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Old 03-15-2007, 01:51 PM
MicheleT's Avatar
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I am trying to plan a cruise for my family for March 2008. My husband and I had taken RCCL Viking Serenade - way back when - and had a great time. This will be our first family cruise since having kids...two boys - 14 & 4. Looks like our choices right now are between RCCL Vision of Seas, Princess's Golden Priness and Carnival Pride. I would appreciate all the feedback I can get. They are all the same cruise with varying times in each of the ports...but I would really like to know what you all think of the ships themselves, ie. activities for the kids, food, room size. I am new to this site and would love any response. Thanks!
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Mexican Riviera
Carnival Pride - September 30, 2007

RCCL Viking Serenade - May 10, 1992
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:51 PM
MicheleT's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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I am trying to plan a cruise for my family for March 2008. My husband and I had taken RCCL Viking Serenade - way back when - and had a great time. This will be our first family cruise since having kids...two boys - 14 & 4. Looks like our choices right now are between RCCL Vision of Seas, Princess's Golden Priness and Carnival Pride. I would appreciate all the feedback I can get. They are all the same cruise with varying times in each of the ports...but I would really like to know what you all think of the ships themselves, ie. activities for the kids, food, room size. I am new to this site and would love any response. Thanks!
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Mexican Riviera
Carnival Pride - September 30, 2007

RCCL Viking Serenade - May 10, 1992
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:09 PM
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Hi MicheleT, and welcome to cruise-chat.com.

When we cruised to the Mexican Riviera, we were onboard Diamond Princess -- not exactly a sister ship to Golden Princess, but close. We enjoyed the cruise. My son was 11 at the time and chose to hang out with us rather than use the kids program and still had a great time. He played basketball, ate, watched the shows, and swam. If you go with Princess, I highly suggest booking either two cabins or a mini-suite, as we found that the standard balcony cabin was tight even for three. Also, Princess has a dining option called Anytime Dining in which you don't have a set dining time, but can reserve a table for different times every evening. While this allows you to be more flexible, you may encounter lines at times. Still, I would recommend Princess as a great line with something for everyone.

Several years ago, we were on one of the sister ships to Vision of the Seas -- different itinerary, though. I remember that the cabins were large, and we had a "superior inside." But, as it's been years since I've been on the ship, I can't comment beyond that.

Hopefully, those more familiar with the other two ships will chime in soon.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:45 PM
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Hello MicheleT, and welcome from me also;
I have many friends and some family members who took Viking Serenade for their first cruise and loved it; well get ready for a whole new experience.
While any of the three lines you mention would be good for a family cruise, I agree completely with LisaP--my first choice would be Princess. Of the three ships, Golden Princess is by far the best. It just has more to offer; more activities, more dining options, more pool areas; Princess has never let me down in over 30 years of cruising with them.
I would also like to echo LisaP's suggestion about two adjoining cabins, or a mini-suite; I think I would go with the mini-suite--with a four-year-old you might want to all be in the same cabin and the mini-suite will accomodate four comfortably.
Whatever you decide I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.
If we can be of any more help, please ask.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:41 AM
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Hi Michele. Our family, daughters are 17 and 13, cruised on Pride last month. We like Carnival for our girls because there plenty of activities geared toward them. They now have a Build-A-Bear Workshop on Pride(fee). Camp Carnival has talent shows, treasure hunts, swimming under the stars, pizza and ice cream parties, game room, etc., etc. I am sure RCCL offers similar. We have always had much success on Carnival. Our girls can do their own thing while my husband and I go to the gym/spa area. We are always in contact with each other via walkie-talkies. My youngest daughter loves the 24 hour pizza and caesar salad she can get. She also enjoys making an ice cream cone any time of day. We have priced out RCCL versus Carnival and, for us, Carnival has always been slightly cheaper. No, you're not getting the ice skating rink or the rock climbing wall. Carnival Pride is an absolutely gorgeous ship with mostly balconies and an easy lay-out of the ship. By far, Pride is the nicest ship we've been on to date. There is something to be said for waking up in port and enjoying coffee on your balcony while overlooking rock formations on the Baja coast.
The Mexican Riviera was a little different for us because we are used to the Caribbean. This trip, we got to see whales at sea, dolphins following Pride, Sea Lions basking in the sun in Cabo. Our daughters missed a week of school, but they gained so much more learning about other cultures and seeing these great once in a lifetime sights. I must say, all in all our girls are thrilled when we tell them we are going on another Carnival Cruise. Hope this helps you in some way. Good luck.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:46 AM
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Michelle, I forgot to add.... Cabins on the Pride are quite generous. Our family of 4 had more than enough room. King size bed with 2 bunk beds. Sculptured towels with chocolate squares and chocolate chip cookies served every night waiting on your bed. Cabin Steward will bring you 2 glasses of white or chocolate milk if you request. Our youngest loves this !
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:10 AM
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Wow thank you sooo much for the great input. My co-worker just asked if I had thought about Carnival and I hadn't checked them out yet. I am trying to book through Costco...and I do believe they also deal with Carnival. That cruise sounds absolutely perfect!!! I think I have my husband convinced that a Balcony is the way to go!!

Andrealovescruising...can you suggest a great room location on the ship?

The shore excursions on the Carnival look like a lot of fun too!

Thanks again...I will keep up the investigating. Can anyone tell me what the deposit is on the Carnival line?
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Mexican Riviera
Carnival Pride - September 30, 2007

RCCL Viking Serenade - May 10, 1992
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:11 PM
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Hi Michelle. I am not 100% sure regarding the deposit. My husband made all of our arrangements. I can find out for you. We worked with John Bezume, directly through Carnival, and he upgraded us a month or so before our cruise. We were upgraded to a balcony in Room #5237. Any room 6 on up has tremendous oceanviews. We were considered "partial obstruction". Our balcony had a clear view but a lifeboat top was equal with our balcony floor. So, actually, there was no obstruction to speak of. Carnival just wants to make sure that you understand you will have a lifeboat or the rigging within your view. It was okay with us. Next time, knowing now what we know, we will book a room on 6 or higher. Make sure you specify that when booking. I am positive your 2 boys will absolutely love Carnival. It is for people traveling with children and younger crowds. I cannot say enough about Camp Carnival. I trust them explicitly with my youngest. She would rather be with Camp Carnival friends than with us. She's made many friendships over the years and still e-mails her friends from previous cruises. Let me know if you want me to find out about deposit info. Andrea
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:21 PM
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Thanks Andrea - I checked with Carnival and they are $250 per person. Costco does deal with Carnival and I got a good rate with them. I will just have to stash away the deposit now!!! Thank you SOOOO much for the great review - I hope this works out! I am sure the waterslide will be a BIG seller with my older son. It just seems like there is soooo much to do and the excursions looked fun to.
Has anyone tried that BOB Underwater thing? What did you think?
Now I just wish it wasn't a year away!!!!
Thanks again
Michele
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Mexican Riviera
Carnival Pride - September 30, 2007

RCCL Viking Serenade - May 10, 1992
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2007, 03:18 PM
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Michelle, you will be very happy with Carnival. Especially, with 2 young boys. We snorkeled in Cabo. In Mazatlan we went to the El Cid Resort and did the beach for the day.
See, there's so much for the young, that I even forgot all about the waterslide. It's great. Both of my girls do it and my youngest won't get off of it all day. I even do it with my daughters. It's a blast.
I'm not sure what coast you're from. But, my only advice would be to get an early dinner seating if you're from the East. Our girls did not fair well with dinner at 8:15. Jet lag got the best of them most of the week. Just a thought !
We are from NY and we spent 3 days on the front end touring LA/Malibu/Santa Monica/Hollywood and Disneyland. A wonderful, memorable trip !
 
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