Carnival Cruise from Baltimore June 9-June 16th
Embarkation (Baltimore) We arrived at port at 1130am and had a quick check in, a limited line through security and was on the boat and at the Lido deck having lunch by 1215pm: Excellent. Cost saving recommendation: you are allowed to take 10 bottles of 20 oz water in your carry on: we took on two cases of water from WalMart. Security is required to shake the bottles for whatever reason so be prepared.
Decor on the ship: I felt I was in the Rocky Horror Picture Show: the decor is of the Renaissance Period with lots of nudity but it is suppose to be â(EURO)oeartâ(EURO). I am sure at sometime this ship was â(EURO)oemagnificentâ(EURO) in the overall appearance, but compared to the newer ships the Carnival Pride is tacky and overdone.
Stateroom: We had a balcony room and it pretty much is a standard balcony room. The bed is extremely uncomfortable and there was no way to get a restful nights sleep. The room was clean and we had a very nice room steward: Michael who by the way makes $45 a month and lives off the tips alone: felt like Carnival treats it employees like slaves with those type of wages.
First you had the Lido deck that had multiple food stations. Free drinks: ice tea/lemonade/hot beverages available 24 hr. Also soft ice cream and yogurt available. The grill sandwiches were the best. The pizza line was always long and cooked to order after the person would use bare hands to pick up and mix all the ingredients. A plain cheese pizza tasted like pepperoni and mushrooms and just the turn off of the guy using his hands to make the pizza was enough to say no thanks. The main dining room had a good menu from day to day. The steak had to be taken back three times to be cooked appropriately enough to get it to stop mooing.
The service: The staff seems to be going through the motions (probably due to lack of salary). No one really smiled and rarely said hello. At one point there were no cups at the beverage center and one of the officers (in white) told people to go inside and get cups instead of helping the paying passenger with getting cups. I felt like I was in a Stepford Wives movie the staff was walking around like zombies. During our muster drill, two young crew members were talking during the entire drill and carrying on (poor impression of staff). In the dining room: military style dining: eat up, get out and remove the plate before they finish eating. Offered no other beverages besides water and the staff didn't know our names until the day before the last day of the cruise.
Entertainment: Not much besides a nighty comedy club and ship singers and dancers.
Port Canaveral: we rented a car from Payless for about $30 for the whole day we were at port: a free shuttle picks you up outside the boat and delivers you back (for free). We did a lighthouse tour with Janey from the Lighthouse Preservation society: wonderful tour. We were able to climb to the 5th floor and had a magnificent time. There is no way to get on the air force base and Janey was able to get us access. We drove into Cocoa Beach as well as went beach combing.
Freeport: we were to do the motorcycle tour but it was cancelled. We took a taxi for a 20 minute ride to the shopping area. It cost $10 pp round trip and it is very safe and organized. The locals have a straw market that is a lot of fun. Walk to resort and there is a lighthouse that you can see but it isn't accessible.
Nassau: okay do you spend all that money and go to Paradise Island: Atlantis. We took the aquaventure: it is very expensive and this is what you get. First you sit in the lounge on the ship until finally you get off the ship like cattle, then you stand on the pier waiting for transportation, then you get to Atlantis and someone takes about 50 people to the site and show you the massive place (but only the first 10 people get to hear what they are saying). Then at about 1pm you are finally able to enjoy yourself until you have to be back to the shuttle by 430p otherwise they leave your butt and you have to arrange transportation back to the ship (on your own). The lazy river and gentle rapids is awesome. The Digg: the aquarium is also awesome. We stood in line for an hour to redeem our lunch voucher to be told: â(EURO)oewe are out of everything except hamburgersâ(EURO) and the soda machine broke. There is a lot to do at the local straw market and the Senor Frogs at the dock. You decide.
The absolute best part of any ship: the Serenity Pool: adult only area with 3 hammocks, lots of lounge chairs and sofa type circular booths. Shaded open area as well and good bar staff (best on the ship). Very relaxing until the kids start screaming going down the water slide one floor up or the smell of sewage permeating from the pool and yucky stuff floating in the water.
Debarkation: Long lines out of the boat and into the area to obtain your luggage.
Overall, this is an honest review. There are a lot better cruise ships out there: beautiful boats, exquisite food, and superb service and this ship doesn't have anything that makes it stand out against the competition. The Royal Carribean line of ships as well as Princess cruises have beautiful promenades, first rate entertainment, food and service better than any 5 star restaurant. The Carnival Pride is leaving Baltimore: it is no great loss and I would never recommend Carnival Pride on so many levels.