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1,046 San Diego to Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

This was a special cruise called HALLOWEEN ON THE HIGH SEAS. San Diego, Cabo, Mazatlan and PTO Vallarta/San Diego return. My first-ever holiday sailing. Cabin 5012 was forward and located on deck-5. A excellent location with great ... Read More
This was a special cruise called HALLOWEEN ON THE HIGH SEAS. San Diego, Cabo, Mazatlan and PTO Vallarta/San Diego return. My first-ever holiday sailing. Cabin 5012 was forward and located on deck-5. A excellent location with great access to everything. This is a outside stateroom with the large picture window/porthole. The ship is in pristine condition. As in the cleanest ship I have ever sailed on. Both in stateroom and public areas. Embarkation was classic Disney with perfection in line/group control but Disney was using the older San Diego cruise terminal that is in dire need of refurbishment. Escalators and elevators were broken so it was the stairs for all with the exception of one elevator. It's dark, cold, poor seating and with limited restrooms. Once aboard, it all turns to Pixie Dust and I will never know how Disney accomplishes such crew perfection but they do and with ease. Every single employee/cast member/crew member was amazing 24/7. I was never so impressed. Cabins are larger than most at-sea with a two-bathroom concept that takes up way too much space in the stateroom/cabin. Serving no purpose as only one bathroom has a toilet. Stateroom TV's are ultra small at 22"-26" and guess what? It's all Disney programming! ABC, FOX and CNN can be had but that did not occur when at-sea. The most disappointing aspect of a Disney cruise is the overall dining quality (my third Disney sailing). That said, expect 'Theme Park Dining' at best. Catering to families and kids mostly. You'll need your own salt & pepper shakers. The food is bland, boring, basic in presentation and uneventful in every single course. Disney incorporates what is called 'Rotational Dining' in that that every night you change dining rooms (keeping the same waiter) which are themed on a different approach each night. We had ANIMATOR'S PALATE, TRITON'S and TIANA'S PLACE as our dining venues. Tiana's Place is new to Disney with a Mardi Gras theme and it is exceptionally loud. Very loud. It is a dining room floor show experience in a sense. It can be impossible for the waiters or the guest to engage in conversation. There are Quick Service dining venues also aboard The Disney Wonder but they all failed. The only exception to any dining experience onboard is the buffet area called CABANA'S. That saved us all! Yet Disney closes it for dinner making it a sit-down venue instead serving the same basic and bland offerings as found in the dining rooms. Unlike most other cruise lines that offer 24/7 dining options, Disney has a very rigid schedule of openings and closings. Room service is 24/7 thankfully but on par with Arby's Roast Beef if not worse. Disney is all about its movies and shows and expect only the best because that is the rule for any Disney showroom presentation. We were entertained for FROZEN, THE GOLDEN MICKEY'S and DREAMS. There were also several guest performers for a 7 day cruise but all were 'VERY SAFE' because we are a family cruise line first and foremost. Because this was a holiday sailing involving Halloween, candy was passed out Halloween night and most passengers dressed in costume for the event but activities were very limited. Menus that night never addressed Halloween. This isn't a cruise line for just kids. There are many 'adult-only areas' (never enforced) and on this sailing the amount of kids never felt like it exceeded 40-50%. What I will remember most about the type of passenger aboard a Disney cruise was the morning we were dining outside (at Cabana's) and on the table, next to the drink station for beverages, was a mother changing her baby on the table while we all dined for breakfast. Several Disney cruise staff walked by the event but none ever addressed it... There was a bathroom just inside the doors some 30 feet away that the mom could have used. That said, it is a family line. It's a Disney product and it's always 'Pixie Dust'. Sometimes boring. Unless you are a kid or a pure Disney fanatic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
No one does it better than Disney! After the terrible experience of taking my first cruise on Carnival about 5 years ago I was real hesitant to go cruising again...least to say I'm very glad I gave Disney a try because they ... Read More
No one does it better than Disney! After the terrible experience of taking my first cruise on Carnival about 5 years ago I was real hesitant to go cruising again...least to say I'm very glad I gave Disney a try because they changed my perspective on the whole cruising industry. Our cruise was a 7 night to the Mexican Rivera with stops in Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Room: The room was great! We had a family balcony stateroom which was very spacious and could sleep up to 5 people with 4 beds in the room. The split bathrooms on Disney ships are genius, especially for getting ready in the mornings. Our room steward Lorenzo was amazing! Entertainment: There was never a down moment aboard the Disney Wonder! They always had something going on. We saw 3 stage shows which were all amazing and they also had a Ventriloquist, Magician, comedian and hypnotist aboard doing shows daily. Being 23 I was concerned that there would be annoying kids all over the ship and that all entertainment and activities would be geared solely to children. Despite what I thought, the only time I really saw children was a breakfast in the buffet and at night at the stage shows. For the most part they stayed in the kids clubs and the children pool. There were plenty of adult areas to relax in, and the entire front of the ship in filled with adult only clubs and lounges. Food: To me the food aboard the Disney Wonder was a bit of a disappointment. The appetizers, soups and desserts always blew us away but the entres were somewhat lacking in flavor and constancy. I feel this is one area they could definable improve. The buffet was good, they had a great variety of food and rotated their menus which I appreciated. I really enjoyed the rotating dining that Disney does, my favorite restaurant for food was Tritons and Tianas Place for the atmosphere. Service: The service aboard the ship was incredible! Our servers were amazing and really boosted our experience aboard the ship! Tati and Ikadek were our servers and they treated us like kings. The cruise line lost our bags on the first day, we went to guest service and they located them within hours and sent chocolate covered strawberries and a hand written apology for the inconvenience. Spa: I spent alot of time (and money) in the spa and was pleased with the service rendered there. On day one of the cruise I won a raffle for a $50 spa certificate. I ended up getting a rainforest pass which for $129, I don't feel was worth the money. Also had my teeth whitened what I was very pleased with (they honestly did a better job than my dentist), I received an acupuncture session (waste of money) and a great massage! They always tried to sell you stuff after services which really got annoying after a while. Ports: Highlights Cabo: we didn't do any excursions here, just walked around the pier. Extremely touristy! Mazatlan: Probably our lease favorite port. We did the Best of Mazatlan tour which was a complete waste of money and time. They took us to see a light house (which was a couple miles away from the look out point the bus stopped at) Then took us to see a old church (which was pretty) Their "golden zone" was super trashy and full of street vendors that get really annoying after a while. We ended the tour with a nasty fiesta lunch filled with store bought taquitos, overcooked rice, and other gross, non authentic food. There was supposed to be a folkloric show that mainly just consisted of drinking games. Don't go on this tour. Puerto Vallarta: Our favorite port. It's very jungly here and lest touristy. We did a cooking class which consisted of visiting a local market and tortilla factory where we bought masa, then took a bus ride through the mountains to a rural village where we learned to cook amazing authentic mexican food. I highly recommend this tour if you are looking for an authentic mexican experience. Altogether the cruise was amazing! I booked another cruise while onboard and can't wait till my next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I cruise on holland america because they are the line that Legendary Blues Cruise charters. I would NEVER pay to go on this line otherwise. This last trip, end of october 2019, was especially bad. The food, especially the desserts and ... Read More
I cruise on holland america because they are the line that Legendary Blues Cruise charters. I would NEVER pay to go on this line otherwise. This last trip, end of october 2019, was especially bad. The food, especially the desserts and baked goods, were a travesty! While there was occasionally a decent item- flourless choc. cake, the popover rolls on the salad bar, I found most items to range between bad and disgusting. As a pastry chef with experience working in large scale operations (caesars vegas) in addition to small, fine dining establishments, i can tell you there is no excuse for food this bad. The apple pie was like a block of rubber, the choc souffle was accompanied by a sauce of watery cocoa, the cupcakes were frosted with some unknown rubber substance, the cookies were bland and overbaked, the ice cream was the cheapest pre-purchased crap available, the breads, rolls, etc, were flavorless and stale, etc. The hot food in the dining room was okay, but quality has definitely slipped in the last year. The buffet food was mediocre to bad- the pasta tasted exactly like Spaghetti-O's. i paid full price for a veranda cabin at the back of the ship (room 8175) Nice room, but not sure if something is wrong with the engines or what, but the constant vibration make it look like a strobe light when the bedside gooseneck lamp was on. That would have been okay, except every 20-40 seconds, the ship would give a jolt that would physically move me in the bed. I will continue to sail on this line only because of the great music and passengers on the blues cruise, but if you are looking to cruise for pleasure, definitely look elsewhere! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Service from all staff was excellent. There was crowd of mixed ages. From the reviews I read about everyone on this cruise line being more of an older crowd I would say 50/50. This worked to ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Service from all staff was excellent. There was crowd of mixed ages. From the reviews I read about everyone on this cruise line being more of an older crowd I would say 50/50. This worked to our advantage because the gym was almost empty and the pool was uncrowded and the rest of the ship seemed empty because I think the majority was playing bingo or bridge! The under 50 crowd partied at BB Kings or the bars every night. The band that played at BB Kings was the best entertainment I have ever heard on a cruise ship, they were amazing and so much fun. We went there every night. The dance show was also good but the rest of the shows were typical cruise venue type shows. The food was ok, but the Pinnacle and Tamarind were really good. We really were impressed with Holland, as we usually cruise Azamara and have been on Crystal. I found Crystal to have an older crowd too. The enrichment activities are geared for older crowd and found them to be uninteresting however I really could care less. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Summary of our trip: If you ever traveled on one of the larger Disney boats, the Dream or Fantasy, you will be somewhat disappointed on the Wonder. We traveled with our adult children and their children ages 8, 6, 2-1/2 and a 10 month ... Read More
Summary of our trip: If you ever traveled on one of the larger Disney boats, the Dream or Fantasy, you will be somewhat disappointed on the Wonder. We traveled with our adult children and their children ages 8, 6, 2-1/2 and a 10 month old. My husband and I had connecting rooms with my daughter who has two babies. The connecting rooms helped with the small cabin size as we freely went back and forth. We had all their junk in our cabin so they could accommodate the pack and play comfortably. I don't know how they could have managed with all their kid stuff....stroller, diapers, formula, diaper genie, etc...if they had only their cabin space. Embarkation was fine. We arrived at the Port of San Diego about 10:45 and people were already checking in. We were number 21 for boarding and that happened about 12:45. We headed for the Triton sit down restaurant, but it was already full and there was a 30 minute wait. So off to the food court, Cabanas, we went. What a mad house as everyone was there since the cabins were not ready. Your first impression is ....holy cow....how crowded is this small ship. It took some ingenuity to find a table for nine. Once we could go to our cabin at 1:30, we received our bags about 45 minutes later. The first night of dining was at the Animator's Palace, early seating. They had a cute show on the walls and Mickey makes an appearance in Fantasmic fashion. Our servers were Jen from the United Kingdom assisted by Angelina from Poland. They could have not been more helpful especially since we had two kids in high chairs making a mess every night. Out of the many cruises that we have been on, the food delivery was the quickest that we have experienced. Tonight's show was the Golden Mickeys in the Walt Disney Theater. Note that this theater is only on one level....versus the larger ships that have a balcony. Go early if you want a decent up front seat. We never arrived after 8 for a 8:30 show. (First dining at 5:45, shows start at 8:30) We spent some time the next day in the Oceaniere Lab during the open house....the only time the toddlers could be in the Lab. The two year old thought it was fun, but the 8 and 6 year old loved it. We did not get off the ship in Enceneda....others felt the same was as it was full of people for a shore day. Pirate dinner in Tiana's Place. Servers walked around in pirate gear. It was pirate night and here is where the difference between a large ship and a small old ship is highlighted. On the Dream last year, there was a detailed pirate show that lasted a full 15 minutes with about 30 actors. On the Wonder, it's basically a dance party for pirate night. Mickey and a pirate go down the zip line, but there is no show to speak of. What a disappointment. Fireworks at sea lasted for about 90 seconds. It was not worth keeping toddlers up to past 10:15 when the fireworks happened. Before the pirate and firework event, there was a magician in the WD theater. We saw half of the show then left to save seats on the pool deck for the non existent pirate show. Day three was a sea day. Our impressions....the food at Cabanas is fine. Nothing special but it is convenient if you want to be at the pool area. There is also an average burger and pizza spot. Daisy's food area has salads and sandwiches and fruit, so we enjoyed that area. We went to Triton's for a sit down lunch most days....nice to be out of the crowded pool area. Speaking of pools....the pool area compared to the Dream is about half its size, which is also a disappointment. BTW. Kids must be potty trained...swim diapers not allowed. A kid pooped in the baby pool and it had to be closed for three hours. If not potty trained, there is a very small splash pad area....again, half the size of the Dream. Not worth the hassle with the toddlers. We played bingo with the kids....$40 for the cards. Dinner again at Tiana's Place where she made an appearance and they had a New Orleans style parade around the restaurant. The show was Frozen. Fabulous production. The actor playing Elsa is amazing with a really solid voice. Again, if you want center, up close seats, get in line early....for this show, earlier than 8 pm. Next day was Cabo. There are tenders in Cabo....a royal pain with kids in strollers. We went to the Dolphin area where the older kids swam with the dolphins. They enjoyed themselves...they should for the price of this excursion. Cabo by the port is very touristy...bars and tee shirt shops. Next time, I won't get off the ship. Dinner at Triton's Place...the most boring restaurant of all. Forgot to mention that the cabin stewart, Omar, made sure his services did not interfer with nap time. He was great dealing with that dreaded diaper genie. Thanks, Omar! The highlight for the 8 and 6 year old granddaughters happened on the last full day. The Princess Royal Tea. Very expensive for the girls, but well worth it. It is done so well. The girls were showered with gifts only available at this tea....a doll, jewelry box, charms, crown etc. The Princesses came to each table and spent time talking to the girls. A cute show with the hostess and baker....two very good actors from the ensemble. I can't recommend this tea more....worth every penny if you have girls that love the Princesses. The show tonight was Believe which was fabulous. It's snippets of many Disney movies. Don't miss. Back to Animator's Palace. No show by the servers. Disembarkation was chaos. We had breakfast in Animator's Palace....they rush you through. We had first seating at dinner....so first seating for the last breakfast at 7:15. They servers make it very apparent that they want you out for the next group. You get off the ship on level 3 and the elevator spills out to the area where those waiting for Tiana's Place are lined up. It was gridlock. Plus, most people are with all their luggage ignoring the night before drop off. There is luggage everywhere, wall to wall people on level 3 and no where to go. I'm so surprised that Disney has not figured out a solution to this problem. Getting off was easy if you do not need an elevator in the port building. We carried down the stroller or we would have had a 20 minute wait for an elevator. Customs was a breeze and cabs were plentiful. Again our total impression....we will not cruise on the Wonder or Magic, the smaller ships, again. Just too crowded, not as technically advanced, more of a wall to wall people feeling. Give us a newer, larger ship any day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was my husband's fall break from school and my dad and his wife could fit this cruise into their schedule so for the first time we were able to take a cruise together. We had been looking forward to it for many months. We flew ... Read More
It was my husband's fall break from school and my dad and his wife could fit this cruise into their schedule so for the first time we were able to take a cruise together. We had been looking forward to it for many months. We flew into San Diego a day earlier and got a night at the nearby Best Western prior to embarkation. Embarkation went smoothly. After checking in, we had to wait about 40 minutes before we could get on the ship but they had a decent waiting area with plenty of seating so it was not a big deal. Once we boarded the ship, we were able to go right to our rooms to check them out. We got side by side balcony staterooms and had our room steward open the balcony partition between rooms so that we could enjoy each other's company during the cruise. Our room stewards were Rohman and Ron and both seemed fine. One thing I didn't really like was that I felt a little shamed for asking for an extra towel to be inside our bathroom at all times so that if needed, I wouldn't have to ask for it. I got the lecture about how they want us to re-use the towels to save water. I get it but I'm also asking for one extra towel and shoot! I'm on vacation. If I want to use an extra towel, can't I? What I did learn super quickly though was an extra hand towel was needed to keep the sink area dry because every time we reached between the soap and the faucet, water dripped everywhere. They really should use hand soap dispensers - kind of like they do in the shower with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. If the dispenser was right over the sink itself, there would be no mess of drips everywhere. We then went up to lunch in the Lido Cafe otherwise known as the "buffet." I would give it an 8 out of 10 for lunch. I found the desserts to be lacking in flavor though. And, the ice cream was good but twice I wanted a waffle cone and twice they said, no more. Wait until next time. I think whoever makes them needs to make more if they are this popular. I liked the salad station though. It was nice to be able to have salads made up however I wanted them. We pre-purchased a soda card and a drink card before boarding and they were both very useful. In fact, I don't think we actually zero'd out the soda card by the end of the cruise. The dining room was nice and we had great waiters. Supardi and Eki where wonderful and always greeted us with a smile, and gave us what ever we asked for. And, my thing is Creme Brulee. I asked for it every night but one and I got it every night but one. Thank you for that!! Now that is an awesome fulfillment of a request! The options for appetizers and soups and salads were a little bit lacking I thought. Maybe they have cut down on choices over the years? We also enjoyed our wine guy. His name was Ron and he was great. I only ordered wine once but my dad and his wife got a wine package and he was super friendly and not pushy which is what I like!! These 3 got extra tips from all of us! Entertainment...well, I hate to say it but I was totally bored by the HAL performers on the ship. That is the first time in 11 cruises (other lines as well as HAL) that I've ever had to say that. Too bad. We opted to skip the second night they performed too. Now, the hired help - Comedians...they were awesome! Both kept me laughing and left me wanting more. Went to all three shows of theirs. The entertainment in the lounges was good, however seating was lacking if you got there even one minute after it started. That actually annoyed me. The four of us did enjoy the game nights in the different lounges though. We originally pre-purchased two shore excursions from HAL but ended up cancelling the one for Cabo because it was a beach/resort day and we found out it wasn't even on a swimmable beach and to see the pictures online left a lot to be desired. We went out on our own and purchased a resort day online before leaving - for a whole lot less, and at a nicer resort on a swimmable beach! In Puerto Vallarta we also purchased HAL's resort/beach day and it was actually very nice! My only complaint was that it should have started and hour or two later so that it ended later. Many in our group never got to eat lunch in a restaurant at the resort because the seating was limited and we had to get back on the bus at 1:20 and the restaurants didn't open for lunch until noon. If you weren't there waiting in line right at 12:00, you didn't get a table. The excursion should have gone from 10-3 or something along those times. The resort itself though was super nice with multiple pools and a private beach with kayaks to use. The all-inclusive aspect at the resort was nice too. They had nice towels and free drinks! In Mazatlan, we caught a taxi to go to the Golden Zone to shop. It was SO HOT though that about 1 hour into it we had enough. Sweat dripping down your back just isn't fun. In the future, I would do a water related excursion - at least this time of year. We also went to the newer Wal Mart and picked up some extra bottled water and a few other little items. My husband likes to bake so picking up about 5 bottles of Mexican vanilla was "the thrill of the hunt" for him! I think he ended up with different brands too. So this next part is why I gave this cruise 3/5...On the last sea day, my husband started feeling sick in the morning. Not the ships fault, but what made it really hard was that our stateroom flooded! We were away from the room, and when I came back to change, the door was open, there were huge fans all around as the water had come out into the hallway, and our room was flooded almost all the way over to the balcony. No one could tell us why and how it happened but something about the pipes in the bathroom. So my husband went to Guest Services to tell them what had happened (Rohman had told him to since he couldn't handle the catastrophe) and they followed my husband down to the room, looked at the situation and then said, "well, we'll wait and see!" Ok, our bed had been upended. Our luggage which had been stored under the bed, was next to the balcony and every item of furniture was pushed over to the door of the balcony. All the water had been shut off. It was totally unlivable! And they say, "let's wait and see????" Nope, not good enough! So we were basically displaced outside of our cabin for a few hours while they decided to "wait and see." Finally, they found us and gave us a new cabin to go to which was nice because it was a suite. Great! But at this point my husband was really feeling awful and slept the day away in the suite which meant I had to get out of it so he could rest. Moving all of our stuff to the suite was all up to us too so that was all kinds of fun. I entertained myself the rest of the day - outside the new cabin and by 10:00 that night...I was now sick! Not a fun way to end the cruise. Disembarkation was quite chaotic and both of us felt awful and had to look forward to the journey home feeling that way. ***on another note, we heard from other cruisers onboard that the ship had an issue with A/C in multiple cabins. There was none!!! Why didn't they get moved to available cabins?? These people went all week with no A/C and many of them were elderly people! That seems unacceptable to me! Many had to beg for fans! And there weren't enough! Maybe it had something to do with just coming from Alaska but even so, these systems should have been checked out before getting to the Mexican Riviera where for the most part it was extremely hot in every port! If it had happened to us, my husband said it would have been our last cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful ... Read More
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful weather. We went out on a limb to experience an interior cabin just to make the shipboard and port fun budget go farther. Here's what we learned ... Port = San Diego knows how to process two ships at once. Despite the spring break crowd the Disney ship leaving at the same time, luggage loading, processing and boarding ran efficiently. Holland America gives you a time window for loading based on your stateroom deck. Adhere to this and it should go well for you! Parking was $11 a day at the Wyndham hotel directly across from the port. Nieuw Amsterdam Ship = We liked the classic interior, beautiful sculptures and artwork that lined the ship walls. The main staircase isn't dramatic like the Princess ships and their main dining room isn't as cheery and bright like Celebrity Dining Rooms but it does have a small ship feel with large sea viewing windows and offers cozy alcoves like the Billboard Onboard with dueling pianos and the Crows Nest for reading/watching the sea and drinking a good cappuccino. When you stay in an inside room, you are quite interested in alternative places to hang on sea days. We frequented the well equipped gym and Tamarind Bar for views, without music, and comfy chairs for lounging and reading. I would not pick this ship for the pool experience because the pool is small and the deck is somewhat crowded with people and privately rented cabanas around the perimeter. If you choose to sunbathe, visit the Seaview deck on the back of the ship with a small pool. Bring your towel clips because it can be a bit windy. The pool dome is closed at night or cool weather, so the pool area stays busy during the day and night. You don’t see a lot of kids onboard but you do see them during afternoon pool hours. With all the mega ships now offering adventurous amenities for families or partiers, HAL is wise to cater to the interests of grandparents and people over 60 first. I wouldn’t hesitate to book a family reunion on the Nieuw Amsterdam but I think it’s real attraction is that it is not a "TEEN SHIP". It’s sophisticated and classy vibe is perfect for a couple getaway. My favorite feature on the ship was the elevator. Each elevator rug was changed daily to announce the day of the week…brilliant! Entertainment = Holland America has thoughtfully considered it's clientele. They have the BB King Blues Club for mo-town and dance music, the Lincoln Center for classical recitals and the Dueling Pianos in the Billboard for 60, 70's, 80's and singer songwriter favorites. The talent was incredible this cruise! The main stage dance shows by Step One Dance Company were skillfully produced with technical lights and lasers and the comedian- Chris Pendleton and illusionist Leon Etienne - couldn't have been better. Activities = Highlight of this cruise was the America Test Kitchen sessions and the games hosted by cruise directors. EXC cruise talks for this Mexico cruise need improvement. Folklore dances on the sundeck need a stage for more passengers to see. I didn't use the casino but KUDOS to Holland America for offering a SMOKE FREE casino so all passengers can enjoy the Onboard Billboard Entertainment. I was surprised to see that the library limited to games and primarily travel and educational books. Bring your own novel. Food and Service = This aspect is pretty important to cruisers and I was worried how it would par with our previous Celebrity and Princess cruises. I can happily tell you that steak tastes like steak (not liver) and lobster portions are wonderful! We didn't have to go to a specialty restaurant to find food we enjoyed. I was most impressed by the Lido Food court and enjoyed being served. This was far different from milling around Horizon court or encountering a traffic jam at the Celebrity food stations. Passengers may have to wait a bit longer for the crew to dip up your food choices, but it is more sanitary. The Nieuw Amsterdam offers an outstanding salad bar. While ice-cream offerings and desserts don't compare to the Norman Love creations on Princess they were tasty, plentiful and enjoyable. Servers were quick to clean tables, serve drinks and always friendly. Booking last minute, Anytime Dining was our only option. We learned to call up to two days in advance to request a dining time. This cut down on waiting in line like other guests. It was also enjoyable to sit and meet other guests. Bar drinks on cruise ships are expensive. Check the rules and consider bringing your allotment of beverages (including water) on board at each port or enjoying in port. Ports = Mexican ports are not particularly spectacular but with a little personal research and port reviews you can book some great tours. My husband and I have never felt afraid or had any concerns about getting off the ship. The people in Mexico are friendly and tourism is quite important. Keep in mind that local taxi drivers don't always speak English but they know the way to popular tourist areas. I can't comment on HALS ship tours as we typically book our own. I highly recommend the following ... Mazatlan - Enjoy the city with a personal guide on a bike along the water. We saw cliff divers, fishermen feeding huge birds, harbor sculptures, city square and the greatest local food market. We gained knowledge of the city's history and learned to appreciate what the locals love from Daniel at Blue Foot City Bike Tours https://bluefoot.mx Cabo San Lucas - This port requires a tender but there is enough to do in the vicinity if you choose just to shop or refill your prescriptions for half the price. Our preference is to get off the ship and negotiate with locals for a tour. We have taken a whale ride excursion in the past. This time we enjoyed and recommend taking a water taxi (both ways) to Medano Beach. Once there you can enjoy the day at a local resort with a perfect view of the ship and Lovers Beach. Puerto Vallarta - The port is nothing to see except a huge Wal Mart across the street. Instead, opt for a taxi to and from the Malecón. Walk the large boardwalk along the ocean to shop, view beautiful art sculptures, street performers and colorful flowers. There are plenty of great restaurants along the way. Visit the Lady of Guadalupe Church downtown, avoid most city streets and sightsee in touristy areas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
1. The title says it all! Nothing for the younger crowd. This caters to the 50 plus group. 2. Service was excellent! 3. They cram liquor down your throat! I understand that's where the money is but wow! 4. Excursions. ... Read More
1. The title says it all! Nothing for the younger crowd. This caters to the 50 plus group. 2. Service was excellent! 3. They cram liquor down your throat! I understand that's where the money is but wow! 4. Excursions. Ehh....ok. I did better with a guy in a van! And MUCH CHEAPER! 5. The ship was super clean! 6. Entertainment....not for me on this ship. And everyone goes to bed at 9! THIS IS FOR THE OLDER CROWD! If you want to relax and do nothing...this is YOUR cruise! 7. Food was good....but all the "extra" restaurants were also crammed down your throat as no one would eat there! No coffee shops no snack shops, nothing. 8. Disembarkation, IMPRESSIVE! Customs....I didn't see any! NO ONE SAID A WORD! Had a neighbor that bought $400 in tequila, they didnt even ask to hold it when he boarded! We were told to just take it to our room! When we left the ship no one cared what we had! Not even a customs form! It was great! 9. Great ship, great line but I'm going back to RC and fight the crowds! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
THIS IS MY SECOND DISNEY CRUISE. The first one in the carribean to their private island. It was so good that we decide to go on another one. This time is was from San Diego to Cabo and Enesanada. Checking on in San Diego was so smooth. ... Read More
THIS IS MY SECOND DISNEY CRUISE. The first one in the carribean to their private island. It was so good that we decide to go on another one. This time is was from San Diego to Cabo and Enesanada. Checking on in San Diego was so smooth. No line up. As soon as I arrived in cabin after lunch in buffet, I phoned the conciege and asked for a robe since I was sharing with my daughter and her boyfriend. The bathrooms are super small and there's no where to put your clean clothes after you take off your dirty clothes to shower. I was told that the robes are only for conciege class. I explained about the situation in the bathroom and when I cruised on Disney before they supplied robes no problem. So I went to the desk to ask again, this time for someone in charge. She left me standing there while she went to the back for 10 mins. I told the other person standing there , that "This is a waste of time, how long does it take to ask about a robe". Also there are no slippers. Good thing I bought it from my hotel. I said I gotta go for dinner, I will come back for an answer. I stopped by the room after dinner and surprise, There's a robe. One of the drawers was stuck and after pulling it out it will become jammed. I told the room steward and he pushed it back in and said: It's fixed. Next time I pulled it out, it got stuck again. I informed the steward again when I was heading out and he said he will fix it. Next time i pulled it open , it completely fell out on my foot. This time I phoned the conciege and they sent a maintenace guy to fix it for real. I'm lucky I didn't break my foot. The day before we arrive in Ensenada, we wanted to go to the place where margaritas were invented. I looked it up at home but we didn't have internet on the ship, and I couldn't remember the name of it but I recall the ship did offer a tour there. She told me she didn't have that info and there's no such tour. She told us to find a Starbucks to get internet and we could google it. After walking a couple of miles to find the Starbucks, we found the place. It was right across from where the ship was docked. We were sitting there enjoying our drinks in the courtyard and wondering why the ship doesn't support this place. And surprise the tour arrived from our ship. Do not take the shuttle from the ship in Ensenada. It's supposed to take you into town but we saw it stopped a couple of blocks down the pier. There is not a town and not much to see except the place where we went to. There was a museum which charge $2.00 and then bar which we got margaritas. There's a small market. We got fridge magnets. There's a beautiful cactus garden. But everything else there is not worth to see cause there's nothing to see. We did eat some corn and some pancake, at the little booths that were on the walkway. Nobody spoke English. Lucky for us, my daughter's boyfriend spoke Spanish. Be aware that the charge to use the washrooms. The food on ship at the buffet at lunch was good and the dining at night was very good. Loved the shows. Got to see the lastest Disney movies in 3D if you want. The live shows are really good. Service in dining room was good. Over all the Disney experience was evident on the cruise but the price was triple other cruises to the same places. I expected better service and larger washrooms. We had a cabin at back of the ship on 7th floor. There was so much creaking and weird banging noises that it was extremely hard to sleep. It was every night. This cruise had a lot of kids on it because of spring break. There was an adult only area but there were kids in this area too. Be careful not to trip over them, they run around through you to try to be first in line to see their characters. Don't take this cruise unless you love Disney a lot. If you want to see Mexico, use Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
By way of background, this is the 3rd cruise my wife and I have been on and second with my 11 year old son (my wife and I took a short Carnival cruise nearly 15 years ago, and our family sailed on RC's Enchantment of the Seas this ... Read More
By way of background, this is the 3rd cruise my wife and I have been on and second with my 11 year old son (my wife and I took a short Carnival cruise nearly 15 years ago, and our family sailed on RC's Enchantment of the Seas this past summer). We had a good time on this cruise, but have come to the conclusion that the extra money you pay for the Disney name probably isn't worth it for us. Cruise was a 5 night Mexican Riviera cruise with stops in Cabo and Ensenada. I should probably also mention that as Southern California residents we've grown up with Disneyland and have made a few trips to Disneyworld, which we love. I wouldn't say we're Disney fanatics, but Disneyworld is definitely our favorite vacation spot. Ship: We liked the layout of the ship, particularly the fact that it was a manageable size. It rarely felt overly crowded. A few parts of the ship (like the main theater) look a little dated, but the renovated areas like the kids' clubs and adult clubs (the pub, the Azure theater) look good as new. I liked the decor of the lounge areas, particularly the Crown and Fin pub. Dining: Eating in 3 different dining rooms was cool. The changes of scenery were nice. The food was underwhelming. A few dishes were really good (like the sea bass at Tiana's), but in general the dishes weren't as good as they looked in the menu descriptions. Service was fine, not exceptional. One thing that would frustrate me was their insistence that the main server present you with the dishes, which often meant food would be brought to the service station and sit there getting colder while the main server was attending to another table. This would happen despite the fact that the head waiter or assistant server were available to serve the food. I was tempted at times to just go and get my own food from the station while it was still warm. Cabanas buffet had decent options and we didn't have too much trouble getting a table. I was more impressed by the service in some of the lounges, where the servers quickly learned what you liked to drink even if you weren't a very regular customer. We ate brunch at Palo, and while the food was very good the service was surprisingly slow. Maybe it was just our server. If I sailed with Disney again I would probably dine there again. Entertainment: We went to most of the major shows. "Frozen" is an excellent show. Matt Baker (juggler/stunt performer/comedian) was great in both his family and "adult" shows. Golden Mickeys had a weak story line and some odd song choices (being on this cruise would make you think "Princess and the Frog" was the most successful film in Disney history. I've never seen it.) We walked out of the magician's show, we just weren't into it. We missed the Enchanted, um, whatever it was. But we heard it was pretty similar to the Golden Mickeys so I don't think we missed out. Trivia and the game shows were definitely highlights. The cruise activities staff were funny and entertaining throughout, and the games were fun. Kids Stuff: Our son spent a fair amount of time at the Edge, and I think he enjoyed it? It was hard to tell. He had no complaints about it, and said he enjoyed the activities. But often when given the choice between doing something at Edge or playing an "adult" trivia game with us (note- they don't seem to enforce the "adult" part at all during the day) he would usually choose to stay with us. He said he liked the counselors. Maybe it's just part of being 11, but it was hard to get much information out of him about the kids' club. He was technically also allowed to go to the Oceaneer Lab, but only went once (he liked the activity, which was science-based). He liked the water slide. Spa/Fitness Center: This was the first time I tried going to a fitness center on a ship. It seemed a bit small (maybe they all are?) but pretty well equipped. My wife and I got a couple's massage at the spa which was nice. The only weird thing was that at one point we tried to go into the massage room from our verandah and found we had been locked outside with no way to communicate with the staff. Good thing neither of us had fallen overboard... I also got the Rain Room pass which had some nice amenities but seemed a bit expensive for what it was. Excursions: We didn't go through the cruise line for either of our excursions. In Cabo we took a snorkeling trip on the Buccaneer Queen, which was cool. It got a little racy at the end when they started pouring shots into people, but for the most part it was a fun trip and the emcee/snorkeling leader was cool. The port at Cabo was fun to walk around once you got past the 5 million people offering you a tour or water taxi. In Ensenada we took a taxi out to Las Canadas Campamento for ziplining and ATV riding, which was my son's favorite part of the whole trip. We practically had the place to ourselves. The zipline/rope bridge course was a blast, and the guides (who were fully bilingual) were nice, very focused on safety and took tons of great pictures with my phone while my son and I did the course. I highly recommend it. Cabin: See review below. All things considered we had a good time, but we came to the conclusion that for our particular family we probably won't sail with Disney in the future. If the cruises were similarly priced then sure, we would do Disney again. But for our family it doesn't make sense to pay a premium for the Disney aspect of the cruise. We don't take pictures with the princesses (which seemed to be happening all hours of the day). If my son was younger then we'd probably consider it, because the atmosphere on the ship is a bit more family-friendly and there are a lot of kid activities. (The flip side of that is that there are a LOT more kids- they are EVERYWHERE on that ship.) But now that my son is more interested in trivia games then taking his picture with Mickey I'd rather save some money and sail with a less expensive line (hopefully with better food) going forward. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose a Disney cruise because we thought it would be an ideal vacation for a couple with toddler. It’s a tough age to keep actively engaged. While the character greetings and related events were spectacular, experiences for toddlers ... Read More
We chose a Disney cruise because we thought it would be an ideal vacation for a couple with toddler. It’s a tough age to keep actively engaged. While the character greetings and related events were spectacular, experiences for toddlers overall were really quite limited. That being said, this alone was not why the magic was missing for us. The stateroom was not in the best shape when we arrived. The safe lock had not been reset (we had to wait for maintenance to reset, which was fine if that was the only issue), the clock alarm had not been reset (getting us up much too early the next day), there was hair on the shower curtain, and a pair of eyeglasses were lost in the cabin (?). The cabin and ship was especially creaky the whole trip. This was not our first cruise...so found it annoying. It negatively impacted our sleep. The restaurant food was good but too hot for our toddler, every time. One would assume that this would be tested before plating. While the service itself was especially friendly, off-putting was the constant requests night after night for an “excellent” rating. It left us feeling soured. We didn’t need to be pushed so much. Maybe just say it once and leave it. As for the food quality outside of the restaurants and buffet, it was really bland. We needed cash for one of the excursions and guest services would only take personal checks (in 2019!). My son and I caught a bad cold by the last day! On balance, this was not the vacation that I hoped for and expected from the magical Disney. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have been on several holland America cruises. Like it because they actually have some computer and photo classes. This 7 day trip out of San Diego is probably my last. We about fell over when we saw the price of wine. It has ... Read More
We have been on several holland America cruises. Like it because they actually have some computer and photo classes. This 7 day trip out of San Diego is probably my last. We about fell over when we saw the price of wine. It has doubled. I ordered an after dinner drink of cream de mint, kahlua and white cream de cocoa. I got a shot glass of nothing but cream de mint. I said this is wrong. They refused to fix it. Kids took over the adult aft pool. We loved the violin and cello guys. The blues group was good. That’s about it. I was more than ready to leave before the end of the cruise. We gave our room steward a tip at the end. Aidet. - he was the best. I doubt our $29 per day for tips goes to those who work so hard. I had a $20 massage in each port. - way better than the ones the ship charges 7 times more for. We are next headed to an adult only ai in mexico. Much better value. We tried to play pickle ball on the ship but it was over-run with basketball players. Ai places have tennis courts. I don’t have to wait for a ticket to be herded off the ship like cattle. I can tip who I want and the drinks are included. Thoroughly disgusted after this last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and ... Read More
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and Canadians. Incidentally, we met up with the Cruise Critic roll call members the first morning of the cruise and enjoyed their company throughout the week. Here are a notable features from our cruise: * Great: Crew, passengers, the ship itself, the food * Good: the weather, the happy hours (2nd drink $2 and passed appetizers) * Missing: HAL cats, the onboard ship's band we enjoyed on previous HAL cruises * Also missing: hand-wash stations and sufficient Purell hand sanitizing stations * Fabulous: the Lincoln Center chamber orchestra and the BB King's Blues Club band * Fantastic: the new Humanity dance show with Step One dancers and light show * Always present but not welcome: sales, sales, sales. Spa treatments, cabanas, on-board jewelry shopping, liquor, future cruises, on-shore jewelry shopping, fee restaurants * Excellent: folklorico dancers, guitarist, comedian Tim Kaminski * Fleeting: one show each by truly excellent guitarist and good Elton John/Billy Joel vocalist-pianist * More detail on food: the Lido had tasty food, well prepared, and served by cooks so that there was very little passenger tong handling. The dining room food was creative, inspired and varied. * Off-putting: the drink prices, especially the wines. Just no. Cheapest white $9 per glass for a bottle that retails for $7 and wholesales for $3 * Inconsistency: Smart casual in the dining room: Night 1, a passenger at a nearby table wearing a ballcap in the dining room. Night 3, a warm day and evening, my spouse appears in a collared button down shirt and long shorts, gets sent back to the room for long pants, oops, our bad. But what's this? Seated next to us: a teenaged boy in basketball shorts and shirt. * More inconsistency: 2nd Gala Night: female wearing capris and a t-shirt with words on it, plus a visor; her dining partner (likely husband) wearing shorts, a baggy t-shirt and a cap. * Final inconsistency in the DR: final night, smart casual again, man wearing shorts and t shirt. Not sent back to change. Also: not a warm day, so no excuse for the attire. * Final missing: an atrium that's a gathering place. The Ocean Bar wraps around the small atrium, but the ship simply isn't large enough for a central space with a music and dance floor. However, with that comes fewer passengers and a more pleasant ambiance. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a ... Read More
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a different boat. The Nieuw Amsterdam is not quite as nice as the Eurodam. Of course, it hasn't been updated as recently, so that stands to reason. For the most part, they are almost the same-- same restaurants, same staterooms, same places to spend money. But there are subtle differences. The Nieuw Amsterdam has an identity problem in its decor. Here a little Art Deco, there a little quirky, and over there-- well, the main dining room, it looks like the twin of a fancy Chinese restaurant, all in red and mirrors. It is just missing lazy susans on the tables and a gigantic fish tank. No shark tale soup on any menu, though. So, let's talk entertainment. The blues club-- can't beat it. Fun, great music, great entertainers. The classical musicians-- same same. The pianists, well, I guess others liked them, but they didn't do it for me. Mainstage entertainment-- well, were it not for the parents who decided to allow their children to climb over me (literally) and then sit, screaming, it was pretty good. The first show, all dancing, was creative-- the lights became both a character and a prop, with them dancing with the dancers. It was something I haven't seen before. The second dancing show was okay-- one dancer was significantly better than the others. She was good, she wasn't great. But entertaining enough. The magician played to a packed house. I coudn't see it because there was no where to sit. The few minutes I did, it looked like fun. Dining was hit and miss, but mostly hit. Whoever was in charge of cooking the meat hit a home run each time. Whoever was making the sandwiches needs to learn how to spread butter. Other than that, it was the usual high-quality food we have come to expect from HAL. The main issue we had with the cruise was the behavior of the children. I like kids. In fact, I have spent a lifetime teaching other people's kids. When they are well-behaved, they add a great deal to a social occasion. When they are badly behave, they ruin it. Besides the children climbing on me, then screaming, there were packs of young and pre-teens running around (yes, running,) leaving pool towels in the elevators, using the adult pool, several times, complete with floatees to jump onto, splashing the guests, shouting and jumping into the whirlpools. Our complaints seem to fall on deaf ears. And then there is the cell phone issue. Ours were on airplane mode the whole time. And yet we were charged for their service. So, we enjoyed ourselves. But we do feel like HAL has a few wrinkles to iron out. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I recommend this cruise. We've been to these ports many times and this was by far the smoothest sailing we've been on. The weather in our Mexican ports was really good, too. Although there were over 400 children on this ... Read More
I recommend this cruise. We've been to these ports many times and this was by far the smoothest sailing we've been on. The weather in our Mexican ports was really good, too. Although there were over 400 children on this cruise it wasn't a problem, at least to us. Except for the swimming pools, which they seemed to take over, the children were a pleasure to have around. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. Everyone! I thought the food was very good. We opted to eat in the dining room every night because we found the food very good there. Even the buffet was, in my opinion, a little better than most other lines we've been on. The entertainment was okay. On the main stage the special effects were good, but they only had six dancers. Excellent dancers , but not exciting. However, the comedian and the magician they had on other nights were very good. We would have enjoyed a little more of a live band around the ship -- maybe by the pool. They had the BB King band, and we enjoyed them.. LOVED the two piano players, and didn't miss many of their performances. Overall, we were satisfied with the entertainment. I thought the ship was beautiful. The balcony cabin was well appointed and, of course, our cabin stewards were the best. The only complaint I have isn't with Holland America, but with Cruise Critic. This is the first time we've signed up for a roll call and not had a meet and greet on the ship. I have no idea why not. We're looking forward to another Holland America cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We sailed the Disney Fantasy this past December. There was Disney magic at every turn, we loved it. We are seasoned cruisers, with 75+ cruises. The Disney Wonder, where do I begin? The excellent: The Golden Mickey, Frozen and Dream ... Read More
We sailed the Disney Fantasy this past December. There was Disney magic at every turn, we loved it. We are seasoned cruisers, with 75+ cruises. The Disney Wonder, where do I begin? The excellent: The Golden Mickey, Frozen and Dream shows. The character experiences and the Kids Club. The Bad: Very poor service in dining room, luke warm food to cold food. The taste was terrible. We never had our drinks refilled, pepper offered, minimal interaction with our table. On the Disney Fantasy, the staff are calling your by name, doing magic tricks with the kids etc. The food was very good on the Fantasy and it was served hot. The Cabana's food was just okay, like at a Denny's. Our stateroom host was friendly and kind. Our stateroom 7067 had mold around the tub. Screws falling out from door stops. The walls were beat up. He could never remember what time we had dinner however. Our stateroom would get cleaned about 2:00 pm or after. We would come back after eating at 5:30 and the 8:30 dinner shows and our stateroom would not have been turned down or cleaned from showers taken before dinner. Our ports were Cabo and Ensenada. Our granddaughter did the kids dolphin encounter ($100.00) at Cabo Adventures. She loved it and we loved watching her. The photos's were $300.00 Embarkation and disembarkation were seamless. We have done the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the parks, about six times. On the Disney Fantasy once, and on the Wonder this pass cruise. Oh my, not the experience you pay for on the Wonder. On The Fantasy we bought the three trips into BBB, the pirate day was so fun on the Fantasy. Speaking of Pirate show. The Wonder's pirate night is NOT what you get on the Fantasy. It is one short show and no pirate buffet afterwards. Yes, no turkey legs. On the Fantasy you have a Character pirate show, then a big production of Jack Sparrow and friends show. All pirate buffet. The fireworks were the same. They are now giving you large containers of soap, shampoo and conditioner. No cute pillows on the bed of When you wish upon a star. DCL commands at least a 50% premium. I would NOT sail on the Wonder. I would sail on the Fantasy. No comparison. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
An exceptional (whole family) vacation experience - we highly recommend! The brand name might scare all us 6 star luxury cruises away, (I certainly was for years!), but I will admit Disney delivered a fantastic product for everyone of ... Read More
An exceptional (whole family) vacation experience - we highly recommend! The brand name might scare all us 6 star luxury cruises away, (I certainly was for years!), but I will admit Disney delivered a fantastic product for everyone of us 'kids' (from 3 to 73). The 4 Cabins and Suites we booked were all well appointed, dining was a lot of fun and always delicious, and the entertainment was Disney quality. Surprises for the kids were everywhere on the ship. The product is also VERY expensive when you consider it is not all inclusive - full stop... And you will leave the ship with another 3K in shipboard expenses … But there are enough (adult) spaces to keep the ship classy, and more than enough (child friendly) spaces to keep them all busy and happy - and this is why we were onboard. We all had a wonderful time, a perfect family week escape. Disney delivers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were two adults traveling without children that stayed in an inside stateroom on deck 7 midship of the Disney Wonder. We had an amazing experience with superior service and I cannot wait for my next Disney cruise! -The main dining ... Read More
We were two adults traveling without children that stayed in an inside stateroom on deck 7 midship of the Disney Wonder. We had an amazing experience with superior service and I cannot wait for my next Disney cruise! -The main dining food was superb- many options on the menu! -Our servers in main dining were wonderful- best I’ve ever had on a cruise. They were personable, and very efficient. -Our inside cabin was very comfortable and clean. -Entertainment is high quality. The main stage shows are of a high caliber with Frozen the musical stage show being a highlight. - We enjoyed all the adult entertainment options on the ship! We liked trivia, bingo, crafts, adult only game shows, adult only pool area and the adult only restaurant, Palo. Cruise entertainment staff were very upbeat and personable! - Ports of call were Cabo and Ensenada. -In Cabo we took an excursion to the Breathless all inclusive resort! It was gorgeous and staff were wonderful. -Port of Ensenada we took a wine tasting tour that was fabulous! We LOVED our guide and the countryside was beautiful. This was an amazing cruise and you cannot beat the Disney experience. I have previously sailed on Holland America and Disney beats out Holland in the service and entertainment categories! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We sailed on the Wonder 10 years ago with our then 1 year old and had the most glorious time. We had since cruised on both the Fantasy and Allure of the Seas, so it’s interesting to compare experiences. The Wonder feels very small ... Read More
We sailed on the Wonder 10 years ago with our then 1 year old and had the most glorious time. We had since cruised on both the Fantasy and Allure of the Seas, so it’s interesting to compare experiences. The Wonder feels very small compared with those larger ships. I love that it’s quick to get anywhere on board. We never felt particularly crowded except around the pool. We all felt the ships movement much more than the larger ships but overall I quite liked the size. Just wish there was more space around the pool!! I LOVE the magical Disney touches. Disney music piped in the halls, the horn’s tune, entertainment, themed restaurants. It seemed like most people on the cruise were there primarily for the Disney-ness of it all. Service was good. Not as over the top as it was 10 years ago but still good. We had two major disappointments. Our kids hated the kids club! I couldn’t believe it. Especially my daughter who loves participation in kids activities. She said she couldn’t understand the staff because of their accents. Second was the wifi. My hubby needs to stay connected for work so he bought the highest package of 1000 MB that claimed “will suit all needs including streaming shows”. What a joke! He burned through that in just a couple days of periodic email checking and one hour’s worth of work. And yes, he logged out of the wifi each time. It was also insanely slow. We had perfect wifi when we cruised on the Allure so assumed it would be similar. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
They sent as a coupon. 1) My husband booked me a 2 hours spa treatment. I was taken in late for my treatment, while i did the seaweed wrap the therapist left the room , and never bothered to come check on me, and ask how i was doing. ... Read More
They sent as a coupon. 1) My husband booked me a 2 hours spa treatment. I was taken in late for my treatment, while i did the seaweed wrap the therapist left the room , and never bothered to come check on me, and ask how i was doing. The massage was probably the worst massage i have ever had. Once the treatment was done, she was trying to sell me $ 350+ worth of products, and trying to talk me into purchasing additional treatments, by pointing out my skin is sagging, my eyes are puffy etc.....very intelligent:) They put a bottle of water in your room, but there was no label or warning that they were going to charge you $ 5.75 for it! When we got the final bill they raised the daily mandatory tips at $ 14.50/person. The food in the buffet was same every single day, without a fail. As far as entertainment, not much , there was only one show worth the time in the whole week. In the day time , the ship was like a dormant boring place, unless you had plenty of cash to spare you would keep yourself entertained because all they did , tried to sell you anything. The library had no books, other than speciality travel books and such. To conclude, I think I am pretty much done cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After having only previously sailed with Celebrity up to this point, my wife and I went on this cruise based on reading favorable comparisons between the quality of HAL and X. While the Eurodam is a nice ship and we definitely had a fun ... Read More
After having only previously sailed with Celebrity up to this point, my wife and I went on this cruise based on reading favorable comparisons between the quality of HAL and X. While the Eurodam is a nice ship and we definitely had a fun and enjoyable time on-board, there were definitely some differences with our past cruises. Here is a list of some of the things we saw as Pros and Cons: Pros - Comfortable, well maintained ship with a number of nice common areas to spend time at during the cruise. - Crew was very helpful and nice. - Cabin (Veranda) had a bath tub/shower combo, which we hadn't experienced before outside of suites. - Well stocked board/card game room (they even had Settlers of Catan). Cons - Average age was probably over 70. While my wife and I don't want a party barge experience, the number of people in wheel chairs outnumbered the 20-30s crowd. - On ship entertainment was likewise geared towards the older crowd. - We had open seating which with X gives us an individual table. While you might be in relatively close proximity to another table, it is your own table. We assumed HAL would have a similar experience, but every night at the MDC we were asked if we wanted to sit with others and one time we ended up having to sit with another couple. - I think we prefer the Caribbean from a cruise port perspective. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first cruise with HAL and we thought it was quite nice, the food was very good (average desserts notwithstanding) and the staff was friendly. We did not find too many of the activities that were offered piqued our interest ... Read More
This was our first cruise with HAL and we thought it was quite nice, the food was very good (average desserts notwithstanding) and the staff was friendly. We did not find too many of the activities that were offered piqued our interest enough to make the effort to go. The Mainstage shows were mostly good (loved Latin Dancing and BBC Earth w/ live music, but the magician, the comedian and the other dancing/singing show was just okay). I walked into B.B.King's but the singer's volume about broke my eardrums so I walked right back out. (On that line, take earplugs to the Mainstage shows when there is singing because it is ridiculously loud.) If you're a cold person, always keep a sweater or light jacket with you because many passageways throughout the ship have the A/C too cold. I couldn't find a good indoor spot to sit and read my book because it was so cold everywhere. But on the last day we discovered the library/reading room on the observation deck (10th or 11th floor), which was fantastic as there are floor to ceiling windows all the way around and lounge chairs on which to read. If they ask you to sit for a B&W photo shoot, don't do it unless you're willing to spend a shocking amount of $. The pictures are super good, but it costs $150 for an 8x10 print or $300 for a digital copy (per picture) (I'm not kidding). I ended up injuring my foot on the 2nd day (while rushing down the steps to try to get to the dining room before breakfast closed, I misjudged the final step - dang!) so I spent the rest of the cruise on crutches or with a cane, so I don't think I can be objective about judging everything on the ship since I was so limited. Couldn't even get off the ship in the first 2 ports. My husband really enjoyed walking the perimeter of the 3rd deck to get exercise. When we went outside on the upper decks, there was usually such a cold, stiff breeze that we didn't want to linger. Unless we were docked in port, then it's not breezy and cold like when the ship is sailing. Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Of course, San Diego is a beautiful city. Leaving from San Diego meant, for us, that we were relaxed, happy, and ready for an adventure. However, from the moment we drove into the cruise parking entry, we were impressed. First, the ... Read More
Of course, San Diego is a beautiful city. Leaving from San Diego meant, for us, that we were relaxed, happy, and ready for an adventure. However, from the moment we drove into the cruise parking entry, we were impressed. First, the porter taking our luggage as we stepped out of the taxi was friendly and efficient. We didn't have to do a thing as he quickly tagged our luggage and sent us into the terminal. The army of brightly scarfed greeters welcomed us and showed us to the reception desk. Quick, pleasant, and efficient. Once on the boat, we were awed with the decorative touches. Picture-worthy decor everywhere we looked. Our cabin was clean, pretty, quiet, and roomy enough for us. (Veranda) The team that took care of us were delightful, thoughtful and we were sad when we had to say goodbye to them. The food on the Eurodam was excellent. Hubby and I love to eat out, and have done so at dives as well as five star restaurants. The presentation on the Eurodam is amazing, considering the sheer number of people they serve. The depth of variety should be enough for anyone, and the food quality is consistently high. The service is quite good, as well. For the price point, the number of people served, and the complications of cooking on a ship, I was very, very impressed with our food. The blues club band-- loved it. The Main Stage... eh, not so much. It was okay, but I left early. Same for the dueling pianos. The classical musicians were excellent. Did one shore excursion. Never again. The hop on bus in Mazatlan was scary. First, the cliff divers, though amazing, came with guys on the shore hustling us for tips. Something told me that much of that money would be skimmed off by the local cartel, and that the divers would see little of it. Ick. And the drive through town was crazy. Large bus. Tiny streets. Too much traffic. You get the idea. We would love to hop back on the Eurodam any time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first and most likely only HA cruise, only choosing this line as we wanted to sail out of San Diego. While we tend to sail Celebrity, we are open to trying new lines. What we found on HA was very friendly staff, a Lido ... Read More
This was our first and most likely only HA cruise, only choosing this line as we wanted to sail out of San Diego. While we tend to sail Celebrity, we are open to trying new lines. What we found on HA was very friendly staff, a Lido buffet which is mindful of public health having servers give food to protect all our germs (yay) and no pushing of restaurants, beverage packages and photos which was a real treat and some great entertainment. However, we found the friendly staff didn't seem to go that extra mile, a dining room that had very boring meal options so we ended up eating in Tamarind once and Canaletto twice (both delish!, and activities, which to us focused way too much on learning computer skills and the Mexican culture and little of anything else. Speaking of food, all the breads were delicious but the desserts (other than gala night lemon meringue cheesecake) were not and would have been nice to have a build your own sandwich bar rather than taking pre packaged, overly buttered or too much mayo sandwiches. Not a big thing but struck us as a bit odd. They did go out of their way to assist my husband with GF options for each dinner and at lunch and breakfast. But all the ships are doing that now. Regarding the Eurodam itself. We found it a bit dated and dark and we missed having a grand centre area where people can hang out as in other ships we have been on. Seemed like very choppy hallways including a strange venue for a most entertaining Lincoln Centre classical group which were a treat. We did book a Retreat Cabana for the week which great except as mentioned earlier, the staff were nice but did not go that extra mile. You would think after 3 days of asking for ice, the cabana person would have figured out we like ICE!! Seems like two nice staff with little initiative and sometimes impossible to even find considering many of the cabanas had not been rented. A decent overall ship but not for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Really enjoyed this cruise - have travelled with HAL several times and am never disappointed. Inside cabin was small but adequate - Cabin 4165 Cabin steward kept the cabin clean and was very helpful if we needed anything. Ship is ... Read More
Really enjoyed this cruise - have travelled with HAL several times and am never disappointed. Inside cabin was small but adequate - Cabin 4165 Cabin steward kept the cabin clean and was very helpful if we needed anything. Ship is kept super clean - staff is very friendly and helpful. Activities vary and everyone can find something to do. Digital classes are good to either learn or learn something new on your computer. Test kitchen is fun and the receipes are some you can use at home. Lido Buffett is very good -I always enjoy that the food is hot and there is a great variety of food. I always enjoy the hard icecream for desert! Show are good - I'm not a big show person but did attend a couple. Casino - variety of games - some people win and some don't (I'm on of those that don't) but I enjoy playing. Great ship! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019

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