Carnival Pride - Mexican Riviera: Carnival Pride Cruise Review by SmooCruise

Carnival Pride 5
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Carnival Pride - Mexican Riviera

Sail Date: September 2006
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Sunday, Sept., 17, 2006

We drove to Long Beach from Porterville. Uneventful drive, about 3 hours. I am such a kid at heart when I first saw the Pride come into view I got so excited I was jumping up and down in my seat and crying. And I should mention I was driving at the time! We did the early check-in at the Queen Mary. It was about 10:30. Went VERY quickly. On the way out from early check-in I spotted Cruisinchick! I was so excited! We talked a few minutes and introduced our respective families. They were going to do the Queen Mary tour so we said goodbyes. We then found the Zone 1 sign. No one was in line! So we stood there a few minutes so as to be first. But quickly figured out that it would be nicer to sit and wait. I was trying to find Fred in the crowds but never spotted him. Then when the line started forming it formed FAST! So we were back aways. From the time the line started forming until the time we boarded was about an hour. But the line for people who hadn't More done early check-in was way long! So do the early check-in if you can. After we made our way through security (note to liquor smugglers - do NOT try and carry it on with you-gentleman in front of us had a LARGE bottle of Crown Royal confiscated and taken away. They DO go through everything you carry on!) and all the picture people we were on board!!! We went right to the purser's desk, no line! Put our cash on our Sail & Sign. Then we went to the Lido deck for lunch. We opted for the grill. I had the cheeseburger, Chris a steak sandwich. Very good. 2 Fun Ship Specials (Sunday's Drink of the Day, very yummy and STRONG!), we went up to our room. I was impressed with the size of it. Not huge, but very comfortable to move around in. Then I stepped out onto our balcony..ahhhhhh. It's true what they say guys&once you go balcony, you'll never go back! We were waving at the officers in the bridge from our balcony&.they were RIGHT there! As were people on the observation deck. Not a lot of "privacy", but we still loved our balcony! Then we went to muster. Got there early and thought it was good because we could lean back on the railing. But then they started filing in row after row in front of us. We were packed in like sardines! Next time we'll saunter down at the last minute! After muster we went back to our cabin for sail away. Our luggage was there! After doing the sail away from our balcony we went in and unpacked everything. Plenty of room for all of our stuff! 3 closets, drawers, and lots of shelves in the bathroom. Was very pleased with the shower also! Plenty of room and a removable shower head with adjustable flow! Excellent water pressure and water temp! We freshened up and went to dinner. We had a nice booth for 4. Our tablemates were fun and talkative. Hi Tony and May! I had the lamb&.excellent choice! Hubby had the sweet & sour shrimp, very good also. Finished with champagne truffle cake. To die for! And cappuccino. Our wait staff was friendly and very efficient. After dinner we walked around the ship exploring. Then off to the Taj Majal for the Welcome Aboard show and bingo. The show was good. Kind of a teaser for what the week would bring. I loved Wee Jimmy. I talked with him for a while after the show. I told him about Cruise Critic. He sometimes reads it! I told him about Fred doing the Live From The Pride thread, and that I would be doing Tape Delay From The Pride. He thought that was a hoot! Then he told me that we was only acting CD. But that he's hoping to become full CD in the near future. After the show we went to Butterflies Lounge-very pretty but kinda dead. So we headed over to karaoke at Starry Night lounge. Lots of fun! Some very good singers and a crew of rowdy students from UCLA who were dancing and entertaining us. Rowdy, but in a fun kind of way. Hubby was enjoying his Fosters and I a rum & coke. Karaoke closed at midnite. We headed to our room. I walked, hubby weaved! *LOL* I was surprised at how warm it was on the balcony. Beautiful night!

Monday, Sept. 18  First Fun Day At Sea

For the past year I have been dreaming of sipping coffee in the morning on my own private balcony. OMG!!! It is everything I dreamed of and more! If you take only one piece of advice from me-spend the extra money and get a balcony! It is beautiful out here! Room service came right on time! We chose our selections on the menu they provide the night before and hung it outside on the door. We requested coffee, croissants and melon. Hubby opted to stay in but I fixed my coffee, grabbed my plate and headed out. Brought tears to my eyes sitting here watching the waves and sipping coffee. Life is good folks! After I went in we watched The Morning Show on the TV with Wee Jimmy and Jennifer. It's a little talk show thing from the ship. When they asked for callers I was the first to call in! Wee Jimmy remembered me from the night before. Told everyone I was hot! Obviously he was spiking his coffee! I gave a shout-out to all the Cruise Critic message board peeps. Wee Jimmy wants me to meet him after the show and he'll buy me a coffee. I feel special. Then they brought out the art show rep. Free $650 painting to the first caller. Guess who was first again! Wow! (we must have been the only ones watching&*LOL*). We then went and had 2nd Breakfast *LOL* on the Lido deck. Omelet line was long so I opted for scrambled eggs and the fixins. I was a little nervous about the eggs as I had read they weren't good. I thought they were fine. It was buffet style food on the Lido deck. But good buffet food! And the guava-passion juice was so yummy! We went exploring some more on the ship. Found the Sunset Garden. Very pretty and quiet area to spend some time. Make sure you check it out! Walked through the library and internet place. It was okay. I liked the library on the Ecstasy better. Went back to our room and sat on the balcony. Beautiful day! A few clouds but so nice. We can't believe how blue the water had turned! It was yucky green in Long Beach. We're off the the shore excursions talk. See what else I can win! Excursion talk was interesting. I was impressed that Wee Jimmy was quite honest in that some of the Carnival sponsored tours weren't worth the money. He's actually went on most of the excursions. We decided to do the dining room for lunch. Good choice! We got a seat by the window with some other people. I started with the California Roll, Chris had the Caribbean Pepper Pot soup. Both were good! I had Vegetable Fajitas with all the fixings, hubby had fish. We finished off with chocolate cake and Crème Caramel (flan-like). Lunch was great, tablemates were&..uh&..interesting, but hey! We proceeded to the art auction after lunch. I was disappointed to learn that I could only choose between 5 pieces. All ugly! But hey can we say Ebay! I chose a Tarkay called Morning Social. I got bored with the auction and left hubby to go watch the Newlywed Game. Ordered the DOD (drink of the day), a Yellowbird. Yummy! Hubby joined soon after. Entertaining show! Afterwards we went to the room to rest a bit and get ready for formal night. I'm presently sitting on my balcony sipping room service coffee and letting natures hair dryer dry my hair. Sunny and warm! No sign of any storms. Captain's cocktail party was very nice. Wee Jimmy made a point to come over and hug me and talk with us and then when he was on stage he introduced me as his special friend Victoria. Hubby is teasing me that I am teacher's pet! *LOL* The Pride Band played and we went onstage and danced a little. Very romantic. Then we made our way through the photo maze to go to dinner. We had our picture taken at a couple of spots. Dinner was WONDERFUL!!! Our waiter had my lemon already on the table and brought me a LARGE glass for my iced tea. She was probably tired of refilling it every 5 minutes! I highly recommend the Roasted Pumpkin soup. VERY tasty! Hubby had tropical fruit. We both had the prime rib. Excellent! My plan was to ask for the lobster after I finished the prime rib but I was too full! Was disappointed in the tiramisu. Not that it tasted bad&.it just wasn't tiramisu! More like a pudding of some sort. We're heading to the show now with a stop at our room to freshen up. Our first towel animal!!!!! Wheeeee!!! Hubby says rabbit. I'm not sure, cute though! (we asked steward later&.he said it was a dog.) Show was awesome! I sat entranced through it. The 2 lead singers were awesome. Bree Shannon and Eric Burt. Don't miss this show! Original plan was to hang out in the karaoke bar until time for the late show with Stanley, the comedian but the Starry Night lounge was standing room only. We walked for a while, then headed for the Lido deck. Very quiet. And warm! Walked all the way to the bow of the ship and stood looking out over the water and gazing at the stars. Words cannot describe how beautiful it was! Did a little smooching and then decided to skip late show. Wasn't that impressed with Stan at the pre-show. Came back to our room. I took a cool shower and slipped into a sundress and headed for my balcony. I figured out how to use my bungee cord. One end around the handle of the door, other end hooks on in the crack between the plexiglass at the end of the balcony. All this work and now I'm hungry! *LOL*. I've ordered a sandwich for me and cheesecake for hubby. I highly recommend the roast beef and brie sandwich on the room service menu. Good! If you want mayo though you need to tell them that when you order. They'll put it on the side. Good night all!

Tuesday, Sept. 19  2nd Fun Day At Sea

We slept with the balcony door open most of the night. Yeah bungee cord! Slept like a baby listening to the waves lap against the ship until about 3 or 4 in the morning. I was awoken by the feel of the boat gently rocking .no make that tossing us to and fro! And the sound of the waves slamming into the ship! Got up and took some Bonine¬ so much because I was queasy just needed some help getting back to sleep. Next thing I knew room service was knocking with our morning coffee, juice and danishes. For those who have never cruised before, room service is FREE! But we did tip a couple of dollars every time we ordered because the service was so great. Right on time! And everything just as we ordered it. The boat&she was still a rockin! Got ready for the day and headed up for our 2nd breakfast. On the first day they told us we could eat 8 meals a day. And we're trying to live up to that! Lido deck, omelet station. Very good! And the omelet man was amusing. Then we walked around a bit gotta make room for meal #3 ya know! We mosied over to the picture aisles. We found our pictures from the night before, formal night, and picked out our favorite and purchased it. $20.00 for the 8 x 10 and $10 for a package of I think 2 4x6, and 8 wallets. Something like that. From there we headed to the Trivia game in the Taj Majal. Hubby did ok but I was BAD. Stuck around and listened to Lorenzo, the shopping guy, for a while. But he was mainly talking about jewelry so we bowed out. We did pick up some shopping maps though. We sauntered over to the dining room for meal #3! Very good lunch. Even more entertaining tablemates. For breakfast and lunch you are seated at whatever table they give you with different people every time. For dinner you have the same table every night and the same tablemates. One of the lunch companions was this very petite woman who ordered 2 starters, 4 main courses and 2 desserts! And she ate at least ½ of everything she ordered! She was cracking me up! After lunch we came back to our room to change into our bathing suits and head for the pool. We got to our room just in time to see the arches in Cabo right off our balcony! I was so excited I almost peed! *LOL* We came to a complete stop. I sat on the balcony and gazed at the arches and all the activity in the water. Again I was amazed by the blueness of the ocean! We later found out that a rather large man attempted to go down the slide. It seems he got stuck and somehow flipped out of the slide and fell. Along with being hurt the slide was damaged and out of commission the rest of the trip. I am so glad I didn't attempt the slide! After the ship started moving again we headed for the pools. Sat in the sun for a little while sipping the DOD Caribbean Breeze. It was ok. Not as good as the Fun Ship Special though! Slipped into the pool. Very refreshing! Back to our room. Hubby changed and then headed for the Raphael lounge to have a cigar. I showered and dressed for the afternoon and evening. Then I had to pick between the tea and Game Show Mania. Decided on the game show. I didn't get picked to play but had a blast watching the show. From there we skedaddled over to the Starry Night lounge for The Afternoon Show. Like the Morning Show from the day before but this time they invited the passengers to come be a part of the studio audience or you could watch from your room and call in. We were a small but enthusiastic crowd! And a very lucrative afternoon for me! I won a medallion which I was instructed that I have to wear all week! But the highlight of the day&.I am now the proud owner of the coveted 24 karat gold plastic SHIP ON A STICK!!! I can die happy now! *LOL* I won the medallion for answered what did Finnish men carry x amount of miles and across the finish line? Their wives. I saw it on TV once and remembered! I got the Ship On A Stick for playing a word association game and winning. After the Afternoon Show I visited the sushi bar. What a delicious treat! I had one of each of them. No charge for the sushi but if you wanted saki there was a charge. Then we did a slow stroll to dinner. Hubby started with some grilled chicken thing wrapped in a tortilla. He said it was good. I had the Maryland Clam Chowder. It was good, but nothing special. For dinner I had the Roasted Spring Chicken. Excellent choice! Hubby had the Weiner Schnitzel. Not what it sounds like! Veal battered and fried. He finished with the cheesecake. I had the raspberry verbena. Both very good. After dinner we waddled back to our cabin. More balcony sitting and a bit of a rest before the show. Stanley, the comedian. He was funnier than he was on opening night. We headed for bed after the show. We're getting old I guess. Can't handle the real late nights anymore! *LOL*

Wednesday, September 20  Puerto Vallarta

Woke up to our friendly room service alarm clock again. Ran to the balcony we're in the process of pulling into PV. Had breakfast #1 and then showered and dressed for the day. We had left the balcony door open. As I was sitting at the vanity putting on my face I could hear faint music..I stopped and listened..then screamed and jumped up and ran for our balcony. Hubby thought I was nuts! What I was hearing was pirate music! The music from Pirates of the Caribbean. And sure enough right out our balcony sat the Marigalante our Pirate Ship! I was so excited!!! Also in view are you ready for this? Wal-Mart! *LOL* More about the Pirate Ship later! We went up to the Lido and breakfast #2. By now the omelet guy knows what I want. I just have to nod and smile at him. Ham, fresh mushrooms, onions and cheese. Grab a couple of pieces of toast and some milk and juice and I am good to go! Hubby goes for the fruit and yogurt but before you commend him for his healthy choices he tops it off with about a dozen danishes! After breakfast we make our way to the gangplank. First thing off the ship we are hit with the heat and humidity. OMG! It takes your breath away. We had planned on walking into town. I made it about a block and was literally dripping with sweat. Headed back to the taxi area. We got onto an AIR CONDITIONED van with some others. I got to sit up front with the driver. One of the perks of being a BBW! He was quite talkative and was giving us pointers for the day. Such as making sure that the taxi driver we get to come back understands that we want the air conditioner on. He said they try and tell you it doesn't work to save money on gas. He also told us that it's customary to bargain and haggle with the shops over prices. I told him I was good at it. And that I was only giving him $2 instead of the $3 he quoted us. He laughed and we bantered back and forth over the price. And I told him that I was bargaining for the whole van, not just me. Meanwhile the passengers in the back are all laughing and giggling, hubby included. Seems I am the only one who didn't know they had already paid the driver. Color me red! He let us off in the middle of the shopping zone along the boardwalk. Again what a shock to the system getting out of the air conditioning into that humidity and heat. We walked for a couple of blocks. We're not really much for shopping. The only thing I was interested in was souvenirs for the kids and hubby was looking for Lucha Libre wrestling masks. But only a certain one! *rolling my eyes* After a couple of blocks I was totally wiped out. I told hubby I was going across the street and sitting on the bench and watch the bay while he continued poking around. I love to people watch so this suited me fine. Out in the bay I could see these inner tubes floating around and every once in a while a head would bob up and they would drop something into the inner tube. I later found out that it was divers getting oysters off the rocks on the bottom. There was a net attached to the inner tube. After they fill the net they come out and sell the oysters to the restaurants. Very interesting! Hubby joined me on the bench after a while and we sat and people watched together. Then we walked around a little more. After a while all the stores look the same. So here is my first piece of advice. If you are not into shopping book yourself an excursion. Go see the sights from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus or van. I wish we had done that. Around noon we hailed a taxi and asked him to take us to Wal-Mart. Hubby works for Wal-Mart so he wanted to check it out. What a ride! Rules of driving are WAY different in Mexico! There are no real lanes&.drivers just honk as they're moving around. They go way too fast! And a lot of the roads are cobblestone. We felt like we were on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride! We arrived at Wal-Mart in one piece what a miracle! Hubby enjoyed poking around the store. He had really wanted to talk to some of the management (he's in management) but we couldn't find anyone who spoke English. He is toy dept. manager so we went to the toys&.he was surprised that their prices were higher on toys that he carried also. We bought a couple of things (they take US dollar but you'll get your change in pesos), then headed back to the ship. Went straight to the Lido deck where I proceeded to down about 50 glasses of ice tea! *LOL* Had lunch and then went back to our room. I took a cool shower and then we laid down for a nap. We are taking the pirate ship out tonight so we wanted to rest up a bit. Around 3 we woke up and got dressed for our evening excursion. Headed down the gangplank and over to the excursion meeting area. Aye there be pirates waiting for us! And one of them is a HUNK! *drooling*. He took our tickets and then directed us over to the pirate ship. We were met at the ship by more pirates bearing trays of beer, margaritas and sodas. I grabbed a soda, hubby a beer and proceeded up the gangplank. More pirates! A very mean looking one grabbed my hand and pulled me behind the treasure chest (hubby dutifully followed) for pictures. Then we were directed to take a seat while they load the rest of the ship. A very sweet pirate named Roy was there as soon as we sat down offering us more drinks. I got a beer this time. It was okay but I like my beer ICE cold so for the rest of the evening I drank Pina Coladas. They were pretty good. Be aware that nothing is blended though. Poured over ice only. But they were very free with the alcohol in the drinks. We watched everyone getting on and watched the pirates getting the ship ready to sail. Very interesting. Then it was time to set sail! Oh man did that breeze feel good! We sang some songs with the pirates and then they started picking out some women to go onstage. They played silly games with them. Then they explained the history of the ship. It is an exact replica of the Santa Maria that Christopher Columbus sailed. It's been all over the world but for now is settled in PV. For those of you who have children they also do a daytime cruise where they take you to a beach for lunch. Also open bar but less of a booze cruise and more family oriented. I should mention that yes&.the ship does rock quite a bit. But I found it added to the fun! I didn't see anyone getting sick, even hubby who is prone to motion sickness. After the history of the ship we had some more sing-a-longs. Fun! And you couldn't get your glass half down before they were offering you more to drink. Hubby was 2 fisting the beers and soon had to visit the little boys room. He came back all excited something about a shark for a urinal *shrugging shoulders* They then took half of us down for dinner. I was quite nervous about this part as I had heard it was a steep narrow climb down and that it was hot down below. Yes&.it was a little steep and narrow. But folks, I am a big woman and I had NO problems getting down. There were lots of fans blowing and we were lucky enough to get a table with a fan right on it. I was very comfortable. Dinner was served right away. Steak, shrimp, rice pilaf, salad and bread. The food was good. Not the caliber of the cruise ship fare but good. They also offered wine. I passed. I learned long ago to not mix wine with liquor! After dinner they asked us to go back on top so that they could feed the rest of the ship. We then were treated to an ancient Mayan dance/ritual. Very interesting. After everyone had dinner they directed us back to our seats. Some more singing and dancing. A Pirate conga line! Then it was time for the show. Now I'll be honest with you. I was expecting a more authentic pirate show. This was more of a comedy pirate show. But it was highly entertaining. I'm not going to go into detail about the show so as not to ruin it for those who may be going. But there was fireworks and cannons involved! And that *more drooling* hunky pirate captain. After the show was more music, dancing and booze! All too soon we were pulling back into port. All in all a very fun evening. After we got back on board we stopped by our room to freshen up and then headed for the Taj Majal to play Gringo Bingo before the evening show. Didn't win again! But had fun. Tonight's show was Fred Anderson, juggling and comedy. He was very entertaining. Earlier in the evening there was a Mexican Folkloric show performed by dancers out of PV. We missed it though as we were on the pirate ship. After the show we were exhausted and made an early night of it. All in all a great day!

Thursday, Sept. 21 Mazatlan!

Another day started by room service alarm clock. Can you tell we kinda liked that little perk? *LOL* After breakfast on the Lido we headed back to our room and sat on the balcony watching as we pulled into Mazatlan. Ya know I haven't mentioned the Federalis yet. They are something else. Makes our police force look like wimps! I was intrigued watching the ones out on a boat watching us. Not quite sure what they are there for but makes for good people watching! I saw them in all the ports. At 10 am we headed for the Taj Majal to meet up for our shore excursion. Shopping, beach, and lunch. We were met by cute little tour guides dressed in safari type outfits. After we all checked in they walked us off the ship and to the taxi area. They boarded us 4 at a time into individual taxis where we were driven to the shopping area. We went through a poor section of town to get there. It was kinda sad seeing how some people lived in this port town. After we were dropped off we were instructed to make our way into the area where we were going to watch the Paplanta Flyers. Very interesting show. I liked that they gave the history. They also provided cool beverages. Sodas and beer. After the show we were on our own to make our way through the Golden Zone (can we say MORE SHOPS!) with the destination being the Playa hotel. Along the way we ran into my new friend cruisinchick at the Senor Frogs store. We took pics for each other in front of the store. We then continued on to the hotel. Once we got there we were greeted by the tour guides (very friendly by the way!) and given a beach towel to use. They then showed us the way to the buffet. The area was covered but no walls so we could sit along the beach to eat. The only problem was that the hawkers lined up along the retaining wall and tried to sell you things while you ate. Kinda messed up the pretty view and relaxing atmosphere the hotel was trying to provide. The hotel staff tried to keep them moving along but it's a public beach so therefore they couldn't do a whole lot. The excursion provided lunch and 2 beverages of your choice. Beer, margaritas or soda. You could then purchase more beverages if you wanted to. Hubby and I disagreed about the food. I felt it kind of blah. I like my Mexican food with some spice to it! But hubby thought it was great. He went back for 2 heaping plates of it. It was ok. Not just my cup of tea. After lunch we found a pool to relax in. The main pool was kinda busy so we walked around and found a 3 foot pool that was partially shaded. It had a ledge all the way around on the inside you could sit on. We relaxed and cooled off there for about 30 minutes. Then we headed for the beach. There were all kinds of tables and lounge chairs you could sit in. Either under an umbrella or out in the sun. We claimed one and sat gazing at the ocean&.through the crowd of hawkers. I was intrigued by the young girls doing the hair braiding though. As my hair is long and thick I was really getting tired of messing with it. So I negotiated a braid job. $20. I tried to get her lower but she said my hair was too long and thick to go lower. So I paid up. There is a pic of the girls braiding my hair. After that I went back to join hubby. I saw cruisinchick and her hubby playing out in the ocean so I went to join them. I was kinda worried as there were signs about jellyfish stings, but chick's hubby told me it was the wrong time of year. I stood with Jen for a few but the waves were really battering us around. I decided to go out a little deeper. Be warned though it drops off fast! 2 or 3 steps and I was in chest high water! Much funner deeper out though. Did a little body surfing and playing around. Tried to coax Jen out to join me but she wasn't playing that game! *LOL* After a bit climbed out of the water&.literally! And rejoined hubby on the beach. He was ready to head back so I rinsed off under the shower and we went to the front of the Playa as instructed. There the guides hailed us a taxi back to the ship. This time we got one of the cute open air golf cart looking taxis. Another wild ride through the streets! I don't think I would want to rent a car in Mexico! As we were passing the main beach of the area&.right up the beach from where we were&I noticed red flags flying. The driver explained this meant it's not real safe to swim and the waves and currents were quite strong. And there was no one swimming on that beach! Now they tell us! Sheeesh! Checked back onto the ship and headed for our room. After showering we laid around our room discussing the day. We decided we liked having an excursion take us around instead of us trying to do it on our own. We had a good day! Off to dinner&.sorry all you foodies I didn't make notes on dinner from this point forward so I don't remember what we ate. But I know that it was all delicious! After dinner we poked around the ship for a bit and then headed to the Taj Majal for Powerball Bingo. Another losing night. Then we were treated to the singer Ned Rifken and the comedy of Jerome. Ned was very good. We had seen Jerome on our first cruise so we knew we were in for a treat and he didn't disappoint us. After the show we headed for the Starry Night lounge for karaoke. But it was too crowded. We had heard people talking about the piano guy at the Ivory Piano Bar so we went to check him out. What fun! He has a catalog with about 750 songs in it. You write your requests on a napkin and give it to the bartender and he throws the napkins on the piano. There are barstools all around the piano or you can sit in little lounging areas throughout the bar. The bartender was almost as entertaining as the piano guy! He was quite a character. If you sit at the bar there are marachas and tambourines that you can play along with the music. Everyone sings along also. The range of songs this guy (Agustin) can play and sing is amazing! Be sure to check him out! He also banters with the audience. We stayed here until about midnight and then headed for bed. Another good day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Friday, Sept. 22  Cabo San Lucas Happy Anniversary to Us!!! You know the drill by now.*LOL* Room service alarm clock. Coffee on the veranda as we pull into Cabo. We decided to do breakfast in the main dining room today. Eh. Think I like it better on the Lido. A little too early to be conversing with strangers. And they pretty much have the same stuff as they have on the Lido deck with the exception of Eggs Bendedict. We headed to the Starry Night lounge to pick up our tender ticket. Wee Jimmy and Karl were there. Sat and talked with them for a bit and did a picture with them. Such nice people! They said that there was no line for the tender now so we could just go on down. Wee J walked us there. We got on the tender and headed for the marina. Nice short ride. I was again shocked by the humidity as we starting walking towards town. NO MORE CRUISES TO MEXICO in September!!! *LOL* Again let me stress that unless you really enjoy poking around tons of shops (all with the same stuff!) book yourself an excursion. If we do this cruise again I'm going to do the beginning snorkeling excursion. We caught a bicycle taxi into town. Walked around a bit and then headed for Cabo Wabo. One of my goals for this cruise was to have a Waborita at Cabo Wabo. We walked to the bar area and were seated. It was only about 9:30 in the morning and there was already a small crowd there. There was a reggae type band playing. They were pretty good. The bartender came and took our order. When he brought my drink (wimpy husband only had a bottled water!) I was very disappointed. It was in a martini glass. SMALL! And it was lukewarm. Had it been blended better and larger it would have been good. I handed the bartender my credit card. He said something about keeping the account open and I told him no we were only having the one order. He took off and we didn't see him again for about 20 minutes. He came over and tried to get us to order again. I told him no and could we please get our bill. 20 minutes later and me nagging a couple of times we finally got our bill. $9 for a water and a tiny Waborita. Needless to say I wasn't impressed. was cool to say we'd been there and the band was good. We talked to people later who ate lunch there and they said the food was good. So maybe it was just one bad experience for us. We walked around for a while and then headed back to the ship. Boring, huh??? So take my advice&..unless you're a shopaholic book something! Our original plan had been to take a glass bottom boat out to Los Arcos. But between Carnival putting out warnings to not use the water taxis or glass bottoms (apparently they had a tragic accident with one of these boats and a Carnival passenger), and the hard sell on the marina of tours that are connected with time shares we opted not to. I had heard a couple of stories of people thinking they were purchasing just a tour and they got roped into a 3 hour time share presentation. We headed back to the ship for lunch and a nap. Formal Night, Late show and Midnight Buffet tonight! Yeah baby! Us old folks gotta get some naps in to stay up that late! We headed for the Lido deck and had some lunch and took a dip in the pool. Then we went to our room to take a nice little anniversary nap *wink, wink* and set the phone to wake us up. Got up and dressed for the 2nd formal night. We didn't go quite as formal for this. Still nice just not as dressy. Went to dinner&.wish I could remember what we ate! I know it was good though! After dinner we went strolling. Stopping to visit and chat in the various lounges and Sunset Garden. Then we made our way to the Taj Majal for the Vroom show. Excellent show! Don't miss it! After the show we headed for the Piano Bar to play with Agustin some more. Our plan was to stay there until 11:30 and then head for the Gala buffet for the picture taking session. But we were having so much fun at the Piano bar that we lost track of time. It was almost 12 when we headed back to the Taj Majal to catch Jerome's midnight R-rated show. Funny, funny show. But I don't recommend taking kids to this show. It's definitely off-color. After the show it was time to go to the buffet. I was so tired! But I had made such a big deal to the husband unit that he couldn't be a wimp tonight and that we WERE going to the buffet! So I had to go. *LOL* The line was pretty long. By the time we made it to the food I really didn't want to eat anything. But I grabbed a plate and a few desserts. Everything was really pretty. Just wish I wasn't so tired. Luckily my friend cruisinchick got some pretty pics. I'll post them for you to see. After the buffet we hauled our tired butts back to our cabin and fell into bed. Which by the way..the beds are really comfortable! Another fun-filled day! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sat., September 23  Last Fun Filled Day Woke up with can you guess??? ROOM SERVICE!!! Feeling very bittersweet this morning. Part of me is tired and ready for some rest. And part of me doesn't ever want this cruise to end! Took our time getting ready. Sat on my deck for morning coffee for the last time. Quite a bit cooler today and windy. Ship was rocking pretty good but was still enjoying it. The balconies are fairly protected. Got dressed&time for 2nd breakfast! Went to the Lido deck and ordered from my omelet man again. He was in rare form. Tossing the omelets in the air and bantering with all of us. After breakfast we went and sat in the Sunset Garden area for a bit. Just love that little area! At 10:00 we went to the Taj Majal for TV theme trivia. Hubby likes trivia. I'm not so good at it but had fun trying. Then it was time for Bingo. And guess what!?! I finally won one! Had to split it so it was only $50 but hey. At least I won! At 11:00 we listened to my friend Wee J's debarkation talk. Kinda boring but necessary stuff to know. At the end of the talk though he said he wanted to recognize a couple for being enthusiastic, participating in lots of the activities, and always sitting in the third row in the middle seats with big smiles. When he said the third row, middle seat part I realized he was talking about me and hubby! I was so surprised! Then he proceeded to literally crawl over the seats to present me with a DVD of the cruise that week and hubby with a watch, wallet, and pen set. Lots of hugs and kissies. And it made me cry. Then he crawled back. Funny man! After that we went to lunch. To the main dining room. Again am fuzzy about what we had. All the great meals are scattered in my head. My favorites from the week were the Prime Rib, the pumpkin soup, vegetable fajitas, more prime rib, filet mignon steak, all of the chocolate!, roast beef and brie sandwich from the room service menu, guavo-passion juice, cappuccino with my dessert in the dining room every night. I'm sure there were more! After dinner we went to our room to pack. How sad! At 8 we went to the Taj Majal for Big Screen Movie Trivia, then Game Show Mania, then Powerball Bingo, then the Legends Show. Legends was great!!! It was passengers that had tried out for various parts such as Garth Brooks, Brittany Spears, Gloria Estefan, Elvis, etc. Most of them were pretty good and the ones that weren't good were funny! Then Karl with a K and Peter came out as Sonny and Cher. They were hysterical!!! Then Wee Jimmy came out as Dolly Parton! I almost peed my pants laughing! Great show and great ending to a wonderful cruise. *sigh* After the show we went to the purser's to clear our account. We put cash on our Sail & Sign. I know lots of people like to know how much to take. I feel this is a very subjective question but I can tell you want we spent. On the ship we had $600 on our Sail & Sign and $100 in cash. We drank a few drinks each every day. I played most of the Bingos ($10 for a single card, $20 for a triple I did the triples). Hubby did the scratch-offs. We tipped room service a couple bucks every morning. Spent about $50 in the Fun Store and about $60 in the casino. About $50 in pictures. We had prepaid our excursions and gratuities before the trip. We left the ship with $75. So for moderate drinking, heavy bingo and scratch-offs, light shopping, light picture buying, and light shopping we sailed on about $625. After the purser's desk we went back to our room, changed into jammies and finished packing. You have to put your luggage out by midnight. We just had clothes for Sunday, meds and toiletries left to carry off. One last midnight sitting on my balcony and then off to sleep. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sunday, Sept. 24  debarkation Day Feeling very sad. Had our room service coffee, got dressed and headed to the Lido desk for breakfast. WOW! It was crowded!!! This was the only day we had trouble finding a seat! After breakfast we went to the Taj Majal to wait for our color to be called. They call the VIP's and those with early flights off the ship first. Then they start calling colors. Jerome came and entertained us while we were all waiting. I also got to say goodbye to Brad (sector60) and look at some of the pics he was downloading. Which I am still waiting for him to send me. Hint, hint! *LOL* They called our number and we headed out. We were in the Taj Majal for maybe an hour or so. After they called our color it was only maybe half an hour of getting off the ship and going through customs. No problems at all there. We got a porter to help with our luggage (custom to tip at least $1 a bag), then went and found our car, loaded our luggage and left. Small little tear rolling down my cheek as our long-awaited vacation was coming to an end. Less

Published 10/09/06

Cabin review: 8A7111 Balcony

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