Embarking at Long Beach was a fiasco. We had to stand in a line in the parking garage to check our large luggage. The line was long and wasn't moving yet we could see the tractors carting off loads of luggage to the ship. The problem was with people getting dropped off either by friends, limos, etc. and they were cutting to the front of the line. My husband and another man in front of us went up to talk to security about these people. When my husband told the security guard that people were cutting in line ahead of everyone his response to my husband was, "Why don't you do the same thing." Wasn't that intelligent? Finally more employees arrived and restored order to the line and we were finally able to proceed to the next series of lines to embark the ship.
We got to our cabins which were 5122 & 5124 and were adjoining cabins. Each cabin had received a bottle of champagne as a gift from friends. I have cruise many times in the past as has my mother who was in the adjoining cabin. Neither one of us has ever been on a cruise and received a bottle of champagne or white wine that wasn't sitting chilled in a bucket of ice with glasses and openers. We had to wait an hour for ice to be delivered. On top of that we had ordered my son a stuffed Fun Ship Freddie doll for the cruise that was not in the cabin. After calling we were informed that because the cruise before ours was a Christmas cruise they had run out but had more that were being loaded on and he would have it in a few hours. A few hours became two days and that was with constant phone calls and always getting the run around. I saw the dolls in the gift shop and on another level where they were selling pictures but for some reason one of them could not find their way to our cabin and we had already paid for the item prior to the cruise. Made me wonder how many items that non guests send to passengers never make it to their cabins and they didn't know to expect it so calls were never made.
The entire staff on the Pride were all very friendly and helpful except for one woman who answers the phone for room service, she always seemed to be miserable and a young man working at the hot dog/burger place by the pool. The only words he knew were, hamburger, hot dog and fries - nothing else.
The ship for the most part was clean, there were a few places that needed a little more monitoring such as the elevator that had the same glass in there for 3 days and the arcade where empty drink cups cluttered the top of machines. The arcade also seemed to constantly have a problem with their token machines and there was no one there monitoring the place at all. I didn't use the Fun Club for my son after hearing one of the male counselors yell at a very young child to "Stop crying!".
The ports were very nice and had a wonderful time at them all. I just wish Cabo could have been a longer stay but I know that it wasn't possible with the schedule to get back to Long Beach.
We took 2 shore excursions, Puerto Vallarta where we went swimming with the sea lions - it was wonderful and I highly recommend it and in Cabo we took the Land and Sea tour which the sea portion was really nice but the land tour, it was okay. I don't care much for being herded like cattle everywhere and would have rather spent more time at some of the stops and skipped some of the others all together.
The food was okay at best. When I traveled with Carnival on the Holiday nearly 9 years ago the food was the major turn off and it still is today. I guess for someone that doesn't cook much or doesn't eat out at nice restaurants may like some of their meals but it was below standard. For instance they had Baked Alaska on the menu which turned out to be nothing more than an oversized rectangular ice cream cake that they cut off slices of, it wasn't the traditional way of making it and it tasted even worse.
The buffet had pretty decent food, the 24 hour pizza place was always busy but not too busy and had good pizza choices. The last night of the cruise we had some bad weather, no rain but 18 ft. seas. We opted not to eat in the dining room as my son was sick and spent the whole day in bed. We went to the buffet at 6:15 and there was NO hot food, only the pizza and deli were open and the hot dog/hamburger place was closed. Very disappointed had to order room service which is pretty limited as far as choices.
Being that it was a holiday week for many kids, the ship was full of them. It was amazing how many parents dumped their kids and let them run wild, old enough to know better and some too young to be by themselves. Many were rude and disrespectful, turning "Do Not Disturb" signs around to "Please Make My Room" and pushing all of the elevator buttons.
The two nights of dining that were formal they allowed people in T shirts and running shoes into the dining room, I thought that was pretty tacky.
Played Bingo a few times onboard and it wasn't what I expected. I've played on many cruises and you are usually there for a few games. One day Bingo was $10 for 3 cards and there was 2 games, that was it. The next day was $20 for 3 cards and there was 1 game. What a rip off!
Leaving the ship was to be as expected we didn't leave until about 12:00 noon the kicker was leaving the parking garage. This is Carnival's parking garage and were shocked when the woman told us it was $92 for the week, Whoa!
All in all it wasn't a miserable cruise but for the price you pay I definitely expected more. The ports are no reflection of the cruise line as they would be great no matter which ship you took to get there. The people working for Carnival were all wonderful, fun, friendly people.