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gaa2

Checking in from the Diamond Princess

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Thought I would say hello and let you know we are having a great cruise on the Diamond Princess! We are on our way home, having left Cabo about 2:30. The weather has been great---around 80 in Puerto Vallarta, 86 in Mazatlan, and I don't know the temp from Cabo but it felt at least as hot as Puerto Vallarta. We had a great beach day today and yesterday, having been to these ports a number of times. The ship has met our expectations in terms of food and service. It is in great shape. The only problems have been uneven access in the Internet Cafe---a few stations seem to always have problems connecting to the internet, and people trying to use wireless have had mixed results. There are lots of kids on board of Spring Break (someone said 900!) but they have been really well-behaved---no problems at all! There is a special performance going on now from 80 students from the California School of the Arts, ranging in age from8 to 15---I think it is a special dance show in the Princess Theater. The shows we have seen were just okay, but we have only seen a few. Our friends saw Piano Man and reported that it was great. More later if I get a chance.....if this is your next cruise, you will have a great time on a beautiful ship!

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GAA, thanks for checking in. We will be on the Diamond in 33 short days and I can hardly wait. Sounds like you had a great time. Enjoy your last day on board. Who is the CD at the present time? :)

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Thank you so much for taking the time and posting. I hope you don't mind, I would like to point out a couple of things you wrote about:

" The ship has met our expectations in terms of food and service."

 

notice the lack of the words, lousy, terrible, bad, SUCKS or SUKS, awful, horrible, grim, grisly, gruesome, appaling, horrid, and dreadful.....thank you.

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Cat: My sentiments exactly.

 

Marilyn

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we were on the diamond princess (2nd time) 3-19 to 3-26. Just like our first time we enjoyed everything about the cruise. the only complaint we had was our 17 yr old son ended up getting strep throat so he was in the cabin the last few days. of course it could of had something to do with no sleep and having too much fun! he was the only cranky person we ran into (he, he) except for BROOMHILDA in the casino and if you were in there with us you'll know exactly who we're talking about. rumor had it she left the ship on her broom! happy sailing! remember to pre-book your next cruise so you're not so depressed when it's over, we did!

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Thank you so much for taking the time and posting. I hope you don't mind, I would like to point out a couple of things you wrote about:

 

" The ship has met our expectations in terms of food and service."

 

notice the lack of the words, lousy, terrible, bad, SUCKS or SUKS, awful, horrible, grim, grisly, gruesome, appaling, horrid, and dreadful.....thank you.

 

Yes, amen Cat. And thank you, gaa2... we will be on the Diamond in one week from today - so good to hear some nice things again. Like you, I believe we go into a vacation with reasonable expectations, and we believe that any day on vacation is better than any day at home (and work)!

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We too are on the Diamond a week from today!!! We can't wait!! I have another thread going from people who have just returned as well! We were on the Diamond in June to Alaska and it was FANTASTIC!! Can't wait

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The cruise director was Bily Hygate. Now that we are home, I can post some more highlights:

 

We had an excellent waiter in the International dining room (traditional 2nd seating). Her name was Dana, from Romania. She seemed reserved the first day but really opened up. Her service was gracious, attentive, and very professional. She had that knack of making us feel like we we were truly welcome guests. The same can be said of our Head Waiter, Jan--the best Head Waiter we have ever seen. Everything about him was sincere---far from the head waiter who shows up near the end to go through the motions hoping to get a tip. In addition to his official duties of greeting us and checking nightly on our food and service, Jan gave us recommendations of where to eat in port. We took his recommendation for Puerto Vallarta, discussed below.

 

Afternoon tea, served in the Pacific Moon on this ship, was delightful. We attended twice, on the first sea day, and the last. They were very attentive, the scones were good, and it was very relaxing.

 

The second wine tasting (we did not attend the first) was in the Sterling Steak House. We had some really nice wines perfectly paired with little appetizers to show how the wine was softened or enhanced by the smoked salmon, cheese, etc. The cost was $25 per person, a good value considering the quality of the wines for the second tasting. At the end, they offered to allow us to purchase wine for dinner at a discounted rate (as we expected) but it was not a hard sell.

 

We loved cocktails in Skywalkers during one sailaway. We started on our balcony, as we usually do, but decided to go up and check out Skywalkers. We were glad that we did. It was uncrowded, and offered an incredible view. Very romantic. We went to Skywalkers to dance the last night. Not many people were there by the time we left (about 12:30) which was fine with us. Typical DJ, typical song selection, with the bass too high to enjoy listening to the music but good for dancing. We had a couple of dances after figuring out how NOT to be on camera (there are flat screen monitors hung throughout the large bar showing the action on the dance floor), and we left feeling that it had been a fun experience.

 

We saw a couple of comedians and parts of a couple of shows. The juggler who told some jokes was pretty funny, and so was the last one. Sorry, I do not remember the names. The last comedian wanted to do some more adult humor for the late show, but there were too many small children there. He actually told the parents it was inappropriate for the children, and made jokes trying to get them to take their children to their rooms, but the parents insisted on leaving the children there. The people sitting next to us saw his first show, and said it was basically the same, since he needed to keep it family-oriented due to the audience. Not a problem for us, but I know some people were unhappy with the parents who would not take the very strong hints. We stopped in to see Princess Idol on the final night, which was packed! If you want to see this and hope to have a seat or a good place to stand, go early. It is very popular. We did not stay because we got there too late, but we were able to catch part of a performance--a young woman singing "Beautiful." She had a nice voice. As mentioned before, our friends saw Piano Man and really liked it. The also enjoyed the dance lessons so much they are going to sign up for lessons at home.

 

We did not do any tours, having been in these ports a number of times. Our teen did the Canopy Tour in Puerto Vallarta with a friend and had a great time (we did this last time---it was a blast! We actually had tickets this time, but gave up our tickets to the other dad travelling with us and his 12 year old son so they could go on the early tour with the girls, since it was sold out and they had never done it before). We always enjoy Puerto Vallarta and this was no exception. We got off the ship as soon as we could, since everyone else was taking the canopy tour. We planned to have breakfast and wander around until we could meet them for lunch. Breakfast was great---a place called Luna (I think it could have been Cafe Luna) right on the Malecon with tables looking out at the boardwalk and ocean. We shopped, looked at art galleries, bought some really nice jewelry at Sergio Bustamante (the artist who did the bronze sculptures on the Malecon) and met up for lunch at Pipi's, which was recommended by the head waiter on the ship. The girls especially loved it. After that we walked to the mercado by the rio cuale and the girls tried some bargaining. A really nice day in port. In the past, we have been at Mismaloya and Las Animas, and we recommend them if you are looking for a beach day.

 

In Mazatlan, we took the water taxi to Stone Island and camped out on lounge chairs with umbrellas at Pili's. Rudy took good care of us, and the teens enjoyed the day.

 

Cabo was our last stop---far too short, as always. We love this beautiful port. We took an early tender and went to Medano beach, setting up residence at the Melia hotel on a day pass (which was difficult to negotiate and a hassle at the end, but well worth it). The girls did jet skis, and we enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.

 

I hope this information is helpful. We had a great time. There were no major glitches, and anything not mentioned met our expectations. We love Princess and can't wait for the next one. We already had one "ghost cruise" (no destination specified) on the books, and we tried to book another on the last day by leaving the forms in the box because the line was too long, but we learned later that night it did not go through because the computers were apparently down so we are hoping to get the confirmation later this week.

 

Happy sailing to those of you who leave next week!

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I think it was around 8---that was when we met in the dining room for breakfast, and I think they were just calling the first group. We didn't have a flight to catch, and our color/number, originally scheduled for around 9:45, was called about 1/2 hour before schedule.

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gaa2,

What did you need to do to get the day pass at Melia? I had the feeling from the port of call board that you could just walk in, but your post indicates otherwise. Last time we were in Mexico on a cruise we were told that we could just walk into a resort (can't remember the name, but know it wasn't Melia) and when we got there found out that we could not. Don't want that to happen again.

Thanks for your help!

Patty

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I should start off by saying that there are apparently other hotels you can just walk through and use the facilities without charge or hassle---I understand that the Hacienda is one. Also, there are restaurants on the beach with lounges and umbrellas that you can use without charge---there is just the expectation that you will buy food or drink there.

 

We wanted to be at the Melia because it is a beautiful property and very well-located, as we learned from a prior cruise. It is the huge pale yellow hotel next to the Pueblo Bonita. On this trip, we went to the front desk and asked for a "day pass." The manager at the front desk told us it would be $25 per person. We explained that we would only be there until 12:30, and that we planned to eat and drink there. We also explained that on a prior visit we were not charged to use the facilities because we ate and drank there. He finally agreed that the $25 per person could be a credit against food and drink, and said that if we brought him receipts before leaving totalling that amount there would not be an additional charge, and if we were short on the amount purchased, he would charge us the additional amount. My husband was asked to leave his driver's license, and we were handed their bright orange towels. We went down to the beach, where they had these great poster beds with cushions, pillows, and shade. They also had lounge chairs with umbrellas, and thick plastic pads on the sand with lots of throw pillows. The beach area is roped off so you are not bothered by vendors. On a couple of occasions we saw security come and ask people to leave who did not have the orange towels. He also asked us for our room key, even though we had the orange towels, and we explained our situation. We had lunch and non-alcoholic drinks, and we spent a bit more than the required minimum. However, at the end my husband had trouble getting back his license because the man who made the deal with us from the front desk was no longer there, and he did not tell his replacement. My husband had to come back to the beach, turn in the orange towels, and after insisting that this was the deal we worked out (and showing the receipts) he was finally given his driver's license back. The facility itself is beautiful and we enjoyed the food. There is a beautiful pool looking out over the beach with a swim-up bar and a slide. There were big thick floats in the pool, but it seemed that all of the lounge chairs poolside were taken by noon. The hotel opens to a lovely courtyard, with the pool in the middle. There is even a sushi bar that overlooks the beach, and a shower to rinse off the sand located on the steps between the pool and beach. We would do this again in a heartbeat. Hope this helps.

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any signs of this going on right now? I know there was a few months ago, am wondering if they got it cleared up?

 

Will be onboard soon.

 

thanks!! Becky

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Thanks for the review. We are considering a Mexico cruise next year and it was very helpful.

 

Scott

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Re: Norwalk virus

 

I didn't hear of anyone being sick until the very last day when I heard that two people in the same family were experiencing flu-like symptoms and had been confined to their cabin. It certainly was not something that people on the ship were talking about.

 

Have a great time! And just wash your hands often!

 

Jean

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I was also on the 3-19 cruise and spent WAY too much time in the casino - BUT - who was Broomhilda? I thought I knew everyone in there. Other than super tight slots, my whole trip was super!

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the only complaint we had was our 17 yr old son ended up getting strep throat so he was in the cabin the last few days. of course it could of had something to do with no sleep and having too much fun!

 

its very unlikely that he go strep on the ship - it takes at least 10 days to incubate! the other disease was very unnoticable on the ship! i never heard of anyone having it (i went 3-12)

 

tony yeomans is still the captain, at least when i went! he even came and walked to horizon court one sea day to talk to people! he was a really great guy!

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tony yeomans is still the captain, at least when i went! he even came and walked to horizon court one sea day to talk to people! he was a really great guy!

 

Thanks, Brenna! We leave in just a few days!:D

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Yes, Tony was the Captain, and no sign of the virus! I felt great all weekend, but started to come down with a cold yesterday---today I have a sore throat. Don't know if it was from all the germy people the last day while sitting in the lounge and standing in line to get off the ship and go thru customs. Or maybe my body is just sad with PCD!!!

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Thanks, Brenna! We leave in just a few days!:D

 

take me with you! it seems like so long ago i went, about 3 weeks but i want to go again, i would even do the same itinerary! just make sure you eat in the sterling dinning room and ask for cezary and peter! they were the best waiters! they did tricks and were a lot of fun! have fun and take lots of pictures - thats the only thing i regret!

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