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Old July 10th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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Default NCL Star VS. Dawn Princess

My husband and I are in our late 40's. We have done the Mexican Riveria (P.V., Cabos Mazaltan) on Carnival Pride. That was our 3rd cruise and we loved it the most (we did the West Caribbean on RCL-our second favorite and the S. Caribbean on Carnival Destiny-least favorite).
Our question:
We want to do the Mexican Riveria cruise again, but are debating about seeing more of the "Good Ole USA" or more of Mexico. Since we live in Pittsburgh, we have only been to the west coast once and stayed in LA 3 extra days to sightsee. It was so worth it!! So we are wonderiing if there are important comparisons to consider between the NCL Star (8 days) which sees two more Mexican cities or the Princess Dawn (10 days) which leaves from San Francisco then goes to Catalina Island and comes back to San Diego and then to San Francisco? Any advice or pros and cons would be greatly appreciated.
Abby
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Old July 11th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: NCL Star VS. Dawn Princess

Abby, if you don't mind me saying, I would consider taking Carnival Spirit out of San Diego, down to Acapulco, Ixtapa and Manzanillo. Great ports, great ship (sister to the Pride, and I like Spirit better) and the two days at sea down and two days at sea back make for a very relaxing cruise.

Other than that, in my opinion, I would do the Mexico ports -- most likely, at one time or another, you will be able to see San Fran another time, etc. You're more likely to do that, than fly into Zijuatenejo/Ixtapa

Harry

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Old July 11th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: NCL Star VS. Dawn Princess

Oh, and San Diego is a wonderful town (my hometown) to visit -- lots to see, and easy to get around.

Harry

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Old July 15th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Re: NCL Star VS. Dawn Princess

Harry,
I have taken the Pride to the Mexican Riveria and loved the trip so much, that we want to go back to Mexico ( I also enjoyed the Pride). The Spirit itinerary sounds just like what we want (more of Mexico), but I don't think it sails during the Easter break (Between 4/8 and 4/23) when we have to go. The Star sails to the same ports as you mentioned but I know nothing about the NCL line or this ship. Our other option is to take the Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess which sails during the Easter break.
Abby
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Old July 15th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: NCL Star VS. Dawn Princess

Abby, my niece took the NCL Star cruise for her honeymoon last year. She loved the ports, especially Zijuatenejo.

To me, it sounds as if you really want to do Mexico again. Maybe give NCL a shot for the itinerary. They also have the personal choice dining, which would be a new experience for you.

Negative on NCL is the cabins are smaller. Try reading some of the member reviews here, as well as Anne Campbell's take on the ship to get a feel.

You're right about the Spirit -- I think it's in Alaska then.

I'm thinking, too, that you find a crowd more your age on NCL than the Panama Canal. I also like that the NCL cruise also takes you back to Puerto Vallarta, which is our favorite port on teh standard Mexican Riviera cruise.

Let me know what you think.

Harry

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Old July 15th, 2005, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Re: NCL Star VS. Dawn Princess

Harry
Puerto Vallarta was my favorite port too! Someday I want to go back and just stay there for 7-9 days. But first I want to see more of Mexico. I loved those ports. We have also done the w. caribbean and the s. caribbean itineraries, but oh those Mexican ports!
Thanks for your advice. My husband is already sold on the Star. I had read that the Norwegian line was a smidge above Carnival, and not as nice as Princess. But, I felt the Pride was a classier ship than other carnival ships, and the Star is pretty new, so it might be better than the older NCL ships too. I always wanted to try Princess, but what the heck maybe we will give NCL a try.
Thanks for your feedback. It is most appreciated.
Abby
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Old July 16th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: NCL Star VS. Dawn Princess

I would fly into san Francisco and spend a couple of nights and then drive down the coast and enjoy some of the great little towns on the way down to Long Beach. If you have the time, San Diego is just a couple of hours away and Harry is right, so beautiful. there is so much to do that maybe cruising down won't give you the time or freedom to really check out some out of the way places and some great B&B's.
We love the Mex. Riviera but haven't had the chance to do Zihateneo [ sp.] or Ixtapa, both places we would love to see. We went about 4 days before our cruise and spent some really good times seeing the sights in LOng Beach., so much to see.
Have fun on your cruise, Kristine
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Old July 17th, 2005, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: NCL Star VS. Dawn Princess

I have been on the 8 night Mexico trip on the NCL Star from LA. It was a very nice trip.. But all cruises are very nice trips.. OM
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