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Carnival Pride 7 Night Mexican Riviera Mar 1, 2009
We flew out a day early and stayed at the Queen Mary Hotel, berthed next to the Carnival terminal in Long Beach. We had arranged Super Shuttle for transfers, and it went smoothly, only about a 20 minute trip on Saturday afternoon. Enjoyed the walking tour of the Queen Mary, and the art deco style of the cabins. Large comfortable rooms. We ate dinner onboard with a couple we were to be cruising with, enjoyed a lounge in the evening, and breakfast on Sunday. We didn't do the champagne brunch they offer, but took photos. Beautiful, in the old grand dining room. There is also ample transportation to other sites in Long Beach from there.
On Sunday morning at checkout, the hotel bellman just rolled our luggage on a cart to the Carnival baggage drop off. We had VIP checkin and were aboard by 1pm. Cabins were open, but they were still working on some, so we used the safe, left the carry-on's and toured the ship. I really thought it is in excellent condition. Everything was spotless. We had a midships balcony cabin on the portside deck 8 a little bit aft of midships. The ship has a Renaissance design and art throughout. This was our second cruise on a Spirit class ship and we like them. The after dinner dance lounge is called Breeze ane we enjoyed it several nights.
For dinner we were seated at a table for 8 in a room adjoining the lower level of the main dining room, called teh Captain's Club. Kind of nice because it had a separate door and we could avoid the waiting line. We did have a bit of difficulty with the table service, order of items delivered, and by the second night I spoke with the Maitre'D and told them the waiter/asst waiter were pleasant and trying hard but not getting it right and could use some supervision. The next night there was someone coaching and it was fine after that. Good response by the Maitre'D and his staff. We had requested cakes for my wife's birthday and the anniversary of the other couple we were cruising with, and it went of smoothly.
The buffet area on the Lido deck had lots of omelet stations and it was easy to get eggs to order. We did eat in the David's Supper Club, as we liked the supper club on the sister ship, Carnival Legend. The food was great but we were disappointed that they did not have a musical duo playing and singing during dinner like the other ships do, so we could dance during and after dinner. The piano and speakers were there but they told us they currently didn't have a group aboard.
The ship has a magradome over the pool area, but it was only needed one day of the cruise.
Shows were good, as we enjoy the review/musical ones. Skipped the comedians, etc.
Internet service offered packages, and I purchased a 250 minute package at $40 a minute. My only complaint was that printing was 50 cents a page. The internet manager was present a lot and helpful. The internet service is in the same room as the library.
In Puerto Vallarta you can ride a city bus from the end of the pier to the downtown by the Malecon boardwalk for $1 each way.
In Mazatlan we had booked an excursion with ShoreTrips for a 2 hour horseback ride at Stone Island followed by an afternoon on the beach. Nice ride along the beach and a coconut plantation on gently horses. We were dropped off at a bcach facility, provide a beverage, and purchase our lunch: a large plate of large boiled shrimp, a fileted fish, salad, beans, and a couple beers for $17 USD!! A boat ride back to the ship. A great outing for $49 a person.
In Cabo I had never been to Lover's Beach before or boated around the Arcos, so we hired a boat near the tender pier for $22 per person and had a tour of the snorkeling area (glass bottom boat) then around the sea lions and all around Los Arcos before being dropped off in the surf at Lover's Beach. We walked along the mount to an area near the snorking site, and I enjoyed snorkeling in chilly water. After about 2 hours the boat came back for us and we boarded him in the surfline for the ride back. We walked to the Giggling Marlin for lunch and then back to the ship. A great day.
Debarkation in Long Beach was smooth, and Super Shuttle was waiting in the parking garage. Another 20 min drive back on Sunday to the airport and we were on our way home. Absolutely no complaints about food or service, or the condition of the ship other than the missing musicians in the supper club.