This was my Aunts 2nd cruise and about my 14th or 15th. Have sailed with RCCL,NCL and Disney in the past. It was my 3rd on Carnival in 8 months. Until my 1st Carnival cruise in June I wouldn't dream of sailing on what I thought would be a ship full of drunken college kids. I was so wrong. I love Carnival!
This was my 2nd winter cruise from the east coast so I knew it would be different from one that started out in a warm climate. I really wanted to relax this trip.I alwasy get a balcony, but this time I had my first obstructed view balcony. I had thought about upgrading right up until the week we sailed. Glad I didn't. Due to cold, wind and some rain, we spent very little time out on our balcony.
Embarkation went great right up until we had to swipe our new Sign and Sail cards just feet from the Pride walkway onto the ship. Due to the cold, the computer system broke down. A short wait and we were back on track. I don't think the Pride hits you with a "wow" factor as you enter the main lobby, but the beauty of this ship does grow on you quickly. We had all lunches and breakfast meals in the Mermaid Grille, dinner in the dining room. We had "anytime dining" and it was much improved over our June Pride cruise with this same dining type. This time we never waited at all for a table. Service was great and food was delicious. We loved curling up with a book in one of the ship's many open lounge areas inside. Spent very little time on deck due to weather, but we were never bored. Staff was very friendly. I wasn't wild about the shows - had seen most only months before on the Pride. We didn't get to stop in Freeport due to high winds, but we hadn't planned on getting off the ship here anyway, so no loss for us. Only complaint would be amount of smoke in casino.
All in all, it was a great cruise. Looking forward to my next Carnival cruise in fall 2010.