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marklodi

Carnival Pride - May 9th, 2004 - Review, Part 11 FINAL PART (Long)

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“Sunday, May 16th, 2004 – Debarkation and Final Thoughtsâ€

 

Sunday morning I got up about 6am and got ready, then went up and got us one last hot chocolate. We drank it in our room, as it was very cold outside. I looked over the Sail & Sign statement that had been left in the basket by our door and reviewed it against my own “register of charges†that I had been keeping each day. I found this very helpful and easy to do. Basically, once a day, I took all the receipts from on board out of my wallet and wrote them down on a piece of paper, where I kept a running balance of charges. Then I turned on “Fun Vision†and compared their charges versus mine. If there had been a discrepancy, I could have taken care of it then, instead of trying to resolve it on the last day with everyone else. Fortunately there was never a problem. Also, my own register had the charges on it that I knew I was GOING to incur before I did. For example, when we booked the Couples Massage or we won the auction for the first painting. None of those charges show up until you actually make the purchase. So by writing them down and figuring them into MY balance, I was sure to have enough money budgeted for the entire cruise. Especially should any surprises have come up….like the auctions. SURPRISE! icon_biggrin.gif

 

As Mona finished getting ready, I went up on deck and watched as we started to come into Long Beach. It was very interesting watching the harbor’s pilot ship pull along side the Pride and the pilot and 4 Coast Guard personnel jump onto the ship via a rope ladder lowered from a gangway door, all while the Pride was moving. I heard someone behind me yelling, “Miss! Miss!†I looked back a saw a guy who looked like he had been partying all night and hadn’t gone to bed yet. Of course, given that this amazing cruise was coming to an end, I had been tempted to pull an all-nighter myself – just to keep it all going longer.

 

We had plans to meet up with the CC group one last time at breakfast in the Normandie Dining Room. So we went back to the room, gathered up all of our carry-on luggage, checked all the spaces one last time (be sure to double-check that safe, folks!), and wheeled on out of there. We saw Sharon starting to clean rooms for the next group and I stopped and thanked her once more for a great time. Her smile never dimmed and her service never wavered the entire cruise.

 

We all met outside the dining room about 7:30am and went inside for breakfast. By luck, we had Jean Claude again at our table and he was happy to see us. Breakfast seemed pretty plain, and even the French toast seemed ordinary. Only two pieces, kind of soggy…I wondered if they did this on purpose to get us out of there faster. But it was more likely just me, already heavy in a funk for having to leave this floating wonderland.

 

Most of the group had early debarkation because of flights, so Mona and I said our goodbyes and headed across the ship to the Taj Mahal to wait for our color – Gold for Promenade Deck, Forward – to be called. The ship was eerily quiet. No music I can remember, very few people, and those we did see were all melancholy as well. Guess the funk is infectious. No stores were open for last-minute gifts, no casino slot machines dropping coins. Heck the Casino even smelled clean, without a dingy cloud of smoke pervading through it. Mona commented it was the first time she walked through there without coughing or sneezing. Too true.

 

We did notice that the photo gallery was till open (7am to 9am), for those who decided, at the last minute, that the picture in Puerto Vallarta with the parrot on their head was a must-have memory. Also the Piazza Café on Deck 3 was also open, but it was strictly cash-only and kept itself to coffees and bottled water. I know there was also breakfast up on the Lido Deck, but we did not go up, so I cannot speak for what was available and what wasn’t, but I had heard it was very limited as well, with all food closing up at 9am (even the Pizzeria and Ice Cream!)

 

We wandered into the Taj Mahal and found a row to park our tower of luggage. It was about 8:30am, and I really had no idea how long we would be waiting. Little did I know we wouldn’t be called off the ship for FOUR more hours. Yeesh.

 

A quick aside: Parents, keep your children off the stage! I don’t care who you think you are or how much you paid. Telling your kids to go up on stage, dance around, slap their siblings and pretend to fart just so you can get them on video tape in NOT OKAY! And I’m not an old fuddy-duddy saying “back when I was a kid…†I’m a 36-year-old father of two young children. And they would NEVER behave like that, or be allowed to. They have too much respect for others’ property and common decency. It’s a shame others do not. End of aside.

 

At 9am, Jerome appeared on stage, large cup of coffee in hand (it wouldn’t be enough), and a microphone. He was very difficult to understand, as in order for everyone to hear the debarkation announcements, they hooked him up to a localized speaker system. Basically just the on-stage speakers only. It was near-impossible to hear him in the middle or back rows. Many moved forward. We just stayed put, catching bits and pieces of hilarity (at least at first) and I pulled out a puzzle book I stashed in my luggage. Mona started getting a headache, which I found peculiar. Only because neither of us had experienced any since before the trip, and we used to get them pretty regular. Boy, reality sure has a way of making it’s presence known, doesn’t it. She did a few puzzles herself, then pulled out the cell phone to check on the kids. Coverage inside the cavernous Taj Mahal was spotty at best, so she walked outside for a while.

 

They began calling colors, one about every 20 to 25 minutes. I couldn’t really see any rhyme or reason to it, but I think a couple of guys behind us said, “They’re going from the bottom up.†Oh, crap. I hoped he was wrong.

 

He wasn’t.

 

Each time the colors came, preceded by a ding-dong on the speaker and then Greg coming on and calling out the lucky winners, a cheer could be heard throughout the ship and a portion of the crowd with head on out. Greg did an admirable job at the beginning, even throwing in the following joke at the start. “I have a quick announcement. To the very distraught gentleman who reported his gold anniversary Rolex watch missing last night, I am very happy to report that the time is now 10am!†Funny stuff! He also called out the $100 Comment Card raffle winner. Wasn’t us.

 

You also heard announcements from the Purser’s Desk, calling guests who needed to come over and resolve their bills ASAP. There was an urgency in their voices and they weren’t afraid to page you multiple times if necessary.

 

As the time crawled by, I soon wished I had called room service the night before and secreted away a stash of cookies and brownies. Or at least brought along a few water bottles. I wasn’t about to pay $4 for a bottle of water now, so made due with water from the restroom. People were generally polite during this period, although as the morning wore on, the grumbling increased. And then there was poor Jerome. He valiantly continued, making jokes at whatever he good, but he was dragging – repeating comments and making funny noises. It was like watching a car chase on TV. You knew there was going to be a crash at any time, and it had to end badly, but you just had to watch it no matter how painful. My hat is off to Jerome, though. He stayed with it the while time, for nearly 4 hours.

 

More colors and I began to notice the pattern the guys behind us had mentioned. They, of course, were long gone. When there were only 3 colors left, Mona and I headed from deck 2 to deck 3 (where the gangway was) and found a spot just forward of the Starry Night lounge near the windows. We saw groups of crew members still heading over to immigration. Ding-Dong. Not our color. That left only two – Gold & Black. Panorama Forward and Aft. 20 minutes later. Ding-Dong. Gold. YES! (I could just imagine Jerome in the Taj Mahal. “What do you mean black is last?!?! What the…†icon_smile.gif )

 

We grabbed our carry-ons, making sure to have our passports and completed customs declaration form at hand, and proceeded to the gangway. The time was 12:20pm. We expected them to check our I.D.s or tag color or something before exiting, but they didn’t. How they policed this is unknown to me, but since we were second-to-last anyway, maybe it didn’t matter at that point. We headed off the ship and across the long walkway to the terminal. Inside there were several lines for immigration (note: the 2 lines on the right are for U.S. Citizens only, while the ones on the left are for anyone.)

 

Waiting in line, we noticed Pat and LaMar a few people behind us, but they didn’t notice us. They seemed to be focusing on other things. Probably that funk we all felt. At the immigration desk, Mona and I handed over our passports, which the agent swiped through the system and glanced us over. She asked me where I was born, then asked Mona how long she had been a citizen (Mona was born in Germany.) She answered nearly all her life. The agent then asked if her family had been military, and Mona answered that her father was assigned in Germany. That’s where she was born. The agent gave her a forced smile, handed back our passports and waved us through with a “Welcome back to the United States.†Whee.

 

We took escalators down to the ground level and entered the massive luggage areas. We looked for the sign labeled Gold and quickly found our luggage. Gathering it all up, we linked and tied all of our carry-ons together and formed a huge train of luggage. We maneuvered to the final check-point and handed the officer our customs form. He glanced it over briefly and waved us through. We were out of the terminal. I looked around and saw HUGE lines of people, then glanced down at my watch. 12:45pm. Yeah, they were definitely running late, and people were not pleased. We told several people as we exited what a great time we had and that they would have a blast. It wasn’t much, but it did cause a few smiles to appear where there weren’t any before. (Amazing how something so easy as a kind, encouraging word can do so much, eh?)

 

Reaching the parking garage, I fished out the business card for the Holiday Inn out of my wallet and called their number on Mona’s cell. I told the desk clerk we needed a shuttle and waited as he radioed the driver, expecting to be told of a lengthy wait. Instead he came back with, “He was just leaving the parking garage there, so he’ll do a u-turn and be right back.†Finally, something happening quickly!

 

Sure enough, about 2 minutes later in comes the shuttle van and the guy (same maniac driver as before – joy) hops out and loads our luggage into the back. Mona clutched a bag that has non-bendable items in it (our photographs, the 4 envelopes with our free lithographs, the paintings of the Pride we received at dinner the previous night, the certificate from Randi’s, etc.) and we got inside.

 

As we pulled away from the terminal and passed the Queen Mary, I thought of something and turned to Mona. “Did you notice that?†I said.

 

“What?†she replied.

 

“After we left, we never looked back.†She just nodded and resumed her concentration on Mario Andretti here trying to weave through traffic. I thought about that statement for a moment. Was it because of the wait and just wanting to get moving? Or did I just not want to think about leaving? Probably a bit of both. I have a feeling if Greg Kneale had come up to Mona and I and offered us jobs on the ship right there and then, we would have been strongly tempted to stay. Only the kids would have caused us pause.

 

Before long we had collected the car, and were driving up I-5 north to Lodi. I won’t bore you with all of those details, save we did stop at Harris Ranch in Coalinga for dinner and a delicious French dip sandwich…although for some reason it didn’t taste the same as the free food on the Pride. I guess food tastes better when you don’t pay for it at the end, eh? Also, I later learned we just missed seeing Jim and Yolanda at Harris Ranch! Too bad – I would have loved to say hi again. But they’re pretty close to us, and I hope we can do something some weekend together – let our kids, who are very close to the same ages, all do a meet and greet themselves. icon_biggrin.gif

 

About 9pm we arrived at home and drug the luggage into the house. As we lay on the bed, I had already started planning out the first of these Reviews in my head….

 

-------------------------

 

And so that brings us to now. Wow. I wasn’t sure how long these day-by-day reviews were going to be, but I hope everyone enjoyed them nonetheless. They’ve been a lot of fun to write, and combined with the several hundred pictures and scans now up on WebShots, they should form a really good “picture†of what a cruise on the Carnival Pride is really like.

 

The total cost of the cruise for us was about $3700. That breaks out to $1800 for the cruise, $400 for hotels and gas to and from home, and $1500 for the Sail & Sign account, souvenirs in port, etc. That sure looks like a lot to me now, but considering all the fun we had, it really isn’t that bad. I think it could have been MUCH worse if Mona and I hadn’t stuck to free beverages: water (not bottled), coffee, juices, iced tea, etc. We almost always had ice water in the dining room for dinner. The beverage hosts never even stopped by our table once anyway. How Rude! icon_wink.gif

 

I am unhappy to report I gained 7 pounds while on the cruise. Mona gained about the same (but don’t tell her I said that!) It could have easily been much worse, if we had indulged in more midnight snacks or room service binges. We tried the “go with the stairs only†method, but Mona has a hip that acts up on her, so after the first day it was either take the elevator with her or take the stairs by myself. I did try to get to the gym a few times, but honestly, once I was there my heart just wasn’t in it, and I left after about 15 minutes. Always thinking of things I’d rather be doing, etc. (I know. Excuses, excuses…) And for those who say it’s temp weight, we’ve been back for nearly 2 weeks now and it’s still there, holding on for dear life. Because of all the rich foods, I’ve been finding it MUCH harder to get back to my low-cal way of life. But I will. Gotta lose it before the next cruise, right? icon_biggrin.gif

 

I would like to make a few quick thanks, though, before I wrap this all up.

 

First, to the crew of the Pride, for making our first cruise so magical and enjoyable. Sharon, Cristian, Jean Claude, Danny, Tomek, Julie, Bronia and many, many more I don’t know by name. To Captain Galotto for being so cordial and kind.

 

And to Greg Kneale, who not only made the cruise fun and entertaining, but for acknowledging our group and Cruise Critic. He doesn’t nearly get the recognition here on the board as he should; man that guy works hard! But I can honestly say that he made our cruise – and many of those we cruised with – a very special one indeed. Thanks Greg! I hope we can chat more in the future, and sail with you again very soon, my friend. icon_smile.gif

 

Next, I’d like to thank those in Mexico who welcomed us briefly into their lives and made our memories so much fun. Most notably, that would be Randi and her team, Victor and his crew, and Sergio and “his best friend Eboâ€. As for Pepe and his team at Vallarta Adventures, warn people about needing Dramamine before they get on your ship next time, okay? I know, I know. “It happens…†I hope I can visit Las Caletas again some day, but under better circumstances.

 

To all of those here on the board who contributed advice and their opinions before the cruise, thank you (Vette! You’re awesome!) And to those CC’ers who we met on board, thanks for being there with us and we hope you had a great time. Curt and Jane, Jan and Gibb, Zondra and Molly, Letty, even the invisible Battermans (sounds like a trapeze team…)

 

But most of all, I want to thank those few people who made Mona and I feel like family; feel like we were friends from the start and whom I am proud to call friends now. Jim & Yolanda. Pat & LaMar (thanks Mom!) Anna & Bernie. (Yee Haw! icon_wink.gif ) Kerry and Dale. Darlene and Larry. You guys truly are the best, and we hope – no we INTEND on sailing with you all again very soon. December 2005, right? icon_biggrin.gif

 

Needless to say, this first cruise was absolutely amazing to us. We are indeed hooked and can’t imagine not cruising again very, very soon. The amount of enjoyment we received for our dollar was a great value, and I can only hope cruising stays affordable so we can continue to go on the wonderful adventures.

 

If I can offer one last piece of advice, perhaps the most important I can offer, to new cruisers and veterans alike, it would be this:

 

Take the time to meet the crew members on board your ship. Acknowledge them as human beings, and let them know how much you appreciate what they do. I don’t necessarily mean do that by tipping either (although that is appreciated, I’m sure.) No, I mean talk with them one on one. Say hi. Shake their hands. Take a moment to thank them for all they do for you. Get their e-mail address and write them when you get home. Obtain the address of the ship, and send them a letter or postcard when you get home. And please, please, fill out that Comment Card and mention any crew members who made your cruise special by name. That way Carnival knows how special these folks are too.

 

They are all amazing individuals who spend many months away from their homes and families. If you take the time to get to know them, you will find your life so much richer, and make theirs richer as well. And all it takes is a moment of your time and a smile. That’s universal – so is a hug, and you’d be surprised how much they enjoy those too. I’m the king of hugs, folks! icon_smile.gif

 

Thank you for letting me write all this out and post it here on the boards. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions on something I didn’t cover, please let me know. I’d be happy to chat to anyone about our time on board the Carnival Pride. We’ll talk to you all on the boards here, and we’ll see you on a ship very, very soon.

 

Mark and Mona Wilkinson ºoº

May, 2004

------------------------------------------------

 

You can reach me via e-mail at mark1313@NOSPAMpacbell.net. Just take the word NOSPAM out of that address first before writing.

 

Our WebShots Gallery is now pretty much updated. I may make a few additions over time. Please take the time to look over the pictures and scans, and be sure to read the descriptions for each picture. I’ve tried to include information that I may not have covered here in the reviews.

 

Here are links to the previous parts of this review:

 

Review, Pt 1 - Overview

 

Review, Pt 2 - The Trip to L.A. & The Queen Mary

 

Review, Pt 3 - Embarkation Day (Part One)

 

Review, Pt 4 - Embarkation Day (Part Two)

 

Review, Pt 5 – Monday, First Sea Day

 

Review, Pt 6 – Tuesday, Second Sea Day

 

Review, Pt 7 – Wednesday, Puerto Vallarta

 

Review, Pt 8 – Thursday, Mazatlan

 

Review, Pt 9 – Friday, Cabo San Lucas

 

Review, Pt 10 – Saturday, Third Sea Day

 

Mark ºoº

 

 

5/9/04 Pride Cruise - 1st Cruise!

 

Visit our Webshots Gallery

 

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Hey, you just gotta go back on a cruise ...what will I read first thing in the morning. This was a kick...still cannot imagine recalling as much as you...our friends chronicle the cruise while cruising but I can't hold a pen a fork a glass of 'drink' and write all the details...guess the pen loses! With all my time off right now and the rather cold weather we have been experiencing in Lake Tahoe I have spent numerous hours online checking cruise prices...found some 'deals' in January but now gotta convince DH!

Take care and will look for you on the boards!

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wow...this was the most detailed, informative, interesting review I have EVER read! The funny thing is...I'm not even going on the Pride! I'll be sailing out of the same port in a couple of weeks, though. That's why I started reading it in the first place. Then, I just couldn't stop. I found myself eagerly awaiting the next installment. You did a fantastic job...wow icon_biggrin.gif

 

12/25/94 - Carnival Jubilee

6/7/04 - Carnival Ecstasy

3/5/05 - Island Princess

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And thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful review. People (like me) who have gone on this cruise can relive their own experiences, and people who will be cruising the Pride, can understand what to expect. This was great, Mark. THANK YOU!

 

Vette

 

NCL Norway

Carnival Holiday

NCL Sun

NCL Sea

NCL Wind

Carnival Celebration

RCI Splendour of the Seas

Carnival Pride 1/04

Caribbean Princess 2/05

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Great review! I feel like I have already been on the Pride. We will sail on June 20th and know so much more of what we can expect, Thank You!!

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Mark,

 

Thanks for taking the time to post this wonderful review. The level of detail you gave took a lot of time and effort but actually makes me see what I have to look forward to next April. I'm sure I will re-read your reviews again more than once before I leave. (I have the last one bookmarked -- and thank you so much for including the links to all of your other messages for us.)

 

Thanks again.

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=9400d3&cdt=2005;4;3;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0800

Carnival Pride, 4/3/05 (going with a few friends)

 

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Mark,

 

Thanks for the wonderful reviews. It was like a great novel where you anxiously wait for the next chapter. I would wake up each morning and log onto the internet before I left for work, hoping that you had posted the next review. Usually, you hadn't (I leave for work at 5AM) but usually not long after I got to the office, the review would be posted. I would take some time before I started my work day to read your review because I had to read the next chapter and get the next "fix". We leave this Sunday on our Pride cruise. Your reviews have added to the excitement that I already had just having an idea of what was waiting for us just around the bend.

 

Thanks again. icon_smile.gif

 

Kathy

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00bfff&cdt=2004;5;30;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800

 

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

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800080&cdt=2004;6;28;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800

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 a note to you Mark...I weighed in at Weight Watchers this past Monday which is a week after we returned. I lost a pound. I am so proud of myself...now if I could just lose the other 40 someplace, that would make me ecstatic...

 

Mark I am going to miss my daily fix of our last cruise. Where am I going to find you online. Guess we will just have to keep the roll call going or start a new thread with no reviews...we can call it Aftercriuse with Mark....that would be great. I will look for you to start it soon...

 

We will miss you and everyone else we met...till 12/05 and my 56th birthday party...

 

Darlene and Larry, too

 

Sensation 4/2001

Victory 12/2001

Spirit 12/10/2002

Zuiderdam 5/7/2003

Legend 12/7/2003

Pride 5/9/2004

Royal Caribbean - Radiance of the Seas - 10/24/04

Celebrity Constellation - 4/9/05

 

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West to East thru the Canal on the Radiance ots

 

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Visiting the Southern Carib on the Constellation

 

 

 

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Mark,

 

Kudos for putting together that great review, I just love reliving the cruise.

 

I hope our families will be able to get together on land, I would love to see you and Mona again and meet your children.

 

Happy Cruising,

 

Yolanda

 

Carnival Pride to the Mexican Riviera

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=FFA000&cdt=2004;05;09;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800

 

15_4_109.gif

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Mark,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to not only write the detailed review but to also add the comments and helpful hints. I feel like I have a good idea of what to expect in July on our cruise.

 

Also I really appreciate your comments about the crew on the ship. Those folks work so hard and for so many hours daily to make our vacations memorable.

 

What will I do without my daily fix of your trip review???

 

Again, thanks

 

Elise

 

7/11 Pride Cruise

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800080&cdt=2004;07;11;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800

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Mark,

 

I feel like I've just put down a great novel. icon_smile.gif

 

9 times on this itinerary and I didn't notice as much as you on one. Fantastico !! icon_wink.gif

 

I would suggest you put your entire review all together and mail it to Carnival's Miami offices and you just may be surprised to find . . .

 

That cruise you and Mona are looking forward to, just may come a little sooner and a lot cheaper!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

Live well, love much, laugh often.

 

Gary icon_cool.gif

 

Dolphins.gif

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Mark,

Thank you for that review. You are an excellent story teller, and you have made the anticipation soooo unbearable! I feel like I went on that cruise w/ you. Your pictures are increadible. They alone answered several questions about embarkation. I am printing the review, and some of your pics to include w/ the "surprise package" The schedule you had yourselves on was great. So are you for helping all of us first timers on the Pride see what it will be like. My hats off to you! GREAT JOB!!!!

 

USS GRIDLEY CG-21 (85-89)

CARNIVAL PRIDE 1/9/2005

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=8b0000&cdt=2005;1;9;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800  'til I surprise my buddy and help him celebrate the big 5-0!!!!!

 

 

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Thanks so much for this review! However, it's just not fair that I am going into PCD (post cruise depression) over a cruise that I didn't take! (yeah, your review was that good!)

 

Wishing you and Mona (wow, I forgot that I really don't know you guys!) many more happy sailings (and lots more purses for my friend Mona!) icon_smile.gif

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Only two words for you, Mark....

 

WOW!

and

Thank you SOOOOOO much!

 

OK, that was five but I could not help myself.

 

What an awesome review. Your talent and time are greatly appreciated.

 

Many more happy sailing to you and Mona!!

 

Happy Cruizin'

Linda

 

Ecstasy 4/02

 

Paradise 11/29/04 Inlaws 50th wedding anniversary

Pride 5/29/05 Daughters Sweet 16

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Thank you everyone for the kind words. I'm so glad y'all liked the review. If there's any questions or if I can offer any advice, please don't hesitate to ask.

 

Gosh, I think all I really did was postpone that PCD myself...not that the reviews are over, I'm really starting to get depressed. Maybe I should write a review of writing the reviews? icon_wink.gif

 

Mark ºoº

 

 

5/9/04 Pride Cruise - 1st Cruise!

 

Visit our Webshots Gallery

 

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I just want to say how much I enjoy reading your reviews first thing every morning. I just don't know what I am going to do now, maybe we should take up a collection and send you on another one just so we can have something to read in the mornings. We would love to cruise with you sometime so post when you next deposit.

 

Thank you again

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We were in that long line waiting to board. We boarded at 2:00. Unfortunately we also had the color gold and were next to last to disembark this past Sunday but did get on the road to Chico by 11:30. No immigration check for the crew.

 

We do agree with you about Greg Kneale. He works hard and one night in Butterflies he came by and did a 45 minute set of Beatles music. He said he loves doing it and will sometimes do so on his break between shows. He also mentions Cruise Critic several times and tells everyone to go to the logbook in the library. We only noticed that 3 of us did put notes in.

 

Glad we are not onboard this week as they were expecting a storm.

 

Your review was very comprehensive and enjoyable.

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I have to chime in as well and thank you for the stunning review. We cruised the same trip/ship in March and it was nice to relive the whole thing again. Greg was not our Cruise Director on that trip though he was on board that week for the transition as he took over the day we came home.

 

We too were first timers and are now addicted. I was so pleased with the ship, the layout and the feel that it did not seem crowded even with the 2000+ people on board that I am concerned about how to book our next trip.

 

I want to keep sailing the Spirit class ships. I would do the same schedule again but that seems redundant so now we are looking at the 8-day Mexico trip out of San Diego. It is on the Carnival Spirit (same vehicle, different decorations), 3 new ports and 4 days at sea. Like you, we are looking at 18 months after our first trip in order to make a return. We hope to sail again in November 05.

 

Thanks again for the outstanding review.

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Mark

 

I've just gotta say ... what an incredible review!!! icon_eek.gif I looked forward every day to reading a new installment and even though I saw part 11 posted last night, I just had to save it for today, sadly realizing it would be the end of a good story. icon_frown.gificon_frown.gificon_frown.gif

 

While I have not sailed this itinerary, I did cruise on the Pride (Western Caribbean) and your review brought back wonderful memories of a beautiful ship. I could easily picture our large group having cocktails during sail-away on the Lido Deck (aft), and meeting up for breakfasts and lunches in the Normandie or the Mermaid Grill. And the fun of having pictures taken and finding the best photos. Your attention to detail is to be commended. I knew nothing about the Spa (and loved that story) or even the art auction, but since reading of your experiences, I will know what to expect and can plan to check them out during our Miracle cruise.

 

In Jan. We are cruising with a group of about 100 family and friends and while most have cruised in the past (one of which was that trip on the Pride in Dec. '02), there will be many cruise virgins this year. I hope you don't mind, that I passed your review along to our group not only for nostalgia reasons, but for a learning tool also.

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.

{PS ... and like you, we are also over the top, outta control Disney fanatics. We are adding 4 nights in Disney pre-cruise so we can spend New Year's Eve at Epcot - just DH &I icon_wink.gif}

 

Kath

 

1/05 It's a ...Miracle Cruise

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...a true blue spectacle,a miracle come true.

a-angel.gif

NCL Seaward 1/96

Carnival Pride 12/02

Carnival Miracle 1/05

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Mark,

 

Wonderful - I can't wait for the Pride in August. I have been on 4 cruises but my husband (2 years) went on his first last October and he says you are hooked. We had booked the Pride because it was going when our granddaughters could go and your reviews tell us that she is a beautiful ship with wonderful crew. I found a great site - SkyAuctions and bid on another cruise in October and won - so gee, we get off Pride and a month later go again for 11 days to Mexico. We love it.

I have referred some of our cruisemates on that October cruise (Celebrity) to your site. More info than any I have read. Maybe we will cruise at the same time someday. Take care.

 

8/29/04 Carnival Pride

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10/13/04 Celebrity Mercury

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Nordic Prince 1993

Disney Wonder 1999

Celebrity Mercury 2002

Carnival Pride 8/29/04

Celebrity Mercury 10/13/04

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STANDING "O"

Bravo!

icon_smile.gif

I think I'm going thru withdrawals and I haven't even set foot on a ship yet.

Hats off to you

 

Kris

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Thank you, Thank you. Your review was so good, I actually had that dreaded "yuk" last day feeling while reading about your last day icon_frown.gif. I'm fearful that I may get cruise withdrawls, and haven't even left yet.

 

Thanks for the wonderful review.

 

Stefanie

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff0000&cdt=2004;08;29;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800

Cruise on the pride

 

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Wow! Thanks for the compliments, everyone. I'm so glad you guys liked the review...despite the length. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Mark ºoº

 

 

5/9/04 Pride Cruise - 1st Cruise!

 

Visit our Webshots Gallery

 

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Just checking...and know it is a slim chance but did 'Mark Rosenthal' go to Willow Glen elemementary in San Jose......if so ....well, just curious...

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