My background: DBPF 49, on my 5th solo cruise. I wanted to try Carnival because of the price, and the local port. I had cruised with Carnival 22 years ago, but I wanted to see how they would compare now with Celebrity and Princess, which I really like.
I had a good time on my Carnival Pride cruise from Baltimore to the Bahamas. I sipped Pina Coladas on a pier in Cape Canaveral, FL. I visited the Atlantis resort in Nassau, and spent some time in the ocean, enjoying the sun, sand, and surf. The waves were kicking in Freeport, and I enjoyed those, too. I had a massage at the spa on the ship. I won 9 prizes for trivia and other games. I walked around the ship alot, and tried not to eat just because there was so much food available, and I lost weight during the cruise!!
This was my first 7-day cruise from Baltimore, and I guess with the cheap price, and a local port, you get some *ahem* different types of passengers. Clearly, you can buy a cruise ticket, but you can't buy class. I wanted to take pictures of some of them, like on the "People of Wal-Mart" website, but I probably would have caught a beatdown, LOL.
Still, I met some very nice people, and had a lot of fun. At the first trivia session, a nice couple invited me to join them and another man, and we made a good team for the rest of the cruise. Unfortunately, they gave the same prize all cruise long, a ship on a stick. Once or twice they gave a medallion.
In the dining room, I had late seating, and was assigned to a dinner table with 3 other solo cruisers, all attractive, divorced men. (Lucky me!) We had some very interesting conversations about relationships and marriage. It turned out we all had left our beloved doggies behind, so we passed around pictures and talked about our "babies", LOL.
The food in the dining room was very good, and I ate there as often as possible. The food on the Lido deck buffet was very disappointing to me, though others liked it. I sometimes had to fill 2 plates to find enough tasty food to make a meal. The salad bar, the burgers and fries at the grill, and the ice cream were the best bets. There were some passengers that seemed to spend their entire day at the buffet. Different strokes...
The entertainment on the ship was good. The lead female singer had a great voice, the lead male...not so much. He did a lot of emoting as if he was a great singer, but it fell into the lounge singer category for me. The dancers need to work on synchronizing their movements, but they were okay. Besides the singing and dancing, we had comedy shows by Happy Cole and Diane Ford, and they both did late-night "adult" shows, too. Very funny. There was one juggling act that was just slow and boring, so I got up and left. There was a late-night "adult" game called "The Quest", which was hilarious. It ended with men competing for the title of "Miss Carnival Pride" while wearing women's clothing. Folks get drunk and do some really silly things in public. Not me, of course, LOL.
The weather was nice in the Bahamas, so I was shocked to come home to snow on the ground. I was glad to get home to my dog, but I have to go back to work tomorrow...ugh.
Other review info: Embarkation: I took a taxi to the port, arrived at 3:30 pm, lines moved swiftly, in my room by 4:00pm. Service: Very good all around, no complaints. Stateroom: Category 4K. Considered an inside, but had an obstructed view between 2 lifeboats. I could see enough to determine the weather and time of day. Size of room was okay for one person, glad I didn't have to share it Ports: Left much to be desired. I will try to avoid them in the future. Disembarkation: I did self-assist, and was off the boat and through customs by 9:30am.
From my comment card:
1. Give weather forecasts for the entire day, everyday, but especially for port days on one of the TV channels. 2. Entertainment staff should organize their trivia questions so that they don't repeat them later in the cruise. They don't seem to have a good system for that. 3. Give a variety of different prizes for winning games: Pens, mouse pads, key chains, luggage tags, etc. That ship on a stick gets old really quick. 4. I know that some games are not money makers for the cruise line, but if you're going to call yourselves "Fun Ships", you really need to schedule more activities, and schedule them so that people from both dining times can attend. 5. The juggling act is slow and boring. Replace it. 6. Improve the food on the Lido buffet, also provide a map to the different sections of the buffet. I didn't figure out the layout until day 5. 7. Enforce dress codes in the dining room. 8. In Nassau, the Atlantis Beach Day excursion should start earlier, and/or return transportation should be available later. There isn't enough time to enjoy the beach, eat lunch, enjoy the aquariums and see the resort. 9. Passengers are told to make sure their watches are set to "ship's time", but I never saw a clock on board. 10. Games should not be held in smoking venues, like the sports bar. 11. The ports on this itinerary leave much to be desired.
Conclusion: I would sail Carnival again only for a particular itinerary that wasn't available on another line, and only for a longer (more expensive) cruise.