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371 Mexican Riviera Senior Cruise Reviews

We were hoping to get out of the cold weather, but found California and Mexico to be considerably colder in late January than we expected. Fortunately coming from cold Montana we were use to the chill. We'd been on the Royal Princess ... Read More
We were hoping to get out of the cold weather, but found California and Mexico to be considerably colder in late January than we expected. Fortunately coming from cold Montana we were use to the chill. We'd been on the Royal Princess before and found it still be a very beautiful and well maintained ship. All the staff and workers on the ship were very friendly and helpful, but that is a common attribute on all Princess ships. We flew into Los Angles and took the Go Shuttle to our Best Western Plus hotel in San Pedro. We usually used Super Shuttle for our transportation to our motel, but they have since went out of business. I believe that Go Shuttle must simply have a contract with Uber or Lift because they were located in that area and we were pickup up in Toyota RAV4 SUV rather than the usual shuttle area. If you use this service be sure to get good directions to the pickup area because it took us a lot of walking and asking questions to find them. No one seemed to recognize the name "Go Shuttle" at the airport. It was by far the cheapest service we could find at $39.95 for both me and my wife. Food was excellent throughout the ship. We thought the beef steaks and roast were considerably better than on our previous cruises on Princess, but the fruit wasn't all that great, but that was probably due to the time of the year. We were a bit disappointed with the theatre shows and would like to see more diversity in the type of shows. The comedian Carlos Oscar was very good, but the production shows "Colors of the World" and Encore" were both a big disappointment. Marcus Prince Juanta was possibly the best cruise director we have ever had, funny, but not silly like so many others. Rolando and his assistant in the Concerto Dining Room were both great as was Avinash in Alfredro's Pizzeria. And Zelenir from Brazil serving up the ice cream cones around the swimming pool was exceptionally nice to talk to. Getting to know and talking to people like these simply make our cruises great ones. We often prefer smaller ships, but overall the Royal Princess is a great ship and one of the most beautiful in our opinion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We thoroughly enjoyed our week on the Carnival Panorama. The food was delicious, entertainment was very good (stage productions/comedians) and service throughout the ship was wonderful. We had a mid-ship balcony on deck 7 which was a ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our week on the Carnival Panorama. The food was delicious, entertainment was very good (stage productions/comedians) and service throughout the ship was wonderful. We had a mid-ship balcony on deck 7 which was a perfect location for us since everything was easily accessible. We did independent excursions in each of the three ports: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta which worked out great. It was a treat for us not to have to fly to board a ship since we live in the greater Los Angeles area and parking/boarding were very easy as well. We attended the cruise critic meet and mingle which was very informal and friendly - no invitations were sent to cabins, but it was easy to find the date/time of the meeting in the "Fun Times." Special mentions for excellent service: Cabin attendant/steward Efren, guest services representative Lufano, and Doris in the Atrium Bar. A Great Week! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
New ship, new port, previous experience on Vista class ship, bad experience from arriving at LAX to use Carnival us transport but upon arrival could not not find representative not any indication of Carnival Rep, no signs, posters, etc. ... Read More
New ship, new port, previous experience on Vista class ship, bad experience from arriving at LAX to use Carnival us transport but upon arrival could not not find representative not any indication of Carnival Rep, no signs, posters, etc. Spent over 1 hour at LAX after getting baggage before as able to locate Rep, then had go take all baggage outside of terminal, walk about 400 yards, then met bus. Rep only had one baggage cart and over 40 of the people using the bus we over 70 years old, Upon arrival at terminal was another confusing situation. Had to sit on bus while baggage unloaded then everyone had to get off bus, find their luggage outside, and take to porters. Then, since there were no signs on which way to go, people randomly went to several locations trying to find entry for the cruise. Checkin was okay but then had to talk about another 400 yards up ramps to get onboard of the ship, Only people providing any welcome onboard was security person. Did not see of hear any ships personnel welcoming passengers. Shore excursion at Cabo San Lucas was a joke. On a Carnival sponsored excursion, there was no one ashore to providing direction to people,there were no signs to follow and just total confusion. Other cruise ships, Norwegian and Princess had signs, tents, and personnel ashore providing guidance to people, But absolutely nothing from carnival. Food onboard was average at best and in the markpetplace, selections were minimal and only one desert location which was always crowded and long lines. No Jello, cookies, limited fruit. Only one show was good and in several of the other shows, people got up and left 5 minutes after the show started,. Disembarkation was unsatisfactory and took over 3 1/2 hours. In the first hour of self assist carry off, only two decks were called. Carnival bus transporation back to LAX also resulted in a 40 minutes wait in line since no buses were present. Arrival at LAX just dumped people at one location and you had to find your way to specific airlines which resulted in a very long walk. Overall, I would not recommed this cruise to anyone and feel Carnival planning, logistics, and customer support are unsatisfactory. They had plenty of time to plan and execute the arrival of this ship at Long Beach but they did and continue to do a very poor job. Great ship but shameful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Wife's birthday, 48th Anniversary. These new beds are outstanding. I have a Sleep Number bed at home; these beds are just as comfortable. The seas were FLAT the whole trip, and mostly over 70 deg F. The food choice was vast, and ... Read More
Wife's birthday, 48th Anniversary. These new beds are outstanding. I have a Sleep Number bed at home; these beds are just as comfortable. The seas were FLAT the whole trip, and mostly over 70 deg F. The food choice was vast, and tasty, with short lines. We have been to the same ports many times, so we stayed onboard, mostly, to enjoy the food, and take naps. The new Medallion, which replaces the cruise card, unlocks/locks your door, and does so much more. It is used, along with your cell phone, to order drinks, find your partner, and get you on and off the cruise quickly. This was the most relaxing cruise we have been on in a long time. I am married to Mrs Cruise Queen (her cruise critic name) so I should have had her write this. She talks a lot more, and types far faster than I do. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The Sanctuary was a life saver for us. Pleasant, Restful and First Class ! The First Day Shore Excursion was a Disaster, after that first day Shore Excursion we stayed on the ship every day and were pampered in the Sanctuary. The ... Read More
The Sanctuary was a life saver for us. Pleasant, Restful and First Class ! The First Day Shore Excursion was a Disaster, after that first day Shore Excursion we stayed on the ship every day and were pampered in the Sanctuary. The stuff was amazing in every single way. Even after our disappointing excursion they refunded us 100% for that day plus let us out of the other two excursions, knowing we were disappointed. The Dining and Entertainment was a highlight each night. The Formal nights were a great time. With over 3000 people plus 1000 workers On Board, we were amazed you could always find a quiet place to sit and relax. But Again, The Sanctuary was Amazing and worth the extra cost to have a Beautiful Cabana, Fruit, welcome drink and a fridge full of Beverages. The Day of Disembarking was super organized and smooth, Impressive !!!! The Movie and water show were also Very Good . Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Shout out to Terri (DT) and Julian who did an amazing job. NCL arranged transportation. You meet them in the baggage claim area and wait for bus that takes you to port. Check in was (despite reviews I had read) was very organized ... Read More
Shout out to Terri (DT) and Julian who did an amazing job. NCL arranged transportation. You meet them in the baggage claim area and wait for bus that takes you to port. Check in was (despite reviews I had read) was very organized and quick. From drop off to on the ship was 30 minutes. Cruise staff, entertainment, and food were all great. Ship is large and easy to find your way. Good cruise for solo travelers as there are plenty of outgoing people. Observation Deck on 15 was a great place to unwind at the end of the day, have a cup of tea, and meet people or read a book. Sign up for meals and entertainment prior to boarding the ship. Free style was great if you had those reservations. Staff in The Local were always organized, friendly and helpful. The TASTE was much more organized that The Savor. Manhattan was good too. Helpful hint--don't wait for your tag color to be called at the end of the cruise or you will, as did many people, miss you flight. Clearance was given about an hour behind schedule and If I had waited I would not have made a 2pm flight. Also, it is worth getting your bag and asking for the porter to take you in a separate line and you clear re-entry very quickly. Overall, the ship staff was amazing, friendly, interactive. The ship was clean and they made efforts to maintain hygiene. I would take the cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Stateroom walls were very thin so that sound was noticeable from the adjoining mini suite. Dining options were the norm for Princess; good food and service in the dining rooms. Unfortunately a large seating area which was adjacent to the ... Read More
Stateroom walls were very thin so that sound was noticeable from the adjoining mini suite. Dining options were the norm for Princess; good food and service in the dining rooms. Unfortunately a large seating area which was adjacent to the bar in the International Café was blocked off for construction during the cruise, which limited available seating; this caused over crowding in the Atrium area Also one elevator was out of order for the whole ten day cruise to Mexico. On other Princess ships we have found a better stocked library than on the Grand Princess. The lectures in the Theatre were excellent, but the evening shows tended to be very loud; not a pleasant experience. Excursions: Good, except on one the bus left a resort without us, resulting in our taking a taxi back to the ship. However, we were compensated later for the taxi fare. This Grand Princess shows its age (22 yrs.) and needs to be painted outside over the rust. We would not travel on a ship this old in future and prefer the newer Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
we have cruised with Princess many times We live close to the port and like this itinerary and the cruise price was very favorable. The ship is in tip top condition and we were looking forward to experiencing the new medallion set ... Read More
we have cruised with Princess many times We live close to the port and like this itinerary and the cruise price was very favorable. The ship is in tip top condition and we were looking forward to experiencing the new medallion set up onboard. The medallion made embarkation a breeze and everyone gave it 5 stars, you have to become ocean ready by uploading your details to Princess about three weeks prior to your cruise, then princess send you your medallion via FedEx and that’s it. The medallion allows you many more time saving tasks but too many to mention here. The entertainment was very enjoyable but there was a technical hitch and one of the new main shows was postponed and rescheduled and eventually cancelled for the performers safety. The food was very good with nice choices in all venues. The crew were friendly, attentive, efficient and hard working. I would recommend this cruise who would like a comfortable 7 day fun time or just for a rest. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise because I live in Southern California and there was no airfare involved. Also, the fact that it is a brand new ship. Now, that I've had some time to think more clearly I'm going to put some of my thoughts ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I live in Southern California and there was no airfare involved. Also, the fact that it is a brand new ship. Now, that I've had some time to think more clearly I'm going to put some of my thoughts down about the Panorama. Where we were situated on the ship Deck 1, Cabin 1214 was not the best place to be. We had an outside cabin but could hear every noise possible at night. The waves crashing against the ship, the cabin next door to use, banging and loudly talking. We heard it all. Hence we didn't get a lot of sleep. The beds were extremely comfortable. The shows were fantastic! Like the other Carnival ships, the food was mediocre up in the Lido and in the dining room. On Royal Caribbean, we ask for broccoli and berries at dinner and receive it every night like clockward. Here, we asked once or twice and only received the broccoli and they ignored our request for berries entirely. The extra restaurant, Bonsai Teppanyaki was wonderful and well worth the extra cost. The other eating places that I liked were Guys (both of them), Bueiguana (Mexican fare) and the Mongolian Wok. I had lunch half the time and avoided breakfast because breakfast was the worst, especially the brunch. The Liquid Lounge Theater layout was really strange to us. The seats made it nearly impossible to see all of the show due to the way they were arranged. It is a mix of individual chairs down below and cushioned seats that are really close together up above. It was a tight fit for us and we're short. Not set up for 4,000 people! Emma, the cruise director was full of energy and shows like Motown, Dancing Through the 80's and the Glow Party were a lot of fun. The Comedy shows we enjoyed. Don't forget to do SkyRide. It is fun. It only looks scary. None of the swimming pools on Carnival are heated. But, I did manage to swim twice towards the end of the cruise. I did my laps. The debarkment was horrendous to us. Being Royal/Celebrity people we weren't used to Carnival. People were getting off and getting on in the same place. It made it extremely confusing and hectic. This is a beautiful ship, but it is still Carnival run. My grown-up children would like it. I am going to book it again with them in mind. We still prefer Royal, Celebrity and Princess though for our normal cruising. We have been on over 60 cruises. So we consider ourselves active cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Those people who have read my previous reviews know that my wife and I are senior citizens and basically, cruise potatoes. We cruise because we love being on cruise ships. We don't care about the itinerary since we rarely get off at ... Read More
Those people who have read my previous reviews know that my wife and I are senior citizens and basically, cruise potatoes. We cruise because we love being on cruise ships. We don't care about the itinerary since we rarely get off at the ports. We don't do excursions. The ship is our destination. Therefore, my reviews consist of commenting on the on board aspects that are important to me which are food, service, entertainment/activities, stateroom and general ambiance - pretty much in that order. We cruised the Royal Princess on January 11, 2020 to the Mexican Riviera. The same ports we have been to at least 18 times before. Food grade B+ I realize food is very subjective. What I think is mediocre, you might think is terrific and vice versa. Most of the main dining room food was quite good. The Horizon buffet food was more hit and miss. The buffet was divided into three sections, a small buffet at the front/aft part of the lido deck, a pastry section and then a larger, more encompassing buffet at the aft/aft part of the lido deck. They repeated some items and changed others. The fresh fruit in the buffet was mostly hard and not very flavorful. The cantaloupe seemed to be the best of the bunch. In the main dining room, you had the option to order a steak from the Crown Grill. If you go to the Crown Grill, you pay an up charge of $29. If you order it in the main dining room, the up charge is $19. I ordered a filet mignon from the main dining room. It was cooked to order correctly but by the time I got it, it was dry, lacked flavor and was barely warm. The MDR dinner menu on Princess has a this night specialty selection on one side of the menu and an every night repeating choice on the other side, in case you do not like any of the specialty options. This is common among most cruise lines. The problem with Princess which really annoys me and why they will never get a 5 star review from me unless they change, is that every other cruise line on their every night options has a seafood dish, a chicken dish and a meat dish and perhaps a vegetarian option. The meat dish on the other cruise lines consists of some kind of steak. On Carnival, for instance, it is a flat iron steak. On Princess, the meat dish consists of a HAMBURGER!!! Yup, hamburger. Talk about being classy!!?!. You are in a relatively elegant dining room, served impeccably on white linen, china and crystal tableware and if you are a meat eater and don’t like the specialty option that evening, you can order a….hamburger or if you don’t feel like McDonalding it that evening, you can order, let’s see…a HAMBURGER. No other choices. Princess used to have a reputation of having some of the best food of the major market cruise lines. Why they have made a decision to cheapen down their brand I do not understand. They could at least serve a chopped sirloin steak with choice of potato but nope….hamburger and fries. No other cruise line of the six I have cruised, Carnival, RCCL. HAL, NCL & Celebrity does this. I guess other lines care more about their image than Princess does. OK, done with my rant over my pet peeve with Princess. Entertainment/Activities A- Princess has seldom disappointed in the caliber of performers and production shows and they did not on this ship either. They did have to cancel half of one of the production shows because of “technical difficulties”. Toward the end of the cruise, there was a culinary show on which they had lowered a kitchen backdrop toward the front of the stage. Once lowered they were unable to raise it again and when we disembarked it was still down. This would prevent ANY production type shows from occurring during the next cruise unless they found a way to raise it. The comedian, singers, dancers were all very good. The production show that we only saw half of, I could not follow the story line and what I did follow seemed stupid. The costumes and lighting tended to be dark and I thought it was a bad show. I would have walked out before it was over anyway. The fact that the dancers and singers were quite talented could not save it. Singer Barbi McCullough (sp) who performed on the last day was exceptional. What a voice! She knocked it out of the park. My wife and I are readers and we usually spend a lot of time reading on our cruises. The library should have been called the game room. There were lots of games but maybe 7 books total in the whole library!!!. My wife loves perusing ship’s libraries. Needless to say, she was quite disappointed with this one. We did not do many activities this trip, but looking in the Princess Patter, the daily guide to what was happening, there seemed to be a fair amount of activities to partake of, should one want to. Stateroom A- Our stateroom was classified as an obstructed balcony class stateroom but there was very little obstruction. We lucked out and got a stateroom that had no lifeboat outside our balcony. The room was adequate in size except for the bathroom which was really tiny. Typically bathrooms are small on cruise ships but this was smaller than most. Other than that, there was more than enough storage space for two people. The only problem was there was limited space under the bed to store our suitcases. There was a large plastic something under the bed that stored linens or covers or something for, I assume, housekeeping. Large screen TV on the wall facing the bed with limited channels but a fair selection of on demand free movies and shows. Service A+ Everyone from our room steward, Igor, who was exceptional, to our dining staff and every crew member we encountered with the exception of one crew member in the Horizon buffet and one in the casino, rendered excellent service, provided a cheery greeting with a smile and made you feel warmly welcomed and cared about. You can see from my previous comments how picky I am and I have no complaints about the service I received from crew members. It was top notch. General Ambiance A The ship is beautiful. Public areas are gorgeous. You are surrounded by elegant décor. This is a Medallion class ship and frankly, the Medallion app has some bugs that need to be worked out. It works quite well for opening doors but as far as finding your shipmates, ordering food and drink, etc., sometimes it works OK, sometimes not. My wife could locate me via a diagram of where I was on the ship – my exact location. When I tried to locate her, all it would give me was the floor she was on without a diagram. I could not find how to order food to where I was on the app, only drinks. My wife tried to send me messages via chat. Either it never let me know there was a message or I could not hear the notification due to ambient noise. In any case, the message was not instant and frequently would not show up until 15 minutes to an hour after she sent it. Others have commented on this and I will too. The main elevators – the ones that are used by most people most of the time – are inadequate for the number of passengers. They are packed full a great deal of the time so unless you are on floor 4 or 5 or 16, there will be many times when you wait for a long time only to find that when your elevator comes it is packed full and there is no room for you. This is very frustrating. You need to use the forward or aft elevators most of the time but the aft elevators cannot get you to some places. The main elevators are the most convenient and the ones that will get you to wherever you need to go but are a problem. Did we enjoy the ship? Yes, yes and yes. Will we go on her again in the future? Probably - more likely than not. Since we live near the west coast, we favor ships that cruise out of the west coast. They are the easiest and most cost effective for us to get to. This was our 27th cruise since we started cruising together in 2012. Hopefully, there will be many more cruises in our future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Although this was cruise #50 for me, we have only done a few Carnival weekend cruises. When I saw a new ship from our home port (1/2 hr drive!) we booked immediately (3/18) for our Jan 2020 Family cruise. DH was a bit afraid of such a ... Read More
Although this was cruise #50 for me, we have only done a few Carnival weekend cruises. When I saw a new ship from our home port (1/2 hr drive!) we booked immediately (3/18) for our Jan 2020 Family cruise. DH was a bit afraid of such a large ship, as he has mobility issues, but did fine with the new elevator system. Grandaughters ages 5 & 9 loved the water park. Embarkation went really fast, and boarded "special assistance" with our boarding zone to be on board before noon! We booked adjoining cabins, and with the balcony divider down loved it! Cabins were new, comfortable, bur a bit smaller than other balcony cabins. However, family fit 4 in fine with a sofa bed & a bunk bed over it. Kids loved it1 Can't compliment staff enough! Everyone seemed to know my name by the second day, and went out of their way to say "hi". Everyone loved being on the ship, and you could feel the vibe. Our server, Jenny, in particular, was outstanding. Every day when we sat down had shrimp cocktails waiting for us! kids meals were served with our appetizer course, and kept the drinks coming on Cheers! Only other comment- DH had salt-free diet, but was very bland. I changed to regular menu, which I thought was better than any other cruise, including Celebrity & Oceania! Cruise Director Emma was energizer bunny- she was everywhere, keeping things going. I am collecting social security, but don't like a ship where everyone is in bed by 9pm! The live music was exceptional- the musicians knew all requests, keep the mood going for the most part, and had some crazy-fun jams! Rock show was my favorite- lots of classic rock. Other shows were ok- too loud for DH, even with his hearing aids off! Although we usually do our own excursions or through cruise critic, this time we did ship excursions for DH. Prices were fair, and we had done both before. In Cabo we took the Pirate Ship for the kids. Loved it, food was great. Best to do it as a snorkel, but we did not snorkel. There was a bit of a mix-up at first about alcohol- as we weren't snorkeling they at first weren't going to serve us, but got sorted out & we had plenty to drink! Also, boat left late as was a bit oversold. But crew more than made up for these. i made a comment at shore excursion desk, and they refunded 30%, although i didn't ask for anything and didn't really complain, just commented. Would definitely recommend Cabo Pirate ship, especially for price. if you do it is PV it is alot more expensive. In Puerto Vallerta we did the Mexican Fiesta for the girls. Beginning of tour was shipping & downtown, which we really didn't want. Fiesta and tequila tasting was good. Tour leader, Hugo, was a bit curt, but i guess needed to do that to keep the group together. Bus was late due to ADA problem I was told, so they gave us free margaritas. Would not recommend this tour. I know alot of people put down Carnival as being a "booze cruise" and lesser quality than other lines, but I disagree. They are really stepping up their game by catering to families, excellent food, etc. My family is ready to book their next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a repeat cruise for my husband and me but included Sea of Cortez which we had only visited on the World Cruise. We did a B2b With the Mexico and Hawaii Cruises to just get away. We spent a lot of time in the casino and I ... Read More
This was a repeat cruise for my husband and me but included Sea of Cortez which we had only visited on the World Cruise. We did a B2b With the Mexico and Hawaii Cruises to just get away. We spent a lot of time in the casino and I came home $3,000 richer than when we left. I had lost my fanny pack on the first day but it was turned in to the Customer Services desk. It was intact except for the $400 cash, nothing else was missing. We did 2 excursions in Mexico, In Cabo we did not get off. Due to it usually being very rough water there, with the tender and we have been many times so it was not necessary for us to get off the ship. I use a mobility scooter and it would have been a challenge. I had no problems in other ports with getting on or off with the scooter. In Loretto we did the Clam Back and it was fun. We walked back to the tender and stopped at a local craft sales street. Very small port and very clean and quiet. Since there are only 4 cruise ship visits per year it was not over crowded. In Lapaz we did not get off the ship due to the tender and 30 minute free bus ride into the town. We enjoyed the ship with trivia that day. In Porto Viarta we took a ship tour that went to a few art shops and went to the top on the hill to an art studio. They taught cooking classes and painting classes. We finger painted a black tile of a waterfall. It was fun with snacks and wine. We had a handicap balcony cabin and our room steward was very good. He did not bother us but had everything cleaned up and organized by the time we got back from breakfast. We had anytime dining and enjoyed eating with new people every night. The conversations were always enjoyable. The food was very good . I went to the show and my husband went to the casino almost every night. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We love the Mexican Pacific coast and it was great to travel into the Sea of Cortez. The Star is in great condition and we felt at home again on Princess. The food was excellent and we had traditional dining at 7:15. We enjoyed the shows ... Read More
We love the Mexican Pacific coast and it was great to travel into the Sea of Cortez. The Star is in great condition and we felt at home again on Princess. The food was excellent and we had traditional dining at 7:15. We enjoyed the shows in the Princess theater. Our cabin steward was outstanding and took care of all our request. The casino was lively and even paid back some to us. We are elite members with Princess and the added perks that come with that are excellent. We always do a future cruise payment for our next cruise. We already have our next one scheduled for April on the new Sky Princess. What we really like about Princess is that you feel at home on the ships and the other passengers all seem happy to be there also. I did not hear any complaints about the ship or the service we all received. Thank you Princess for another great cruise Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are an older couple. We did not go on any of the ships' shore excursions. The ship is beautiful. There are many dining venues, swimming pools and a variety of entertainment. A great ship for families traveling with kids. There ... Read More
We are an older couple. We did not go on any of the ships' shore excursions. The ship is beautiful. There are many dining venues, swimming pools and a variety of entertainment. A great ship for families traveling with kids. There are special cabins for families and many activities of interest for both kids and adults. The assigned table restaurants' food was excellent and the service was great, but it felt rushed. They served a 4-5 course meal in an hour. In the middle of dinner they would stop everything to do the Macarena... No matter if you took early or late seating in the restaurant, you will not be on a time schedule which will allow you to see a whole show in the theater. Food in other venues was good also, but there seemed to be a problem every day with the ice machines. The print on the paper deck plans and the daily activities list is so small that you need a magnifying glass. Be sure to get the app for the ship on your phone. The room and the balcony were both extremely small for the money. There was plenty of closet room, storage under the bed for suitcases and a safe. All cabins doors look about the same except some are large than others. It's good to have some decorations to hang on yours to distinguish it from others. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went on this cruise to check out Crystal's luxury ocean cruise line. We picked this one because it has a paddle tennis court on it which we could use for pickleball. We brought four pickleball padles and by the end of the cruise we ... Read More
We went on this cruise to check out Crystal's luxury ocean cruise line. We picked this one because it has a paddle tennis court on it which we could use for pickleball. We brought four pickleball padles and by the end of the cruise we had about 14 players all rotating in at 9 o'clock a.m. every day. It made the trip. We liked the cruise experience so much that we're planning on doing another one on Serenity that has two paddle tennis courts September 28th in case anyway wants to join us for some pickleball. We have been on Oceania, Regent, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian so have experienced many different classes of ships and classes of service. We had pretty much given up the ocean cruising because we didn't like the masses of people on board and nickle and diming experience. Then we tried luxury cruising. Compared to the Regent, my only complaint is that there could be some more music on the pool deck. I think we only had music one day and then also there is no sports bar, so if you want to watch a sporting event you have to go to your Room. I also like the fact that you don't need to pay for excursions on crystal...(regent includes excursions in their fares). Also I have to say Crystal does a better job protecting their pickleball courts from the wind. They had wind screens all around the court and about a 12' plexiglass on one side so it's pretty protected from the wind that makes it more playable when your cruising. We really enjoyed the cruise and the ship. They also did fabulous decorating for Christmas. We didn't really care to get off in any the ports since we've been there so many times, just enjoyed the ship. Even went to few of the movies in the Hollywood theater. We had excellent service all around and big shout out to our Butler Victor who went above and beyond, anticipating our every need. We did tip him extra as he was unbelievable. We had absolutely wonderful 6 star service throughout the cruise from dining, housekeeping, to cocktails at the pool, every crew member was great. We did see one variety show and the dancers and singers were very good. Lastly, an interesting note is they still allow guests to come on board so we had 4 friends visit for dinner at our overnight port in San Diego. I have tons of pictures and video of this ship let me know if you need something in particular... like menus. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
First and last cruise with Holland. Neptune suite. Winter getaway with friends for a week. Good first impression. Good food well presented in lower deck restaurants. Most staff attentive but spotty service (numerous instances pointed out ... Read More
First and last cruise with Holland. Neptune suite. Winter getaway with friends for a week. Good first impression. Good food well presented in lower deck restaurants. Most staff attentive but spotty service (numerous instances pointed out when asked for our feedback) indicative of either a need for better training or management. One gross instance of food served us on a very dirty plate. Other instance of an obviously bored waiter. Another of an order placed with waiter that never made it to the table. Room service slow (no ice or refrigerator beverage replenishment as should have been routine), but cabins were well cleaned every day. Most egregious management errors were a single instance of insult to one of us by a cruise services (male) when we tried to correct a dinner seating error not of our making. Second error was promenade deck experience with ships crew working parties doing their work (necessary work however) on one occasion during a morning period when deck was filled with walkers and joggers, specifically drenching us every lap by crew cleaning life boats, grinding steel for painting prep and painting. Necessary work for sure, but better scheduled during port calls or at an hour less populated by deck passengers. Some crew like Doni and others made our experience more enjoyable. Our last cruise with Holland. Going back to Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Norwegian Joy cruise to Mexican Riviera on 12/1/19. My wife and I are senior citizens. We love cruising. We do not book cruises based on itineraries but based on what ship and where we get the best deal. We live near west coast so the ... Read More
Norwegian Joy cruise to Mexican Riviera on 12/1/19. My wife and I are senior citizens. We love cruising. We do not book cruises based on itineraries but based on what ship and where we get the best deal. We live near west coast so the majority of our cruises have been to the same ports in Mexico. This was our 26th cruise. We have cruised Princess, Carnival, RCCL, HAL, Celebrity and Norwegian. Norwegian is my least favorite cruise line but has my favorite ships. I cruised on the Bliss last year and loved the ship. The Joy is more or less a sister ship to the Bliss, with some minor differences. Most important to me on a cruise is the food, stateroom, entertainment and ambience in that order. That is, once I get on the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation is a whole different category. This deal, which I booked directly with Norwegian, included free airfare round trip. Norwegian booked us on American Airlines arriving at LAX at 11:45am on day of departure and leaving to return home at 5:49pm from LAX, even though we are off the ship at 9:30 am in the morning. I had purchased round trip transfers from Norwegian. Prior to the cruise, I called Norwegian customer service to express concern that with our flight coming in about noon, by the time we got our baggage it could be 12:15 or so, provided the flight was on time. Would there still be a transfer bus there for us and how would we find it. I voiced this concern because when I had booked prior cruises through a travel agent, I was told Norwegian will not provide a transfer if your flight arrives after 10 am. The Norwegian customer service rep told me “don’t worry, there will be someone there to meet you and direct you to the bus”. I asked “what if there isn’t?” She again repeated, “there will be, don’t worry”, I again asked, “what if there isn’t?” We went through this Abbot and Costello routine about 3-4 times. Finally, she said, “just call this same number if you have a problem” referring to the 800 customer service number for Norwegian corporate. Long story, short. We arrived at LAX, 15 minutes late due to weather. There was no one from Norwegian there, No one, nothing, nada. No signs, no people, no help. After waiting 20 minutes in the baggage claim area, I called the Norwegian customer service number. After waiting 25 minutes on hold, I spoke with a customer service representative. I explained that Norwegian had left me stranded at LAX. He suggested I have the airline page the Norwegian rep. I told him there was no one from the airline around to do that. Everyone had cleared out except for us. He then asked me what terminal I was at. I told him terminal 5. He said I should go to terminal 2. I said,” look, I am a senior citizen with a cane and 4 large bags. I am not going to terminal 2. This is Norwegian’s responsibility. You are Norwegian. You get hold of the airport representative and have them come get us. We paid you for this.” He said, “I can’t do that. I can’t call out. I can’t help you.” He then suggested I take a taxi, save the receipt and turn it in a guest service on board the ship. He said they would reimburse me. $75.84 later we arrived at the port by taxi. There was a line about half a mile long with 2000 people in it waiting to get into the terminal. When we got to the end of the line, we were really frustrated. I use a cane and have a difficult time standing and walking for extended periods. Short term is fine. I notice other people in line with canes and walkers as well. Fortunately, the weather was good. It was kind of like a POW death march, except we were not marching. After about an hour in line, a woman came by and pulled us out of line along with other people with canes and walkers and took us up toward the front for an expedited check-in. Most people waited two hours or more to get in. Norwegian wants to pass this off as a fluke but I had a similar experience going out of Southern CA on the Norwegian Bliss last year except the line was about half as long. I thought that was a fluke. Lesson learned. No more Norwegian out of So CA. Don’t believe anything Norwegian tells you. Once on board the ship, things were wonderful. Service was terrific. Food in MDR, the Local and specialty restaurants varied from very good to amazing. Food in Garden Café (buffet) was OK to good with limited selection. We had a standard balcony stateroom which was comfortable and adequate for two people. Bed was very comfortable and thermostat worked fine. Water pressure in shower could have used a boost. TV had a nice selection of programs. The ship is beautifully decorated and the ambience is very pleasing in all public areas. Entertainment was varied and I thought, good. My wife and I enjoy production shows and musicals so we enjoyed both Footloose and Elements, although they may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The performers were very good. We went to one of the Beatles’ shows in the Cavern Club and did not find this Beatles’ cover group as appealing as the one we saw on the Bliss. Be sure to get there half an hour to 45 minutes early if you want a seat for the Beatles. The Cavern Club is a small venue and the Beatles are popular. It fills to capacity quickly. For the main theater shows, make sure you have reservations ahead of time. Make them online before you ever get on the ship. Casino – I did not play as the craps table had a $10 minimum and I won’t go more than $5. I heard from others that the slot machines were very tight. The time on board went so fast that I did not get to do all I would have liked. Did not do water slides, Galaxy Pavilion or really much of anything, which was OK. We tend to be cruise potatoes. Sleep late, go to shows and read. Library on board but with no posted hours and books locked up. Room was open but books themselves never available. Did not do any excursions. Disembarkation – again long lines with limited custom agents for 3800 people schlepping their baggage through snaking lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because they were offering free beverage package as well as free flights and specialty dinners. I did not realize they were also charging 3 times as much for the cruise so that one is on me. Once we got our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because they were offering free beverage package as well as free flights and specialty dinners. I did not realize they were also charging 3 times as much for the cruise so that one is on me. Once we got our airline information I noticed that even though the ship returned to port at 7 AM our flight from LAX did not leave until 10:30 PM and we were not scheduled to arrive in Sacramento until after midnight. So NCL wanted us to sit at LAX airport for 10 hours and get home on the next day when it is a 5 hour drive to our home. I called them and they refused to change the flight so we opted to drive and stay at the HI in Long Beach with a park and sail package which cost 150.00. Once we arrived onboard we immediately found out the ship had been involved with the norovirus outbreak the 2 preceding cruises and we were not allowed down to our cabins until after 3 PM. We also were not allowed to touch any food or plates or utensils either which caused huge lines in the buffet. I will say that if I ever hear "happy happy washy washy" one more time I am going to scream I had read reviews where others had said that NCL would nickel dime you to death and that became obvious really quickly with things like charging 20 dollars a day to use the sauna and requiring you to check out deck towels which no other cruise line does. NCL had decided to forgo things like pools and hot tubs in favor of race car tracks and water slides which was a huge disappointment. There were 2 very small pools on the deck which was laughable considering there were approx 4,000 people on board. There were two small hot tubs on the main deck which the children on board immediately took over. The adults were exiled to the H2O spa which was big enough for 30 people but the water was lukewarm at best. It was almost unbearable in our balcony cabin on deck 14 aft during the day as the rumble of the go karts over the top of us was something that happened every minute or so from 9 AM till 10PM every day of the cruise. The dining rooms were a disappointment as the menu was the same every single day with no changes. The specialty restaurants were not bad but I truly believe the pizza served in the Italian resturant is the same served at the buffet. We found the waiters to be disinterested and that is putting it mildly. I could go on and on but it is just best to say we will probably never cruise NCL again as we found ourselves constantly comparing it to Princess and there were very few things in which we found NCL better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were visiting our son in San Diego and decided that instead of renting a place, we would all go on a Mexican Riviera cruise. The embarkation and debarkation were smooth and fast, even with no FTTF available. The shows, food in MDR, ... Read More
We were visiting our son in San Diego and decided that instead of renting a place, we would all go on a Mexican Riviera cruise. The embarkation and debarkation were smooth and fast, even with no FTTF available. The shows, food in MDR, ports, and entire experience was amazing. Our favorite was the Rhythm of the Nights in PV. We loved it so much we booked another cruise on the Miracle for next December. The service was phenomenal. I loved the layout of the ship. You didn't have to walk up over and down to get to the dining room! We ate in the steakhouse and the food was superb. We especially liked the Alchemy Bar and the drinks and service there. It is a good place to wait before going in the MDR. There are many places to sit quietly and get away from the crowds (although in my opinion there were no crowds). The casino was smoky though, so be aware when walking through. I highly recommend the Miracle if you like a small, cozy atmosphere for sailing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our second cruise with Carnival. Our experience was beyond expectations. Our cabin steward Henry was very accommodating and helpful. I had requested some bathrobes and said the next day would be fine. When we came back from brunch ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Carnival. Our experience was beyond expectations. Our cabin steward Henry was very accommodating and helpful. I had requested some bathrobes and said the next day would be fine. When we came back from brunch there they were. Our cabin was on the Panorama deck, room 8250. It was a perfect location. One flight of stairs up and we were on the serenity deck enjoying some drinks and peace and quiet. Our first night we dined and Nick and Nora’s. The atmosphere, service, and food was way beyond our expectations. So much so that we booked an additional reservation for the end of our cruise. The main dining room was awesome. Our head waiter Eduardo was always smiling and making sure we were completely satisfied with our dining experience. We requested his section for all of our breakfasts and dinner meals. Our favorite bar was by far the Alchemy Bar. Katie was totally entertaining and always smiling. The only negative we experienced was in the Red Frog Pub on karaoke night. We were sitting at a table and the female server had an attitude with us because we would not buy the more expensive larger drinks they offered. I had to go to the bar to order a drink fir my wife and myself. Other than that the entire cruise was exceptional. We are planning on a 5 day cruise next year followed by the 15 day Hawaii cruise in 2021. Carnival Miracle will akways be our ship of choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My husband and I had gone through a particularly rough year, and thought that a cruise would be a great way to end the year off right and to celebrate 15 years of marriage. We chose the Joy because it sailed out of Los Angeles, which is ... Read More
My husband and I had gone through a particularly rough year, and thought that a cruise would be a great way to end the year off right and to celebrate 15 years of marriage. We chose the Joy because it sailed out of Los Angeles, which is only a short 2 hour drive from San Diego. This was an amazing cruise, and the staff made sure that we celebrated our anniversary in style, even going above and beyond and having a little extra cake for us to share with another couple we had met on the cruise and singing for us - we blushed a lot but it was nice! Embarkation was a mess - and I do not fault NCL for this, they were doing the best that they could with the recent incident of suspected Norovirus on the ship. It took about 2 hours to get on the ship. The cruise terminal does not seem equipped to handle Haven customers as well as some others. Also, I had ordered a wheel chair for my husband months before and was told well so sorry but you are going to have to stand in line and wait it out until you can get inside one of the buildings. This would have been a challenge on a good day for my husband that suffers from bad knees, but this was even worse as the night before we cruised he fell and had 49 stitches put in both legs, so for that 40 minutes we had to stand in line before someone came and got the 2nd round of Haven folks, was pure agony for him. Also, because of the past weeks virus, the set up didn't have anything to drink etc., typical for Haven, and when we got through security to get our keycards - we basically got asked do you want a bottled water, btw my husband was still standing even at this point. Once we got the wheel chair though, things changed, and we were literally whisked up to the Haven observation lounge. The guy wheeling my husband was excellent and he was stopped once and told Sir, you have to wait in line for the elevator, and he said no these folks are Haven, he got us up to the top where a Haven staff member got us into the ship. Again due to the virus, our rooms were initially stripped of things like napresso makers,. flowers,. champagne, ordered items (strawberries and wine), and we didn't get those items until the next day, there were also no snacks available in the Observation Lounge until Wed or Thursday. Options for dining that day were Haven for lunch or the American Diner. We chose Haven, and ate outside - loving every minute of it! Our butler and concierge were EXCELLENT. Actually all of the staff in Haven and on the ship went above and beyond in my opinion. My husband were very cognizant of the fact that these folks were basically doing double duty with deep cleansing of the ship and meeting our needs, and keeping a smile on their faces while doing it! Excursions: I went on the Dolphin Encounter in Puerto Vallarta, and we did the Rhino 4 x 4 in Mazatlán (city tour). Both excursions were memorable and we had a great time. Again we found people patient with my husband and his mobility issues and we were really thankful for that. I am glad we booked this cruise to celebrate our 15th year anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise to take my elderly mother on a shorter cruise. I also chose it for the price and the way the main dining and other activities are all centrally located so she would not have to walk as much. Summary: The Dining ... Read More
I chose this cruise to take my elderly mother on a shorter cruise. I also chose it for the price and the way the main dining and other activities are all centrally located so she would not have to walk as much. Summary: The Dining was very friendly and accommodating, even when we didn't arrive on time. The food was mostly good. But the formal night did not not have the usual steak and lobster, instead just okay food on formal night. (I think lobster was offered on the first night but for an added cost). The cheapest bottle of wine was $55, and then they brought the wrong one, and since they had opened it, they would not take it back. There was a lot of upselling. The cabin was so small, (a mini suite) that we could not even get a standard walker through the door) The minis suite was smaller than a standard cabin on Holland America. The steward forgot to leave us any washcloths on 3 of the 5 days. Sometimes left us 2 towels for 3 people and other times 5 towels. However he turned out beds down daily and was otherwise OK, but none of those beloved towel animals. The beds were adequate, the couch bed springy and not too comfortable but an extra padding that we added ourselves, helped. Beneath the beds they stored a bunch of linens so we could not easily stash our suitcases. The toilet was had some glitchy flushing mechanism for several days but eventually stopped working all together and when called, they did fix within an hour. The door handle fell apart and they fixed it. We literally could not move a walker through the narrow door, which was a surprise. Disembarkation was the worst. They gave written information about tagging our luggage and setting it out the night before. When we did not receive tags, I called guest services and asked. She grilled ME for 10 minutes as to why I thought we were doing this and I kept telling her it was in the Princess Patter and the disembarkation instructions. She finally said if I wanted tags I HAD to come to guest services and do it myself since on 5 day cruises they don't usually do this. We did because with our elderly mom and all her equipment we did need help with luggage. So the next day everyone was taking their luggage and it was a bit of a fiasco disembarking and especially waiting on the elevators since no one could take the stairs with luggage. Also, several areas of the ship were not WC accessible so we could not participate in them at all. My biggest complaint is the poor communication. First on the phone, we were told yes we can get a WC on the ship. Then we were told no. Then on the ship we were told yes. So we did rent a WC for 20$ a day which help a lot! The Best parts: Super easy Embarkation. Very nice staff in the restaurants. Very fun dancing in the Piazza. The adult swim area is nice but in the windiest area of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our fifteenth cruise (my husband and myself) . We cruise with Royal Caribbean or Princess. We just wanted to go back to the Mexican Riviera as we haven't been in over twenty years. We also wanted to see the Royal Princess and ... Read More
This was our fifteenth cruise (my husband and myself) . We cruise with Royal Caribbean or Princess. We just wanted to go back to the Mexican Riviera as we haven't been in over twenty years. We also wanted to see the Royal Princess and experience a medallion cruise. It was also a birthday celebration for me even though my actual birthday was the day of disembarkation. We live 90 miles outside of Los Angeles so we just drove to the port, parked the car, and hopped on the ship. Embarkation was easy as we have come to expect with Princess. We got on the ship a little after 1pm as we realize now that the staterooms are usually ready after this hour. We can go directly there. On this cruise we noticed that we could go to the buffet or the dining room when we boarded instead of everyone being crammed into the buffet. I think there were a couple of other eating venues open as well. We always book the balcony rooms completely aft as we enjoy watching the ship's wake. We dropped off our backpack and went to the buffet for a bite to eat then toured the ship. In about an hour or luggage was already at our room so we unpacked and our cruise officially began. We don't do the dining rooms anymore, neither do we do formal nights anymore. We just like to grab a snack during the day and eat in the buffet in the evening. There's nothing wrong with the diving rooms or the formal nights, we've just been there, done that and prefer to remain casual. We like to play the casino but we found this one to be oddly shaped. Also, IMO they need to get more machines like land casinos and ditch some of the ones hardly anyone was playing like the old style quarter machines. Anyway, like I said that's just my opinion. Overall the Royal Princess is a nice ship with one of the prettiest atriums I've seen. The crew was excellent (kind of reminded me of the old days of cruising). The one negative I will mention is the buffet food. This is the first cruise since the buffet was offered on cruise ships that we were truly disappointed in the food selection. Also, our food was never hot, just barely warm. We decided to eat sandwiches from the shop next to the coffee shop or grab a burger and fries at the grill. We have A Princess cruise scheduled for next year, so we will continue to cruise with them. I would also like to add that we've never seen a more congenial group of passengers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We enjoyed our week on the Royal Princess, but all in all it was nothing special. The food in the main dining rooms was generally good, but some nights the selection was less than inspiring. The buffet offered a wide variety of choices, ... Read More
We enjoyed our week on the Royal Princess, but all in all it was nothing special. The food in the main dining rooms was generally good, but some nights the selection was less than inspiring. The buffet offered a wide variety of choices, usually tasty. As always, the ship's pastries were better to look at than to eat. Dinner in the Crown Grill was very good, and worth the upcharge; the same cannot be said of Sabatini's, which was very disappointing--the "lobster three ways" was particularly unpleasant. As others have mentioned, the elevators were inadequate for the number of passengers. The casino is a disaster. Too small, too few machines, too many customers, too much smoke, and illogical use of space which had dead-ends and people bumping into one another. No complimentary beverages, no matter how much one played, just an offer of casino credit on a future cruise. A glass of ordinary white wine came in at $13, including the mandatory "tip." Unconscionable. The mattress was heavenly. Our room steward, Michael, was quiet, efficient, and pleasant. The Medallion experience was a very mixed bag--surely not worth the hassle. We never did manage to use it to locate our travel companions. Princess should either fix it or abandon it. One very complimentary comment: the tv selections were excellent--recent movies, lots of on demand shows from travel and home and garden channels, all day access to MSNBC, BBC, Fox, etc., all at no charge. Best in-cabin entertainment we've ever had. Despite a very generous offer of future casino credit, we're not enthusiastic about returning to the Royal Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
price and convenience, local cruise. Liked princess before and like mostly princess this time, but they need to get the bugs out of the medallion, worked great to get on board. Luggage was assume they where at room by time we got on board ... Read More
price and convenience, local cruise. Liked princess before and like mostly princess this time, but they need to get the bugs out of the medallion, worked great to get on board. Luggage was assume they where at room by time we got on board and went straight to room. MEDALLION worked part of time, getting on board was great but then lots of people didn't use it, so in the future when everyone uses it might not be so fast. I bought the internet package, wasn't worth it. half time didn't work, always waiting, and always dropping off. when it work was ok. Food was good, some times hard to find a place to sit, this is a problem with so many people. Went to formal night, they didn't enforce it!, also had to wait for a table 30 minutes, when we did get a table there where 8 tables I could see empty, cleaned and ready for diners, why did I have to wait? no problems on cruise except couldn't get off in Cabo, due to weather. PV was a bust they had only about a dozen tents in port to shop, if you wanted to shop need a bus or taxi to go into town. Getting off was great easy luggage and customs great. Would I go again, probably. It was still pretty good, no cruise is perfect. but good times out did the bad. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019

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