There it was, the Carnival Pride, sitting majestically in port awaiting the arrival of the next group of guests to sail to the Mexican Riviera. I was pumped! I had been on cruises before but this was the first seven night cruise I had been on. I couldn’t wait to board the ship and see our stateroom, and get started on our next adventure. We were setting sail out of Long Beach California for the Mexican Riviera. Our trip would take us to Puerta Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. It was October and according to the Carnival website the weather down in Mexico would be beautiful. They were right.
We had a Balcony Stateroom with an extended balcony and we were cruising with family who were in the staterooms next to ours. After some trying and signing agreements we were able to get the doors opened between balconies so we could all sit out together and relax and watch the ports come and go. I highly recommend getting a port side room when cruising, especially when you have a balcony room. Before we were even completely out of Long beach we had “met” the people in the rooms above ours! The mood was celebrational and we couldn’t wait to get the fun started. The first night on a cruise you get to meet the waitstaff in the main dining room that will be with you for the entire cruise and we weren’t disappointed. Our waitresses treated us like royalty and were very friendly and helpful. The bar that served the dining room made excellent cocktails to have with dinner and the kids were given extra cherries in their cherry sodas. The food was excellent and we left the dining room satisfied with everything and ready to go see the show in the Taj Majal Lounge. The shows on the Pride are fun and lively and remind you of Vegas with the one exception, they are suitable for children unless you go to the adult comedy show. Early in the evening one night you can go to the comedy show with the kids if they are cruising with you but you can’t miss they adult comedy show late that night. That is where Carnival Kids Camp or Camp Carnival comes in. They offer a babysitting service for a reasonable fee from about ten p.m. to about three a.m. They have slumber parties, watch movies, play games, make crafts, and generally have a good time. During the day kids can spend time in Camp Carnival for free but must be picked up for meals in most cases. My only complaints about Camp Carnival on the Pride were; to get to Camp Carnival you had to walk down halls past staterooms, there was no other way to get there. Also, the kids are taken to different areas of the ship for activities and if your child’s age group is not in Camp Carnival when you go to drop them off you have to take them to the area of the ship where their group is. If you have more than one child cruising with you it can be a pain having to wander the whole ship to find their groups to drop them off in different areas.
I mentioned before your waitstaff at dinner. You will see them in other areas of the ships doing other jobs during the day before they start in the dining room. they might serve you your breakfast in the buffet, or make your coffee at one of the coffee bars. Every time they see you they call you by name, ask how the other family members are, and go that extra mile to make sure you are having a great time. By the time you are done with your cruise, they will know your favorite foods, drinks, desserts, and will sometimes even bring you extra of your favorite dinners or desserts without you having to ask for them!
The shops aboard the Pride are wonderful, they have some of the most beautiful jewelery you could imagine and the best part is, it’s all duty free! This is the best place to buy your souvenirs. On this cruise you have two formal nights for dinner. I recommend that you attend at least one of them and get the portraits done. You can get pictures taken with different backgrounds and then you look at the pictures and choose which ones you want to buy. You are under no obligation to buy any of them ever. It is up to you but it is a great way to get that family portrait you’ve always wanted! Another place on the ship to have a great time is the casino. They offer everything from slots, to blackjack, to poker, just remember not to spend all your time there. You should also check out one of the many pools on deck, they have a running track and several outdoor activities on board. Check out the spa! Get a massage or get your hair done for formal night. Each night you will find a Carnival Capers schedule in your stateroom along with your towel animal. Look this over, it tells you all about the next days events, activities, shows, and much more.
All in all, the Carnival Pride is great ship full of friendly people. I look forward to cruising with them again although I must hurry and book. Soon the Carnival Splendor I believe will be taking over Pride’s route and Pride will be sent elsewhere. If you are looking for a cruise line that offers fun for the whole family on a long cruise I recommend the Carnival Pride. She is one of Carnival’s Spirit class of ships and is one of the top of the line ships for this company.