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4 Mexican Riviera Repositioning Cruise Reviews

My wife and I are in our mid to late forties, live in Los Angeles, and basically love to cruise. The ocean, the ports, the fun..we love it all! This was the first time we've set sail from our hometown, and for us this was an ... Read More
My wife and I are in our mid to late forties, live in Los Angeles, and basically love to cruise. The ocean, the ports, the fun..we love it all! This was the first time we've set sail from our hometown, and for us this was an incredibly convenient way to get away and experience all these fun ports in Mexico to which we'd never been. We took a shore excursion in almost every port (whale watching, kayaking, snorkeling and zip lining), with each one lasting about half a day, which also gave us time to walk around and explore each port ourselves. We felt the cruise provided a great opportunity for both adventure and sightseeing, and we had a blast. The ship itself is a bit of a mixed bag. Seen from afar, anchored in Cabo or docked in Los Angeles, the white hull, blue glass, and curves of the smokestack looked stunning. The inside central atrium, called The Piazza, has an impressive three story design with swooping staircases, and though not as large as the pictures seemed to indicate, it was a totally fun place to hang out. There was always something going on there, whether it was a band playing or some audience participation event in the afternoon or a party at night. We really enjoyed the captain's cocktail party with the champagne glass waterfall, and the final farewell balloon drop, both longtime and much loved Princess events. The other public venues radiating outward from the piazza were well appointed and nice, from the semi Egyptian theme of the Explorer's lounge, which was a fun place to watch a singer or musician while having a drink, to the larger Vista lounge, where all sorts of things happened, like trivia, game shows, etc. The cruise director, Andrew Kadillac, and his staff were wonderful, and had so many fun activities happening on sea days in particular that for the first time in all of our cruises we really had to keep track of our schedule so as not to miss anything. The captain, Michele Tuvo, was phenomenal, an engaging and lively and warm man who really seemed to enjoy interaction with the passengers. We've never had that on a cruise before.The entertainment in the main Princess Theatre was great, in particular the production shows, with fantastic singers and dancers. The movies under the stars, on a huge outdoor screen by the pool, are also a fun feature. They even pass out blankets! The two lecturers, however, a husband and wife team who talked about the history of Mexico, whales, and all the ports, weren't compelling at all. We've seen far, far better on other cruise lines. We had a pretty big issue with the design of the upper outdoor decks of the ship. We are not sunbathers, but love to find some shady, quiet outdoor places to enjoy the sea going by and read a good book. Sadly, they were almost impossible to find on the Star Princess. The covered pool is just too noisy, as is the main pool area, and almost all the rest of the upper decks feature vast bland open spaces crammed full of uncomfortable chaise lounges. There's not a single shade structure or umbrella to be found. We wound up paying either $40 for a full day, or $20 for a half day to use a covered area call The Sanctuary near the bow of the ship, with lots of shade and nicer chaises, and very attentive attendants. It's luxurious, but we didn't like having to pay for the only place with shade on the upper decks. The decks featuring passenger cabins felt old and dated. The endless hallway leading to our cabin was completely undecorated and felt like a service corridor in an old hotel. Our balcony cabin was on the Caribe deck, with a large balcony that we enjoyed. Our steward did an incredible job, keeping it clean and fresh almost invisibly. The cabin itself was small and nothing special, and felt more spartan than any we've had before. Not a huge deal, but the tv was quite small and the space a little claustrophobic, even for a cruise ship. We also had unpleasant toilet plumbing issues that you really never want to experience, especially while on vacation. These happened twice, but to the ship's credit they were dealt with quickly. The dining was problematic. Both specialty restaurants, The Crown Grill, a steakhouse, and the Italian Sabatini's were delicious and had great service. We did enjoy the Horizon Court buffet. There was usually a wide and varied selection of well prepared and above average food for each meal. I really liked the different style pancakes every morning, and the different gourmet sandwiches I could find at lunch every day. Our biggest problem was dinner in the main dining room. We didn't enjoy it at all. Service for the early seating was so slow that we were not able to attend the early production show that started two hours after we sat down each day. My wife and I are not foodies and always on cruises keep our expectations realistic, but these meals varied from ok to quite subpar, with the best parts usually being the appetizers and dessert. We try to eat healthy and often eat fish, but it was so poorly prepared that neither my wife nor I could eat it. As a result, we wound up eating every night in the buffet. That part was a shame because we usually love the "pomp and circumstance" of sharing a meal with our fellow passengers in the dining room. Overall, we still had fun and enjoyed the trip. I think we'd be open to cruising again on Princess, but I think we'd want to experience a newer ship than the Star Princess. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We haven't cruised NCL in the past 25 years and now I know why. Ship was fine, upgraded to a mini suite so cabin was very nice. Staff was attentive. This was a New Years cruise, and did not have access to any Collage bowl games. This ... Read More
We haven't cruised NCL in the past 25 years and now I know why. Ship was fine, upgraded to a mini suite so cabin was very nice. Staff was attentive. This was a New Years cruise, and did not have access to any Collage bowl games. This was not ACCEPTABLE. Many cruisers were very upset.. since when can't you wa ch the rose bowl parade and the Ros Bowl game. Now for the food, mediocre at best in Tsars, Azure and Osheehans. They really want you to go to the specialtys. La Bistro, excellent as was Cagneys. Modernos was good but felt rushed. There should be an age limit at specialty restaurants as infants crying at dinner was unacceptable. Will not go on NCL AGAIN, we are elite on Celebrity and will continue to cruise on them. There is no need to go to their specialty restaurants, as the food in the dining room is of a much higher quality. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Critic This cruise has been a punishment on our sense of smell. First is the long walk to our cabin which gives us a variety of scents. The mid-ship portion has a nice flowery smell of an air freshener and then we hit the forward ... Read More
Critic This cruise has been a punishment on our sense of smell. First is the long walk to our cabin which gives us a variety of scents. The mid-ship portion has a nice flowery smell of an air freshener and then we hit the forward section where our cabin is and the lovely odour of the head comes wafting to our noses. Now I fear we will be sleeping within the ode de toilet but the fear doesn't bare out as the cabin is odour fee. Two of our bags are present so we unpack those and read the “what's happening today” where we see we shouldn't worry about our stray bag for another 5 hours. So off we go to explore the ship when I spot a familiar looking bag all alone in a hallway near the aft section of mid-ship. The colour tag is not the one I put on it but the personal name tag is mine! So back to the cabin we go and unpack it. I hope the crew member that left it there didn't search for it too long. After a bizarre incident in O'Sheehan's which I will explain later we returned to our cabin. Again through the flowery scent followed quickly by an open sewer but now mixed with diesel exhaust. We open the cabin door and the burned diesel odour has filled our cabin. We vent the room using the bathroom fan and along comes our Steward. We ask him what's up with the smell and he isn't quite getting what the problem is but would have someone look into it. I'm guessing the wind changed direction and since we are going as slow as possible (we are taking all night to do what the ferry does in 90 minutes) it is possible our own exhaust was blowing back to our air intakes as the problem did not reoccur and we never heard back from anyone about it. On our first sea day we decided we were going to sleep in but at 8:30ish (yes that's not yet sleeping in to us) we were woken by the powerful smell of paint. The cabin was full of it. It was so strong I thought they'd painted our cabin as we slept. The smell got stronger as time went by to the point I was considering evacuating to fresh air for fear of a gassing. We did our morning routine and left thinking surely the passageway would be full of the noxious gas but no, it was still its head smelling self. The hall smelled as if the toilet vacuum was venting there. We took our stoned (paint fumes) selves to the front desk. The desk clerk we spoke to went away, presumably to see where there is painting taking place, and after a lengthy absence he returned with a thank you he will look into it and leave us message on our phone. We got a message saying he’d t spoken with the maintenance supervisor and requested any further painting be halted. During the last potion of the cruise the familiar smell of paint returned to our cabin while were out on an excursion. This time the maintenance supervisor came to the cabin and confirmed we were smelling paint (in case we were mistaken?). He said he’d look into it. This was the last we heard from him and the last time we had paint in our cabin. Now for some positive and the O'Sheehan's event. I was having a beer on our first night and while my glass was sitting on the table I noticed it appeared as if I had spilled a bit, however the puddle was growing yet the glass was not overflowing. To see where it was coming from I lifted my glass. Suddenly the glass emptied all over the table and flowed on to my lap and that of my wife. As we leapt away from the fall of the beer I saw the top of the glass in my hand and the bottom of the glass still on the table. Seems the glass cracked all the way around and the beer was oozing through the crack until I lifted it up. The ship did pick up the cleaning bill for both of our outfits without hesitation. We were presented with a bottle of wine and chocolates twice. When I asked the person delivering them he didn’t know why we were getting them. I thought because I made two complaints perhaps? I did notice several others were getting the same thing so unless there were a lot of complaints I doubt this is why. Going freestyle (our first time) lets you eat when you're ready but only if they have space. We tried to make reservations which some of the ship’s paperwork recommended and they allowed it once but every other night they insisted they were not needed. On a couple occasions we arrived for dinner there was no line to get in there were several tables with diners along with empty seats. I guess those folks were not the sociable type cruisers because we were seated on a sofa at the kitchen entrance and asked to wait. After this we were always greeted pleasantly at Tzars by the hostess who, even though we didn’t eat there every night, knew us and our cabin number on sight. She routinely had us seated at or very near the big windows. Our thoughts on the remainder of the ship are mixed. We did like the layout of the ship itself and the variety of places to sit and eat or drink. Which is the purpose of a cruise isn’t it? While the food service was lacking we did find most of the food to be good. Of the eateries we partook most of the servers were not nearly attentive enough. The buffet always had a large selection of food and seating was not a serious difficulty as we have no trouble sharing. While we found the food in the buffet to be good, virtually every edge of every table we sat at was sticky. It seems like they wash the tops but not the sides. Our cabin carpet was very dirty. It looked like it needed a good cleaning more than a year ago. They began to change carpets in the halls during our cruise so hopefully the cabins are getting changed soon. The bathroom was a bit strange as the toilet was in on an angle and one corner of the seat was very close to a wall forcing one to sit sidesaddle. There was a serious lack of water pressure in the sink. Rinsing a toothbrush was a real challenge. We found most of the railings on stairways, elevators and halls to be sticky and in need of the washie washie team! Events during the cruise were disorganized. Of note was the Customs inspection in Astoria. The staff were calling out deck numbers to the que long before the previous decks had cleared Customs. This made the line for screening extremely long. A large number of procedures outlined in the “what's happening today”, on the TV, or over the public address system were in conflict with each other. The Cruise Director staff and the lounge entertainment were a bit cruder with their jokes than I would have expected. They didn’t cross my line as I can be pretty crude however, my wife was not too impressed. The acts were good but their jokes and those of the staff went a bit too far. Other than the smells in the cabin, a sense of a lack of organization, and my higher expectations, the overall cruise was acceptable. I was able to relax and enjoy most of my time onboard. However, for me to sail with NCL again it will have to be the right itinerary and the right price point now that I know what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Loved this cruise itinerary as it went into the Sea of Cortez. We got to swim with the Whale Sharks. It was amazing! Water was chilly in January, but I came prepared with tights and swim jacket. We met so many nice people on Princess. ... Read More
Loved this cruise itinerary as it went into the Sea of Cortez. We got to swim with the Whale Sharks. It was amazing! Water was chilly in January, but I came prepared with tights and swim jacket. We met so many nice people on Princess. We've cruised with many other lines, but this was our first Princess. Was a little disappointed in the food quality. Had better food on Carnival and I had to turn down most desserts as they contained milk (I'm lactose intolerant). At least I didn't gain any weight! The kitchen seemed to struggle to prepare substitutes for me. Never realized how many dishes contain milk! We had a balcony room for the first time and loved it. Some public areas were somewhat crowded but there were plenty of other areas that were not. Overall, it was a good value. We experienced great service from all of the ships personal, especially our room steward. My favorite area is the forward deck, near the spa area. Very quiet. If you like noise, then the main pool area is for you. Embarkation was a breeze. Disembarkation went really smooth as well. Entertainment was just o.k. Ports and shore excursions were good. Although some excursions in Mexico are somewhat sketchy (I expected that). Read Less
Sail Date January 2014

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