Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Diamond Princess
Sailing Date: September 23rd, 2006
Itinerary: Mexican Riviera
This is my 3rd cruise with Princess. I wrote a review on the Sapphire in 2004, the Diamond Princess is a sister ship and was just as beautiful with I think am identical floor plan. In 2005, I was on a 21-day Panama Canal on the Coral Princess (review to be posted).
We're celebrating a honeymoon and we embarked on a 7-day Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. The greeters at the airport were great, easy to spot. We didn't wait very long to find our bus transfers, the bus was nice, comfortable. The trip from the airport to the ship was about 20 minutes.
The check-in process was efficient, check to cabin was less than 30 minutes. It was great. Our bags made it's way to our balcony room about an hour after we check in.
Food at the Horizon Court (buffet) was ok. Similar to the Sapphire. I remember that my options at the Coral was much better (21d Panama Canal) I thought the buffet was crowded, long lines, people were not so friendly. We had anytime dining but still made reservations for each night. Food at the dining rooms were better. The service really depends on the dining room. Some of our waiters were really great, few were just so so. There were 2 specialty restaurants on the Diamond, Sabatini and the Sterling. Both charged a cover of $20 and $15 respectively. Sabatini is highly recommended and worth the money. I'm not so pleased with the Sterling Steakhouse. Service wasn't substandard, the filet wasn't really great either. I would skip this next time and go to Sabatini's instead.
Entertainment on the Diamond was ok. They had choreographed numbers, juggler, comedians. I may be hard to please but the revues seem unchanged from 2004. We saw one show during the 7 days and all others from the calendar was a repeat so we skipped out. I wish princess would really examine their entertainment options.
My new husband liked going to the gym. He even signed up for the metabolism test and ended up spending $300 in supplements to help his metabolism. It's his first cruise so I can't blame him. I can't believe that he would need help with this given that he's 29 years old! Same this happened to me 2 years ago buying eye cream for over $200 when they said I need to start using them. We didn't sign up for any massages or salon services this time. The spa seemed really crowded to me, I can't see how an R&R would be possible there (compared to the Coral). We had a balcony cabin and I did most of my reading and sun bathing there to get away from everyone.
Our room steward by the way was just excellent. This is consistent with my 3 cruises with Princess. I think our room was well kept and bathroom was always clean.
We visited 3 ports on this cruise, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. We didn't sign up for any tours since we've been to these ports many times before. If you want restaurant recommendations in any of them, please e-mail me. In Puerto Vallarta, make sure to get to Pipi's 3 blocks up from the Malecon. They make amazing, amazing guacamoles and fajitas. Their watermelon margaritas were also amazing. In Cabo if you love carnitas (pork) you have to find this restaurant outside of town called Las Michoacanas. They used to be a block from the mall but moved farther and it's not walking distance anymore.
Overall, still a great cruise. I think I prefer longer cruises where people are friendlier. We seem hurried on this one. We'll be on the Golden Princess this April 2007.