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Carnival PrideCarnival Pride
Mexican Riviera
September 5, 2005

by Mary

Just returned from a 9/04/05 - 9/11/05 Mexican Riviera cruise on the Carnival Pride. Since neither of our husbands like to travel, I go with a longtime girlfriend. Arrived in Long Beach (embarkation point) two days prior to cruise. Stayed at the Coast Long Beach, walking distance from Queen Mary and Carnival terminal. Spent one day going to Catalina, which was wonderful.

Went on QM, and it was really sort of creepy. Don't know how people can sleep there. Coast Hotel is highly recommended - clean, quiet and rooms are dark at night. Went to early check in at 9:30 AM on Sunday (on far side of Queen Mary). Was fast and easy - they took our luggage at that time too. Went back at 12:30, went to designated zone and were on ship by 1:00. Easiest and fastest check in of all three cruises I have been on.

Room was a little smaller than I remembered them to be, but still plenty of space for two people. Shelves in bathrooms to put your "stuff". Small basket of product samples in bathroom and wall mounted liquid soap and shampoo dispensers in shower. Also a clothesline in top of shower. Hairdryer and small refrigerator too. Beds have white comforters on them - fabulous!!

The Cruise Director, Chris Jefferson, is by far the funniest and best I have ever heard. Entertainment was wonderful (maybe because I won the Millionaire contest and the trivia contest!!!). The dancers and singers are truly wonderful and work very hard at their craft.

The ship is very pretty. Seeing the statue of David under the red glass funnel is lovely. It's all sort of Rubenesque, with lots of naked bodies, but not offensive at all. Down by the Taj Mahal is Sunset Garden, which we didn't discover until last day. It's just a quiet sunny place to sit and watch the water go by. Wish I had found it earlier.

The food was good. The breakfast buffet alternated every day - one day grits and pancakes, next day oatmeal and French toast. Our dining room servers, PI and Pulu, were extremely attentive to us. The portions are not huge, but more than enough. I did splurge on "fancy night" and get two lobsters. Their definition of "medium rare" and mine are not quite the same. Theirs means "still mooing". We ate what seemed like a ton of food, but I managed to lose 2 and a half pounds.

One hint: never go on a Mexican cruise in September. It was so hot (102 - 107) and high (86% humidity) that I was my own rain forest.

Tours in Cabo and Mazatlan were wonderful, as were the sights and tour guides. First tour in PV (Mismolaya City Tour) was a joke, the guide was nasty and rude and he made us miss our second tour. And that is my only complaint about the whole trip (other than I lost in the casino).

There were not a lot of children on board and most were very well behaved. I only saw two that were terrors and their parents just sat and watched them wreak havoc.

We did have a man (supposedly drunk) fall off the pier when returning from a shore trip. We were out of port for one hour and had to turn around and go back so he could be medi-vaced out. Sure hope he is okay.

All of the crew - the ENTIRE crew - seemed happy and friendly. Always said hello and asked if we needed anything. It really was pampering, for sure. Towel animals weren't up to usual standards for our cabin, but were still cute.

My friend and I are planning our next trip already. 2006 Mediterranean 12 nights.


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