This is our 9th cruise with Carnival, 11th cruise overall and we had a wonderful time! We sailed with my husbands 80 year old mother, his sister and her husband. They have all cruised before and they all had a great time.
We love the ease of Sailing from Baltimore, this is our second cruise on the Pride. We live in No VA and have only a 2 hour drive to the port. Embarkation and disembarking were both easy and quick. We would love to see more choices of itinerary out of Baltimore by Carnival and hope to sail again from this port.
The Pride was all that we expected from Carnival. The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The addition of the Serenity deck pool area was wonderful. I only enjoyed it for one afternoon, as we had quite a bit of rain and nasty weather on the way down and back, but do hope to take advantage of it on our next cruises.
The Casino was a disappointment to my husband, his mom and sister. They removed a large number of slot machines and put in pool tables - what a joke!! I cannot believe that is a money maker for them! The selection of machines were limited and also, the machines were very crowded and cramped. It was hard to maneuver around the slot area. This change since our last cruise on the Pride was not one we felt was an improvement but a drawback.
The menus were another disappointment. I believe they have greatly limited the selections available, and have added items that I would never expect to see or even care to order at an upscale dinning establishment - such as meatloaf, fried chicken and hamburgers. These items are only acceptable in the buffet and not in the main dining room. The food, was good and we never, ever left hungry. Our server Haydee was wonderful, but unfortunately for her and us, her assistant Junior was new and did not have a clue. We tipped her extra for her hard work and professionalism. She only mentioned once that Junior was new and learning, but did not constantly harp on it. We could see he was not doing his job and she had to make up for it.
I was impressed with the service overall on the ship. Our room steward did a wonderful job, the bar staff was great and everyone seemed to be happy and enjoying what they do. I know that my husband felt very differently about the Casino host. Since I did not meet her I cannot comment first hand, but it was not a good experience dealing with her in his opinion.
The ports were wonderful and the weather was beautiful at each. The stop at Grand Turk was very nice. They have done a wonderful job with the cruise port there. Margaritaville looked like a fun place - we only shopped there for t-shirts and souvenirs. We then took a tour of the island on our own and that was wonderful. The driver was friendly and informative and we saved money by not taking a tour through Carnival. I would love to go back and spend some time at the beach there. It was right there and so convenient. DH's family are not beach/sun people, so I had to compromise. Half Moon Cay was HEAVENLY!! I could have stayed there for at least 2 days - no problem. We rented a cabana for the sake of DH's mom and sister. They enjoyed it and so did we. But I really enjoyed just being in the water and relaxing. The sand is soft, sugar sand and the water is clear and clean - like being in a pool, but better!! The lunch was not the best, but we managed to find enough to eat. It was very Hot and DH's mom and sister did get overheated there. They did not take advantage of the water except to dip their feet in. All ended up well. Nassau was Nassau. We walked to the straw market (what was left after Hurricane Irene) and did more shopping in the air conditioned shops in town. I would prefer not to shop, but again, I was outnumbered and we had to be on ship by 12:30 for our 1:00 departure. We did get to see the RC Oasis come in to port. WOW!!! That ship was huge - unbelievably huge!!! It was fun watching them come in and them watching us go out. Everyone was clapping, waving and singing back and forth. A good time!!!
We really enjoyed the trip overall, and will sail again on Carnival. There are some noticeable differences from before, but nothing that will prevent us from sailing again. We have purchased a future cruise certificate to use next time. So...we will be in touch about that later. We will be Platinum on our next cruise -- WooHoo!!!