We have never been on a cruise. The idea has been in the back of my mind for a long long time. The circumstances till now did not allow for it. This Spring Break (April 3-10, 2010), we are going on our first cruise.
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Sapphire Princess
Duration: 7 days
Destination: Mexican Riviera (Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas)
Port: Los Angeles (We fly from San Jose)
My original dream was to cruise in Queen Mary II (Cunard), since it was the largest cruise ship in the world. Two problems: (a) Royal Carribean’s “Oasis of the Seas” recently beat it! (b) Cunard serves the Atlantic region, which does not meet the needs of us, who are on the west-coast.
As people who know me can attest, I love huge structures (buildings, ships, planes etc.). (I have visited World Trade Center, Sears Tower, Empire State Building, Petronas Towers, 2Ifc and several othes. In a few months, I would have visited Burj Khalifa.). The rate at which new cruise ships are being built, it is just a matter of time before Oasis of the Seas is no longer the largest cruise ship in the world 🙂 So, instead of focussing on that aspect, I decided to be practical.
My first plan was to do a South Amercan cruise, Mexico via Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. This was during Dec 2009 (that is when major cruise lines serve South America). After some research, inputs from travel agents and talking to people, I decided against it. There were just too many logistical difficulties. South America, dont worry! I will get there in future … 🙂
Once I decided on the timeframe (i.e. Spring Break 2010), it was a matter of selecting a cruise line, since almost all of them on the West Coast serve only Mexican Riviera. I researched Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess and Carnival. After reviewing the brochures and checking the customer reviews, I decided to go with Princess.
Note: I must say that it was quite a nuisance to be pestered by the sales people from the various cruise lines. Typically, they wont give out information unless you give your details. I.e. One cannot just call in and get “general information”. Caller-ID helped 🙂
We are looking forward to the vacation and hope it goes well … That is when I plan to put my “Travel Diaries Blog” into action …!