Carnival Pride - Mexican Riviera: Carnival Pride Cruise Review by Dianne Hill
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Pride - Mexican Riviera
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
We flew American Airlines from Raleigh/Durham, NC to LAX the day before our cruise, with a change of planes in Chicago. After giving up our seats in Chicago for $500 vouchers each, we spent four extra hours at OHare Airport. It wouldnt have been bad if it had not been so hot in the terminal. However, it was worth a $500 voucher. We arrived in LA around 5:00 pm and took More the Super Shuttle to the Long Beach Hilton. This hotel is very nice and convenient to the cruise terminal (about a 5 minute drive). We had problems getting in touch with room service, but that wouldnt stop me from staying there again. We were told that we could get a shuttle to the cruise terminal from the hotel, but it turned out to actually be a public shuttle not enough room for our luggage.
Day 1 - The hotel called a taxi, and we were on our way to the cruise terminal. I will add here that the temperatures in LA were much cooler - highs in the lower to mid 60's and lows in the 40's - than I thought they would be. We had to wear long sleeves and long pants to the port, and that is a first for us. After checking our luggage at the terminal, we headed to the Queen Mary right next to the Pride for early check-in. This is when I found out that I was a Platinum Card holder, or a Concierge Club member. This is something Carnival has started new for passengers who have sailed with them 10 times or more. Believe me when I say that this is a nice perk, but more about that later. We then went on a tour of the Queen Mary. I could almost see the ladies and gentlemen from the 1930's wandering around on the decks in their finest. The tour is very interesting as well as educational. It was around 12:30 pm when we decided to board the Pride. As we walked up I could see a very long line waiting to go through security into the terminal. I walked up to a Carnival employee and asked what line I needed to be in as a Concierge Club member. She opened the door for me and told me I didnt have to wait in a line. We went through security, and because we had done early check-in, we went straight to have our picture taken and then onto the ship. The Pride is as pretty as I remembered it, with its Renaissance theme. If you want a glitzy or neon type ship, this is not the one for you. It is done tastefully and with class. This is my favorite size ship because it is large enough to have everything you need but not so large that it looses its charm.
Our cabin was a balcony on the main deck mid-ship (a good location). As a Concierge Club member, there was platinum stationary with the Carnival logo and also my name engraved on it. I was also given a tote bag with the Carnival Concierge Club logo on it. There was a letter addressed to me telling me everything that I was eligible for as a Concierge Club member. This included: Priority embarkation and debarkation, priority tendering, guaranteed dining choice, guaranteed reservations at Davids Supper Club ($30 charge), a plate of petit fours delivered to my stateroom one evening, a plate of canapes delivered to my stateroom one evening, free entry fee into either the blackjack or slot tournament, and free wash and fold service. What a great way to start the cruise! The rooms were Carnivals normal 185 sq. ft., which was plenty of room. If you need more drawer space, there are two large drawers under the sofa, but they are hard to open. We had a terrific cabin steward (Rudy) who always had a smile on his face and willing to help with anything you ask. The rest of the day was a normal first day of lunch, unpacking, getting reacquainted with the ship, meeting on-line friends, dinner, and a show. It was an early night for us since our bodies were still on Eastern Standard Time.
Day 2 Our first full day at sea was spent with seeing more of the ship and relaxing. There is always something going on to keep you busy, but I like the sea days for just relaxing. I found out that this week is Spring Break on the West Coast, so there were a lot of families and college students. This was our first formal night and the Captains Cocktail Party. We had lobster tail and prime rib in the dining room - delicious.
Day 3 Our second sea day was pretty much the same as the first day. We went to the shore excursion talk and spent a little time in the casino, but we didnt have any luck. The young people are keeping this cruise lively. Tonight we dined at Davids Supper Club, and the food and service were superb. There was an actual statue of David in the supper club. To top it off, we were serenaded while we dined. It is worth the $30!
Day 4 Our first port was Puerto Vallarta. We went into town in the morning for shopping, then took a tour in the afternoon. The tour went through town and the countryside. We were shown where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton stayed and where the Night of the Iguana was filmed. We stopped for authentic Mexican food at an outdoor restaurant in the middle of nowhere, which was surprisingly good. Tonight we ate at the buffet on the Lido deck because we arrived back at the ship late. The buffet food is good, with a better variety than on most ships that I have sailed. After dinner we sat on the balcony and watched fireworks and the lights from downtown. We set sail at 10:00 pm for our next port.
Day 5 Today we are in Mazatlan. We shopped at the port shops in the morning and went on a tour in the afternoon. This tour took us to a beautiful cathedral, past some of the nice resorts, to the Golden Zone for shopping and a show. We also got to see the cliff divers - well, one cliff diver. Dinner and a movie rounded out the evening.
Day 6 Today we tendered into Cabo San Lucas where we walked the marina and into town. Cabo has more street vendors hassling people to buy from them. That is a shame, because I really like this port otherwise. We went to the in place, Cabo Wabo, and had a drink and watched the college crowd getting smashed. Next we went back to the marina and took a glass-bottomed water taxi out to Los Arcos and to see the caves and sea lions. The $10 water taxi was a wonderful experience and well worth the money! We left Cabo at 4:00 pm, giving us enough time to get ready for our second formal night. We had another wonderful dinner.
Day 7 Our last day of the cruise was spent at sea. I could tell we were getting further north because I couldnt stay out on the balcony. The temperature dropped so much that we didnt even go outside at all. Of course, there was plenty to do inside. We packed our suitcases and relaxed, because we knew the next day would be very long. We had our last dinner in the dining room and said goodbye to our tablemates, Wayne and Stan from LA. They had been fun to get to know. All of our meals had been wonderful and we were going to miss being with the guys. After the show we headed to our cabin for a good nights sleep.
Day 8 Disembarkation was the best I have ever experienced. That is probably because we had priority disembarkation and were among the first off of the ship. The only problem we had was finding a porter in the terminal to take our luggage to the airport shuttle. The shuttle took only about 20 minutes from Long Beach to LAX, so we were at the airport by 9:30 am. We had been told not to take a flight before 2:00 from LAX so had booked a 3:00 flight. Fortunately, we were able to get on the 11:45 am flight to Dallas. Unfortunately, we werent able to get an earlier flight from Dallas to Raleigh. We ended up spending seven hours in the Dallas Airport. We landed in Raleigh at 1:30 am on Day 9.
Overall, this was one of my best cruises, if not the best, that I have ever been on. The ship is lovely with great service, very good entertainment, fun activities, and excellent food. What more could you ask? The ports were interesting with friendly people, and the weather was wonderful in all ports sunny and in the low 80's. We are already talking about doing the same cruise next spring and bringing more people with us. Less
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