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jim4yoli

Carnival Pride Review

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I know Mark is writing a review about this cruise, but some of you might not want to wait for the rest of his book to come out, so I thought I would provide a brief overview of our experience.

My husband and I were traveling with our two children ages nine and twelve and another couple. This was our first time cruising and we were a little apprehensive, not being sure we would get a good value for the money spent. Well, I must tell you we have a lovely time. Almost everything from the moment we arrived at the pier exceeded our expectations.

Embarkation was a breeze; I don’t know how the process could have been made easier. We did early check in on the Queen Mary, where we waited in line for maybe ten minutes. Then we went to wait in line at the terminal. We were quite early, so we waited about an hour in line. But once embarkation began, it went very quickly. Our friends opted not to wait in line. They waited until the line was gone before they started the embarkation process and they practically just walked on the ship.

The ship itself is beautiful. It’s decorated in a Renaissance theme with lots of wood and marble, nothing tacky or obtrusive to the eye.

Our cabins were large enough and well appointed, with more than enough storage space. My husband and I had an extended balcony cabin and the kids shared an adjoining interior 4c. This was the perfect arrangement for cruising with kids and not much more expensive than paying for one cabin with 3rd and 4th charges.

The service from all the crewmembers was wonderful, but in particular Mohamad, our room steward, was a regular “Johnny on the Spot”. Whenever we returned to our cabins he had been there to tidy up, replace towels, etc. My husband swears there must be cameras in the rooms so they can see us leave. We had towel animals on each bed every night and a chocolate on each pillow; the kids thought this was “so cool”.

Carlos and Lucia, our dining room wait staff, were friendly and efficient. The service they gave was comparable to what I would expect in our local upscale restaurants. They gave extra attention to the kids, always making sure they were enjoying themselves and liked their food. My daughter, who is a more selective eater, ordered from the children’s menu most nights. My son ordered from the regular menu, but ordered his food with out sauce. And Moiara (not sure of the spelling, but I remember she is from Romania), from the bar, always seemed to be right were we needed her. After the first night, she made sure that everyone at the table had their preferred drink waiting for them when we sat down.

The food in the dining room was excellent and at David’s it was exceptional, although the sommelier was a bit snooty. The 24 hour pizza bar and self-serve ice cream were big hits with the children.

My only negative comment is in regard to Camp Carnival. I don’t feel the age divisions are appropriate. No twelve-year-old boy I know wants to dance at the disco all night and this was the main activity for this age group. There were no activities during the day and the evening activities (the teen disco) started at 9:15. And because my son didn’t feel comfortable hanging out with teenagers so much older than him, he did not want to participate in any Camp Carnival activities. My daughter thought the activities for her age group (9-11) were boring, so she didn’t go either. This did not dampen the kids’ fun, however, they still had tons of fun doing other things with us on board.

The entertainment on board was mostly first-rate and there was so much of it. We were never without something to and frankly there was so much going on that we didn’t get to most activities.

In Puerto Vallarta we did the Dolphin Swim, this was worth every penny and an experience we will never forget. Afterwards, we took a cab into town and walked around for a couple of hours taking in the sights. Puerto Vallarta is very picturesque and we could have easily spent more time there.

In Mazatlan we took the city tour. I don’t know if I can say anything positive about Mazatlan…If you’ve ever bee to Tijuana, you’ve seen Mazatlan. The tour took us to hokey tourist traps with staged events. One stop was to see the “cliff divers”. I thought this would be like the impressive Acapulco divers I’ve seen on TV. Instead it was a guy atop a 40 foot man-made structure next to a bunch of trinket vendors. The Papantla flyers were, however, pretty remarkable.
In Cabo San Lucas we did the Santa Maria Sail and Snorkel, which was a lot of fun. Afterwards, we had lunch at the Shrimp Factory and walked around town. This was my favorite stop, the beaches are gorgeous. I can see us coming back here to stay for a land vacation.

Okay, so it wasn't so brief. But there is just so much to say. Our overall experience on the Pride was excellent and I can’t wait to cruise with Carnival again soon.

Yolanda

Carnival Pride to the Mexican Riviera
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=FFA000&cdt=2004;05;09;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img]

[url='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008'][img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/15_4_109.gif[/img][/url]

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Thanks Yolanda. And yes, your review was brief and to the point. While I do enjoy Mark's reviews and look forward to the next days' with baited breathe, it is also nice to look at the short and consise reveiws. I have 10 days to go before I am on the Pride and I can hardly stand the wait.

Kathy

[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00bfff&cdt=2004;5;30;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img]

05/30/04 Carnival Pride cruise & the wraparound balcony

[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800080&cdt=2004;6;28;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img]
06/28/04 Ecstasy-
Mom's 80th birthday- It's no longer a surprise!!

Ecstasy 09/13/02
Ecstasy 05/26/03

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Just read your review and for your 1st cruise you picked a great Carnival ship. My hubby and I were
on the Pride 3/28/04. I agree - the embarkation
process was smooth and we were in our cabin at 12:35 noon. Yes, Cabo was the highlight of the
ports visited. Did you see the dancers while in
PV?? They came on-board and performed in the big showroom around 7:15 (but for 2nd seating this was
bad timing). A taste of Mexican music/dance.
Glad you had a nice 1st cruise. Hope there are many more in the future for your family [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

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Seabreez,

We didn’t get to see the dancers, but there was a group of Mariachi’s on the pier when we debarked.

I would also like to mention a couple of other things I notices that other people seam concerned about in general.

Diapered babies in the pool - my husband actually witnessed a crewmember instructing a father to remove his baby from the pool and showing him where the wading pool is.

Dress - First formal night was observed by most and I saw no one in the dining room in less than suit & tie for men, nice dress for women. Everybody looked elegant. We didn’t attend the second formal because we were too tired from walking around Cabo to dress up, so we ate in the Mermaid Grill.

On regular evening, only saw one person inappropriately dressed, and that was a small boy of about 7 or eight wearing denim shorts. As I saw the family entering the dining room, he read the sign that very clearly says, “ Please enter dining room in appropriate attire”, only to have an older lady (grandmother maybe?) tell him it was okay.

Adult only pool - didn’t hang out there much myself as I was watching my own children, but when I did venture back there I never saw any children.

Too many children - Out of 2300 passengers, only 200 where under 18. I hardly saw any children, but I never saw any in any venue where they shouldn’t be. And the only annoying ones where on one of our excursions. A girl of about 13 was whining about the cold water on the snorkeling trip. She was right, the water was freezing cold, but she was almost in hysterics about it.

Drunken boorish adults - I really saw absolutely none of this. I never saw anyone out of control or misbehaving, only lots of people having a great time.

Yolanda

Carnival Pride to the Mexican Riviera
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=FFA000&cdt=2004;05;09;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img]

[url='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008'][img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/15_4_109.gif[/img][/url]

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Hi Yolanda!

Excellent review! Thanks for putting that together.

I hope my "books" are still fun to read. I'm enjoying putting them together, but if they're too long...

Anyway, just wanted to say again how much Mona and I enjoyed meeting you, Jim and your wonderful kids. We've mentioned Daniel and Cassandra to Donovan and Ariel and they'd love to meet them someday! [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

Mark ºoº


[B]5/9/04 Pride Cruise - 1st Cruise![/B]

Visit our [url="http://community.webshots.com/user/marklodi"]Webshots Gallery[/url]

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by marklodi:
I hope my "books" are still fun to read. I'm enjoying putting them together, but if they're too long...

Anyway, just wanted to say again how much Mona and I enjoyed meeting you, Jim and your wonderful kids. We've mentioned Daniel and Cassandra to Donovan and Ariel and they'd love to meet them someday! [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mark, I'm loving your review, please keep them coming. It's just that this so many posters to this board were so instrumental in the planning of our cruise, I wanted to give a little back. I know how much the reviews mean for those who are new.

Anyway...since I hardly saw you and Mona on the ship, I am really enjoying finding out how your trip compared to ours, so keep the reviews coming.

We would love to meet your kids, I'm they are great, just like you and Mona.

Yolanda

Carnival Pride to the Mexican Riviera
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=FFA000&cdt=2004;05;09;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img]

[url='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008'][img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/15_4_109.gif[/img][/url]

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Thanks for the info. My kids are 13 and 14 so it helps to have info about what your kids did.

Elise

7/11 Pride Cruise
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800080&cdt=2004;07;11;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img]

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