We cruised on the Carnival Pride for 7 days beginning July 24th. We were on the Empress deck in an Ocean Suite -- very nice room although the tub area looked like there was mildew around the edges that hadn't been cleaned in some time. Carnival runs back to back cruises not allowing the service staff to do a thorough cleaning of the ship which is a shame. We literally had sand in crevices on the deck as well as a sticky railing and never had an ice bucket for all but the last day of the cruise -- this was too bad since we had paid a bunch of money for this cruise. Carnival has staff that go around and sell, sell, sell from the get go. We were literally on the ship (priority check-in) and within the hour had drinks coming around (at $7.00 bucks plus 15% gratuity a piece) as well as David's Steakhouse steaks with a person taking reservations -- when you pay so much for a cruise you don't expect this constant selling mode (this continued throughout the cruise). The pools on board are salt water -- and small -- not the greatest at all--our 12 year old was very disappointed by this. The food was just okay -- not gourmet -- the bacon looks great but is tasteless -- we could never figure that out, don't even try the eggs benedict -- it's not like normal eggs benedict! We paid $10 bucks per day for tips and this included children -- we ended up with an extra charge of $210 in gratuities which of course didn't include any of the people walking around taking drink orders or any room service you may use (you are paying an add'l 15% each time). The people taking pictures are constantly taking pictures and are making a pretty penny on every picture ($14 bucks for a picture)....the shops are useless -- mostly carnival stuff and jewelry -- not great. The ship is pretty and it's nice that they have an adult only section (Serenity) as many of the people sailing don't control their children -- we have a 12 year old child so we were not able to take advantage of the adult only section. The parents and Carnival allowed the kids to go into the hot tubs -- and dive under the water like it was a pool -- Most likely they did this because the hot tub was fresh water not salt water. The pools and hot tubs were very very crowded, especially on days we were at sea. Cell phones do not work on the ship -- if you have children think about taking walkie talkies to communicate -- you'll be happy you did.
We have sailed on different Carnival ships 3 different times -- it's time to try a different cruiseline -- hopefully the experience will be a bit better. I believe Carnival, at one time, was better than it is today.
Our cruise was good but could have been better. I read the reviews before going and was thinking that I'd feel differently but unfortunately do agree with several of the reviewees. Carnival needs to slow down and give if a day inbetween cruises so the ship can be fully cleaned and the staff is ready for the next cruise. Also, carnival needs to stop the selling -- just let people cruise, let waiters walk around and if the cruisee wants something they will ask.