Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

thepirate

Pride 01/02/05 Review - Mexican Riviera

Recommended Posts

Just got back from a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise on the Carnival Pride. Had never been on a cruise before and thought it was great.

 

With the exception of the casino staff, everyone was great. The casino staff was unfriendly and unwelcoming, with the exception of one roulette dealer. Our waiters (Ketut and Widi) were phenomenal, as was our cruise director, Greg Kneale. This was Capt. Alessandro's last trip, so we felt kind of bad about missing the cocktail party. Our bar waiter, Dmitri, was also polite, but a little lacking, as he didn't know what wines to suggest with different meals. The food was wonderful! The only suggestion (and I saw this as well in the Cruise Critic logbook in the library), was to not have such hot plates for cold foods like sushi and sandwiches.

 

Can't say enough positive things about the cruise (especially Ketut, our waiter), and I've already covered all the negatives. If there are any particular questions or comments, post a reply and I'll get back to you soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad to hear you had an enjoyable cruise. The Pride is a wonderful ship. How was your weather?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah!!! FINALLY...a Pride review. Thanks, it's been a long time.

 

I'd like to know about the weather also!

 

What did you do in the ports?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad you had a good time, I'm going on 2/6/05.... I too, am wondering about the weather. Me and my mom have been worried about the temperature, don't want it to be chilly! :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The weather was great in Mexico, but really crappy in Long Beach. Terrible, terrible seas in Northern Baja... lots of seasickness all around the ship. In port, don't do shopping excursions. I didn't do a single excursion, but wound up in better shops for a lot cheaper. Especially notable was one tequila shop right down the road from Hooters on the main street by the beach in Vallarta. They freely gave samples of their high-end bottles, and were exceptionally friendly. Also recommended is going to a liquor store for your Corona fix. $1/beer rather than the $5 that the ship charges. Of course, you can't take it back onto the ship.

 

I have to recommend against the pirate-ship excursion in Vallarta. Though I didn't go on it, I could see it from the Pride, and it looked pretty funky.

 

The ship was very, very clean. Anyone who goes should say hi to Zuzana, a most charming waitress and drink watress in the Lido deck. She was wonderfully pleasant, and came around to talk to us more than once, though she was not part of our wait staff.

 

The maitre'd was just OK. We didn't end up tipping him, as all he seemed to do was tell us "thank you" and "welcome". The entire wait staff sang and danced at most dinners, which was a lot of fun. Again, Ketut shined here with his energy and talent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So nice to read your positive comments about the cruise. We are booked for another cruise on the Pride in May. Hopefully Greg will still be there this time and not on vacation! On our last cruise the wait staff and room steward were all very nice and helpful!

 

Did you stay at a hotel prior to the cruise? If so, which one? The wife wants to stay at the Queen Mary, but I like the Coast Long Beach. Is it really worth the extra money to stay at the QM?

 

Steven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well all, here is Part One of what may be a rather long post concerning the Pride cruise of 1/2/05.

 

Just a little preface, my wife and I went on the cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

 

First we decided to stay on the Queen Mary on the night before the cruise. For any who have not roamed around in wide eyed wonder on board the Queen Mary all I have to say is that this is a must. We arrived in Long Beach at around 2:30 PM on Saturday the first. The parking area is really not too confusing except for those of us with cruising goggles blinding us in about every direction. All I have to say is when coming into the Queen Mary area (Piers F thru J I believe) just stay to the right a lane and dont go into the Queen Mary parking area just follow the big friendly signs to cruise ship parking. It is pretty well marked, but we were trying to sight see instead of paying close attention to the parking lot markings and as such got to tour the Queen Mary parking lot before making it into the Cruise Ship Parking Garage. The rate is $12.00/day or 96$ for the 8 days we were there.

Upon arriving at the Queen Mary we discovered that the normal check out time was at 12 noon but since it had obviously been a late night on board they were allowing guest to check out at 2 pm making the "guarunteed" 4 PM check in time to get pushed back a little. Not to worry though we look around the ship for about a half hour before checking back at the registration desk (now the time is about 3:30 pm) only to find out that the check in would be delayed. Good new was that they started pouring free champagne (Queen Mary Hotel Sparkling wine) and continued free flowing the bubbly until we checked in aroun 4:45 or so. Needless to say... hammered.... no really really hammered.... the wait was not really painful but rather more numbing and calming.

After getting checked into our nostalgic room we went to the Promenade Cafe and had a wonderful Seafood Fetuccini in a cream sauce for dinner. For anyone able I would highly recommend the Queen Mary the night before the cruise. For our inconvenience the registration desk gave us complimentary breakfast for two gratuity and taxes included for the next morning. Apparently (we found this out afterwards) there is a free Sunday buffet for all guests of the Queen Mary but we had a full breakfast comp.

As the previous poster had stated the weather in Long Beach was a bit dreary to say the least on the morning of the 2nd. We awoke around 7:30 and after showering were looking out our porthole at the Pride at the end of the pier dwarfing the Queen Mary and actually saw guests beginning to dis-embark. For all of you Cruise Critic veterans I am sure that you saw the posts concerning Queen Mary early checkin but I will cover this as well. We were the 4th couple in line for eary check in at around 8:55 AM. Our early check in took all of about 20 minutes and we were checkin our luggage with the Porters in the parking garage by 9:40 AM. What we did is we waited for a Porter to unload his cart and since he was heading back to the ship for another load anyway he gladly took our luggaged to be checked in. At this point since we had been told that we could start checking onboard around 12 noon my wife and I decided to go to our complimentary breakfast. We finished our breakfast around 10:55 and decided to walk around the Queen Mary a little more. Around 11:50 we noticed that a line was forming in the embarkation area and so we followed cue. We did stop at a gift shop in the Sea Port villiage to get my mother a magnet for her fridge (she is a collector lol).

We got in line for the metal detectors and were moving smoothly when the line stopped and the interior most line was rerouted into our line. Seems that someone had felt it necessary to bring a Leatherman utility tool underway with them.... well since it includes a pocket knife this preciptated a rahter lengthy search of this passengers entire cadre of possesions.....***IMPORTANT TIP HERE LEAVE YOUR LEATHERMAN OR GERBER AT HOME YOU ARE ON VACATION FOR HEAVEN'S SAKES***. Even with this delay our embarkation only lasted approximately 25 minutes.

We arrived in our cabin #7265 interior and found that my mother and father had arranged for the anniversary cabin decorations. Wonderful touch. The cabin was decorated in a great manner and the room steward had already pushed the beds together making one huge I assume King sized bed... or a Queen sized plus. We then went to the Lido deck and immediately upon exiting the glass elevator almost knocked over a waiter with the Drink of the Day Souvenir glasses.... dont remember what the concoction was but it too had a similiar numbing effect. We sat watched the pier at all the others still boarding the Pride enjoying our foo foo drinks and generally enjoying the moment. Just as a general note.... not that it is a real big deal... but on many occasions we traded our souvenir glasses in for new ones when we bought refills (6.45 I believe for the drink and cup and 4.75 for refills) the waiter would merely set our glasses on one of the to be washed dish buckets. Now even though we did not do this one could actually save themselves the extra buck and a half for the souvenir glass and just pick on up and that is per glass. Again I say we purchased ours. This leads me to another point I have seen many questions concerning coolers. We took a cooler onboard with us full of Coke, Orange Soda, a variety of water bottles and even an apple juice container. Never a problem, just checked it in with our checked luggage.

We then had some snacks and shortly thereafter went outside to watch the departure. We next set out to explore the wonderful ship Pride. I have read many posts stating how dark the Pride's decor is. It is true that the colors are rich and deep and tantalize your occular palets but it is anything but dark. The Taj Mahal reminds very much of the Taj Mahal on the Carnival Triumph and even though there is only one main dining room versus a fore and aft dining room the dining rooms on Triumph and Pride are similiar.

All though there is no one exactly right way to start a cruise, the way we started ours was not only relaxing but it was also well orchastrated by the staff of Carnival who did a very good job. As it has been a long day for me coming back to port and all, I will post more tomorrow giving painstaking detail about all aspects of last week. I can say this for a fact I have never felt more relaxed following a vacation than I do right now following my wonderful week in the Mexican Riviera onboard the Carnival Pride.

 

Before I go, just wanted to give a shout out to our wonderful dining room partners Doug and Angela (hope you are feeling better Angela) and also to our new freinds from Victoria BC Frankie and Katey.

 

More later great to have been cruising again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be giving the run down on much much more tomorrow. Our shore excursions all the stuff that I loved on board, the stuff I feel is an opportunity for Carnival and a variety of other things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am excited to see your review. We will be doing our first cruise on the Pride coming up in March.

 

What are some hotels in the area which allow you stay the previous night and park for the week or where would be a good place to look?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Embarkation really sounds confusing to me. We are sailing the Pride 3/13/05.

 

Some reviews I have read say the lines are huge very early, but you are saying you didnt even "notice" a line until nearly noon??

 

If it were just DH and I, I wouldnt be so stressed about embarking.....but we are taking the kids for the first time on this cruise and I don't want it to be disorganized.

 

What time should we arrive for early check in at QM?

Can we drop the luggage off before check in at QM or should we do it AFTER?

What time should we line up to embark?

 

Thanks much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Embarkation really sounds confusing to me. We are sailing the Pride 3/13/05.

 

Some reviews I have read say the lines are huge very early, but you are saying you didnt even "notice" a line until nearly noon??

 

If it were just DH and I, I wouldnt be so stressed about embarking.....but we are taking the kids for the first time on this cruise and I don't want it to be disorganized.

 

What time should we arrive for early check in at QM?

Can we drop the luggage off before check in at QM or should we do it AFTER?

What time should we line up to embark?

 

Thanks much!

 

Sorry to make embarkation confusing. It actually is not confusing at all.

First early checkin starts at around 9 AM. The desk is located on the Queen Mary near the aft end of the ship. You walk onto the Queen Mary near the back part of the ship, there is a desk with information personnel to lead you to early check in. The parking garage where you can check your luggage (this starts usually around 10 AM but we were able to check our luggage through the Porter at around 9:40) is within eye sight of the Queen Mary.

To check your luggage all you have to do is find a Porter, (working gentlemen who are wearing a blue jacket or poncho). They are located on the first level of the Parking garage towards the ship side of the parking garage. All of these areas are clearly marked and within relatively close proximity to one another. Any more questions please ask

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote a review of 12/26 Pride for member review section. It hasnt been published as of date. This was the best cruise you can have. The Queen Mary is worth it and be sure to go on the haunted encounters tour.As to the Pride the tour talk by Greg Kneale will explain it all. He is informative and forthright.

You will be pleased with Greg and his staff. His assistant Torrie is fantastic and so are the social hosts. The musicians are great and the band leader Dave Fulton is not only entertaianing but plays with style and is a funny and personable guy. 2slick did new years show that you could spend top money for if on land and more then get your moneys worth for.The best.Speaking of the best Greg Kneale can not be beat. I have been on a dozen cruises so I have the expierince of cruising and cruise directors. Carnival has excellent ones but Greg stands out. He is not only entertaining and funny but is informative well organized.In addition,he is sociable warm friendly and is always out and about the ship and available to talk to passengers. He is sincere and an all around great guy.Do not miss the "bedtime Story"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry to make embarkation confusing. It actually is not confusing at all.

First early checkin starts at around 9 AM. The desk is located on the Queen Mary near the aft end of the ship. You walk onto the Queen Mary near the back part of the ship, there is a desk with information personnel to lead you to early check in. The parking garage where you can check your luggage (this starts usually around 10 AM but we were able to check our luggage through the Porter at around 9:40) is within eye sight of the Queen Mary.

To check your luggage all you have to do is find a Porter, (working gentlemen who are wearing a blue jacket or poncho). They are located on the first level of the Parking garage towards the ship side of the parking garage. All of these areas are clearly marked and within relatively close proximity to one another. Any more questions please ask

 

Oh, I didnt mean to say that YOU confused me CBCozz......I just meant all the reviews I've read combined have confused me. I think your added explanation has helped.......and I'm sure we will figure it all out if everything is clearly marked. thanks again......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please, please, please tell me that at debarkation, if you carry all your own luggage, that you can get off the ship early? They did that on the Spirit last year. Our flight this year is at noon from LAX, and I'm starting to panic that we won't make it.

 

thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, now for a review of our shore excursions. In our first stop of Puerta Viarta we took the Countryside excursion. Our tour guide Santa was wonderful. She took a great deal of time explaining everything. This tour took you through parts of older Puerta Vallarta, then to Las Petillas, then to Las Palmas. This is an excursion that takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the big tourist city and shows you some of the culture of Mexico. We first went to a shopping mall about 6 or 8 blocks from the Pier. The prices were ok, and the shopping was pretty touristy but we only spent 20 minutes there. Then off to the more rural areas. Petillas was a quaint but bustling little town in which we toured a beautiful Cathedral. Walked around the main plaza there are a few vendors and some shops in the area as well. It was really interesting. Then next stop took us to a small villa where there were making cheese quasadilla's. We had a couple. Of course they were selling a few things there but were not really willing to barter too much. The final area and argueably most rewarding in my opinion was Las Palmas. We were able to get out of the bus and walk around all the while Santa was giving us a guided tour. She suggested that we try some of the popcicles in a shop, we did and they are fantastic. We then got back onto the bus and went back to the ship. Friends of ours went on the Dolphin experience. They swam with the dolphins and simply raved about this excursion. The price of our excursion was around 29$ US per person. For the Dolphin excursion I believe that they said they paid 165$ per person. Our friends also went on a Tequilla distillary excursion the same day. They went and saw the process for distilling Tequilla then taste tested. Doug said that he had a much greater appreciation for chilled Tequilla. However I believe that the average price for a bottle of Tequilla he said was around 40 - 50$ US. Must have been really good Tequilla. After we got back to the ship, it was a number of hours before the ship departed so we decided to walk the shops near the pier. Honestly for shops and even near the cruise ship pier the starting prices were the best (I say starting prices for it is customary to barter for everything) We purchased a surapi (sp?) one of the traditional blankets which were selling everywhere else for between 20 and 25$ for 15$. I was looking for a hat and found one for 4$ here but did not purchase it. There is a restaraunt right near the plaza of shops and the cruise ship was in view. Excellent Margarita's, and they give you all the salsa and chips you want. While we were there we saw black billowing smoke coming out of one of the hotels nearby.

The next day was Mazatlan. All I can say is I wish that they were able to add a day to Puerta Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas. We took the flying mexican indian excursion. It had a show where local Indians performed traditional dances including hanging and spinning on ropes down from an 80 foot pole. They take you to the show via taxi versus bus. The taxi is quite a wild ride in and of itself. Once at the show they have the typical touristy shopping stands, (we did not price anything here) but they do serve Free Tecate beer and a variety of Pepsi products. After the show you are instructed to walk down through the shopping district to a resort which is on the beach. At the resort on the beach you are served your lunch. The lunch consisted of a variety of mexican food, this was very tastey. You also recieve 2 drink tickets per person so... more margaritas. You then have a couple hours to do whatever you like. The taxi ride to and from the ship is provided for in this excursion. I would recommend this excursion for anyone wanting to see some of Mazatlan. Now in Mazatlan any where in the city and back is 10$ US each way but this is for the taxi and you may pile as many people in the vehicle as possible... although I would not recommend anymore than 4. On the beach there is a yellow rope. Vendors walk up and down the beach with arm loads full of goods to look at. BE ADVISED*** if you talk the the vendors they will violate the yellow rope boudary... but if you politely say no thankyou they will just keep on moving. Something that I found out is that if you ask a vendor "How much?" that means that you are going to buy something and if you dont even barter they get irritable. But they gave us no problems. We did buy some silver jewelry from the vendors at the beach. Then it was back to the ship we went. There are shops right near the area where you catch the tram to go to the ship but you can do better in town. I personally thought Mazatlan in the city was rather foul, a lot of air pollution from car exhaust. When we go on our next cruise that stops at Mazatlan I am not entirely sure we will leave the ship. If it is your first time I would suggest you take an excursion to at least see the city.

Our last stop was Cabo San Lucas. I would certainly vacation again in Cabo. We took the Coastline excursion. The first stop on this excursion is the glass factory. We were excited for my mother in law had spoken highly of it, unfortuneately the glass was a little more expensive than I would have liked to pay and they were not really willing to drop the price as there were many more tourists to buy stuff. Next we stopped at a restaurant on a hill side overlooking the ocean. The view was stunning. Our next stop was in Cabo San Jose. Quaint city and very beautiful. Not nearly as touristy as Cabo San Lucas but almost as expensive. Our tour ended up at the Cabo San Lucas shopping mall. The mall was very similiar to a small mall in the states. We were instructed to meet back up front in 30 minutes but as we were close to the shopping district and rather close to the pier we opted to ditch the bus and head out on our own. One of our stops was Cabo Wabo. All I have to say is Sammy Hagar's restaraunt is good. We had more margaritas at Cabo Wabo which were only 4.50$ They were good. Instead of eating there though we were shopping and walking the streets and happened onto an open air restaraunt. Our waitress did not speak english and we dont speak spanish so communication was a little difficult but we ordered our food and enjoyed the largest margaritas for 5$ that one could imagine. I had two and my nose went numb. My wife had one. Good food. We walked around and were able to buy a large colorful plate and bowl for salsa and chips. We bartered the vendor down to 12$. When we were back on the ship we saw a similiar plate and bowl in the duty free shop. The plate was 55$ and the bowl sold for 8$. whoo hooo we win.... anyways.

 

Loved PV, Mazatlan was ok loved Cabo. One final thing about our excursion in Cabo.... I would not recommend it. You can probably see as much as we did without wasting as much time as we did.

 

I will post more about the ship and activities tomorrow.

 

We did order room service and it did not cost, since we were on the 7th deck we took burgers and pizza back to the cabin as well.

 

anyways more to follow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please, please, please tell me that at debarkation, if you carry all your own luggage, that you can get off the ship early? They did that on the Spirit last year. Our flight this year is at noon from LAX, and I'm starting to panic that we won't make it.

 

thanks

 

From the time that the ship cleared customs until we were on our way home was only about 35 or 40 minutes. Since you have an early flight they will send you off with the first group. RELAX, dont stress you will be on vacation enjoy enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On our last Carnival cruise we had early flights out (around noon) and we panicked as well. The day before we debarked, my DH took our flight information to the Purser and they gave us VIP tags so that we could exit the ship earliest.....and we did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I just wrote a review which took an hour and then the darn form lost it when I tried to post. I'll try to use this reply since it's the same topic. I had a similar experience to Pirate's. So here is a five minute rundown:

 

Embarkation - did early check in at queen mary - super easy and we were on board at 12:20, thanks to this board, we knew where to go for the check in!

 

Food - Fantastic, fabulous, flawless, Rave review on the food, I can't imagine being disappointed given the quality, selection and presentation, the best part of the cruise and I was simply blown away by the cuisine in the main dining room and at the supper club, David's

 

Activities/Shows - lots to do, see and participate in. Do the Pub Crawl, even if you don't drink - it's a blast! Only play bingo for the half price and multiple games - it's expensive. Casino-fun, karaoke-fun, piano bar-fun, internet - too expensive (it's free in cafes in ports) Gym - fully stocked, spa - had a massage. All staff were friendly and interesting to talk to.

 

Room - Get a balcony, it's worth it. The room was bigger than hotel rooms I've had in New york and San Francisco. Plenty of counter space, no need for over the door shoe holder. Steward took care of everything we needed and we left him an extra $20 at the end. Bungee cord for the balcony door - Brilliant!!!

 

Free drink opportunities - 1st and last art auctions, the Captain's cocktail party on Monday night. Champagne is often given as a prize and you can bring it to the dining room and drink it with no corkage fee. (The wine you bring from home has a $10 corkage) Buckets of beer are $11.50 for four, we brought one 12 pack with us (no questions asked) and three bottles of wine. The drink special is $2.95 without the souvenir glass, bloody mary's are $2.95 in the morning and there is usually a few evening drink specials.

 

Ports - On port days, we made our way to the beach and enjoyed service on the sand and swimming in the sea, so I can't give any excursion info.

 

Debarkation - long, but only because five customs agents process two thousand people. I knew what to expect and read a good book while waiting.

 

Overall Review: Glowing, 5 star, exceeded my expectations in nearly every way. The cruise director Greg Kneale was fantastic. I will never forget this experience!!!

 

Cheers, and take a trip on the Carnival Pride!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all that took their time giving us future cruisers their reviews and informative thoughts. I depart on Feb. 13th and can't wait. We are flying in a day early and staying on the Queen Mary that night, want to take the ghost tour.

Thanks again to all for the great info. Lydia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Puerta Vallarta, we took a cab to town ($4 pp) and walked from there down the beach and sat in some chairs in front of a hotel, they don't mind as long as you order something. We took the bus back to the ship (40 cents each- just look for the blue and white bus and ask if it goes to Walmart) We had beers and lunch right on the sand! In Mazatlan, same thing down in the Golden Zone ($10 cab to and from the ship) In cabo, we walked down the beach from the little shopping area where you get off the tender. Stunning beach in Cabo. Just learn how to say No, gracias to the peddlers and enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...