DH and I are in our mid 40's. We traveled with three sons, ages 20, 13 1/2 and 12. The two younger boys and ourselves sailed on the same ship in February of this year. We took our 18 year old daughter that time; this was only our second cruise.
We drove to Long Beach Sunday morning, leaving at 5:15AM and with a few stops made it to the terminal by 11:30. We joined the Carnival Vacation Club on our last cruise and were happy to embark early. I was in my bathing suit sipping a cocktail by by the pool at 1:30.
The food on the Pride is outstanding. I know folks have different tastes and one person's delicacy is another person's garbage, but honestly when the fruit is fresh, the deli meat is lean, the bread is soft, the veal is tender, the fish doesn't smell like fish - you know you are somewhere where the head chef cares about the quality of the food.
We ate in the dining room 3 nights, one luncheon and had breakfast delivered each morning. The ONLY issue I have with any of their food is their pathetic coffee. Our friends brought their own coffee pot and coffee. Since our last cruise, I had stopped drinking coffee was so it was a non issue. You can purchase lattes and cappuccinos and all manner of coffee drinks near the casino and it's actually very good according to my husband.
We had requested the same room we had during our first cruise and loved it. Very quiet, a slightly bigger balcony - we could hear the ocean swishing next to the ship at night (we bungee cord our room door open at night and sleep like babies). Our room was clean, lots of storage space, sheets were soft and clean. We bring our own pillows and each day the steward had them set up nicely for bedtime.
Room stewards are like fairy godmothers. And the RS's on the Pride are wonderful. You call, they either call or show up at your door. We are pretty low maintenance but I like ice in my cabin and I love a clean room and both items were always attended to.
Since our boys had traveled on the Pride only 4 months earlier, we gave them a bit more freedom. Camp Carnival is a bit lame for the older kids but my boys did what they thought would be fun and opted out of the stuff they didn't like. In the 12 - 14 year old age group, there are some nice kids and some that seem like they should be in juvenile hall. After one night in the teen disco, I nixed that activity for the future. Some of the music was a too racy for our family and frankly I was uncomfortable having my boys around young girls trying to dance like Brittney and Paris. All in all, most of the kids were well behaved. There were definitely a lot more kids this time around.
We saw a few shows and attended the comedy show twice. Once during the early evening hours - family time and then to see the rated R show at midnight. Jerome is a funny guy and talented but his adult show was disgusting. And there were WAY too many kids in that audience listening to him use the F word and talk about things kids have no business hearing. He was crude and juvenile. We walked out. Carnival should replace him.
We made some new friends on the ship and hooked up with some of the crew from last time. Sean the shopper and Anton the Casino host are two wonderful gentlemen that went out of their way to make us feel welcome again. I can honestly say there was not one rude crew member on that ship. Very nice folks and very well trained.
We did not use the Spa services this time but we did in February and I can say the massage I had then was incredible. I do agree with some other reviewers that the lady at the front desk at the spa has something to be desired but the folks working the spa were just wonderful.
On our own we scheduled our shore excursions. We had a four hands couple's massage on Mazatlan, snorkeled in PV on Deer Island and shopped and had exquisite Mexican food in Cabo. So fun, so perfect and the crew got us on and off the Pride smoothly and safely.
The Saturday before disembarking, I tear dropped a bit knowing it was our last night on the Pride. Silly, I know - but when you have spent a week relaxing, laughing, bonding with your family, making new friends and are surrounded by people who are there to really make your trip special, I was sad.
Disembarkation as a Carnival Vacation Club Member is a breeze. Customs was a bit slow but no big deal. We were in the truck and on the road by 8:15am and in our driveway by 2pm.
Oh, by the way - hubby and I are scheduled to return to the Pride in October for his birthday!!