I am back from my week long cruise aboard the Carnival Pride last week. It was a good cruise for the most part but not near as good as my first aboard the Carnival Victory in 2010. Boarding the ship in Baltimore on March 10/13 took a one hours wait in line in a cold breeze. Once boarded our stateroom was ready immediately. The rooms are very clean and are a sufficient size for a couple. The fridges are fully stocked with alcohol and pop in case you wanted to indulge. We found exploring the ship that it was a strange layout and hard to find where we wanted to go at times. The decor is mostly dark colors with gothic type paintings on the walls in some areas. The food in the main dining restaurant was exceptional. The staff is very professional and personable. The food on the Lido deck was good but not great as expected. It was hot and fast but not as much of a selection as I had remembered on the Victory. Most of the time there were lineups at each buffet station and very few available tables to be found. Because of this, we ordered room service a couple of times and they were very fast and efficient with that.
The first two days were at sea and because it was on the cold side, there were not a lot of outdoor activities to do which included swimming etc. Because the ocean was quite rough the boat rocked side to side. This cause my son and I to have frequent bouts with motion sickness. It felt like being drunk without having the alcohol.
There seemed to be a wide range of ages onboard especially young people but this was to be expected as it was spring break for most. The main entertainment lounge called The Taj Mahal had a feature show every evening which were all very entertaining. They usually play each show in the cabins on channel 27 each following day, or at least they did on the Victory but on The Pride this wasn't the case. The first show was called the "Welcome Aboard Show", which they played on the tv the entire week up until the moment we left. Very rarely did I see them play any of the other shows and when they did they were quick shortened edits of them.
The ship stops at 3 ports being Cape Canaveral, Nassau and Freeport. The excursions offered at these ports are way to expensive for the short time that you have off the ship. We got a better deal on Seaworld through private booking then through Carnival. The park is worth the visit. The sea day at the end of the week going back to Baltimore is a much calmer ride. The disembarkation process was quick and easy.
Now here are some other small things that bothered me about my experience on board this ship. I called down to the customer service desk twice and was given wrong information both times. I first asked where the equipment was to play the mini golf course on deck 11 and was told it was at the towel desk on deck 10 when in fact the equipment was right beside the actual mini golf course which we hadn't noticed. The second time I called customer service I asked "are all the hot tubs closed at ten o'clock"? and was told yes when in fact only the inside one closed at ten and the other two at midnight!! My opinion is that if you are going to work in that type of position (especially customer service) , then why would you not know what services you offer or where things are located?? The last night in the Taj Mahal lounge photography was permitted unlike the other nights because of copyright laws. When I started taking pictures of the show, the girl that had been guarding entrance to the stage tells me that photography is not allowed. This is a clear case of the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. One night we went to Karaoke which was located in a small seating area outside the main restaurant. The main problem with this was that the hallway to the restaurant goes right through between the seating and the area where the people perform, so when a long lineup for the 8 o'clock reservations blocked any kind of view of the people trying to sing was one of the worst organizational things I have ever seen. And finally the things that might have bothered most of the people was that after all the fires and problems that Carnival has had over the last few years, we were delayed leaving Cape Canaveral port by 4 hours because one of the life boat supports was broke. Yes I understand the importance of safety and all but it is crystal clear to me that Carnival DOES NOT maintain, upgrade and/or inspect their equipment on their ships very well. For these simple reasons I am inclined not to take another cruise on a Carnival ship.