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Kapsgirl

Pride 4/17 review & traveling w/23 month old

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first of all THANK YOU to so many people who posted great info that helped make our trip fantastic. my husband thought i was crazy spending so much time researching our cruise but once he saw the helpful hints in action he was very thankful. especially just after he had enjoyed his 75 minute massage at the Krystal in PV for $35!!! so thanks again!!!

 

 

hotel- we stayed at the coast long beach the night before. the location was PERFECT! we walked over to the queen mary (10 mins) and checked out the area the day before. the hotel was clean and accomadations were great. good deal for $145. the breakfast buffet was good. shuttle service was quick also.

 

sun- we did early check in and arrived around 9:45am (we drove over and parked by the queen mary first 30mins are free and after that its 3.00 for next 30 mins.) can also take hotel shuttle for free but the first shuttle didnt leave till 10am. early check in was great took around 15 minutes. then went back to the hotel for awhile.

-later we walked to the cruise terminal because it was such a nice day! arrived around 11:35 and got in zone 1 line for early check in. probably30 poeople ahead of us. then they started moving the line and boarding by 11:55! we were on the ship by 12:20.

-before finding our cabin we went straight to the pursers desk to ask about the partition being opened. we were told that only 23 would be opened for the whole cruise. we were happy to be first on the list. (it was opened around 1 pm the next day). then we went to our cabin and reserved our massages for sea days since they book up fast, made a david's supper club reservation for tues. (sea day) and reserved a window table. it was well worth doing these things first because we had the first pick of all time slots!

 

cabin- we were in 8225 panorama deck/extended balcony. great room & great location ---aside from some noise that we did hear at night overhead. some footsteps and carts. not enough noise to ruin sleep but it was noticable. aside from that we LOVED the location. we were one level under mermaid grill and it made getting meals/drinks/ice cream quick! balcony was wonderful to have. made visiting with friends nice when the babies were sleeping! wonderful cabin steward, eugenia. loved the towel animals

 

yikes...this is long so i'll add more to this thread later! :);)

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food- always plenty to be found!! the pizza was delicious and the deli sandwiches were great. my husband especially loved the captains dinner- monday night. he had 3 lobsters! the meals were delicious and it was fun trying new things knowing that we werent being charged per plate! be sure to stop by the lido deck/aft at 3pm for the sundae bar. we loved adding our own toppings and learned the last day that you can ask for hard ice cream flavors instead of using the soft yogurt. also they'll add hot chocolate and spray whipped toppings on request. mmmm! also room service was very convienant even though we only ordered once for breakfast since we wanted to just relax. we were always to full to order at other times! mermaid grill had a delicious guava juice served only at breakfast next to the lemonade it was delicious!

 

ports

puerto vallarta- i took the canopy tour with my mom. we booked through carnival and paid a ridiculous price 129.00 for the 9am tour. we had no choice because we wanted to get back by at least 1:30 so we could meet up with our group. canopy tour was awesome! worth the money...but if time isnt an issue go through los veranos and pay around $65! guides were fantastic and it was fun. we took a boat through the harbor, then a 4 WD jeep ride up to the canopy area....that was interesting! :) BRING INSECT REPELLENT! I applied repellent before the tour and again once we got to the site and still ended up with 5 gigantic bites on my legs! after canopy tour i met up with our group at the Krystal resort. [bob7- thanks for the perfect directions and info!] it was a close walk from the ship. YOU MUST GO! we were so impressed with the krystal. we want to go back and just stay there! the grounds were so large, lush, maintained, and beautiful. it had everything and for free! There is NO charge for a day pass even though you will be told there is a 15.00 charge at the info booth just off the ship! it had a huge playground area for kids, a ton of pools with great features. the kids pool was perfect for my 23 month old. not deep and perfect for me to relax in with her. the hotel is steps away from the beach and there are thatched umbrellas down at the beach area. 3 people in our group arranged 75 minute massages for $35.00. we reserved it online (through the millenium spa) and got a 15% disc (pay cash). they said it was amazing!!!!! the chips and guacamole were fantastic!!!! be sure to order some! great place, clean bathrooms, restaurant that delivers your food to you on the beach! what more could you ask for!

 

mazatlan- we went to the el cid castilla (careful there are 4 el cids!). when you get off the trolley from the cruise ship there will be vendors trying to reel you in. we sought out the el cid booth to pick up a free day use pass. they did offer a good deal but we didnt want to sit through a 60-90min tour/presentation for their timeshare. do the tour and get free transportation (10.00 each way), free food and drinks-liquor too all day (not sure of exact types), use of hotel....we said no we just want the day pass! no problem! the hotel was also great. playground for kids and a couple of nice pools. a restaurant also delivers your food and drinks on the beach to you. we stayed on the beach under a thatched umbrella in a roped off area. ropes intended to limit harassment by vendors--they helped but you still spend the entire time saying, "no gracias!" oh well. found a couple of okay buys! we did the parasailing in front of the el cid for $25 (plus tip!) each. it was great! what a view you get up there. also my husband rented a waverunner for $50 for 30 minutes (somewhat steep but he had the water practically to himself!) i'd suggest doing water sports anywhere but cabo so get them in pv or mazatlan if possible. the water was extremely busy in cabo and seemed very dangerous. after el cid we took a pulmonaria (open air taxi- fun!) to old mazatlan. found a market area and these were the BEST buys on the whole trip. dont wait till cabo because everything is overpriced! walked around a catheral nearby then headed back.

 

cabo- very short day so plan it well. we mostly walked around through the town shopping and eating lunch. very expensive but nice town. vendors all over. the arts and craft market right as you get off the tender was the best buys and selection. we went to a little restaurant in front of cabo wabo for lunch. good tacos! would have liked to have gone to the "office" for lunch but it didnt work out!

 

sunday- last day and we knew that the crew would be going through the immigration check. they stop serving breakfast at 9am so we made sure we had what we wanted by then. then the long wait began! they didnt start calling color tags (brown and orange first) until 10:30am. there was a comedian in the taj mahal which helped pass the time away. a bit disappointed they closed the mermaid grill and we couldnt get anything to eat after that. my daughter was getting hungry since we were the last color called. we didnt off until 12:30! we happened to be the last dozen off the ship. so just remember 90 days from april 24th will be the next check and there will be delays!!! on the plus side--it was super easy finding our luggage! :)

 

overall a fantastic cruise!!!

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this was our first trip traveling with our 23 month old daughter. it went great. here's some tips that helped things go smoothly.

 

bath- found a very small inflatable pool that fit in the shower for giving her a bath. i tried giving her showers with me before the cruise but she still wasnt crazy about it and that was in a large shower! so we used the mini pool and it worked great. found it at the dollar store.

 

bungee cord- we brought bungees to hold the balcony door open. she liked having the option of going in and out while we relaxed on the balcony.

 

portable dvd player- a lifesaver! when we were getting ready, she needed down time (actually when we needed downtime!) early morning wake ups, occupying her while waiting on last day for our color to be called...there were so many times it came in handy. also played music on it.

 

monitor- we could have our friends next door listen out on balcony while went out for a date! this came in handy so we could switch off and relieve each other.

 

meals- disposable bibsters and disposable sippy cups are a must!!! also the crew was so accomadating and catered to her every need! be sure to put a standing order in at the start of the meal for the steamed veggies and fruit plate...other wise it'll come at the end of the meal after your child has filled up on bread!!! the kids menu in the dining room was simple but perfect. also sugar free ice cream is available for dessert. whole milk can be found just ask for it. highchairs are available and there are trays that go with them--i had visions of my daughter pulling the tablecloth and everything with it! so the trays kept her out of arms reach of glass!!

 

antibacterial/disinfectant soap- you'll need this in your room. my daughter was teething so she kept shoving her fingers in her mouth! Ugh!

 

new toys- i purchased several smaller sized new toys and these helped keep her interest. coloring books, play-do, bubbles, etc...all came in handy. $.99 store had some good things.

 

stroller- trendsport lite stroller from babies r us ($40) was perfect because it reclined. my daughter napped easily in it when we were out in the ports. it is small, light and easy to maneuvor. also it has a tray for her with a cup holder and there is also a parent tray. this stroller was a must!!!

 

bed rail- safety first collapsable travel bed rail was a life saver. we requested a crib and when it arrived we knew there was NO way my daughter would sleep in it. it was small!!! she barely fit and she is very petite for her age. we had a feeling this might be an issue so we bought and brought a bed rail. it was her first time sleeping in a bed and she did amazing. we had the steward make the sofa into a bed (suggested by a cruise critic!) and added the bed rail (expands from 25" to 42"). then took the cushion from along the wall and placed it at the end of the bed rail.. this closed in her bed and it was like a crib. it was safe and perfect. we didnt want her sleeping with us because we knew she'd keep us up. she likes to do an inventory on your body while your sleeping. "eyes" as she pokes your eye! "nose" and so forth!

 

snacks- you can find cereal on board but it was great having small baggies with a variety of familiar snacks to give to her. this came in handy at dinner while waiting for food and also snacking in the stroller going in town or around the ship.

 

over door shoe holder- this was amazing! it helped organize things wonderfully. even my husband loved it!!!

 

ziploc bags- pack lots of extras they came in handy for wet clothes, stinky diapers in the room, wet wipes,......etc.

 

fanny pack- instead of carrying a diaper bag i could fit 1 diaper, wipes, ziploc of snacks, spoon, bibster, sail & sign card, and a sippy cup in it. freed my hands...sure looks goofy with some outfits but what the hell it was a lot easier than lugging a bag around.

 

power strip- to charge, dvd player, NIGHTLIGHT!!!, baby monitor and base, camcorder charger.....

 

bottled water- brought 12 or so and that was perfect especially when going into port. much cheaper to bring your own.

 

crew- everyone was soooo sweet and went out of there way to stop and talk to my daughter. it was sweet and very genuine.

 

also...beware they were checking backpacks/bags for food being taken off the ship at the ports. my daughter was finishing up a piece of pizza (just the crust was left) and a security guard took it from her. we were shocked and boy was she pissed!

 

check out camp carnival even if your child is under 2... there ARE times you can go and supervise play with the toys and times they can be left for a charge. check it out. we went one day and my daughter had fun going through their tunnel and checking out new toys!

 

we had a blast on our first family vacation. carnival was very kids friendly. sorry im so long winded i didnt expect to ramble on. happy to answer any other questions!!! :)

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Great review and great hints. Question - can you tell me where you find disposable sippy cups??

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I have found Safety First disposable sippy cups at Wal-mart, Kmart, Target. There are many different sizes, and they even now make bottles, forks, spoons, plates. Also, I have seen large sets at wholesale clubs like BJs and Sams.:)

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I am going on the Pride on 5/8 with my 2 year old and 5 year old (she will turn 5 on 5/10). Was the water slide open? Did the pools at the Krystal and El Cid have water slides for kids? My DD really loves to swim and go down waterslides. The web site for the massages, is that through the hotel? My wife would really dig that.

 

Did you have any problems with your dinner time? I have requested an early seating but was told there is no guarantee.

 

 

Thanks for your help, glad to see you had a positive experience on the Pride.

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Did you take your daughter to David's for dinner? Are kids allowed there? Thanks again.

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lstrong- as mentioned by another person i found the disposable sippy cups at target, babies r' us type stores. it was nice not having to worry about them getting lost. i washed and reused some if it was convienant.

 

ucla92- the water slide was closed the whole time. it was listed as closed in the carnival capers each day. that was a disappointment. looking at it each day made me want to try it out more and more!!! :(

 

the krystal did have a regular type of water slide at the pool near the spa/massage area. there were so many different pools and bridges over pools and areas to hang out in. lots to do. other kids seemed to enjoy splashing in the little water fountain in the kids pool and swimming under the bridges to get to another pool! there were reclining indent/chairs in the pools too. cool place. the website for the millenium massage at the krystal is

http://www.go2vallarta.com/milleniummassage/

be sure to note that your massage time will be one hour AHEAD of the ships time. my parents missed their couples massage due to this confusion!

 

el cid- i honestly don't recall seeing a slide. we stayed out at the beach area at that resort. sorry.

 

dinner- we requested early seating and got it w/ no problem. it was a perfect set up. we were on the top floor near the entrance--good for quick escape if needed! we were at a table for 8 with a table for 2 next to it. there ended up only being 4 adults and the 2 kids in our group at the table. so that was nice! we didnt have to worry about flying spoons or broccoli hitting other people! actually the kids did great!

 

davids supper club- as tempted as we were we didnt attempt it with our daughter. when we made the reservation for our parents they told us to expect a 2 1/2 hour "dining experience" and that it was very elegant. for the price others were paying we didnt want to chance ruining their experience. my parents said it was the classiest meal they ever had. superior service and very personal. food presentation was amazing. im not sure if there was an age limit because we didnt ask! good luck!!! :)

 

glad to answer any other questions! :)

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oops forgot to mention that the millenium massages at the Krystal in PV also offer "heaven on earth- 4 hands massage" 75 minutes for $70 cash!!! my husband wished he'd of tried that! can you imagine 4 hands for only $70? i paid $116 on the ship for 50 minutes! what a waste of money!!!:(

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Excellent Review! Do you know what would happen if you went to El Cid direcly without getting passes from the vendor stand that you went to?

 

Were the zip lines scary? I'm the only one in my family afraid of heights. Should I try it? I'll be a fat 50 y/o.

 

Thanks so much for your time doing this wonderful review.

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shawilson- we picked up day passess for our friends that were going to meet us at the el cid. by the time we met with them (used our walkie talkies to find each other!) they had already passed the front desk that says "cruise passengers register here". they had been asked to do the 90 min tour then said NO and were allowed in anyways. so i think you will be fine. no one ever asked us if we had a special pass once we passed the front desk. we picked up passes just to be safe and not get stuck with a suprise fee after spending $10 in taxi fare! you should be fine though!

 

also the zip lines are as high as 90 ft which i believe we were told was as high as the 9th deck where the mermaid grill was. it is high up but it is an amazing experience. my 57 yr old mom went with me. i had her go first to make sure she'd do it. ;) she was VERY nervous at first in fact the guide had to "nudge" (with her approval of course) off the first platform. she had a fantastic time and is so happy she tried it. just trust the guides and you'll have a great time. i felt safer doing the zip lines than i did parasailing in mazatlan!!! if my mom could do it so can you!!! good luck.:)

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Thanks for the great review.

 

Can you tell me, did you leave your car at the Coast, and if so how much did it cost? We are on the Paradise in October. We are flying into LAX on Sat and were going to pick up a car at the airport and drop it off on Mon at Long Beach but we can't seem to find any car rental offices near the port or that have shuttles there. Maybe it would be easier to leave it at the hotel.

 

Thanks

Julie

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Thank you for the great review. You were actually on the same sailing as my parents. They are the ones that renewed thier vows on Saturday, 4/23. My father is convinced that my mother told every single person on board the ship! LOL! Could you please tell me how much the couples massage is? I do not see it listed on the page you directed to. Also, how do you get to the Krystal Resort from the ship? Is it walking distance? Thanks for the great info!

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Thanks for the wonderfrul review !! I am sailing 5/1 on the pride. Your info will be very helpful!

 

Ruth

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Heard back from Millenium Massage. Discounted Couple Massage price is $70 US for 75 minutes at Krystal!! Wow!! My day at PV is getting all filled in now. Morning swimming with the dolphins, then a couples massage and relaxing in the pool at Krystal. I just cannot wait!!

 

Sylvia:cool:

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mzmoto- we were told the couples massage was 65.00 possibly because if you print out the millenium internet page and pay cash you get a 15% discount..although that would make it 59.50 so i'm not sure why they said 70. my mom made her reservations through email and they quote her and us 65. either way it is still an awesome deal! you're going to have a fantastic day!

 

We used these directions from bob7 and they were perfect!

 

Leaving the gangway go to the right, around the circular building, go across the square in front the the flea market, then toward the white wall with the yellow wall behind it, go through the gate at the left end of the white wall, and go down to the end of the street past condos and apts where you'll see the Krystal "welcome cruisers" sign.

 

kernow- we paid 145 for the park and sail deal at the coast long beach hotel. it included one noght stay, free shuttle to the cruise terminal and back to the hotel after the cruise, parking for the duration of the cruise, and 2 breakfast buffets that were normally 9.95. so it was a great value. nothing beats morning breakfast staring at the pride docked next to the queen mary. great location. also for 20 more you can get an oceanview room and see the pride come in! when we added up the cost of parking at the terminal it was going to be close to 100 so we figured we got a great deal for paying 145! :)

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oops forgot to mention that the millenium massages at the Krystal in PV also offer "heaven on earth- 4 hands massage" 75 minutes for $70 cash!!! my husband wished he'd of tried that! can you imagine 4 hands for only $70? i paid $116 on the ship for 50 minutes! what a waste of money!!!:(

 

kapsgirl did krystal email you with the time for massage or did you check in when you got there how did it work.

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I just booked a couples massage at Krystal. I emailed several questions to milleniummassage@hotmail.com. In the return email, they stated the price and available times for the day I would be in PV. When my hubby and I knew what would work for us, I emailed them again with our prefered time. I got a quick confirmation of my reservation via email. Good luck! BTW, they did say $65 for both in the confirmation email.

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kapsgirl did krystal email you with the time for massage or did you check in when you got there how did it work.

 

I have massage appointments for our GALS™ cruise. I emailed them and requested available times for the specific day we'll be in PV. They emailed back open times slots for what we wanted, then I emailed what times we wanted with the names for the appointments. They emailed back the confirmation.

 

I CAN'T WAAAAAAAAIT!

 

:D :D :D

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djenkins- my husband called the morning we were leaving and booked the massages for three of us in our group. he did mention he saw the prices on the internet so he could be sure to use the 15% discount. my mom however emailed and received email confirmations just as bardgal and mzmoto did. my only warning is just be sure you remember to arrive at PV time and NOT the ships time...thats how my parents missed their couples massage.

 

good luck and enjoy your massages. i wish i had time that day to schedule one for me but i was on the canopy tour till early afternoon. oh well...great reason to go back to the krystal! :)

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Thanks for the great review~ We leave on the 8th...and are so excited!

My question is about the crib. We have a 22 month old DD who will be sailing with us as well, and you mentioned the crib is small..How small is small? My DD weighs 23 lbs and is about 32 in. tall. She's long and skinny! How close is she to your daughter? We are now wondering if we should bring a bed rail and forget the crib. We have one reserved, but maybe it's not going to fit for us either!:confused:

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they are about the same size! my daugter is 23 months, probably around 25 lbs and 32" tall. when she layed down in the crib there was a little bit of space above her head and below her feet. she frequently turns her body sideways in her crib at home. she moves around a lot and doesnt sleep comfortably in a pack n play for this reason as well. we had spent the night before the cruise at the coast long beach with the same size crib. she had an okay night but woke up a ton and cried off and on so we were sure it would be a miserable cruise with the same crib. fortunately we had brought the bed rail just in case. we had never tried it and she has always slept in a bed. she surprised us and did fantastic. when it was set up on the sofa bed it was closed in just like a crib (using one cushion at the foot of the sofa). she had plenty of room to move around in. the other plus was we had lots more space in the room because we didnt have to use the crib. your daughter might be fine, im sure other kids her size have been alright. i would bring a bed rail just in case so you know you have options. it was a life saver for us! good luck!!!

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Thank you sooo much!! We are going to bring the bed rail just in case!! Thanks to you~

Better safe than sorry!

Ours doesn't collapse...will they have a problem with us bringing a big old 4 foot bed rail aboard? LOL

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we strapped bedrail to our carry on (using a bungee) and rolled in on board. we got a few looks but oh well! part of vacation is sleeping in and that doesnt happen if you have a 23 month olds foot in your face while she's in bed with you! or better yet having her jumping on our backs wanting to play "horsey" at 6am! :rolleyes: cant believe how quick our cruise went--enjoy it!

 

...also it might help to bring a toddler blanket as it is cool in the rooms with the a/c on all the time.

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