I was unsure what to expect given the vast array of reviews...It became clear very quickly that some people who write reviews are just generally unhappy and unpleasable.
My initial impression upon boarding the ship was that this ship is beautiful. Nothing in the week that followed changed my mind at all. The entire crew was there to make this a great vacation for all the passengers. I took the time to talk with many...usually at one of the many bars :-). They are, as you would expect from all over the world....Communication was not an issue as they all spoke English...and rather well too.
Our cabin ( on deck 7 - 7220) It was truly mid ship near the main elevators. BTW...there are many elevator banks on this ship. The cabin was very roomy, incredibly clean and very well maintained by the cabin steward. The bathroom was just as clean and also had ample room to move around. The showers were great..(great pressure). We stored our 4 pieces of luggage under the king size bed...did not see them again till packing time... :-(
Our cruise on April 17 set sail for Bermuda. I have been there before, several times. There is not really much to do there. A little sight seeing, a little shopping, although there are no real bargains there. We chose this trip because the dates worked for us. We really did not care where we went...We got off the boat at Kings Wharf, took a ferry to Hamilton (their main city). We had lunch and looked in a few shops. Other than that, we were happy to stay on board the ship as it tends to get very quiet on board at those port times. That was nice !!
As for the food...it was very good. The Normandy Restaurant (dining room) had very good service and always aiming to please. We never had a bad meal there. In fact, I saw some people actually order 2 entries, or 2 starter apps simply because they could. The menu changed to some degree every day, but there were always some things that remained standard. We had dinner one evening in "Davids"...the steak house on deck 10. It was worth every penny. It cost $30 per person, but the food and the presentation were wonderful !
It is true that the deck with the buffet could get a bit crowded at times, but there were always tables to sit at if you were patient for a minute or two...that's it. The food there was equally good. There were all sorts of stations set up...you just needed to walk around and see what each station had to offer...some stations always remained constant. This was simply not a big deal...some past reviews, I saw that people complained about the disorganization...this is simply not true or even a fair assessment. The deck is big and it was laid out well in my opinion.
In thinking about the trip as a whole and really trying to critic it a bit...the only thing that I would have liked to see different, would be the Serenity Deck...This is the adults only area with lounge chairs, a pool, a hot tub and a great bar. There were also some nice comfortable chairs in the bar area in which you could lounge back on..just not in the sun. On the "sailing" days...you needed to get out there fairly early to secure a lounge in the sun or they were already taken...I guess what I'm saying is that i wish there was a bit more room planned for the adults only section. But if you don't mind kids, there were plenty of other pools and lounge chairs around the others decks to soak up the sun. I simply felt that I left my kids home for a reason...I preferred the Serenity deck. :-)
We spent most evenings after dinner in the comedy club. They have several shows each night by several different comics. They include "rated R" shows so nobody under 18 were in those particular shows. Each comic was incredibly funny. If your not an uptight person...you will truly enjoy these shows. I laughed so much my cheeks hurt :-)
Overall...We were very very pleased with The Carnival Pride and will absolutely consider Carnival again when planning another cruise.