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Old June 9th, 2008, 11:37 PM
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Default Pride: 1st timer needs help deciding on cabin type

First of all, I have been doing a lot of research using this great forum, so thanks to all the avid cruisers out there.

Secondly, I'm deciding between the Norwegian Star v. the Carnival Pride for a Mexican Riveria cruise in early October. I'm starting to lean toward the Pride. We're not penny pinchers, but we also don't like being separated from our hard earned money so easily w/o getting something nice in return.

I've looked at the photos/tours/descriptions, but I really don't understand the difference between the Pride "Suite" stateroom vs. "Balcony" stateroom. Can anyone else help us decide if the price difference is worth it? What do you really get in return for paying for a Suite? Are there other perks?

We know we want a balcony (to keep open during the night to sleep for sure)!

I'm torn. We're not the dress up-in-suits-and-doll up and dine couple (but we LOVE FINE FOOD). This sounds like Norwegian. We want to chill and relax, that doesn't include dressing up, being bowled over my little kidlets, or moving about on vacation as in a herd of cattle.
But the Pride looks nicer (food sounds better).

We know how to find fun wherever we are and are looking forward to our first cruise.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 12:44 AM
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Carnival Pride suite: $709 to $789

http://carnival.com/cms/fun/ships/ca...px?shipCode=PR

NCL Star balcony staterooms: $799 to $1049

http://www.ncl.com/nclweb/fleet/stat...?shipCode=STAR

The itineraries are identical. They both leave from LA.

In truth - if you choose a week when there are few kids, I would say the Pride is a better ship. The food will be good and there is one gourmet restaurant ($about 25 pp service charge). If you book a vacation week or summer expect a LOT of kids. The entertainment will be good, but more "homey" on Carnival. Service will be very personalized and friendly, but sometimes a bit silly in attitude.

NCL will be better if you want a more "young adult" experience with nightlife and plenty of gourmet food options. However, the food will cost extra, from $10 to $25 per person per night extra. You can dine in the dining room at no extra cost, but it is average food, not gourmet. There will likely be far fewer kids on NCL. The entertainment will be more varied and "professional" on NCL. The service is more touch & go on NCL - it may be great, or you might get a bad waiter or room steward (there is less consistency).

Carnival is the "fun" ship, NCL is the "free-style" ship.
What is important to you? Do you like participatory fun & games, or a more mature atmosphere with more food & entertainment options.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 01:05 AM
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Hey, thanks for replying!

Quote:
What is important to you? Do you like participatory fun & games, or a more mature atmosphere with more food & entertainment options.
In answer to your question....You know what, I don't know![/quote]

We typically go to Hawaii, get a rental car and explore, hike, snorkel, snorkel, shop, eat. This will be our first try at a cruise. I'm looking forward to
a) maybe spending time by the pool
b) definitely getting our "drink on" a few nights or see movies or maybe a show (comedy)
c) having decent food and not getting ripped off
4) not having to get all dressed up every night and do formal stuff (which is why i think "free styling" is more us)
e) the thought of chilling on the balcony and reading a book or napping is a great idea (need some R&R this vaca) and
f) DEFINITELY getting out and doing some port excursions. Such as snorkeling or the sealion thing, walking around the towns, etc.

Meeting other couples is not necessarily our thing, we like being together and doing our thing together and not with crowds, but we're still social.

Oh, but the thought of doing something like Bingo sounds like a lot of fun! haha...i'm 37, he'll be 45.


thanks again. i like the people on these forums. very helpful
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Old June 10th, 2008, 09:57 AM
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With Carnivals new dress code....you don't have to wear suits & get dolled up........

We've done Pride & NCL Star......I'd take the Pride over Star anytime......on the Pride I'd book a 9 A......bigger then a balcony but not as pricy as a suite........Carnival also gives military discount......just had to be in the service, not still in or retired........



Sharon
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Old June 10th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Definitely the Pride. As stated the suit or tux is an option not a requirement. Check the new dresscode on Carnival's website and see if it is for you.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 01:28 AM
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Thanks!! BF just booked us for a cat 11 suite on the Empress deck.
Looking forward to our first cruise
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Old June 11th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LS80
With Carnivals new dress code....you don't have to wear suits & get dolled up........

We've done Pride & NCL Star......I'd take the Pride over Star anytime......on the Pride I'd book a 9 A......bigger then a balcony but not as pricy as a suite........Carnival also gives military discount......just had to be in the service, not still in or retired........



Sharon
Sharon I saw a CAT 9 with a wrap balcony on Freedom it was cool lots of room to sun yourself. This cabin is AFT. The CAT 11/12 does have the bathtub and bigger room, but for me the bigger balcony is more important. Next cruise I hope to book CAT 9.
Hey I found a picture of a Cat 9A balcony on Conquest. (note: the loungers)

Cat 11 on Destiny (this balcony is to small for loungers
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Old June 12th, 2008, 04:24 PM
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We are sailing on the Pride leaving Aug 31st, we will do our best to take of her for you!!
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Old June 12th, 2008, 11:13 PM
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Definetly take the Pride.Sailed the Pride in Dec.03 larger Cat 8 Balcony,which was just fine for me.Food and service were excellent.Try not to dine at the rear of the dining room,lots of vibration
Took the Star in May of 06,had a much smaller balcony and food was not near as good.You also pay extra for most of the dining rooms of their"Freestyle Cruising'.

Have Fun
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Old June 12th, 2008, 11:15 PM
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Definetly take the Pride.Sailed the Pride in Dec.03 larger Cat 8 Balcony,which was just fine for me.Food and service were excellent.Try not to dine at the rear of the dining room,lots of vibration
Took the Star in May of 06,had a much smaller balcony and food was not near as good.You also pay extra for most of the dining rooms of their"Freestyle Cruising'.

Have Fun
J Davis
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Old June 12th, 2008, 11:32 PM
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Pride, pass on a suite but get a balcony because the views in Cabo are gorgeous. Unlike someone else said, Carnival has relaxed their dress code HOWEVER there is still a formal night and an elegant night and business casual is appropriate for other times in the dining rooms but NO shorts. Guys - if the girls are dressing up, put a little effort into dressing up yourself and no sneakers or flip-flops....If you want to stay in your tank tops and shorts, eat buffet style. I will say that Cabo may possibly be a "casual" night in the dining room such as the night you get back from Cozumel....
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisecouple
Pride, pass on a suite but get a balcony because the views in Cabo are gorgeous. Unlike someone else said, Carnival has relaxed their dress code HOWEVER there is still a formal night and an elegant night and business casual is appropriate for other times in the dining rooms but NO shorts. Guys - if the girls are dressing up, put a little effort into dressing up yourself and no sneakers or flip-flops....If you want to stay in your tank tops and shorts, eat buffet style. I will say that Cabo may possibly be a "casual" night in the dining room such as the night you get back from Cozumel....
I must confess... I'm not much on fancy dining but I did dress up for formal night... however, that being said...
It wasn't until the last night (4 day cruise) I realized I had been wearing sneakers each other night until the last night where I decided to be really comfy and wear my flip flops.... ooops.
I was kinda embarassed but no one said anything, or looked at me funny.
I'm just used to wearing my flip flops or tennis shoes all the time...
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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I just returned from the Pride on Sunday.....I do have to say the views of Cabo were awesome. On the dress code lets just say wow is what I can say now. I saw shorts on men and women coming in on the causual nights, and no one stopped them. According the the Capers everything is okay as long as they are not cut off jeans and you don't look to tacky. Shorts for men are to be long shorts....I do have to say on the formal nights the entire ship dressed up was really nice to see, I was expecting a few not to but everywhere you looked everyone was looking their best.
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