For the 1st time our family booked a family vacation. My mom was on this cruise last year & loved it so we decided to book it. I spent months prior reading reviews of this ship and was somewhat leery as to whether we made a good choice and yes we did.
It was interesting when we reached the port though. We had sodas & wine in our check bags & were prepared to tear our bags apart to verify everything but all they did was pull out our wine bottles & put them back. The thing was all the wine bottles were wrapped in bubble wrap & you couldn't even read the label. One of our bags showed a wine bottle on x ray but the guy that checked our other bags just let it go.
The ship was beautiful & extremely clean. Every day the staff was polishing something. If I'm not mistaken the Pride has an Italian Renaissance theme which I was worried about (there's lots of nude artwork around) since we had some younger children with us but it didn't leave an impression on them & it was tastefully done. But it wouldn't hurt anything to put some swim trunks on the big sculpture of David at the top of the atruim LOL. We went straight to our rooms which were already finished & dropped off our bags. We were greeted by our room steward while settling in. She & her staff were amazing. She asked us our names 1 time & all our room service staff greeted us by name every day since. Our room was definitely outdated (we had a picture tube tv) but had plenty of storage space. All our luggage fit under the bed which made the room a lot bigger. We were directly below the Lido deck & didn't hear a thing. It was a little noisy on the balcony though but nothing too noticeable. One important note: We were in room 8185. The wall to the right extends out a few feet due to the structure of the ship. Not only does this create an obstructed view to the right, it also creates a wind tunnel effect which got pretty cold on the first and last day.
After unpacking we went up to the Lido deck where the buffet is for lunch. The buffet is broken up into small sections but spaced too far apart. The food was hit or miss in my opinion. They had lots of choices that seemed unique & desirable but tasted like the menu at Applebee's or Chili's. Some dishes were outstanding. The best part was we were able to try lots of food we'd never try (or pay for) at home. The MDR was really nice. They really gave us the full dining experience and as many choices and servings as you can handle. David's Steakhouse was amazing! Definitely a 5 star service & about a 2hr experience. Definitely worth $35 prep person.PS: don't order the pasta. It was always undercooked.They call it the "Funship" for a reason. Every day from early in the morning till midnight hours there was something going on. The stage shows were a little caberet but it's a cruise ship not Broadway. There's lots of shows with audience participation which was a blast. My oldest son & I spent a lot of time at the Punchliner Comedy Club. The comedians were hilarious. Most of them were on HBO, Showtime, or Comedy Central. My 13yr old & nephews spent of their time in Club O2 & Circle C. Some nights they had activities going on till 1am. We'd see them in the morning & not see them again until our set up check in time.
The Carnival Pride staff was awesome. I've NEVER seen a staff so large (939 members) where every single person we came in contact with is bending backwards to see you smile! Everyone I had questions or requests for remembered who I was & followed up with me to make sure I was satisfied. Do these people ever have a bad day?
Here's what inspired me to write this review. On our last day we were about 6 hours late getting in to Baltimore due to bad weather which caused us to miss our flight home. Our airline had no available flights until the next day. There was such a long line at guest services I decided to call Carnival on my cell phone to see if they can offer any lodging till the next day. Unfortunately they couldn't because we didn't book our flights through Carnival; however, Carnival contacted our airline & set us up on 2 separate flights & got us home that night. That was extremely noteworthy. Especially since the airline told me when I called them it was basically impossible due to not enough seating.