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Greg Wilhelm

Age: 52

Occupation:registered nurse

Number of Cruises: First Cruise

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Star Princess

Sailing Date: February 1, 2003

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera

My wife and I sought the assistance of a AAA travel agent to help us decide what cruise would be the best for us. She gave us several options and we chose the Mexican Riviera with Princess.

We were not disappointed. With first timer's angst we drove to LA for our departure. We stayed in the San Pedro Sheraton and were very satisfied with the efficiency of their park and cruise package. One tip, eat at the Green Onion around the corner for reasonable and very good Mexican food.

Embarkation was smooth, we left the hotel at 11am and were shortly at the transit terminal. All ground assistance was courteous and forgiving when I lost my ship card within minutes of the boarding, they arranged for a purser trainee named Francesco from Milan to assist me through the ordeal and he was very good at relieving my feelings of foolishness.

Once onboard we bee-lined for the buffet and began our seven days of gluttony. Their were enough choices so that one could eat a lot and still eat without abandoning all nutritional rules. Being that my wife and I are on weight control programs we usually opted for the buffet which allowed us the opportunity to pick and choice our food. Our goal was to gain less than 2 pounds and we did manage that. We did eat at the standard personal choice dining rooms several times and always found good company and excellent service/food. In order to counterbalance our excess calorie intake we utilized the well equipped workout room and the 10 lap to a mile jogging track. We also walked often on the 3 lap to a mile wrap around promenade deck. We burned a lot of calories on the numerous dance floors. However, this was negated by the Alcohol consumption, especially on my part. Drinks were in the four to eight dollar range depending on the size. I found more value in getting the larger sizes. The entertainment choices were varied enough to suit most anyone. They had several audience participation games that were quite humorous. We especially enjoyed watching the karaoke. We opted out of most of the larger shows for the smaller venue entertainment. Those that went to the Princess Theater were all satisfied with the performances.

Our Cabin help was a 37 year old from the Philippines name William. He was always courteous and helpful and maintained the room to a high standard. I cannot say enough about the staff they were all service oriented and very friendly.

In Mazatlan we booked a Sierra Madre Tour. This took us to the old Mexican towns of Concordia and Copala. Our guide "Eleazar" was very informative and narrated the entire time. This tour was the highlight of the cruise. Viewing Mexico away from the resorts was very rewarding. The towns were very old and still have much of the original buildings including some very old churches. In Cabo we opted for the whale watching tour and seen at least 10 humpbacks.

We often relaxed around the pools and never felt crowded. This ship is very well planned. Even though it is very large we never were intimidated as it is strategically compartmentalized. It will be hard for us to book another cruise on anything but Princess.

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