Embarkation: Hello! My boyfriend and I went on the Pride Sept. 17, 2006. We arrived at the Long Beach Terminal around 10:00, dropped off bags with a porter and did the early-check in. However, we did not get inside the ship until 12:45-1:00, they were doing some custom inspections of the ship. So, we were waiting and waiting outside of the huge white dome building. At least we already received our sail & sign cards from early check-in, a lot of other people had to get into another long just to check in. So, I recommend coming early. First the VIP went in, then wedding party, then handicapped, and then us. Each person has to go through the security machines and their bags through the other machine, so that took a while. You have to show your sail & sign card at a couple different spots, take a Mexican background picture, and then we were in. We were quite hungry, and headed up to the Lido Deck (Mermaid's Grill) and ate some lunch. The Pride is a beautiful ship. The promenade has lots of couches and chairs with portrait pieces behind the couches. I have taken the Mexican Riviera cruise 13 years ago with Carnival ( I was 13 year old) and much has change to my liking. The ship is newer and the food is much better. After lunch, we went straight for our cabin. We took the Atrium balcony that has floor to ceiling windows overlooking down to the whole atrium and you could look all the way up to The Statue of David in the Supper Club. We booked a balcony (6210) on the 6th floor (Empress Floor). I have never had a balcony and now that I've experienced it, I could never have anything less. There are 2 deck chairs and a small side table to place your drinks and such. There is ample storage space. The bathroom is small, cabin size standard. There is a shower, but the division from the shower to the rest of the bathroom is like only 1.5 inches, so when you are showering there is a thin curtain and water splashes everywhere on the other side. After that, I placed long towels allover the floor before I showered again. They give you razors, toothpaste, lotion, gum, shampoo, & body wash in the cabin. We had dinner in the Normandie Dining Room. Beautiful room, great food, great service. Reminds me of being at a really nice restaurant. The Cruise Director, Wee Jimmy, is a funny British guy.
1st Formal Night:We dressed up took formal pictures. Went to the Captain's Cocktail Party in the Taj Mahal, got a few appetizers and free drinks. We ate lobster & prime rib each. Oh, by the way, my boyfriend and I each bought a Fountain Fun Card for unlimited sodas throughout the trip, it cost 99 dollars for the both of us. (It includes the 5.50 per day, plus gratuity, plus tax, that's why it ended up costing total 99 for 2). We should have just bought 1 card because I only ended up drinking one soda a day, so it's not worth buying if you don't drink a lot of soda. With one card you can go to one bar after another and get soda for others if you wanted to, they don't even swipe it, you just flash it to them. Plus, they have iced tea, fruit punch, apple juice, guava juice, coffee, & orange juice that is free.
2nd Sea Day: Just lounged around the pool. My boyfriend played in the casino. Enjoyed relaxing. Ate and ate. Took a nap and ate some more. They have a free sushi bar from 5-8:30p.m. next to the Starry Night Lounge every day. Very good.
Puerto Vallarta: Very humid place. Old town. Not very exciting place. Did the Mismaloya tour through the cruise ship. The tour was okay, not great. Cost like $35 pp. Should have done the Tequila & Old Town Tour because they basically cover what we did plus they got to sample different tequila. Very humid, wear shorts and tank, and bring a bottle of water.
MAzatan: We did Randi's Happy Horses. We paid 45 pp. We horseback on the beach and had photos taken with our camera. Wear short and tank again. Don't wear your favorite sneakers, you will get poop on it, cuz you pass a swampy like area and if you don't lift up your feet you get swampy poop on it. After the ride, you ate at Victor's beach front small little restaurant. Our food did not arrive until about 35-40 minutes later. That was the only down side. There is no soap at the restaurant bathroom, so bring some hand sanitizer.
Cabo San Lucas: The best place of all 3 ports. We did the Sea Eco Kayak through the cruise ship. This tour was great. We kayaked to Lover's Beach and had great photos. It gets tiring after awhile when you don't work out everyday. My biceps and chest muscles are sore. We ate some shrimp at some restaurant near the pier. Cabo is expensive, but I guess it's the most commercialized place with newer hotel buildings of all 3 ports. I would vacation in Cabo, not Puerto Vallarta or Mazatlan. This was also the 2nd formal night. I ate salmon that night, I think my boyfriend had shrimp. There was creme brulee that night, yummy.
Last Day: Lounged around the pool, played bingo and didn't win. My boyfriend won a couple hundred on poker. Some guy won 8,000 on the penny slots. We did the tea time @ 3pm in Florentine's Lounge right outside of the Normandie Dining Room. This was cute, different selection of teas and cucumber sandwiches & some salmon type sandwiches and yummy pastries. There is 24hr pizza, coffee & tea, 24hr room service with a limited menu. There is a grill inside mermaid's from 1100-11pm. Everyone was getting the grilled reuben. For dinner in the Normandie, I ate the Chateubriand beef medium rare that was sooo good. They had a souffle that was great too. This night was the Legends Concert where cruise passengers put on a show singing everyone from James Brown, Britney Spears, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Ricky Martin. This is a good show.
Tips: On your sail & sign card, put a cash deposit on your account when you get on the ship so that you don't overspend. Just head over to the Purser's Desk on the 2nd floor midship. We ended up charging 900 dollars on our sail & sign card, but on the last day we put 500 dollars cash to pay for part of the bill and the rest on our credit card. Just get 1 fountain fun card, you can use it over and over and over. Don't buy the $6.75 drink special, this includes a plastic souvenir glass thing. Not worth it. You can get the same drink special for $3.50 with a plain glass cup. The other inexpensive drink on the ship is a coors beer for $3.50, but you need to add gratuity. So, altogether with gratuity the cheapest drink is a coors light or the drink special with a plain glass for $4.03. If you can smuggle some beers in or hard liquor, yea for you. There is a minibar fridge, you can ask the cabin steward to empty out the contents and put your own water bottles. Water bottles are $4.03 on your sail & sign card. If you want spa service, book on a day when the ship is in port and ask for the specials of those days, it's much cheaper. Don't get a massage or facials on sunday, monday, or tuesday, it's the most expensive days. Don't miss the great food in the Normandie Dining Room. There is a supper club 30pp, we didn't eat there, but others raved about the porterhouse steak. You can order as many appetizers and entrees in the Normandie Dining Room.
Debarkation: You can get off the ship starting @ 8:30am if you take your own luggage off. Otherwise, the night before, you have to place your luggage outside your cabin and they take it for you that night. You don't start getting off until 9:30am. You have to each pass through customs with your forms and i.d. We were at the parking lot @ 8:55a.m.
Great cruise vacation!!!!!