Carnival Pride - Mexican Riviera: Carnival Pride Cruise Review by TravelYoung
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Carnival Pride - Mexican Riviera
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
We live in Washington State. I didn't want to stress out about embarkation time so we arrived by air a couple of days before so that we can visit family. I rented a mini van from Enterprise. What a convenience! More about that later.
We drove to the Coast Hotel in Long Beach. It's Saturday. We walked up to the front desk and were greeted with smiles by all the employees. At 11 AM we were able to go right up to our room. It was available already. Great! We unloaded the luggage, walked around the hotel. Nice and clean. The rooms are roomy enough for the 4 of us and 6 large pieces of luggage with out feeling cramped. Very nice. The bay view was very nice. Looking out to the Queen Mary and the marina on the bay.
Here's where the rental car company Enterprise was great. Having never done this before, I was a little concerned about More dropping the van off and how getting back to the hotel would go. The Enterprise office closes at 12 noon on Saturdays. If you don't get the car back by then, they charge you till they open again on Monday morning. Just a little stress. After I found out that the drop off spot was literally at the Queen Mary, we were glad that we were just a stones throw away. After driving into the Queen Mary parking lot and receiving a parking lot ticket ( time stamped) we proceeded to take the van to the drop off spot.( In the parking lot. The office is across from the entrance to the QM.) We read the instructions at the office. Which was closed!!!( small freakout here.) I called the number on the door to make sure we did this right. You leave the time stamped ticket on the dash and drop the keys in the key drop. That's it.... Stressing for absolutely nothing. It was too smooth.
Now were on foot. Which is fine, we all like to walk, but there was no need. If you walk back to the center of the lot, theres a bus stop. All the buses are free! Theres a small sign at the stop that shows where each bus route goes. The C (red) bus took us right into the Coast parking lot. Way cool. After entering the bus I picked up a small booklet behind the driver. It has the route and times of all the buses. Very nice.
After arriving back to the Coast, it was time for a snack. The restaurant was good. A little pricey on some things. They wanted $ 8.00 for a plain cheese quesadilla for my son. Ouch! Just watch what you order. The drinks were average price.
After a beverage, we got back on the C bus, out in the lot, and headed down town to Shoreline Village. There are scooters and 4 person bicycle buggies to rent. We walked all over. There's a nice boardwalk and then a cement path all the way around the bay. Lot's to see. We decided to have dinner at Bubba Gumps Great food. We always go to the one on Maui. Fun atmosphere. We walked around some more looking at all the shops. After, we came back to Bubba's, where upstairs, there a place called Mai Tai Bar Very nice. Large overstuffed sofas and chairs in an open air lanai type setting. Of course we had to try the Mai Tai's. Very good! After people watching and watching the tour boats ( whale watching, dinner and bay tours) on the lanai, we decided to head back to the Coast. Hopped back on the C bus and back to the Coast in about 7 minutes. Relaxed on the balcony and watched the beautiful bay turn to night. Bay view room was definitely the way to go.
Embarkation Day! We made arrangements at the hotel lobby the night before with Long Beach Yellow Cab Co. A van to the QM at 9AM. $4.40 for all of us and the large luggage.( I always way over pack) Great! We arrived to the cruise terminal and unloaded all of our luggage to a porter. Now all we have is our carry ons. Very Nice. We walked to the QM and there were about 4 people in front of us to early boarding. After checking in and receiving our Gold sail and sign cards, and getting our ZONE 1 piece of paper, we asked about the tour for the carnival guest through the QM. There is a small museum to walk through on your own. But if you want the tour of the QM it's 50 % off the admission price. I think 20.00 after the discount. We decided to skip the tour.
When you go back to the Pride. Keep the small strip of paper that has your zone # handy with all of your documents. They asked for them when we got in line. They boarded the Skipper Club, then the Wedding party, then Disabled, then Zone1. Woo hoo! Were on! After security and x rays and paperwork we were on the deck to watch the sun coming through the fog. 10AM! Wow, smooth. Our idea about this cruise was to relax and enjoy our time together. It was great. I had bought bar coupons before we left home so I wouldn't have to worry about a huge sail and sign account balance at the end of the cruise. Great again. A little here and there and by the time we got on the cruise we were pretty set up for our drinks. By the way... Drink of the Day is more than the coupons so if you buy one. They can ad the dollar something to your sail and sign. Don't let them say they cant. One guy on the Lido said he couldn't charge the rest on the SS card. Not True. If you get a refill at the bar it's less to the SS card. More if you have someone bring it to you. Not to important, but they take out for gratuities anyway.
Super Bowl Sunday! At the main show room. Huge big screen. Well first of all I was concerned about the life boat drill.... ( it was supposed to be around 6 PM.) What time? What about the game??? Hello.. Well so as not to interrupt the game they postponed the drill till 9 AM on Monday! Great! They would have a bunch of unhappy cruisers if they stopped the game. That was the best Super Bowl party I have ever been to. ( not to say I've been to many) Drinks brought to you, free munchies. They even had sides to sit at. Seahawks to the left and Steelers to the right as you entered. Great party.
The ports were all wonderful. Shopping, shopping, shopping! We only had one excursion.
Mazatlan. Randi's Happy Horses. Now I'm not a horse person. So I was very leery about this. My son and Husband were all for it. We met Randi at the pier after we took a tram to the pink building. Walk through the building and on the other side there are tables and benches to sit. Randi was there at a table with her sign. We waited with one other person for about 15 min. for a party of 3? but after they didn't show we left. We then got on a bed of a truck that was set up with seats and canopy. Drove to a fish market. To catch a water taxi. We went through the fish market to get to the boats. I almost lost it. The smell was very strong. I got better once we got on the water. Stone Island was just across the channel. The Pride's Port side was facing the Island. Our Balcony room was on Port side, Again very nice. After getting to the island we got on another truck and arrived at the horses after a short drive. They matched us up with horses according to our abilities. Hubby used to have horses. My Son, and Sister and I never rode before. The ride was good. 1 ½ hours. My Sister and I wont do it again. Just not our thing. Our bottoms were sore for a few days. We didn't ware shorts. And glad about that after hearing about the chafing stories from Randi. Arrived at Victor's and gave the horses a couple of cookies for there reward for a good ride. Nice secluded beach with a few beach clubs. There were Kayaks and banana boats and swimming. A relaxing time for about 1 ½ hours. Bye the way .. if you want to rent a kayak do it soon after lunch, or you wont have time. We decided too late to rent one. That's OK we'll know next time. The food was excellent. The Pacifico brews were good. ( the first one is on Randi ) Back on a truck to the boat and after a short ride again it was back to the Pride. All in all, a wonderful experience. Randi and her crew were very nice and showed interest in our enjoying our ride. My Husband and son would definitely do this again and again. After arriving back at the Pink building ( sorry forgot the name) terminal, Sis and I indulged in a massage $1.00 per minute. Right there at the terminal. Oh so worth it after holding on to that horse. After that we took our jell heads back to the ship.
Cabo. My Husband and Son wanted to get a water taxi to Lover's Beach. So After breakfast on the ship. We figured that we couldn't get off the ship right away anyway because we didn't do an excursion through the ship. Getting to the tender and over to Cabo was smooth again. No lines. Hubby and son caught a water taxi strait to Lovers Beach and sis and I went shopping. We went to Cabo Wabo. In my opinion. Don't waist your time. It was soo ever priced. They wanted $10.00 for chips and salsa, and the shrimp plate was $8.50?? Sis decided on and iced tea and I tried the WABORITTA It was so bad. Too heavy on the margarita mix and the whole thing was served in a VERY small martini glass. Well, now we can say been there done that. but wont do it again. After pictures and shopping we decided to head to The Office on the beach. We walked everywhere. No problem. The food at The Office was good and the shade was nice after walking in the sun all morning. After that we decided to take a water taxi to Lovers Beach to meet my guys. Right on the beach two huts down from the Office we caught a ride on a water taxi $10.00 each round trip. We didn't haggle. We were OK with that. The boat name was (Translation) Little Witch in Spanish. I say this because after getting on the boat we were taking a wonderful scenic tour to the beach. Around the point to see the seals or sea lions, and the arches, and The Window to the Pacific. We were very pleased. After arriving to Lovers Beach, about 12:30 Hubby and Son are no where. They must have gone back already? I noticed that when we got off the water taxi, it was cold water, so I know they didn't stay in too long. Well, Sis and I fell asleep on the beach for a while on the Pacific side. The waves were incredible. Very strong. At about 2 PM we decided to get back to the Pride. Wow What a difference in the waves from the time we got off the taxi to leaving. The waves really picked up and it was pretty rough getting on the boat. My sis almost fell in the water. Now keep in mind that if you want to bring your camera or ice chest. That's fine. They have guys that unload all your things for you so nothing gets wet. Very nice! I was able to get a few photos while there.
When we got back to the ship and found my guys. They said that they didn't get a tour on the water taxi at all. They were loading and unloading people as fast as they could from the ship. Sis and I had it good going around lunch time. They were bummed because the lack of tour ( which was unexpected anyway) and the water being so cold. All in all. Cabo was too short of a port stay. Some day we'll fly in and stay for a few days and really see it.
The ship and the crew were very, very nice. The decor was beautiful. It reminded me of The Paris or The Venetian in Vegas. With taste. The food was great. Food every where. We had to make it a point continue the gym while on board. That food was good. We got garden burgers on the lido. Only 7 minute wait. Speaking about the gym. Wow. Those showers are awesome!. Water pressure in the top and side shower heads was nice and strong. Here's what you do... You go to the front desk of the Spa and ask them for a locker key. In exchange for your SS card. Your off to a nice steam room or dry sauna in the lady's side or hot tub ( co ed in the gym itself). No charge for anything only treatments. They supply towels. Wonderful!
The Ship Board activities were plentiful. If you wanted to relax and do nothing that was very doable. If you wanted to get involved in the games, no problem. My Husband won a metal for Men's hairy chest contest. And he played the horse race on the Lido. Tea in the afternoon was nice and peaceful and relaxing.
The entertainment was nice. The comedian was blah. ( sorry we didn't think he was very funny) The dancers were good in some shows and sort of cheerleader ish in others. The sing along piano bars was a hoot. Very entertaining! Sorry to hear the piano player's last day was our last day. I'd rather not say why. The Beauties Disco.... Well what can I say? We were sweating up dancing for hours a few times during our cruise. They had themed nights and top 40's most nights. The first night we were on ship they let the crew out and they went to Beauties. What a party!
Coming home after Cabo the sea got a little rough. My Son went to bed right away because he was feeling queasy and so was Hubby. After that night the trip home was nice and calm. The weather was wonderful, as long as you stayed off the upper Lido. It was very windy and chilly. Hint... Go to the aft deck pool and lay out there. Hardly and breeze. We got more tan on that morning, in subtle overcast, that any other time on the cruise. We love to tan ( bad we know, but what can you say to two California girls)
Debarkation: We loaded all of our luggage the night before and placed it in the hallway by 11:30 PM. Out for the Disco and danced the night away. The next morning we got up and went with our carry ons to Normandy Buffet for breakfast. Which by the way, only had oatmeal on a couple of mornings, but lots of healthy choices. Stayed there for a while till they called our color luggage tag. That means that your luggage has cleared customs and you are free to leave. Very soothe again. No problems. Carnival has really got there act together for this. Back into a van and to the Coast for one more night before we leave for LAX in AM. Again I didn't want to stress out about that to soon. $4.40 and back in a bay view room. On the bottom floor and walked right out to the boardwalk. We decided to go into town so, back onto the C bus and to Bubba's. Snacks and iced tea. Very good. After walking Shoreline Village again and taking more photos. We watched the Pride leave with there new guest's. Knowing that they to are excited about there trip and also knowing it's going to be great.
Back to the Coast to watch the bay turn dark, and it's lights on the bay were gorgeous. Full moon and it's time for bed and early rise to LAX 4AM! Met the driver and off to the LAX for our 6 AM flight. The front deck told us that at that time of the AM it should only take ½ hour tho get there. They were right on the money. 60.00 later we loaded our bags to the x ray, and we're on our way home.
All in all, we all had a wonderful time. We enjoyed meeting new people and spending quality time together. We would definitely do this again. My Sister and I are in the works planning and researching now. I would highly suggest this cruise to anyone that's out for relaxation and fun. Life is what you make it. Make every day count!
http://community.webshots.com/user/theyounger1 Photo's of our Cruise. Click on the photo to bring up descriptions. I hope you enjoy them. Less
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