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spookwife

Just back from Pride: My review

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Overall, we enjoyed it and have decided that we will cruise again, but probably not with Carnival...

 

Stuff we liked:

Room was small, though well laid out and easy to maneuver in. never really felt cramped. Steward was unobtrusive and apologized waaayyy too much for not cleaning our room one day when we accidentally left the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door as we left to wander around PV. Totally our fault, but he about groveled while we were getting ready for dinner. AWESOME water pressure and we will NEVER not get a balcony. Spent a large majority of our time just settin', drinkin' and readin' out there.

 

Decor was ..interesting. not too in your face, but parts made no sense.. like the Normandie DR all decked out in Greco Roman Art Deco style..really didn't match the rest of the ship decor at all. same with Taj Mahal's Indian inspired glitz and glamour.

 

For the most part, children were neither seen nor heard. I guess Camp Carnival does a really good job. saw no unruly rug rats annoying other passengers at all, but I know there were lots of them on board as we alll stood in line waiting to embark. Only issue I had was in the piano bar and this group of pre teen boys who insisted on Augistin singing mildly inappropriate songs like Marijuanaville and My dingaling. Luckily, he would only sing them once and refused any further requests as the night progressed, so they usually left immediately.

 

Things we LOVED:

 

Oh. My. GAWD. the food was divine. I cannot for the life of me understand those people who complain that the portions are too small, or the ones that order multiple entrees. Never went hungry, and many times I skipped a course(to make room for dessert:D ) I compare the Normandie to a mid grade white table coth restaurant, David's to a High end steakhouse and I even enjoyed the Lido Buffet selections. ended up eating most of our breakfasts and lunches on the Lido, despite our intention of eating all meals in Normandie. Excellent pair of waiters. our water glasses were usually refilled before they got placed back on the table. twice we got an 'extra' unasked for dessert to share.. I heartily reccomend the creme brulee and the Bitter and Blanc. They got an extra $20 from us in tip, and they deserved it. We had late seating, so our routine was hitting either sushi or pizza between 4-5 to hold us over until 8:15. LOVED the De Chevre pizza. Overheard several people proclaim the Buffet was the best food of the multiple cruiselines they have experienced.

 

David's. Wish we could have eaten there EVERY night, but alas, None of my clothes stretch that much;). Excellent, attentive service, food was amazingly well prepared and presented and we saw a lovely school of dolphins playing off the ship as we dined. The accompanying dinner music was very nice.

 

Augustin and the Ivory Piano Bar. By far our favorite entertainer and place to hang out after dinner. He actually sang well, was quite personable and usually open to almost any request.

 

Georges at the Lido Grill station. His Grilled reubens took "45 minutes..each side":p but were well worth it. he also "only had swiss cheese to make grilled cheese sandwiches with". Funny how his station was the one with the longest line every morning for omelets, and forget trying to get a reuben in under half an hour, the line was so long. The ONLY lido deck server that actually acted like he enjoyed his job. the rest were polite, and efficient, but wooden.

 

The adult pool was actually adult only, which was nice. Kids all hung out at the two Midships pools.

 

Mr Spook LOVED his Canopy Zip line tour and came back all excited and happy and bouncy and generally goofy.

 

 

Things we either didn't like or were disappointed in:

 

All the onboard activities were really not anything that appealed to us in any way shape or form, so we ended up entertaining ourselves in our room for the most part. took a lot of naps because of this. the port calls were also generally dissapointing(Zip Line tour notwithstanding.) I did buy some Fire opals that I am very happy with in PV, but Cabo and Mazatlan held absolutely NO appeal whatsoever to either of us, so we stayed aboard.

 

People were still disembarking at 1300 believe it or not, so even though it took FOREVER to get started, once the line actually moved, we were on board in under 20 minutes. Inside it's very efficiently run/staged, but it just doesn't look that way outside.

 

Our dinner companions in Normandie showed up for the first formal night.. and one other night. Generally stand offish, so while we didn't exactly miss them, per se, we still lost out on a chance to meet some new friends.

 

Wished we could have run a tab, especially at the Ivory Piano bar. having umpteen single charges of Boddingtons with the gratuity was rather annoying.

 

The shows were dissapointing for the most part. Exceptions, as noted earlier: Davids' duo and Augustin. The guitar player mangled too many decent songs, and "Galadriel" the piano player in the main atrium dressed sloppily and way too casually for the music she was playing(passably)

 

The informational talks, especially Lorenzo's shopping talk were full of way too much uber chipper false enthusiasm and blatant attempts to score free cheap Del Sol stuff. I just wanted the basic facts.. where to go for good deals without worrying about being overcharged or getting crap stuff.

 

Random Observations:

 

We were charged the corkage fee at David's($14) and Normandie($10) the two nights we brought wine and sparkling wine to the table. the Sparkling wine at David's was nicely chilled and brought out just as we sat down. The leftover wine was brought out to our table in Normandie immediately as well.

 

Chair saving: only on the last sea day, which was funny, as it was the most rough day of the entire cruise with high winds( the bow was blocked off) and the pools were sloshing all over the place. the rest of the time, the number of saved lounges by the pool was commiserate with the number of people actually IN the pools/hottubs.

 

Chris, Gary and Noonan, (Cruise Directors and Social host) were a hoot during the daily 'weather brief' and at the Q&A session on the last sea day, where we learned about Noonan and Chris' upcoming Nuptuals( but not to each other;) )

 

Weather: we were comfy, for the most part..Mr Spook in shorts and me in my dresses and sweater. The three sea days were chilly, but not so much that a nice comfy robe and a blankie wrapped around me didn't fix. had a truly spectacular lightening storm as we pulled out of PV with some pretty close calls.

 

Dress code..absolutely NOT enforced, even on formal night. Seemed to be the extremes were the norm.. either very well dressed or extremely sloppy.

 

Final Verdict:

 

We did enjoy our first cruise, enough that we will be going again, but probably not with Carnival. their demographic just isn't us. While we were limited to this cruise and this cruise ONLY based on time constraints and the Navy's stubborn insistence that it owns Mr Spook lock stock and barrel:rolleyes: , both the port calls and the cruise line are not for us. Next time we intend to do a lot more research on ports of call before choosing an Itinerary, and we will be looking for a cruise line that less family oriented and more upscale. I'd rather attend a cooking demonstration than play Bingo. Don't get me wrong, Carnival is a great value and I am glad we went with them for our first cruise. But now we know what parts we like and what parts we could live without, and can make better choices next time.

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AFter reading your post I think that you will be very happy on either Crystal or Raddison. Any of the other mass market lines are going to a huge dissapointment so next time try one of the upscale lines. O by the way!! You will pay dearly for cruising the way you seem to prefer. Either way, thanks to Mr Spook for his service and all the best to you both on your future cruises.

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WOW! Sorry that the Pride wasn't everything you hoped it would be - we loved her and had a blast! Had a great time in all the ports (Loved the zip lines too! ;) ) Ah well, different strokes for different folks I guess! Hope you enjoy the next one more!

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Great review. Looks like you made the best of it and still had a great time. Most would have come on swinging instead of writing the pros that they did find.

Again thanks for a great review.

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Thanks for the review. We are leaving in 18 days for the same cruise, and can't wait! This will be our 8th Carnival Cruise, so we know what to expect, and love the whole experience. This will, however, be our first time to the Mexican Riviera, as all our other cruises were in the Caribbean. Totally looking forward to all 3 Mexican ports!!

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O by the way!! You will pay dearly for cruising the way you seem to prefer. Either way, thanks to Mr Spook for his service and all the best to you both on your future cruises.

 

yeah that's what we figured, and have already begun planning accordingly. After going 30 plus years not cruising, I GUESS:rolleyes: I can wait another 2 or so years before being able to afford it again..heheheh

 

As I was rereading my earlier post, It seems to me that I forgot some of the more..annoying bits..like Mr Spook placing an order for a glass of wine 15 minutes before one of the Main shows starting, but never receiving it. He actually had to chase down the bar maid after she pretty much ignored him the whole 45 minute show(but boy did she lavish attention on the family seated next to us!). She SAYS she never charged him for it, but Lo and behold.. it was on our TV screen the next morning. It was a simple easy fix and the pursars' office was most apologetic about the whole thing.

 

Oh yeah, and SOMEONE who shall remain nameless but looked damn sexy in his Dinner Mess Dress uniforms on Formal nights LOST his sign and sail card between early check in and standing in Zone one's line. Bit of confusion there.. the early check in people said to go straight to the pursar's office and get a new one, but the people on the Quartedeck didn't know what to do with him b/c he didn't have a S&S card to get photographed on. again, easy fix once we got it straightened out. Apparently the record is losing one's S&S card BEFORE exiting the early check in lounge...:eek:

 

Oh yeah.. More semi postive notes:

 

Drink prices were very reasonable, we didn't understand the complaints or the penchant for griping about having to pay more for drinks on top of the cruise price. Our Dinner at Davids, even with the corkage fee was STILL over $50 less than what we normally spend for a similar type dinner at home, and our waitsaff got a nice tip to boot.

 

The plethora of Picture backgrounds was incredible, we had a hard time deciding not only which backgrounds to choose, but also which ones to purchase. $20 for an 8x10 was reasonable we thought, although in all honesty we would have prefferred to be able to utilize the $10 sheet specials on poses other than the 8x10s we purchased(ended up with FIVE of them!) because there were some poses we liked well enough, just not as an 8x10..which are Christmas gifts for the parental units. Bonus was the freebie 5x7 taken at David's..wasn't expecting that at all!

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Wonderful review.

 

We loved the Pride in March, but there are several cruise lines that you can choose from that offer the kind of amenities that will make the cruise perfect for you. And many are not that much more expensive.

 

I am surprised you could get a Navy man on a ship. One of the biggest reasons I hear (mainly) guys say they are not interested in cruising is because they spent most of their lives "on a cruise" LOL in the Navy.

Good job getting him "on board" with this vacation.

 

And let me also thank him for his service. Because of the sacrifice of your husband and his family....my family sleeps well at night!!

 

You might want to check out a "theme cruise" that really concentrates on your interests!!

 

Glad you still had a good time.

 

Happy Cruising!

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nice, balanced review. thanks. give holland america a look for your next cruise. they are a bit more upscale but not way overpriced.

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Georges at the Lido Grill station. His Grilled reubens took "45 minutes..each side":p but were well worth it. he also "only had swiss cheese to make grilled cheese sandwiches with". Funny how his station was the one with the longest line every morning for omelets, and forget trying to get a reuben in under half an hour, the line was so long.

 

I concur. George (from Croatia) holds court at the "aft" port station. There was positive buzz about him before our cruise. He lived up to the hype. If you ask him for everything on your omelet, he'll ask if you also want tequila on it.

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Great review. I just got my x-navy man on his first cruise this year. We are doing Pride inMarch 2007. He loved it but there were many comments of "I have flushed more sea water than we sailed over" I agreed and we moved on!:D He now loves cruising. Thank goodness, b/c I am hooked!

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Thanks for the review. Makes me feel better about taking this cruise. I'll be with my sister and niece so it really doesn't matter what 'cruise' it is! Your positives out-weighed your negatives! Thanks!!!:D

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.

 

I am surprised you could get a Navy man on a ship. One of the biggest reasons I hear (mainly) guys say they are not interested in cruising is because they spent most of their lives "on a cruise" LOL in the Navy.

Good job getting him "on board" with this vacation.

 

 

Oh, it's a LOT easier than you would think. mention these tidbits:

 

beds, not racks

much fewer 'roomies' in your stateroom

Water pressure with unlimited HOT water

food is waaaaayyy better

alchohol on board

no midnight watches on the bridge

 

they usually cave in at the mention of unlimited hot water and booze..heheheheh

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