We sailed on Carnival Pride December 16,2012 with 2 children ages 11 and 15. Our previous cruises have been with RCCL. This was our first trip on a Carnival ship. Our room 8175 was decent and clean upon entering.
Food was better on the pride than it was on (RCCL)Enchantment of the Seas or Grandeur of the Seas. Food was laid out better and there were separate stations for deli, grilled items, desserts, pizza, etc. The quality of food seemed much better on the Carnival than it does on RCCL (Royal Caribbean)ships.
The room stewards and staff were very helpful and always very pleasant. Our room steward was so great, she always left towel animals and did a great job keeping our room cleaned up nicely. We had a balcony room, it was fabulous. Highly recommend it. The showers on the Pride have much more "elbow room" than the on the RCCL ships. Nothing worse than bumping your elbows on the sides of the shower walls while trying to wash your hair. LOL
The Christmas decorations on the ship were lovely and very festive.
I noticed that Pride crew did not stalk people down and bug them to constantly buy alcoholic drinks all the time like RCCL does. We have learned that if we carry a travel mug around with us on RCCL, they did not ask us if we wanted to buy drinks all the time. Plus, a travel mug is handy to have on the trip just to be able to get your morning coffee and take back to your room unless you prefer to use their small 6oz coffee cups they have at coffee station. We used it as well for iced tea, lemonade, etc.
The bad and the ugly:
The decor on the ship, to us, seems very tacky and cheap. Nothing matched or seemed to go together. It was actually kind of irritating to be surrounded by such decor. Created some anxiety..LOL.. strange, I know. LOL. Example: in the theater room, the upholstery didn't match the carpet, the carpet didn't match the walls, the walls didn't match the ceilings... its was quite strange.
The beds in the rooms were horribly firm and sunken. We woke up each morning feeling as though we had slept on a concrete floor all night. I would suggest bringing a thin memory foam pad of some sorts with you. There is only one outlet in room, no outlet in bathroom... so an extension cord would come in handy as well. The ship itself, seemed to have a constant vibration the whole trip.
There was an arcade, but it was only for children ages 12-14... my kids, ages 11 and 15 were not able to play in there. There really were NO programs or activities for kids. They do have "camp carnival", which is basically a professional babysitting service for parents. Parents drop their kids off at the camp an they are free to go drink and party or go to dinner without their children for HOURS at a time. It was actually kind of disturbing to see the camp carnival kids trailing around behind the babysitters in the hallways at 9:00 or later at night. I guess the parents were enjoying themselves. We were looking for "family" activities and found very few of them. We did not choose to put our kids in the camp carnival program. This was our FAMILY vacation and so we wanted to do things as a family. RCCL seems to offer many more activities for families.
Also, every time we turned around people were trying to force us to have our pictures taken. I understand their wanting to sell cruise family pics, but it really got to be annoying after awhile. Manners went right out the window eventually and we just straight up told them "NO". Whether it was dinner, getting on and off ship, walking around in shops, etc.... they were constantly hounding to take pictures. As your walking down the hall, they just start herding you over to the camera area and telling you where to stand, etc. Almost like you dont have a choice. Dont be afraid to be aggressive and tell them no unless you do want your pic taken, in that case, you will have plenty of photo opportunities.
Jewelry deals did not seem that great. However if you smoke, you can buy cartons of cigs for half the price as you pay on land. If you have a balcony room, you may want to keep the door to balcony locked or you may notice quite a bit of whistling from the door not being tightly sealed unless its locked. They have some great deals of t-shirts in the shop. 2 for $20 deals. They offer an "endless/bottomless bubbles" program for sodas. This works out well for kids, and adults too. Soda will cost you around $2.00+ for each soda. The endless bubbles program is, I believe, $4.00/day for all the refills you want. Something to consider. Excursions can be booked thru the cruise line but are quite a bit cheaper if you purchase them on your own. Initially we always booked thru the cruise line for fear of not getting back to ship on time, etc... eventually we learned that its cheaper to do it on our own and we just take a taxi to and from the excursions. Saved us a lot of money and we have never missed getting back on ship. You are in charge of your own time whether you book thru the cruise line or on your own. In Nassau, the jitney (buses) cost about $1.25 per person to go anywhere. Taxi will cost about $4.00 per person. But I do recommend taxi because you get there a lot quicker and the drivers actually give you a bit of history and a tour of whats-what along the way.
These have all just been my opinions that i have written. Hopefully some of this info will be helpful to you in some way. Enjoy your trip!!