My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Pride from Baltimore 9/19/10 in Cabin 7251. We are very experienced travelers, sailing on many cruise lines several times per year for the last 15 years. We found the Pride, by far, to be the worst experience we have had. Both the services and the management were unbelievably bad.
The trip started with a 3 hour delay. We waited over 2 hours to check in, were then assigned to a seat area (with not enough seats). Everyone then got into a 1 hour line for a bottle of water and a sandwich. Shortly thereafter they ran out of the food and NO MORE WAS SUPPLIED! Little did we know it would only get worse during the week!
We boarded the Pride and made our way to the cabin, with no guides for help as has always been the case before. One of our big problems was that the cabin was dirty and not tidy. Service and cleaning during the week was spotty at best. Our cabin steward Nelson was elusive and never answered his phone. We paid for a cabin with a view, but we got a cabin with dirty windows and balcony furniture so dirty we could not and would not sit on them. A very sticky spill was on the desk counter and was not cleaned all week. The phone programming, such as the "wake up call" button, did not work. The TV remote also did not work but was replaced on the second day, after I complained at reception.
Dining was still another problem. We were constantly rushed at dinner and loud intrusive music with dancing in the aisles was played during dessert ruining the meals. The Maitre d' only came to our table once, and that was to inquire why there was no one at our table Tuesday night (we were at David's, the specialty restaurant).
Entertainment is always a favorite for us on a cruise, but not on the Pride. It was a major safety issue! The volume at the shows was not just loud; it was so high that I am sure Carnival will eventually have law suits due to hearing damage. And it was impossible to get from the dining room to the Taj Mahal or Butterflies Lounge without going through the irritatingly loud, crowded and smoke-filled casino. We did find a lounge piano player. She played light classical music and because we could not go to the shows, we started enjoying her nightly. However, once again everything went sour since she was assigned to lounges where the bartenders constantly crushed ice, made smoothies with blenders and talked loudly with other patrons. She also had to try to play over the screaming announcements from the Cruise Director, Felipe!
So we thought at least we could enjoy the shore excursions that we bought online. Well, think again. We had to leave the ship at 7:15 am for a 7 hour excursion to NASA, but no hot breakfast was available until 7:00 am. The Sunward "guides" on the NASA trip were poor or did not exist and left people at spots with no information as to where one should go next or how to get back to the main center for the bus back to the ship (my wife and I almost missed the last bus back)! My kayaking trip in Nassau was canceled with no reason given and I had to spend most of the day on the ship! And I could not even find a good book to read in the "library," since only 200 books were provided for 2600 people.
Finally, the Debarkation Lecture was the most entertaining, but least informative program of its kind that my wife has ever attended. Felipe spent so much time making stupid jokes that he neglected to give even the most basic information. He fooled around for so long that he literally flipped through the last few slides (which contained all the pertinent debarkation information) in the last two minutes, so fast that it was impossible for my wife, who was taking notes, to read all the details. And, being a retired librarian, she is indeed a fast reader!