2009 had been a hectic year for my husband and I. We decided to send 2009 out in a big way and welcome 2010 in on a fun note. The choice of Carnival Pride was based on departure port and dates. We had been to The Bahamas before and enjoyed it so we decided to go again. We began our cruise journey on December 27th at 5 a.m. by leaving our RI home and driving to the port of Baltimore. It was sunny and cold, but the ride was an easy one with little traffic. We were off to a good start. We arrived at the port at 1:45 P.M. Parked at the port looking at the ship, and we were struck by it's beauty and size.
Check-in was easy and quick. The Staff at the dock were pleasant and cordial. Once on the boat, we headed for the buffet area. The outer decks were open but it was cold. We stayed inside after a brief foray to look out over Baltimore. Brrr... COLD. :) The Pride is a beautiful ship with a great crew. As 50 somethings, we know what we like and fun entertainment and varied activities fit our needs. The first few days we were limited to inside activities due to the high winds and cold temps. We choose not to hang out at the pool area that was open, because of the crowds. The pool area was lovely and clean. Long pants and a light sweater were the daytime attire and we changed for dinner according to attire recommendations. The atmosphere was festive in Keeping with the Time of year and people were dressing up in elegant cocktail attire for the formal nights. We enjoyed the shows and the live entertainment at various lounges. The Atrium bar was a favorite, the bar staff Katharine and Anton were pleasant and fun.
The public areas were kept immaculately clean in such a lovely unobtrusive way by the staff. Bring a couple of books for traveling this time of year, there a re many comfortable spots to watch the seas and cuddle on plush chairs and sofas. We had dinner at David's Steak House one evening and the food and service was fabulous. We had Fillet Mignon, and could not finish the meal. Portions are huge. The salads and appetizers can easily be shared. Bring your appetite! We enjoyed the Anytime dining option, and that suited us well. The staff was top notch . The entrees were varied and very good, My favorites were the Grilled chicken breast ( always available because it is a Carnival Favorite), The Steak options were prepared as requested, and quite tender. Please try the signature desert: "Bitter and Blanc" a chocolate bread pudding dish that was only offered one evening on this cruise and once I tried it I would have liked to have it another night.
The Cruise director Kirk and His assistant Jaime were lots of fun, watch their morning show, they are a riot! On one of the sea days Kirk and some of his staff have a question and answer session on what it is like o work on a cruise ship, great info, get there early because the lounge area fills up quickly. I was not sure what to expect on New Years Eve, But the ship was all abuzz about the New Years eve festivities, We went to the deck party where the House band, the Jafar Curry band and the ships singers put on a Jam Session with rock and roll flair. The entertainers were having a ball on stage and their enthusiasm carried over into the crowd. People of all ages were dancing and swinging o the great music. The countdown was like being in Times Square and we had a ball.
My recommendations would be: Bring warm weather clothes for 3-4 days only if you go during the end of December or January. Nylons will keep you comfortable in the evenings the first two night and the last two nights during evening activities. Ladies shawls or light cover was needed most evenings. Men wore suits or sport coats on the formal nights and often to dinner. The photogs took great photos, be prepared! We used room service a couple of times, and were very pleased with the promptness of the service. On port days we used room service for lunch instead of trying to get through the buffet area with everyone coming back on board together at the same time, and this worked well for us. Very relaxing. I hope that you will consider a holiday cruise in the future, I know we will do I again.