October 2016 - Westerdam to South Pacific - Australia
The Holland American cruise to the Mexican Riviera was wonderful, from the genuinely helpful crew to the delicious food and wonderful ambiance. The addition of the B.B.King Jazz group always gave us great entertainment in the evenings. The other entertainment was spotty. Took 4 excursions. The two from the cruise line were excellent. The two from Jet Blue Cruises were bad, one being extremely stressful. The Exclusive Puerto Vallarta City Tour, in itself was good. However the tour director got us back to the ship 15 minutes before it set sail. This was after numerous requests by the passengers to get us back sooner. From the beginning, I asked him if we could cover all the events and get back to the ship by 4:30. He said no problem, it was only a 4 hour trip. Two other times during the excursion, I asked him about timing and he said we could make it. I was extremely stressed by the time we reached port. I know these tours are guaranteed, but the next port was 3 days away and it was the port where we disembarked. All of our clothes, credit cards, passports were all in our cabins. In addition, I was having trouble using my i-phone in Mexico, a problem I have never encountered in any other country. By the time we reached the ship, one of the boarding ramps had already been removed and by 4:45, the ship was already untied from the dock. There were plenty of ways, the tour could have been shortened by 30 minutes, but the tour director refused to do them, stressing out the Holland America passengers. The Mazatian City Tour introduced me some of the most aggressive vendors, I have ever met in my travels. In one of the markets the guide took us (6 long lanes of merchandise and food), 4 to 5 women, walked down the aisle and confronted me. After I said "no thanks", 2 continued to follow me for at least 6-8 feet as I walked down the aisle. At the site of the cliff divers, we were bombarded with vendors wanting to sell various goods. It was frustrating and tiring saying "no thanks" and then having to do it all over again with the next vendor. I would book a cruise again through Jet Blue Cruises, but never an excursion.