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shdenham

Just Back From Diamond Princess

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My husband and two other couples just got back from our cruise on the Diamond. Beautiful ship, beautiful cabins (though not much different than any other of their ships). We were on the Caribe deck (midship) with the larger balconies. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit cool on two of the three sea days and we couldn't do our usual "breakfast on the balcony". Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan were very warm (in the 80's), but Cabo was a bit chilly and overcast.

 

Food was of course excellent. Service was also wonderful, but we did have a few complaints, things we never encountered on our previous 3 Princess cruises.

 

As a tip, we reserved a minivan with a driver in Cabo since we weren't going to be there but a few hours. The cost was $259. The driver was okay, but didn't really go out of his way to be friendly or very helpful. He had a script to follow and through no fault of his, I'm sure, he tried to follow it. When we told him we wanted to see some golf courses, it seemed to throw him off a bit. By comparison, in Mazatlan the day before, we threw caution to the wind and hooked up outside the ship's docking area with a young man named Marco, who offered to show us all of Mazatlan for a fee of $18 per person for 3 hours or $25 for the whole day. He had been trained at a university to be a better tour guide. He pulled up to a store, asked us what kind of beer we wanted, got beer, cold water and put it in a cooler. He was very friendly and knows Mazatlan very well. We ended up giving him $30 each, so the total was only $180, significantly less than the Princess-arranged tour.

 

Also, we were quite disappointed with the way the Princess line has apparently gone with respect to the quota of children under 16. Apparently, since Carnival took them over, that quota is no longer abided. It used to be they wouldn't allow more than 10 percent of the passengers to be under 16. There were 600 kids of all ages on this cruise. Teenagers in the bars at 1:00 a.m. can be very annoying. Little ones (like 6 or 7) in Club Fusion for the Princess Idol contest that didn't even start until 11:15 all among drinking passengers. Well behaved kids are one thing, but kids who are allowed to run amok on the ship at all hours without parents is not at all appropriate, in our opinion. Lots of jeans and t shirts at night in the bars, maybe a California thing, I don't know. But I've always thought of Princess as a classy cruise line. They might as well put up the Carnival logo. It's going to be awhile before we cruise them again. We did address this in our survey when we left the ship, and two of the cruise directors said they definitely have to address the minors in the bars at late hours problem. I think their nightclub is open late enough to accommodate them, rather than having them in the adult lounges. Just our opinion.

 

Happy Cruising, All!!!

 

Sharon

 

SS Norway

SS Norway

Dreamward

Grand Princess

Sea Princess

Diamond Princess

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Thank you for the review. Sounds like Diamond Princess will be perfect for us!

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=8b0000&cdt=2004;5;22;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500

Diamond Princess HERE WE COME! Alaska has never been so cool! 5/22/04

May 31, 2003 Carnival Triumph to Western Caribbean.

 

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Thanks for the feedback, some of your complaints we go out of our way to avoid. We never book ANYTHING thru the ship as we have found private to be much better value in cost as well as service. We also never book during a school break of any kind including summer if possible. We hope that the bugs are worked out by the 17th as we are VERY eager to make Diamond a two or three times a year addiction.

 

<FONT color=red>Alaska</FONT>

Diamond Princess 05/04

Mercury 06/02

Rhapsody o.t. Seas 05/98

Legend o.t. Seas 09/95

<FONT color=red>Mexican Riviera</FONT>

Diamond Princess 04/04

Sea Princess 01/02

Vision o.t. Seas 04/02

Star Princess 12/02<FONT color=red>

West Coast-Baja Mexico</FONT>

Ecstacy 09/01

Vision o.t. Seas 10/02

<FONT color=red>Eastern Carribean</FONT>

Century 12/97

<FONT color=red>Western Carribean</FONT>

Century 9/96

 

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We were on the same cruise on Diamond, our first time on Princess, and enjoyed it, but with a few disappointments. We also had a suite on Caribe deck and enjoyed the spaciousness and the wonderfully large deck. Compared to other lines, however, there isn't much else to recommend the extra cost of a suite. No VCR, no stereo and no concierage lounge with all the freebies, as with RCI. The afternoon canapes were nice, but they had to be ordered everyday the night before by a card on the door handle (learned that the hard way). No one knew who the special maitre'd for suites was, even though this was specifically mentioned in the suites amenities list. We did receive free laundry and dry cleaning, although it appeared on our bill, which had to be deducted on debarkation morning by getting in the purser line (they wouldn't take care of it on the phone). On the positive side, the ship is beautiful, wonderful lounges, lots of pools, great bars (except the piano bar which, imo, should not be off the atrium but in an enclosed room where you can sing along and get to know the entertainer). The two production shows featured excellent singers and dancers, although the sets were on the simple side. Our first experience with PC dining was mixed. We signed up for regular fixed seating but many at our table didn't show up regularly because there were so many other choices. Dining room food, other than at Sabatini's, was so-so. As mentioned above, the Horizon Court buffet serving area is way too small and congested. There are two entrances in each serving area and passengers appeared baffled by the various lines. Unlike other ships, there is no clear area for omelettes at breakfast. After a while, we figured out that the kitchen staff would make your choice of omelette on the kitchen grill if you asked (although they didn't seem real pleased with having to do so). If you are a fan of fixed seating in a large dining room setting, you won't be crazy about PC on Diamond. The fixed dining room, International, is on the small side and one level. Also, Princess has a limited everynight menu--you can't get a steak daily, for example, unless you are lucky enough to get a reservation in the Sterling Restaurant, which, of course, is the most popular. To end on a positive note--we loved the English-style afternoon tea (which is offered daily) in the Asian restaurant.

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Hi

 

We also just got back from the Diamond and agree with you with the suite ammenities. We have always had a suite on other cruises and we felt we were left out in the dark about what extras we had. We took advantage of the laundry service but were charged one day for this and we had to inquire about the priority tending ourselves and I guess that we were suppose to have a special area for disembarkating but no one ever let us know about it. Other than that, the room was beautiflu and the ship is truly magnificient.

 

SS Norway, 1998

Norweigan Sky, Alaska, 2000

Norweigan Sun 2002

Diamond Princess 2004

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Any possibility of scanning in your Princess Patters and posting them for us? It would be very interesting! Thanks!

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