My wife and I have been looking forward to this getaway for nearly 2 years and Carnival did not disappoint. This review is based on a July 28th - August 4th cruise on the Pride.
We booked a Vista Suite (4237) which included priority boarding. This was a treat and allowed us to bypass almost all lines and waiting. We truly were given priority and felt taken care of. We were dropped off at the port of Baltimore around 11:30. Drop off was a breeze and the priority boarding allowed us to blow past the lines and my wife an I were aboard the Pride by 12:00 on the Lido deck and enjoying the drink of day. We brought our carry on luggage to our room at 1:30 and got settled. The rest of our luggage found its way to our room between 3:00-4:00. The vista suit was absolutely wonderful! You certainly knew you were on a cruise ship, but the room was far more spacious than a balcony and many times more enjoyable than an interior cabin. The room included a small living room, bathroom with his/her sinks and a standard shower/tub with jets, changing room with vanity, a small walk-in closet, separate bedroom and a small hallway connecting the living room and bedroom. It certainly deserves the name Vista Suite as the windows along the suite provide a marvelous view of your surroundings throughout the cruise. One of the main perks of the room was the amazingly spacious balcony that wrapped around the side and spanned a good portion of the aft. My wife and I felt like millionaires for a week!
As expected, finding food was never an issue. Between the main dining room, the lido deck, and the steakhouse, and 24-hour room service we never went hungry. Our experience in the main dining room was just lovely. We took advantage of the anytime dining, but often arrived at dinner around the first seating. There was one evening that we experienced slow service, but the taste and presentation of the food was splendid throughout the week. I believe the service was slow that one night because my wife and I arrived at dinner around 6:30 after the first wave of anytime diners were seated and began their meals. It would seem to me that feeding a large amount of guests requires a certain rhythm and I feel like we arrived at a time when we were a little off the waiter and his teams rhythm. Regardless, I was in good company with my charming wife and when you're in the middle of the ocean your options of going elsewhere is limited. The Lido deck always provided quick bites to satisfy a hungry belly. The Lido deck was almost always busy, but with a little searching my wife and I always found a table. Our one evening at the steakhouse was a marvelously romantic experience. The pacing, presentation, and taste of our meals were perfect and the service and setting provided a memorable experience that should be shared by all couples. Finally, we took advantage of room service twice. The food was worthy of the lido deck, but I felt for being available 24 hours the selection was amble and the delivery time was adequate. We typically ordered room service at lunch, so we expected our wait time to be within 30 minutes. It was just nice to rest in the room and not have to worry about finding something on the Lido deck and finding a table.
Entertainment was fun and easy to find. We took advantage of:
Karaoke: I sang twice and enjoyed the entertainment of watching and listening to others both impress and flop on current and past popular hits. The Karaoke host was energetic and encouraging.
Comedy: We attended the adult comedy shows and had an absolute hilarious time! It is NOT for anyone younger than 18 or easily offended and they do a very good job of making that clear.
Beauties Night Club: It was hopping each and every night we attended.
Piano Bar Sing Along: Rodger led a series of nights on his piano and beautiful voice. We had a blast.
Bingo: We partook in one game and were one number away from winning.
Newly Wed Game: My wife and I attended this show when we ourselves were newly weds. Five years later the show did not disappoint, we had a blast answering the questions along side the couples on the stage.
Table Side Magic: A mentalist offered tableside magic to different tables in the main dining room. The gentleman did an amazing job and astounded us with his ability to "read our minds." It was certainly surprise and highlight of our evening.
We partook in more of the ships entrainment, but these were some of our favorites.
One of the main reasons we chose this cruise was our proximity to Baltimore. We avoided flying to our port and were so pleased that we could drive 2 hours to our departure port. Other ports along the way were Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Freeport. Weve been to Florida a number of times and opted to take advantage of the mass exodus of people to Orlando so we could spend a day on the Serenity Deck. We had no problem finding a place for the two of us at 11:00 am. Next day we arrived in Nassau and went on the Discover Atlantis excursion which included unrestricted access to the aquarium. We had a decent time, but the value of this trip was more along the lines of $40.00, not $75.00. Freeport was a bit of washout with the remnants of tropical storm Dorian. My wife and I trotted around the straw market right off the ship it was a close and convenient way to get off the boat and pick up some gifts for family members. Note: Nassau and Freeport had free Wi-Fi locations we noticed the ship workers take advantage of to connect with home. We took advantage of this service to FaceTime our children and family back home to briefly check on them.
I thought the ship was in marvelous condition and the crew made a marked effort to continually maintain the inside and out of the ship. Not a day went by that I didnt see staff members scrubbing, buffing, polishing, vacuuming, etc all the while pausing to greet us (often by name) as we passed by.
All in all I we had the time of our lives. We would most certainly cruise on the Pride again!