My DH and I are in our early 60"s but young at heart. This was our 8th cruise, fifth one on Carnival, and second on Pride. That said, we booked this cruise out of Baltimore because of the location not the literary. This is the first cruise my DH and I took alone, we always cruise with other couples. Even though the weather was on the cool side most of the days we still enjoyed every day of the cruise.
Embankment: Baltimore is an easy port for us to drive to from Mass. We left home on Sat afternoon after my DH got out of work and stayed overnight in Aberdeen Md, 30 miles from the Baltimore Terminal. We arrived to drop off our luggage and park at 11:00 with no problems what so ever. Terminal is right off the highway and you can see the Carnival Pride right from 95. No waiting in line at all to check in and was in Zone 5 and on the ship by 1 pm. Headed for the lido deck for DOD and lunch with folks we met waiting to check in. Rooms were ready by 3 pm and luggage arrived shortly More
afterwards. Re familiarized myself with the ship and checked my early dining table 332. Muster drill was a breeze and we set sail at 5:30 pm DH and I watch the sail away from out balcony,
Dining: We were a little nervous on who our table mates would be after reading a few forums on CC. We had a delightful couple from Virginia who we ended up having a lot in common with. This made dinner time great. We ate all or dinners in the MDR which we had a great meal each night. I just love the Warm Melting Cake. Also since you can order more than one entre this makes it easy to try new and different things. Our servers. Haydee and Jose were the best. Haydee and a wonderful sense of humor and kept us laughing each night. We also had Tejas, the magician stop by our table a few nights with some amazing magic tricks. We alternated breakfast between the MDR and the Lido Buffet. The nice thing about eating breakfast in the MDR is that each day we met with new people. The Lido buffet is set up in different sections. Rotisserie, Hamburg grill, Asian, Deli, International, Pizza, Salad Bar and dessert section. After the first day I kind of knew where each was. I thought the food on the Pride was great. There is just so much to choice from. We had room service deliver coffee each morning to our cabin. The coffee is much better with room service than at the buffet which is too strong for me. I actually had to mix hot water to weaken it .
Cabin: We had 4181 on the main deck, which is a balcony cabin located between the aft and Antrim elevators. We are only one deck above the promenade deck. There was plenty of storage space and the bathroom was a good size. Also I found out from the question and answer time with the CD Jamie that the reason the TV stations comes from Denver CO is that was the only package that Carnival could get to get the local weather. Heh! Heh! Even though the weather was on the cool side we still enjoyed the balcony a lot.
Staff: Our room steward Imade was really great. He always kept the ice bucket full and surprised me each night with a towel animal. The Carnival Capers are now the FunTimes. They seem easier to read and still have the tear off strip you can take with you. I found all the staff very friendly and hard workers.
Public Rooms: Being a non-smoker I was concerned about the smoking in public areas. What I found that it was not a problem. Since the cool weather, the roof cover was on the center pool so that was all non smoking and very warm there. There were guests swimming the first sea day. The Ivory Piano Bar now has a non-smoking area which was great. The casino is a smoking area so we only went there very early before it got too smoky. Taj Mahal Theater is in the bow of the ship which covers three decks. You can see the stage easy from almost all seats. We preferred to sit in the balcony to see the shows. More on entertainment later in the review. Atrium Lobby lounge was an area we frequently a lot since there always seemed to be entertainment and a great place to people watch. Starry Nights lounge was where the Karaoke Party was each night. We did not go but as we walked past, we saw everyone there having a great time. The Mermaid Grill had plenty of seating area and we never had a hard time finding a place to sit. With all the different buffet stations there was always something different and good to eat.
Entertainment: My DH and I love the shows that Carnival provides. Monday: Welcome Aboard Show with Jaime the CD and comedy show with Al Ernest was great. The shows preformed by Carnival dancers and singers Zoe and Matt were Wonderful World, Zoom and Jazzen were all very entertaining. Jerry Goodspeed the ventriloquist is a must see show. I felt it was the best show of the week. The last day they had a Carnival Legends show which consisted of fellow guest portraying the part of different singers. On Tuesday afternoon guest auditioned for Al Ernest, the comedian and got a chance to perform for all of us that night. It was amazing to see just how much hidden talent the guest had.
There was entertainment going on the Lido deck most of the week during the day. The night we left Nassau they had a midnight Mexican buffet and dessert buffet on the lido deck along with music.
Shore Excursions: We had been to all the ports of call a few times before. At Port Canaveral, since the weather was very cool, we decided to enjoy the quiet of the ship. But to my surprise there were a lot of guests who chose to say aboard also. In Nassau we decided to explore the Pirate of Nassau museum. We found it very interesting and the price was reasonable. On the way back to the ship we shopped at the straw market. In the afternoon we took the water taxi over to Paradise Island to Atlantis. We docked near the marina and shopping village which we had not been to before. The yachts docked there were amazing. After winning a little in the casino we took a taxi back to the Pride in time for dinner. The temperature was not that cold on Nassau but the winds were really blowing so it made being outside very cool. We watched us depart from port from our balcony. The weather finally warmed up when we docked in Freeport. They had a straw market where the Pride docked so we decided just to get off the ship and do some shopping there. We sat outside on a bench and people watched for most of the morning. We were in this port for a short period of time so this seemed like the most relaxing thing to do.
Sea Days. The first sea day going down the weather was cool but not so windy. We spent a lot of the day in the center pool with the covered roof just reading and chilling. On Tuesday the second sea day, they had a medical emergency so the ship picked up speed to arrive in Port Canaveral on Tuesday night instead of Wednesday morning. With 12 ft waves and going 24 knots made for quite an interesting ride. We sat up near the window in the Mermaid's Grill people watching. It was not bad enough that you could not walk or enjoy the ship. The sea day on the return trip home was windy but with only 6 ft seas. On that day we went to Ship's Life Q & A with CD Jaime and Asst Will. That was a very interesting time. The guests get to ask questions about all kinds of things. We found out that there were 500 kids on this cruise but I hardly saw any of them. Also that Baltimore has be a successful embarkation port and the ships are sailing full even with the cool weather.
Debarkation: We arrived at port by 9:00 am. After a leisurely breakfast in the Mermaid Grill we retrieved our carryon's and waited in the Taj Mahal Theater for our zone 22 numbers to be called. We were off the ship and in our car heading home by 12 noon. Since we drove down from Ma we extended our vacation by a two night stay at Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City before finally ending our vacation.
With this wonderful cruise behind us now the only thing left to do is plan for the next cruise and keep updated by reading the CC boards. Less