We cruised on the Carnival Pride, our first cruise, from August 4th to August 11th. We drove from New York to Maryland where we were leaving from on Saturday the 3rd and stayed at the Sleep Inn in Baltimore. It worked out great since we hit a lot of traffic on the way to Baltimore and if we tried driving there on Sunday we would've missed the ship. Also, staying at the Sleep Inn includes them holding your car for the week while you're gone and transportation to and from the ship. It took the drivers a while to pick us up both ways and we waited a while so we probably won't do that again.
When we got onto the ship Sunday morning, our checked bags were taken and we went straight to Mermaid's Grille for buffet lunch. The food was good and it wasn't too packed since it was still early as we got there around 10:30am. We explored the ship a bit then when it was ready went to our room on Deck 6, aft. It was a good size for a cruise stateroom and it had a balcony which was nice. After getting settled in, we went to dinner at Normandie with any time dining, loved our wait staff, and had them for the rest of the week. We then saw that there was $750 shopping spree bingo so we walked to the Taj Mahal theater. We met the assistant cruise director, Sassy, there and he was great. We were with him most of the cruise and it was always so much fun when he was around. Throughout our time on the ship, being we saw him a lot, we (I) became close with him, and he gave us a lot of great tips about the ship, future cruises, and activities. At bingo that night, we had to make an 'S' for Sassy and we won the $750! It was so exciting and we had to spend it by midnight the next night so we bought Magic Kingdom passes. After bingo was the Welcome Aboard show where we met our Cruise Director, Big Sexy (Josh), who we also saw a lot throughout the cruise and became close with, and saw him in bed sheets in the Roman fountains scene spitting water at the Pride dancers (who are extremely talented) and us. Also, do not go on the Pride expecting to see Josh there. The real cruise director is Kirk, who was on vacation during our cruise. If you want Josh, he is normally on the Glory out of Miami, Florida.
The next day we just explored more, relaxed on the Lido deck, and went to the Carnival Murder Mystery, which was the first time it was done on the Pride and it was so much fun even though we got it wrong. That night was the first elegant night, so we got dressed up and went to dinner. When we went to the atrium after to meet the captain, we found Josh and realized him and dad were wearing the same ties. We all got a picture together which is one of my favorites from the cruise. We went to another show that night and may I just say all of the shows were so amazing that week. Before the show, with recommendations by Sassy, I got a slice of chocolate cake which was so good even though we didn't finish it by the end of the week.
The next day we just relaxed by the pool again which was nice. And we went to bingo again which we did at least once every day.
Wednesday we went to Disney which was fun but SO hot and SO crowded. Not doing Disney in the Summer again. When we got back to the ship, that night we went outside and saw a space shuttle launch from Kennedy Space Center which was so cool watching from sea.
The next day was Nassau so we went to Atlantis for the day. Saw lots of fish and went on a few of the waterslides. The beach was my favorite part of the day, it was gorgeous.
Friday was our last excursion, Freeport, so we went snorkeling. It was fun, but the waves were really choppy and it poured after that. That night was the last elegant night so we all got dressed up again and went to dinner. After dinner the show of the night was "Vroom!" so we went to bingo before then saw the show. And in between the two I took a great picture with Sassy in our matching outfits even though my camera wouldn't work and when it finally did take we were both laughing. The show was a fun time for everyone and they played music from all of the decades. This was also where I acquired my nickname "tan lines" from Sassy.
For our final day at sea on Saturday, we spent the morning in the pool. At 4:30pm I went to a Q&A with Josh and Sassy without the family since they didn't want to come but I had a fun time. I found out a lot about the ship, Josh and Sassy, and what it's like working on the ship. I also found out Sassy's real name which I would've never guessed. My favorite part of the Q&A: Person: "What are living conditions like on the ship?" Josh: "Very cramped. Sassy actually lives in my closet. Jk Sassy came out of the closet a long time ago.". MADE MY DAY. And I learned from Sassy what it's like being a performer on the ship and that the town next to mine is apparently the ghetto according to him (BTW me and Sassy live a half hour away from each other which was cool). At night we went to our final Bingo session with Sassy which was bittersweet. After that was Carnival Legends, where we saw our lovely cruise director as Dolly Parton.
The next morning it was time to go. Our bags were already gone, so we went to breakfast then went to the atrium on our way to Taj Mahal to wait to go. Instead of making it to Taj Mahal, though, we saw Sassy in the atrium, I got a huge hug from him, and spent our last moments on the cruise talking to Josh and Sassy. I gave Sassy the letter I wrote him the night before and we hugged again. BTW hugs from Sassy rock. Be sure to get one from him if you go on the Pride. I got like five of them in the hour before I left. I definitely miss him a lot. Josh was so sweet and let us leave before he called our group so we got off quickly. It was so sad leaving behind all of the memories, but I can't wait to cruise on the Pride again and see everyone.
My tips are to go to as many events as you can. We went to an art auction which was cool, Bingo every day since it was so much fun, a few of the comedy shows, and all of the Broadway-style shows. Also, go to as many of the parties as you can. Yes, they are late, but they are worth it. We went to Mardi Gras which was so much fun, even though the atrium was packed to capacity, and we caught a few beads from Sassy. My parents went to the big party on Wednesday which they said was fun, but I was zonked after the long day at Disney. The ship didn't have as many recreational activities as other ships, but we didn't miss them. If you want to go on a cruise, go on the Pride. It really was the best vacation experience ever.