Sail Date: February 21, 2009
Reviewed: 6 years ago
Traveled As: Couple
Room Type: Balcony
We left from St. Louis on Saturday, February 21, and flew to LA. We had planned to take a taxi to the cruise pier, but we saw the Princess Cruise representative in with a sign-up sheet far the bus transfer. The taxi would have cost about $75, and the transfer for my wife and I was $40 total, which was added to our ship's charge once we showed our boarding pass.
Embarkation went smoothly, with about a 30 minute wait once we do the paperwork. We immediately went to our cabin, C753, which is a now can he stateroom on the back of the ship. We sailed before and had rear-facing cabins, and I especially enjoy being able to sit on the balcony and watch where we've been. This cabin, since it is on the right side of the back of the ship, has an over-sized balcony.
By this time it was about 1:30, and we went to the Horizon Court for lunch. The food was well-prepared and there were a lot of choices. There was enough seating to always find a private table.
The ship them left the Los Angeles Port, and began the two days of sailing to Puerto Vallarta. During the day, my wife and I relaxed on deck. Always plenty of lounge chairs, and there are four swimming pools to choose from.
We prefer to have the traditional seating for dinner. We had the early seating and had every dinner in the Valdaldi dining room. The staff was very efficient and friendly, and the food was excellent. One thing we enjoy about Princess cruises is the great pizza kitchen they have, where you can get a slice of freshly-prepared hot pizza. Next to that is the grill for hamburgers and hot dogs, with always-hot and tasty fries and onion rings.
I can't say much about shore excursions, as we didn't do any. In fact, we only got off the ship in Puerto Vallarta, and only for about 45 minutes. There was a gift shop just steps away from the dock, and we bought a few souvenirs there (while I had a Corona).
At Mazaltlan and Cabo, we stayed on the ship. The dock at Mazaltlan is a working/industrial dock, and they have open-air trams that take you from the cruise ship to the Visitors Center. At Cabo, the ship anchors and uses tenders to get to shore. My wife and I enjoy staying on the ship while at these two ports. While in port, two thirds of the passengers are off of the ship, so the crowd goes away. We are really wild and crazy!
The entertainment was pretty good, and we enjoyed both comedy shows. We only stepped into one of the music shows for a few minutes, as this is not our thing. I enjoyed playing ping-pong, and we went to a few of the trivia matches.
All in all, the cruise was just what we needed. The weather was perfect for the entire week, and there is nothing like leaving while it's snowing and jumping on a cruise ship to enjoy some February summer warmth.
Pros: Great and friendly crew and service, not too crowded, loved or rear-facing cabin!