As this was my fourth Carnival cruise, I knew what to expect from this cruise line and this ship in particular as it is not an old ship and has been recently refurbished. As the purpose of this cruise was more of a cheap vacation getaway and not to visit a certain place of call, the Carnival Pride fit the bill nicely, and at a very good last minute fare. I would definitely do this again, and often.
Embarkation - was long and tedious at Building 3, one of the older facilities at Port of Miami. I've left from the newer facilities there and embarkations at those locations go about much faster.
Cabin - Our cabin was oceanview #1110, conveniently located near the forward elevators and the Taj Mahal Theater. Cabin size was more than adequate for my wife and me. The room was kept clean and fresh every day, with the cabin steward team working hard both day and night to maintain that level.
Dining - We were seated in the upstairs area of the dining room during the late seating, conveniently next to the railing, in a table for 2. The waiter and his assistant worked hard at making sure we had our every meal at hand, but seemed overwhelmed by the number of tables assigned each team. Water in the dining room - the water did have a distinct taste to it, causing my wife and me to order bottled water for the last half of the cruise. The quality of food was good, with the biggest problem being getting our food hot when it needed to be at times. This was further hampered by our previous experience aboard the Carnival Freedom, which I would rate that crew as outstanding, pampering our every wish. Many of the staff member in fact seemed overwhelmed and undermanned; the wine steward was another example, ask for a cocktail with dinner and it would show up with desert at times. What surprised me about the Carnival Pride was the lack of attention by the maitre d'. On our previous cruise on the Freedom, we actually were able to request special meal selections not found on the menu, and several times during that cruise. We tried same on the Pride and came up empty, even though the maitre d' promised on several occasions to fulfill our wish. The food at the buffet stations on the Lido deck were exactly what was expected, not too fancy, and filling the bill in between meals at the main restaurant. I can't comment on David's, the upscale restaurant on the Pride as we made no attempt to eat there on any of our nights on the ship.
Entertainment - Mark Price was the Cruise Director and he almost equaled Carnival's famous John Heald, whom we had previously experienced as the CD on the Freedom. Having also cruised on RCL, NCL and Celebrity, I would say Carnival definitely has a heads up on cruise directors' entertainment over the others. This particular cruise also had three terrific comedy acts during the week.
Activities - During the days at sea we spent most of our time on the Sun Deck either walking or lying in the sun. We attended nearly all of the shows, used the gym regularly, but sadly, even played bingo more than once. One note about the Sun and Pool Decks - sun chaises are hard to come by if you don't get there early in the morning.
For the money, you can't beat a week getaway for the price Carnival offers on these cruises.