Saturday, October 26, 2019

Royal Princess Cruise to Cabo Wrap-Up

I'm going to combine both the September 29 sailing and October 14 sailing together for this wrap-up. They were both the same cruise, going to the same port for the same hours...
and we had the same type of cabin (mini suite) on both legs.

Things to know about these 5 day Cabo overnight sailings, in no particular order of importance:

*It leans towards a party cruise. Lots of younger people, lots of drinking, and lots of families. We had a 10 day Mexican Rivera cruise smack dab between these two voyages and the difference between the passenger make-up was night and day.

*Tender tickets were still a pain. On past trips, when your entire party was ready to go ashore you headed to the dining room to pick up tender tickets. Then you waited there until your number was called. Here on the Royal you can send someone to pick up tickets for you group several hours before even anchoring. You don't have to wait in the dining room; you can be anywhere in a public area to listen for the announcement of your group number. Good idea, right? But we overheard one passenger who had grabbed 12 tickets for her group. When she met up with the rest of the group in the Piazza two other members had also made separate trips to the dining room to pick up 12 tickets. So 36 tender tickets were in the hands of just 12 passengers! It took until after 3:30pm (we had a 1:00pm arrival) for all tender ticket folks to get on a tender. Ugh.
*Speaking of tenders...they aren't calling them tenders anymore. They are being called "water shuttles". (Although the local Cabo tenders the ship uses actually has "Cabo Tender" on the side.) Not sure why we're changing language now, but I don't care either way.

*We had an overnight in Cabo with the tenders running all night about every 30 minutes. We kept our balcony door open at night and could hear some of the groups coming back. Lots of happy and cheery crowds. It sounded like several had quite the fine time ashore. Come morning they fired up all the tenders for constant runs back and forth.
*As usual, our go-to spot was the Horizon Court Terrace. Even with the warmer weather cruise (as opposed to our five weeks in Alaska) it wasn't too busy up there. Never had a problem finding a great table. With a great view.
*If you are getting a minute steak from the buffet, don't choose a thicker one. I did only twice and both times it looked like this. Compared to past cruises, steaks on the buffet line have definitely gone downhill. The thin ones are overcooked and the thick ones are cold on the inside. 
*The International Cafe has redone some of their sandwiches. Even how they warm them have changed. Not only will they press it panini style, they can also warm it in their oven. Cheese actually melting on a sandwich from the IC? Oh, yeah. Yummy!
*The check in process with the Medallion sucks big time. Again, we already had our Medallions and were directed to a very long line to check in. Can we use the Priority line? Nope. It has to be the long Medallion line. Maybe if they had all the Medallion check in stations it would have helped. Next time I'm not going to bring my Medallion and go to the Priority Line instead. It has to be quicker than this stupid line we stood in:
*It was nice to find out about all the dining options on embarkation day. One thing to note on both of these 5 day cruises - on embarkation day the back part of the Horizon Terrace was closed off. One day it was for a wedding and another for a private group function. I guess these short day cruises are popular with groups.
*We tried watching the "Good Spirits" thingy going on in the Good Spirits bar in the evenings. It was pretty much a flop. Once we saw one drink being made...
but after that night we never saw anything else being show on the screens but the Good Spirits logo during the scheduled presentation times.
Princess has wasted a lot of money on the Royal Princess for Good Spirits. While the bartenders there sure like entertaining lady customers sitting up at the bar, they do nothing with the special drinks or the Good Spirits scheduled presentations. Heck, they even stopped putting out the special menu during those times. They better get themselves a bartender willing to do the Good Spirits evening presentation or it's going to be a complete flop. (Actually, it's already there. Get a Good Spirits Bartender. Now.)

*I turned in my free Elite minutes for the MedallionNet unlimited package. The WiFi in Mexico was definitely an improvement over what we saw during our five weeks on this ship in Alaska. But not as good as in the Caribbean.

*Since this was a short cruise there was no Captain's Circle Party so we got the free drink coupons like we have in the past.

*I was only able to catch Matt O' filming the Wake Show a couple times this trip. He and his team were running like crazy on these short cruises. Compared to the Wake Show filmed on other Princess ships, the one Matt O' films is in a league of its own. Matt is highly entertaining and the engagement and excitement he shows with his cohosts is just fun to watch. There is no script, and he certainly doesn't need one. If you are a passenger on a ship where Matt is the cruise director, definitely tune into the Wake Show!

*I say this all the time, but it's worth saying again. On the Royal Princess you will find almost every crew member telling you hello, good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. Like every single one. From cabin stewards to deck attendants, waiters to maintenance crew, and everyone else in between. I do believe this is the friendliest crew at sea!

5 day Cabo San Lucas, Mexico cruise on Princess Cruises