7 Night Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles Roundtrip) Sail Date: November 29, 2008 Ship: Sapphire Princess Cabin Type: Suite Traveled As: Family (older children) Reviewed: 9 years ago
This is the second cruise our family has taken on the Sapphire Princess to the Mexican Riviera and we were a bit disappointed this time in the large crowds that seemed to always be in the Horizon Court, no matter what time of day it was. Overall, we had a great vacation, the weather cooperated, except for the final day sailing back to Los Angeles which was cloudy, but that allowed us to get ready for our return home. We sailed on the Diamond Princess in 2007 and found their staff to be much more attentive and personable.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
One evening we ate in the Sterling Steak House, which is an alternative restaurant. The food and service were absolutely fabulous. It really stood out as one of the best meals we had this trip and we recommend trying it at least once. Make your reservation as soon as you board the ship so as not to be disappointed. We elected not to attend any of the formal evenings and were amazed at how many other passengers did the same. That made for very long lines in the Horizon Court those two nights, starting at about 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The food in the Horizon Court was so-so, nothing that we could write home about, but a nice variety from day-to-day.
3 out of 5
The big entertainment shows that were presented on the Formal Nights were the same shows we had seen on the Diamond Princess in 2007, which was a disappointment. Unlike the other times we have sailed, they did not do an afternoon presentation of either of the evening shows, but instead showed a movie in the Princess Theatre, which was okay. The number and choices of Shore Excursions was awesome--it was hard to choose just one. The one thing I absolutely love about Princess is that you can pre-book your shore excursions via their website. If this is done early enough, you won't be disappointed. They also allow pre-booking of spa appointments, however, you don't know ahead of time what their specials are so you have to read about them in the Princess Patter and then book anything.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
The staff seemed to be "burned out" this trip--they weren't as quick to remove our dishes from the table as in the past. On the Diamond Princess, our cabin steward knew the minute we left our cabin and was right there to take our towels and make the bed. That was not evident on the Sapphire Princess as it often took over 3 hours from the time we left our cabin in the morning until the cabin steward had been there. The Horizon Court cook staff always spoke to us and were very friendly when we were going through the line.
3 out of 5
The ship is laid out very well. Getting to any of the meeting areas is easy, however, the elevators were always in use and no matter what time of day or night, we seemed to wait a long time for them to arrive on our floor.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We have only ever elected to book a mini-suite as we spend a great deal of time in our cabin, away from the crowds. The mini-suite is perfect for a couple needing a bit of space. Our daughter joined us on this cruise and slept on the pull-out couch, which blocked the sliding glass door. Usually when we got up in the morning, we shuffled her into the bed, and put the couch away and used the sitting area first thing in the morning. We wouldn't recommend this for 4 adults. The fan in our bathroom was quite noisy, and when we asked the cabin steward, he seemed to blow it off as normal.
We took the excursion to Las Caletas. The boat trip there took over an hour, which was somewhat long. It toured by Playa Mismaloya and Los Arcos, which were neat to see from the water, however, that left very little time to enjoy the beach at Las Caletas itself. The buffet served was adequate. My husband did not enjoy this tour at all, however my daughter and I thought it was okay as we got to walk the beach and play in the sand.
Cabo is always a great place to visit, but the time in port is so short that everything seems "rushed" and you don't feel like you get to enjoy that much. I'd much rather seem them cruise faster to Puerto Vallarta and spend more time in Cabo.
Although we elected to stay on the ship in Mazatlan and enjoy the pool, we did notice that the tour buses were parked right next to the ship rather than having to transport passengers on the tram to the entrance of the port. Nice change!
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