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2,228 Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

We have been on this ship several times in the last couple years. The ship is ok-not our favorite. Had some great crew members take care of this time on the ship. The crew in Crooner's Bar was awesome(especially Vish). Carmine in ... Read More
We have been on this ship several times in the last couple years. The ship is ok-not our favorite. Had some great crew members take care of this time on the ship. The crew in Crooner's Bar was awesome(especially Vish). Carmine in Vines was awesome as well. We only did one tour with the ship. Most of the time we like to explore ports on our own. The entertainment was good --some just ok but some was really good. We picked this cruise due to the itinerary. We had wonderful 2 days in Rio--what an amazing area. We had 4 new ports in the Caribbean that were fun. Would have preferred to skip Salvador--way too many people stealing. Though we did have a nice meal in a little café as we walked through town. Loved that part way thru cruise Static Band came on board---we had seen them last year on this same ship--love the music they play. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We choose this cruise for the ports of call. We had a lovely time meeting other cruise critics who were lovely. To Ron for organising tour of Vietnam was fantastic. The Diamond Princess was lovely. The cabin was great The obstructed ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the ports of call. We had a lovely time meeting other cruise critics who were lovely. To Ron for organising tour of Vietnam was fantastic. The Diamond Princess was lovely. The cabin was great The obstructed window was very good with only a tender boat taking up a fraction of it so was easy to see ports of call and very light and airy.Would have no problem booking another one. The dining was very enjoyable and to our new dinner company we enjoyed all the laughs. Entertainment a little below par. The Princess Singers and dancers were great invited ones not so good. Service extra good dinner waiters excellent. Would love to do this cruise again. We met some lovely people at our meet and greet from all over the world. Thanks to Gayle for making this work for us all. Shame we all forgot our cameras for the meet. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Ruby Princess is essentially the same layout as Crown Princess, which my family has previously sailed upon, so we were quite familiar with the layout of the cabin and ship. Unlike the Crown Princess, the service on Ruby Princess is ... Read More
Ruby Princess is essentially the same layout as Crown Princess, which my family has previously sailed upon, so we were quite familiar with the layout of the cabin and ship. Unlike the Crown Princess, the service on Ruby Princess is extremely poor. 1. During the first shore excursion day, I got sick from the food onboard and had an acute stomach pain. Instead of acknowledging my condition to be caused by the food onboard, the ship medical officer simply shrugged it off to a bad case of indigestion. I've travelled widely to many countries in the past, including eating off the street in India and China with no ill effect. The ship medical officer can, at least, acknowledge that there might be food preparation challenges which resulted in my stomach trouble. Due to the acute pain, I lost half a day of shore excursion time. 2. On the disembarkation day, my wife discovered that she had lost her pair of glasses. We searched everywhere in the stateroom but couldn't find anything. When I sought the help of the stateroom attendant, the response was "we are very busy today. we can't help you find the missing glasses." This is very disappointing; the stateroom attendant can at least collect the description of the glasses and promise that if they are found, we would be contacted. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was my surprise gift for my husbands 50th birthday so I wanted to do something extra special for him. I even went as far as getting his vacation approved with his boss without my husband knowing. I wanted this to be a birthday he ... Read More
This was my surprise gift for my husbands 50th birthday so I wanted to do something extra special for him. I even went as far as getting his vacation approved with his boss without my husband knowing. I wanted this to be a birthday he would never forget. He definitely won't forget this one. We have been on 5 different cruises but never with Princess, so I thought I would try something different. Wrong answer!! I read reviews before booking on this ship and should have listened. YES!! the beds truly are as hard as the floor. We've been off the ship for three days and still have hip and back pain from the bed. The cabin was ok. Ricardo was our steward and fantastic. He always greeted us with a smile and even took the time to remember our names. Ship activities is always low on our list but it would have been nice to get a schedule of activities just in case we wanted to join. We prefer anytime dining but checked them all out. Dining staff on Princess Caribbean was rude and unfriendly. I never saw anyone smile. Particular woman in the Island Dining room was quite something. I thanked her for taking my plate and she stuck her nose up in the air, snatched my plate and walked away. In the buffet dining area my husband thanked a young man three times for clearing our table. Not once did the young man say your welcome, or smile, or even acknowledge that my husband spoke. I wanted to take my husband to specialty dining for his birthday dinner (where you pay extra) but I refused to pay extra for people being rude to us. The food was ok. Definitely arranged to be pretty but not much flavor. Public area bathrooms were under continuous maintenance and smelled like sewage. The bathroom in our room also smelled of constant urine. Ports and shore excursions is the only thing that saved this trip. Gambalimba Preservation Nature Park in Honduras is a must see. We also visited Xunantunich Mayan Ruins in Belize and Jeannie's helmet diving in Cozumel. ALL shore excursion staff/tour guides off the ship were FANTASTIC. They were enthusiastic, friendly, and welcoming to guests. These are qualities Princess Caribbean failed to provide from the beginning of the trip to the end. Embarkation was a cluster mess!! I am 44 and husband 50 years. Never again will we travel with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
If you are looking for a boring cruise this is the one! They have replaced the poolside entertainment with a TV, then they played the same animal clips over and over EVERYDAY. Ship was pretty, but the bigger ship just had more cabins, ... Read More
If you are looking for a boring cruise this is the one! They have replaced the poolside entertainment with a TV, then they played the same animal clips over and over EVERYDAY. Ship was pretty, but the bigger ship just had more cabins, same size common areas, and was very crowded. Making it very hard to get into the show at night. For their was not many options to choose from, you had to go early to get a seat. Which meant we left dinner early most nights. The new "fountain" between pools was useless space, would have been nice if it was a pool for that was crowed. No stairs in the mid ship, elevators always full. I think we wasted half of our vacation standing in a line. Also there are more "premium" items that you have to pay for, like coffee, gelato, and seafood specialities. So basically the food court, timed & anyday dining, room and shows were the only free items to this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My wife and I love cruising on Princess cruises, the service standards are always very good and the staff are very friendly. We always book a suite and if you are looking for an amazing experience I recommend trying a suite. Once you ... Read More
My wife and I love cruising on Princess cruises, the service standards are always very good and the staff are very friendly. We always book a suite and if you are looking for an amazing experience I recommend trying a suite. Once you cruise in a suite you will not want to go back to a regular stateroom. The benefits you get that comes with a suite is amazing. The specialty restaurants such as The Grill and Sabatinis are amazing and the food quality is very good. The ship was in great condition, very clean and the staff were very friendly. The staff in The Spa are very well trained and they make you feel very comfortable. The entertainment is non stop and they offer a wide variety of shows to see. We really enjoyed The Princess Live Theater. We stopped in Amber Cove, St. Thomas and St. Kitts. We really enjoyed St. Kitts. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
wanted a relaxing time choose REGAL been on before NO hassles nobody trying to sell a special drink. with a nice glass or cup.you could find a beach /sun chair there no hairy chest contests.NICE SHIP every crew member was nice .PRINCESS ... Read More
wanted a relaxing time choose REGAL been on before NO hassles nobody trying to sell a special drink. with a nice glass or cup.you could find a beach /sun chair there no hairy chest contests.NICE SHIP every crew member was nice .PRINCESS is a good cruise line . cabins are good. DINING .was easy what ever you want to do.good entertainment, if you didn't like it go watch a movie.music was all over in the evening.they could have more music at the pool area.Make the best of your vacation.thats what they try to do at PRINCE ss you wont be disappointed . we will go again. the ports of call are to please some not all.you don't have to shop or even get off you deceid before you book.princess has good tours and your safe.disembarkation can be very easy they give lots of options to get off.get up and get out make a good day of it. they move several thousand people on in off in a few hours you can be delayed. go PRINCESS Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose the Regal Princess because we had sailed on her sister ship, the Royal Princess, 3 years ago and absolutely loved it! My wife and I traveled with another couple, and we had a fantastic week. Long line at embarkation, but it moved ... Read More
We chose the Regal Princess because we had sailed on her sister ship, the Royal Princess, 3 years ago and absolutely loved it! My wife and I traveled with another couple, and we had a fantastic week. Long line at embarkation, but it moved along fairly well. The ship is beautiful - lots of glass and bronze, amazing piazza area, very nice cabins (ours had a balcony - I recommend this, especially if you are afraid of sea-sickness). The ship is immaculate - kept so clean! The service was great, especially our wait staff in the dining room. All the workers were very polite, greeting us as we passed in hallways, etc. We researched destinations, and decided that we wanted to revisit the port of St. Thomas so we could take the water taxi to St. John - amazing beaches! The food was fantastic - dining room, buffet (endless choices), desserts - all wonderful! We do not go to the premium dining venues. No need - the included food options are so good! Entertainment was spectacular! The main theater shows were all good. They flew in a soprano from Broadway, and she was wonderful. Not my style of music, as such, but I still greatly enjoyed her singing. The ship's singing and dancing troupe was great every time we saw them, as was the comedian they had on board. We also enjoyed the Princess Live experience - a TV studio where they tape game shows, interviews, etc., and then broadcast them on the TVs in the cabins at night. Lots of fun. Pool deck was very nice, but crowded. We went out early, even before breakfast and got seats. One couple stayed in our chairs while the other couple went and got food and brought our meals out to the deck chairs. Otherwise, there was little chance of finding four chairs together. At sea days were my favorites, though the excursions we chose were very fun as well. Really enjoyed the double-decker train ride around St. Kitts! Disembarkation was a breeze - very smooth. Well organized. All this fun, and yet the weather was mediocre at best. In fact, the captain got on the intercom near the end of our cruise and said it was the windiest week he's ever experiences in the Caribbean. Low 70's most days for the highs, though a couple days reached 80. Rained some every day - a couple of days were overcast all day. Not the usual for the Caribbean! In spite of this, excellent cruise! I would go again in a heartbeat! Thanks, Princess, for a fantastic vacation. Net time, hopefully a bit better weather! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Round Australia itinerary was a perfect close to our touring of the more visited areas on land. We often do private tours, but the ships tours were very good, but a bit more expensive which is typical of cruise ship tours. Some port ... Read More
Round Australia itinerary was a perfect close to our touring of the more visited areas on land. We often do private tours, but the ships tours were very good, but a bit more expensive which is typical of cruise ship tours. Some port visits were quite short so the ships excursions were much more relaxing. Our cabin was C633. We had wanted a balcony but there were none available. We enjoyed this cabin as it was quite roomy. All cabins on board have large flat screen TVs which is amazing. The TV choices are amazing. From live TV to very recent movie choices on demand. The best we have seen on a ship. The Pop Choir was a terrific experience particularly for us as we have never sung in a choir ever! Good fun. I was a little disappointed in the food generally but there were many choices. Room service was very efficient and the staff delivering were friendly and happy. Although we were cruising in Australia, we tipped $2 each time that Room Service delivered and they were very appreciative. I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Good cruise, ship of high quality appointments, entertainment good, weather a bit average, food good, service ok. Did this cruiser at a special price, half price deal, to celebrate Wedding anaversary, have been to the islands before, very ... Read More
Good cruise, ship of high quality appointments, entertainment good, weather a bit average, food good, service ok. Did this cruiser at a special price, half price deal, to celebrate Wedding anaversary, have been to the islands before, very humid weather, ok on the ship. Enjoyed overall cruise, stage shows and dancers were very good, entertainment staff were very good, all venues were good, art auctions were very average, very little room to sit in the Explorers Lounge, too many painting on show, could have been done in other venues on the ship, hosts very poor also. The Medical staff / Doctor save an elderly woman's life, with a blood transfusion during the night, 1 day out from Sydney, thanks from a call for help, for blood donors, from passengers, on the cruise. Amazing result from all concerned, along with a very great full husband, who was overwhelmed with the response, All ended well with the woman, delivered to Hospital in Sydney, when the ship docked. Now that's a great result, hope she recovers well. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our 30th Wedding Anniversary and our first without our kids in tow. Leaving our kids and daily world behind we embarked on our journey. We stayed two nights in Sydney at The Grace Hotel which was a lovely hotel, reasonable ... Read More
This was our 30th Wedding Anniversary and our first without our kids in tow. Leaving our kids and daily world behind we embarked on our journey. We stayed two nights in Sydney at The Grace Hotel which was a lovely hotel, reasonable priced and the location was perfect. We arrived earlier in Sydney as we wanted to do the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. The weather was perfect for our climb, was initially worried as Sydney had been having the most awful weather conditions. The climb was expensive but really lovely and l would say otherall worthwhile experience. We choose to walk from our hotel to the OPT to embark the Emerald Princess. It was an easy walk with our suitcase in tow as we couldn't justify the taxi trip as in most cases there is a bit of a traffic delay around the terminal. The boarding was quick and hastle free, we had priority boarding but even if you didn't I would think you would find the process well organised. You need to keep in mind that you are one of 3000+ passengers boarding so you need to put the event in prospective. They really do well! The Emerald Princess is a lovely ship, l was super impressed by the layout and loved the deck plans and variety of pools. 4 pools to choose from, one was part of the Santuary where a cost was involved, pool two was were live music, pool games or recorded music played, pool three was were the movies screen was which played movies or other shows such as Cirque du Soleil or music concerts like PINK. Pool four was at the back of the ship and was a great place to relax and soak in the sounds of the waves adults only. All the bars and seperate entertaining areas were great with lots of activities happening if you so wished. We didn't do much of the daily activites offered as l like to just relax on a deck chair. The shows by the ships entertainment team were good quality but were short in comparison to other ships. The theatre was packed for the earlier shows and you would need to get there at least 1/2 hour earlier to get a seat. The Horizon Cafe and Calibre Cafe were buffet areas and pretty much operated all the time with good choices available. I think they do better than P & O with hygenine control with strict entry and exit points for the food areas and the staff are attentive with clearing away and getting your drinks. The Pizza bar, Trident Grill & ice cream bars where very popular and food there was excellent. The main dining rooms, we only went twice as we found that the service there was not how we would expect, coming from Royal Carribean or P&O their service was better. The food was excellent but service was a little lacking. No real problem it was still good but not the same. Cabin was lovely and our cabin steward was fantastic as they all are, how can you complain when your room is keep tidy for you morning and night! They work super hard. We choose a balcony Aft cabin B749. First time we have opted for a aft cabin and balcony. It was nice being able to take a seat out the back and watch the ports as we sail away. Definitely recommend this cabin. We did not opt to get the drinks package this time around as we felt that we would not utilise it with all the port days that we had and l was right we didn't spend anywhere near the total cost. ($59 x 11days x 2people) we came in well under that. We took up the ships many 'happy hour' offers buy 1 drink and get another for $1. We are not huge drinkers, it one of the biggest ? always asked by passengers as to whether to get the package or not. My suggestion do your sums. (cocktails/martinis were about $14 spririts & beers $7/8) The ports and excursions we did were great, we opted to do the ships arranged excursions which worked out fine for us. We have done our own on previous cruises as well as ships arranged. Both ways are fine and yes the cost can be more via the ship but sometimes they are just more convienent if you don't want the hassle of negotiating the people on the docks for the best trip/cost. Gym was great, big selection of equipment, lots of treadmils and xtrainers etc. I am a personal trainer by trade so the gym is a must have for me. You can opt to do classes which you would have to pay for. I did the spin classes but was not overally impressed by the instructor. He was not my cup of tea in his style but l won't hold that against the ship. All i will say is l am more of a road cyclist working the rpm and gears and he was more soul cycle putting in squats/pushups/hovers. Dismbarking was easy and painless. Once again they did really well moving off the thousands of people in an organised manner. We love cruising and we will go again and l would travel Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Have cruised on HAL, NCL and CAR, so we have cruised before. This was our first time on a Princess ship. The Grand is an older ship that has a nice patina and is well maintained. Service by our steward, Michael P. was excellent. ... Read More
Have cruised on HAL, NCL and CAR, so we have cruised before. This was our first time on a Princess ship. The Grand is an older ship that has a nice patina and is well maintained. Service by our steward, Michael P. was excellent. Dining was beyond good, it was GREAT! Although the menu was not expansive and tended toward Italian, you could always find something to like. Our two waiters, Jeffery and Glenn were the best! Always smiling and anticipating your every need. They made our mealtimes special. Our cabin was E312, on the Emerald deck. It as an obstructed view cabin, which we knew about. Since we had 9 sea days on the 15 day cruise, we didn't feel that a balcony was worth the extra expense. When we were in Hawaii, we went shore and toured, so even an inside cabin would have worked. The cabin layout was efficient, with the dimensions being 9' x 19' or 171 square feet. The cabin had a desk/make up area, 2 chairs, a refrigerator and flat screen TV. There was adequate lighting for reading in bed and enough storage for your clothes. The bed was super comfortable and we kept our cabin on the cool side so you could snuggle down in the bed at night and get a good night's sleep. The only complaints I had about the cabin were minor; The TV, when turned on, would default to the ship channel so that you had to see the 2 Princess Bozos chatting up the events of the day. The TV would not go to whatever you were watching when you last had it on. The other issues we had were some stains on the carpet and an inoperable temperature control on the shower, both were immediately taken care of by notifying Michael P., our cabin steward. Overall, this was a great way to see the Hawaiian Islands. The time zone problem was a non-issue, no packing up and re-packing every night. The only downside was we had just one day on each island but unless you have unlimited funds, every vacation is a compromise. Overall, our experience was a 9.9 out of 10 with Princess. ATTENTION VETERANS: Princess offers a $250 credit on a cruise of this length, but you need to send in your DD-214. Aloha, Drue Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Did B2B on 4 Mar & 11 Mar. Saw an amazing number of whales especially in the Puerto Vallarta Banderos Bay both mornings as we were coming into port early in the morning. Weather was perfect in all ports although Matzatlan had ... Read More
Did B2B on 4 Mar & 11 Mar. Saw an amazing number of whales especially in the Puerto Vallarta Banderos Bay both mornings as we were coming into port early in the morning. Weather was perfect in all ports although Matzatlan had some fog and overcast both days. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and we got on and off board early with our Elite priority status. Service in all dining venues was very good and our waitress and asst. waitress were perfect and service was great. Food was excellent as usual in the dining rooms and the buffets always had a variety of options for all tastes. The singers and dancers for the production shows was superb, some the best we've seen. The cruise director and his asst. were fantastic and kept the passengers entertained throughout the cruise. First week there was a professional Santa Claus annual reunion of over 80 Santa Clauses from through out North America. Really neat to see them all in their full REAL white beards and outfits. Our cabin steward was friendly and attentive and kept our room clean and ice bucket full all the time. The seas were very calm, almost too much, and there was very little motion except as we left and return close to LA. Second week was spring break for children outside of California and there were a lot of families with children on the cruise. They were very excited the first couple of days but calmed down for the rest of the cruise. Highly recommend the Ruby Princess and Princess Cruises for everyone wanting a great vacation and cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This being our first cruise we were not sure what to expect. The question remained up until we sailed, what would our experience be like and is cruising for us. I will answer this question at the end of the review. We sailed out of Ft. ... Read More
This being our first cruise we were not sure what to expect. The question remained up until we sailed, what would our experience be like and is cruising for us. I will answer this question at the end of the review. We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale arriving the day before. Transportation to the hotel was provided by the hotel. We had a great meal at a local seafood restaurant and transportation from the hotel to Port Everglades was seamless. Embarkation could have gone any smoother. From the time we arrived at Port Everglade until we walked onto the ship was 45 minutes. Princess has this process down pat. A note to the wise. Ensure you have everything you may initially need when you first board the ship (meds, sun screen, swimming suit, etc.) as it may be a couple of hours before your luggage is delivered to your stateroom. No big deal thought. This gives you time to grab something to eat and start exploring the ship. We entered the ship in the piazza. It was spectacular to say the least. Very clean and well put together. We made our way to the pool deck for a quick meal and to explore the amenities on that level. We were not let down. Several pools and places to sit. The giant screen TV is awesome. At 1:00 we were allowed to go to our stateroom. We had a balcony stateroom for this cruise on the Aloha Deck mid ship. It was very clean and tidy and offered all the space we needed for the cruise. Our cabin steward was the unsung hero of our cruise. He came in behind us virtually every time we left the room to tidy up. if we needed something it was there right away. Most of the time we had what we needed before we even asked. My wife and I considered upgrading to a mini suite for our next cruise but after thinking about it for no longer that we spent in the cabin we would not benefit from it. We were hardly in our room but I will say the balcony was great. A must have. The ship was very well maintained. We always sow several crew members cleaning and ensuring everything was presentable. The service on board is commendable. Even the high traffic areas such as the piazza and pool deck were always very clean. The staff could not have treated us any better. We saw four ports on this cruise. Princess Cays, Bahamas, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. We did on shore excursions at three of the ports. Chairlift/Bobsled/Duns River Falls in Jamaica, Swimming with dolphins and the sea turtle farm in Grand Cayman and zip lining in Cozumel. All three were a blast. I would suggest doing your research into the proximity of the excursion to the port. In Jamaica it was a 1.5 hour ride each way to our excursion in Ochoa Rios. that took up the entire day, This is not fault of Princess in my eyes but it did not leave time to take in more of the culture. More words to the wise. I would highly suggest booking all your on shore excursions through Princess just as we did. We were very well taken care of and not once did we feel unsafe at any point. If you think you can get off cheaper but booking with a local DO NOT be late for departure. The ship will leave you. If you book through Princess they will wait as we found out. Our group was late getting back from our excursion in Jamaica and the ship was there waiting. I can't say enough about the dining opportunities on the Regal. No matter what your taste is you will find it on board. Buffet, casual or formal all were great and the service spectacular. The only entertainment we took in was the tail end of the comedy show. Troy was so funny. Don't miss this show. There were a lot of other opportunities however we spent most of our time on the ship on the pool deck and exploring. The fitness center is well furnished and maintained. nothing like a view over the ocean while working out. Disembarkation is actually planned out very well but took a while. We had to vacate our room by 8:00 AM and it was not until 10:00 we were able to leave the ship and get our luggage. I understand the reasoning behind that though. As I mentioned earlier we were not sure what to expect or if we would even enjoy cruising. Those questions have been answered. This experience exceeded our expectations ten fold. The staff was great, food excellent, excursions a blast and time spent on board very relaxing. To us it beats flying to a resort and spending a week or more at one location. We saw four different countries and met a ton of wonderful people. We enjoyed this so much we have already booked our next cruise with Princess. BRAVO PRINCESS and thank you for such a memorable experience. See you next March. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The nicest ship I've ever been on. If you go for the food (which I do) this ship delivers the Crown Grill i had the best Steak of my life and i think the cover charge was only around $30 a person. Sabatini's was by the best ... Read More
The nicest ship I've ever been on. If you go for the food (which I do) this ship delivers the Crown Grill i had the best Steak of my life and i think the cover charge was only around $30 a person. Sabatini's was by the best option on the ship, again for an additional fee but worth every penny. Some of the best Italian food I've ever had. the drink package set up for princess was my favorite of the lines I've travel'd on. Carnival you can get up to a $12 drink and it wasnt unlimited they cut you off after 15 in a 24 hour period!( now that im married I wont hit 15 anyway but for the younger crowd this matters!) celebrity had a terrible Drink package there were 3 tiers and the cheapest one was $35 a day and all it would get you is well liquor. The package on this ship was a real unlimited package that could get you anything up to a $12 drink and the drinks on the ship were actually a real size unlike the tiny ones on carnival. The pizza place on this ship is the best by far of any ship I've been on. I've been waiting for this place since my first cruise on the crown princess! getting seats by the pool wasn't to difficult me and my wife are early risers so we would generally grab an early breakfast and go right to the pool where they would play movies or musicals on the big screen all day. If you like coffee do yourself a favor and get the punch card from the coffee shop (international café) they have great options and its only like $35 for 15 coffee's. For a quick snack/ lunch try alfredo's for no extra cost I has some veal ravioli in a crème sauce it was glorious. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our second cruise overall and first on Princess. Our first cruise was a 3-night getaway on the NCL Sky in September 2016. There is no comparison between these two cruises. The ship, Regal Princess. As of today she is still ... Read More
This was our second cruise overall and first on Princess. Our first cruise was a 3-night getaway on the NCL Sky in September 2016. There is no comparison between these two cruises. The ship, Regal Princess. As of today she is still the newest ship in the Princess fleet. That'll change next week when Majestic sails for her pre-maiden voyage voyage. Still, a 2-years old ship felt new to me. Almost everything is in tip top shape. Our cruise was sold out with 3804 passengers on board. The only time I felt the ship was crowded and experienced elevator traffic jam was right after the muster drill. Luckily our cabin was on deck 9 and we just took the stairs. Tip #1: If you don't mind walking and using the stairs, that will save you a lot of aggravation and burn 2 extra calories from all the great food on board. Cabin - We had an aft corner "penthouse" suite. The suite is decently sized and feels like a small apartment in a city with living area separated from sleeping area. We liked it, but I've read other cruisers prefer a more open floor plan. The bathroom is separated into two parts, one with the toilette & a sink and the other part with another sink, shower, and tub. The tub was a nice touch, although most likely under utilized by most people. We were on a 7-night cruise and only used it once. A better design would be a shower/tub combination and free up some spaces. Balcony - Now the reason we booked this cabin is the BALCONY. Being a corner suite the balcony wraps around from the side of ship to the back of the ship. The balcony along is over 100 sq. ft. and comes with a round table, 4 chairs, 2 lounge chairs, and 1 more small table for the loungers. We loved the balcony. Only wishing we had more time to spend on it watching the sea goes by. The only downside of having an aft balcony: soot. There was a slow but steady built up of soot from the ship's exhaust. It never really bothered us, but you don't want to walk out to the balcony bare feet. Tip #2: Use the included slippers when walking out on balcony. Tip #3: Ask room steward for a couple beach towels. Use the towels to cover the loungers before sitting down to sun bathe. Dining - O. M. G. Where do I start? Ok. Princess's logo is "Come back new." For sure my wife and I came back from the cruise and became picky eaters, because no restaurants around our area can match the quality of food on Regal, especially Sabatini's. Ok, let me rephrase. No restaurants where I don't want to spend $200 a meal can match the quality on Regal. Try Sabatini's. For $29 extra a person it's a bargain. Make sure you try the artichoke suffle, rack of veal, garlic infused shrimp, and lobster three ways. Main Dining Room was excellent as well. Braised beef short ribs, lamb shank, linguine with longneck clams, and Curtis Stone's seafood stew/broth. All of them are not to be missed. Service? Excellent as well. Friendly, attentive, and not overbearing. Our waiter, Panya, took the time to go over the menu every night. He made sure to point out the specials for that night, like that Curtis Stone's seafood broth and Norman Love's chocolate journey desserts. Do not miss out on those Norman Love's chocolate desserts! They are only served on formal nights though, but they along are worth the trouble of putting on a suit & tie for me. Ultimate Balcony Dining - I selected this for our special night's dinner because, well, that balcony. Need to use it, right? Our waiter, Dancho, called and made an appointment to meet with us to go over the menu, set up the time, and make sure we don't have any food allergies. The standard menu is limited: filet, lobster, or both (surf & turf). I've read people have made changes due to their dietary needs. We went with surf & turf. The dinner comes with an appetizer, a salad, the main course, and dessert. Portion sizes are very generous. On the night of dinner, Dancho even gave us two extra lobster tails. That was a very pleasant surprise for us. Also included in the Ultimate Balcony Dinner is a 8"x10" photo. A ship photographer will come to your room and take a 8 to 10 shots. You will need to go to the Photo & Video gallery and ask for the pictures as they are not displayed on the walls. One picture is included and additional pictures are $15 each. We selected two and paid $15 for the extra. Ultimate Balcony Dinner was a very unique and enjoyable experience for us. I would not hesitate to do it again. Note on Ultimate Balcony Dinner: This is considered as room service. While no additional tips are required, they are certainly appreciated by the staff. Since we enjoyed it so much and the service was top notch, we gave Dancho and his assistant something extra at the end. Entertainment - The live performances and shows were mostly geared towards older (i.e. baby boomers) crowd. At the start of cruise we couldn't even get a seat in the main theater. However we managed to catch couple shows in the 2nd half of the week. One show was with a variety entertainer, but we left halfway through the show because his song choices stopped at the 80's (I want my Top 40 pop songs!). The other show was Fiera, which was paired with the likes of Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, and Michael Jackson. That show we enjoyed very much. The String Quartet on the ship was pretty good. Movies Under the Stars was unique experience. However due to the location (Lido deck) and the ship was usually moving (wind), after the first one we didn't go back to catch another movie that way. Although blankets and free popcorn were nice. Service - Besides the food on the ship, the next best thing is the service. The crew were always friendly and accommodating. We felt we were attended to when needed and were able to enjoy our privacy when we didn't need the staff. Ninja crews, I say. But we felt pampered by Regal's crew and will miss that kind of service dearly. Case in point - Went to a restaurant we have always gone after the cruise, the wait staff there all of sudden seemed rude and inconsiderate... New perspective I suppose. Note on Service - We were booked in a suite, which receives a lot of extra perks like priority embarkation and tendering. That of course biased our experience. Your experience may vary. Additional Charge Locations: Gelato, International Cafe, Sabatini's, Crown Grill, Lotus Spa. Of course all alcohol are extra charge. Tip #4: Alcohol drinkers, if you are considering getting the All-Inclusive Beverages Package, do it. It is also accepted at Gelato for ice cream, sundaes (including alcoholic sundaes), and all drinks at International Cafe. I got the All-Inclusive Beverage Package and used it to get sundaes from Gelatos and wife and I will share that one sundae. It was 3 scoops of ice cream! Can't finish it by myself. Tip #5: Coffee drinker, get the Princess's coffee card for $31 plus 15% gratuity. That gives you 15 punches to use at International Cafe for specialty coffee (drip coffee is included, punch-free, with the coffee card) and Gelato for ice cream and sundaes. Alcoholic sundaes are 2 punches instead of one. Still, that's just over $2 per specialty coffee. A large one is over $3 a la carte. And the coffee card doesn't expire. If you didn't use all the punches on this cruise, bring it on your next Princess cruise and it's still usable! Excursions - In Jamaica we did Mystic Mountain with chair lift, bob sled, and zip line. Thoroughly enjoyed it. But Montego Bay is just too far from Mystic Mountain, which is close to Ocho Rios area. The ride over to Mystic Mountain took about 1.5 hours. In Grand Cayman we did the highlights tour with turtle farm and stingray city. If we were to do over again, we would either just visit the turtle farm or stingray city. The rest of the "highlights" were not very special. For Cozumel we signed up for the Chitzen Itza excursion. Chitzen Itza itself was very interesting and our tour guide was very knowledgeable, but it was 3 hours each way to the site and we only spent about 1.5 hours on site. Will we go to Chitzen Itza again? Yes, but not as a cruise excursion. Our tour guide said if we were staying in Cancun or surrounding areas, they have tours to Chitzen Itza that lasts 13 to 14 hours. Overall, this was a most excellent cruise for my wife and I. It certainly made our 15th anniversary very special. Will we sail on Princess again? Most definitely!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Had not taken a Princess cruise in 14 years. We chose this cruise for the different itinerary, and because we live in Orange County, CA we didn't ned to fly. Embarkation was very efficient, and we were on the ship within 1 hour of ... Read More
Had not taken a Princess cruise in 14 years. We chose this cruise for the different itinerary, and because we live in Orange County, CA we didn't ned to fly. Embarkation was very efficient, and we were on the ship within 1 hour of arriving at the port. First impressions...the ship was very clean, the staff smiling, and seemed genuinely happy to see us...except one...more on that later. Our cabin was ready when we got aboard, so we dropped our carry ons and went where??, why to start our week of eating with lunch. Oh...wait had to go to the bar and get the first dirnk...then lunch. The AIBP worked very well, it was nice to not have to worry about my bar tab all week. The buffet was busy, but not crowded. The food was good and plentiful, and the staff were ready to bring drinks almost as soon as you sat down. If the buffet area is crowded, there is a seating area just aft of the buffet by the Terrace Pool. We had an outside cabin on Emerald deck, it was fine space wise and had plenty of storage for the 2 of us. Some people say that if things are the same as when you cruised the line many years ago, then there must be something wrong. I disagree, I have certain expectations of a cruise, and Princess ticked off each and every one! The MDR food was good, the staff was wonderful, and I felt spoiled for the week. There were some small service issues, but they did not, in my opinion truly affect my enjoyment. The one person that I had issue with was a female server in the International Cafe that never smiled, and was more interested in talking to her co-workers than serving guests. The only other gripe I had was with my room steward, that never bothered to fill the ice bucket and waited until two days into the cruise to bring my sailaway snacks, and our robes. WE took this cruise for my DW's birthday, and Princess made a big deal out of it!! She got a card from the Captain and got a gift certificate for the shops and the spa. I have cruised with Princess, NCL, and RCI and have to say that this was as close to a perfect cruise as I have had in 14 cruises!! Thanks Princess! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
First & probably last Princess Cruise. Ship was dirty, veranda was gritty and "glass" sides were filthy, never washed. Our stateroom attendant was friendly and attentive. He kept our room clean, but it was old and in ... Read More
First & probably last Princess Cruise. Ship was dirty, veranda was gritty and "glass" sides were filthy, never washed. Our stateroom attendant was friendly and attentive. He kept our room clean, but it was old and in need of the remodeling that will take place this week. Pools and hot tubs were yellow/green we didn't dare use them. Dining room food was just OK but breakfast buffet was dried out or cold and lunch selections we tried were mostly thrown out. Only room service was a minimal breakfast which we did order for an early excursion day. Both of the danish were stale and the egg muffins were rubbery plus they didn't even toast the English muffin! The excursions, tour guides, and destinations brought up a rating of one * to the two. Except the excursion busses in Routan were worn and over crowded. The " jump seats" down the aisle were broken, uncomfortable and dangerous. I've cruised on 5 other lines and this was the worst. The staff rarely answered a question correctly. We were told the Captains formal dinner would be Friday by guest services and the Maitre d of the Crown Grill so we made our party reservations for Monday which was the Captains Dinner and party. Disembarkation was a fiasco. We were told taxis could take up to two hours to obtain, Princess transfers couldn't be guaranteed for or early flight, so we raced off the ship at 6:30AM only to wait 3 hours at the airport. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
When you get a full suite, in addition to the added space in the room (obvious), you get breakfast at the Sabatini with only the full suite people, you get all the privileges of the Elite frequent cruisers, the slippers, the Club class in ... Read More
When you get a full suite, in addition to the added space in the room (obvious), you get breakfast at the Sabatini with only the full suite people, you get all the privileges of the Elite frequent cruisers, the slippers, the Club class in the dining room, the executive lounge in the Aft section of level 14 (just beside a big bank of suites) and other small privileges that open doors when you say that you have a full suite. It is more expensive, but when you think about what you get for the money, I feel it's well worth it. On the negative, we had 2 small issues: the person at the spa was way too pushy and that decreased the value of that 200$ treatment for my wife. The other one is that the staff at the Photo & Video boutique were completely lost when we got our video and were way too pushy when we bought the video (we only wanted the 19$ video, not the 27$ video with stuff we don't want to see). Else than those 2 small issues, the cruise was great and I don't know how they do it but 99% of all their staff had smiles on their face (Air Canada should go there to get some advice). Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
With the exception of port wait times, which were the fault of US Customs, not Princess, our cruise couldn't get much more perfect. This was our first cruise - and now I am hooked for life. We did the Vow Renewal Deluxe Package and it ... Read More
With the exception of port wait times, which were the fault of US Customs, not Princess, our cruise couldn't get much more perfect. This was our first cruise - and now I am hooked for life. We did the Vow Renewal Deluxe Package and it was incredible. The staff on board was absolutely amazing. We just returned and I'm dying to go another cruise already. The two ports were great fun; particularly enjoyed the Puerto Plata tour at Amber Cove and the Horseback Ride & Swim at Grand Turk. Grand Turk is a fantastic port - great beach right at the dock and live Caribbean music as well as good shopping. Puerto Plata is colorful and colonial, could not give my camera a break! Live entertainment on board was fairly good - that was one area they could have possibly done better. Crown Grill did not live up to my expectations, but the main dining room was better than I expected. All in all, however, this cruise experience was thrilling and I would give the Crown Princess Eastern Caribbean cruise my absolute highest recommendation to anyone. The ship is beautiful, customer service was great, and the ports were breathtaking! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise for the unique itinerary. We have cruised with princess before and been pleased with service and cost. Overalll the food was good, just wished the coffee loyalty card had been something on my card rather than ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the unique itinerary. We have cruised with princess before and been pleased with service and cost. Overalll the food was good, just wished the coffee loyalty card had been something on my card rather than aseperatecard. The adult only pool area was excellent, but I felt the sanctuary was over priced. We did noticed that the cruise line tended to nickel dime us for certain things. At times it felt is though we were being charged for things that should have been or have been included in the past. Overall the entire cruise itself itinerary included was excellent and the food was average to above average. The specialty restaurants were excellent and the service the food and the value for the money that we spent was above board. There was a specialty dinner that was offered that had multiple courses with food and wine pairing in the Italian restaurant on board and that was excellent. Getting on and off the boat seem to be relatively easy although you did have to wait in line at times but that's to be expected when you have that many people. The layout of the ship was tricky to navigate it first but once you were there you got the hang of it. Service from all of the cabin steward's all the way up to the maître d' in the restaurant was very good. Overall I felt that this was a good value for what we paid and we got what we expected . Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because we were looking for a 9 day or longer cruise and it had some sea days. We liked the fact it had a sea day and the beginning and 2 at the end of the cruise. The ship is fantastic, more than I expected. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were looking for a 9 day or longer cruise and it had some sea days. We liked the fact it had a sea day and the beginning and 2 at the end of the cruise. The ship is fantastic, more than I expected. The Piazza was one of our favorite spots to lounge around, this is the center of the ship and extends up 3 floors and is the heart of much of all that is going on. The musical intertainment was great with different groups playing at different times and all types of music and dancing. We wanted a relaxing cruise and being a large ship we wondered if quiet spots to just relax would be available. We had no problem finding quiet areas. We were surprised that even with a lot of people on board we never had problems finding a place to stop and sit or have a drink. Only one night in the Princess theater that we found it filled, but we showed up last minute ,(should be there 30 minutes early). We had a Aft balcony cabin and loved it and was close to rear elevator. It was a walk to the other end of ship, but was ok with us, but might be a problem for others. We also used the laundry mat once and that was convienent just up hall from us. We ate 70% of time in MD and of 14 cruises we been on the food and service is one of the best ever. No problems with service and food preparation as we like to try different things and loved it all. We had Anytime dinning. We did have to wait for seating if we went prime time 7pm or so. They gave us pagers and never waited more than 15 minutes. You could easily wait in one of bars or Piazza close by and was no problem. If you wanted to share a table you would get seated quicker, we always asked for a table for 2. The evening entertainment was good to great, we enjoyed all of them. The movies under the Stars is a neat way to spend evenings on deck with popcorn and a blanket and a good movie. One the this ship they had a great list of movies some first run and older ones to choose from. We ate at the Crown Grill and was not disappointed worth the extra money. Of course the pizza on board is great and out on deck at the trident Grill with fresh grilled hamburgers and dogs and fries just fantastic. And of course the soft serve ice cream on deck. The Horizion buffet was great and large and never had problems finding a place to sit. Lots to choose from and good. Always had plenty of wait staff at the buffet for water or etc, The pools and hot tubs were all good but the pool up by the sanctuary was adults only and we liked it the best. Our first stop Princess Cays was very nice, we reserved a clam cover loungers and that was nice beautiful beach and very relaxing. Stopped at Dominica saw the beautiful water falls and Grenada and had ship excursions for both and saw a lot. St Thomas is always beautiful and Megans Bay, We took the tram up to Paradise point and always love the view from there, also toured the island. Bonita is a beautiful Island and for divers and snorkeling is wonderful. We took a off road 4x4 tour and had a great time seeing the salt minning and out in the country and beautiful coastline. Curacao was our favorite stop. Was very surprised by the greenery of the island and beauty. We took a bus tour of island and saw astounding coast line and beaches, pink flamingos . Had a wonderful tour guide and very modern vehicles, buses etc. Curacao is a very clean ready for tourist stop, lots has been done all the way from pier to in town. A very modern island stop and very friendly. And I said in beginning the last 2 days are sea days and we love them and finish enjoying the ship and end of the cruise. Disembarkment was not as rushed as some ships we been on we were off at 10 am. When on way home and can't find anything that really wrong with our cruise, We are a very satisfied couple. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this particular cruise because we had not been to the southern Caribbean. We were rather hesitant about a 10 day cruise; but, so glad we did. We could have just stayed on board for the next trip. I cannot say enough good thing ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because we had not been to the southern Caribbean. We were rather hesitant about a 10 day cruise; but, so glad we did. We could have just stayed on board for the next trip. I cannot say enough good thing about ALL the staff. Everyone was cheerful, friendly and helpful. We especially enjoyed our waiters in the Concerto dining room and the bar stewards at The Wheelhouse. The food was excellent both in the dining room and buffet. There was always something to do on board so if you were bored that was your own fault. Cleanliness was outstanding. The shows were good, not outstanding but entertaining. The Casino had a wide variety of slots and table games. We did two self excursions and 3 Princess. We hated the Bonaire 4 wheel excursion; but, maybe we should have read the description more carefully. The pool area was nice; but, the rule of saving an empty chair all day needs to be a little more enforced. Sometimes it was hard to find a chair. Embarking and Disembarking were both well organized and went smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had a great time aboard the Crown Princess! It was are honeymoon cruise 5 years ago, and this we considered are second honeymoon, and Princess did not let us down. The service in the dinning room was excellent and the food was as ... Read More
We had a great time aboard the Crown Princess! It was are honeymoon cruise 5 years ago, and this we considered are second honeymoon, and Princess did not let us down. The service in the dinning room was excellent and the food was as usual superb! We set said in not so great weather on Sat March 25th, are ship was smart and waited until 7pm to leave Fort Lauderdale as the storm was bad. Once underway the fun and relaxation began! The first port was Antigua and Barbuda, we booked an excursion thru Princess (I highly recommend this way for excursions, simply said you get what you pay for!) it was to an exclusive beach. It took my breath away, it was right out of a movie, gorgeous! The next port was St. Kitts and Nevis, another lovely spot. We did as "do as you please day", and St. Kitts did not disappoint, lovely town and great locals to help guide us with a smile! Then we were off to St. Thomas as the 3rd stop, we booked an excursion again thru Princess. We went on a ferry to St. John and had a great day of food and fun. Lovey town, and the best smoothie I have ever in my life, by the nicest lady that had a road side stand. The last port was Grand Turk. We had an excursion to tour the island and the tour guide was terrific! Princess really knows how to pick the best excursions. We ate on Grand Turk at Margarita Vill (Jimmy Buffet's Place) I was very disappointed as the food was terrible as well as the service. Never do that restaurant again. We had a great surprise back on the ship as our travel agent told the cruise line that this was an anniversary trip. They broke out the balloons and sang to us in the dinning room. Even a special dessert just for us! We love Princess and will now ONLY sail with them. In the past we have tried Royal Caribbean, and between the nora virus on both sailing we had with them and the long lines, the bad cold food, and missing all the shows because we did not get tickets for them and all the kids.....we are done with them! They just have way too many people on them to be fun. On Princess we feel special and are treated like gold. No long lines, no bad food, and we saw every show! Are Cabin steward was a dream, he was so on top of everything and made us feel like family. There may be no "towel animals" on the bed at night, as a previous traveler stated, but at least Princess sheets are clean and have not been used for 6,000 people! Movies under the Stars on Princess is always a good time, new movies with a cozy blanket and cookies, now that is way to relax! All and all we have great time when we cruise with Princess. We go once a year and highly recommend them! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My husband and I are active travelers and enjoy being outdoors. We have been on Princess Cruises in several countries, and our cruise experiences have all been so outstanding that we were excited about booking this Mexican Riviera cruise ... Read More
My husband and I are active travelers and enjoy being outdoors. We have been on Princess Cruises in several countries, and our cruise experiences have all been so outstanding that we were excited about booking this Mexican Riviera cruise during our Spring Break. My husband's brother joined us on this cruise (in his own cabin) as a mini family reunion. As I am a teacher, our travels usually occur during school breaks. We had not been to this part of Mexico before and were looking forward to exploring it. CATALINA ISLAND: Because the cruise departs from San Pedro, CA, we decided to visit Catalina Island before the cruise. Transportation from LAX was a breeze with the LAX Flyaway to Long Beach for a very reasonable price, excellent schedule and quick service. We then caught the Catalina Express ferry to Avalon, where we stayed for two nights at the Avalon Hotel. What a friendly, charming little inn in a central location! For three days we hiked, biked, and toured the island, most of which is a nature preserve. If you go, check out the excellent happy hour at the Lobster Trap restaurant. It was a relaxing way to start the vacation. Then we took the ferry back to San Pedro. PRE-CRUISE HOTEL: We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel for the night before the cruise. The location is perfect, as it is close enough to the ferry dock and the cruise terminal to walk. We walked from the ferry dock at night, and the route is well-lit and felt safe, with people out walking their dogs or strolling. It took 15-20 minutes with wheeled luggage. The hotel also offers a shuttle for $5.00 per person, but we love walking. There are several eateries in the area, and our favorite was Happy Diner a block away. Make sure to try their Huevos Rancheros and Breakfast Burritos for breakfast! CRUISE DAY: On cruise day, we walked from the hotel to the cruise terminal, stopping along the way to purchase our two allowed bottles of wine. As we entered the parking area and approach to the terminal, a free shuttle bus picked us up and saved us a few steps. Embarkation was a breeze, as there were not many people checking in at the time. Also, we were allowed to bring our own luggage on board. In the past, we had to leave the luggage and have it brought to the room, later than I would have liked. We were able to unpack and settle into our cabin before the sailaway! It was very interesting sitting on the balcony with a glass of wine and sailing through a working shipping port, one of the busiest in the world. OUR CABIN: The cabin was nice, like other Princess balcony cabins we'd had before. There's lots of room for everything you need for a week on the ship. The bed was extremely comfy! There are only two outlets at the desk, so we brought a plug in outlet cube that gave us 4 all together, enough for charging all our devices. The bathroom has large bottles of body wash and shampoo. Bring your own conditioner, or your hair will become very dry. We also had a small bar of soap and a tube of lotion. ROCK AND ROLL: One thing we noticed on this cruise that we had never dealt with before was loud creaking and popping sounds when the ship was underway at the beginning and ending days (sea days) of the cruise. The seas were not rough at all, but you could feel the movement of the ship. We checked everywhere in the room for anything that might have been loose or hitting something else, but the sounds came from the walls. The loud noises really affected the quality of our sleep, as the ship usually sails all night. We talked to our steward about it and he said that it's always like that. It was not like that on any of the other 7 Princess ships we have sailed on, and those were in rougher seas at times. DINING: We tried several of the dining options on the Ruby Princess. For breakfast, we usually went to the buffet, but on this ship we noticed that there was not much variety from day to day. It was the same basic items daily, and they were prepared adequately, but not very interesting or imaginative. The fresh fruit was nice. Dinner in the buffet was a different story, with lots of variety and choices, and of course the salad bar. It was ALWAYS hard to find a table to eat at in the buffet. Room service was consistent, with a limited variety of items. The anytime dining room dinners were excellent, especially the prime rib and the filet mignon with shrimp, but both nights we were there the service was very slow. One night it took us 90 minutes from start to finish, so we missed a show. The real stars of the ship were the Trident Grill, where we had perfectly cooked cheeseburgers, and the Pizzaria, which serves delicious fresh hot slices. The Grill also served barbequed ribs one night. ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoyed the lounge musicians, but avoided the Piazza, which was always jammed with people. The production shows were ok but not stellar, and the comedian was hilarious! It was often hard to find seating in all the venues, even the Princess Theater. The best show we saw onboard was the Folkloric Show in Puerto Vallarta. It was EXCELLENT. ACTIVITIES: As first-time Mexico cruisers, we had not anticipated the number of children who would be aboard. The pools and hot tubs were filled with people at all times. We never got a chance to play ping-pong, mini-golf, or basketball because those areas were constantly full of people. "Hiking" around the ship for exercise, a favorite pastime of ours, became frustrating because of the groups of kids running around yelling or loitering in the halls and stairways. Empty elevators often had all the buttons pressed to stop at each floor. With 3 sea days, had I known in advance, I would have avoided booking this particular itinerary. SERVICE: The service on our previous Princess Cruises has been most excellent. This cruise felt somewhat different. We did not receive our famous emblem tote bag because they were out. We had to ask for robes. We had to get up and get our own drinks and silverware in the buffet. On Princess Cruises, usually the staff is so gracious and accommodating. On this cruise, we sometimes felt as though the staff was overworked and too busy to serve us. The one shining exception was our waiter in the bar, who remembered our names and drink orders although we did not go there often. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: This itinerary started with two sea days, then we went to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas, followed by another sea day, then arrival back at Los Angeles. Puerto Vallarta was a beautiful port. You walk directly off the ship into a large plaza area surrounded with shops and restaurants. I wish we could have had more time to explore the town, but we were on a Princess tour for almost the entire day. We went on the Vallarta Adventures tour featuring horseback riding to Quimixto Waterfall, snorkeling, and lunch and kayaking on Pizota Beach. We loved our guide, Hugo! The ride to Quimixto on the Apex inflatable boats was fast and fun! The walk through the village and horseback ride to the waterfall was exciting for a first timer, and we had time to have a snack and a swim in the pool. Then a horseback return (downhill!) to the village and back on the boats to the snorkeling spot. The snorkeling was not great at this time of year, murky water, and not many fish. The lunch at Pizota Beach was the standard delicious barbeque: chicken, fish and beef with sides and open bar. We had about 90 minutes at the beach and although kayaking was supposed to be part of the tour, there were none offered, just two standup paddle boards. After the tour, we tucked into the local market for some souvenirs as it is located right next to the dock. This tour was a 4 out of 5; we enjoyed it except for the snorkeling/no kayaks and it was a bit pricey. In Mazatlan, when you leave the ship, you have to take a free shuttle through the shipping area to the terminal, so factor that extra time in. We booked a 5 hour tour to the Verde-Camacho Turtle Sanctuary directly on the internet with Turtle Tours Mazatlan. They were very easy to deal with and communicated with us regularly before the tour. They picked us up at the dock and took us on a mini-tour through the city before taking us to their sanctuary about 20 minutes out of town. We loved being in a small group of 8 people, and Misael and Eduardo were very knowledgeable and graciously answered our many questions about the area, the sanctuary, and the lifestyle. We toured the turtle hatchery and facility, then were served fresh fruit. After that, Eduardo took our party of 3 on an ATV tour of the sanctuary to view the beach and wetlands, along with its many inhabitants! It was extremely beautiful and unspoiled. We saw birds galore, and the tracks of the resident crocodile. Unfortunately due to the low water levels related to this year's weather, we were not able to take the kayaks through the mangrove wetlands as we had hoped. Following that, we were served a delicious meal of tortillas, beans, scrambled eggs, and homemade salsa with chips. Then it was off on a guided walk through the dryland forest of the preserve, where we saw the many native plants of the area. When we returned from our trek, we were surprised by a plate of ceviche, so fresh and delicious. I had no idea on booking this tour that it would be not only a wildlife adventure, but also a foodie tasting tour as well. Normally we would have been allowed to help release the baby turtles into the ocean, but nature did not allow it on this trip. Hopefully we will be able to visit again in the future. We gave this tour a 6 out of 5 stars, it was an outstanding experience. We recommend it highly, especially since the reasonable cost of the tour directly benefits the sanctuary's work preserving sea turtles and educating children about ecology. After the turtle tour, we had 3.5 hours before the ship departed, so we decided to climb to the El Faro lighthouse at the top of Cerro del Creston (Creston Hill). It's super close to the dock, and the turtle tour guys were nice enough to drop us off at the base of the hill. (Thanks Misael and Eduardo!) In fact, they offered to come back for us to give us a ride to the ship. So awesome. Anyway, the walk to the lighthouse starts near a wastewater treatment plant, but the smell is not too bad. The trail is rough and rocky at first, but with an easy slope. Further up the hill there are paved stairs. It's easy but bring water, as it gets hot in the sun. The views along the way are beautiful! At the top you are rewarded with a 360 degree view! There is a little shop where you can buy a cold drink. Listen for the barking of the seals from a little island offshore. It took us only about 25 minutes each way, with lots of stopping for pictures. The walk back to the ship took about 20 minutes, but we could have easily hailed a pulmonia cab for just a few bucks. If you love hiking, El Faro lighthouse is a must do. If you missed opportunities for shopping as we did, the cruise terminal has souvenirs and clothing and there is a nearby arts and crafts center with many vendors. In Cabo San Lucas, the ship docked from 7am to 1:15pm, not much time to explore. The ship is anchored in the middle of the bay and tenders transport passengers to shore. We booked the Sea of Cortez Zodiac Raft and Snorkel Tour through the ship, which was a 3.5 hour tour. We cruised on small inflatable boats past Lovers Beach, stopped at El Arco for photos, saw the sea lion colony, and we even saw a whale! We then sped (fun!) to the first stop, Santa Maria Bay. We jumped in and were surprised that the water felt so cold. They fed the fish there, so we were surrounded by hundreds of colorful fish! The guide snorkeled with us, and showed us cool things like a shark and a puffer fish. Then we climbed the ladder back into the boat and motored on to Chileno Bay. Not everyone went back in because they were a bit cold, but I'm glad we did because it was different. On the way back, we zoomed along and surfed the turquoise waves at Medano Beach. One of the funniest things we've seen is the smart sea lions who swim up and perch on the transoms of the fishing boats as they enter the harbor for a fish snack. We gave this tour a 4 out of 5 because the water was uncomfortably cold, but at another time of the year it might be warmer. The tour guides were very friendly, one even took my camera down to take a picture of the shark for me! After the tour, we only had a little time to walk along the waterfront, which is vast and lined with restaurants and shops. The handicraft market near the tender port has a lot of local items. There was a man giving visitors chunks of fish to feed a huge sea lion at the boat ramp. Bring money for the public bathroom, you have to pay a dollar to use it! All in all, a Princess Cruise is one of our favorite ways to travel. We love the convenience of unpacking just once and having your hotel, restaurants, and transportation all in one, so that we can focus our attention on the places we are visiting. We love getting off the ship at every port and exploring just as much as we can without worrying about all the details of travel that can take so much attention. We're not big fans of sea days, and we usually try to choose cruises that have as few as possible. This cruise had three sea days, and it seemed as though there were SO many people (especially unsupervised children) in the public areas almost all the time, to the point that we could not enjoy the amenities of the ship. We will definitely travel with Princess again, but we'll avoid the Mexican Riviera during school holidays. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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