Hello travelers, just completed our 2nd Diamond cruise. Frist time was Alaska, this time did the Mexican Riviera and had a wonderful time.
Ship: Excellent. Had a minisuite, deck 9, Dolphin. Our cabin steward Manuel was wonderful. All common areas were very clean and the ship is very well laid out. My favorite single spot on the ship is the Wheelhouse lounge, with the dark wood and fine leather sofas. Very cozy and relaxing.
Entertainment: We enjoyed all the comedians and attended a "meet the captain" talk. Hearing the captain's experiences were great. He told us a lot about the ship, his work schedule, and answered questions from the audience. Very personable chap from England. Didn't attend any production shows, though I heard they were enjoyable, especially "Piano Man".
Dining: Did personal choice. The reservarion schedule seems to keep changing, but here is the status as of last week. Upon embarkation you are allowed to make reservations for the first two nights only. After the 2nd day you are allowed to make reservations for the rest of the week. We enjoyed the Santa Fe (mexican flare) and Vivaldi (Italian) the most. We did make a ressie for Sterling but later changed out mind because hubby loved the menu at Vivaldi and decided to go back. If you do want to dine at Sterling, do reserve asap, when we tried to rebook for later in the week no spots were availible. You are still allowed to walk in, however.
Cruisin' crowd: There had been a small amount of children, and were very well behaved. Average cruiser seemed to be in their 50's-60's with some in their 30's and 40's (me & hubby).
Ports and Excursions:
Puerto Vallarta: Did the "Puerto Vallarta off the beaten track" tour. We drove along the coast and visited Elizabeth Taylor's and Richard Burton's former home. Very nice, kept the same way with all the original furnishings of the former owners. Our tour guide cracked me up - he laughed like Speedy Gonzalez
It was so cute, we laughed the whole time.
Mazatlan: Wow! What a lovely city! I had no idea how nice it would be. We enyoyed the "Walking tour of Mazatlan". The streets are impeccably clean, with all the beautiful vibrant colors of pink, orange, red, and purple. We visited a few historic homes, as well as stopped for a drink or two along the way. Then it was off to see the opulent Opera house. Highly recommended. The tour lasted about 3 1/2 hours and well worth the experience.
Cabo San Lucas: Did the deluxe coasta cruise. Again, we were wowwed. We drove along the coast and saw the beautiful scenery of beachside resorts and the millionaire homes. We went to the beautiful Hideaway Cove? (can't rem name) and lover's beach where we saw harbor seals basking in the sun. But by far the greatest part of the excursion was the whale watching. We saw a humpback male with it's pup playing in the water for a good 45 minutes. This is the best whalewatching I had ever seen, including Hawaii, Provincetown, and Alaska. The mother did full jumps out of the water the whole time, even the boat's captain said this was some of the best activity he'd ever seen. Words can't express the beauty of what we experienced. That day alone made the trip worthwhile.
In all, each port was awesome, the people were friendly, and there are ample touristy stores to purchase gifts.
Weather: It was a little cool the first sea day as well as the last. The route was a little bumpy returning home due to high winds and 4-7.5 foot swells. Do bring a jacket or sweater for those days. Otherwise, the weather was perfect at about 80-85 degrees each day.
This was definitely one of our favorite cruises and we are already dreaming about returning.
Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! Happy sailings: )