Carnival Pride Cruise Review by onstage: Great week on the Pride
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Great week on the Pride
Embarkation: we arrived early, checked in, and then went to spend a few hours in downtown Baltimore. This allowed us to avoid all the lines; when we returned at about 2 pm, we were able to walk right on the ship with no waiting. Our room was ready, and we were able to unpack immediately. Our cabin steward, Harry, was right there waiting for us, and was most helpful during the whole cruise.
We took an inside cabin to save money, and I was surprised that it was very efficiently planned and comfortable for 2 people, with plenty of storage space. Also very close to the Mermaid Grill and the Serenity deck, very convenient for grabbing a quick bite to eat.
After unpacking we did a walk-through of the ship. I must say I don't much care for the decor -- it's really over-the-top -- but the ship was very clean and well cared-for. I actually prefer the look of the Fantasy-class Carnival ships; the low ceilings on some of these decks made the atrium and halls feel a bit More claustrophobic. However, the shops and clubs were easy to find and it didn't take long to get comfortable with the layout.
Very much enjoyed the entertainment on the ship. Some of the stage shows were a bit dated, especially "Around the World." But the cast members did an excellent job. We especially enjoyed the Showband musicians. Wish there was more of an opportunity to dance to their music. We were able to dance a bit at the repeater's party, and the farewell party, but these events were very short; and it's a little uncomfortable to get up on that big stage to dance -- you feel like everyone is staring at you (and they are!) The band also played in the Promenade before dinner, but there was no place to dance there.
I'm wondering why there were three different karaoke events: Karaoke, Legends, and Superstar Live? Seems like a bit of overkill. I would much rather listen to the professionals who know what they are doing. When there weren't any audience members singing during Superstar Live, showband singer Kelsey performed -- she was terrific! Karaoke host Melvin was excellent, too -- he was the only other singer we really enjoyed listening to! We loved Roger in the piano bar too.
The comedians were also pretty good, especially Percy Cruise; but the Butterfly Lounge is just not big enough for these shows. People were sitting on the floor and standing up in the back of the room. You had to get there 40 minutes early to get a seat.
The Serenity Deck was a bit disappointing. Only one small hot tub, which was uncomfortably packed with people most of the time. Hammocks seemed like a good idea, but passengers grabbed them very early and then hogged them all day long. Same with the lounges -- most of the time it was impossible to find a place to sit.
Ports: we did Ultimate Snorkeling in Grand Cayman; horseback riding on the beach in Half Moon (our favorite port!), and because the Nassau day was a short one, just strolled around town. Nassau was very run-down with nothing much to do unless you go to Atlantis, which we didn't have enough time for. Some crew members told us about a small public beach within walking distance of the ship, so at least we were able to take a swim. James in Shore Excursions was very helpful in giving us recommendations.
Food: the dining room was fine, all meals were good, especially considering how many people the staff is trying to serve. Really enjoyed Maya the cocktail waitress, and the table magician. Dinner at the Steakhouse was excellent and by far the best meal we had on the ship; our waiter Joel was very good. Every day For breakfast we had fresh-made omelettes in the Mermaid Grill, and never had to wait in line more than a few minutes.
No shortage of activities on ship days; we went to several art auctions, relaxed by the pool, went to all the shows, ate (a lot!), used the gym and the internet cafe, and shopped in the stores. Anyone who says there's nothing to do on the ship isn't trying very hard!
We found all crew members and staff to be most friendly and helpful -- never saw anything but smiles on their faces. Definitely will sail on the Pride again, maybe later this year on their Bermuda itinerary. Less
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