2024 Solar Eclipse cruise

Sun deck, Wake View pool and vista out over the ocean with the Discovery Princess's wake on a beautiful clear and sunny day

Total Solar Eclipse & Mexican Riviera 10-day cruise aboard Discovery Princess – April 3-13, 2024

This is my first cruise with Princess Cruises, aboard the Discovery Princess departing from San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles, California, USA and returning to the same port 10 days later. A travel buddy and I took flights from Victoria to Los Angeles a day before the ship departed, and stayed in Torrence overnight before boarding the next day.

The weather on this voyage was nearly perfect, with some warm tropical weather on the Mexican Pacific Coast, but some overcast skies kept the temperatures comfortable. Of course clear skies were what we were seeking while observing the Total Solar Eclipse from the ship, and thankfully the ship’s officers very skilfully found a good spot offshore for our time under the Moon’s shadow at the appointed time on April 8, 2024.

If you just want to see a photo album of the whole trip – 2024 Solar Eclipse cruise – about 150 photos – a 15-minute slideshow or flip through them as you wish.

My full itinerary is listed below. Feel free to click on what interests you, however if you click on the top-most item, there are links at the bottom of each page (just above the Comments section) to take you to the next destination – from beginning to end. This is the best way to explore the whole trip as it happened.


How it started and evolved

2024 Total Solar Eclipse cruise map - note that Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta port calls were later switched!
2024 Total Solar Eclipse cruise map – note that Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta port calls were later switched!

I have not cruised on Princess before, however when I heard the Discovery Princess was doing a short cruise to the Mexican Riviera and would be in position to observe the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse, I booked a stateroom. This was over two years before the cruise was scheduled to sail, so the fares were attractively priced and included some extras. I have cruised very similar routes before, and since I had observed eclipses from ships before, I knew this would work well for me. The ports-of-call were pretty familiar, however I was keen to re-experience Mazatlan, and Manzanillo was a new port-of-call for me.

Princess altered the itinerary about a year out, deciding to be at sea on eclipse day rather than docked in Mazatlan. They also switched the port calls to Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. This caused no problems, since no ports were missed from the original booking, and being at sea on eclipse day meant they could move to avoid cloud cover.


In addition to the reasonable cruise fare, Princess also offered to pay the crew appreciation gratuity, and included basic Wi-fi and drinks, making the deal even sweeter. I also took advantage of their airline bookings, which was convenient and saved even more on the total cost of my travel. Being an early booking, Princess only wanted a $65 deposit to hold the reservation, with final payment due three months before departure. So it ended up being a deal I couldn’t refuse!

Bottom line cost: CA$495/day or US$354/day (single, balcony) – including cruise, airfares, and other expenses.

So was it worth it?

I was happy with Princess Cruise Line, since their crew did a wonderful job of enriching the solar eclipse observing experience with expert lecturers. Both the captain and cruise director were very keen to ensure everyone aboard had a good experience, and I believe they succeeded! Being on a ship with 4,500 passengers is not something I like, since there is perpetual crowding and I found it difficult to find a quiet spot (other than my stateroom). I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful staff, who still give personal service to passengers despite there being so many of us.

The meals in the buffet-style World Fresh Market on Lido were outstanding, offering huge choices, excellent food quality, and the service by the wait staff was always top notch. Of course, the highlight of this trip for me was observing the Total Solar Eclipse. My travel buddy and I both found socializing with our fellow passengers was not as easy as when sailing on smaller capacity ships. We also found virtually all of the common space venues to be too noisy to enjoy time spent there. That said, everyone aboard seemed to be enjoying all the hustle and bustle, and we met many passengers who were repeat Princess cruisers, so obviously the formula of having lots of big and busy venues works for their dedicated clients.