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Dave L.

Age: 56

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Spirit

Sailing Date: December 19th, 2004

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera


Dave L. from Yorba Linda, CA

This was our 3rd cruise in two years. We love cruising. The first two cruises were in the Caribbean aboard RCI & Princess. The Spirit is a very nice ship. Unfortunately, we found Carnival to be sub-par when it comes to service and the quality of the food. From past experiences on other cruise lines, we found the service and food quality just didn't measure up. Not that it was bad. The service at the evening meal lacked polish and attention to detail. The food was just OK, not bad, just OK. More like high-end cafeteria food. The shore excursions we booked onboard were very disappointing. In Acapulco, the first port, we took the City Tour. This turned out to be a very low value for our travel dollar. They took us to two different shops that sell locally made jewelry. Neither stop was worth my time. The tour of the city turned out to be the area we traveled between these two shopping stops. The City is old and somewhat dirty. The resort side where all the hotels are located appeared a little more modern and somewhat cleaner. The cliff diving was a 'yawn' and just ho-hum. A half-day in Acapulco is about all anyone would need. The second port, Zihuatenejo & Ixtapa were a little more attractive. Zihuatenejo is just an old Mexican town on a beautiful bay. Not much to see or do here. Ixtapa is the area North of Zihuatenejo where the resorts and hotels have been built on the beach. We spent the afternoon on a beach on an island about a mile offshore. It was nice and relaxing and the Corona's were cold. The temps were in the high 80's and the water about the same. Not bad for the middle of winter. The 3rd port, Manzanillo, was very disappointing. This is Mexico's largest industrial port on the Pacific and it is mostly large cranes and cargo ships. We opted for a Deep Sea Fishing excursion here and were really disappointed. Basically, it was a 5 hour boat ride with lines in the water. The fishing boat was OLD, dirty, and not well maintained. The crew of two acted like they could care less if we had a good time or not. The excursion was supposed to include refreshments. The crew offered none, however one of the guests found the ice chest with a few beers and bottled waters in it. If there had been ice, the drinks might have been great. Manzanillo is another old, Mexican town where everything in town needs a remodel. This port should be dropped from this cruise. It's a waste of your travel dollar. A better choice would be Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas. Needless to say, we were disappointed in this Carnival cruise. The ship, being only 3 years old, was nice. Not enough activities were provided on days at sea, so several days we spent in bed trying to watch the limited programming on the TV. It was too cold to enjoy the pools on the upper deck, so that made the days at sea more unpleasant. We found out you can only sleep so much and eat so much on days like that. Carnival really needs to provide more interesting activities for their guests on cruises like this. Bingo games just don't cut it. The evening entertainment in the main showroom was just mediocre. Much needed improvement in this area as well. I wouldn't recommend this cruise to anyone. It doesn't offer much value for your travel dollar. Stick with the Caribbean on RCI where they treat you well, feed you well, and keep you entertained. As far as visiting Mexico, you'd be better off flying to Cancun and staying in a nice resort for a week where the beaches are nice and the water warm.

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