Carnival Pride Cruise Review by WannaBGambla: Pleasantly Surprised
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I hadn't sailed with Carnival for 7 years and was pleasantly surprised at improvements I noted during this cruise. The price was right and airfare was unnecessary. This was not my annual vacation, so my review reflects a low cost end of the summer break.
Arrived at Port of Baltimore at noon, dropped off luggage and parked (cost is $15 per cruise night not days) and was on the ship within an hour.
The man collecting the luggage stated he wasn't allowed to take the two 12 packs of club soda......after a brief discussion and $5 tip (which he would have gotten for the suitcase anyhow)he loaded them on his cart and they were delivered to my cabin no problem.
The ship was clean and food plentiful. Buffet carving station featured beef, veal, pork, turkey and lamb during the cruise. The Salad stations offerings always looked fresh, mini cheese and meat salad station was plentiful and fresh, deli sandwiches were excellent, the 24/7 pizza availability was More outstanding, made to order omelet station was a treat mornings, and the quality and variety of offerings on the dessert station were better or rivaled those offered by higher end cruise lines. There was a station by one of the pools that offered hamburgs, hotdogs, fries, nachos etc. during the day. There is always free coffee, tea, and lemonade.
Tea was served in the dining room on sea days at 3:30. It was splendid and offered the opportunity to meet other guests.
I had anytime dining, and was informed there wouldn't be a waiting time if I arrived between 8 and 8:30, which was true and worked out perfectly for the few times I ate in the dining room. Service was attentive and food served without delay and at the correct temperatures.
There are two main pools and one in the adult only Serenity section, all have accompanying hot tubs and showers. All of the pools are uncovered, small and extremely crowded during the day. There were few children on board this cruise, but it amazed me that the Serenity section was full by 10am. The pool sections were noisy, but offered daily entertainment for those wishing to participate. The back deck on 10 was pleasantly quiet and there were plenty of lounge chairs and drink servers were plentiful. Starboard side had plenty of ashtrays for smokers.
The Spa offers a lukewarm hot tub looking on passengers using exercise equipment. I was delighted that the Spa offered a sauna and steam bath in the locker area that were free.
From Nassau one can walk 4 blocks to Junkanoo Beach...there are street signs if one walks to Senior Frogs turn left go one block then turn right. Water was beautiful...water shoes will enhance experience as in the shallow area there are some large hunks of coral mixed in the sand. From the dock in Freeport, one can taxi (in vans of 10-13 people)to beaches for $5 to $8 per person. If you take the least expensive you will end up where all the others from the ship have taken an excursion......Junkanoo Beach also call Tinysomething, offers drinks, restrooms, showers, banana boat rides, jetskis etc., for a price. With a $5 chair you have free access to paddle boats and kayaks. Water was excellent for swimming and quite beautiful. It is a 20 minute ride from the horrible Freeport dock, which looks like an industrial park and smells as described.
Balcony cabin was spacious with plenty of closet space, minibar, and four small draws. Be advised that there are large draws below the couch! Yasa our room steward, remembered our names and provided timely and great service to our cabin.
On the return sailing, there was a medical emergency evacuation of a passenger from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Fort Henry Launch carried about 14 medical persons, 6 of which boarded the ship with a stiff stretcher, prepared the passenger for transfer and loaded the passenger on to the launch. It was a process that was fascinating to watch...to load the passenger the launch reversed perpendicular up to the ship in high winds and waves. The Pilot boat then picked up the medical personnel that had boarded the ship for return to shore. I was surprised that it wasn't the Coast Guard.
I traveled with a neighbor who enjoyed the comedy shows, and other evening shows. I went to one and left after 5 minutes...my book was more entertaining.
For the price, this cruise was a great value for my purpose.
I would not recommend this cruise if it is the only vacation you will have during the year or if you are older than 30 without a family traveling with you, or if your primary purpose for vacation is not to get drunk. Spend more, get on a ship with less passengers, larger pools and better itinerary. This is NOT to say anything negative about the food quality and quantity, nor to say that the service I received was anything less than outstanding. You get what you pay for!! Less
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