This was our first cruise from the Port of Baltimore and since we are 20 minutes from the Port it was really convenient.
Embarkation: The Port of Baltimore is a really wonderful Port to sail from. Everyone there was really friendly and helpful. We left our home at 12:30 and we were on the ship by 1:30. this was also my DH's Platinum cruise and the VIP boarding was wonderful.
The Pride is a beautiful ship. It is done in a Renaissance era theme and we loved how elegant it was. I have uploaded pictures here so you can see for yourselves. http://picasaweb.google.com/cruzingal/PrideSailing9062009#
Our Cabin # 5236 Obstructed view balcony
We loved this cabin and found the the view was really not obstructed at all. We could still view the ocean and were able to look down between the Lifeboats. With it's very extended balcony we found tis cabin to be a terrific deal for the money.
We have 18 Carnival cruises between DH and myself and have never had a bad crew experience. This was true for the Pride crew also. From our Room Steward team to the dining staff and the Lido deck staff, each and everyone was smiling and more than happy to make our vacation the best it could be. Kirk the Cruise director and his entire staff are absolutely the best! The shows were wonderful and the comedian Carl Strong was hilarious and not to be missed if you are on a ship that he is on. I cannot say enough about Kirk and William (ACD) and Jamie, the soon to be ACD. They were always available and more than willing to help in any way possible. Thanks guys for a wonderful cruise.
We had 3 sea days on this cruise and I loved being able to relax. Most of our other cruises have been 5 to 6 Ports on 7 day cruises and although I love visiting the Islands, it can be very exhausting. The Entertainment Staff always had something going on from the Hairy Chest contest to Ice Carving, the Love and Marriage Show (Which was really too funny for words.) and much, much more. You will never be board on board a Carnival ship!
Dining on board:
We chose the Your Time (Anytime) Dining for this cruise and loved it. Not having to rush and get ready for early seating was a blessing. One night we ate at 6:15 and then others we ate around 8:00. On our 3rd night we found a waitstaff, Donovan and his staff, that were simply amazing. We chose to dine with them from then on and I loved that we could choose. We will be doing Anytime Dining from now on.
David's Steak House - We reserved David's for the 2nd sea day night and ate at 6:30. We had done the Steak House on the Valor so we knew what to expect and David's did not let us down. The service is impeccable and the food is definitely a 5 star experience. If you have not done a dinner at one of Carnival's Steak Houses I highly recommend that you book and enjoy.
Debarkation back at Baltimore.
Since we were Platinum on this cruise we had Zone #1 for debarkation. We left our luggage out on Saturday night to be picked up for the next morning. We wound that this debarkation was relaxing and easy. We awoke around 8:00, dressed and went to breakfast then back up to our cabin to wait since we did not have to be in the Starry Nights Lounge until 10:45. This is where Platinum guests were asked to wait. They began calling the decks for self debarkation at around 9:30 and were done around 11:00 then a crew member came into the lounge and escorted all Platinum guests off the ship. We were off and trough Customs with luggage in tow by 11:30 and arrived back home by noon. This was the quickest and most painless debarkation that we have ever experienced.
All in all, this rates as one of our best cruises and we will definitely do this cruise again. Many, many times. :-)
Now I do have one con about this ship. The beds! On every one of our previous cruises I could not wait to crawl into the wonderful Carnival beds but the beds on board the Pride were hard as boards. I talked with many other cruisers and they felt the same. Not sure why these beds are different but I do hope Carnival changes them out.
Behind the Fun Tour on the last sea day:
I had read that Carnival had began offering this "special" tour and I
was very excited to go on it. This tour takes you behind the scenes of
the ship from back stage to the crew quarters, to the kitchens and a Q
& A with the head Chef. You also go the see the laundry, the Engine
Control Room and meet with the Chief Engineer and then up to the Bridge
and meet the Captain. We ended up in David's Steak House and meet the
Hotel Manager and were offered Champagne or wine and were given
wonderful goodies and mementos of the tour. We also received 3 photos.
One with the Chef, one group with the Captain and one individual with
the Captain. This tour is not to be missed but book early because there
are only 16 places allowed.