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1,119 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

It was fine for a quick getaway, and even though an older ship, there was a lot to like. However, the corporate cutbacks are really starting to show (especially to those of us who've been cruising Carnival for a while). We can ... Read More
It was fine for a quick getaway, and even though an older ship, there was a lot to like. However, the corporate cutbacks are really starting to show (especially to those of us who've been cruising Carnival for a while). We can remember actual free drinks for the Captain's toast, then a dollar off any drink, and now just a dollar off Bellinis. The cutbacks in dining rooms and staterooms mean lots of small changes (no pastries unless you ask, long waits for breakfast/brunch, pushing the once-a-day room service, etc.). The other main negative for us was the small number of hot tubs (4), especially since one was always out of service. The ones in the Serenity area were always packed and the Carnival workers just ignored the smoking that we saw frequently on the Serenity deck. The staff overall were friendly, if not consistent. For example, two of our dinner tablemates joined for the first time on the last night and were shocked how friendly and accommodating the dinner servers were since that hadn't been their experience at other meals. Our dinner wait staff were excellent, and the food was mostly good (a few clunker dishes, mostly due to being inadequately spiced). But overall, even on the Lido, the food was fine. There wasn't a lot to do on the ship, but with only one sea day, it was fine. The weather was perfect, which helped. One of the solo guitar players was a Janis Joplin-style performer, who we enjoyed, but the seating in the Atrium where she often performed was very limited and the casino area, also a main music venue, was often set up for photos and was very smoky. The cabin was old and showed it, but was still pretty big given our experience on older ships on other lines, The bed was super comfortable, but the shower was small and slow-draining. Overall, it was a good value for what we paid, and we had a nice, relaxing time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My husband and I have cruised a few times before. This time we traveled with another couple. He has never cruised and she has been on a 4 day Caribbean cruise. We chose this cruise because of the convenience of leaving out of Los ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised a few times before. This time we traveled with another couple. He has never cruised and she has been on a 4 day Caribbean cruise. We chose this cruise because of the convenience of leaving out of Los Angles. As Lattitudes Platinum members, our embarkation was very slow. While there was a separate line for Platinum members, the woman controlling the flow of the lines seemed very arbitrary in how she managed the check-in. We stayed in a balcony room, starboard, aft. The room was adequate, but there was dust in the closet and stains on the rug in front of the sofa. Our steward, while very friendly, had a difficult time replenishing our towels. On our previous cruise, my favorite specialty restaurant was Le Bistro. I was so disappointed this time. The service was slow and sloppy and the food was only fair. On the other hand, La Cucina and Cagney's were again spectacular. We enjoyed Tempanaki, but unfortunately, I found a hair in my rice...yuck! Entertainment and ports were average. The thing I think that disappointed me the most though was the lack of attention by the wait staff. On previous cruises, while sitting by the pool, waiting for entertainment, or enjoying music in a lounge, there was usually a waitperson that would come and get your order and bring back your drink. We spent most of our time going back to the bar to order our own drinks on this cruise because there was no one to be found to take an order. I wonder if having the all inclusive drink package with prepaid gratuities has caused the servers to not engage with the travelers as much as they used to. No one stood out this time. While we will cruise again, I hope this was just a tired cruise staff and not a trend on Norwegian cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first and most likely only HA cruise, only choosing this line as we wanted to sail out of San Diego. While we tend to sail Celebrity, we are open to trying new lines. What we found on HA was very friendly staff, a Lido ... Read More
This was our first and most likely only HA cruise, only choosing this line as we wanted to sail out of San Diego. While we tend to sail Celebrity, we are open to trying new lines. What we found on HA was very friendly staff, a Lido buffet which is mindful of public health having servers give food to protect all our germs (yay) and no pushing of restaurants, beverage packages and photos which was a real treat and some great entertainment. However, we found the friendly staff didn't seem to go that extra mile, a dining room that had very boring meal options so we ended up eating in Tamarind once and Canaletto twice (both delish!, and activities, which to us focused way too much on learning computer skills and the Mexican culture and little of anything else. Speaking of food, all the breads were delicious but the desserts (other than gala night lemon meringue cheesecake) were not and would have been nice to have a build your own sandwich bar rather than taking pre packaged, overly buttered or too much mayo sandwiches. Not a big thing but struck us as a bit odd. They did go out of their way to assist my husband with GF options for each dinner and at lunch and breakfast. But all the ships are doing that now. Regarding the Eurodam itself. We found it a bit dated and dark and we missed having a grand centre area where people can hang out as in other ships we have been on. Seemed like very choppy hallways including a strange venue for a most entertaining Lincoln Centre classical group which were a treat. We did book a Retreat Cabana for the week which great except as mentioned earlier, the staff were nice but did not go that extra mile. You would think after 3 days of asking for ice, the cabana person would have figured out we like ICE!! Seems like two nice staff with little initiative and sometimes impossible to even find considering many of the cabanas had not been rented. A decent overall ship but not for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose cruise for departure location and date. Try not to request suite R410. Lots of rust, bathroom leaking from light fixture in ceiling, insects in shower, noise from dack 15 on ceiling. Service crew is great but spa service staff is ... Read More
Chose cruise for departure location and date. Try not to request suite R410. Lots of rust, bathroom leaking from light fixture in ceiling, insects in shower, noise from dack 15 on ceiling. Service crew is great but spa service staff is cruel. Won’t let you cancel even if you’re sick. Lots of Art, Photo, Spa and Jewelry advertising and sales pitches. Felt like I was in a commercial all week. Get a copy of your “free offerings” from when you book and keep it with you. They forget what you are suppose to get. Get to game show seats early. Bingo is EXPENSIVE. Be careful when booking excursions. I took a Princess sponsered trip and was given Mexican water with ice. Was sick for two days. The medical quarantined us for 24 hours. Never got to see last port, except from our window. When we disembarked, we were not escorted or helped by anyone. We were held by security and taken to a special place where they accused me of having a false passport. I told them I had never reported it stolen or lost it. They apologized and said, “ok, you can go. Hope you had a nice cruise”. Hope your experience will be better.And, good luck. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Embarkation in SF: Wonderful experience. We are local to the area so we used a parking structure within walking distance to the pier, dropped our luggage with a porter, and made it very quickly through security and into the terminal. ... Read More
Embarkation in SF: Wonderful experience. We are local to the area so we used a parking structure within walking distance to the pier, dropped our luggage with a porter, and made it very quickly through security and into the terminal. Check-in was a breeze and personnel were friendly and helpful. Boarded almost as soon as we checked in and since rooms weren't ready yet (we boarded before noon), we were free to explore the ship/have lunch. Alfredo's: One of the first places we checked out on embarkation day and we loved it! Pizza was delicious and service was wonderful. We visited frequently over the course of our cruise. Only downside: if you order wine or beer, be prepared for it to take FOREVER to get your beverage...I'm assuming they don't have a dedicated wine/beer fridge and have to go across the ship to the closest bar to fulfill drink orders. On one of our visits it took longer to get the first beer I ordered than it did to order the pizza, have it made, then brought to the table. Room: An announcement was made over the PA system that all staterooms were ready at 1PM on embarkation day. We meandered our way up to our room (Caribe 514 balcony) and were pleased to find all of our luggage waiting outside the door. Things went downhill from there. Upon entering the room, I immediately noticed there were small pieces of trash/paper and pistachio shells all over the carpet. No luggage mat(s) on bed(s). Walked out onto balcony and noticed patio furniture was covered in paint splatters and/or bird droppings. As we began to unpack our luggage, our room steward came in and the first words out of his mouth were, "I haven't vacuumed yet!" (while I was relieved that he hadn't vacuumed and he was apologetic about the mess, it still made me wonder what else may not have been done since the room all-clear had already been given by the cruise director). He never introduced himself, the only reason I knew his name at all was because later that night when he knocked on the door, I read his name tag aloud and asked if I was pronouncing his name correctly (either I was or he was being polite). The next day we asked that our patio furniture be either cleaned or replaced due to the unknown stains on the chairs, but our room steward advised that the stains were permanent (not bird droppings, but unremovable paint/other substance) and there were no replacement chairs available. We didn't spend too much time on our balcony this trip (for other reasons outside the ship's control, e.g. loud neighbors regularly playing card games on their balcony, someone on a nearby balcony above ours that insisted on cutting their fingernails and/or toenails outside on an almost daily basis, etc.), so the stained furniture ended up not being a huge issue but definitely not ideal. On one of the few afternoons that we did sit on the balcony, I saw what appeared to be a dried chicken/animal bone (perhaps from a chicken wing) just under the balcony railing. I wasn't about to touch it so can't say for sure, but again, not ideal. Mattresses seemed worn; way too soft for our taste and no support. Flat sheets were used in place of fitted bottom sheets so everything came untucked quickly every evening and (if you move at all while sleeping) became wrinkled and bunched uncomfortably while sleeping. Pillows were feather (or down alternative) and offered no support whatsoever. We didn't get a good night's sleep any night of the cruise. On a positive note, the mattresses, pillows, and linens on Princess ships will give you a newfound appreciation for your own bedding at home! There were rusty screws hanging out of the cabinet facing around the refrigerator; I tightened them by hand so as to not snag our clothes or legs (it's one thing to get Montezuma's Revenge while in Mexico but I didn't want tetanus too!). Room steward was efficient throughout the cruise; other than the patio furniture, we made no special requests but he cleaned our room well every day and supplied us with plenty of towels and ice. Space in shower and bathroom is serviceable and comparable to other ships (i.e. not large). Plenty of hangers in closet/wardrobe area and lots of shelving for folded clothing. TV was tiny, not many choices, remote worked only intermittently or only if standing right in front of TV (and battery cover was sloppily taped on), and no on demand or PPV options (I realize this is tricky while at sea/depending on satellite reception, etc.). Room slept hot every night, air conditioning (if you can even call it that) basically non-existent; no specific temperature control in room (only "warmer/cooler" adjustments could be made, but even on the lowest "cooler" setting, room was stuffy and warm at all times). MDR: Food was same or worse quality as buffet so we only ate in the MDR three times (two times for dinner, once for lunch). Surf and turf was supposed to be filet mignon and prawns and while prawns were good, the "filet" was brown rubber and didn't even taste like beef, let alone a filet. Salmon was delicious and is an everyday selection so is a good go-to if your unsure of night-specific selections. Ordered albondigas soup (Mexican meatball soup) and salad at lunch and there was no meat in my soup, only green beans, a few bits or carrot, and peas. Chef's salad was room temp and lettuce was limp. Sabatini's: One of the highlights of our trip was our dinner at Sabatini's. Food was amazing, service even more so. Our waitress, Liudmyla, was so personable, knowledgeable, and efficient. We were stuffed by the end of our main course and were not interested in dessert, but she insisted on bringing us the sampler so we could at least try a bite. So glad she did as there were some delicious bites we would have missed out on! She even brought us complimentary limoncello (made in-house) digestifs. We ate here on the first formal night as per the Patter, formal dress was only required in the main dining rooms and were happy to see that others dining at the same time were also only adhering to the "smart casual" dress code. Crown Grill: We attempted to make a reservation for this restaurant on the second formal night of our cruise, but the maître D' insisted that we must be dressed formally to dine in "his" restaurant that night. We pointed out that we had eaten at Sabatini's on the previous formal night while only dressed "smart casually" and that the Patter indicated formal dress was required in main dining rooms but made no mention of other areas of the ship, but he said formal dress is supposed to be observed "everywhere" on the ship (his words). We got the sense that he just didn't want US in the restaurant so we gladly accommodated him and left without making a reservation. Other dining (Prego's, Trident, buffet, International Café, etc.): Prego's pizza was always good (especially enjoyed the BBQ chicken) and service was fast, Trident Grill almost always made burgers fresh to order (and the grilled buns were a nice extra) so not as fast as Prego's but worth the wait for a freshly grilled burger, buffet was as to be expected most mornings/nights and we particularly enjoyed "Italian Night", and International Café always had a nice selection of sweets, sandwiches, salads, and soups. We enjoyed the specialty coffees and teas at New Grounds next to the IC and service was wonderful there. Pub lunch: This was offered three times on our 10-day cruise and we had three wonderful lunches. Husband ordered fish and chips all three times and every time they were tender, flaky, and had a crispy coating. I ordered the bangers and mash twice and the Scotch egg once; all delicious. Dessert on the first and last pub lunch day was bread and butter pudding (just the right amount of sweetness and caramelized, crunchy bread) and for the life of me I can't remember what the middle pub lunch day dessert was (apparently not remarkable). Entertainment and Activities: House band (Finesse) was great; we made it a point to see them every chance we could. We didn't see any shows in the theatre as production shows really aren't our thing. We would have done more trivia events but the theme/genre/category was never disclosed in the Patter, it was always just "morning" or "afternoon" trivia. On our previous Princess cruise, trivia info in the Patter included more details (e.g. "'90's music trivia" or "geography trivia"). Bingo was fun up until the last day when we arrived 45 minutes early to the final game to purchase our tablets only to find out that all tablets had been reserved much earlier in the day. At no point was it announced that this was possible; tablets had been sold just before each game leading up to the final game, so we had no reason to think otherwise. Service: Other than the rude maître D' at Crown Grill, all of the service on the ship was good to top notch. Ports and Shore Excursions: This was our second time cruising to the Mexican Riviera and we enjoyed every port for different reasons. We love PV and Cabo for exploring on our own; in PV we walk the malecon, cross the river, and visit some local craft breweries in the Romantic Zone and in Cabo, we walk the marina and meander our way to Medano Beach, eat/drink at The Office, then take a glass bottom boat out to Los Arcos and all those spots before being dropped off back at the marina to catch the tender back to the ship. The excursions we booked (through Princess) in Manzanillo (turtle sanctuary) and Mazatlán (estuary cruise) were educational and fun (plus we got to hold a baby sea turtle at the sanctuary!). While we had some disappointments, snafus, and downright gross-outs on this trip/ship, we enjoyed ourselves enough to put a couple future cruise deposits down, but I will not sail on Grand again until she undergoes MAJOR refurb. The dry dock she is currently scheduled for in March 2019 is mainly for public areas so I don't expect any improvements to the cabins (which desperately need it) anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We love cruising to Mexico and we’ve always cruised Princess. But after the last 2 years of the food declining especially in the buffet and the lack of The ships concern about it is very disappointing. Also not having more than one ... Read More
We love cruising to Mexico and we’ve always cruised Princess. But after the last 2 years of the food declining especially in the buffet and the lack of The ships concern about it is very disappointing. Also not having more than one buffet area open when the staff obviously know there will be many passengers all trying to eat at the same time. There are food managers just standing around watching the situation and not doing a thing to help. It’s very frustrating! My other complaint is charging for food item upgrades. There is a constant upsale. Otherwise, the ship was great and the many improvements such as new TVs and new carpet is a wonderful and much needed improvement. The new keyless entry worked very well and we liked it. Our steward was excellent and our cabin very clean. The Ruby is a beautiful ship and I do hope they realize how many people feel the same as we do and they will make some very necessary changes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Enjoyed the cruise, but found the ship needs extensive renovation, not just a quick refit. I guess the cruise lines are concentrating on new ship building and not keeping the old ones up to a good standard. This is to bad because it is a ... Read More
Enjoyed the cruise, but found the ship needs extensive renovation, not just a quick refit. I guess the cruise lines are concentrating on new ship building and not keeping the old ones up to a good standard. This is to bad because it is a nice ship. Just needs some love ..... The crew where the stars of this ship! Very helpful and friendly, we used the club class for the first time and found the dining option outstanding, it reminds me of the way things used to be. (1982 was my first cruise with princess) Being elite the club class didn’t give us much more than we would already get on a cruise with princess other than the club class dining. I found that the laundry service was rationed for elite passengers, because so many elite passengers on the cruise I guess? Not impressed, the cabin steward would not refill the laundry bags unless asked? Overall this we had a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our second cruise with Carnival. Our first was a 7 day Western Caribbean with just me and my husband. For this time around, we wanted a shorter cruise, not too far from home to take our 4 kids. I assumed that since both cruises ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Carnival. Our first was a 7 day Western Caribbean with just me and my husband. For this time around, we wanted a shorter cruise, not too far from home to take our 4 kids. I assumed that since both cruises were with the same cruise line they would be the same in quality and experience- they were not. There were many of differences (sadly, most of them were negative). Things that were the same- - Our cabin was clean and beds were cozy. I love Carnival's Comfort Bed Collection. I have a hard time sleeping away from home and I think all beds are too hard and uncomfortable. These aren't. I slept like a baby. - Food in the dining room did not disappoint- just as great as our Caribbean cruise. The buffet was pretty much the same- mediocre buffet food. My kids loved the ice cream though. - The dining room and housekeeping staff were friendly and did an outstanding job, as usual. Things that were different- - Surprisingly, most of the other staff were very rude and not friendly at all. It was almost painful to get a smile out of them. - The buffet dining area tables were a mess. The staff in charge of cleaning off the tables would clear the tables but didn't wipe them off, leaving them a greasy mess. - I noticed the food staff skimped on the good stuff with this cruise. They had a worker at the sweets table cutting slices of cake and desserts paper thin. And the mozzarella cheese on the pizzas were pretty much non-existent. Normally, I absolutely love their pizzas! Good thing that the guys' burger place was the same deliciousness! - It seemed very unorganized. We didn't leave the Long Beach port until almost two hours after scheduled departure. We had to wait for an hour for our safety briefing in a smokey casino/bar with our kids- not good. - The ship is very small compared to other Carnival ships. There were pros and cons to this: I liked that my kids could make their way around the ship fairly easy and not get lost. However, I didn't like that often times we had to walk through the bar/casino area to get where we wanted to go. Also, because the ship is smaller, I felt like they were more limited on their choices for activity locations. Because of this, the more popular adult activities get priority of locations. For example, they had a Harry Potter trivia activity where mostly families and children were attending, in a bar right next to the casino. That wasn't a good location for a family activity, yet, the other lounges were being used for Bingo and other activities. Also, we had way more seasickness on this cruise. I think the smaller boat and the rougher waters made everything way more noticeable. - I wan't impressed with this cruise director or the "fun squad" at all. The activities were ok- nothing to rave about. They had the usual Bingo and late night entertainment. However, I felt like the activities for families and kids were lacking. The last day on the ship you would have thought because it was a sea day they would have filled it with super fun activities, however there were only a few activities that were actually fun that they weren't trying to sell you something. My sister commented that they call the ship imagination because you have to use your imagination for activities. - The clubs for kids were ok. My 7 and 10 year old went to Camp Ocean. They really liked the free time and made some cute crafts. However, when they went back they hated it because there were so many kids in there that it felt way too crazy and unorganized for them. So that seemed like a hit or miss thing. My 13 year old went to Circle C. He really liked meeting new friends and playing video games, however, for me, it was way too unorganized. I would go to get him for dinner or a family activity and they would be closed with just a sign up saying the club was closed. I had no idea where he was or what he was doing. There were three times I had to go to guest services to try to track him down. I think part of this was my fault. I didn't understand how the CircleC club worked. Because of the age, they are able to just come and go as they please, and sometimes the whole group would all leave to go play mini golf or whatever and just put a sign up and lock the door. For parents who don't mind their kids wandering the ship and doing whatever, it would be fine, but I didn't like that. Overall, I think this would be a great cruise for singles or couples who are just looking for a quick "getaway", or to party. I wouldn't recommend it for families. In fact, because of my experience here, I will be sailing with Carnival's competition on my next cruise. It's too bad because our Carnival cruise last year was so amazing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I'll be brief. Our room was U104 and since we'd cruised this ship before knew what rooms were like. There is plenty of room and balcony is nice. The room and bathroom are dated but shower was nice. Room steward was lax on ... Read More
I'll be brief. Our room was U104 and since we'd cruised this ship before knew what rooms were like. There is plenty of room and balcony is nice. The room and bathroom are dated but shower was nice. Room steward was lax on upkeep each day and rarely saw this woman. Our communication were thru notes. The bathroom floor was dirty in corners. One day the toilet was backed up from somewhere else. We had to deal with brown stuff in toilet while we waited for someone to figure out flushing was not enough. I stood there one time flushing 20 times to get rid of it. Nothing disappeared. We called and waited for 3 hours. Each time we called we were told someone was on their way. Nothing. Finally someone did show up and said it was fixed. It was but I had to ask for it to be cleaned. We did receive a 63.00 credit for inconvenience. Staff were not friendly except main dining room. We had room service one morning (after putting out our food choice card on door knob night before) and had to end up calling after they were 30 minutes late. Still had to wait another 45 minutes for service. Then no coffee cups. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this Carnival cruise for the price and ports. Although our overall cruise experience wasn't our favorite, the price was excellent and the ports were amazing. Price: We live in Florida, so we have a lot of cruise options, ... Read More
We chose this Carnival cruise for the price and ports. Although our overall cruise experience wasn't our favorite, the price was excellent and the ports were amazing. Price: We live in Florida, so we have a lot of cruise options, but we flew to Los Angeles to meet family flying in from New Zealand. We booked about a year in advance with a deal that offered some onboard credit. We also decided to upgrade to a balcony room (we’ve never had a balcony on a cruise before) and all of those features made the value for money pretty good. Ports: Before I talk about our experiences at the actual ports, I need to say that you should definitely invest in some Pesos BEFORE or on your first port day. Although they take USD in all the ports, there is a slight upcharge to every non-peso transaction. (1) Our first port was Cabo San Lucas. We didn’t have an excursion booked, so we had to remember to get the “early disembarkation” tickets. The process was smooth and we ended up getting off a little later than we hoped, but that wasn’t an issue. We had a mix up with the location of our rental car, which meant that we wasted time walking around looking at the gates of resorts, but, once we decided to get a Taxi to take us to the rental car office, it all turned out great. We drove to San Jose Del Cabo (it’s a straight shot) and walked around the quaint little town. The town square was decked out for Three Kings celebrations and we made our way to an excellent seafood spot about 15 mins from the town center (Restaurant: MARISCOS EL TORO GÜERO). Super easy place to drive to about 30 mins from the port. (2) Our second port was Mazatlan. We also didn’t book an excursion in Mazatlan, but used the day to explore the city and spend time at the beach. We walked into the Historic Town Center and, after unsuccessfully walking to find a beach on the outskirts of town, caught a taxi to the Stone Island water taxi drop-off point. It was super cheap and fast to cross to Stone Island and it was WORTH it! We spent a large chunk of the day at the beach with our 1 year old and 5 year old. The water was calm and it was not busy at all. We were in a part of the beach where there weren’t many people swimming and we happened upon some baby rays swimming in the tide. It was unexpected and awesome. Caught a water taxi back to shore towards the end of the day and went in search of street tacos. We went to the actual town center and found some interesting shops and stores, but no good street tacos. We settled on a restaurant with free Wifi and enjoyed the food. Nothing to write home about. (3) Our third and favorite port was Puerto Vallarta! We had booked the exclusive beach resort excursion through Carnival, which took us on a ~40 min bus ride from the Port to the Hyatt Ziva. Although the beach there was too rough (for the kids especially), the pools were amazing and we all had an excellent, relaxing time. They had an amazing buffet (at least compared to the food we had been eating all week) filled with fresh food and “make your own” tacos when the buffet was closed. We wish we knew the drinks were included when we arrived, we only had drinks at the end towards lunchtime. We also found a little bakery/deli inside that sold fresh fruit and pastries. Highly recommend, if you want to relax. We then decided to head into the town center to walk around the shops, find street tacos AND get a full body massage for about $10 USD pp. We were successful on all counts. The shops were intriguing (enjoyed the supermarket too much), the street tacos were very tasty, and the massage was exactly what we needed. All-in-all, we thoroughly enjoyed all 12 hours of this port! Note: Unfortunately, the following parts of my review are more critical. Mainly because we had just been on a Disney Magic Cruise with 2 kids about 2 weeks prior to this one. It was hard not to immediately compare the two ships, childcare/kids club options, cabin and food—so if this is your first cruise, stop reading! :) My New Zealand family had never been on a cruise before and they thoroughly enjoyed all the things I’m about to comment on. Ship: The Splendor, although only ~10 years old, looks like it was designed in the 60s or 70s. The pink polka dotted wall design spills onto the carpets everywhere and was a little too much for my taste. Not a make or break issue, but just seemed a little tacky. The overall layout, with areas you aren’t able to walk through etc, meant that even after 7 days, I still had to use the map to know where I was going. As oppose to other boats, where I was able to navigate the ship unaided after a few hours. The cigarette smoke emanating from the Casino permeated the entire ship, it was especially strong while using the stairs mid-ship on any level. I loathe the smell of cigarette smoke and it was terrible. The fitness center was great, though. I used it 5 out of 7 days around 7 or 8am. Not bad and everything I needed was there. Cabin: The cabin was clean and the housekeeping staff were very accommodating. The layout was ok, but we were missing a few family friendly items that came with our most recent cruise. With a 1 year old and 5 year old, a dividing curtain would have made the experience more pleasant for parents and a Diaper Genie would have been great. The air conditioning didn’t seem to work very well, so we had to prop the door open most nights for fresh, cool air. That’s when we discovered that other cruisers would use their balconies to smoke (yes, again with the smoke). We didn’t call to complain, because we didn’t know who was smoking, but it made our first balcony room experience less than stellar. The views were awesome, though. We would’ve enjoyed it, had that not been the case. Dining: Our dining staff for dinner were very nice and attempted magic tricks for the kids on the last night. Overall, the service was great. They were a little slow getting main dishes out after appetizers, but not too bad. The food was good, but not fantastic. The only dessert that was really something to rave about was the Carnival Melting Chocolate Cake. We had one every night! Kids Club/Childcare: We loved that the 5 and under kids club did not have any video games, like other cruise lines. However, the open hours for that age were a little off (closed 4pm to 6pm most days) and, for an additional fee, the open hours for our 1 year old were rough (i.e. 8am to 10am on sea days only then after 10pm all nights). On other cruise lines, there are childcare options for dinner and the show. That did not exist on this boat, so we missed the entertainment every night and sometimes missed dinner (or at least 45 mins of dinner), so as to not wrestle a 1 year old through a nice dinner or show every night. If our youngest would’ve been a 2 year old or if other additional fee options existed, our cruise would’ve been a different experience for us. Carnival tries to cater for families like ours, but they just missed the mark on childcare. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarkation was not bad--fast and painless. Disembarkation was one of the worst I have ever experienced. We came when our number was called and still stood there for about 20-30 minutes not moving. Once we started moving, it ended up being similar to other boats. But packing a whole bunch of passengers into the elevator lobby of deck 3 mid ship wasn’t fun with 2 kids running around. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was my 23rd cruise, and I like to offer my insights. I like to start with positives so here we go: Staff is amazingly helpful. Ship is immaculate. Storage is amazing on this ship. Closets, cabinets, shelving, compartments. ... Read More
This was my 23rd cruise, and I like to offer my insights. I like to start with positives so here we go: Staff is amazingly helpful. Ship is immaculate. Storage is amazing on this ship. Closets, cabinets, shelving, compartments. Everything was terrific. Elevators are really fast and never crowded. Cabins have a great amount of USB ports so you don’t have to lug charging bricks with you. Loved the makeup mirror they give you in the cabinet. The LED reading lights are terrific. The free movie selection in the room was unparalleled! Truly the best ever offered on a ship. For once, the pictures were lovely. No hard sell, very good value and the best, they had REASONABLY priced photo gifts that the produced right on the ship. BB Kings location and music was terrific! It’s enclosed and the acoustics are lovely. Much better than the Konigsdam which was wide open and had no ambiance of a club. Now for the real issues: This was our 3rd New Years cruise on HAL and the first time there was NOT ONE table to put your drink on while you were enjoying the New Years party near the pool. I looked at pictures from the Konigsdam and saw all of the high top tables around the deck. We had the 8pm seating for dinner and were NOT offered ANY New Years party favors. The ship has horrible plumbing issues. We had standing water in shower and backed up toilets constantly. Other people had brown water in bathroom sink and was told at first that it was ok to use to brush your teeth. Then Later, was not to use it. This ship doesn’t have a “sports bar” per-se but there are so many TV’s around and they just didn’t have enough viewing locations for all the college bowl games and NFL playoffs Some smaller issues: no laundry bags in room. If you make the mistake and take the bag marked “laundry” bag, you will be charged $15. The daily activities were pretty much non-existent. If I had not been on three other HAL cruises, I would have just chased it up to the “target” demographic but I must tell you, I think this is a direct reflection of the “middle aged” cruise director who just doesn’t necessarily care about making the shop have varied activities. On deck 11, there’s an area where they do all the cultural talks. I don’t know why they don’t utilize the same seating area and show movies so people don’t have to stay coupes up in their rooms if they want to watch a movie. There should be scheduled movie times crwatingvan atmosphere of socialization! It wasn’t until the last day at sea that I saw coloring pencils in the Fugi craft area. Why the ship didn’t let people know there was an adult “coloring ” time is beyond me. The food was ok. Nothing special and certainly nothing like other Holland ships. When they say “rack of lamb” but serve two pancake thin lamb chops, this is NOT rack of lamb. The food in Lido was mediocre to say the least. The bakery selection for breakfast was terrible and the eggs (scrambled) were just inedible. I don’t understand why the “daily menu” selections were not printed in the menu every day considering the menu was not very good. Ships should move over to paper straws rather than discontinue straws (on request only) Port of San Dirgobwas very easy for both embarkation and disembarkation. There were over 280 kids this week but the ship didn’t change anything on the daily program. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I booked three balcony rooms together on this cruise for a special family vacation. When I booked the rooms I noticed they were under the Lido Market buffet and I was concerned about noise from the buffet. I was told by the Holland ... Read More
I booked three balcony rooms together on this cruise for a special family vacation. When I booked the rooms I noticed they were under the Lido Market buffet and I was concerned about noise from the buffet. I was told by the Holland America booking agent that the Lido Market is carpeted and the rooms below do not experience a lot noise from above. Unfortunately that was not true. There are tables and chairs on bare flooring right above rooms on deck 8. The market is open from 6:30 am to 9:00 pm and some days it was open past midnight. The noise from above was awful - especially the scrapping chairs on the bare floor. If there was actually carpet under the tables and chairs the scrapping noise would be minimized but for some reason they do not have carpet in the area right above the staterooms. Every time a guest sat down or stood up we would hear the scrape of the chair right below - the agony! I complained immediately but the cruise was sold out and we could not be moved together, or even on the same deck. Unfortuately, this undesirable situation impacted the enjoyment of our entire week on the ship. Aside from the noise in the cabin, the cruise was not bad. The staff were generally friendly but not especially gracious. The service in the main dining was terrible so we ended up using the open dining option which was okay but not our first choice. The food was better than I expected based on past reviews I read online but it was not outstanding. The entertainment was good, especially the mini-concerts in the Lincoln Center lounge and the two pianists in the Billboard Onboard lounge. This cruise caters to an older crowd; so if you are under 70 years old you may feel either very young (lol) or a bit out of place. We were traveling with our twenty-something year old kids and they found the activities onboard rather unexciting expect for a bar-crawl offered one night. This cruise left out of San Diego which is the only reason we chose Holland America. I was excited to give it a try but we will not be back. There are too many other choices in the same price range that offer a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Carnival was not my first choice, but both Royal Caribbean and Norwegian claimed they were both booked during this Christmas and New Year holiday period. Not the worst ship, but obviously an older ship. Huge diversity crowds with ... Read More
Carnival was not my first choice, but both Royal Caribbean and Norwegian claimed they were both booked during this Christmas and New Year holiday period. Not the worst ship, but obviously an older ship. Huge diversity crowds with occasional rude people stepping on/over you and in close proximity. Some polite and friendly guests. The crew was attentive and few with limited English skills when it comes to providing directions or instructions. We had problems with Migrino Beach ATV Excursion provider in Cabo San Lucas. We pre-purchased (4 x $100+) ATV rides and was aware we would pay an additional $20 each for entry fees. But, then we were hit with another $30-$35 insurance fee per ATV or given an option to leave an open credit card in case of damage to ATV. We felt the ATV park was taking advantage of tourists. Had no choice but to pay after taking a 45 min ride to the ATV park from ship landing. The 1 - 1 1/2 hr ATV guided tour was fun. Also, be aware of Stone Island and Old Town Sightseeing Tour. Tour van guide was knowledgeable of the city sites, but the beach stop and activities were of poor quality. Water toys and health quality of horses used for horse back riding were questionable. The worst part of the on-board cruise was the fitness center. The equipment that include thread machines, elliptical steppers and bikes are all in need of repair and replacement. Fitness center is in serious need of repair, renovations and HVAC upgrade. Whatever you do, do not fall for the pre-pay wi-fi and bottomless drink plans. Wi-fi connection and ability to text each other aboard ship is almost impossible. We purchased the premier Wi-fi plan to Skype and text with our teenage son at home. We went without e-mail and text messages almost the whole cruise. However, we were able to get e-mail and phone calls when in port and off ship via phone provider. We were told by Customer Service person who admitted there were problems with connectivity on the ship. We were re-refunded the cost of our wi-fi plan after making request. Bottomless Bubbles drink plan is a ripoff. Lemonade, ice tea, coffee, tea and milk are available at no charge. My daughter has never drank carbonated drinks and therefore, did not need to participate in the bottomless drink plan ($7.50 x 7days). Despite the issues that I have written about, the cruise overall was o.k. and worth getting away. But, Carnival should take immediate actions to renovate the fitness center. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to get away for New Years for a week. Embarkation was very quick and we were immediately loaded onto ship with no waiting in lounge. Had to wait a bit till rooms were ready, but that’s to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to get away for New Years for a week. Embarkation was very quick and we were immediately loaded onto ship with no waiting in lounge. Had to wait a bit till rooms were ready, but that’s to be expected. We were in Club class and enjoyed most of our meals in their special dining area. We actually felt the wait staff were a bit over attentive as it felt fake and suffocating. Food was typical for Princess - nothing special, just ok. The pizzarria and the grill by the pool were hot & fresh as well as delicious and staff there were quite friendly & helpful. We attended most nightly entertainment shows - 2 guest entertainers had two shows each and we felt their second shows were nowhere as good as their first - almost seemed an afterthought or leftover material thrown together as we really liked their first shows! Service was ok, oft times drink service was slow and NOBODY went out of their way to be friendly, charming, amusing, or even attentive. Went to 24 hour International coffee place early one morning (5am) only to be told machines were being cleaned and to come back in 45 minutes when they could then resume coffee making - so much for 24 hour service! We signed up to take the Ships tour ar $150 each (with gifts to be received including a $75 valued robe, a nice picture frame, 5 group photos, a bbq apron, and a personalized pad of paper). All gifts arrived except the robe and when I questioned guest services, I was told they had no robes but would be happy to credit me $25 each! Wow - what a shock - a $25 credit for a $75 item? I was shocked that this was the best they could do and that I had to ask for it when the robe had been advertised by their crew as a participation gift! Disembarkation was well organized and went very smooth and quick! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because we needed a shorter cruise over Christmas leaving from the West Coast. There are 2 choices - Carnival Imagination or Inspiration. So, not a lot of choices - do you want to leave Sunday? Or Monday? This was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we needed a shorter cruise over Christmas leaving from the West Coast. There are 2 choices - Carnival Imagination or Inspiration. So, not a lot of choices - do you want to leave Sunday? Or Monday? This was once a great, new ship. Now it’s an older ship and much smaller than most ships afloat. It does have a lot of old (I mean 90’s) charm and decor. Public Areas are more compact and the shops, lounges, casino are fairly small. The water slides are very fun and probably great when it’s warmer! The food was ok. They keep a tight reign on the bacon and pass it out at the buffet like it’s made of gold. The burgers & burritos were great choices for afternoon lunching. The at sea “Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham” Brunch is worth $5 charge. It’s super fun - and great for kids. The cabins are dated. There are virtually no balcony cabins on this ship. The decor is old, as are the carpets in the cabins and hallways. I don’t want to bash this cruise entirely. It was fun. It was weird to be gone for Christmas. The dining staff and food was average as was our cabin stewart. The alcoholic drinks are ridiculously expensive and totally NOT worth what they charge. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have done this 3 day cruise 2x now. All in all, fun. Booze Cruise; though I don't partake. Lots to do...plenty to eat; buffets, dining hall. All of it, though mostly fresh, was not that good. Great dining staff, they were all ... Read More
We have done this 3 day cruise 2x now. All in all, fun. Booze Cruise; though I don't partake. Lots to do...plenty to eat; buffets, dining hall. All of it, though mostly fresh, was not that good. Great dining staff, they were all friendly and fun and accommodating. Shows were fun. Casino staff was fun. Now for the not so fun. One outlet in bathroom and one in cabin. We asked and received a power strip. On this trip, the room cleaning service was not good. Trash from past guests and a dirty bathroom counter greeted us. They cleaned it right away and apologized...but then, saw not a little but a ton of mold in the bathroom. I know it's a ship in the water but this was unacceptable. Get some bleach and clean this! Which they did but, eeeeeeeeewwwww...not what I want to see on vacation and it's not healthy to be around. They didn't seem to care much this happened on the ship or after we called when we came back. They gave us minimal on board credit for a future cruise....I just don't see doing this cruise ever again. Again, we had fun, went to shows, gambled, ate, went to Ensenada, played bingo, art auction...etc but the gross cabin infringed on my experience.Uhhh, and that bed, oh man, I was glad to get home...Less towel Elephant, more hygiene. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My friend and I thought this would be a fun way to check out Cruise & Maritime's Magellan ship. Plus we thought it was a pretty good offer, £99 for dinner, a show, an overnight stay and breakfast the next day. We actually ... Read More
My friend and I thought this would be a fun way to check out Cruise & Maritime's Magellan ship. Plus we thought it was a pretty good offer, £99 for dinner, a show, an overnight stay and breakfast the next day. We actually splashed out and upgraded to a Superior Plus Twin Ocean View cabin so it cost us £129 each. We came by train. The weather was atrocious (not Cruise & Maritime's fault) and no taxi rank at Tilbury Town station. You have a short walk to a cab office hidden beside a fish and chip shop. We were very pleased to find a lounge offering tea and coffee plus snacks that you could buy while waiting to board the ship. Embarkation seemed relatively painless, we were in the first group, A, to board the ship. You still have the usual nonsense of them wanting to take your photo and holding up the queue. You're not shown to your cabin by an individual but there are crew on every deck to help you find your way. The atmosphere on the ship seemed very jolly. Not as many Christmas decorations as we would have expected especially in the dining room, the Kensington restaurant. There were 3 sittings for dinner and we had the first at 5.45. I was quite glad of that because I suspect if we'd been on the last sitting, I would have drunk quite a lot by the time that rolled around. I think that happened to a lot of people. There were certainly a lot of merry people later on. Everyone seemed to make an effort to dress up for the occasion. Some ladies looked very glamorous and a few men were wearing tuxedos and bow ties (older men). You had the obligatory photos taken at your table. I don't know what happened to the welcome cocktail because we never received one. My friend doesn't drink so got one diet coke for the entire meal, which I thought was a little mean of them as they said, half a bottle of wine per person. The quality of the meal was ok. I wouldn't say outstanding. That did surprise me a little because it is Cruise and Maritime's chance to show you how good they are. I'm gluten free and the menu did show everything that you can request to be gluten free. I was pleasantly surprised when I received two slices of gluten free bread without having to ask for it. However, when ordering our choices, our waiter skipped past the salad course and implied you couldn't have it. So, we were surprised when we saw other people having it at the next table. So, our 5 course dinner was only a 4 course one. I had to have cheese to end with and the portions of cheese were very small. They looked a bit sad on my gluten free cracker. My friend and I ended up on a table for six by ourselves. We made the most of it but I did feel a little conspicuous. I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable to think CMV might have done something about it once they realised no one else was turning up. There was a parade of the baked Alaska pudding and the chefs came out and went round as well, which guests enjoyed. I regret now not making the most of the limited time available to view the different types of cabins. We managed to get to see one suite, which had a disabled bathroom. The suite was nice but again, seemed quite small to me. It is good that CMV offer this. They did have some discounts if you booked a cruise while onboard but not a great discount and I don't know how people would have found the time. We went to the first show. The theatre is impressive, much nicer than the one on the Marella Spirit (now no longer sailing). The show, was quite fun and a couple of the young singers had good voices. Overall, not outstanding. The drinks waiters in the theatre were very prompt and efficient. We then visited a couple of the bars and had a walk around the ship to get a feel for it. Our favourite bar was the Captain's Club and Sinatra's Bar. The latter had someone playing the piano for a little while, which was nice. Drink prices were reasonable. There did seem to be plenty of bars. The spa looked nice and the prices for treatments looked reasonable. We went back to our cabin about 11, which was silly of us. We should have stayed up later as we got woken up several times by noisy, late-night revellers returning to their cabins. The next morning, we made the mistake of going to the Kensington restaurant as only 1 floor up from us. It was packed and there was an announcement soon, saying that there was no more room and advising guests to go to the Waldorf or the Raffles Bistro for breakfast. You had to queue quite a while to get your breakfast. Also, the nearest Ladies to the Kensington has only 3 toilets, which is ridiculous. You are asked to leave your cabin by 7.00 a.m. and disembark by 9.00 - 9.30. We disembarked quite early. A very nice CMV staff member ordered us a taxi. The cab driver told us that we were sensible to go early as he said it gets mad at the cruise terminal around 9.30. Overall, I enjoyed our stay although a little disappointed about the meal. I think it'd be a fun event for a group to go to. The ship reminded me of the Marella (formerly TUI) Spirit that I sailed on this summer. I'm sure that CMV is making money out of these events but not that it's succeeding in its primary purpose, to persuade people to go on a cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As Celebrity cruisers we wanted to try Princess. I won a Princess cruise from our favorite Las Vegas Casino. We live in the Los Angeles area so we chose a local cruise. We were excited to see what Princess had to offer. 3 stars is ... Read More
As Celebrity cruisers we wanted to try Princess. I won a Princess cruise from our favorite Las Vegas Casino. We live in the Los Angeles area so we chose a local cruise. We were excited to see what Princess had to offer. 3 stars is generous, unfortunately. We had a balcony cabin. The room was really small and the shower was extremely small. The food had no flavor. The entertainment was mediocre. The fitness center was small and did not have a lot of equipment. The result was long wait times. We did like the Princess phone app so we could message each other if we needed to find one another. We also enjoyed the large flat screen tv and the choice of movies. Due to the lack of good entertainment, we took advantage of watching lots of movies. Now that we have tried Princess, we appreciate Celebrity even more. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I have mixed feelings about this cruise. I will relay my observations and let you draw you’re your own conclusions. I want to describe this cruise as a value-oriented get-away geared towards families who want to take the kids ... Read More
I have mixed feelings about this cruise. I will relay my observations and let you draw you’re your own conclusions. I want to describe this cruise as a value-oriented get-away geared towards families who want to take the kids somewhere and not break the bank. There are good and bad points to this as a cruiser. The voyage has a charm of its own. I saw dads teaching their daughters chess, husbands working with their wives’ golf swing, and many, many couples walking the jogging track. The ports were not complex, you got off the ship, enjoyed the sun/warmth, walked around and got back on the boat. There was no real” Dress code” to speak of. I saw ball gowns next to shorts and no one intervened. Everyone just seemed kind of happy to, “get away”. On the other hand, there were issues. There are many things I can look past in a cruise experience. One thing I cannot look past is the indifference displayed by this staff towards the muster drill. I watched as this cruise staff displayed a disturbing indifference to the details of the muster drill. Passengers walked in and out during the drill. The drill started before all passengers were seated and paying attention. Passenger validation by the staff continued during the actual drill. I was in the Stardust theatre and it was pandemonium second only to embarkation. I am deeply troubled about this appearance of indifference on the staff’s part. I shudder to think what might have happened if there had been a real emergency on the ship. The food is very basic, good but straightforward. There are no snipped herbs, or freshly made green goddess dressing. While some people might miss this, it appears that the ship knows that their clientele wants readily identifiable food that is simple for themselves and their kids. That is what was delivered. The one meal I had in the Aqua restaurant was a disaster on many levels. I kept wanting to ask the staff if they had ever worked together? Food was cold, food was late, the pace of service was uneven. I had a completely different experience in the Versailles dining room (MDR). I had the most consistent, professional service experiences there. A big shout out to Carlos from the Philippines, he is the consummate professional. I felt completely taken care of when at his tables. I found the wine offerings to be uneven and had the single worst glass of sangria I have ever had. It was 11 dollars and was a flavorless 4 oz pour with an ounce of soda water and 1 teaspoon of chopped apple. I find frustrating the enforced gratuity model that NCL uses. I did not see my cabin steward for the first 48 hours that I was on board. I had to go downstairs to the front desk and ask for a daily activity sheet because one had not been delivered to my room the first night. While at the front desk I indicated that I have not see my cabin steward and would not know him/her if they ran into me. Subsequent to this, my cabin steward approached me and introduced themselves. Under the NCL model I must fully fund his gratuity. His work was substandard. I’m not sure if the lack of activities is a direct reflection on the Cruise Director or if the ship’s management had decided that their passenger cohort wants fewer activities? Many people complained about the costs of the bingo cards (25.00 to 300. On a cruise that costs not much more than that?) It was confusing. Possibly, that is by design but with two sea days on the front end, more activities would have kept the passengers happier. Disembarking was another example of management confusion. The captain was on the loudspeaker informing passengers that the ship had been cleared and we could start disembarking, however a couple of hundred people were already on the gangway headed toward customs and border patrol.…Hmmmmm I would take this cruise again if I were desperate to get some time away and/or sunshine and warmth. But I would know on the front end what to expect. ____________________________________________________________________ Pros 1. Observing families enjoying time together 2. Cheap Pilates/yoga classes (10/ea. When using class pass) 3. Free breakfast room service delivered between 630-10 a.m. 4. Passengers often assisted other passengers with mobility issues Cons 1. Chaotic embarkation/debarkation in the extreme 2. Lack of knowledge displayed by the passenger ushers at embarkation a. Example- designated embarkation person could not tell me where to find wheelchairs for passengers who needed assistance 3. Staff indifference to muster drill a. Example-muster drill beginning while passengers were still walking into Stardust lounge b. Example-passengers not participating in muster drill 4. Poor dining experience in Aqua restaurant, a. Example- food cold, long waits to be served, indifference and disorganization in wait staff 5. Enforced gratuities not reflected in staff actions a. Example-I didn’t not see my room steward for the first 48 hours. I had to go to Guest services and complain. I was informed that I should only expect to see them for room clean up in the morning, and “turn-down service” in the evening. 6. The cruise director could have a stronger activity program to engage passengers. a. Example- Many passengers remarked that there, “Wasn’t enough to do…” 7. Ship can only be reached via taxi or shuttle. 8. Difficulty hearing the shipboard announcements because the overhead sounds were not in the rooms, only in the hallway Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We like going to the Mexican Riviera as it is close to home. Would rather the volume of all entertainment be turned down instead of increasing the volume for every venue. Kids club needs alot of improvement. I would have loved to have ... Read More
We like going to the Mexican Riviera as it is close to home. Would rather the volume of all entertainment be turned down instead of increasing the volume for every venue. Kids club needs alot of improvement. I would have loved to have the swimming pool heated. After a conversation with the pool hand and the engineer in charge of the pool we were told that it was a law that the pool had to be a certain temp which was set at 26 degrees celsius. If you have more that three guests in a cabin be sure to check that they have pullman beds and not a bed in between the other twin beds. The configuration should be redone to accommodate four people comfortably. The speciality dining package was not too good. Mostly fat at the Modernos. The Le Bistro doesn't offer to much of a selection. Cagney's was the best but if you don't sign up ahead of time you can forget eating before 9:00pm. The entertainment could have been alot better if the volume had been turned down at all venues instead of cranked up to the point of wearing earplugs that still did not help. Many guests around us felt the same way and we saw crowds of people get up and walk out along with us. The kids club was awful especially when NCL advertises computer games. My two grandchildren saw only balls being tossed around and my little 6 year old got hit in the leg and that ended it for her. My 11 year old grandson refused to go as he is only interested in computer games. Much improvement needs to be done with the kids program. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I went on the Norwegian Star to Mexico from 12/14/18 - 12/21/2018. The good: - Very good steward called Johnathan - took very good care of my cabin, used my name on the first day, and helped a lot and was very friendly! - I ... Read More
I went on the Norwegian Star to Mexico from 12/14/18 - 12/21/2018. The good: - Very good steward called Johnathan - took very good care of my cabin, used my name on the first day, and helped a lot and was very friendly! - I had an inside cabin on the 11th deck. The cabin was EXCELLENT and one of the best aspects of the cruise. They had USB ports available as well as plugs, which made it convenient to charge up multiple devices. The bathroom was awesome! Great shower pressure, plenty of hot water, didn't take long to heat up. The included amenities were surprising! They give you a puffy for the shower, they have soap, shampoo and conditioner. They had a shower cap, and body lotion, too! It was very, very nice. Hairdryer in the room was right next to a mirror, which was convenient! Nice, comfortable bed with plenty of pillows. Nice sized closest and plenty of hangers. There was also a robe and slippers! - The Dinner at Cagney's Steakhouse the night I ate there was the best meal I had on the ship. - The main pool was really nice, bigger than I expected with multi-levels. - The lounge chairs were plenty and there was never a problem finding a chair. - Most wait staff was very professional and friendly. - The thermal spa was a nice place to escape. - I did the Norwegian Shore excursion of The Best of Mazatlan - very good! - I saw one of the shows - a tribute-to-Vegas type of musical and it was very good! Great music and actors/singers - worth it! The Not-So-Good: - Spent an hour in line for embarkation. - They forgot to put a reminder in my cabin that clocks went an hour forward the day we got to Puerto Vallarta; as a result, I missed my excursion. - The food on the ship generally sucked. My first meal was at O'Sheehan's. I had steak fajitas and chicken wings. The very next morning, I was sick with bouts of diarrhea. The portions were small and uninspiring. I also ate at the two main dining rooms on the ship - Aqua and Versailles, and the food was mediocre, and very disappointing. I had paella one night, which only contained 2 small shrimp, 1 clam, icky-looking chicken thigh meat, and peas and some rice. The paella was watered down. The buffet was very sub-par, limited variety of food. The best things at the buffet were the fresh slices of pineapple and the different breads! On the last night of the cruise, the buffet pulled out all the stops and had steak, which was actually pretty good, and the buffet was actually passable on the last night - too bad the rest of the time it was so mediocre. - Disembarkation was confusing. - They no longer have lobster on the cruise!!! WTH? When I got surf and turf at Cagney's Steakhouse, I had filet mignon (which was actually pretty good) and shrimp instead of lobster! VERY disappointing. - Some times at the Mandera Thermal Spa, the drinks were not replenished, and the spa was not cleaned up. I went one afternoon - there were dishes and used towels strewn on the tables/loungers, and there was no fruit water left - very disappointing for something you have to pay $138/week extra for on the cruise. So, it was a mixed bag. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Starting with the best part of the cruise. Drake the singer was absolutely wonderful, what a great asset for Norwegian. He can sing and play numerous genre's and is personable. The entertainers, meaning the shows in the evening ... Read More
Starting with the best part of the cruise. Drake the singer was absolutely wonderful, what a great asset for Norwegian. He can sing and play numerous genre's and is personable. The entertainers, meaning the shows in the evening were excellent. Most were captivating enough to want to stay away from the casino for an hour. The food was good. The restaurants were very nice, exquisite. The menus had gluten free options however they did not have a choice of gluten free when signing up for the cruise. The waiters are wonderful but they want to push food on you. I was supposed to order my food one day ahead of time. Nothing was spelled out about that when signing up, you found out details that could have mad the experience a lot more enjoyable. The activities were not very organized. The tickets and drop off areas for raffles were confusing and in places that were not easy to get to. Glad I did not have a walker or cane, these passengers struggled. It was hard to watch. The cruise seemed to be family oriented yet had a few inappropriate activities that kids should not have been at or cruise workers should be more discreet in choosing how to pic up partners. Didn't care for that part of the cruise at all. The decor was minimal actually kind of child like no grandeur for holidays, gingerbread house display was actually an eye sore it looked like a bunch of kindergarteners just took whip cream and had a play date. Very cheesy. The salon had no details. I decided once on the cruise to have a stone massage. There were no details as I dug into my budget, i wanted to cancel it because 180 for 50 , minutes is a lot. Was then told they need 24 hours to cancel, a detail she left out when I booked the appointment. Kept the appointment and showed up 30 minutes early which the reception area looked upon as inappropriate, then she took me back to a relaxation area, didn't explain where the restrooms were and didn't explain if I was allowed to have a robe to sit in while I waited. I was then given a very quick and greasy stone massage but not a relaxation one like I booked. After the massage she wanted to sell me a package for additional 300 to 564.00 dollars and when I refused I was basically told to go grab my card at the desk and shoved into the hallway. This was the WORST spa experiences I have had so far. I have visited many spas and spent lots of money in these places. AWFUL!!!! Obnoxious. The three officers that attended a Q & A session seemed to be very arrogant which explained why half of the staff was less than professional. i watch one morning waiting on my shore excursion and the eye rolls and the looks of disgust surprised me, don't they get paid well enough. I know I get charged well enough for them to serve me. I am appropriate and do NOT treat servers and workers like less than me. I put myself through college on that industry, I have the utmost respect and believe I deserve the same in return. This is the worst experience for servers I have experienced. The room porters and most of the wait staff were great, it was the store attendants. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
They did get the guy away from food. I was told they sent him to the infirmary. I was stunned they had let him handle food. He did wash his hands after blowing his nose & sneezed into his elbow. I left and found someone ... Read More
They did get the guy away from food. I was told they sent him to the infirmary. I was stunned they had let him handle food. He did wash his hands after blowing his nose & sneezed into his elbow. I left and found someone immediately to alert them they had a sick person handling the food. They did let me know they handled it.. I have always enjoyed the more mature crowd on Holland America. I had a choice of a Princess or the Holland A cruise I took. I was excited about Holland when I remembered that they had a hosted Solo traveler night with drinks included so guests traveling alone could meet each other in a pleasant, no pressure enviroment early in the cruise. On this ship, there was just an announcement in a bulletin and no host for the event. It was very disappointing because most people just left without introducing themselves. 4 of us stayed and one guest bought a drink for 3 of us. The 4 of us socialized throughout the trip and it really enhanced our journey. I met one additional solo on an excursion and we chatted a bit, saw her again at a show and we chatted, and ran into her in a dining room the night before the cruise ended. She hugged me and thanked me for talking to her and cried a little. I was stunned that my speaking with her made her so happy. I did speak to guest relations early in the cruise and they promised a hosted event later in the cruise...never happened. I think Holland is missing the boat. I told Guest Relations that spending a dollar on a drink per Solo is the cheapest public relations and advertising they could ever do. Solo's pay double to cruise, they spend more when they have others to socialize with. This has altered my thinking on Holland. I still interact with someone I met on a trip to the Panama Canal on Holland several years ago. We would not have met without the hosted solo event. Most people are just not as outgoing as I am. They are afraid of rejection. I hope Holland American has a host for 10 minutes or so next time, that is all it would take with a drink for people to begin talking about where they are from, etc. I remember meeting some nice Solo travelers on a Carnival Cruise several years ago. It was fun. We sat together each night for dinner and had wine served several times courtesy of Carnival. Cheap advertising. More and more of us are single as mature people and it is a great marketing tool. We have the time and the money to travel. Out of our group...there may have been a love connection made!! How fun is that? Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Enjoyed the trip for the most part. We did like to see some of the shows on the outside big screen. But it was way to loud most of the time which drove us to the other pool. The pool under the screen was somewhat warm, but the other ... Read More
Enjoyed the trip for the most part. We did like to see some of the shows on the outside big screen. But it was way to loud most of the time which drove us to the other pool. The pool under the screen was somewhat warm, but the other pool was cold and was only enjoyable on one of our hottest days. Some of the bar staff were rude, not engaging, or fun at all. The do not know how to make a drink. First they put a measured, and always measure, shot in an empty glass then add ice and then mixer. Totally wrong, ice first, then alcohol, then mixer. We did enjoy the shows, food, and fun stuff. Overall I would say somewhat less quality as the Princess cruise we took last, 9 years ago. I would say that the embarkation and disembarkation were just super! We walked right on and right off, without delay. Everyone was so nice. And our room was available super early. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because we were interested in the itinerary and we had had a great previous experience with Princess on the Ruby. Overall, this felt like a budget cruise. Some of the entertainment was not the quality we expected of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were interested in the itinerary and we had had a great previous experience with Princess on the Ruby. Overall, this felt like a budget cruise. Some of the entertainment was not the quality we expected of Princess, and the menu in the dining room was somewhat limited, and not the quality We expected. This ship is 20 years old, and it shows. The elevators were dicy and really slow, and pretty rough inside. The ship showed a lot of rust overall. We very much enjoyed the shore excursions, but the onboard experience was only average, and low average at that. The cabin was comfortable but worn. The plumbing fixtures didn't operate smoothly and appeared very old. The couch was worn and stained, and the furniture on our balcony was pretty used up. Based on this cruise, I would choose another cruise line for my next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018

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