(1) If WalMart had a cruise line this would be it. The description of Carnival being the “booze cruise” is accurate. They push liquor sales from breakfast through the wee hours, and they sell a lot. The “seminars” seem to disproportionably focus on alcohol, weight and beauty, all of which nicely fit into on-board commerce. And at night, much of the main deck is taken over by photo booths. Carnival has a business plan that seems to work.
(2) Given that it was a late-July early-August cruise there were a large number of children and teens, and they all seemed to have had a good time, in fact, as far as I could see this description applies to nearly all passengers. Even when we stopped at Grand Turk and the line to de-board traversed nearly all of deck 2, and people were in it for well over an hour, the mood was not at all surly. Had I been in it I would have been livid – these people did not seem a bit perturbed, maybe More
they had already enjoyed the cocktail of the day.
(3) I was surprised with the un-obtrusive presence of antiseptic hand cleaning devices. On most ships we have sailed in recent years, before entering the dining areas staff is present trying to get passengers to slather their hands. Not on the Pride. The devices are there, in the buffet nearly hidden, and from my view rarely used. Given the track record of Carnival you would think their use would be promoted.
(4) Entertainment is typical cruise line, comedians nightly, early family, late, adult. Musical revues of popular tunes. If you want anything different try Cunard.
(1) Normandie Dining Room food is good.
(2) Staff is invariably friendly and hard-working.
(3) Cabins are comfortable
(1) There were no actual on-board enrichment activities. There were games as well as a lot of trivia, but the prizes are a joke, literally, “Ship on a stick” “Piece of ship” as described by the staff in an attempt to make them endearing or palatable. Used cards from the casino, as is common on some cruises, would be preferable to these cheap, cheap statuettes that no self-respecting charity shop would sell. On two days there were movies you could have seen on television. I think I can safely say all other on-board activities were related to commerce.
(2) The main dining room was closed for lunch. So it was the buffet, sandwiches or pizza for lunch.
(3) The room service menu includes no meals, but it is 24 hours.
(4) There was little information provided on the cruise stops: No organized lectures on the history of the place, or information slipped into the nightly brochure of ship activities containing maps, brief history, street grids, etc.. Most cruise lines do this, the Pride did not.
This is our second trip on the Pride out of Baltimore this year, and while there is clearly room for improvement, its handiness outweighs the hassle of getting to and departing from New York or Florida, so we will probably do it again. Less