Overview: We planned this cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We were not disappointed on the whole but I will note some small issues as I write this review.
Ship: Mercury is a beautiful ship, but after cruising on Brilliance of the Seas in the meantime, it is a little dated even though it was commissioned in 1997. Deck space was a little sparse, especially on sea days when pool usage was at a peak. Mercury does have an awesome AquaSpa with a thalassotherapy pool that was incredible. We enjoyed this tremendously.
Stateroom: We had a Sky Suite, room 1204 that comes with a personal butler which is an awesome touch. What ever we needed, we just let Joeseph know and with in minutes, there it was. Out stateroom was approximately 300 sq.ft. with a 150 sq.ft. balcony which we used constantly. The balcony was great to eat, read, or watch the Mercury dock at a new port on the Mexican Riviera. The room had tons of storage space and was very comfortable, but as with the rest of the ship, the furniture was a little cheap and dated looking even though Mercury was launched in '97.
Dining: The dining options were just OK even though the food in the main dining room was great. There are only a couple of places to get lunch outside of the dining room (who wants to dress for lunch?) and the buffet which was a little limiting unless you like buffet style, or hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza. Brilliance has many options for lunch and dinner which we found more to our liking overall.
Service: Just fantastic! We loved our butler in our Sky Suite, Joeseph. Our waiter at dinner Osaun, was alos great and we got to be friends (as much as you can be on a cruise) with both. They both seemed to appreciate that we enjoyed their service and did not gripe or complain as they mentioned about 80% of the passengers do. I do not recall our cabin attendants name as she was so unobtrusive and kept our room so clean we hardly ever saw her.
Ports: I will not go into detail for each port but we enjoyed Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa the best. Mazatlan and Manzanillo are very poor areas. There were such differences in the cities based on what kind of resort area it was. Cabo and PV get a lot of other tourists beside cruise ships which raises the standard of living appreciably. Acapulco was OK though the area where the port is located is a very poor area with skinny dying dogs laying around on the street and sales people following you around for blocks trying to get your money.
Entertainment: Just so so as on any other cruise line. A great comic on night 4 but the only broadway style show that was worth seeing was the 10th night (I believe) and it was not very memorable. Lot's of activities, but the cruise director was not very friendly after I tried to talk with him one night after he had MC'ed a trivia game.
Overall: A pretty great cruise over all. I would give the entire cruise a 4 star rating out of 5. Service and food was much better than any other cruise line we have been on but as I stated, Mercury is already a little dated. We would sail on Celebrity again in a minute, we would just pick one of the newer Millenium class ships. We were very excited to hear of the two new 117,000GT ships, the first of which will debut in 2008.