Yaling and I just got back from our Mexican vacation. We went on a Mexican Riviera cruise on the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas. We have gone to Mexico a couple of times but never cruised there. I have talked about Mexico in general as a destination in the past, so today, I thought I would compare the pros and cons of a Hawaii or Mexico cruise. Obviously, I’m a Hawaii travel agent; I’m partial to Hawaii. However, I am trying to be objective. Note: When talking about Hawaiian cruises, I’m talking strictly about the seven-day Norwegian cruise line Pride of America itinerary around the Islands; we recommend this Hawaiian over all others because you can experience more of Hawaii. Less time at sea gives you more time here.
In comparing the ships’ for a Hawaii or Mexico cruise, In general, Royal Caribbean Princess Holland sails nicer ships, has a foreign crew and higher staff-to-passenger ratio, and better service than the NCL Pride of America, which is a US-flagged ship.
We podcast about Hawaii because we love Hawaii.
We spent the first two days at sea, and then because of the tropical storm, we had to spend a third day at sea, and our entire itinerary got reversed. This allowed us to see what goes on when you have nothing else to do but stay on the ship. Bingo, belly flopping contests, shopping, casino, cheesy seminars that lead to expensive sales pitches, food, food, and more food. I was laughing because one day they had napkin folding and puffy dark circles under your eyes seminars. To their credit, they do a great job of coming up with things for people to do if that’s your sort of thing. Our free time was spent mostly hanging out at the pool, in the gym, or in our stateroom. Warning: There was a lot of smoking aboard the ship, which limited my time in the casino, which was probably good.
On the Hawaii cruise, there is freestyle dining, so you can enter any restaurant anytime. You don’t need reservations. You’re spending a lot of land time when you come to Hawaii, so it’s much better to have flexibility. We only ate in the main dining room once; it took a long time, and the food was just okay. The rest of the time we spent at the buffet or we can eat whatever we want. We took excursions at each port but felt rushed, which took away from the experience. The tours’ quality and Hawaii is beauty are so much better.
The Mexican Rivera cruise is much less expensive; however, the old saying” you get what you pay for” applies here.