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12 Mexican Riviera Singles Cruise Reviews

The ship and class of service is what I expected from Princess. The ship was nice, staff was great and the entertainment was fun. This was a 5 day cruise with one 24 hour stop that is a bit different than any other cruises I have been ... Read More
The ship and class of service is what I expected from Princess. The ship was nice, staff was great and the entertainment was fun. This was a 5 day cruise with one 24 hour stop that is a bit different than any other cruises I have been on. There is plenty to do, the "Princess Patter" was packed with activities throughout the day. Dining room and Horizon Court food was good, plenty of variety. The variety of public spaces, music and bars was good. The Disco was not in a great place and the only place that was too crowded, tiny dance floor and slow bar service, I think that needs to be looked at. The "Medallion" class, use of the medallion for your cabin and purchases is innovative but is sort of creepy as they know where you are, all the time ... weird ... Princess is my favorite line and I will return. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My singles group was on this cruise ship. NOT good for large groups because dining is all over the ship in smaller venues, so it could not meet our group needs, we were 450 people. Pricing was inconsistent, I bought about a year before the ... Read More
My singles group was on this cruise ship. NOT good for large groups because dining is all over the ship in smaller venues, so it could not meet our group needs, we were 450 people. Pricing was inconsistent, I bought about a year before the cruise with way over inflated pricing and was never told that others (found out later) paid about 45% less!! Internet service was poor according to many including myself. The food: Buffet was usually decent, sometimes excellent. The main dining rooms offer the same meals every night to entice you to purchase dining from a specialty restaurant.....which was pretty good, ended up dining at the French restaurant and Cagneys, very good. Drinks were usually watered down I hear unless you cash tip the same bartender over and over. Some NICE features though, overall. If you SMOKE, you will not be happy, very few places to smoke plus ( I loved this) if you go to the casino, they have a CLOSED OFF ROOM to gamble separated from the rest of the casino, in effect, smoke free gambling! Vegas should learn a few things from them. We all know that smoking kills and nobody should be subjected to 2nd hand smoke, ever. So for this, I give NCL kudos! Yes, heard some complaining from people who smoked. Too bad, sorry, I hate smoking. The Go Karts looked like fun but I could not get to it. Dining in the main room could be better. Cabins are VERY small unless you get a suite, so beware! The mini suite bathroom was built for handicap people so the bathroom was LARGE but not enough places to put things. So I rated a 3. Jersy Boys show was great and the Beatles cover band, well, I liked it but i've seen MUCH better Beatle cover bands. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this trip because we wanted to experience the Mexican Riviera, This ship sailed for 2 and a half days before getting to first port which was beautiful Puerto Vallarta ,which we loved. Great for shopping eating and plenty of bars ... Read More
We chose this trip because we wanted to experience the Mexican Riviera, This ship sailed for 2 and a half days before getting to first port which was beautiful Puerto Vallarta ,which we loved. Great for shopping eating and plenty of bars for drinks at a very reasonable price! The next stop was Mazatlan not the best port somewhat dirty and didn't always feel safe in some areas. The ship offered many excursions but all seemed very over priced. Our last stop was Cabo San Lucas, which we all loved very much the port was gorgeous much to see and do for sure. This was one of our favorite places. The only sad part is we were only able to be here for a very short time the shortest of all the ports. I think the ship could have stopped much sooner at another port on the way down but somehow I think they want travelers to spend as much time on ship so that we would spend money buying there drinks for a lot more than at the ports. I have good things to say and negatives things to say about Princess lines, I will start off by saying the arrival onto the ship went smooth and fairly fast and when getting to the actual ports it too went smooth. The disembark was very well organized and went very fast. Transfers back to airport was great! The entire staff on ship was excellent and the cabins and ship were spotless,the food in dining rooms were prepared beautifully and tasty with a nice variety. I was not impressed with the buffets it seemed like the same thing over and over again,especially breakfast. On most other cruises they offered many or at least 3 juices during meals ,on this cruise you had to ask for other flavored juices . The only one always available was orange juice. They also did not give you free bottles of water that needed to be purchased or ordered ahead of time. Other cruise lines I had been on gave you bottled water in your room daily. Drinks were very expensive and even the drink packages were on the high side. I really felt this cruise line was really out to get your money anyway possible. They had shopping sales, but my advice is to shop at the ports ,for you can get many bargains for a lot lot less. They had many activities on board including feature films. The shows were good some better than others and some were a yawn. The cruise director and his sidekick were fun and entertaining,I think they could have put on a great show. I would do the Mexican Riviera again but I would try to find a ship that stops longer in Cabo and a lot less time in Mazatlan and also a ship that doesnt spend two and a half days getting to the first port. I really hope my other cruise lines in the past have not skimped on food varieties and beverages at the buffets Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was my first Carnival cruise, travelling with a hosted singles group of 95, all ages. I enjoyed the cruise, but probably won't repeat on Carnival unless the itinerary is irresistible... it just didn't wow me. Embarkation ... Read More
This was my first Carnival cruise, travelling with a hosted singles group of 95, all ages. I enjoyed the cruise, but probably won't repeat on Carnival unless the itinerary is irresistible... it just didn't wow me. Embarkation at Long Beach is, frankly, a zoo. The cavernous dome that used to house the Spruce Goose has been re-purposed into a cruise terminal, and it's just awful. Plus, the fellow checking me in didn't seem to know how to apply Carnival gift cards to my Sail & Sign account. Once aboard, I had done enough research to expect the Joe Farcus over-the-top decor. Some of it grew on me (Mad Hatter, Gotham;) some of it I never did more than tolerate (Atrium, purple purple Bacchus.) I'm old enough to instantly equate cruising with luxurious elegance, so the Vegas-style glitz grates on me. My balcony cabin was certainly nice, plenty of storage space, and the steward was attentive. We didn't make any special requests outside of filling the ice bucket, but he always greeted me by name when we met in the hallway. Dining was adequate but not adventurous. I wasn't wowed by the food, although some of my companions were. Buffet offerings at Horatio's on Lido were dull, dull, dull... at Bacchus, a little more variety & creativity, but even there it wasn't very exciting. Service was uneven... some nights, prompt and attentive; other nights we sat and sat, waiting for our entrees. Also, no offerings after hours unless it's pizza. The bartenders, on the other hand, were awesome. Cocktail menus are wildly creative, and not just at Alchemy. The Cheers package is shockingly expensive, though, when compared to other lines. The shows were cheesy. Participatory games like Trivial Pursuit in the afternoon always seemed disorganized & chaotic. Comedians were pretty funny. Carnival positions itself as the "fun" line, and it certainly showed here... all the neon & excess of a Vegas hotel buffet, right down to the dancing servers. If that's your jam, then go for it. I prefer my fun with a side of elegance. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being ... Read More
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being Valentine's Day and everything (my 60th birthday on the 13th). We found our aft cabin, B256 cramped and noisy. Our steward was fine, he needed some time off. I love the food but my wife just gets by with it. Sometimes she liked it but she liked less of it than I do. We had one of the best excursions ever in Puerto Vallarta with Valarta Adventures through Princess. We got WAY more than we paid for with snorkeling, kayaking, a hike, a waterfall, a beach, a close whale encounter, great food, drinks, and entertainment. Highly recommended. The entertainment was OK. The first comedian was really funny and the "Magic To Do" production number tried very hard. The fitness equipment was good but the jogging track was the worst ever. The weather was great, though it seemed it would be too cool (the last day really was) and the experience on the whole was lovely. I prefer going to the Caribbean (and it is easier from here) but this was a nice time too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Overall, the cruise was good. The crew was great...always pleasant and helpful. The ship was overall clean, but of course, not spotless. The food was better than when I was on the Ruby Princess when it was in the Caribbean. There were ... Read More
Overall, the cruise was good. The crew was great...always pleasant and helpful. The ship was overall clean, but of course, not spotless. The food was better than when I was on the Ruby Princess when it was in the Caribbean. There were activities and I realize the ship isn't going to give back lots of prize money, but having trivia contests and then the top prize is a key chain or a magnet is a bit insulting. I didn't see a lot of the shipboard entertainment, but I heard it was good. The casino was good, but you still have to buy your drinks there as well as every place else. I realize they can't give drinks away for free otherwise everyone will be down there just for that, but when you have been playing for hours, you shouldn't have to buy a soda. The only sore point for me was the hard sell....on everything. Buy this, buy that....upsell on everything. Okay, I get it...that is how they make their money....but it is constant and persistent. And under no circumstances should you go to the spa or any other optional services if you don't have gobs of money to spend. I went to a free foot analysis and was pressured into buying a product (offer valid only for this hour and you will be back to thank me later...which I wasn't) and told repeatedly that I could get a full refund if I wasn't happy. Impossible. There is no refund once purchased. I complained to Princess Cruise line about being lied to and they passed the buck so I am out big money. I am not a happy customer about that. So enjoy yourself but keep a close hold on your purse strings if you aren't one of the rich Americans that everyone thinks you are. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Just returned from a 4-night sailing on The Paradise. Wondered throughout the trip why so many do not like this ship. Embarkation was totally without any problems. Once on board the ship impressed time-and-again as to the cleanliness; ... Read More
Just returned from a 4-night sailing on The Paradise. Wondered throughout the trip why so many do not like this ship. Embarkation was totally without any problems. Once on board the ship impressed time-and-again as to the cleanliness; fantastic crew attitude and all-around caring of the entire crew. Our cabin attendant was nearly invisible; yet, our cabin was kept neat and clean at all times. First time we were never greeted on embarkation day by our attendant. The dining room meals and waitstaff were very good to excellent. Carnival has cut back on waitstaff, so the wait was a tad longer - their attitude surely made up for it - - very caring and friendly. The Lido (Paris) restaurant was acceptable - nothing very fancy and not too much in the selection department for breakfast or lunch. The grill by the pool was very good. For breakfast, a suggestion is to eat in the dining room; in addition, try the "seaday brunch" - lots of great choices served by as great a staff. The Paradise is a smaller and older ship - and you can see that from low ceilings and dated things throughout the ship, including our cabin. However, this ship is very well kept by a very caring staff, so that many times you forget just how old (and small) she is in relation to the mega-ships in service today. The Paradise is not 5-star, in dining; cabins; or public areas. However, that being said, The Paradise crew and staff go out of their way repeatedly to make the experience on-board a great one. And again, the ship is very clean and very well maintained. The Paradise is very well worth the experience for a short(er) cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Cabin was awesome 9542 Steward Pablo was awesome Entire staff was awesome,everyone treated me well Solo cruiser. Food was good/great,but you have to shop the complimentary nightly specials as 1 night i paid for lamb chops, one ... Read More
Cabin was awesome 9542 Steward Pablo was awesome Entire staff was awesome,everyone treated me well Solo cruiser. Food was good/great,but you have to shop the complimentary nightly specials as 1 night i paid for lamb chops, one night they were free in complimentary dining. Pool areas/spas way outdated. POOL AREAS NEED UPDATING Way,way too many kids,,but it was spring break,so probably the week i chose to cruise.... Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We had excellent weather, all of the embarkation and disembarkation procedures went very well. Everyone was polite and courteous. Sometimes there were soo many things going on, we found ourselves almost without time to eat, but we ... Read More
We had excellent weather, all of the embarkation and disembarkation procedures went very well. Everyone was polite and courteous. Sometimes there were soo many things going on, we found ourselves almost without time to eat, but we managed. Entertainment was very good. There were enough beach chairs to go around, which was nice and we enjoyed the view from the pool area. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our second cruise on the Carnival Miracle. We had previously sailed on the Miracle in 2010, going out of Florida. This was my first cruise sailing out of California. I was sailing with my parents. We spent a couple of days in ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Carnival Miracle. We had previously sailed on the Miracle in 2010, going out of Florida. This was my first cruise sailing out of California. I was sailing with my parents. We spent a couple of days in Huntington Beach, visiting my brother and his wife, before the cruise. Sunday: We took a taxi from the Long Beach Airport. It was a flat rate of 45 dollars from the airport to the cruise ship terminal. The taxi dropped us off where the parking garage is, and that is where the porters take your luggage. We are VIP, so we got to wait in the Captain’s Lounge right outside the dome. Then we went through the dome, going through security and getting on the ship. We were on board at 12:45 PM. We ate lunch in Horatio's. It was Italian and they had strawberry cake pops. We were in cabin 8233, a balcony room. We had a view of the Queen Mary and the Dome. We got our luggage rather quickly and were able to unpack. We had the muster drill at 4 pm. I sat on our balcony and watched the sail away from Long Beach and Sunset over Catalina Island. We ate dinner in the Bacchus dining room at 6 pm at table 233, a table for 6. Service was really slow. Only us three showed up. I had fruit, sweet and sour shrimp, and Black Forest cake. We asked for table reassignment because the table was in the back of the dining room and not wheelchair accessible, like they say it is. We watched Up or Out game in the atrium, which involves trivia and the glass elevators, based on the show Cash Cab. We watched the ballroom dance class to a Michael Buble song and Game Show Mania in the Phantom Lounge. Monday: We ate breakfast in Horatio's. I love the Double Chocolate muffins. We were pretty close to the elevator and could go right up to the buffet from our room. We went and looked through the photo gallery and shops. We went to the Fun Ashore Talk and Shopping Talk in the Phantom Lounge. We ate lunch in Horatio's, which was serving American food. I had some cheesy potatoes with pot roast, with Key lime pie for dessert. It was our first Formal Night. My Mom and Dad got interviewed for the cruise weekly video, while we were waiting for the dining room to open. We got moved to table 209, a table for 3 in front of the dining room by the stairs. Our waiters were Zoran, Raymond, and Dudik. I had the strawberry bisque, prime rib, and diet banana gateau. The waiters performed "That's Amore." We had our photos taken against a red backdrop. We went to the Mad Hatter's ball to see the comedian, Stanley Ullman. He brought three kids on stage and asked them questions. The main show was Generations, a tribute to 1930's to 1980's. Tuesday: We ate breakfast at Horatio's, before getting on a tender. There are fifteen stairs to go down to the tender, so one of the workers had to carry Mom’s wheelchair while Dad and I held on to her. We tendered into Cabo San Lucas, Mexico around 10 am. This was my first visit to Cabo. We went shopping and Mom collected free charms from the jewelry stores. At the shopping talk, they gave us a treasure map to get stamped in various jewelry stories. The fourth and final one is clear downtown by the airport, so we were unable to get that one, due to our scheduled tour. We went on the Whale Watching and Coastal cruise for two hours, from noon till two. It was amazing! They took us past Land's End, Lover's beach, and the Arch. They gave us pineapple juice, potato chips, and Oreos. We saw humpback whales flap their fins and tails, and blow water out of their blowholes. After our tour, we got back on the tender to sail back to the ship. There was one really drunk lady in a bikini, crawling over people, licking the tender workers, and biting the finger of a guy who was trying to help her walk. She walked head first into the security poles. We were back on board the ship at 3 pm. We ate lunch at Horatio's and it was Caribbean food. I liked the beans with rice and the banana cream pie. We took a nap, while we were sailing away from Cabo. We ate dinner in the dining room. I had the fruit, the chicken breast, and warm fig and date cake. The waiters performed "Shake Shake Shake." We went and looked at our photos and the shops. We went and played, Guess that Song and Gender Showdown. I had a raspberry smoothie. We had to set our clocks an hour ahead. Wednesday: We docked in Puerto Vallarta at 8:30 am. This was my first visit to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I watched us sail in and dock next to the Crystal Serenity. The port is right across from a Sam’s Club and a Walmart. Dad and I saw two stingrays swim between the cruise ships. We took a cab for 4 dollars a person and went shopping downtown at the Malecon, which is a boardwalk. Dad was supposed to go on a snorkeling and kayak tour to Los Argos, but it was cancelled due to lack of participants. We took a cab back into port. We had pizza for lunch, as the French food didn't seem that great. The pizza is thin crust and delicious. Mom and I watched the Crystal Serenity sail away and the pirate ship come back. We ate dinner in the Bacchus. I had peach soup, farfalle with turkey and peas, and bitter and Blanc. The main show was a Mexican Folkloric Show, with dancers and a mariachi band from Puerto Vallarta. We set sail at 9 pm, so we sat on the lido deck and watched the sail away from our room. Thursday: This was our second day at sea. We ate breakfast at Horatio's. We went and look at our photos and the shops. Mom's wheelchair kept setting off the security alarm in the photo gallery, for some reason. We had to sail back up to the bay of Cabo San Lucas to evacuate one passenger for medical reasons, so a tender had to meet us with a gurney. They took the passenger off and took him or her to the nearest hospital. We got to sail past Lover's beach and Land's End again and see some more whales. While we ate lunch, we saw the people dance for the Groove for St. Jude. They danced to the "Cupid Shuffle," "The Wobble," and "Cha Cha Slide." Lunch was Italian. I had some chicken fingers and vegetable pasta, with some fruit for dessert. We went and saw the Newlywed Game. It was our second Formal Night. We ate dinner in the Bacchus. I had the cherry soup, chateaubriand, and baked Alaska. The waiters performed "Gangnam Style." The comedian was Seth Buchwald. He did improv comedy with one of the social hosts and people from the audience. The main show was Ticket to Ride, the tribute to the Beatles. Friday: This was our third day at sea. We ate breakfast in Horatio's. We went and looked at our formal night photos and the shops. We ate brunch in the dining room, because we had a free drink coupon. I had the Mac n cheese with chicken, a peach smoothie, and a Caramel salted brownie with raspberries. Dad went on the backstage tour and got to see all the costumes and makeup areas. For dinner, I had the mango soup, chicken fettuccini, and the warm chocolate melting cake. Our waiters sang, “Leavin’ on a Fun Ship.” We went and listened to a band and a singer/songwriter, Tommy Green Jr. Saturday: When we woke up, we were back in Long Beach. We were in Zone 1. We disembarked the ship in the morning right after breakfast. We had to go through customs before we got our luggage. Right as you get out of the dome, there is small desk that says Transportation, where you can ask for a cab. We got to the airport at 10 am, and were able to check in our luggage early for our flight at 3pm. We ate lunch at the food court. The George’s Greek place is really good.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Good points: -Zaandam much better than the Oosterdam in decor, service and company response to problems. Had a bad leak in my suite ceiling that took days to correct, but received a very generous shipboard credit and a cookbook plus ... Read More
Good points: -Zaandam much better than the Oosterdam in decor, service and company response to problems. Had a bad leak in my suite ceiling that took days to correct, but received a very generous shipboard credit and a cookbook plus apology note as compensation. Compared to the Oosterdam, where I had worse problems with cabin and an injury caused by HAL and I got no compensation or apology. -Shore excursions were excellent -Food was pretty good, Pinnacle Grill filet was outstanding, La Cirque fantastic -Entertainment at times was excellent -Embarkation and disembarkation very smooth -Hotel the night before, booked through my travel agent, Sheraton Marina in San Diego very good (not necessarily affiliated with HAL.) -Although I had a very bad spa experience with a too-young and experienced staff person, the spa manager quickly refunded the hefty sum I had paid in advance. -LOVE the Thermal Suite on HAL, though this one was WAY small. Pool was the size of a hot tub. BUT there was rarely anyone in the room, and what a way to relax! -Explorations Cafe really spacious, comfortable, and service was good there. -HAL continues to have the best guest to tonnage ratio, with lots of space and non-crowded atmosphere. However, at times this could be a negative for a solo traveler! Not so good points: -Service was not up to par for the price and supposed reputation of HAL Dining room staff seemed worn out or overworked, repeated requests needed for simple items like iced tea, etc. Chaotic, unacceptable situation with dining room seating. Some sort of "reservations needed" policy we were never notified about- "on your own" dining turned out to receive annoyance from restaurant manager, no table or a very long wait, and never could figure out what kind of system or lack of they were using. Many people annoyed, very long lines. 75% of the time, service overall could not in any way be described as "luxury," "gracious," or "outstanding." -Even though the restaurant food was good, the room service food was HORRIBLE. Unacceptable, poorly presented, served with resentment, and hardly edible. -Cabin steward(s) just okay. Just doing their job, and since you pay $11.50 per day for tips overall, felt underwhelmed so didn't tip them more. Was slightly put off by Cruise Director's heavy pitch on the last day for tips to the staff, when indeed, no staff member stood out for doing anything other than their job. -Unavoidable but still annoying culture/ language gap makes trying to complain or explain needs met with blank looks, non-responsiveness, or incorrect/ poor resolution, if any. Tendency to insinuate blame on the guest and a constant theme of NOT showing the kind of gracious, over the top service HAL advertises. A big gap here! -Very unclear when formal nights were- advance notice was the typical 2, but turns out there were 3, with hardly any advance and not clear notice. How are you supposed to pack or plan for that? Lack of enforcement of dress code for formal nights. -For the price I paid for my verandah suite, it was a rip-off. Very small, the bathroom was tiny, and the "jetted" tub was a disgrace. Not big enough for an adult, and all the jets didn't work. -The Zaandam is looking a little shabby, and for the price of my cruise, would expect stain-free carpet and not to see taped-together wood in a couple places. -This is the nature of HAL, so is more a mis-match for me as a youthful solo traveler, but a total lack of fun atmosphere. No club to dance, people my age acting much older, grumpy (how can you be unhappy when you get to go on a cruise???) and not everyone was unfriendly, but almost everyone seemed confused why someone would cruise alone. -NO gathering for solo travelers as I had seen on the Oosterdam schedule!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I excitedly boarded the Carnival Inspiration for a four-day cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada in Baja Mexico. The majestic Fantasy-class ship, built in Finland, can carry up to 3,450 passengers. With a 9-hole mini golf course, ... Read More
I excitedly boarded the Carnival Inspiration for a four-day cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada in Baja Mexico. The majestic Fantasy-class ship, built in Finland, can carry up to 3,450 passengers. With a 9-hole mini golf course, Carnival WaterWorks water park, and a tropical resort-style pool, guests were enjoying the outside entertainment as the ship set sail to Catalina Island. My interior cabin, without a window, can accommodate four guests, yet is cozy for two people. The bed was comfortable and the bath efficient. There are two main dining rooms on the cruise and a sushi bar. Up on the Lido deck is a Mongolian BBQ, New York style deli, pizzeria, and bountiful salad bar. I dined in the main dining room and met my table mates. The vegetarian dishes were terrific. I was having a great time on the Inspiration watching the entertainment and strolling the various decks, until I received a call from home. My daughter had recently been involved in an auto accident and my family needed me. Since our first port was Catalina Island, I took an early boat the next morning into the city of Avalon and walked to The Catalina Express ticket office to see how quickly I could return to Long Beach. It's about a one-hour boat ride to Long Beach. After purchasing a one-way ticket home, I hopped back onto a boat to the Inspiration. I needed to inform guest services of my predicament. To my shock, a guest service agent informed me that I was not allowed to disembark in an American port due to the Jones Act. I could leave the ship in Ensenada, Mexico, but not in Catalina, California. How would I get back to the Carnival cruise terminal in Long Beach from Ensenada? Take a taxi to an airport, purchase a ticket to fly to Long Beach or LAX, and then take a cab to the cruise terminal? Or I could hire a taxi or bus to the Mexican/California border, then catch a cab to Long Beach? Both made my head dizzy with fear and anxiety. The guest service agent gave me another option after seeing my face pale with worry. She could email a message to a Customs official about my dilemma. There was no guarantee that Customs would allow me to disembark in an American port, however, if they granted my permission, I would have to pay a $300 fine for leaving the cruise ship. $300? That is how much I paid for my share of the cruise. Instead of a $600 trip, it would now cost $900. The guest service agent asked if I would be waiting in my cabin until she received a reply from Customs. I asked if I could leave the ship to sightsee Catalina Island and then come back to hear my fate? She gave me a phone number to contact her and asked for my cell phone number. Jack and I didn't take any excursion in Catalina. I packed my bags, and we took a Shore boat into Avalon. Thoughts raced through my head as we tried to figure out my best strategy to get home. Could Carnival Cruise Lines and Customs force me to stay onboard until we arrived in Ensenada? You bet. What if I just stayed in Avalon until my Catalina Express boat set sail? That would probably bring on a whole new slew of problems. Just before noon, I couldn't wait any longer and called the phone number the guest service lady handed me. It was a ship-to-shore number. An automated operator informed me that each minute would cost $9.75. Since I wasn't speaking to a live person, I could easily accumulate $100 worth of minutes, before my call was connected to a live voice. Instead, I boarded a Shore boat and returned to the Carnival Inspiration. Good News! The Custom official approved my disembarkation, the bad news, I would have to pay a $300 fine now. I was so relieved that I would now be home to my family within hours and not have to deal with trying to get home from Mexico, that I paid my fine and walked off the ship. When I returned home, I did my research about the Jones Act. President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones Act in 1917. Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, it's intention was to ensure that the U.S. has a strong merchant marine during times of war. All goods that move between two domestic ports must do so on ships that are U.S. flagged and staffed. It prohibits foreign ships from touching two U.S. ports consecutively. I was considered "goods." Today only 1% of the large commercial vessels are built in the United States. Most of the ships are built in Italy and Finland and fly foreign flags to avoid paying higher taxes and wages to American employees. There is also a piece of U.S. legislation called the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886, which relates to cabotage. It states that "No foreign vessels shall transport passengers between ports or places in the United States, either directly or by way of a foreign port, under a penalty of $200 (now $300) for each passenger so transported and landed." Cruise ships pass the cost to passengers, however exemptions are available in case of a family emergency. To penalize a passenger who paid for a four-day cruise, yet needs to leave the cruise vacation early, is unfair. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012

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