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6,342 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

This was a "free trip" given by one of the "time share" presentations. All in all, not bad! We did the Drink special, where you paid the $49 a day for the whole cruise for your drinks. I'm still lukewarm on that ... Read More
This was a "free trip" given by one of the "time share" presentations. All in all, not bad! We did the Drink special, where you paid the $49 a day for the whole cruise for your drinks. I'm still lukewarm on that idea. We made it worth it, LOL, to be sure, but I'm not sure we really needed to drink that much! We just had an inside cabin, which worked OK, because it was just me and my SO. It was his first ever cruise, and he had a good time. It was January, so it was really cold, that was the down side. Stop in Catalina was nice, rented bikes and just rode around. For future reference, they have electric bikes, which might've been nicer for some. Ensenada, just walked around, did a little shopping, it was a cute town. Comedy clubs on the ship were fun. The Headliner was OK, but the "warm-up" guy was MUCH funnier. the whole thing was really a good experience. Food was good, and everyone was very nice. would likely try this again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I sailed as a "solo" because my wife simply isn't interested in large ships (we've sailed together nine times on Silversea, Seabourn, and HAL). The price was right, and so was the length of the cruise---I figured that ... Read More
I sailed as a "solo" because my wife simply isn't interested in large ships (we've sailed together nine times on Silversea, Seabourn, and HAL). The price was right, and so was the length of the cruise---I figured that even if the cruise was terrible I could tolerate it for four nights). Well, the cruise wasn't terrible. In fact, it was pretty good overall and very good in certain areas. The Positives; The embarcation and disembarcation processes went very smootly. For a ship this size, the speed of getting on and off was remarkable. Princess clearly knows what they're doing in terms of organization and passenger flow. The International Cafe became my second home, at least in the early morning. I always wake up early, even on vacation, and it was great to go down to the Cafe at 6:00AM, smell the freshly-baked croissants and muffins, and sit there with a double espresso and chat with the (very friendly) staff and the other early-rising passengers. The staff in general were great, particularly in the restaurants and bars. Sabatini's---the extra-cost Italian restaurant---was well worth the $25 cover charge. Crooner's bar was a perfect, sophisticated before-dinner spot. The $49 (per day) beverage card was worth it for the convenience alone (no reconciling a big bunch of receipts with your final statement), but probably paid off if, like me, you drink martinis, manhattans, bottled water, and espresso. The Negatives: The food in the main dining rooms was nothing to write home about. The buffet was worse. The International Cafe was almost TOO popular: it was impossible to find a place to sit after about 9:00AM. As I said, overall it was pretty good, and I'll probably do a slightly longer cruise next time (and you never know: maybe I might convince my wife to five it a try). Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We booked this cruise pretty last minute, and got a good deal. one week out, we had a phone call from Carnival asking us if we wanted an upgrade to a junior suite, which we jumped on. I have read reviews on here about the balconies on this ... Read More
We booked this cruise pretty last minute, and got a good deal. one week out, we had a phone call from Carnival asking us if we wanted an upgrade to a junior suite, which we jumped on. I have read reviews on here about the balconies on this ship being tiny, not worth it, etc. to us, it was worth it. to come into the room and have the sun shining every day, leave the door open at nite and hear the waves, it really was beautiful. and the VIP embarkation, disembarkation - well worth it. we felt very well taken care of. the food - decent. other guests - interesting. if you aren't used to Carnival, you should adjust your dining room attire. our first night was cruise casual, and there were literally people wearing jean cutoffs and flip flops in the dining room. this was a bit of a surprise. the pool area is terrible. it's like a large kiddie pool. and the hot tubs? ewwww. here's my beef with Carnival. on our last day, we played bingo. it was 20$ per card, we bought on each and two bingo dabbers (2$ each). When we got our bill, we were charged 44$ and 20$. so an extra 20$. when we brought it to guest services, they assured us they would adjust it. they didn't so we brought it there again. they said, no problem, it will be taken care of. however, we were charged the full amount today. and it's not like we were cheap on the ship. we tipped extra, bought the 400$ cheers package, etc. as far as i'm concerned, if they rip me off 20$ who's to say they wouldn't do 200$ next time. for this reason, i will not book with carnival again.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
A getaway for birthday cruise. The best: Barong spa day pass booked for week, quiet rooms, 2 hot tubs, warm wave pool, lounges looking out at the ship's wake, no children! Hardworking service staff. Adequately prepared and served MDR ... Read More
A getaway for birthday cruise. The best: Barong spa day pass booked for week, quiet rooms, 2 hot tubs, warm wave pool, lounges looking out at the ship's wake, no children! Hardworking service staff. Adequately prepared and served MDR meals. (Decent hollandaise!). Crew talent show was excellent! Improve: Burt Bacharach 9pm show was in poor taste (lap dance? Pole dance? Really?!), sung off key and like other shows repetitively choreographed. Wait staff seemed ruled by fear of losing job; anxiety was palpable. Ship was about 10% over capacity due to extra children, straining kitchen and doing away with extras like "dinner with a ship's officer". TV channels had two showing same movies repeatedly or selling bobble head dolls, etc., 3 news channels. Balcony smoking ban not enforced. Lots of people claimed to have "won" their trips and room upgrades. Our much touted "spend on the next trip to save in this one" wasn't applied, because they can't cross-check name (mis)spellings. Rethink: stop selling soft drink packages when you can't refill anywhere! Stop selling on CC TV. Give your slow internet service away for free! Have access ahead of cruise date to special events like "white party" and "sock hop". All in all we got what we wanted: sunrise, sunset, sea air and a birthday cupcake!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just finished up a 7 day Norwegian Star cruise to the Mexican Riviera... This is my 3rd cruise on the Norwegian Star, my 10th cruise altogether. Embarkation as a suite passenger was fast (less than 30 minutes) however it took 5 hours for ... Read More
Just finished up a 7 day Norwegian Star cruise to the Mexican Riviera... This is my 3rd cruise on the Norwegian Star, my 10th cruise altogether. Embarkation as a suite passenger was fast (less than 30 minutes) however it took 5 hours for our bags to reach our room. In contrast: On a 4 day Carnival cruise (Inspiration out of Long Beach) taken just after this cruise, our bags arrived at our stateroom within an hour of boarding. Being a foodie and having cruised on the Star in the past, we opted for the ultimate dining package so we could "go crazy" at the specialty restaurants. We didn't dine at the MDR for any dinners in hopes of making the most of our unlimited package. Here's a summary: Cagney's steakhouse: We ate here 4x because of the high quality of food and service. This is "surf & turf" type fare in a romantic setting. The restaurant exudes "expensive" but isn't hoity-toity, the food was consistently very good. Le Bistro: A little more romantic than Cagney's and a great excuse to get dressed up- if that's your thing. The french food is solid, not the best I've had, but still good. The service was excellent, the Coq au vin was a tasty choice. Moderno: A fun dining option for carnivores. A semi-romantic setting overlooks the atrium. Pasadores (meat servers) bring freshly grilled skewered hunks o' meat to your table. There is also a yummy salad bar that includes olives, meats, soups, ceviche, and prepared salads. Hint: arrive early (6-7:30) when the restaurant is busiest to get the freshest cuts of meat. The non-specialty (read: no fee) restaurants included: The Buffet: The absolute worst on the high-seas, avoid at all costs, has high-school cafeteria type seating. The Blue Lagoon: A 24 hour cafe with simple basic food. Great views. Versailles: MDR serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The dining room is handsome, a francophile's dream touting tall ceilings, lots of mirrors, paintings, gold filigree, and heavy drapes. The service was consistently good, the food was standard cruise-fare: fancier than Golden Corral, but most definitely not the Ritz. Aqua: A more modern and glitzy dinner venue than Versailles but serves the exact same menu. The ship: The ship itself is looking a little dated although it appears to have just received a fresh coat of paint. It is in good repair with the exception of: -worn out chaise loungers -broken/tacky looking fountains in the atrium -a buffet that has less charm than most hospital cafeterias I typically don't go to shows on cruise ships due to low production quality, so I have nothing to report in that regards. The only "planned activity" I participated in were Latin exercise/dance classes in the Spinnaker lounge, which were a mix of Zumba and aerobics, but nonetheless got my heart pumping. I walked the promenade daily for my 10k steps, played a little golf and ping pong with my husband. There was a very good R & B band from Trinidad/Tobago that were very enjoyable, however I didn't much care for the Spanish folk-singers or the Asian 50's greaser band. However, my opinion is likely entirely due to my age (early 40's). The common areas were all very clean, the staff was very friendly and helpful. The ports: Cabo San Lucas: Here we took a boat cruise of Lover's beach and El Arco. Mostly we just killed 2 hours, as the tour was not very interesting, the pre-recorded Jacques Cousteau presentation was b-b-b-boring. After the tour, we walked the pier into town and went to Los Barriles. There we had a fantastic lunch platter with lobster, filet mignon, prawns, sea bass, and crab. What a feast! Our server (Nestor) was fast, efficient, and friendly. The guacamole prepared tableside was simply delicious. Mazatlan: We booked an excursion onboard that included a city tour which took us to watch some cliff divers, from there we went to a shopping district (Zona Dorada), then to a resort (Hotel Playa Mazatlan) for lunch, entertainment, and lounging on the beach. A ho-hum excursion until the resort, which would've been awesome if the weather had held up. The hawkers were very aggressive on the street and at the beach, however a simple "no gracias" always worked for me. Puerto Vallarta: We took a Jeep Safari excursion which wasn't much of a safari at all, instead a drive through the countryside & through many poor villages. It was very educational to see how the "real Mexicans" live, however I didn't appreciate being pressured to buy stuff at the hat or tequila factory. $65 USD for a bottle of tequila is NOT a good deal! At the end of the excursion we were taken to a beach where we were only allowed 30 minutes before having to return to the ship. Debarkation was the fastest ever. The concierge escorted the suite passengers to customs, we were off the ship in less than 30 minutes with bags in hand. Overall: A very enjoyable cruise. Not the fanciest, not the prettiest nor most modern ship, but an organized and friendly vacation brimming with lots of great food and smiling faces. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The disclaimers first: I have only done three cruises so I'm not a seasoned traveler and my first cruise was on Crystal Cruises and I have found nothing to compare yet. I left Tucson driving early to spend a few days in California ... Read More
The disclaimers first: I have only done three cruises so I'm not a seasoned traveler and my first cruise was on Crystal Cruises and I have found nothing to compare yet. I left Tucson driving early to spend a few days in California before my cruise and was about half way to LA when a got and email telling me that my cruise was being shortened be a day and now would not leave until the Sunday after the original departure time. They made sure to tell me in the email that I couldn't cancel and that I had no recourse against them. By the time we got to LA we had another email telling us that the departure was moved out another four hours. We learned that the original lost day was due to a crew member illness and the additional four hours was due to norovirus on the ship and because they had to disinfect the ship twice. We didn't get all of our luggage until we had already spent a night. And the bag we didn't get had our medications in it. We were told several times that our only option was to wait for the bag. We had several experiences with employees telling us this was their first trip on the ship and wondered why. An employee finally told us that they had to replace a number of employes on the ship due to norovirus. About the third day we had an announcement that there was norovirus on the ship. The Captain finally announced that a number of people had asked how many cases were on the ship (Well Duh! Really?) so he disclosed that, at the time, there 39 cases including five staff members. We frequently had cold food at the venue we dined at most often. We had constant concerns about norovirus and limited our exposure to the public. It seemed that the activities on ship either cost the passenger money or didn't cost the cruise line much. When you are constantly concerned about norovirus (we are both old people) you can't really enjoy your trip. The trip was ruined. I suppose a seasoned traveler would say don't buy travel insurance but our travel agent suggested buying, not the coverage from the cruise line, because "it wasn't much good", and buy something called "Travel Guard". We bought what they call a "Gold Policy" and I can't imagine it being more useless! Princess gave us a pathetic credit for the disasters which included a 20% discount on a future cruise which we will never use. The insurance company (AIG) said that because the cruise line compensated us for the losses they would only pay the expenses for food and lodging for the lost day. Never mind that the cruise line gave us something of no value, AIG decided it was suitable. I paid $186 for the travel insurance and they gave me $199 - $13 more than I paid them. I like my travel agent but I wont use her again for recommending useless insurance. I think I am through cruising (thank you Princess) unless I decide to save a little longer and go back to Crystal Cruises. This was a horrible experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We booked with Carnival knowing their reputation for catering to families with young kids and the partying college age crowd. We wanted a quiet and relaxing vacation and that's what we got, for the most part, with this cruise. We ... Read More
We booked with Carnival knowing their reputation for catering to families with young kids and the partying college age crowd. We wanted a quiet and relaxing vacation and that's what we got, for the most part, with this cruise. We booked a suite so we could relax on our private balcony. Because we had a suite, priority checking was a breeze (as was disembarkation). We packed our swimsuits in our carry on and headed straight for the Serenity (over 21) area. There are 2 hot tubs and 40-50 chaise lounges. There were 4 other people in Serenity all afternoon. Spent all day there on Catalina day and on Ensenada day and had the place almost to ourselves. The food at dinner was very good, but it wasn't Morton's Steakhouse. But we didn't expect Morton's so we were not disappointed at all. Do NOT go to the dining room for breakfast. The service is awful and the food is not good. Cold, hard pancakes. My breakfast was served and I finished eating it before my husbands breakfast arrived. Breakfast in the Lido deck is much better, with made to order omelets, good coffee, lots of fresh fruit and good seating. Lunch on the Lido deck is also very good and the pizza is excellent! Salad bar was very fresh. The gym was nice, and we took a few spin classes. The spa treatments were also okay, but not excellent. The comedy shows were actually very funny, for both kids and adults. Our only complaint is that there were tons of kids on the ship running up and down the hallways late at night (to 11:00-11:30). This is not Carnivals fault, except that because they are affordable families with kids are represented in higher than usual numbers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We booked a Mexican Riviera 7 night cruise on the spur of the moment - sort of a "I'll gas up the car, you pack!" situation. It was a great decision. We had never cruised with NCL, but found Freestyle Cruising to be very ... Read More
We booked a Mexican Riviera 7 night cruise on the spur of the moment - sort of a "I'll gas up the car, you pack!" situation. It was a great decision. We had never cruised with NCL, but found Freestyle Cruising to be very appealing. We arrived at the San Pedro Terminal at 11 am and were boarding by 12 pm. We were invited to drop off our carry-on items right away, even though the cabin may not be ready. At 2:30 pm the announcement was made that the cabins were then available to use. After a walk-through of the ship, we arrived at the cabin at 3:15 pm to find our checked bags had already been delivered. I was able to get everything stowed by the 4:00 pm lifeboat drill. After many boring uncomfortable drills, this was a pleasure. We went to our muster stations, but did not have to put on our life jackets. Their use was demonstrated together with how to get into the lifeboats. It was over in about 15 minutes, as effective as any I've been involved with. We loved the fact that we could choose where we wanted to eat, how and when. There were over 13 different locations to eat on the ship, with perhaps 5 that had a supplemental fee. The low end of the fee structure was at the Sushi restaurant which was a la carte ($2.50 for a great California roll), to $30 at Cagney's steakhouse. The Brazilian meat experience (Moderno Churrascarria) was about $20 each, but an excellent, amazing meal with a killer salad bar as well. And for $5 you could have an extra large custom-made pizza served to your room, which was outstanding. But you do not have to spend $$ to have a good meal. Among the non-fee locales was the Blue Lagoon that served comfort food 24 hours a day. This is a happy ship. We were greeted warmly at every turn, with excellent personal service even with unusual requests. Every crew and staff member greeted us eye-to-eye as we passed by, with nary a soul avoiding contact. Sharing a ship with 2,000+ other passengers can be trying sometimes, but the staff had one goal: make our vacation the best ever. We had a great time. I'm convinced this is a better way to cruise, at least for us. Some port notes: The itinerary was Los Cabos, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta. We'd been to Los Cabos numerous times and were familiar with PV. It had been 30 years since I was in Mazatlan, well before the recent troubles in Mexico. Mazatlan was our favorite port. We spent most of our day wandering through the Centro Historico (old town) that was quite close to the Cruise Terminal. An abundance of Volunteers in blue shirts answered many of our questions about the city when we got off the ship Most were Canadian and US ex-pats living in the Mazatlan area, all excited about sharing information about their adopted home. They provided free maps and guides for walking tours and historic sites. The Blue Line is painted on the sidewalks and streets to take you from the Cruise Terminal for an easy 20 minute walk through residential areas and past local shops to the Plazuela Machado, a pleasant shaded square in the center of the district, with lots of character. The Cathedral and adjacent square is about a block away, which is elegant and shows the wealth of this city's history. From there, the Central Market is an easy two block walk. We wandered through displays of beautiful fruits, vegetables, fresh baked Mexican pastries, past stall of butchers plying their trade with beautiful cuts of meat, and we always were greeter with courtesy in response to our curiosity. We ordered some tacos from a small stand and watched the owner-cook prepare the tortillas, grilled the meat and assembled our meal, with wonderful condiments. They were delicious, inexpensive and clearly she was happy to have us there. From the market, we followed our maps and walked to the Malecon, or seafront, about 6 or 8 blocks away. The residential area was very colorful, reminding me of certain areas in old San Juan. after another meal at a seaside cafe, we returned to the ship. Overall, a very pleasant visit. Clearly the Mazatlan authorities are making efforts to assure visitors that their city is secure. The Tourist Police were stationed at nearly every other corner in the area we visited. The Municipal Police provided crossing guards across busy streets and had lots of cruisers on the streets themselves. The Norwegian Star was escorted into and out of the harbor by Naval Patrol craft as well as while at the pier. Overall it felt very safe, and we were glad to visit this historic, beautiful city. Not only were the people warm and inviting, but it felt very "real": much less crowded and less showy than PV, and far less built-up and more Mexican than Los Cabos. It actually felt like we were guests of the city. Thanks NCL for making the decision to make this a regular port of call...   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
My wife and I recently returned from a ten-day Mexican Riviera cruise on the Sapphire Princess , and our experience prompts me to write. We both have Platinum status with your company, and have mostly enjoyed other vacations with Princess. ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from a ten-day Mexican Riviera cruise on the Sapphire Princess , and our experience prompts me to write. We both have Platinum status with your company, and have mostly enjoyed other vacations with Princess. This trip, however, proved less than enjoyable and exposed some serious flaws with the management and culture on your ship. During our cruise, the Telecom department was switching the onboard television service from an old analog system to a new digital one. We were advised at the beginning of our trip that this was happening, and that a technician would be in our room for a few minutes during the week to make the switch. Once the "upgrade" was done, however, we had almost continuous problems with the system freezing, constant buffering and reloading, and the like, which made it impossible to use the television, even the "From the Bridge" channel. We contacted the Purser's Desk on several occasions to get help, and they sent a technician many times to assist...to no avail, as the problems continued throughout the entire cruise. The Passenger Desk, however, continued to insist that the problem was fixed and that only a third of the ship had been affected. We felt as though we were being given lip-service and being placated by the Passenger Services Desk every time we called, being told that the system was fixed and working when it clearly was not. Their attitude became surly and judgmental as the week progressed ("Why would you just want to watch TV on this beautiful cruise?" type of attitude!). We spoke to numerous other passengers who had an identical experience, in fact 100% of those we spoke to about the problem shared our frustration, not just a third of them. It felt like Princess was obfuscating the extent of the problem, and downplaying our frustration the entire week. Their attitude and demeanor was patronizing and disingenuous. Television service is part of the contracted package of amenities Princess advertises in it's marketing, and which passengers pay for and expect as part of the contract of services, which we paid for in advance. If we asked our credit card company to credit back a portion of the fare we paid Princess to compensate for the loss of TV service, you would be upset and not allow it. Yet, you have taken your full compensation for our trip even though Princess did not fulfill an important part of the agreement, providing a working television service in our stateroom. A small gesture during the week (a bottle of wine at dinner or some free onboard credit) would have gone a long way toward healing the hard feelings this episode generated, but absolutely nothing was offered. It was like being in the Twilight Zone, the way no one seemed to acknowledge that there was a problem. We have shown our loyalty to Princess by booking trips with your company again and again. The disrespect we felt in this case will make us reconsider our choice of cruise lines for future vacations.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We decided to to take a quick getaway on board the beautiful sapphire princess! Embarkation - embarkation was amazingly simple. We were onboard in less than 15 minutes after we parked at the terminal. Ship Condition - The sapphire was is ... Read More
We decided to to take a quick getaway on board the beautiful sapphire princess! Embarkation - embarkation was amazingly simple. We were onboard in less than 15 minutes after we parked at the terminal. Ship Condition - The sapphire was is in fabulous condition almost if it was brand new! Cabin - Mini on dolphin. No complait at all. Very spacious and comfy! Huge balcony was an added plus! Food - Best food I have ever had onboard a ship. Period. The crown grill was extremely tasty Entertainment - All show we're extremely good! Must say the production show wasn't as good as other production shows on other princess ship but we're still good Route - Santa Barbara is awesome and beautiful! Ensenada is a little run down but the sunset is really amazing Overall - Really great quick trip!!!!! Recommend - YES! Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This review is long overdue, but was searching Trip Advisor today and it reminded me to post it. Hopefully, some things have changed, but doubtful. The good things - In spite of it's age, the ship was kept very clean. The staff ... Read More
This review is long overdue, but was searching Trip Advisor today and it reminded me to post it. Hopefully, some things have changed, but doubtful. The good things - In spite of it's age, the ship was kept very clean. The staff worked their tails off to give good service. Our kids had a great time in the supervised programs. The ocean was beautiful. The food was pretty good. The bad things - I'm really writing this review on behalf of the hardworking staff of this ship who deserve better. Due to reaping every possible fraction of profit, the staff are completely exhausted and sick. There should be one turnaround day to get the ship ready for the next group of passengers so the staff can rest and perform better. It's not so easy to enjoy yourself on vacation when the person serving your dinner is coughing and barely standing up. Then you find out that this guy sleeps only a few hours a night, with no day off and a frantic pace for months on end. It was like that for all the staff we saw except for the ones in the fitness center who seemed to have more balance. From the second you walk on the ship to the minute you depart, the loudspeaker is going with obnoxious announcements several times an hour trying to sell you something or get you into the casino. The shows which are promoted as family friendly are NOT. We would never take a Disney cruise again based on these things - especially overworking the staff!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I usually don't take the time in writing reviews but I'm so perplexed reading some Of these negative reviews. We live in a million dollar house on a golf course5 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. I only say this because I know ... Read More
I usually don't take the time in writing reviews but I'm so perplexed reading some Of these negative reviews. We live in a million dollar house on a golf course5 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. I only say this because I know & enjoy some of the most quality living, gourmet food, first class entertainment, and A+ service in the world. I'll also say this, 5 months prior, my husband & I sailed on Royal Caribbean Oasis Of the Seas so my review also takes that into consideration. So I'll now begin; Accommodations; We reserved 2 balcony suites. One for Hubs & I and a 2nd for our 17 year old son & his friend. BOTH rooms were excellent, clean & we LOVED Our room attendant Sunny. Only negative, I wish there was a mirrored vanity on the desk (I'm high maintence). Food; The buffet was packed with choices. You literally can eat something new every day. Main dinning room was REALLY good. Lots of varied choices & staff We're friendly. We ate at the steakhouse 3 nights & very much enjoyed every meal. Entertainment; our teenagers very much enjoyed their teen group & their staff. Comedians were quality. We didn't go to too many shows. I thought the main Entertainment guy (forgot what you call them) was just ok. Excursions; in Cabo we drank one day & then rented ATV's the other day- it was ok. In Puerta Vallarta you MUST go to Vallarta Adventures & book the Extreme Adventure SOOO much fun. I bet you could save money and book on their website. Also, review them on Trip Advisor. A+ excursion, our best EVER and we've done Many over the years. In conclusion, after reviewing some of these negative nelly's review, I'm thinking They need to travel with different companions or maybe THEY are the problem. We ALL had SOOO much fun we're not only doing the same New Years cruise next Year but, I'm taking my Mom on the Miracle in May for an Alaskan cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
My wife and I just returned from the New Year's Eve cruise on the Miracle. We had a great time last year on the Splendor New Year's Eve cruise, but would rate this cruise a bit lower. The problem to us is that the entertainment ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from the New Year's Eve cruise on the Miracle. We had a great time last year on the Splendor New Year's Eve cruise, but would rate this cruise a bit lower. The problem to us is that the entertainment on this ship was sparse. The activities staff seemed pretty clueless. What ever happened to Carnival being the Fun cruise line? We found the hotel and restaurant staff to be outstanding. The best we remember in many cruises. Food was okay. We enjoyed the excursions. We did the all inclusive resort on the first day in Cabo, the the semi-sub on the second. Our table mates in the MDR did the Rhythms of the Night in Puerto Vallarta and raved about it. We went to the Ocean Grill near Boca de Tomatlan and really loved it, though the taxi ride was a little pricey. This was our first cruise on a Spirit class ship and found it to be a nice layout, but the Miracle had more than a few scratches and dents.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Family vacation 12 adults and 5 kids. Embarkation was a breeze, we arrive in Galveston about 12:30, but the line was not too bad and once we were registered, it was straight onto the ship. Our cabin was wonderful, we had balcony cabin ... Read More
Family vacation 12 adults and 5 kids. Embarkation was a breeze, we arrive in Galveston about 12:30, but the line was not too bad and once we were registered, it was straight onto the ship. Our cabin was wonderful, we had balcony cabin 7346 with 7344 and 7342 also being part of our group. Downside, we were trying to get the balcony doors opened between all three cabins, but it took tow days before we learned that the last cabin couldn't happen. Other family members didn't have such good luck- my brother and his family in cabins 2274 and 2276 had temperatures around 80 for most of the trip. My Mother was in suite 7326, but in her opinion not worth the extra money above a traditional balcony cabin room. Lido buffet - we were very disappointed with the hours of operation. We are early to bed and early to rise folks, and the fact that the buffet didn't open until 7:30 on sea days was an issue for us. Guy's Burgers and Blue Iguana - awesome when they were open. The day that we waited for the buffet to open, I kept watching the salsa bar. The salsa was there, but not the spoons. Main Dining - Very disappointed here. We had 2 side by side tables. One of which seemed to have an assigned waiter and the other seemed to be in no man's land as the waiter was either the other tables or one from another section. Table 2 always finished 30 to 45 minutes after table 1. Also, we were close to the back windows in the Paris dining room and there was consistent curtain problems. (I guess they didn't fix the curtains while in dry dock.) Entertainment - We did three shows, 2 were production shows and while not our thing were good. The other one was the magic show and it was flat out awful. My son fell asleep mid show and probably had the better result. Ship layout - The ship has a number of you can't get there from here problems. Specifically, the Paris and London dining rooms occupy a portion of decks 3 and 4. Between the two on deck 3 is the galley and on deck 4 is a lounge. For people looking for a quiet place to play games or just socialize, the oxford lounge is the place to go, because no one just stumbles across it. Along the same lines, every night the photo crews would set up in the main walkways on deck 5. Photo stations made it almost impossible to cross the deck on that level. My son spent a lot of time walking through the casino so that we could avoid the bottlenecks. Camp Carnival - This is where I was the most disappointed on this cruise. We have cruised NCL with our son previously and had a very positive experience, so we were unprepared for what we found here Camp Carnival had no centralized location. Depending on the day and the other activities planed, the kids met in various bars / lounges throughout the ship. Additionally, the counselors appeared to be only minimally involved and the control of checking the kids in and out was minimal. On this trip the kids were 7 or 9, so they were somewhat capable of being responsible for themselves, but I would have been very concerned for a younger child. Overall, we had a great time, but that was more due to the fact that we had a large family gathering. Had we been just us three on our own, this would have been a very disappointing trip Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I recently returned from a 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise aboard the Splendor during Thanksgiving week. I went with my husband and 2 children (ages 10 and 12). We had a good time but I wouldn't say it was great. Embarkation: We ... Read More
I recently returned from a 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise aboard the Splendor during Thanksgiving week. I went with my husband and 2 children (ages 10 and 12). We had a good time but I wouldn't say it was great. Embarkation: We arrived at the port at 11:00 and checked in quickly and easily. We were in boarding group 2 and were on the ship by noon. Our rooms was ready so we were able to drop off our carry on bags and head straight up to the Lido for lunch. I had received an email asking me to board after 1:30. I was glad I ignored that advice. From the Lido deck, we could see long lines waiting to board after 1:00. We were happy that we chose to arrive early rather than wait until later. Our luggage didn't arrive to the room until after 5:00. Ship: I have been on several cruises with different cruise lines and I have to say that this was by far the hardest ship to navigate. Many floors don't have through access from front to back. We ended up using deck 5 a lot to go from one end to the other. The bad part of this is that it takes you through the casino which can be smoky at times. I finally went down to guest services and got a little deck plan map which I carried with me to help me figure out how to get to wherever I was going. This helped a lot. They have the deck plan maps out right in front at guest services. If you are directionally challenged like me, I recommend getting one of these on Day 1. Dining: We did anytime dining which we really liked. It was nice being able to go down to dinner whenever we were hungry rather than a set time. We went as early as 5:45 and as late as 8:30 and only had to wait once in line and even then it was only for about 5 minutes. Food was good and I appreciated that they served my kids their meals quickly. On the 2nd night we were seated at Xue Yin's table. He was wonderful and we requested to sit in his section each night after that. Just as a side note, Anytime dining guests are seated in the Black Pearl dining room. The early and late seating were in the Gold Pearl dining room. The buffet on the lido was pretty much a nightmare. Lunch time was ridiculous no matter how early or late we went. Anytime between 11-2 had extremely long lines. We tried the grill by the pool and pizza station as well and still the lines were very long. I found going on the aft to the deli was the quickest way to get food in the afternoon. On the last sea day there was a chocolate buffet. It was chaos. There were no bussed tables to sit at, no cups for water/lemonade. The lines were so long that we just skipped lunch altogether. Room: We had 2 connecting balcony rooms 7414 and 7418. I had read that the balcony divider could not be opened between these rooms but that was inaccurate. The one drawback with Carnival for us is that they allow smoking on the balconies. Our neighbors were chain smokers and we often left our balcony to avoid the smoke. Our room steward was very good and kept our rooms clean and re-stocked. The room had plenty of closet space/storage as well. One thing that surprised me was that the rooms only have one outlet plug. I had heard that before but had assumed it had a place for 2 plugs. This was not the case. You only have one plug. We wished we had brought an powerstrip. The bathroom was stocked with shampoo and shower gel (no conditioner though). Entertainment: The only shows we saw were the comedy shows. Since we had kids we went to the family friendly ones. They were entertaining. We went to the casino a couple of times. It was pretty smoky when we went. You can use any Classic Cocktail drink receipt to get a 5 dollar match play. I did that a couple of times and used it on the blackjack table. That is a great deal that a lot of people don't seem to know about or utilize. Kids Clubs: My son who is 12 was in the Circle C group. He liked the activities and the autonomy he had. Since it was Thanksgiving week there were kids everywhere. My daughter who is 10 was still in the Camp Carnival group. Although she selected many activities to participate in, she did not like the camp. She said the counselors seemed overwhelmed and yelled at the kids often. She did not have fun there and after several attempts she opted not to go to any more activities which was disappointing since she had liked Camp Carnival on our last trip aboard the Carnival Spirit a couple years ago. Ports: We have done this itinerary several times. Our first day in Cabo we took a water taxi ($3 per person) to Medano beach and spent the day at one of the beach front restaurants. The kids played in the water, we all had lunch and drinks. It was a fun way to spend the day. Day 2 in Cabo we booked a 4 hour snorkeling tour through Pez Gato. I booked it on-line rather than through Carnival. It went from 10-2 which gave us plenty of time on each end to arrive and return. The Pez Gato boat is right at the pier so we literally walked off the Carnival tender and right around the corner was the boat. I highly recommend this tour. Fun and inexpensive. Puerto Vallarta- we took a cab into town to walk around the Malecon boardwalk. Ended up walking in old town over the bridge and found another beach restaurant to spend the afternoon. Debarkation: We opted for self-disembarking. We were down on deck 3 at 7:15 and walking off the ship with our luggage at 7:45. Very quick and easy. Our flight out of Long Beach had been bumped up from noon to 10:00a.m. We were nervous about making the flight but ended up at the airport 2 hours early. Couldn't have gone more smoothly. I highly recommend flying in and out of Long Beach rather than LAX if at all possible. Airport is close and very small and easy to navigate. Cab fare is a fixed price to the pier for $30. Overall, we had a good time on this cruise. It was a very full ship with lots of kids so it seemed very crowded in most of the public spaces. Perhaps during a non-holiday week it wouldn't be so crowded. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
I'm a seasoned cruiser, with the majority of cruises having been on Princess, which I love. This time I joined 11 other members of my family on their annual Thanksgiving cruise. It was my first time on Carnival, and will for sure be ... Read More
I'm a seasoned cruiser, with the majority of cruises having been on Princess, which I love. This time I joined 11 other members of my family on their annual Thanksgiving cruise. It was my first time on Carnival, and will for sure be my last. We sailed on the Splendor out of Long Beach. Highlights: Our server in the main dining room for dinner, Jess, was a delight. He called us by name every time we entered the dining room and was truly a gem. We bought the week-long spa package for access to the thalassotherapy pool, steam rooms, etc. It was worth every dime and was the highlight of the week. Deli at tha back of the Lido Buffet - really good fresh, made to order sandwiches that didn't take 30 minutes to order. We had an inside cabin and it was pretty well laid out for an inside cabin and had enough space for 3 of us to store all our stuff. The beds were comfortable too. Sadly, that's where the highlights end. Pretty much everything else about this cruise was a disappointment. Here's a recap of the main things that were, for me, deal breakers: The smoke, the smoke, the smoke. Carnival allows smoke in a lot of their public areas, which means almost the whole ship wreaks of cigarette smoke - even the elevators and hallways. Absolutely disgusting. Many times we walked into a public area and had to turn right around and walk out due to the smoke. Just awful. I can't understand how in this day and age that is allowed. The food was the worst I've ever had on a cruise ship, period. Buffet was awful (except deli noted above), and the dining room food for breakfast & lunch was downright appalling. Dinner in the main dining room was disappointing as well, although I can say that there were a handful of things I ate for dinner that weren't horrible. I heard the tandoori and wok food in the buffet were good but there was always a minimum of a 30 minute wait so I never tried either. Our room steward - twice he never showed up to clean our room. He was difficult to track down. Entertainment - the worst I've ever seen. Frankly, I could have done a better job singing and dancing. The revue shows were a joke. I'm not sure how those people were ever hired to perform on a ship. Ship layout - the ship is very chopped up and has no flow. Many decks don't go through all the way across the deck so there was a lot of "up and down and all around" to get where you wanted to go. It's also very dark and has an over all "seedy" feel to it. Balcony - all my family members had balcony rooms (we were a last minute add on, thus the inside cabin). I was shocked to see how small their balconies were. Barely enough space for 2 people to sit. I was so glad I didn't pay extra money for a balcony of that size. Everything I've always heard about Carnival turned out to be true - now I know. I need to stick to Princess. In reading other reviews on this ship, many are similar to mine. Carnival, do you read these reviews? Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
I have booked this cruise based on the online review(4+ stars), but I think this is over rated. I think it should rated no more than 3 stars, just like other carnival cruises. I have at least >10 times in cruising with different cruise ... Read More
I have booked this cruise based on the online review(4+ stars), but I think this is over rated. I think it should rated no more than 3 stars, just like other carnival cruises. I have at least >10 times in cruising with different cruise lines, and this cruise ship has one of the worst food. 1) Food is suck in main dining room. Most main dishes selection are mostly cooked with tomatoes(or saurce) which I did not like. In fact, this is the first cruise ship that I think the buffet food is better than the main dining room, not that I like buffet food.. 2)Night performance is not as fascinating as the other cruise line, for example Princess cruise which I went last year for 10days to Alaska. I have at least 3 nights that highlighted comedy as the night show. One night even have one person solo singing .. so cheap! The only night that I can see they put in a lot of effort + "money" to make the show is the last night, and only ONE show! You missed it, you MISSED it! However, Princess and NCL have many nights that you can tell they put a lot of effort and "money" to make the shows.. If you like night show similar to boadway show, dont come here, you will be disappointed. 3)Not much activities to do in the cruise ship. They want to sell spa and massage treatments, that on the daily schedule everywhere.. but other than that, nothing interested to do.. 4)I have booked a 2 person cabin with ocean view. They pulled 2 twin beds together and make it a king size bed. The beds are terrible. Even it is very noticeable that the middle of the 2 twin beds are kind of "soft" and "down" ...it is so soft that even when you sit on it, it makes quaky sounds and if you sleep overnight, it hurts your back so much that you woke up with a back pain in the morning and I have to sleep on it for 7 nights! In my opinion, I think this is no more to rate as 3 stars. It is definitely over rated...! Read Less
Sail Date July 2012

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