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bales

Diamond Princess Review 11/13-11/20

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Had a wonderful time on our cruise! The Diamond is a beautiful ship with a really good cruise staff. A word of caution, however. Embarkation and Disembarkation caused some people "trauma" To avoid this "trauma" just sit back and relax. We arrived at the port at 12pm (as we have been able to board by then previously) We were on the Emerald Deck obstructed view. They didnt start boarding until 100 and started with Platinum and then higher decks. We got on about 2-215. We were some of the last people called to disembark - appx 12pm. There were still people on the ship so be prepared to wait unless you are in a higher category cabin or have earlier flights. We live in California so no flight. Everything between embarkation and disembarkation was great.

Cruise Staff: Didnt really get to speak with the Cruise Director Chris Nichols (however he is going to another ship-so not sure who is taking his place) The Deputy Cruise Director Stu was really funny and gave a great Champagne Waterfall Party. Donna is the Sr. Asst Cruise Director and we loved her. She was really funny and cute and seemed to really enjoy her job. Wenty was one of the Cruise Staff who did a lot of the activities. Really nice and tried to get everyone to participate. If you get a chance chat with him.

Entertainment: The two production shows were really good. I enjoyed the 2nd one a little better. I think it was there first or second time doing it. It's called Undercover and has an Espionage Theme. The band in the Club Fusion lounge was really good but it was there last cruise. We went to Club Fusion every night. They usually had karoake around 9, line dancing and theme nights around 10-1030ish and an event called Princess Idol at appx 1030-1100 its basically a passenger singing talent contest. We had great singers on our cruise so we really got involved. We get to vote for your favorite, etc. Lasts 4 nights. Since this is stuff we dont do in our daily life we really enjoyed it. They have a disco on 18 aft called Skywalkers. The first few nights of the cruise the age group is varied. The last few nights its primarily younger people. This is actually a great place to go on sea days during the day. Its a beautiful view.

Food: We had PC dining and had no problems. You do need to make your reservations either between 6-630 or after 800pm but we found that the service was quicker than typical Traditional. We did a couple early nights and a couple late nights and never had any problem seeing any of the shows. We ended up eating primarily off the Traditional Menu. We tried a couple items off each PC dining menu and really liked the Traditional Menu better. We had the best service and enjoyed the Vivaldi the best. We also ate in Sabatini's and had a wonderful time. Our waiter and Asst Waiter (Jose) were great, the food was wonderful and we got a chance to chat with Jose and Our Waiter (forgot his name) one evening as they were leaving. Both from Portugal and delightful to speak with. The Horizon Buffet was adequate. Although we ate dinner there one night and they made a great Chicken Curry. The hamburgers were good in the grill, pizza wasnt. Bar Service was good and I dont know if it was just us but we ended up with some "strong" drinks. No watered done alcohol on our cruise! Go down to the Lobby Bar on Deck 5 if you like flavored coffee drinks, etc. Have Carlos make yours. He made the best on the ship and was really nice.

 

Cabin: We had obstructed view Emerald. View wasnt obstructed so that was nice. Cabin was laid out really well with plenty of space. Our room stewardess was so sweet and did a good job.

 

Activities: Normal pool, line dancing, contests, etc. Cruise Staff did a great job. Also enjoyed the Fiesta Party on Puerta Vallarta night. Its on the aft decks and it was just wonderful to be out to sea with a band playing standing on the deck. Just great. The Champagne Waterfall on Thursday night was lots of fun as well. They did about 45min to 1 hour of dancing

 

Ports/Excursions: Puerta Vallarta: Did the Sierra Madre Nature Expedition and had a great time. We had a crazy tour guide. Although not a tour for everyone. Theres lots of bumpy roads and you are in an open area vehicle. We loved it. You hike for about 45 minutes. Easy hike but be sure and take bug spray. Then they gave us lunch on a pretty beach. And We did teguila shooters with our Tour Guide on the ride back to PV.

 

Mazatlan: Did horseback riding on Stone Island. It was fun. Nothing spectacular. The restaurant they take you to is nice with good service and food. Then you can lay out or do water activities.

 

Cabo San Lucas: Had the absolute best time. Did the two bay kayaing in Chillean Bay. Met great people. The staff on-board was great, friendly, informative, and cute! After you kayak you can snorkel or just enjoy the beautiful view from the boat. Then went to Cabo Wabo with some new found friends and had more fun.

 

All in all a great cruise. The ship is beautiful. Never felt crowded except on the last night by the photo gallery/and Saturday morning. Terrific Cruise Staff, especially Donna and Wenty, lots of lounge chairs, lots of places to go for quite time. Hope all you upcoming cruisers have a great time!

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Thank you so much for the great review. Will be on the Diamond this coming Saturday so have been hanging onto every word recently written. Glad you had such a good time. I think we will wait unti 1:00 to get to the pier. Sounds like every cruise has had kind of a late embarkation.

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Bales - we were on Emerald deck two weeks ago. Was your cabin stewardess Maria by any chance?

Sue

P.S. Great review, we had a super time too.

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Hi,

 

Our stewardess was Sandra. Its her first time working for a cruise line. I think she's been on about 1 month. She said there were 4 stewardess' on the Diamond - all from Mexico City. She did a great job and was so sweet

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Bales -

 

 

Thanks for the great review. Could you tell me more about the Sierra Madre Nature Expedition? Did you see alot of flora & fauna, how long did it take, good swimming at the beach? We were thinking of taking this one too and there isn't much written about it on this board.

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Hi,

 

It's an all day tour. when you get back to the boat I think you have about 30min to an hour before they board. They take you about 1 hour north of the Dock. The scenery is beautiful. Very green and lush. You'll drive through a couple of small towns, stop in one for a tour of the church and a very small tortilla factory, then they take you to a mexican families house which was really nice. They showed us how they grind corn for tortillas, made fresh tortillas and beans for everyone and had some small home made candy items you can buy. Then on to the forest. You walk for about 45 minutes. It's not too strenuous but the footing can be unstable as you walk across some very small streams and rocks, etc. Some people wore sandals but I would suggest tennis shoes (or some type of closed in shoe) You do see alot of different trees and plants. We didnt see any animals or birds but our guide told us sometimes they see quite a bit. He did show us this very ugly, large spider in the trees. Despite that it was really enjoyable and beautiful.. Then they take you to a beach for lunch. The lunch was really good - also has an open bar. The swimming was ok. The current can be a bit rough. Evidently on some days they don't allow swimming. We waded in a bit and the water was so warm. On the way back our tour guide brought along some teguila, etc from the open bar and taught everyone how to do teguila shooters. We had a great time but I will say there were a few on another vehicle who didnt like it. It's pretty primitive. You are in an open air vehicle with side railings. Holds 12 people plus your tour guide and driver. Alot of the terrain is very rough so there's lots of getting jousted around. We all laughed and had fun with it but I think we had the "fun group/tour guide" in our vehicle. Also, be sure and wear long pants and take bug spray. Not too many misquitos but they do have wood ticks because you are in the jungle. No one was bitten but everyone had sprayed. The tour guide has spray as well. But if the thought of the possiblity "freaks you out" it might not be the tour for you. We had a great time and thought it was very fun and very beautiful but we kind of like the adventure and trying things you never would do at home.

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Thanks for the great review. We're on the Emerald deck in January. What was your cabin number? Our cabin is shows as sort of inbetween lifeboats so we're hoping for a bit of a view.

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great review!

 

I am going ont eh nature Hike next week. What did you wear? i am prepared for the bugs, but what kind of shoes, clothing did you wear? was is hot or chilly?

 

thanks

 

Violet

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Hi Violet,

 

I wore long pants - lightweight material and tennis shoes. It was warm but not humid this time of the year. Just about perfect weather in my opinion There were people wearing shorts but I wanted to be covered "just in case" my bug repellant didnt work.

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Yeah, the hike is pretty easy. They go slow. The footing can be uneven due to some streams and rocks but overall easy to navigate

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I dont think it was too bad. Primarily by the pool but really didnt seem to come across that many kids. I heard the Thanksgiving (this weeks sailing) has 500 kids on board.

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Thankfully, I'm not cruising Thanksgiving. Will be on the Diamond 1/22/05 sailing. Keeping my fingers crossed that there's not too many children on board and if there is, parents will keep track of them.

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We are on the Nov. 24th Asia cruise and have E406 booked. Anyone been in or near that cabin? We are hoping that our view will not be obstructed as listed.

 

Thanks..

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We are on the Nov. 24th Asia cruise and have E406 booked. Anyone been in or near that cabin? We are hoping that our view will not be obstructed as listed.

 

Thanks..

 

We were in E223 and E221 on the Diamond and both rooms had pretty good views out. Yes, there were lifeboats but we didn't have anything directly in front of the windows. The deck plan is pretty accurate when you see where the lifeboats are positioned. Your cabin does not show anything in front of the window so you should have a good view. Promenade deck is one floor below....you're close to the stairs/elevators so it's easy to go down 1 deck and outside. I know you'll love the ship no matter where your cabin is.

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Bales - thanks for the review. I booked the Stone Island tour through Princess and am glad to hear that it was ok. Did you spend any time on the beach? How is the swimming? I am taking my 2 kids( 9 & 13) with me and am hoping they can play in the water without much concern. Thanks - Shelly

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