Oosterdam

Year Built 2003 Gross Tonnage 85,000 Length 951 feet Beam 106 feet Passengers 1,848 Passenger Decks 11 Crew Size 842 Passenger Crew Ratio 2.2 1 Stateroom Size 154-1,343 sq ft Space Ratio 46.0 Not that HAL would ever say so, but the debut of this vessel on the Mexican Riviera for the 2004-2005 season was, in my opinion, a response to the introduction of evermore extravagant ships on this run by other lines, especially by Carnival and Princess. The second of Holland America's four magnificent new...

Diamond Princess Sapphire Princess

Year Built 2004 2004 Gross Tonnage 113,000 Length 952 feet Beam 123 feet Passengers 2,670 Passenger Decks 13 Crew Size 1,133 Passenger Crew Ratio 2.3 1 Stateroom Size 168-1,329 sq ft Space Ratio 42.3 These ships are a newer and slightly altered version of Princess' unbelievable Grand-class ships. Their introduction into Mexican Riviera service (along with one of Carnival's Spirit-class ships) definitely raised the bar on mega-sized luxury vessels in this market. Ship competition being extremely...

Whos Who In The Cruise Business

There are literally dozens of cruise lines throughout the world, many of them completely unknown to the American traveler because they don't cater to this market. But even if you limit yourself to North America there are more than a dozen major lines. At least in name. Consolidation, so common in every industry, is also a trend in this business. There are relatively few cruise companies if you consolidate brands by their corporate banner. Here's the lineup Carnival Besides Carnival, this...

Los Angeles

This is clearly the leading embarkation city for Mexican cruises. There are many reasons for this but among the most important are its relative proximity to Mexico the wide choice of flights available from all over the United States into the Los Angeles area and the drawing power of the many sights in and around the city. The latter makes it possible to spend additional time here either before or after your cruise. There are two different ports from which Mexican cruises depart and or return to...

Binoculars

And plenty of extra film, tapes and battery packs. Although you will be able to purchase film and other needs in port (as well as on board ship), the prices are much higher than at home. Do price film developing on your ship, as it is less expensive than you might think. All ships now have full digital services as well. Sometimes this can be a relative bargain. If you are going to be snorkel-ing, scuba diving or otherwise going beneath the surface of the water, you...

Rete Cruise Tours

Cruise tours are package plans that combine land travel either before or after the cruise - or perhaps both. These types of packages are popular in Alaska and in Europe and are offered in an amazing variety. The nature of cruising Mexico's Pacific coast, however, with its common round-trips to California ports, doesn't lend itself nearly as much to complete packages. Extended stays in your embarkation or debarkation city are available from the cruse lines and these are usually the closest thing...

Itineraries

N some of my previous cruising guides I listed the ac-Itual itineraries for each ship and evaluated them on a case-by-case basis. I find that I can no longer do that because the cruise lines seem to change itineraries so often that it's impossible to keep the information timely in a book that comes out only occasionally. Moreover, Mexican itineraries tend to be much more similar in nature than in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean where the number of ports is much higher and the combination of...