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-   -   cruise to mexican riviera (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/norwegian-cruise-lines/342862-cruise-mexican-riviera.html)

hawley0403 November 26th, 2007 05:52 PM

cruise to mexican riviera
 
I am leaving for an 8 day trip this Sunday and have neither been to Mexico nor cruised on NCL. Any great tidbits of advice you can pass along? Thanks in advance!!

nmnita November 26th, 2007 10:50 PM

Re: cruise to mexican riviera
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hawley0403
I am leaving for an 8 day trip this Sunday and have neither been to Mexico nor cruised on NCL. Any great tidbits of advice you can pass along? Thanks in advance!!

I would suggest if nothing else you make sure to eat at Endless Summer and don't forget to grab buffalo wings from Blue Lagoon. Stay away from the casino unless you like to donate money to the cause (not your cause)> If you want to make reservations for the specialty dining rooms, do so mid morning the day before you want them, no crownds and usually no problems.

I wasn't impressed with Acapulco, if you haven't already set up a tour, you can hire a taxi for very little. It is the best way to see the sights.

Do the beach thing in Z/Ixtapa.

If you want anymore suggestions I will be glad to answer.

Nita :wink:

hawley0403 November 27th, 2007 10:24 AM

thanks!!
 
Oh good info - thanks so much! I have not set anything up for Acapulco and have heard the same - kind of a dirty town with lots of beggars, etc. I'm thinking some beach time would work out well there. I did set up the canopy tour for PV and am very excited about that.

I've been reading the posts like crazy about bringing wine onboard, etc. Sounds like I can bring it on and do not have to pay corkage unless I ask the restaurants to open it for me. I'm wondering - does the same fee apply no matter the size (i.e. big bottles, boxes, etc)? I'm also wondering about the weather and swimming. This time of year, do you know what to expect? I'm wondering if the water might be too cold for swimming in December.

Thanks again - great to have experienced travelers give me some tips!

cbashaw November 27th, 2007 06:59 PM

positive advice?
 
Yes, I am the guy who ripped NCL because we had a terrible time on board(or bored) the Star. Some constructive things I can recommend because it is too late for a refund...

Acapulco - Dont book any shore excursions. Instead, hire a local taxi to take you to the cliff divers. $4 each way. Admission is $3.50 per person. The ship charges $70 for this trip. Acapulco is old and dirty, unlike the other stops.

Puerto Vallarta - This is where you should book shore excursions, although you could likely get cheaper prices onshore.

Cabo - If you like to snorkel, Cabo is the best place on the Pacific/Baja side. Do not book shore excursions. Instead, hire a small boat to drop you off and pick you up at "Lovers Beach". The best snorkeling is just off the beach there. We paid some guy $130 to take 4 of us on a 5 minute boat ride. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

Good luck with the food!

nmnita November 28th, 2007 10:05 AM

Re: thanks!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hawley0403
Oh good info - thanks so much! I have not set anything up for Acapulco and have heard the same - kind of a dirty town with lots of beggars, etc. I'm thinking some beach time would work out well there. I did set up the canopy tour for PV and am very excited about that.

I've been reading the posts like crazy about bringing wine onboard, etc. Sounds like I can bring it on and do not have to pay corkage unless I ask the restaurants to open it for me. I'm wondering - does the same fee apply no matter the size (i.e. big bottles, boxes, etc)? I'm also wondering about the weather and swimming. This time of year, do you know what to expect? I'm wondering if the water might be too cold for swimming in December.

Thanks again - great to have experienced travelers give me some tips!

As for wine, no you can not bring it on without paying the $15 fee per bottle. They will collect as soon as you go through the X ray area or if they spot it in your sent through luggage you will have to report to the naughty room. There you will have the option of paying or having them keep the wine until the night prior to the end of the cruise. As for size, it seems there is just the $15 charge for a .750 liter or a 1.5 liter bottle. The price for a box can range, depending on the crews mood I have heard. It seems if a 3 or 5 liter box is sent through with the luggage, packed very well they may not charge you anything, but don't count on this.

Nita

cbashaw November 28th, 2007 11:25 AM

wine, etc.
 
we had no problems bringing wine(and liquor) in our luggage and the restaurants opened them with no corkage charge. The wine room outside Le Bistro has a great selection of fine wines, but are pricey.

As for the free restaurants, we ate at Aqua, La Trattoria, Versaille, Blue Lagoon. La Trattoria was good, Aqua and Blue Lagoon were awful. We were a party of 4 so it is easy to rack up $100 just for admission. Then, if you want particular items on the menu, you have to pay additional money on top of the admission fee. I consider that to be a ripoff!

Yes, this was our first time(and last) cruising. The talent(?) was a joke. The lady playing guitar @ Gatsby sounded like elevator music, and the indonesian group in the main lobby was akin to William Hung on American Idol...laughable.

Enjoy.

hawley0403 November 28th, 2007 11:50 AM

Has anyone tried the Tepinyaki (sp?) room? I love Japanese food and am excited about it but am wondering if it is worth the cost to go

nmnita November 28th, 2007 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hawley0403
Has anyone tried the Tepinyaki (sp?) room? I love Japanese food and am excited about it but am wondering if it is worth the cost to go

we have eaten there both of our Sun cruises; getting reservations can be a trick as they only seat about 16 and only have 3 seatings. I would recommend you try for one of the first nights on board. Is it worth it? Most say yes, it's fun, the food is good (not great) and there certainly is a lot of it. I think the success depends partly on those eating with you.

Nita :-?

rinker250 November 28th, 2007 07:55 PM

Re: wine, etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cbashaw
As for the free restaurants, we ate at Aqua, La Trattoria, Versaille, Blue Lagoon. La Trattoria was good, Aqua and Blue Lagoon were awful. We were a party of 4 so it is easy to rack up $100 just for admission. Then, if you want particular items on the menu, you have to pay additional money on top of the admission fee. I consider that to be a ripoff!



Enjoy.



Which is it?
Free or a 100.00 rip off? :-?

nmnita November 28th, 2007 10:08 PM

Re: wine, etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cbashaw
we had no problems bringing wine(and liquor) in our luggage and the restaurants opened them with no corkage charge. The wine room outside Le Bistro has a great selection of fine wines, but are pricey.

As for the free restaurants, we ate at Aqua, La Trattoria, Versaille, Blue Lagoon. La Trattoria was good, Aqua and Blue Lagoon were awful. We were a party of 4 so it is easy to rack up $100 just for admission. Then, if you want particular items on the menu, you have to pay additional money on top of the admission fee. I consider that to be a ripoff!

Yes, this was our first time(and last) cruising. The talent(?) was a joke. The lady playing guitar @ Gatsby sounded like elevator music, and the indonesian group in the main lobby was akin to William Hung on American Idol...laughable.

Enjoy.

Ok, now you have explained yourselves, cruising isn't for everyone. About 70% who cruise can't wait to cruise again, 20% can take it or leave it and 10% just don't enjoy it. Your problem seems to be more with cruising than with NCL, you just happen to pick NCL to trying cruising. I wouldn't say the additional charge (which is only a few $$s) is a rip off, again this comes from your never cruising before. Can you think of any resatuarant where you can get a whole Lobster with appitizer, salad, soup and dessert for $30? There are only one or two items on the menus with this exptra charge, you still can have lamb chops, rib eye steak or several other things for between $15 and $20 depending on which restaurant you select. I think you may be the first person I ever heard that didn't like Blue Lagoon for a quick snack.

Obviously all inclusive resorts would be a better bet for you. I do hope your next vacation is more enjoyable.

Nita :wink:

hawley0403 November 29th, 2007 09:53 AM

I think you have to keep in mind that you're paying, in our case, less than $100/day for everything - room and board as well as travel. I have certainly had better food and service at other restaurants but have also paid over $150 for two people and that was just for food. It is certainly all relative and I believe most of it is what you choose to make of it. I've had horrible meals in restaurants but still had a fantastic time because of my frame of mind and the people I am with. I am not saying some do not have a bad experience with cruising but it all has to be kept in perspective and you have to keep in mind that you get what you pay for. I have never done it but have heard the mega-expensive cruise lines do give 5 star service but you pay out the nose for it. I'd prefer to pay less and have a good time than pay 3 months mortgage payments for a somewhat better time (re: food and service). I have not cruised NCL yet - this is my first time - but I am pretty certain I will have a great time even if one server or one meal is not perfect.

I plan to check out Blue Lagoon. I"ve heard wonderful things about it. Granted, its more of the bar food fare but that's right up my alley at times. Thanks for all the input!!!

nmnita November 29th, 2007 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hawley0403
I think you have to keep in mind that you're paying, in our case, less than $100/day for everything - room and board as well as travel. I have certainly had better food and service at other restaurants but have also paid over $150 for two people and that was just for food. It is certainly all relative and I believe most of it is what you choose to make of it. I've had horrible meals in restaurants but still had a fantastic time because of my frame of mind and the people I am with. I am not saying some do not have a bad experience with cruising but it all has to be kept in perspective and you have to keep in mind that you get what you pay for. I have never done it but have heard the mega-expensive cruise lines do give 5 star service but you pay out the nose for it. I'd prefer to pay less and have a good time than pay 3 months mortgage payments for a somewhat better time (re: food and service). I have not cruised NCL yet - this is my first time - but I am pretty certain I will have a great time even if one server or one meal is not perfect.

I plan to check out Blue Lagoon. I"ve heard wonderful things about it. Granted, its more of the bar food fare but that's right up my alley at times. Thanks for all the input!!!

My thoughts 100%. we are cruising Princess in January, like you, the price is less than $100 per day per person for an outside cabin. We will also get an OBC> Do we expect Ruth Chris food or broadway stars entertaining us? No, we expect decent meals, fun, clean cabins and a chance to spend 7 nights relaxing and not worrying about anything. any extra funds we have we can use for alternative dining if we choose, shore excursions, shopping or whatever is important to us.

Attitude and knowing what to expect is the secret to a good time, whether is cruising, a trip to Vegas, Europe or just out to eat some night.

Nita :-?

hawley0403 November 29th, 2007 10:19 AM

Yep - just like everything else in life, attitude is 99% of happiness. The rest is just gravy

rinker250 November 29th, 2007 11:24 AM

Plus...
EVERY buffet has SOMETHING good!

hnl90 December 4th, 2007 02:47 PM

:roll:

No, in this case, there was NOTHING, in the buffet, that was good.

I stayed away from that deck the entire cruise..............

nmnita December 4th, 2007 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hnl90
:roll:

No, in this case, there was NOTHING, in the buffet, that was good.

I stayed away from that deck the entire cruise..............

what do you mean, you stayed away from the deck the entire cruise? Are you talking about the deck where the buffet is, the deck around the pool, or what? food is subjective, but to say there was nothing on the buffet that was good is a pretty broad statement. Breakfast is the same on all ships (buffet) or pretty much the same. what can be served that isn't? The grill at lunch generally has great sandwhidches and the salad bar is fairly good. As for dinner, well, I can't imagine why anyone woudl choose a buffet anywher for dinner, but that is a personal thing.

Nita

hnl90 December 5th, 2007 09:13 PM

:!:

Nita

The main buffet on Norwegian Star (11/24/07 to 12/2/07) was like hospital food. The eggs were cold in the morning. The oatmeal was like soup, I kid you not, it was watery. The danish and rolls were like those found in gas stations, only these were not wrapped in cellophane. As for lunch, there were no sandwiches or salad bars. Just a pre made ice berg salad. And some sort of stew over rice or noodles. We went the first day, and thought it must be because we are still in port. We gave it a try the next day and found the exact same menu. I wasn't even tempted by the deserts on this buffet, is that a clue as to how bad it was?

As for the buffet around the pool, the french fries were cold but OK. The hamburger was so dry and hard I couldn't eat it.

I would walk as fast as I could through that deck when I was forced to. And each time, I could see that the menu never faltered.

As for dinner, we only tried the $15 surcharge restuarants. At those we were pleased with the food. The service varied.

I will say the coffee was always good in every restaurant. But I am still at bit miffed at paying $71 for unlimited diet cokes for the week. I understand that used to be as low as $15 on other cruises.

nmnita December 6th, 2007 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hnl90
:!:

Nita

The main buffet on Norwegian Star (11/24/07 to 12/2/07) was like hospital food. The eggs were cold in the morning. The oatmeal was like soup, I kid you not, it was watery. The danish and rolls were like those found in gas stations, only these were not wrapped in cellophane. As for lunch, there were no sandwiches or salad bars. Just a pre made ice berg salad. And some sort of stew over rice or noodles. We went the first day, and thought it must be because we are still in port. We gave it a try the next day and found the exact same menu. I wasn't even tempted by the deserts on this buffet, is that a clue as to how bad it was?

As for the buffet around the pool, the french fries were cold but OK. The hamburger was so dry and hard I couldn't eat it.

I would walk as fast as I could through that deck when I was forced to. And each time, I could see that the menu never faltered.

As for dinner, we only tried the $15 surcharge restuarants. At those we were pleased with the food. The service varied.

I will say the coffee was always good in every restaurant. But I am still at bit miffed at paying $71 for unlimited diet cokes for the week. I understand that used to be as low as $15 on other cruises.

you understand 100% wrong, there is no line that offer unlimited soda card for anywhere neer $15.00. they couldn't. Think about what you are saying, $15 for unlimited soda for one week? some lines offer a limited soda card, like 20 for a flat price, but it is more than $15.00. The infomation you are getting could be based on a 2 or 3 night cruise. I do agree $71 is a heck of a lot. As for the breakfast buffet, remember we were just on the same ship; they have a sandwhich bar daily, hamburgers and hot dogs freshly grilled while you wait and an omelete station where you get your omeletes, eggs cooked to order and hot waffles. Maybe you didn't see any of this. They were all located directly outside the buffet area, near the pool. I am not sure how you could have missed it, but maybe, if you took the inside elevator to the buffet and never ventured out at all you would not be aware of this. Of course the smell of fresh grilling would normally drive walk in that direction. I just think you didn't investigate enough thus some of your bad experiences were due to this. Again, I am sorry you had such a lousy time, what a waste of a week, but not all of your problems were caused by NCL.

Nita


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