April 4, 2004
I was on the Pride from April 4th to April 11th (I wish I was still on it). She's a great ship, very well designed. I was very impressed by the comfort and features everywhere I went. The couch seating in the ship is so comfortable. The only thing I didn't like were the pools. There are three pools total, and one is an adults only pool. They aren't too big and the decks around the kids pools are very slippery. Not only around the pools but throughout the whole deck where the pools are located become very slippery. It is dangerous. I noted this on my comment card.
My review probably won't be very helpful in planning your trip but hopefully it will let you see the fun side of the cruise. It was my first time on a cruise so I can't compare it but I have no complaints with Carnival or The Pride. I didn't do any shore excursions, because I am into surfing and I had planned to surf in all ports.
I stayed in an interior stateroom with my girlfriend (no kids). There was plenty of room and closet space. Our steward was Noel, a very nice Jamaican man, he gave us very good service and I had him at the top of the list on my comment card. I personally like that the plumbing in the bathrooms was great (for some reason I enjoy good plumbing). Beds are decently comfortable, the rocking of the ship and the darkness of the interior stateroom made us sleep as though there was no such thing as daytime.
The staff was excellent. I don't think anyone was an American, mostly English and people from the Phillipines. All were very polite and worked hard, most were friendly. Not too many had that scornful look that comes from dealing with whiny Americans all week long. A+ in my book.
The food in my opinion was excellent. I felt that the variety and quality was great. Me and my girlfriend are both vegetarians and we had about 1/5 the choices anyone else could have but we both were pleased with all dishes, it wasn't the toppings of other people's sandwiches in other words. We did miss lunch a couple of times and started to become unusually sick of pizza. You also get free apple juice, lemonade, and fruit punch in the Mermaide's Grill.
The entertainment is very good. A lot of choices, there's shows, bands, dancing and other things to do. The musicians on my cruise were very good, our favorites were the butterflies lounge band, the lead singers in the shows, the jazz band, and the singers in the Atruim lobby (didn't get to see Lou the piano player so he doesn't get on the list). The lead singers in the Taj Mahal shows were very very talented but the dancers were not as quite as exciting (probably not as easy to dance as it is to sing on a ship). I definately heard a lot of good music on the cruise. There were 2 comedy acts and one ventriloquist, both comedy acts were very funny but the ventriloquist wasn't a very good act. The cruise director speaks to the audience at the Taj Mahal shows and over the ship's intercom about entertainment throughout the whole week.
In Puerto Vallarta we rented a car. There was a dollar car rental right out in front when we got off the ship. Driving in Mexico is something I do not ever want to do again. I never thought I'd actually look forward to driving in Southern California again. Aside from the fear of getting pulled over by a Mexican police officer and being robbed, the driving is very disorganized and aggressive. In downtown there are a lot of intersections without stop signs, and no lane dividers in the streets. And on top of it all, the highway signs are in Spanish (it's not that Americanized amigo).
In Mazatlan we went over to Stone Island. It is a very long beach area with about 10 restraunts for the first half mile along it and then nothing but palm trees for miles. It's not developed, all there is to do is ride horses, play on the beach, and eat but it is a nice area, and it didn't seem like there would be too much else to do in Mazatlan.
Cabo was by far the prettiest port to visit. I took a bus over to San Jose Del Cabo which I actually liked better than Cabo as it was a bit less touristy. In Cabo there are a lot of American restraunts and shops so you can feel at home or you can feel the impact of American marketing, however you want to look at it.
Overall I'd say I had an absolutely wonderful time. I would go on this cruise on this ship again in a heartbeat. Although I think Carnival is a good company from this experience, I think I would be more partial to getting on a newer ship as opposed to a certain cruise line. The design and comfort of the ship were so good. The ports are neat places, but be somewhat careful with your money and how you treat people in Mexico. The excursions are a little bit overpriced but if you don't know Spanish and don't know too much about the cities it might be a good idea to book with Carnival.