My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Pride on Apr. 22, 2012 from Baltimore. The following is my review of the cruise.
Embarkation-We arrived at the port around 2:30PM. There was no wait checking in and we were on the ship by 2:45. The stateroom was ready so we dropped off our carry on luggage and explored the ship. Suit cases arrived by the time the muster drill was over.
Ship- The Pride is a very nice and clean(although old)ship.The ship design is Italian Renaissance. The staff was friendly and accommodating.
Stateroom- I booked an 8C balcony. The room was spacious with plenty of closet and drawer space. It was kept clean by an efficient steward and his assistant.
Room Service- Good selection and prompt.
Food- The Normandie Dining Room was comfortable, not loud and with a great selection of table sizes. Regular dining is on the second deck. Anytime dining is on the third deck. We chose late dining, a table for two on the second deck. The Maitre D' was very helpful, he honored our table request without a problem. ( Note, if you need a table change make sure you see the Maitre D' before the muster drill. If you don't see him before the drill you will not be able to see him until the early diner service and it is very hectic at that time.) We have been on three previous Carnival Cruises and we have always found the food as good as other cruise lines we have sailed on. During this cruise I was disappointed with the food. Although the food was not bad and a person could find something they would like to eat, I found the food to be bland, boring and nothing special. This was not the case on other Carnival cruises I have been on. The exception was the desserts. They were extremely good, better than other Carnival cruises I have sailed on. My feelings for the food at breakfast and lunch in the Dining Room are similar. Bland, boring and nothing special. As a result we decided to eat breakfast and lunch at the Mermaid Grill Buffet on the Lido. again, I was disappointed. Nothing bad but nothing really good. The exceptions to this was the Deli where you could get a great made to order hot or cold sandwich or the Pool side Grill where you could get a good hotdog. The service in all the eating areas was great. Whether you ate in the Normandie Dining Room or the Mermaid Grill the wait staff was friendly and attentive to your needs.
David's Steakhouse- The food and service was great. It is well worth the $30.00 charge.
Public Rooms- Nice with a lot of areas to relax in. A very quiet and relaxing area was the Sunset Garden on both sides of Deck three forward.
Bars- There are enough on the ship to satisfy passengers needs. Drinks are reasonably priced and bartenders are friendly. ( Note to smokers, the only bar where you can enjoy a cigarette or cigar at any time is Starry Nights. This bar is also the main Karaoke Bar.)
Entertainment- We did not go to any shows but the singers and musicians who sang and played at the bars were good.
Pool Areas- Two nice pools, one canopied one open. The weather the first few days was a little cold and rainy so they kept the canopy closed. As a result that pool was crowded. When the weather got warmer and both pools were used the area became less crowded. The adult only Serenity area was very nice but it was difficult to find any chair to sit on.
Spa and Fitness Studio/Gym- Did not use.
Casino- It is a little different than other ships I have been on. For the most part slots were on one side and table games on the other side. Bar in the center.
Debarkation- I thought this was also very efficient. You are asked to sit in a certain area and given a time to be called. We were called earlier than expected and were off the Pride in ten minutes. We cleared Customs in less than five minutes and found our luggage with no problem. There were a lot of porters available in the luggage area. The total time it took us to get off the ship and get to our car after our debarkation number was called was about 25 minutes. This was the most efficient debarkation of the ten cruises we have been on.
The Pride is a very nice ship and we would cruise on it again. Baltimore is a great port to cruise out of, this was our second from there and we would definitely cruise out of there again.