Carnival Pride Cruise Review by starbuckscruiser: First time cruiser- enjoyed the Pride
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First time cruiser- enjoyed the Pride
Embarkation- Embarkation was well-organized and simple. We arrived, dropped off our luggage, checked in, sat for maybe ten minutes in the waiting area, and then boarded the boat! Just a tip- your Sail and Sign card is your life on the ship... you get it when you check in, and it is attached to your debit/credit card. I would highly recommend getting a lanyard that holds your card in a sleeve so that you have it with you at all times.
Cabin- We were on deck 6, and it was confusing at first to navigate our way around the ship. We wandered around and around on deck 6 until we finally figured out that the odd numbered rooms are all on one side and the even numbered rooms are on the other. Our cabin had a balcony and was much bigger than I expected! It had a couch, a queen bed, and a decent-size bathroom. I also really liked the vanity mirror and seat located in the main room so one person could shower and the other could put on makeup, do hair, etc. The balcony was 100% worth the More extra money. It was beautiful, and it gave your own private view of the ocean.
Dining- There are lots of options for what and where to eat on the Pride. Our main dining room was Normandie, and we chose the dining where you could pick when you wanted to go. That worked out great for us because we didn't have to rush if we were in the middle of something. Those with set times got to know their individual waiters and waitresses, which we did not in our dining since we had a different set of servers each night. (They work in teams of three, so you have three different people who wait on you on the Pride). All of the servers were good except for one night when we had a man named Clement who clearly was having difficulty mastering being a waiter. The ironic part was that on two of the nights, the waiters/waitresses break out into a dance, and although Clement didn't do well with being a waiter, he sure got into dancing! He was grinding on an old woman and working the pole! The food itself is varied. There are several "everyday" selections, like steak and chicken, that you can order any time (especially if you don't like the regular menu for that day), but then there are about seven dishes that are on "daily menu." The daily menu has some unusual choices, many of which contain seafood, and this can be a problem if you don't like seafood (which I do not). However, the BEST foods we had were beef stroganoff (delicious) and BMC (bacon mac and cheese with grilled chicken). I also HIGHLY recommend the warm chocolate melting cake dessert, which they have every day as an option. It is AMAZING. I would also HIGHLY recommend trying David's Steakhouse if you have a little extra money you can spend. IT is $39.99 per person, but it is a four-course meal, and it is just delicious and a nice change of pace from the regular dining hall. I got filet mignon and a chocolate taster sampler for dessert... yum. Another option if you don't want to eat in the main dining room is Mermaid's. Mermaid's has a variety of buffet-style foods, like deli, Asian, and pizza. On the Lido deck (deck 9), there is also a grill where you can get burgers, hotdogs, and chicken fingers. (Kids seemed to gravitate toward this and the pizza).
Entertainment- The cruise director, Josh, and the assistant, nicknamed "Sassy" were great. They were approachable and fun... they seemed to be EVERYWHERE on the ship! The comedians, especially Anthony Acosta and Smiley Joe Wiley, were entertaining... for the over 18 shows anyway. The shows? Well, honestly, I was not impressed with any except one that was obviously well-choreographed called Vroom! The other shows were below average and not that interesting. The male singer did not have a great voice, and with only two singers on board, that was kind of disappointing. Lots of people played BINGO and did karaoke... we did not. There is a lot to do on the ship, but don't feel like you have to kill yourself to do it all. Pick what you WANT to do, and make time to relax, too.
Decor- I will say that I have read other reviews about the "European" decor on the ship that features some nudity... and it is true. You kind of forget about it after a while, but I could see how little kids would be taken aback by it at first. There is a totally nude statue of David in David's Restaurant (of course), that I thought could use a fig leaf in a strategic place... but other than that, it wasn't too big of a deal.
Excursions- In Grand Turk, we did the Coast to Coast Safari. It gave us a chance to see the beauty and, at times, poverty of Turks and Caicos. Definitely a good way to see the island. We simply enjoyed the beach in Half Moon Cay, and that was great. The water was crystal clear blue, and as a person who fears sharks, I was shocked that I felt safe going out into the water. It literally felt like a swimming pool! In Freeport, we did the Dolphin Encounter. It was so much fun, and I was kissed by a dolphin! Again, I am scared of such things, but the trainers made you feel comfortable with the dolphins. The only drawback was that the excursion was late getting out and we got back to the ship a mere 15 minutes before it was set to leave! I was sad that I didn't have time to look in the straw market shops. I would have liked more time in Freeport.
Overall- Although I wish we could have spent more time in Freeport (Bahamas), the trip was enjoyable overall. I took one Dramamine (less drowsy) each morning, and I had no problems with sea sickness. If you go on the Pride, you will enjoy yourself. Less
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