. There is a sliding door to room 14500, but on the top and the bottom of the door was a whole 15 feet long and 2 inch wide. You hear every word from the other room (and all the noise from their piano). After my intervention, they repaired it provisionally. However there was still a cross ventilation and the noise was not reduced to a quiet level. I tried to discuss with the concierge the value of the “Ultimate Beverage Package”. The price of the package was USD100 per day. I asked the concierge, if coffee is a beverage, she answered with yes, I asked her what means ultimate, she told me everything, I asked her why coffee, which is a beverage and is not included in the package. The concierge told me the package is a alcoholic package. I asked her why Coke is included and she denied any further conversation…. I had a similar discussion about the Dining Package….. The food was terrible. First day in the Steakhouse the filet mignon was well done instaed of medium, the second try was rare…. In the Aqua Restaurant the food was like my experience in my military service. In La Cucina the food was really good (however the service was like in Italy, what made the experience authentical. As a suite guest we had breakfast at Moderno. The atmosphere was very cold…… Best and lovely service I had was at Aqua, I still miss the laugh of Rosalyn (or similar) Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The cruise was the least enjoyable out of all the cruises I've been on and I've been on a lot. The main dining rooms were terrible. Horrible service & the food was average at best. The Aqua dining room felt like a ... Read More
The cruise was the least enjoyable out of all the cruises I've been on and I've been on a lot. The main dining rooms were terrible. Horrible service & the food was average at best. The Aqua dining room felt like a cafeteria. The service at the other main dining room was better but not by much. At Cagney's we waited 14 minutes just to order a drink. We sat right next to a counter where dirty plates, etc. were right next to us. My son had shrimp cocktail & the glass was chipped in multiple areas. I hope it was chipped prior to him receiving it. At the main dining room for example my wife ordered coffee & desert at the same time. Got her dessert & finished it before the coffee came. I ordered 2 entrees & only 1 came. She also got a dessert spoon that was never cleaned. It had chocolate all over it. I can go on & on. We scheduled 2 different spa treatments at the same time. When we got there they told us one of them was a half hour later. That was not true to we were accommodated. Then we got back to our room & had a message that we missed our appointment & the time they said was an hour earlier then we even scheduled. The Norwegian internal app that we paid for was terrible. It froze all the time when chatting & we had to constantly reset the app. What a waste of money. The days of the cruise itinerary on the app were incorrect the entire cruise & if you went to click on those days to see any reservations you had not all the days worked properly. The windows in the relaxation area of the spa were disgusting. Every single one of them was completely dirty. The casino dealers other then 1 or 2 were so unfriendly. We gambled every night & felt like we were bothering them. The pit bosses other then one of them were not friendly at all. The Ultimate Beverage package for example is way too expensive compared to other cruise lines & does NOT include bottled water as other cruise lines do. For example you charge $99 per person not including water & Carnival charges $52 & includes bottled water & an 18% service charge not 20% as you do. These are just some examples. I managed to enjoy my vacation but was extremely underwhelmed by the cruise. By far the least impressive I've ever been on & I will look to another cruise line for my next cruise vacation. Not one thing stood out. Please see some pics below of what I referred to above. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I booked this New Year's cruise for DH, DS and I to take them to the Mexican Riviera and have a fabulous holiday. It was an expensive cruise over the holiday also. Embarkation was smooth and went quickly, no complaints there. The ... Read More
I booked this New Year's cruise for DH, DS and I to take them to the Mexican Riviera and have a fabulous holiday. It was an expensive cruise over the holiday also. Embarkation was smooth and went quickly, no complaints there. The cabin was fine, nothing special, normal balcony room. There was a maintenance issue; the shower leaked out onto the carpet near the bed. Not sure it was ever totally rectified, but a fan was put in to dry the area and someone sent a bottle of wine as compensation for the trouble. Cabin steward was good, and provided towel animals after the first night. Dining and service was where this ship had serious issues. I have an allergy, informed them well in advance, met with the designated person after embarkation and pre-ordered all my dinners. It was great they had a designated person, and he thoroughly worked in my best interest. However, because I pre-ordered, I expected the kitchen to modify the recipes to make the food enjoyable, not just leave off ingredients and essential elements of the dishes (i.e., no sauce in place of hollandaise). This was not just in the MDR (Versailles, Taste was somewhat better), but the specialty restaurants as well, Cagney's and La Cucina (Moderno was the exception, and was fine). It was not just my food that was disappointing though, as DH and DS agreed none of the food in any of the venues, except for Moderno, was up to par. Cagney's was downright disappointing. While the service in Moderno's was very good, the same could not be said about Cagney's or the MDR. There were very long waits for drinks, food courses, and no one ever came by to ask how the food was; it was like they knew and didn't want to hear the issues. I had to waive the server down in Cagney's twice to inform him my food was inedible. I spoke with the manager, who informed the server to bring me something else. No apology, no offer for another meal on a different night. We decided to have dinner on New Year's Eve in the MDR, thinking it would be something special, but the service was terrible, the food barely edible, and the entire experience disappointing. I was embarrassed to have brought my family on this cruise for a holiday. Service at the bars was somewhat better I have to say, and in general, it did not take long to get a drink at the bar or sitting at a table in the common areas. DH says they really have to work on their beer selection though. The one common area where service was entirely lacking was the front sun decks of the ship. Not one server ever came in that area that I saw for orders, despite repeated requests to the bars where we had to go to get our own beverages. The dining room staff at guest services were wildly unhelpful. I stood in a very awkward line that necessitated one to stand in foot traffic area for 30 minutes to get my son the dining package. Then, I had to stand in another 30 minute line to get the other guest services to put it on his card. This made no sense, since the two areas, dining and guest services, were co-located. I asked to speak with a manager, and she walked away from me as I was talking to her. The rudest treatment I have experienced on any ship. Entertainment was good, but not having as many venues as the larger ships was very noticeable (no comedy club or dueling pianos, no entertainment at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar). My son just turned 18, and unfortunately there was little for him to do without the benefit of the teen club. He still made a few friends on the baskeball court, but there should be more for the 18-20 set besides what he said was a lame, poorly attended meet and greet in the 5 O'clock somewhere bar. Some of the newly created areas on this ship were just strange, apparently owning to the recent refurbishment. The Mojito Bar was part of Moderno, and did not seem to be a bar/lounge area at all, but just a restaurant bar to serve Moderno and Cagney's. Spice H2O was just a big covered area that did not have a water feature (though there was a hot tub stuck awkwardly in one corner), or a big screen for movies, just a few TVs showing music videos. I think, instead of trying to pigeon-hole all the ships into having the same named areas, they should think about retaining a ship's unique character. Naming the areas the same creates expectation that are sometimes not achievable. I took one excursion, a whale-watching trip and DH/DS took a beach day, both at Cabo through NCL. My excursion was delayed by several hours, which I only found out upon arrival at the pier. There were no alternatives other than a refund, but all the whale watching tours offered by independent tour groups were gone, and it was the last port, and thus, last opportunity for this excursion, so I waited. The group that took us out were very entertaining, the ship beautiful, and the service of included drinks wonderful. We saw lots of whales (smaller ones), and several breaches, so a good trip. My husband loved the Exclusive Beach Resort day. My son went son his first wave-runner and had a blast. In Puerto Vallarta my husband and son went on an independent zip line tour and said it was great. I walked along the water and landed at a beach. We got an independent tour guide in Mazatlan, ending at a restaurant, and had a nice meal of seafood, including lobster and ceviche. We all decided we would return to Mazatlan, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta if we had the chance. However, we all also decided we would avoid the NCL Star. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this ship because we had a great experience 8 years ago on their cruise to Alaska. This was frankly very disappointing. Unlike the previous cruise most everything besides meals is extra. I mean like diet cokes , even WATER! They try ... Read More
Chose this ship because we had a great experience 8 years ago on their cruise to Alaska. This was frankly very disappointing. Unlike the previous cruise most everything besides meals is extra. I mean like diet cokes , even WATER! They try to up sell you on everything you do. Even Bingo.. They charged $2.50 for a pen! Outrageous. Then, in the gym, 3 out of 5 bikes worked. Stuff was not working. Also, more maddening than anything.. The wifi was useless. It barely worked and they charged 128 for premium! It was dial up speeds if any. Will never do this again with them. Excursions were ok.. Standard stuff. Room lighting was abysmal.. Couldn't read very well and again wifi non existant. 5 TV channels.. Wow. Pool and deck are fine, food lines very slow. No self service anymore probably due to health risks.. Dining room is again an upsell.. Lobsters 20 extra with no meat on them. Would rather eat dinner in Lido deck. The whole thing was very nickel and dime.. Not what I was thinking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We stayed at the Double Tree at San Pedro prior to boarding. Very nice hotel and they provide free parking during he duration of your cruise. We chose this cruise after a 6 year absence from cruising. In the past we have had primarily ... Read More
We stayed at the Double Tree at San Pedro prior to boarding. Very nice hotel and they provide free parking during he duration of your cruise. We chose this cruise after a 6 year absence from cruising. In the past we have had primarily cruised with Princess (over a dozen times). The Princess line appears to have lost it’s luster over the years. Both the ship (Ruby Princess) and the crew appear tired. The level of customer service has significantly dropped. The fine extra touches of the past have disappeared and the staff appears often short with the guests. Our cabin steward kept our room clean, but nothing notable. The decrease in service is most likely a combination of a Princess management shortfall and a cut back in service crew. They are caught up in doing the same thing everyday and no longer look at innovation or how to improve the guests experience. The Main dining was ok, but server attitude was lacking. Horizon Buffet food was ok but finding a table, unless you bus it yourself, was challenging. The deck foodservice was good and the street tacos at the Salty Dog Grill were very good. Speciality dining food quality (Share and Salty Dog) were outstanding BUT the service was very slow. We did not travel with kids, but there were plenty on the cruise and they seemed to enjoy the cruise. Most adults could not use the hot tubs as they were usually filled with 8 to 10 year olds. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
After sailing multiple times with Norwegian, we thought we would "Step Up" and sail with Princess. What a mistake.... worst food and poorest selection for buffet for 1st five days and then selection got minimally better but ... Read More
After sailing multiple times with Norwegian, we thought we would "Step Up" and sail with Princess. What a mistake.... worst food and poorest selection for buffet for 1st five days and then selection got minimally better but quality remained poor. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner buffets consistantly poor quality, bad service, sad faced employes. Paid for 2 nights in Specialty Restaurant "Crown Grill" steakhouse, mediocre food, BAD service. No better in dining rooms, BAD service mediocre food, poor selection. many public Restrooms out of service entire cruise. Nice balcony Cabin, deck 10 C405 and excellent room steward "David Kurniawan". Very organized and well run boarding and disembarkation. Lacking any quality entertainment, shows etc. Truly SAD. Clean well run Casino, however I would have liked a "real dealer" and real cards while playing poker instead of the big shiny glass computer screen. We are really NOW looking forward To our next Norwegian "Fun" Cruise. We did not appreciate Norwegian until sailing on the Ruby Princess Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
To have a great Vacation. But the food way below good. We only had one Captains dinner. I ask about the 2nd dinner, and was told that xmas dinner was the 2nd. We want to the Steakhouse, and ordered Surf and Turf. But the food was cold and ... Read More
To have a great Vacation. But the food way below good. We only had one Captains dinner. I ask about the 2nd dinner, and was told that xmas dinner was the 2nd. We want to the Steakhouse, and ordered Surf and Turf. But the food was cold and bunt. The soup was watered down. The best meal was the hot dogs from dell at the aft of the ship. The wait staff in the MDR was slow and not very helpful. Half the time our food was cold, or not what we ordered. The Casino was full of smoke, and very poor staff. We ask for help from the Host, Waited over 1 hour for help. We ask for a drink, and had to wait again for that. When we got to are cabin the first day, we ask for ice and two more towels. We got the ice on Monday and the towels on Tuesday afternoon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have cruised with Royal Caribbean and Disney before and we had very good time. This X'mas we choose NCL cruise and it was the worst experience I have so far. This ship is pretty old. Many dinning options are extra cost. Food was no ... Read More
We have cruised with Royal Caribbean and Disney before and we had very good time. This X'mas we choose NCL cruise and it was the worst experience I have so far. This ship is pretty old. Many dinning options are extra cost. Food was no good and service was so bad. Based on the daily information showed O'Sheehans lunch open @11:30 my family went and the lady told us they need to clean up and won't open until @12:30 with rude attitude. After more than one hour waiting we finally got seats and the service was very slow. Entertainment was very poor. All entertainment activities closed at 10pm. They even lock-downed shuffleboard and ping pong table. They didn't offer much things to do on the cruise. There was some good thought. House keeping was good. They clean our cabin several times per day and always keep it clean. The two stars are for house keeping. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I will write a free association ramble, sorry if I repeat myself. The food was very disappointing in all areas. The public dining rooms as well as the specialty restaurants. I had 3 very good surprising meals. Moderno, Bistro and one ... Read More
I will write a free association ramble, sorry if I repeat myself. The food was very disappointing in all areas. The public dining rooms as well as the specialty restaurants. I had 3 very good surprising meals. Moderno, Bistro and one dish served one day during lunch in the garden cafe. But overall the food really was very disappointing. Terrible onion soup even in Cagney's. The mac and cheese was not cheesy at all. I can go on and on but in the end given how much you folks say how NCL is all about the fantastic food and in reality the food was pretty bad overall. Our room cabin was 5650 for DEC 21st 2018 cruise. The placement of the bed was right next to the fold down bed and myself at first kept on banging my head on the fold down bed. After the 3rd time I changed sides with my wife and she also banged her head 3+ times. What a bad design of the room. The room was smaller then even the smallest inside cabins of the other cruise lines we have been on. The worst part of the room was that it was under the kitchen and almost throughout the entire night I could hear some kind of very loud compressor going, items being dropped on the floor, barrels or something very large being rolled around over our heads.. who knows but the noise was at times loud enough to wake us up and keep us from sleeping a few hours each night. The large auditorium where you have the shows.. who ever installed ALL the seats have put them at a weird angle such that when your sitting on them it feels like your going to slide down them onto the floor. Of course you wont because there was no legroom so one is wedged in pretty tightly.. So yea a very uncomfortable auditorium.. Best seats in the house was the handicapped seats and they went fast. By the way the entertainment was really great. Tim the comedian was funny as all heck. Your staff from the captain down to the folks cleaning the room I can see work really hard. Unfortunately they cannot compensate for the physical issues of an older cruise ship. Of course the food can be improved upon. Portion sizes were small at best. Sometimes salads came with barely any salad in them and the main course was dished out like one was in prison. Bottom line it was very clear they were doing their very best to keep their food cost under control. So such thing as an american sized serving.. of course one can always order more food.. still it shows they want to save money not only on serving size but in quality of the food as well. OMG the french fries were the absolute worse in both the main dining hall and up stairs in the pool area grill. I am not sure how those french fries were made but really they tasted like eating dried out card board.. Why even make the effort only to put out such a bad product. I know its all about saving money!!! Overall NCL at this time would be that last cruise liner I would book a cruise on in the future. The poor layout of the room. No chairs in the room, only a makeup stool, really?? Banging our head on the fold down bed because there is no room to climb out of the bed on that side. A bathroom with sharp edges where one could be hurt if they slipped or the boat rocked to hard. The food was cheap, and it was evident of the cost savings. No Smoked salmon / LOX for bagels just a smoked salmon/cream cheese mix. Sauces on all dishes were extremely light, just the bare minimum even in the specialty restaurants... on and on this went during the whole cruise... And the noise, electronic throbbing/pulsing of some type all night long in our cabin from the kitchen above.. anyway, we paid about $1k per person for the trip, another $240 total for the specialty restaurants which really were bad except for the french and brazilian, paid about $400 for massages which my wife loved, excellent message staff. Another $1k to travel. So we paid at least $4k all in all for just a below average cruise. My expectations were much higher after all the boasting you folks did about both the ship and the food. This ship and the food really was in the minor league and truly not ready for prime time.. Nice effort but not in the same league as Celebrity or even Princess for that matter. You asked and now you know. Value for money? I won't be coming back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise on NCL Star to Mexican Riviera, a repeat trip from a Carnival line 10 years ago. We are frequent (11) cruisers, and this was by far our WORST SHIP experience. We were assigned a rooms in the front of the ship, 8003 ... Read More
We chose this cruise on NCL Star to Mexican Riviera, a repeat trip from a Carnival line 10 years ago. We are frequent (11) cruisers, and this was by far our WORST SHIP experience. We were assigned a rooms in the front of the ship, 8003 and 8005. We were not able to choose rooms when booking. The "Normal" noise level in the room was THUNDEROUS. There was no sleeping. We were told this was normal due to (depending on who you talked to) the anchor or normal noise due to the waves at the bow. If you were able to sleep for a few moments you were woken by 110 decibles and trembling rooms - enough for things to fly off the shelves. How NCL can put people in staterooms with this "normal" noise level is an atrocity. It's a statement to their desire to make money over passenger comfort that these rooms are used for paying clients. This was evident in several areas, such as "entertainment" being basically commercials such as "Better Body Without Botox" and "Non-surgical Face Lifts," etc. over what is traditional entertainment, hard sells in the gift shops, etc. Communication is poor, such as what movies are playing, where to disembark, time to be back on the ship, ship time (changes 4 times in 7 days and no clocks are available.) IF you decide to book on NCL, be forwarned that you must reserve your dinning accomodations prior to boarding or you will be left with only O'Shannah's with a very limited menu that doesn't change, the buffet, or a 90 minute wait for "MAYBE you get in." We did enjoy the shows and felt that the room steward and buffet staff were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Service of crew members was excellent. Reception at the front desk was some of the friendliest and most helpful that we have ever experienced, regardless of the issue discussed. For some reason, Norwegian seems to be promoting drink ... Read More
Service of crew members was excellent. Reception at the front desk was some of the friendliest and most helpful that we have ever experienced, regardless of the issue discussed. For some reason, Norwegian seems to be promoting drink packages and I believe they are cutting their budget for food ingredients to pay for them! Soups and sauces were watered down, meat cuts tough, selections limited. I do not know if this is fleet wide, but at this time I would not recommend the Star if you are looking for fine cuisine. Many other guests seemed to agree and it became a topic of discussion that we did not originate. We heard enough complaints about the "specialty restaurants" that we did not bother to go. The shore excursions were about as expected, with competitive pricing: there were too many "shopping opportunities" for us, but that is always a matter of individual preference. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were on the Eurodam 1 1/2 yrs ago with an Itinerary to Alaska which hooked us on cruising with HAL. It was the best cruise experience we've had having over 30 cruises under our belt so we assumed this trip would be no different BOY ... Read More
We were on the Eurodam 1 1/2 yrs ago with an Itinerary to Alaska which hooked us on cruising with HAL. It was the best cruise experience we've had having over 30 cruises under our belt so we assumed this trip would be no different BOY were we wrong. The 180 degree turn of experience leads me to believe that these weren't minor changes ….this is how the current and future HAL experiences will look like due to cost cutting to more closely compete with their sister company Carnival. Entertainment The HAL entertainment and activities were almost non existent there was only 1 night that HAL dancers perfomed a dance act that was on another cruise we took with them in May. On other cruises with 3 sea day you would have a minimum of two possibly three performances. The other nights,they showed a movie offered in the room that has been out for six months. The other nights there was a second rate commedian and magician, the last night was a review. Some other experiences: Very little interaction or communication from cruise director to let us know what was going on Americas test kitchen was offered only one day on a itinerary with 3 sea days The wait staff show is gone... were told they didnt want to pay staff extra for the show The relationship with Park West Galleries no longer exist as a result no more art auctions at sea Jewelry and Watch auction featured 1 (yes) one watch with a reserve of $500, I guess they didnt want to have a real watch auction The Cha Cha Class offered was so overcrowded there was no room to move, I surmise the turnout was due to lack of other activities. If you bought the elite drink package you most likey would have been dissappointed, many of the higher end wines and whiskeys were not in stock Lastly it really burns me when I see the cruise director drinking wine for a couple of hours in one of the lounges we were in when there was such a lack of activities going on In all the quality of entertainment was far below ANY cruise we have been on. Food Food quality was decent but another nod to cost cutting their seafood quality was very poor. One night Halibut was served which should be a flaky white fish, instead what we got was a rubbery piece of fish. After sending it back 3 times i gave up understanding it was not the prep it was the quality of the fish, other passengers around us had the same experieince. Same thing with salamon, and the shrimp cocktail were noticibly smaller and less firm. The burger joint on the pool deck took 35 minutes to get a burger and fries and when we recieved them the burger was burnt to a crisp. Other than that beef and lamb products were prepared to HAL typical high standards. Processes Our day in Cabo required a tender to shore. By far it was the most disorganized tender i have ever experienced over 30 yrs of cruising. How the tender #'s were allocated, the loading of the tender and return was highly inefficent. Having previously tendered with HAL without incident i can only surmise that they did not put down enough tenders (maybe because of fuel) to handle this process efficently. The lido cafe was also very inefficent in part due to staff not having a sense of urgency to serve, in part due to inefficent station setup and in part due to line ctters, a really simple solution his would have been to have line barrier to prevent cutting ahead... which wouldnt have been an issue if the lines were moving efficiently. Well, it's good to be home, If HAL wants to win our business back feel free to contact me. Otherwise the goal of becoming a 5 star mariner is dead. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I took my best friend on this cruise because it was out of my home port and it was her first cruise. I have crushed many times with NCL & Celebrity and only once prior on Holland America to Alaska over 20 years ago. Talk about ... Read More
I took my best friend on this cruise because it was out of my home port and it was her first cruise. I have crushed many times with NCL & Celebrity and only once prior on Holland America to Alaska over 20 years ago. Talk about dissatisfaction with food, service, and customer service! Our cabin stewards Adit and Hamit were wonderful, as was Saldit in the Lido Buffet in the mornings. Other than that, we were dismissed, food was always cold, I specifically requested vegetarian selections and was told I needed to pre-order 24 hrs in advance. (It was the same menu throughout the cruise.) once I brought to the attention of management, I was followed, harrrased, and overall a very poor experience. Hopefully my friend enjoyed her first cruise, as I tried to let her know that this was an anomaly to my past cruising experiences. I wasn’t the only person who was not happy with the food. The three days in port were spent finding decent food. The tender experience in Cabo was laughable! The line to obtain tender tickets/times was beyond chaotic and frustrating. You get what you pay for using Vacations To Go as well. Once final payment was made, it was virtually impossible to get the representative to return a phone call or email. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our eighth cruise with Princess and last time we cruised with Princess was in 2014 on Grand Princess to Mexico. Ship has tired look and needs major update. Embarkation went very smoothly. Getting off was quick especially at ... Read More
This was our eighth cruise with Princess and last time we cruised with Princess was in 2014 on Grand Princess to Mexico. Ship has tired look and needs major update. Embarkation went very smoothly. Getting off was quick especially at customs. Entertainment was very good. Staff was very friendly and helpful with the exception of one night in main dining room when we went at 8:45 pm and staff hurried us through our meal. Buffet food was marginal and the hot food was warm not hot. I saw mashed potatoes being served that was so watery but put out for serving. Main dining room food was uninspiring. Lobster tails being served were so small as compared to other Princess cruises. Yes I know I could get more but that is not the point. Point being Princess has cut back on quality of food. This was our first time sailing out of San Francisco and will be our last. Many cruisers were rude but didn't know they were being rude. Different vibe of passengers cruising out of SF as compared to ports in Fort Lauderdale, Seattle, LA, Puerto Rico, Miami and Vancouver BC Will we cruise with Princess again? Questionable at this time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We did not have our room cleaned the entire trip due to not trusting the housekeeping staff. Unfortunately my husband left his ring on the bathroom shelf. We made a lost report and they have told us three times they could find it. There is ... Read More
We did not have our room cleaned the entire trip due to not trusting the housekeeping staff. Unfortunately my husband left his ring on the bathroom shelf. We made a lost report and they have told us three times they could find it. There is no way housekeeping could have missed it. It’s unfortunate they hire liars and thieves to clean your room. I am very disappointed in the staff. The food was average and the 24hour pizza tastes like frozen pizza. The drinks were over priced and weak for the value. The entertainment was average and boring. The comedians they hired was the best part of the cruise. We watched all of the shows they provided. The water slides they had were freezing cold so no one was on them. There were weird smells all over the ship so it made us want to be outside the majority of the time Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The food was horrible and bland. If you wanted a good steak dinner it’s going to cost you! They try to sell you everything. Not a cruise I would ever go on again! We had one meal that we paid for at the steak house Crown Grill. Food was ... Read More
The food was horrible and bland. If you wanted a good steak dinner it’s going to cost you! They try to sell you everything. Not a cruise I would ever go on again! We had one meal that we paid for at the steak house Crown Grill. Food was excellent and service as well but it cost an additional $80.00 . They charge for self serve laundry machines, air conditioning didn’t work in our cabin. They charge for water bottles in your room and for cokes to be delivered to your state room as well. The portions in the dining room for the “included”meals we so ridiculously small, your truly needed to order 5 dinners to equal one regular dinner. The staff is clearly overworked and under paid. If you want to tip a staff member (that they don’t have to pool ) tip them with casino chips. Over all, I couldn’t wait to get off that boat Read Less
Sail Date December 2018

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