Our Cruise Vacation out of Baltimore, Maryland August 2011
Our cruise was delayed because of Hurricane Irene. Instead of 7 days we sailed for 6 days. Our ports of call were also changed from Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport Bahamas to Port Canaveral FL, Nassau Bahamas and Freeport Bahamas.
So instead of starting out on Sunday August 28,2011 we left on Monday August 29, 2011.
Let me tell you about us. myself 42, and my Darling husband (DH) 48, have been married for 16 years and have two wonderful boys (TB) 11 & 12 . This is DH and I's 3rd cruise and TB 2ND cruise. We have been on Royal Caribbean for our honeymoon and last year on the Carnival Miracle out of New York.
Lets start from the cruise port in Baltimore. Wonderful, fast, and efficient! We were out of the terminal in less than 30 minutes. Once we were on the ship we were able to go to our room. We ran into a little snag on the room key. There was a battery problem with the lock and that was quickly taken care of! Then we went to explore the ship.
The decor was surprisingly pleasant. I was prepared for some harsh decor after I had read some other reviews. There were classic paintings duplicated around the ship. We did not find anything distasteful.
Our stateroom nice. Our cabin Steward Alison (guy) was wonderful you did not see him that often but you knew that he had been there. We loved the towel animals he left for us. My favorite is the monkey hanging from the ceiling. The room was always clean. He even put away our shoes. I would have really loved to take him home with us!
In the Normandie Dining room our Waitress Retno was wonderful she did a superb job taking care of us. She knew our names by day two and our likes on drinks. they work really hard on that ship to please the guests. The singing and dancing the wait staff did was great. We were seated with another family. The other family consisted of husband and wife, daughter 11, son 8. We lucked out to get a nice family to share our evening meals with. We always found something to talk about. I must tip my hat to Carnival for the wonderful match up!
The entertainment was OK! the shows were good but we liked the comedians and the juggler better. The comedy shows had you busting at the seams! It was a lot of fun. TB did not like that they could not go to the 18 and older adult comedy shows. They did not think it was fair!
TB were a little disappointed in the timing of lazer tag games 6:30-7:30 we had early seating for dinner. They did get to play once on the last day they had lazer tag at 1:45 but there was such a line up that they only got to play once. Here is an Idea for Carnival for their new ships take out one of the bars and put in a lazer tag room. Just think of the money they could make at $5.00 per game if it was available in a permanent place and longer.
While TB were playing lazer tag I went to the Sip life Q&A. Wow was that an eye opened. Some of their contracts are for 6 months and they do NOT get a day off for 6 months they work about 70 hours a week. I really don't think i could go that long without seeing my family. Also on the Carnival Pride there are 47 different nationalities! WOW!
I and DH went for the galley tour. It was really interesting and I was amazed at the shear size of the galley.
DH utilized the running track and gym. He would go to the track early in the morning before the walkers would get to the track. If the track was closed due to high winds he went to the gym. He thought it was adequate.
On the lido deck there is always the problem of chair hogging. People get up early and put a towel on a lounge chair, so when you go up to the pool you search for a long time to find a lounge chair! Usually with no luck. and if you find one it is not near the pool! so trying to watch your children while in the pool has to be done in a regular chair not in a lounge. But it is what it is.
TB did not join the the kids clubs! they thought it was boring. So they went on the water slide, played ping pong and miniature golf and went to the arcade. Or went in the pools and hot tubs.
The photographers were constantly taking pictures any chance they got. I'm a sucker for good group pictures so I spent a good chunk of change on pictures.
The buffet was OK! Lines were always long. If you want better control of what you eat avoid the buffet! The deserts were really good. My men liked the pizza, sometimes too much! TB and I liked the hot coco. We liked to go for the midnight buffet to see what kind of food they were serving. The Mexican was really good. The part of the the buffet I did not care for was some of the other passengers, coming to breakfast in their PJ's.
My only complaint about the Carnival Pride has nothing to do with the ship. It has to do with some of the guests that DO NOT SUPERVISE THEIR CHILDREN! There was a group of kids that ran around the ship like the were just let out if the zoo. Spraying ketchup on the wall. I herd of one incident where they threw a glass on the floor out of the elevator. They came into the lido buffet one night just being extremely disruptive and loud that most of the people got up and left none of the staff did anything about it. I thought there was a curfew for children?
Even though our vacation was cut short a day overall it was a Great Vacation and I have already put a deposit on next years cruise! I think we are going to try the Carnival Dream next year ! I will let you know how it goes!