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shadowfox7

Review STAR 4/6/05 Romance Suite 10726 & BA 10018

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Review of the 4/6/05 sailing on the STAR Mexican Riviera.

 

If anyone would like additional information or photos of either stateroom just let me know and I will email them to you.

 

 

Embarkation: We actually arrived a day early (from Seattle) as we wanted to be relaxed and not rushed trying to fly in and board all in one day. This was a great choice for us. We had a leisurely breakfast and took a short taxi ride to the pier. We saw many people that looked tired and very cranky checking in.

 

We arrived at the pier at 11:30 am and checked our baggage with the porter. We then proceeded to the check in line. We were booked into the Romance Penthouse 10726 which is on deck 10 stern port side. We presented our documents and were whisked to the front of the line and the whole process took less than 5 minutes. Here we realized the advantages of the “penthouse” life. The perks were definitely obvious. We were walked through every process with a personal assistant who explained what we were to expect aboard including the butler and concierge service. We were issued a boarding ticket and checked into our suite at 12:15.

 

 

Disembarkation: Another perk of the being on the penthouse level is getting off the ship. We were able to sleep-in, have a leisurely breakfast and proceed to the gangway where we were met by our concierge and taken right past everyone to the head of the customs line. We estimated people were waiting at least an hour or two in line getting through customs.

 

Since we had 6 hours to kill before our flight and we didn’t want to do the city tour offered by the ship ($30/person) we rented a car for $50 and drove north along the coast all the way to Ventura before returning to LAX late afternoon for our flight home.

 

 

General impressions of the ship: We were very impressed with the condition of the ship. I hardly saw any rust spots (a definite indication of poor maintenance) and everything was painted fresh. The varnish was in excellent condition everywhere we went. The carpet was not fraying anywhere we could see. The artwork was impressive throughout the ship. The only part of the ship that was not particularly impressive was the grand atrium. It was certainly not “grand” by comparison with other “big ships”. The second level had a restaurant overlooking the lobby which I thought was a bit odd. The promenade deck was wonderfully wide and perfect for strolling completely around the ship and we never got tired of the artwork painted on the ship along this deck. The deck 13 walking/jogging track was also great as it was separated from the general areas so you were never dodging people. The pool area was tiered and never overcrowded. The music was a bit loud at times. The hot tubs were always busy. We did not use the spa facilities but did a tour and it was very impressive. All the services prices were nearly 50% off the last couple of days. The duty free liquor shop had an excellent selection with very good prices and Latitude members receive an extra 10% off. The regular shopping area had the standard selection of shirts, fragrances, jewelry and sundries.

 

 

Shows: Sorry we didn’t see any…after several cruises and never being impressed we just decided not to bother this time.

 

 

Service and Food: The service was excellent from the Butler (Ariel) and Concierge (Jenny) to the dining room staff. We ate at most of the restaurants, both free and specialty. We enjoyed the Le Bistro the best of all where we had our best meal. The Ginza was above average for Sashimi. Cagney’s Steakhouse was very nice with great steaks and lobster. I noticed that the specialty restaurants were only about ¾ full while we were dining. For general meals we enjoyed the Aqua the best as the Versailles was a bit too grand and overbearing for us and somewhat crowded and noisy especially with big tables. The menus for these two restaurants were the same for each particular night with about average quality with nothing spectacular on any night. The Market Buffet was fine for quick meals and was always hopping with “grazers” yours truly included. Some people on these boards have stated that they found the service not particularly up to par due to “Freestyle” but we found it to be excellent. They always smiled and were very pleasant whenever we asked for something additional. We always tried to engage them in some chit chat about where they were from.

 

As small example was one night there were two young ladies (sisters about 10 and 11) that sat down next to us. Our waiter(from Jamaica) was serving them and he was so pleasant and engaging, trying to make their experience special. They were all dressed up and enjoying a dinner out without parents. He did everything he could to make their dinner special. He was rather handsome and tall the girls just giggle away the evening.

 

We did fill out the comment cards but never in front of the staff. We just took them to our stateroom.

 

The ice carvings and chocolate buffet in the Versailles were the epitome of decadence. There were some major chocoholics which were in need of some serious therapy!

 

We absolutely LOVED the Freestyle Dining!!! On vacation we never know what we want to do or when we want to do it so it was wonderful to just think, hey lets go eat and off we went. We actually ate alone every night, preferring not to eat with others. I realize that most people probably enjoy eating in groups but my wife and I have such busy schedules at home where we both travel that we just wanted to be by ourselves. We fell in love with the Red Lion Bar and got all our drinks there.

 

 

Romance Penthouse 10726 & Cat BA Balcony 10018: Ok then, this is where our trip got a bit strange…We originally booked the cruise in a BA category balcony and were upgraded to the Romance Suite. When we arrived and checked in (see Embarkation above) all went well. We got into our suite which was fabulous! The décor was beautiful with light wood paneling against blue silk wallpaper. It had a Zebra patterned bed spread which was not as weird as it sounds…but we too it off anyway and the clean white sheets and Duvet made for a nice clean and crisp appearance. We had crystal glasses and a dining area to enjoy our meals. The bathroom was more than adequate with lots of storage everywhere. There were 2 safes. A really nice feature was that the closet could be accessed from both the hallway entrance and the “powder room” area. The balcony was to die for. It was so big we could have our two teakwood lounges with cushions and the dining table with chairs and still have room left over. The deck was made of Teak. There was privacy from above and sides. There was no access to the side of the ship like on deck 9 and 8 but that was not a big deal as you could still look around the partition for a great view. Another nice feature was you only had neighbors on one side. The view straight out the back of the ship was indeed incredible. If you can at all get one of these types of suites it’s worth the cost….Having said that, we were to enjoy our suite only 6 hours that first day. We were in our robes sipping our champagne out on deck watching the Long Beach skyline disappear when the phone rang. It was the Front Desk Manager informing us that there was a gentleman that wished to buy our cabin from us for $3500 cash and were we interested. He currently had a BA balcony cabin on deck 10. Needless to say we were caught off guard. Well as much as we wanted to stay in our suite it was a no brainier to take the money and run…so after checking out the other stateroom (just to make sure) we decided to take the offer. We essentially came away with a free cruise and an extra $1000 over what we paid for the suite ourselves. The cruise line was extremely nice to us and allowed us to keep our full concierge service (we lost the butler) and all the amenities that came with the original suite (nightly canapés, champagne, duvet, robes and upgraded toiletries). We are Latitudes members which may have helped.

 

The BA stateroom was more than adequate although it did take another day to get over the fact we lost our beautiful suite but then I would reach into my pocket and feel the $$$ and all was well. One interesting fact was that the shower stall was much roomier (2 could fit easily J) in the BA stateroom whereas the suite had a tub and was thus more confined.

 

 

Ports Of Call: This trip was a kind of “going home” experience for us as we had cruised aboard our sailboat in these waters for 3 years with our 5 kids. So we knew the ports well and had our favorite spots to visit which were not tourist locations. We did not do any tours and just traveled in local buses to our favorite beaches, stores and taco stands.

 

We would always just hop on a bus and leave the tourist areas and were free from the never-ending vendors.

 

In Acapulco we just strolled through the streets, way into town away from the shore. We did visit the Fort which is right across the street from the ship. Don’t take a tour. It’s a small fee to get in and there is a self guided walking tour that allows you to go at your own pace.

 

In “Z”-town” as cruisers call we again walked into town and explored the residential areas and enjoyed the Mercado (open market). We returned to the pier and went to Las Gatas beach which was wonderful. The view of the ship at anchor with the town in the background was a delight. The water was a little murky but we could still see many fish on the coral reef which you could actually walk out to (wear old tennis shoes/sandals/or water socks). NOTICE: Don’t bother taking the tour from the ship here. Just take a water taxi right at the pier. The cost is 60 pesos ($5 US) roundtrip per person and you can rent the snorkel gear on the beach for much less than the tour (we brought our own masks).

 

In Puerto Vallarta we rode the buses into town and walked to our favorite art galleries, shops and taco stands, an exhausting but delightful day.

 

In Cabo we pre-arranged an AVIS Jeep rental for the day as we wanted to drive out to one of our favorite anchorages on the east coast, about a 2 hour drive on a dirt road to a bay called Los Frailies. We had anchored here for 8 days waiting out a gale blowing in the Sea of Cortez on our way to La Paz. It was a dusty ride of about 45 miles crossing paths with goats and cattle. It has a beautiful beach and a few homes along it’s coastline. We were only able to spend a short time here needing to get back to the ship before it sailed.

 

 

Tipping: We did the standard tipping through the auto charge. We think it's a bargain. It has been $10 for as long as I can remember and to think with all the inflation over the years it's not unreasonable. We gave extra and also seperate tipping for the Concierge who is not part of the "pool" of tips.

 

 

Weather: Long Beach was clear and in the mid 70’s when we departed. The first full day at sea the temps were in the high 60’s. It was a good day to unwind and explore the ship. By the second day the temps were in the mid to upper 70’s. Acapulco and

 

“Z-Town” were in the low 80’s with mild humidity but the breeze was just enough to cool things down.

 

Puerto Vallarta and Cabo were also in the low 80’s but with less humidity.

 

NOTE: The ship was at the pier in Acapulco and at anchor everywhere else.

 

The trip up the coast back to Long Beach was calm for the first few hours but by late evening the wind and seas started to build. The whole next day and especially the late afternoon and night the winds built to around 35-40 knots (40-50 miles/hour) and the seas grew to between 15-20 feet. The ship’s stabilizers worked about as well as could be expected but she did start rolling and bucking a bit during the night. By morning though all was quiet and we slipped into Long Beach right on time and the weather was again in the mid 70’s.

 

 

Seasickness: After many and all attempts to combat this gremlin while cruising aboard our sailboat (my wife is prone) we finally found the one and only thing that works. It’s called “Relief Band”. It’s an electronic “wristwatch” that sends and impulse on your wrist nerves and this in turn reacts with your inner ear. What is great about it is that it’s not medicine, there are no side effects and it works even after you’ve become seasick. Its battery operated (each last about 150 hours) and has a settings from 1 -5. My wife didn’t have to use it until the last night and then only on setting 2. You can buy these online for about $80.

 

 

Well that’s about it. We had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat.

 

 

If you have any questions feel free to ask. I have digital pictures of both the Penthouse Suite 10726 and BA 10018

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Thanks for the review!

 

Interesting reading about your phone call to the suite! I hadn't heard of that happening before.

 

Glad you enjoyed yourselves and got to re-visit the places of your memories. We were watching some home video last night of places we have called home, and I was wishing that we could hop a plane and go see how things had changed and how they had stayed the same.

We sailed the Star last summer and enjoyed her also!

Julie

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Thanks for the Review. We too originally booked a BA room and got a call to upgrade to a Romance suite for our 4/30 cruise. Since it is our 26th wedding anniversary (5/5/05) we jumpped at the chance of an upgrade. They did not have time to send new luggage tags to us - did that happen to you and if so how was that handled?

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I called them with my concerns also and they just to cross out the original number and put the new number above it.

All went well and we got our luggage very quickly.

Which cabin will you be in?

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I traveled on the same ship - surprised nobody offered me anything for my cabin with a porthole on deck 4....or for the two teenage boys I was traveling with for that matter! LOL!!

 

I thought the freestyle dining was awesome...never had to worry about getting back for a timed seating or disrupting others at a table if we were arriving late to dinner.

 

Plenty of choices for good food - I was not disappointed and my kids enjoyed the food too. It gave my older teenager the autonomy to eat where he wanted to with his new found friends on board - even making reservations for Endless Summer with his friends the last night to enjoy a last dinner together. My younger son ordered many a late night PBJ (with the crust cut off even) from room service and was lovin' it!

 

We ate at La Tratoria - pretty good Italian food. Cagney's - we had the steak and lobster...can't mess that up too much. The other restaurant I think I have mixed up but we ate steak and lobster tails there. Endless summer - very good tex mex and good margaritas - and sangria. Versailles room - nice choices of light cooking....lower calorie choices - very flavorful. The market place always had something appealing...especially the desert table on the way through. Blue Lagoon - great any time....good snack food or light meal. I had two bottles of wine which lasted me through the entire cruise and they would bring to whatever place I was dining at from the last.

 

The shows on the Star were the best I have seen in a long time - nevermind on a cruise ship. I saw the shows on the RC European cruise and they were awful.

 

NCL has done it right...These performers are Broadway quality. From the comedian to the magician (Sean Farque) not only funny but a fantastic magician - always walking around the ship with his wife and daughter talking to the guests - very genuine.

 

The performances of the singers and dancers were terriffic.....Andrew Lloyd Weber's Music of the Night was one of the shows, FAME another. They had a ballroom dancing couple that was phenominal. I am originally from the East Coast and spent a lot of my life attending Broadway shows...definately worth seeing all of them. The last night was poor Noah Levi and his tribute to Billy Joel....the ship was rocking like crazy and he kept playing - two encores.

 

The ship was really clean - the cabins were kept neat and tidy and the attendants were very on the ball with any requests.

 

The hot tubs were always occupied - that is true and I wasn't crazy about the food on the pool deck to much....burgers, etc.

 

The spa was really nice. I had a massage and a manicure and both were very relaxing - as was the steam and dry saunas.

 

The only thing I didn't like was the disemarkation - being on deck 4 - and thinking it was cool not to have to rush the kids off early. What I didn't realize was that the restaurants all closed by 9:00 a.m. and you couldn't buy anything to eat or drink after that. We were basically trapped on the ship until well after 10:30 which was our scheduled disembarkation time. Then there was a very long line to get through customs. We were pretty wiped out by the time we actually got out of the terminal and found our car.

 

All in all.....We really loved it. By the time we hit the parking lot at the terminal my kids were asking me to book another cruise for summer vacation they had such a great time.

 

The only regret....my oldest son fell head over heels for a cute little Brazilian girl and she left the ship before he got her email address.....one very broken hearted 16 year old...so if anyone knows this young lady - please contact me!

Belle

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We also did the zip line in PV. That was really fun - I think maybe we should have done zip line in Ixtapa since we found there wasn't a lot for us to do there and just took a taxi tour - to do over...I probably would use the PV port time in the city - even though the Canopy Tour people were really great too.

 

We did the horseback ride in Cabo....that was fun but it didn't leave much time for anything else on shore...we liked it though - the beach was beautiful to ride on.

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Sorry we did not meet you, shadow. We were traveling with another couple and just hard to schedule things. My husband was the "puppet" at the magic show. What a "suite" story you have to tell now. This was a fantastically fun vacation for us and our friends!!!! I really could not imagine going back to 'non' free styling. We used the express debarkation as we had a flight leaving at 11:10 and it worked out great. Hubbys did the deep sea fishing at Aca caught a bunch of tune and a malin sighting. The wives, we did the sea turtle excursion and felt well worth it just to see other parts of aca and those turtle were SO CUTE!!!!!! Other ports we did our own thing. Got a bit lost in Z but really got to see the sad but real way of life there. I got the most incredible faceted fire opal and the flea marker in aca. I got pretty good at the negotiation ;)

 

Thanks so much for the great report! I would love to see your pics! shimmerini@yahoo.com

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Thank you for the review, I read every word and enjoyed it. We too loved the Star, although we were on a different trip than you. We were also on the other end of Deck-10, which provided lots of exercise before and after each meal.

 

None of the meals really knocked our socks off, except the night the Hotel Manager (James Derring) arranged a private dinning room (one of two) for our party of 14. In the other room the crew was having a birthday party for the captain. I'm sure no special menu was provided us, but the atmosphere and staff seemed to make everything all that more wonderful.

 

One thing in your review, and only one, bothered me a little (am I gonna get flamed here?). You mentioned walking on the reef and what foot coverings should be worn for this activity. Last month we were sailing/cruising along Mexico, Belize and Hondorus. The world's second largest barrier reef runs along that coast and as an advid diver and snorkler I was disturbed to see how much of the reef had been killed and how "mirky" the water was. Seems everyplace cruise ships visit, this is now the case.

 

I mentioned this to the cruise director and he made a point to mention in his nightly excursion talk how important it is to be careful not to actually touch/bump the living reef (with fins, feet, hands, scuba gauges or anything else one brings into the water). The locals, even in the shallow water reefs of 3-ft, float on top of the water.

 

Besides killing the habitat for all the animals that live down there, the now dead coral turns gray and covers the sea floor, only to be stirred-up when the next party comes along and walks on it, making it difficult for everybody else to see the reefs beauty thru the mirky soup. Eventually, there's just nothing to see.

 

I'm not a tree hugger, nor a reef hugger, but as a cruiser (and tourist) who uses the seas for my recreation, I think we should help preserve the beauty of the living reef.

 

Just my $.02 worth.

{let the flames begin}

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you are right...I should have been more clear...I did not mean to actually walk on the reef...I just meant that you could swim or walk out to the reef and then just float above it. I meant only as a precaution in case you do bump into it.

Let's all preserve Mother Earth for all generations...

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Thank You.

 

I should have know, by what else you wrote, you weren't the kind to be walking around on the wee critters.

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Review of the 4/6/05 sailing on the STAR Mexican Riviera.

 

If anyone would like additional information or photos of either stateroom just let me know and I will email them to you.

 

 

Embarkation: We actually arrived a day early (from Seattle) as we wanted to be relaxed and not rushed trying to fly in and board all in one day. This was a great choice for us. We had a leisurely breakfast and took a short taxi ride to the pier. We saw many people that looked tired and very cranky checking in.

 

We arrived at the pier at 11:30 am and checked our baggage with the porter. We then proceeded to the check in line. We were booked into the Romance Penthouse 10726 which is on deck 10 stern port side. We presented our documents and were whisked to the front of the line and the whole process took less than 5 minutes. Here we realized the advantages of the “penthouse” life. The perks were definitely obvious. We were walked through every process with a personal assistant who explained what we were to expect aboard including the butler and concierge service. We were issued a boarding ticket and checked into our suite at 12:15.

 

 

Disembarkation: Another perk of the being on the penthouse level is getting off the ship. We were able to sleep-in, have a leisurely breakfast and proceed to the gangway where we were met by our concierge and taken right past everyone to the head of the customs line. We estimated people were waiting at least an hour or two in line getting through customs.

 

Since we had 6 hours to kill before our flight and we didn’t want to do the city tour offered by the ship ($30/person) we rented a car for $50 and drove north along the coast all the way to Ventura before returning to LAX late afternoon for our flight home.

 

 

General impressions of the ship: We were very impressed with the condition of the ship. I hardly saw any rust spots (a definite indication of poor maintenance) and everything was painted fresh. The varnish was in excellent condition everywhere we went. The carpet was not fraying anywhere we could see. The artwork was impressive throughout the ship. The only part of the ship that was not particularly impressive was the grand atrium. It was certainly not “grand” by comparison with other “big ships”. The second level had a restaurant overlooking the lobby which I thought was a bit odd. The promenade deck was wonderfully wide and perfect for strolling completely around the ship and we never got tired of the artwork painted on the ship along this deck. The deck 13 walking/jogging track was also great as it was separated from the general areas so you were never dodging people. The pool area was tiered and never overcrowded. The music was a bit loud at times. The hot tubs were always busy. We did not use the spa facilities but did a tour and it was very impressive. All the services prices were nearly 50% off the last couple of days. The duty free liquor shop had an excellent selection with very good prices and Latitude members receive an extra 10% off. The regular shopping area had the standard selection of shirts, fragrances, jewelry and sundries.

 

 

Shows: Sorry we didn’t see any…after several cruises and never being impressed we just decided not to bother this time.

 

 

Service and Food: The service was excellent from the Butler (Ariel) and Concierge (Jenny) to the dining room staff. We ate at most of the restaurants, both free and specialty. We enjoyed the Le Bistro the best of all where we had our best meal. The Ginza was above average for Sashimi. Cagney’s Steakhouse was very nice with great steaks and lobster. I noticed that the specialty restaurants were only about ¾ full while we were dining. For general meals we enjoyed the Aqua the best as the Versailles was a bit too grand and overbearing for us and somewhat crowded and noisy especially with big tables. The menus for these two restaurants were the same for each particular night with about average quality with nothing spectacular on any night. The Market Buffet was fine for quick meals and was always hopping with “grazers” yours truly included. Some people on these boards have stated that they found the service not particularly up to par due to “Freestyle” but we found it to be excellent. They always smiled and were very pleasant whenever we asked for something additional. We always tried to engage them in some chit chat about where they were from.

 

As small example was one night there were two young ladies (sisters about 10 and 11) that sat down next to us. Our waiter(from Jamaica) was serving them and he was so pleasant and engaging, trying to make their experience special. They were all dressed up and enjoying a dinner out without parents. He did everything he could to make their dinner special. He was rather handsome and tall the girls just giggle away the evening.

 

We did fill out the comment cards but never in front of the staff. We just took them to our stateroom.

 

The ice carvings and chocolate buffet in the Versailles were the epitome of decadence. There were some major chocoholics which were in need of some serious therapy!

 

We absolutely LOVED the Freestyle Dining!!! On vacation we never know what we want to do or when we want to do it so it was wonderful to just think, hey lets go eat and off we went. We actually ate alone every night, preferring not to eat with others. I realize that most people probably enjoy eating in groups but my wife and I have such busy schedules at home where we both travel that we just wanted to be by ourselves. We fell in love with the Red Lion Bar and got all our drinks there.

 

 

Romance Penthouse 10726 & Cat BA Balcony 10018: Ok then, this is where our trip got a bit strange…We originally booked the cruise in a BA category balcony and were upgraded to the Romance Suite. When we arrived and checked in (see Embarkation above) all went well. We got into our suite which was fabulous! The décor was beautiful with light wood paneling against blue silk wallpaper. It had a Zebra patterned bed spread which was not as weird as it sounds…but we too it off anyway and the clean white sheets and Duvet made for a nice clean and crisp appearance. We had crystal glasses and a dining area to enjoy our meals. The bathroom was more than adequate with lots of storage everywhere. There were 2 safes. A really nice feature was that the closet could be accessed from both the hallway entrance and the “powder room” area. The balcony was to die for. It was so big we could have our two teakwood lounges with cushions and the dining table with chairs and still have room left over. The deck was made of Teak. There was privacy from above and sides. There was no access to the side of the ship like on deck 9 and 8 but that was not a big deal as you could still look around the partition for a great view. Another nice feature was you only had neighbors on one side. The view straight out the back of the ship was indeed incredible. If you can at all get one of these types of suites it’s worth the cost….Having said that, we were to enjoy our suite only 6 hours that first day. We were in our robes sipping our champagne out on deck watching the Long Beach skyline disappear when the phone rang. It was the Front Desk Manager informing us that there was a gentleman that wished to buy our cabin from us for $3500 cash and were we interested. He currently had a BA balcony cabin on deck 10. Needless to say we were caught off guard. Well as much as we wanted to stay in our suite it was a no brainier to take the money and run…so after checking out the other stateroom (just to make sure) we decided to take the offer. We essentially came away with a free cruise and an extra $1000 over what we paid for the suite ourselves. The cruise line was extremely nice to us and allowed us to keep our full concierge service (we lost the butler) and all the amenities that came with the original suite (nightly canapés, champagne, duvet, robes and upgraded toiletries). We are Latitudes members which may have helped.

 

The BA stateroom was more than adequate although it did take another day to get over the fact we lost our beautiful suite but then I would reach into my pocket and feel the $$$ and all was well. One interesting fact was that the shower stall was much roomier (2 could fit easily J) in the BA stateroom whereas the suite had a tub and was thus more confined.

 

 

Ports Of Call: This trip was a kind of “going home” experience for us as we had cruised aboard our sailboat in these waters for 3 years with our 5 kids. So we knew the ports well and had our favorite spots to visit which were not tourist locations. We did not do any tours and just traveled in local buses to our favorite beaches, stores and taco stands.

 

We would always just hop on a bus and leave the tourist areas and were free from the never-ending vendors.

 

In Acapulco we just strolled through the streets, way into town away from the shore. We did visit the Fort which is right across the street from the ship. Don’t take a tour. It’s a small fee to get in and there is a self guided walking tour that allows you to go at your own pace.

 

In “Z”-town” as cruisers call we again walked into town and explored the residential areas and enjoyed the Mercado (open market). We returned to the pier and went to Las Gatas beach which was wonderful. The view of the ship at anchor with the town in the background was a delight. The water was a little murky but we could still see many fish on the coral reef which you could actually walk out to (wear old tennis shoes/sandals/or water socks). NOTICE: Don’t bother taking the tour from the ship here. Just take a water taxi right at the pier. The cost is 60 pesos ($5 US) roundtrip per person and you can rent the snorkel gear on the beach for much less than the tour (we brought our own masks).

 

In Puerto Vallarta we rode the buses into town and walked to our favorite art galleries, shops and taco stands, an exhausting but delightful day.

 

In Cabo we pre-arranged an AVIS Jeep rental for the day as we wanted to drive out to one of our favorite anchorages on the east coast, about a 2 hour drive on a dirt road to a bay called Los Frailies. We had anchored here for 8 days waiting out a gale blowing in the Sea of Cortez on our way to La Paz. It was a dusty ride of about 45 miles crossing paths with goats and cattle. It has a beautiful beach and a few homes along it’s coastline. We were only able to spend a short time here needing to get back to the ship before it sailed.

 

 

Tipping: We did the standard tipping through the auto charge. We think it's a bargain. It has been $10 for as long as I can remember and to think with all the inflation over the years it's not unreasonable. We gave extra and also seperate tipping for the Concierge who is not part of the "pool" of tips.

 

 

Weather: Long Beach was clear and in the mid 70’s when we departed. The first full day at sea the temps were in the high 60’s. It was a good day to unwind and explore the ship. By the second day the temps were in the mid to upper 70’s. Acapulco and

 

“Z-Town” were in the low 80’s with mild humidity but the breeze was just enough to cool things down.

 

Puerto Vallarta and Cabo were also in the low 80’s but with less humidity.

 

NOTE: The ship was at the pier in Acapulco and at anchor everywhere else.

 

The trip up the coast back to Long Beach was calm for the first few hours but by late evening the wind and seas started to build. The whole next day and especially the late afternoon and night the winds built to around 35-40 knots (40-50 miles/hour) and the seas grew to between 15-20 feet. The ship’s stabilizers worked about as well as could be expected but she did start rolling and bucking a bit during the night. By morning though all was quiet and we slipped into Long Beach right on time and the weather was again in the mid 70’s.

 

 

Seasickness: After many and all attempts to combat this gremlin while cruising aboard our sailboat (my wife is prone) we finally found the one and only thing that works. It’s called “Relief Band”. It’s an electronic “wristwatch” that sends and impulse on your wrist nerves and this in turn reacts with your inner ear. What is great about it is that it’s not medicine, there are no side effects and it works even after you’ve become seasick. Its battery operated (each last about 150 hours) and has a settings from 1 -5. My wife didn’t have to use it until the last night and then only on setting 2. You can buy these online for about $80.

 

 

Well that’s about it. We had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat.

 

 

If you have any questions feel free to ask. I have digital pictures of both the Penthouse Suite 10726 and BA 10018

Could you forward any photos of the Romance Suit to me as we are staying in that cabin Dec 05. Thanks johnheron@gmail.com

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Wow! What a fantastic deal! You definitely came out ahead! You didn't even expect the upgrade (6 hours worth:) to the Romance Suite, so you were back where you originally started in essence...PLUS you got paid for it!! And, that was GREAT that you got to keep some of the amenities of the Suite! Yep, you made out very well on this cruise!! Thanks for sharing. :)

 

 

Review of the 4/6/05 sailing on the STAR Mexican Riviera.

 

Having said that, we were to enjoy our suite only 6 hours that first day. We were in our robes sipping our champagne out on deck watching the Long Beach skyline disappear when the phone rang. It was the Front Desk Manager informing us that there was a gentleman that wished to buy our cabin from us for $3500 cash and were we interested. He currently had a BA balcony cabin on deck 10. Needless to say we were caught off guard. Well as much as we wanted to stay in our suite it was a no brainier to take the money and run…so after checking out the other stateroom (just to make sure) we decided to take the offer. We essentially came away with a free cruise and an extra $1000 over what we paid for the suite ourselves. The cruise line was extremely nice to us and allowed us to keep our full concierge service (we lost the butler) and all the amenities that came with the original suite (nightly canapés, champagne, duvet, robes and upgraded toiletries). We are Latitudes members which may have helped.

 

The BA stateroom was more than adequate although it did take another day to get over the fact we lost our beautiful suite but then I would reach into my pocket and feel the $$$ and all was well. One interesting fact was that the shower stall was much roomier (2 could fit easily J) in the BA stateroom whereas the suite had a tub and was thus more confined.

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