Carnival Pride Cruise Review by Del306: Good Deal, Good Cruise
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Good Deal, Good Cruise
We're a married couple in our 30s (no children). This is our fourth cruise (3rd with Carnival) and we just needed some rest and relaxation. This cruise was perfect for our needs.
We did a very similar cruise on this same ship back in May 2009. We returned to the same ship for a May 29, 2011 sailing because the port is only one hour from our home and the price was very fair for our balcony stateroom.
Embarkation was easy. We arrived at 2:00 (boarding is 1:30-3:30) and we were on the ship within 30 minutes. No complaints!
We were blessed with beautiful weather throughout the cruise. The temps were low to mid 80s and the seas were calm. I have a tendency to get seasick but I did not need any medication on this trip. We couldn't have ordered up better weather.
My favorite space on the cruise (aside from our private balcony) is the adults-only Serenity Deck (aft section for the Lido deck). The Serenity area has a small pool and a hot tub. Although it More was difficult to get a chair on sea days, the deck has cushioned lounge chairs, hammocks, a large, covered bar, some tables for dining, couches (in the shade) as well as large, round, covered sofas for curling up and reading a book. We only got to sit on this deck three times due to the large numbers of people in the area, but it's still a very nice addition. I did not see any children in the Serenity area and the atmosphere was peaceful with a more "adult contemporary" music soundtrack.
Our room was spacious (for a cruise ship, that is). It was immaculate and our room steward cleaned and refreshed our space at least twice per day. We had plenty of storage. If you're considering splurging for a balcony, go for it!
Disclaimer: I'm a major foodie and an experienced home cook.
The food was decent. The Lido deck seemed improved from 2009. The breads were surprisingly soft, fresh and tasty and everything on Lido was hot and fresh. I didn't mind waiting in line for food. It's not like we were ever hungry! We used the Lido for breakfast and lunch and ate in the dining room for dinner.
We had late seating for dinner and a table for 6 with two other couples. There was plenty of variety on the menu. Our server was polite, funny, but overworked. He definitely had too many tables, but he made the best of it and we're really patient. I seldom, if ever, saw our assistant waiter. We found the maid'tr'd to be a bit snobbish, but we didn't let it ruin our meals.
The dining room food was usually warm, not piping hot, but it didn't bother me. I didn't like everything, but I can recommend the following: fried shrimp, Grand Marnier souflee, Warm Spice Cake with Figs and Caramel Sauce (my favorite item in the dining room), the cheese plate (I asked for it as an appetizer), and the cornish hen. Your tastes are surely different than mine, but I believe they do their best work on appetizers and desserts. The entrees are just okay.
Here's the best part:
Go to David's Steakhouse. The $30 cover charge is worth it. The food quality is as good as an upscale, land-based restaurant. I like to dine in style, so I really appreciated this atmosphere and food quality.
Book the Chef's Table if you are a food enthusiast. It's $75 per person and typically offered twice per cruise. We booked for Tuesday and had to roll our reservation to Friday due to low interest. On Friday night we enjoyed an 8-course meal with 8 other passengers. The meal hosted by the head chef and served at a beautiful, secluded table in the... (empty) night club! Right in the middle of the glowing dance floor. The price may sound steep, but you get a galley tour (with sparking wine and hors d overs during the dinner rush), unlimited wine during dinner, at least 7 courses, an autographed group photo, and a cookbook. It was the highlight of our cruise and the best meal we've had this year.
Debarkation was FAST. We did self-assist and while the instructions may say that you'll get off at 10:40, make sure you call your family if you need a ride because we were outside on the curb at 9:15! We didn't even have time to eat breakfast. Works for me! Less
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Cabin review: 8D7156
Great view, quiet room. There are two closets and several cabinets and drawers. We didn't even use all of the space.
Port and Shore Excursions
This was a very short port stop (7am to 2pm), so we just took a cab to Our Lucaya and looked at the shops (same stuff as any other port). We went to a resort beach (which was supposed to be private, but they let us in for free). The surf was rough that day, so we laid under a palm tree and read books and listened to our iPods. We bought some ice cream cones and then got back on the ship.
This is a relaxing port with not a lot of activity, so I think it could be great for a glass bottom boat cruise or snorkeling (if you have time). All I did was nap and read. Perfect day for me.
The resort was well-worth the price because there were lifeguards and no crowds. I loved hopping from the ocean to the pool. The public restrooms were large and clean and we had access to food and drinks (just pay for what you want with cash or credit) all day long. I appreciated having a lounge chair in the shade.
P.S. Carnival charged guests $79 for this same excursion. We did it on our own and ate lunch for less than the price for one person through Carnival.
Note: This was our second trip to Nassau. In 2009 we met up with a tour guide on the island for a 2-hour tour ($20 per person). It's much cheaper to customize your own tour once you get to Nassau than to book through the cruise line. The tour was great and he even explained how to use the bus to get to Asadara Gardens and Zoo (which is also well worth the visit).