We are most thankful for the itinerary change from the Mexican Riviera to Canada. Last October we embarked from the
same port at Long Beach aboard the Carnival Pride for a 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise. While we did enjoy our Mexican Riviera cruise, we liked visiting our ports in Canada more.
Our first call to port was in Astoria Oregon. When we first got off the ship it was cold and windy with light rain, however it
did clear up and become nice. We went to the Maritime Museum, which was the best museum of that nature I've ever visited, and I highly recommend. Astoria is a nice old (small) town rich in history, with very friendly locals.
Victoria was beautiful! While in Victoria we enjoyed visiting Miniature World, the Royal Tour in our private horse drawn carriage with Victoria carriage Tours (Tom is a great guy), Butchart Gardens and the IMAX Theater. Downtown Victoria has a lot of options for tourists. Everything we did with exception to Butchart Gardens was located in the downtown grid.
To visit Butchart Gardens at our own pace we rented a car. Driving in Canada seemed easy. The drive to the gardens was scenic. Locals were friendly and helpful.
Vancouver was also nice, but not as nice to drive in, too much traffic. We rented a car and drove to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Both the suspension bridge and the treetop adventure were awesome, great scenic views and many photo opportunities. Although I must warn people who suffer from vertigo, that it was uncomfortable for me to cross the bridge with so much movement from other people. At times I felt as though the bridge would twist and drop us all to our death. However, I did find the bridge to be safe, and the view spectacular. The squirrels are friendly, and seemed to have like me. I purchased a bottle of cranberry juice and sat at a table to drink it. A squirrel jumped up onto the table and stuck it's head into my juice bottle, then jumped into my lap, jumped back onto the table again to investigate inside my purse. After I got up from the table it followed me around, and I had to keep moving to prevent it from climbing up my legs. Couldn't figure out how to get my cute critter friend past customs, so I left it there for others to enjoy. After we left the bridge we went to Science World, which provided great indoor family enrichment activities.
My family found Astoria, Victoria and Vancouver much nicer and cleaner (better smelling) than the Mexican ports visited on our prior cruise. Carnival should consider adding western Canada as a regular itinerary.
Comparing the Pride to the Splendor: we liked the Pride better. Despite the Splendor being the newest, biggest Carnival ship, we found we enjoyed cruising on the Pride more. We found the Pride to be easier to navigate, and feel it had a more comfortable decor. Food on the Pride tasted better, with more options, such as biscuits and gravy for breakfast.
It would be great if Carnival could inquire from each balcony guest if they smoke? If so, Carnival should place all smoking balcony guests at the rear of the ship in consideration for all the non-smoking balcony guests.
Service on the Splendor was great. Ray was the absolute best cabin steward! She was so nice and pleasant, always smiling and helpful. Once again our kids liked Camp Carnival, and enjoyed the activities, and met friends to play with.
Not sure why we felt so much rocking movement on the ship, as the water was calm and peaceful. Even with the ship rocking side to side, nobody in my family got sick. Just don't look at the water sloshing back and forth from one end to the other in the pool, or you might start to feel sick.