|Have you ever considered taking a vacation with no driving, no hassle and no worries for 7, 10, 14 days or more? How about a cruise? If you've never been to one and not sure whether it would be right for you, read on. With all the cruise lines, cruise destinations and various range of price available, there is a cruise for just about everyone.
We were a group of 4 from Canada. We booked a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise with Carnival Pride departing from LA, USA. We made arrangements to stay a few days in LA where we visited Hollywood and the famous Venus Beach. It was the perfect start of our vacation.
On the day of our cruise departure, we head over to the pier and upon our arrival, we were immediately struck by the awesome sight of the Queen Mary, and our cruise ship was absolutely enormous as it sat there waiting for us.
It took about 45 minutes to check our luggage in and board the ship. Once on the Pride, we found our beautiful stateroom with private balcony, met our room steward, and our luggage magically appeared in our cabin. It's true that Carnival ships remind many people of newer Las Vegas resorts. We unpacked at once and made ourselves feel at home for the duration of the cruise. After watching the ship set sail from our balcony, we went for walks to get our bearings. We discovered a spa, overlooking a fitness centre filled with exercise equipments, and a hot tub in the middle of the work-out area separated by a glass wall from the rest of the room.
The first two days were sea days. We ate everything in sight, and just acted like people on vacation. The crew members are some of the friendliest and most entertaining folks I've ever met. The second day was nice and warm, we lounged around on the deck. They have plenty of deck chairs at the centre lido pool, we never have problem finding seats.
The cruise vessel has activities for the whole family 24 hours a day. A state-of-the-art theatre for quality shows and entertainment, which are all included in the cruise price. Different entertainment are featured in the theatre every evening of the cruise. They also have a number of theme bars, lounges and a disco with live music that are open into the early morning hours.
If nightlife isn't your style, you can enjoy the onboard pool, spa, library, fitness centre, shopping and other amenities. If you have children on the cruise, they have play areas and programs geared to different age groups.
All meals are "world class cuisine" and "gourmet meals", and combined with impeccable service to insure that the onboard dining experience is truly memorable. It is all included in the price of your cruise. The Pride take into account the modern casual lifestyle and provide a variety of restaurants and snack bars on board. There is a varied and plentiful breakfast and lunch buffet similar to what you would find in Las Vegas. Or you can eat breakfast or lunch in one of the ship's restaurants, order exactly what you want from the menu. Restaurants are usually open for meals for extended hours and buffets are generally open all day and into the night. Not the mention their 24-hour pizza parlour!
Cruises typically stop at a different port of call each day or every other day, depending upon distances and sailing time between points of interest. You may stay aboard the ship all day or disembark at any stop. You are free to explore each destination on your own as long as you return to the ship by the designated time. Our ports of calls were Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Los Cabos.
We made arrangements to take the city tour. Riding in the comfort of a big, air-conditioned tour bus, Puerto Vallarta was a beautiful sight. Our highlight of the day was swimming with the dolphins. We literally got inside the dolphin pool, touched and kissed the dolphins. It was an experience of our lifetime.
We booked the city tour with tour-guide Frank. He gave us a private tour, took us to many places. We shopped, explored, ate, relaxed, and we had a fabulous time.
Cabo San Lucas:
There are the standard cruise shops, a marketplace of crafts and clothing, and some random street vendors doing the "braid your hair", "take a ride on my water taxi" thing. The trip on the water taxi was really nice and redeemed the Cabo experience for me. We rode around the Land's End, went up to the pelican colony, not nearly the number the pelicans living at the fishing pier in Mazatlan, went to look at the sea lions, and checked out the Pacific side of the peninsula.
Our last day on the cruise was a sad day. We had early disembarkation due to early flights (12:30). The ship was very organized and we were able to get off the ship very quickly.
All in all it was an excellent vacation. I'm very pleased with Carnival cruise.
With all these great services available at a reasonable cost, why not take a cruise vacation?
About the Author
Carnival Pride review is published by Yvon Marier
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