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SoccerMom#3

July 11 Pride Review - Part 5 Matzalan, Cabo, and the Rest of the Cruise

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I think I will try to finish this up today so I will just highlight info rather than giving the play by play.

 

Thursday we were in Mazatlan and based on info from Cruise Critic, I had booked horseback riding with Randi months ago. I won’t go into specifics since others have written extensively on the details of riding with Randi’s Happy Horses but suffice it to say it was all it was cracked up to be. There were about 20 folks from our ship riding with Randi that day and we all had a great time. My son rode on Pony and was able to gallop with his horse which he enjoyed. My daughter, who was quite nervous about the whole adventure, rode Champion and had a good time. It was much better than she thought it would be. My husband rode Indio who took off with him one time in the mango groves. This had to be the funniest part of our adventure. Now we can laugh about it but I think for a second my husband got a bit concerned. I forgot the name of my horse but he was quite slow and brought up the rear the entire trip. Maria, one of Randi’s helpers, stayed with me so I wouldn’t be too far behind. To be honest, I was ok going slowly. Riding horses along the beach is just something I don’t think any of us will forget. It was just so pretty and peaceful. After riding, we had lunch at Victors. Of course I had the garlic shrimp which was wonderful. Randi keeps most of the folks selling souvenirs away from us so that was nice. I didn’t realize how nice that actually was though until we were in Cabo the next day and inundated with folks constantly wanting us to buy souvenirs. All in all, horseback riding was one of the highlights of our trip.

 

Tonight was the Talent Show which was wonderful. There were some incredible singers, a gymnast, a dancer, and two girls who played the violin. The best performance was an older gentleman who sang “Old Man River.” He brought the house down. My guess is that he had a theater background since his voice was so incredible. After the Talent Show, Greg, the Cruise Director, told us a Bedtime Story. My guess is he does this on every cruise but this is an event not to be missed. Those of us who heard the story were talking about it the rest of the cruise.

 

Friday we were in Cabo which was the only port that we used tenders to get to the pier. Since my husband and daughter don’t like the beach too much, my son and I and his friend and his mother decided we would go into Cabo together and find a beach. I had asked at the Pursers desk the night before how to get to the beach from the pier. I was told to go right off the pier and there would be a beach right there. Well this was not exactly true. We walked out of the pier area and walked and walked. We chose not to take a water taxi since we thought the beach was “just around the corner.”

 

Well after walking about 30 minutes, a person at the Bucket of Shrimp restaurant directed us to the beach. It was somewhat crowded but we were able to get two lounge chairs and an umbrella pretty quickly. They said we just had to buy food or drinks and we said that would not be a problem. The boys took off for the water and soon were asking for money for a banana boat ride. For $20 the boys each got to ride a banana boat with about 3 other people. They had a great time even if they did flip over in the water. Good thing they were wearing life vests (and good thing that their moms didn’t actually see them flip into the water.) Later the boys rented a skin board which is sort of like a boogie board that you get on from the shore and then go into the water. The boys had a great time at the beach.

 

We later ordered beer for us adults, sodas for the boys, and nachos for all of us. The Sol beer was great and the nachos were wonderful. The water was so pretty and I think we could have spent a lot more time there. Since the last tender back to the ship was at 3:30, about 2:00 we took a water taxi (for $3.00 each) back to the pier, did a bit of shopping at the pier, and then were back on the ship by 3:00.

 

My husband and daughter ended up going to a different beach than my son and I but they were not there as long as we were. I was happy to see them back on the ship when we returned from Cabo.

 

We left Cabo by 4:00 sailing back to Long Beach. I sat out on our balcony and just looked at the beautiful scenery as we left Cabo. It was absolutely gorgeous and I would love to return there.

 

This night was another formal dinner although folks were not as dressed up as they were for the first formal dinner. We had more formal portraits of our family taken that night and ended up buying a few. Tonight was another productions show called Vroom which was wonderful. The music, dancing, and singing were great and once again the costumes were outstanding.

 

Also tonight was the Grand Gala Buffet in the main Dining Rooms. From 11:30 until 12:15 folks could take pictures and at 12:30 we able to eat the goodies. The presentation of the food was fantastic and quite creative. To me, the food looked much better than it tasted.

 

Saturday was a day at sea and fortunately the weather was quite nice. My son hung out with his friends most of the day while I sat by the pool soaking up as much sun as possible. My husband and daughter checked out the sales at the stores and went to the debarkation talk.. That afternoon was the horse race. Other ships I’ve been on have done this at the pool whereas Carnival does this at the Taj Mahal lounge. It seemed to me that most of the folks at the horse racing were those of us that had bought a horse. It was fun to see how everyone had decorated their horses. Our horse, Levi’s Pride, won the first race but lost the Owner’s race. If he had won the owner’s race we would have won some money or if he had the most folks bet on him, we also would have won some money. Oh well.

 

After this we decided to donate more money to others by playing Bingo. Once again, we didn’t win anything but we were close a few times. (Doesn’t everyone say that???) After Bingo we stayed for what is called “Up Close and Personal” which is when about 6 staff members talk about working and living on a cruise ship. It seems that all really love what they do but that it is a lifestyle as well as a job. After the talk, a few of the dancers and Greg’s staff do a little skit. I won’t divulge the contents but this is a “Must See.”

 

After dinner and saying goodbye to our waiter and assistant waiter, it was time to pack since they ask you to have your luggage outside your cabin door by midnight. It sure was easier to pack to go home than it was to pack to go on the cruise. I also realized that it is true when people say take half as many clothes and twice as much money. After packing my daughter and I hit the stores again for some last minutes purchases and we took pictures of various areas around the ship. My son was with his new friends. He wanted to stay out all night but I told him he had to be back to the room by 2:00am. He was back by 1:45 with his friends AOL screen names written all over his am.

 

Sunday was debarkation. It was hard to believe that after months of planning and anticipation, we were now heading home. We met our new friends for breakfast at Mermaid’s Grille at about 8:00 am. It seemed that everyone on the ship had the same idea as us. We finally found a table outside by the pool and parked ourselves there until our luggage tag color was called. The first folks off the ship are those going on tours and those with flights prior to 1:00. Our flight to Denver wasn’t until 3:45 so we weren’t in too much of a hurry to get off the ship. Our friends also had a 3:45 flight so we figured we would hang out at the airport together.

 

Well about 9:15, our friend’s luggage tag color was called so we exchanged cell phone numbers and decided to meet right outside the ship by the white dome. I decided to call my mother in Arizona and tell her we were back. It seemed that everyone was using their cell phones to call folks. What did we ever do before we had cell phone?

 

Soon they called another luggage tag color and then at about 9:45 our luggage tag color was called. It truly felt like winning the lottery. First they scan your sail and sign card and then you go through customs. Since we all had passports we were quickly through customs although the line for those with birth certificates didn’t seem too long either. After this we found our luggage and headed out of the white dome to find our friends who were waiting for us. They had arranged with Carnival to take their transportation to the airport. I think it is $19 per person. I had made a reservation with SuperShuttle so we went over to their area, saw our name on the reservation list, and were in a SuperShuttle van and on the way to the airport by 10:15. I think our van ride for the 4 of us was about $63 plus a tip. It well worth it since our friends on the Carnival Bus didn’t get to the airport until just before noon whereas we were at the airport by 11:00. In fact we never did see our friends at the airport although we did talk a few times. Since we were at the airport so early, we were even able to catch an earlier flight to Denver.

 

Thank you to everyone who answered all of my many questions and shared so much information. I was hesitant to take a Carnival Cruise but after our great vacation, we all are ready to book another trip as soon as possible. Now if we only had won at Bingo…

 

Please feel free to ask any questions. I want to share with others like so many of you shared with me.

 

Elise

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Elise,

 

Thanks for your review of the Pride. I still have that need to relive my cruise on the Pride.

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Sounds like a great time. What deck and cabin were you in ?. I leave in 48 days . Cant wait.

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We had two cabins on the Empress Deck, 6269 and 6271. They were right across the hall from each other and quite covenient to the elevators that led to Mermaid's Grille.

 

Have a great time on your cruise.

 

Elise

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Hi! Thanks again for the review! :)

 

About the Super Shuttle, did you make reservations for that in advance on the internet or when you got off the plane in Los Angeles?

 

Thanks!

Angie

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Angie,

 

I booked SuperShuttle in advance on the internet (supershuttle.com) although I don't think I needed it for the trip from LAX to the hotel. We just flagged down a SuperShuttle Van that said Long Beach right outside the baggage claim area. It was helpful to have a reservation for the trip from the ship to LAX. Our name was on a list so we got on a SuperShuttle right away and were at the airport about 30 minutes later.

 

Enjoy your trip.

 

Elise

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Terrific Review, Elise

 

For someone that just wanted to "gloss" over some of the high points, you certainly gave all of us a terrific, well-thought-out painting of the PRIDE cruise on the Mexican Riviera.

 

I'm soft-hearted for the Mexican people in general and the Riviera in particular, so I always enjoy living the observations of a first time "viewer" of the ports, etc.

 

Thanks again, Elise. :)

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Thank you so much Elise for the review. :) I printed out all of the parts so I can read it again tonight.

My friend and I are truly looking forward to cruising on the Pride. I'm even kinda thinking about horseback riding with Randi :eek: .....just thinking :cool:

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My sister and I have talked about the horse racing. Can you explain how it works? Did you take your own decorations?

 

Thanks for taking the time to post your review:)

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We are arriving a day before the cruise, but won't arrive into LAX until around 10:30 at night. What was traffic like at LAX.....and also to and from LAX? Did you make reservations with SuperShuttle from LAX to the port? Did they drive all over the place before they got you to your destination or was it a pretty straight shot?

 

Thanks!!

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Kris, We didn't take decorations for the horse since we didn't know we were going to bid on a horse. My kids used stuff they had brought with and stuff from our room-an old CD,, playing cards, starw hat...

The first day at sea folks can bid on horses and the winnders ( I think there are 6) decorate their horse and take it with them around the ship to draw interest in the horse race. Last day at sea is the race. Personally I don't think it is worth it (don't tell my kids that:) It is a pain to take it everywhere and it is just one more way to spend money.

 

ciship, I went to the supershuttle web site (suppershuttle.com) and booked a private van for our journey to the pier. It wasn't that much more than a shared van and this way we only went to the Long Beach Coast Hotel where we were staying the night before the cruise. Actually you don't have to book a shuttle to take you from the airport. They just circulate around the airport and flag one down. I just felt better knowing I had made a reservation.

 

Have a great time on the Pride!

 

Elise

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We are arriving a day before the cruise, but won't arrive into LAX until around 10:30 at night. What was traffic like at LAX.....and also to and from LAX? Did you make reservations with SuperShuttle from LAX to the port? Did they drive all over the place before they got you to your destination or was it a pretty straight shot?

 

Thanks!!

 

Elise,

 

What was the traffic like at LAX? How many other passengers were on Supershuttle with you and how many stops did they make until they finally got you to your hotel? When you debark on the last day of the cruise, are there just a bunch of Supershuttles waiting to escort people to airports?

 

Thanks!

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LAX was crowded but not bad. We fly out of DIA in Denver so I'm used to a busy airport. We were the only ones on our Super"Shuttle both ways since I booked a private van (not a shared van). Definately make reservations for your return to LAX. All we did was get off the Pride, go over to the waiting area for Shuttles, give them our name since I had a reservation, and we were in a van and on the way to the airport within 5-10 minutes.

 

There were four of us so the difference in price for a private van vs a shared van was very little. It was worth it to me to not stop all over LA before getting to our hotel or not stopping at every airline when returning to LAX.

 

Elise

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