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Debra Johnson

Age: 48

Occupation:Administrative Assistant

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Pride

Sailing Date: June 21st, 2003

Itinerary: Key West, Belize, Cozumel and Progresso

My friends and I had a wonderful time on the cruise despite a few problems. It was the second one for me and one friend and the first for the other. Embarkation and debarkation went very smoothly. The decor can be a little overwhelming at first but you get to enjoy it as the week goes on and it becomes very elegant.

We each had a different experience at the spa. I enjoyed by "Hot Rock" massage immensely. First massage I ever had. My one friend had had hot rock massage before and said it was good but she had had better. My third friend opted for the seaweed wrap. She filled out the medical form and was taken into the room and completely wrapped. Within a minute the attendant came rushing back in and told her to rinse off IMMEDIATELY. My friend is a breast cancer survivor and put that on her form. Apparently the attendant didn't read it first. The attendant was very rude and treated my friend like she had a contagious disease. When we came out from our massages an hour and a half later, we found her so upset she was crying. We managed to get past that.

The ports were wonderful. Key West was allot of fun. I hadn't been there in 30 yrs and it really hasn't changed much.

Yes, Belize is an extremely poor country but we did the cave tubing tour and had the most exciting time. We hike for 45 minutes though some of the most beautiful acreage that you could ever imagine. When we got to the cave we had help getting into our tubes and proceeded to drift through an amazing cave that was about 1/4 of a mile long. The tour guides made sure that no one was left behind. We went to lunch at a small open air restaurant and had a buffet of rice and beans cooked in coconut mild, chicken in a spicy sauce, Cole slaw and limeade. It was great. We then went back to the ship. We knew there was no shopping in Belize because we had done our homework.

Next was Cozumel. I had been there last year when it was under construction. It is beautiful now. You don't have to go into town anymore if you don't want to. All of the shops have opened right on the dock and it is beautifully decorated and maintained. We went on the catamaran/snorkeling trip. It was allot of fun. Take an underwater camera. After snorkeling we went on the catamaran to their private beach for swimming, sunning, volleyball, etc. On the way back to the ship the music is blaring, there is dancing and drinking and allot of laughing.

Next was Progresso. We had thought about going on a ruins tour but we all decided that we were pretty well worn out by that time. (didn't hear too many good things about the ruins tours from other people). We opted to go into the town. You have to take a bus into town as the ship is docked 7 miles out. Allot of road construction around the dock making it better for the future. We were so pleasantly surprised by what we found. It was the ultimate of Mexico as far as we were concerned. Small shops, street vendors trying to sell you things, open air markets. Everyone was so friendly. We walked down the beach and while it may not have been the cleanest beach it was pretty and fun.

On to dinners. Very disappointing. I mentioned that we were 3 females traveling together. Maybe I didn't, anyway we were. I had requested from the Carnival Travel Agent to be seated at a large table with people approximately our age or older. When we were taken to our table we were sat in a booth by ourselves in the back of room completely isolated (at least it felt that way). We immediately said something to the maitre 'd. We were told that they would try to do something. The next night, same seating. We said something again to no avail. Not even an attempt. So we made the best of it. We found out later from some people that we were talking with that they had no problem getting their seating, even their time changed. We all got the feeling that our waiter did not like us. He was completely rushed and seemed annoyed all the time. At the end of the trip we had to approach him to say goodbye. The food was good. Nothing "wowed" me but it was good.

We took the galley tour (don't waste your time). One the Sensation they showed you everything. You saw the food being made up and all the pre made food and desserts and how they were kept. All we saw on the Pride was an empty kitchen. Big disappointment.

We did meet some wonderful people along the way. The Starry Night lounge has a wonderful band playing and the Ivory Bar has a terrific piano player (very funny). The shows were great and so was the casino even though I didn't win anything. We had a couple of minor problems (burned out bulbs, etc.) which were fixed almost immediately. We were on the Panorama deck with a balcony. Great deck. As one other person said, we were very surprised that the cabin only had one outlet. We asked how we were supposed to use our curling irons with only one outlet. They told us we weren't supposed to have curling irons in the rooms. Now I ask you, how are 3 women supposed to face the day without doing their hair???!! Shhhhhh, we used our irons anyway.

All in all, it was a great trip. A few disappointments but we did not let it ruin an otherwise wonderful week.

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