Hello!       ¡Hola!

We are off on an adventure to the Mexican Riviera & Sea of Cortez
This is a 10-nt cruise aboard Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess.

For me, this is my 32nd cruise, and the 5th with Princess Cruises.


‘I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you’.
~Frida Kahlo, May 1946


Jump to Day:    2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11       


San Pedro   (Day 1)
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Our latest adventure has a slight twist- Holly isn’t here. Endorsed as a fellas’ bonding time, our son is with me on this trip. It is Nick’s first cruise in nearly 11 years.

We began the 132-mile drive this morning about 8.30, and (holy moly, what a surprise 😏– traffic in the L.A. basin) arrived at 11.15. That’s a 48 mph average, since you were wondering.

Since we planned to leave early to get established in the area (I won’t leave the day of a cruise unless it is from San Diego), we knew we would be too early to check in, so we dropped the car at the hotel, and walked to visit USS Iowa (BB-61), a WWII battleship moored less than 1/2 mi from the hotel, and even less than that from the cruise terminal.

USS Iowa was commissioned in 1943, and served on the active rolls for the U.S. Navy for 47 years. Perhaps her greatest contribution in service came in 1943, when she carried President Roosevelt to Casablanca for onward travel to a meeting in Tehran with Churchill & Stalin. She is the only naval vessel to ever have a bathtub installed (for the convenience of an ailing FDR).

In 1989, an explosion in the center gun room killed 47 crewmen. A Sailor who died in the blast was held to blame by the Navy for purposely causing this event. USS Iowa was decommissioned the following year.

Transferred from Rhode Island in 2001 to San Francisco, she was the subject of competing bids to take ownership of her when in 2007, Los Angeles acquired her. She has been in San Pedro, California as a floating museum since 2012.

It was very nice to be aboard. There were a few veterans serving as Docents that served on USS Iowa. They were still at it- looking out for Sailors- providing safety instruction prior to our self-guided tour about the ship.

Tomorrow, we board Royal Princess.

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All Aboard   (Day 2)
Friday, October 4, 2019

I set the alarm for 5.15 to ensure I was up in time to watch Royal Princess’ arrival. In spite of Emma not scratching at the door or running around the bed, I managed to get up without that assistance or that of my alarm- all on my own about 4.50. I think it was jet lag 😏

Royal Princess, at 141,000 tons, is a very large ship- just 3,000 tons more than that of RCCL’s Voyage Class, and 20,000 larger than Celebrity’s Solstice Class. Navigating this ship without looking at a deck plan during our first voyage on her- will take a day or two.

Check in was ridiculously fast, taking all of 3 minutes due to new technology. Princess have for a few years now used a technology called Ocean Medallion, which encompasses several upgrades to existing ships (not all have been upgraded; it will take 2 more years to do so), including wicked fast (almost, as cruise ships go, like Wily E after Roadrunner) internet, multiple interactive screens, and most prominently- Ocean Medallions, 1” diameter disks about 2.5x thickness of a U.S. quarter.

Ocean Medallions are programmed to interface with onboard systems and serve as room keys and purchasing methods (a server just scans this disk to take payment). The overall technology also allows the wearer to be located by friends and waiters (one orders drink/food with their app on a mobile device, and the server finds you on the ship). Great, just great…. We can now sit in our lounge chairs and consume food/drink and don’t have to even raise a butt cheek off said lounge chair. The gym is where?

As soon as we boarded, I went to The Sanctuary (a very quiet, relaxing area of the ship) to make reservations for a few days’ use. I ended up getting reserved chairs for the entire sailing. While it is a pay-for-access area, this trip for me is nearly all about the ship, so I knew I’d be spending time here.

The Diamond Trio were performing in the Piazza (Deck 5) of the ship when we came aboard. We listed to them for a while, including a song which they called a Mexican Polka (it was….different) then made our way out and about to explore a bit. More on that score over the next few days.

Our Cabin Steward is Buenaventura from the Philippines, and has been with Princess for 10 years. Sun Princess is his favorite ship, and mainly so because she regularly is in/near Australia, and much closer to his home.

At 20.45, we went to a water show that was supposed to be set to music by Frank Sinatra & James Bond. 007 was nowhere to be heard- eclipsed by The Chairman. Still, only a 5-minute show but very well done.

Tomorrow, we are at sea.

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At Sea   (Day 3)
Saturday, October 5, 2019

After a spot of breakfast this morning, I went to second breakfast; Holly and one or two others will know what this means.

For the non-initiated, Holly and I typically have a light breakfast- to save a little room for what we have come to call second breakfast, coffee and a pastry. Today, I had a parfait from the International Café which was really good.

Next, I went to The Sanctuary to get a little sunlight and zen, then started my walkabout to explore Royal Princess. My video tour will not cover every venue on the ship, as it has been done in far more professional fashion by others (there are a few British YouTube professionals that are just brilliant in this regard). Rather, this will include a personal side of Royal Princess in action.

One thing about which I was quickly reminded, given the demographic of the average Princess passenger; like others, who don’t have an idea you are taking video and walk right in front of you, folks here tend to clear the area in a much slower fashion 😁

Had a look and walk around the Sea Walks today. Located midship and either side of the pool deck, the Sea Walks are a fascinating piece of engineering and design. 15 decks above sea level with a partial glass floor- it’s not for everyone.

I loved it, and hung out there taking pictures and video for a little bit. Most passengers that came through were too nervous to walk in the center, and proceeded to carefully navigate the sides, or just reversed and avoided the structure altogether

Had lunch at Alfredo’s (authentic Italian pizza always comes with pineapple) and no surprise here- Princess do pizza REALLY well- exceptionally well.

I walked around the track afterwards for much-needed calorie burning, then headed down to the Enclave, a thermal bath area in the Spa complex. I do love heated stone chairs, especially after the sauna and thelosotherepy areas.

Princess Cruises + Mexican Riviera itinerary + a sea day…. one cannot plan to have a ton of things to do. Some days, like today, however rarely- are a recipe for a good day. Back to the cabin to relax (as if I wasn’t already) and work on writing and pictures.

Tonight was formal night, a nice tradition Princess hold on to. It is not done by all cruise lines these days, but I’m happy this one still does. Pre-dinner watering hole was Bellini’s. Had a ‘Sweet Annie’ (Absolute Citron, Blueberry, White Peach Purée, Mionetto Prosecco), which was pretty good.

Tonight’s dinner neighbors came fairly close to engendering belief in a supreme being. Began a chat about sports, and these S. Californians also love soccer, specifically- the Premier League. Upon further inspection as it were, it’s the gentleman who does- his wife stays in bed. Additionally, he not only loves soccer, but prefers Manchester United, and also gets up at 4.30 on Saturdays to watch the early matches. I thought this great fortune would carry over into the casino. Um, not so much.

Champagne Waterfall was underwhelming; wish the Skipper or other Senior Officer would have done it all, rather than guests queued to pour an ounce at a time. Anti-climatic and one finish for which I did not stick around.

Another note about Medallion technology- Princess accept them in their casinos. Bleep. Set up an account once, then just tap and poof, money just appears, though it headed in the opposite direction quickly enough. $20 down; I suppose that’s one less drink on Azamara in December.

Tomorrow, we are in Cabo San Lucas.

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Cabo San Lucas   (Day 4)
Sunday, October 6, 2019

This really was a half day at sea and in port.

Breakfast was good- Poached eggs with hollandaise, just yummy.

Prior to our 13.00 arrival, I spent about 90 minutes in The Sanctuary, a location I wasn’t sure I’d be keen on given so many other venues and things to do, but here on the 2nd full day aboard, I have it- this place, for me, is perfect in the morning, especially useful at sea when so many others are also out and about. Of course, any short day in port whilst others are still ashore would almost have the same effect- solitude, or something like it.

Had the place to myself for 30 mins when they opened at 8.30, after which, a few others began to share this tranquil space.  The Sanctuary comes with attendants who who keep you hydrated (it’s not all about fruit juice and lemon water) and set up your reserved lounger with perfectly coiffed towels 😉

Seriously, I thought this was just about a quiet space.  It isn’t. It is also a light refreshment area if you want anything brought to you.  I got my own aforementioned lemon water and, before people started showing up- began a conversation getting to know one of the Sanctuary employees (the Attendants’ titles are actually Serenity Stewards).

I got to know Clifford (unusual name for his country) a bit.  He is from Goa, India, and has been with Princess for 10 years.  He does not have a favorite ship on which he has worked, but prefers any ship in the Caribbean or Alaska (he loves those destinations).  Clifford is 7.5 months into a 9-month contract, and is saving to get married.  He thinks that these long contracts can be a way to not only save, but to put distance between himself and his future mother-in-law; we both had a bit of a chuckle regarding this. 

I settled in to listen to Yanni whilst indulging vicariously in a second glass of lemon water and watching the approach to Cabo San Lucas.

Grand Princess was running just a few miles off our starboard quarter for a few hours this morning, enroute from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta.

I didn’t go anywhere today, preferring to have the run of the ship with a few others who also stayed aboard.  We are here overnight, and are going on a harbour cruise tomorrow.   I did go see the display for Royal Princess’ Godmother.  HRH The Duchess of Cambridge (She lets me call her Kate) named this ship on June 13, 2013.  That would have been a fun ceremony to be around.

Pregame for dinner was in Crooners tonight.
Round 1– Raspberry Romance (Mionetto Prosecco Brut Gold, St. George Raspberry liqueur, raspberry purée).
Round 2– Mint Chocolate (Grey Goose vodka, crème de cacao white & peppermint schnapps).
Round 3– Ferrari-Carano Merlot (probably goes well with pizza).

Winner: Round 1, unless you prefer- via a few of round two- to have the equivalent of a mule kicking you in the head.

First of two Speciality Dinners was this evening.  Sabatini’s, an Italian restaurant, was really good.  We will be trying the steak (mmmm, meat) restaurant the night of Puerto Vallarta.

Tomorrow we are in Cabo San Lucas.

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Cabo San Lucas   (Day 5)
Monday, October 7, 2019

A very good day.

If it really matters to the reader what drives me in travel, top of that list is the warm & fuzzy bits not planned, followed ever-so-closely by quality over quantity of touring and meaningful friendships sustained along the way.  It matters.  It matters that one’s heart is genuinely open to this.  Today was such an example of a wonderful surprise that- while likely not significant to some- was why the exploration will always continue.  Today…. the Fishery Warden.

Princess organize their ship tours very well.  One didn’t just enter the theater and sit waiting for a group to be called, but already had sections of the theater assigned to them based on their tour.  The benefit should be obvious- when a group were called, there was no scattering of folks trying to get out of seats and through people who were not getting up.  They really got this right.

Very adjacent our boat was Windstar’s Star Legend.  At 10,000 tons- is about 7% the size of this ship.  She is tiny!

Our tour took us along the bay, about 30 mins north and south of the marina, including very near to El Arco (the Arch).  It was a beautiful day, 89ºF and very bright.  Tour boats were scattered throughout the bay, but as we went from 9.00-11.00, it was not crowded.

The Warden.  Fishing has long been an important part of the economy here, and as expected, there were fishing boats for those in the trade, as well as for tours.  Very near us today was one of these boats, combining tour fishing with sightseeing.  As they slowly passed between El Arco and our boat, they acquired a visitor-  a rather large Sea Otter, who clearly knew the purpose of this boat (when he could have chosen any other), decided to hop onto the back and wait patiently. This got the attention of our boat as well. 

This self-appointed Fishery Warden must have been been there to check on the compliance of the boat’s fishing operation, and for at least 15 minutes- quietly stayed on the back of the boat while it moved through the bay, inspecting the fishermen’s haul (I could not tell if the Warden was given a few samples, though it seems likely).  It was a bit like Emma, sitting at our feet- patiently waiting for anything that might fall accidentally from the table.  It was a very cute thing to watch, sustained for at least a quarter of an hour while we were still in view.

Upon our return to the marina, we had REALLY good tacos and beer- then made our way back to Royal Princess to continue this relaxing and fun day.

Tomorrow, we are in Loreto.

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Loreto   (Day 6)
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The approach to Loreto was very pretty, in a stark way with which to begin, but as the dry landscape began to fill with detail and color, I knew Loreto wasn’t too far away.

Loreto, founded in 1697, is the oldest established town in Baja California.  It is a small town of barely 15,000 residents, some of whom, a few at least- are from Canada and the U.S., having made it their home in retirement.

We got into town about 10.00, and set out to explore the city.  The Mission of Our Lady of Loreto was also founded in 1697.  In many cultures, establishment of a place to worship is the first thing after one’s own shelter- Loreto was certainly no different.  The church is very small, but has a charm about it that carries over into its adjacent courtyard.

Wandering the streets of Loreto is a visual treat.  Awash in bright colors, and today at least- perfect, albeit hot 95ºF weather.  The city brought out the welcome mat as it were, and those near the downtown courtyard were treated to a folk show of dancers, mostly middle school and high school children.  It was yet another day of cultural immersion- and that’s why we are out here.

On the way back to the ship, just on the eastern edge of the courtyard- Nick made a new friend, Tito.  Tito is an older collie (his owner didn’t know how old), but very friendly and trusting.

Upon our return to ship, I went with the traditional-  a hamburger, and enjoyed a concert by Journey on the big screen during the meal.  I don’t care what anyone says- the early-mid 1980s had the best music, so there.

I have to say that I love my new camera.  This Sony A7R-III is taking extremely high quality video and photos that need little retouching.  This trip was a bit of an experiment for this camera- the first time I’ve used it in the field first since getting it just over a month ago.  I wanted to be certain I knew how to use it proficiently before taking it to its primary first destination- South America.  I’m pleased to say that I am ready to document that adventure with confidence.

Tomorrow, we are at sea.

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At Sea   (Day 7)
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

This was a very leisurely day at sea. We didn’t do much, other than Nick hang out around the pool and I in The Sanctuary.

Halfway through the cruise, so I spent part of the day backing up the film & pictures I’ve taken, then went out to examine the fine cuisine available- namely, Princess’ Pizza. Yum yum.

‘Welcome to Oktoberfest in Mexico’. Not something one would have expected to hear, but Princess’ staff and a few guests made a nice show in the Deck 5 Piazza. Largely consisting of dancing and a beer-holding contest (whom could hold their arm out straight the longest with a mug of beer).

There is an accessories store aboard (it also serves for technical help as needed) for Ocean Medallion. I bought Holly a bracelet a few days ago for her first Medallion trip on Crown Princess in March 2020. There are certainly more choices for the ladies than the guys, but I’m happy with my wristband. The technology works very well.

Dinner was at the Crown Grill, our second of 2 speciality dinners. There are no pictures of the food other than Nick’s ‘sampler’ dessert, because frankly, the presentation just wasn’t great. The food was good, though my medium rare was a little too medium. All-in-all, a decent choice, but on this ship, on this sailing….the nod has to be in favor of Sabatini’s.

Tomorrow, we are in Puerto Vallarta.

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Puerto Vallarta   (Day 8)
Thursday, October 10, 2019

¡Hace Calor! It was hot today, about 92-96ºF, while we were out this morning. We left the ship at 8.00 and spent just under 3 hours in town. We took Uber each way (worked really smoothly) for USD $5.10 when the ever-so-helpful taxis at the pier had offered to convey us for $24; No thank you, got it covered 🙂

Holland America’s Oosterdam is in town, as is Ponnant’s L’Austral. Strangely, the latter stayed moored outside the harbour all day (she is easily small enough to have come along pierside).

Puerto Vallarta is very scenic, but this trip wasn’t so much about exploring the cities, as it has been the ship. It was enough to just wander the Malecon (Boardwalk) and take in the sights. I stopped for a few minutes to simply watch a gentleman fish, and somehow knew this was a passion of his.

On the return, we sought out two Starbucks for the ‘You Are Here’ series mugs (we collect them). I remembered enough Spanish from my high school days to ask for them in the local language, but it didn’t do any good. Unfortunately, they only carried the current ‘You’ve Been There’ series.

By chance, I also came across what really drives us in travel….location of a Diamonds International store (please read, however rarely attributable to the writer- sarcasm).

Asking Nick (who prefers Cabo San Lucas) what he got out of visiting this city, he stated ‘not much, a lot of the buildings need to be painted’. ‘Nothing just walking around the city or watching the older guy fishing?’, I asked. ‘No’. I was left wondering how many other people missed the cultural forrest for the trees.

Beginning to melt like Frosty, we returned to the ship and played a match of Shuffleboard (I won, 3-1). It was still very hot outside, but this was something I’d been meaning to do on the cruise at least once. I could not remember what rules we used (Holly & I last played on a ship in Nov 2017; each cruise since has not had shuffleboard), so I used Royal Princess’ excellent internet to FaceTime with the rules expert. Were that same normal Shuffleboard partner here, I’d probably have lost (She’s really good).

I have not taken many pictures of dinner appetizers or entrées; the reason isn’t because they aren’t good. Quite the opposite, actually – the food has been outstanding. The color/presentation, however….eh, just not appealing to warrant documentation :).

Pre and postgame for dinner was again in Crooners. The music throughout this cruise has been very nice, especially enjoyed in Crooners or the Piazza. Frank Sinatra, among several people quoted in the drinks menu, said ‘Alcohol is the enemy, but the Bible tells us to love our enemy’. Well, I’d say that in spite of that warning (or challenge), I’ve moderately cared for this liquid more as a friend, and not actually loved it too much.

Tomorrow, we are in Manzanillo.

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Manzanillo   (Day 9)
Friday, October 11, 2019

We arrived at 7.00, and will leave at 15.00.  Time enough to go ashore, but this is an industrial port- and the main city is 15 mins away by vehicle.  As this was to be just a photo/stroll near the city center, and another rather hot day forecast- we decided not to go ashore, but treat ourselves to a ‘sea day’.

Irony.  This is my first cruise in 24 years (aboard RCCL’s Monarch of the Seas) without Holly, and in the Royal Princess Piazza, over the speaker system 🔈 this morning, a ‘Capt & Tennille’ song 🎶 was playing.   In 1995, on our first cruise together, C&T were aboard Monarch in concert.  Now that was a very cool headliner act! 😁

First & second breakfast complete- it was off to Trivia for me.  This was my first game on this sailing.  I joined a team from Orange County, and- well, we got 11/20.  I was certain elephants lived longer than whales (longest-living mammal). Oh well, it was fun, though the host seems to have a personality level just above that of a Sahara rock (he was very dry).

Off to The Sanctuary for me (while Nick…. could not tell you, but he’s having fun, usually with his Kindle and a cold Newcastle), where I had another nice chat with Clifford.  He is looking at Dec 2020 to possibly go home for his wedding, but it’ll depend on when his next contract is over.  

Got into a raffle for cruise credit/wine by guessing some of the panels in a ‘Where in the World?’ game, but didn’t win. Dinner was Italian Night, and was really good.

Tomorrow, we are at sea.

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At Sea   (Day 10)
Saturday, October 12, 2019

Rain, rain, go away.  There was quite a bit of rain this morning, so activities were mostly inside.  I didn’t mind at first, because I was off to trivia.

Our team, tied at 15/20 with one other team, won today in a tiebreaker (# of steps in the Eiffel Tower.  They guessed 710, we- 2,100).  The 3 of us got a decent Princess notebook for our efforts.  This will come in handy in March when next sailing with this cruise line.  Questions 1-20:

1.  How many dots on a pair of dice?
2. What group of birds is called a pride?
3. In what month does Oktoberfest start?
4. On the TV series Friends, what was the name of Ross’ monkey?
5.  Last country alphabetically?
6.  A Wonder of the World in ancient Babylon?
7.  James Bond film in which 007 gets married?
8.  15th wedding anniversary gift?
9.  Roman numeral for 1,000?
10. Greek God equal to Roman God Jupiter?
11. Star Trek’s Capt. Picard’s favorite drink?
12. Late Aug-Mid Sept Zodiac sign?
13. Writer of ‘Interview with a Vampire’?
14. H2O2?
15. Clark Kent’s alter ego?
16. 1936 Summer Olympics site?
17. Right side of ship called?
18. City for ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’?
19. Shakespeare’s first tragedy?
20. Official Summer sport in Canada?

After trivia, I packed clothes we aren’t using the rest of this trip, then set off to chill in The Sanctuary.  It was still raining, so a small group of us made the most of it in a covered gazebo.  It was actually quite nice, just watching the rain from this especially quiet area (rain kept people away). Eventually, the sun came out, so around noon, I went back and had a very lite lunch.

Last Formal night tonight.  Dinner was good, dessert was better 🙂

Tomorrow, we are at sea.

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At Sea   (Day 11)
Sunday, October 13, 2019

Played my last game of trivia today, and lost in a tiebreaker.  Unlike a written tiebreaker, one member of each tied team (there were 3) had to come onstage and face the host for a verbal answer to his question.  Having drawn the short straw, I represented our team.  The question was: ‘On the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover, how many Beatles are pictured?’. I immediately answered 4 – one guy said 3 and one said 5.  5 was correct.  It seems that the host counted the Beetle vehicle also in that photo.

After one last visit to The Sanctuary, I spent the bulk of the morning and early afternoon packing, watching a little football, either in the room or on the large screen at the pool, writing most of this story, and backing up all the video and photos I had taken.

After dinner, Nick went to go watch the Steelers-Chargers game on the pool big screen, and I made a quick last visit to Crooners to grab a soda and say goodbye to Raffy, the person I’ve talked to the most.  The staff here has been pretty good, though a bit understaffed during peak hours. Raffy has been with Princess Cruises for 6 years, and plans to work 2-3 more years before starting a career in Real Estate back home in the Philippines.  I’m certain he will be successful.

While we had Anytime Dining, we had the same Waiter and Assistant Waiter for 7 of 10 nights, largely due to showing up for dinner at the same time, 17.00 – early enough to request a certain table.  Antonio and Florencio, both from the Philippines, have been with Princess for 13 and 12 years.  They go home in March and April for their vacations, and would like to have Sapphire Princess as their next ship – because they are well aware that she is based in Asia very near their home. Naturally, I told them we were aboard her in mid May, and would look out for them.

This is the last evening of our final full day aboard, but unlike any other cruise I can recall, yours truly has only a slight melancholy about saying goodbye to this beautiful ship.  Sure, Holly & I usually have ‘the next cruise’ or two planned prior to disembarking a current one, but there is still always at least a bit of sadness when one comes to an end.  Unlike all past cruises, however, something is different this time.

Beginning in December 2019, we both are very very blessed and more then a bit excited to have 9 cruises (8 ocean, 1 river) over the following 22 months booked – easily our most travel-intensive period ever – and yet, while very significant, that’s only half of it.  I think the reason I’m actually ok with this one ending is that with our next cruise going forward – Holly will not only be along, but be retired.  There will be no juggling of 1 or 2 work schedules between us over hundreds or a few thousand miles – we will be able to really get out and explore other cultures in longer, greater detail.

Again, that’s why we are so passionate about travel – those broader, wholesome, charitable views of other cultures.  I’ll have as little as possible to do with anyone not truly embracing being a good ambassador amongst other cultures.

Tomorrow, we disembark Royal Princess.

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SUMMARY
This cruise was always about the ship, not the itinerary.  Royal Princess is beautiful, and did not disappoint.


GOOD
The bay cruise in Cabo San Lucas was very good.  The crew was excellent, and narrated history all about the area (It was not about being a boozefest).

Loreto is a very charming town, and worth another visit.

Royal Princess
-Service was very good overall.
-Every meal but one was excellent.
-The Sanctuary is absolutely a great place to hang out for combining a quiet space with service. This will be my new go-to place on Princess Cruises.
-The ship has multiple public lounges and venues that are very well spread out throughout the ship (unlike Celebrity Edge Class)
-Ocean Medallion and Internet are outstanding pieces of technology. They genuinely worked exceptionally well.


EH
Royal Princess
-Not all of the staff were excellent at ‘detached hovering’; sometimes they had to be flagged down to initiate service or refill a drink.  This was most prevalent in the International Cafe.
-Evening lounge entertainment was a bit spread out. Main entertainment lounge near the atrium (Crooners) did not usually have someone playing until 18.00. I think the evening entertainers were not on board in sufficient quantity for all the lounges this ship has.
-Princess Patter for the following day was not once delivered prior to 20.30.


ETC.
Would return to this type of Princess ship (Royal Class) without hesitation (and we are, in Oct 2021).

Come back to our blog for our next adventure-
South America, Azamara Pursuit, December 2019


Cheers,
Bob & Holly

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23 Replies to “Mexican Riviera & Sea of Cortez”

  1. Bob, thanks for your blog/reviews and look forward to your continuing travel tales coming soon.
    Also nice to get a balanced view of a ship and cruise line, and hope Sapphire lives up to expectation especially as we’ll be with you and Holly (& Mike) next May on that leg of your world circumnavigation.

  2. Great photos of your visits to the various locals. You will find no argument about bands for the 80’s 😎👍🏻 And what is wrong with Pineapple on pizza I ask! it adds a certain je ne sais qoi . . . . and (sacrilege) cold pizza with pineapple is a great snack….. Now I have just shown how uncouth this Canadian is 🤣😎

  3. Sorry Bob, but beg to differ. Real American pizza might come with pineapple, but real Italian Pizza doesn’t! Slightly weird because we were with friends last night discussing this very subject. In a similar vein, Americans like to drown their pasta in sauce, but in Italy, pasta is just “coated” with the sauce.
    Anyway, glad you’ve found a football “soulmate” even if he his another misguided MU fan 🤪.
    Meanwhile, justice for Beradi!

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