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David and Helen Spaulding

Age: 63

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Sapphire Princess

Sailing Date: 11-09-2008

Itinerary: Mexican Riveria

Our first cruise was 16 years ago and was an unqualified disaster, primarily due to the cruise being overrun by unaccompanied graduating High School Seniors. While we travel very frequently, our experience with the first cruise made us shy away from cruising again. That has been unfortunate since our recently completed cruise to the Mexican Riveria was an absolute delight. The overall experience far exceeded our expectations. We had a mini-suite with a balcony and found the room to be wonderfully comfortable and very quiet. The staff on the ship, save for one venue (see remarks under the food area), was outgoing, very pleasant and very helpful when needed. There is no doubt that we will be cruising again and looking forward to it.

Overall, we thought the food ranged from good to excellent in every venue. We were accompanied with two other couples and we all ate together for dinner. We chose the anytime dining option and ate in 6 different restaurants (two of them required a small upcharge). All of them had excellent service and good to excellent food. Some items were clearly mediocre, but several other items were outstanding. Universally, the bakery products were great, both breads and pastries. The only blemish in the food and beverage area was the Horizon Court buffet, which is their 24 hour buffet. While the food was good and well presented, the buffet area became claustraphobic due to the tight quarters. The staff people in the buffet were the only ones that were not pleasant. They weren't nasty, but clearly they gave out a feeling of indifference.

The stateroom, a mini-suite, was spacious, more than expected. It was well appointed and very liveable for the week we were cruising. With a balcony, it was very enjoyable to spend time in the room, particulary with two TV's that pickup up CNN, TNT and ESPN, along with a couple of movie channels and several ship channels.

The onboard activities were far better than we expected. We caught three production shows, one comedian, two demonstrations and two lectures and all were very worthwhile. What really surprised us was the diversity of activities and the participation. At no time did we feel we were jammed in or crowding in a confined space for the activity.

We took a private yacht around the harbor in Cabo San Lucas with 20 other people and the experience was outstanding. It felt like we were the ultra wealthy with unlimited cocktails, food and a beautiful yacht. It sailed over to land's end and then to a cove where many of the passengers went snorkling and swimming. While cruising to the cove, we trolled and actually hooked a fish and one passenger reeled it in. ery exciting.

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