To avoid the big rush we arrived at the LA Pier in mid-afternoon. We parked near the pier (very convenient)and there was no waiting to check in. We carried our own luggage on board to avoid delays in delivery and the whole boarding and check-in process was a breeze. Most passengers arrive so early, they have to wait in line forever, this can clearly be avoided by arriving one hour before departure. The staff on board was very helpful and the cabin was very nice. The only bad mark was earned by the Maitre D' who made us wait a long time in order to get the table that should have been assigned in advance in the first place. The ship was new and very nice, perhaps not as plush as some on other cruise lines, but very nice. The food was very good, we had most of our meals at Portofino dining room though we also tried other venues including the Italian restaurant where the tasting menu was great and the wine list had some interesting selections such as Ornellaia or Opus One that went very well with the meal. The cruise was very relaxing, easy on-off at the various stopovers (because we never rushed to take a bus tour with the masses). The three stopovers in Mexico were all OK, plenty of time, good sunshine. The musical departure from Cabo San Lucas was spectacular. On board, service was very good in every department. I saw three shows and all three were excellent. Other entertainers on board were good; as usual, the person handling the art auction ("Stu") was telling tall tales (on pricing) but this was part of the entertainment and hopefully no one took these too seriously. The cabin balconies on the higher decks are very private and really quite nice, those on decks 10 and below were less private and could be seen from above.Upon return, disembarkation was smooth, especially if one does not try to rush with everyone else. Overall, a very relaxing experience. Highly recommended.MJ from San Francisco
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