A little about "me" (us). I have been cruising since the 80's & 90's off and on and "full time" (hehe) since 2010. We try to take at least 2 cruises a year but have been fortunate enough to cruise 3 times last year and I'm hoping it will be the same for this year.
We normally cruise with NCL...I don't know, it was the first cruise line we ever cruised with and I kinda stuck to it with buying the future cruise certificates and getting great deals with the kids/family sail free specials. However, I tried Carnival for the first time in 2013 on the Dream and LOVED it!!! I vowed to do Carnival again in the future and I'm very sorry to say I am just now getting around to it again. Although this was only our 2nd Carnival cruise, once again, it will NOT be our last!!! The only other line I have been on is RC and that was back in the 90's. I hope to sail with them again, I just need a raise to do so...a huge raise. (wink wink).
So since this is my second Carnival cruise, I will not bore you with comparisons between the 2 lines (Carnival vs NCL) since I did that in my first review (located in my signature line) of the Dream. However, I will throw in a few things here and there with both lines when I feel the need. Fair enough?
I have been to many ports (some several times) in the Caribbean and hopefully have helped a lot of you cc people out with my detailed reviews, suggestions and answers on the ports of call sections. I try to be as detailed as possible and I'm a picture FREAK! I'm a visual person and have to see things in detail to get a better feel for what I'm looking at. I'm a research fanatic and will spend months and months reviewing, searching and asking questions over and over before making a decision. So many of you cc cruisers have helped me out in the past and I love to give back to the community as much as I can. I will not sway a person one way or the other but like to give MY honest opinion...and we all know that opinions are VERY different between people and just because I may or may not like something by no means determines whether or not you will be the same. I only give MY experiences and hope that you will dig deeper into whatever interest you.
Now, who I cruise with...normally (well always) the hubby and my 6 year old...wait NEWLY TURNED 7 YEAR OLD (this weekend) BIG GIRL, Sakari. Sometimes my oldest daughter (Kendra, now 26), her boyfriend and my grandson (Brayden, who is the same age as my youngest but 3 months apart) will join us. Then my youngest son (age 20) and his girlfriend (21) have joined us twice now. I have yet to get my oldest son (28) back on a cruise since he was a teen. Some day...
This cruise, it will be myself, hubby, Sakari, Kendra and grandson Brayden.
We (well truth be known, I) scoured the Internet for the perfect cruise to add to our "collection" for Sakari's Spring Break. I knew I had wanted to come back to Carnival and it was a task to find the perfect cruise. I knew I wanted to try different ports this time around as well. I'm hoping this year will be full of different ports than the past (I'll be doing my first Bermuda cruise in 45 days from now). After polling the people on here between 4 different ships....I picked a totally different ship than the 4 I had posted...thanks to, once again, wonderful suggestions from people on here. The Pride it was. After a lot of research and interrogation from everyone I could, I found that it came highly recommended, had just had the 2.0 updates, Dr Seuss, water works, Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana Cantina and looked fabulous!
Now...just throwing this out there...but this is the MOST EXPENSIVE cruise I have EVER taken...like ever!! Like 2 1/2 times the amount I normally pay for any cruise. However, with the Pride cruising out of Baltimore, I would save what I would normally pay in air flight and that was the way I was able to justify booking it...to the hubby at least. Also, the ports we would be visiting would basically be "free" ports and we wouldn't incur additional expenses with these ports if we didn't want to. Cha-ching, another point checked off in my direction. Hubby agreed, we booked. (Now that I have to pull too many strings for him to want to cruise again lol). However, I bragged a little too much to Kendra about this upcoming cruise that she worked and saved every dime she could...and booked it too. But this time, she left the bf at home and it was just her and my grandson this time around. Now anyone who has read my reviews in the past, know my grandson is...um, well...a little terror to say the least. Constant reminding and threatening does not go a long way with him. I love him to death, but man does he strike a nerve when he can. Just saying...
So the Pride was booked and the planning had begun and I will tell more about that during the review.
As you can all tell by now, I'm a little winded with my reviews. Yes they are long. Yes they have a lot of detail in them. Yes, they contain a lot of pictures. If you are not prepared for that or like the short and sweet reviews, this one is probably not for you.
However, I can say this is the first time I have started a review and have ALL my pictures picked out, done and hosted. So all I have to do is type and insert pictures. It should go a lot quicker than most of my reviews. I know how people can get a little anxious waiting for more. I'll try to do my best. Hey, I want this over with as soon as possible too so I can continue making plans for Bermuda.
So let the fun begin...
EPIC studio SPIRIT PEARL STAR JEWEL GETAWAY SUN SKY DAWN BREAKAWAY JADE EPIC
Dream Pride Breeze Fascination
BAHAMAS: Great Stirrup Cay Blue Lagoon Melia Junkanoo Freeport: Paradise Cove
BELIZE: Cavetubing Cavetubing Bannister Island Shark Ray Alley Goffs
BERMUDA: Horseshoe Bay Snorkel Park Tobacco Bay St Catherines Beach Achilles Bay Jet Ski & boat rental Warwick-Horseshoe Long Bay-Clearwater Tobacco Bay Snorkel Park
COSTA MAYA:Almaplena Maya Chan Nohoch Blue Kay
COZUMEL: Chankanaab Dolphin Swim Chankanaab Nachi Playa Mia Sanchos Passion IslandPalancar
GRAND CAYMAN: Stingray Sandbar Stingrays, Rum Point
GRAND TURK: BOHIO Governors
HALF MOON CAY
JAMAICA: Sunset Hilton Rose
ROATAN: Little French Key LFK Maya Key West Bay ZiplineLFK
ST KITTS: Reggae Carambola
ST LUCIA: Jalousie
ST MAARTEN: Orient & Maho Mullet Maho Divi Pinel
ST THOMAS: Saphhire Coki Linquist Coki