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Just Back From Mexico On The Dawn Princess and Had A Great Time

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Jan 28th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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Just Back From Mexico On The Dawn Princess and Had A Great Time

I thought I would post a trip report, since there didn't seem to be much info when I was searching this site before we left. Maybe I can be of help to others who are doing this trip.

We left from SF, which was very convenient for us. We live in the Bay Area, so just drove to the dock and parked across the street. It was cold, but crystal clear when we sailed out of the bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Very beautiful, and we had a glass of champagne while enjoying the view from the top deck.

Our first three days were at sea, which sounded like a lot before we left. Well, it was heavenly and very relaxing. I loved our time on at sea. We had a balcony cabin, and enjoyed the view. We ordered coffee to be delivered every morning, and could enjoy that until we got ready for breakfast.

There are so many things to do on the ship while at sea that it is impossible (to us, at least) to be bored. There is something for everyone, no matter what you like.

By the second day at sea, we were spending a lot of time on the deck. We enjoyed the quietness of the lower deck on the back of the ship, where we read and soaked up the sun.

We had chosen Anytime Dining, so didn't make any dinner plans or reservations. The first night we showed up at the bar near the piano in the atrium and ordered a cocktail. We put our name in for a table at the restaurant, then sat and enjoyed our cocktails while listening to the music. We always chose to sit with other couples, and met many nice people that way.

After the first night, when we entered the bar our drinks would appear. Exactly how we liked them, and the waitress not only remembered our order, our names, but even our card numbers!

We usually stayed a long time at the dinner table, enjoying our conversations. Then we either went to a show or to the casino.

When we got to Acapulco we hired a taxi driver to drive us around. The ones right outside the ship were like vultures, and we avoided them. We found a guy outside, on the street who we liked, and hired him. We wanted to see Las Brisas, since it was always my fantasy to stay there. Well, thank God we hadn't planned to do that! It wasn't anything like I imagined. Very 50's modern. The woman at the desk offered to show us a room, so we waited at least 20 minutes. No one ever came, and she said there was no one available. We had thought we would hang out around the pool, have a drink, and enjoy the afternoon. Not! We left, and my fantasy of that place is over.

We then went to the Acapulco Princess, which is now a Fairmont. It is beautiful, on a nice wide beach. We walked all around, then had a drink at a restaurant on the beach. We really liked it there, and it looked like a great place to stay. It was hot in Acapulco, about 90 degrees. No one wanted to complain, though, since everyone had been complaining about how cold they had been in SF!

We asked our driver where we should go to watch the sunset, and he took us to the Flamingo Hotel. It is up on a cliff with a great view. We invited him to join us for a drink there (he had lemonade, since he was driving), and we had a blast. We loved the place. It is very old, and was filled with Mexican people. Great margaritas and lots of local color.

Then we went to La Perla, where I had made reservations for the dinner show at 7:30. We had a great table with a perfect view of the cliff divers. I made the reservations on-line before we left home. We ended up seeing two shows.

After that we went back to the ship in time to sail away at 11 pm. The view of Acapulco from the deck was beautiful.

The next day we sailed into Zihuatenejo as we woke up. We walked all around town, then took a taxi to Villa del Sol, which we wanted to see. We hung out there for a couple of hours, and really liked it there. Very beautiful and peaceful. I would go back there in a heartbeat.

The next day was Puerto Vallarta. We have been to PV, Mazatlan, and Cabo many times, so this was where we got in our "beach time". In PV we walked to the Krystal. For $20/pp you can use the chaises, palapas, and pool, and it is applicable toward food and drink. We stayed there all day. It is impossible to use up the $20, even with margaritas, cervezas, and lunch, so we think it is a real bargain!

In Mazatlan we took a taxi to the Golden Zone, where we went to the Playa Mazatlan. We were there twice last year, so the staff recognized us and it was like old home week. We were shocked to see that the beach was gone, due to a storm the past few days before we got there! We are used to the big wide beach there, but it was a sand cliff that the waves were crashing up against. We still enjoyed what beach there was, and spent the day there. They have a wonderful restaurant with great shrimp, so we had lunch there. It was great.

In Cabo we were going to stay on the ship. We were looking forward to having the ship to ourselves for a day of sunning. But it was too cold! So we ended up going into town and walking around. In Cabo you have to tender in, but we didn't have to wait. When we got back to the ship I had a spa sampler that included a mini-facial, a back massage, and a ginger lime scrub for $99. I would have enjoyed it more if the room hadn't been so cold.

The first couple of days on the ship we were getting reports from the captain about nanovirus cases onboard. They were being very cautious about it, and we didn't hear anymore after a few days. Some of the friends we made onboard got a respiratory thing that seemed to be going around. I got it on the way home, and am thankful I didn't get it earlier!

The last two days of the trip were at sea, and we were glad to have that time to relax after 5 days on shore. We were tired! We stayed up late every night and were up early every morning. So have those two days at sea were very relaxing.

My husband treated me to a hot stone massage, and that was heavenly. $175 for 75 minutes. And the room was warm!

We thought the food was great. We were all joking about a lady I sat next to on the tender who said she was "disappointed in the food". I don't know how anyone could be disappointed, but maybe I am easy. They do everything they can to please you and have a lot of choices. We thought the service was great. But some people have to complain, no matter what. One of the comedians said that he was surprised they don't have food on the elevators, since between floors is the longest anyone goes without eating!

Speaking of service, our cabin steward was great. We gave him $20 the first day, then another $20 a couple of days later. I would rather do that than wait till the end. He seemed happy with that, too.

No matter when we vacated our room, when we came back everything had been done. In the evenings, the bed was turned back, fresh towels, chocolates, etc. One of the comedians said that the cabin steward lived in the room whenever he wasn't in it. I think he lives inside the walls, and comes out whenever we leave. Very unobtrusive and wonderful. It's a shock to be home, with no "good fairy" around!

This is a tricky cruise to pack for, since you have to pack for cold weather, hot weather, daytime, and evening. I managed to get my stuff into one big suitcase, though. I pack pretty simply, with all black pants and tops plus colorful jackets and shawls and fun jewelry. I used everything I took, and had a different look every night.

This has turned out to be long, but I hope that it is helpful to someone. We are sorry that Princess will not be sailing out of SF after this spring. It is so convenient for those of us in the Bay Area (of which there were many of the ship). We were home by 11 am on the day we got back, and thoroughly relaxed from not having to deal with airports. I didn't want to get off the ship, and they practically had to throw me off!

If anyone has any questions about this cruise or any of the ports, I will be happy to try and answer them. We had a great time!

chicgeek is offline  
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Jan 29th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Very cool, chicgeek! Thanks for sharing.
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