My husband and I just returned from a 6 night cruise from Baltimore to Bermuda on the Carnival Pride. We had booked a 7 night cruise, unfortunately, due to rough seas, our cruise was delayed and we missed a day in Bermuda. We specifically chose this cruise to get 3 days in Bermuda, so that was a bummer.
Carnival emailed us the day before we were set to board, to notify us of the delay. We were told that we would be refunded for 1 day of the trip, which seemed reasonable, but we would have also appreciated a "goodwill" gesture -- such as onboard credit or free drinks or something. At least something for the inconvenience. We had trip insurance, which gave us a free night in a local hotel (Sleep Inn) and 2 meals.
I highly recommend taking a hotel shuttle or having a friend drive you to the port. Parking was too expensive for us, and for the same price, we'd rather get a hotel room.
On Monday morning, embarkation was fairly easy. We were some of the last to baord, but really didn't have to wait long in line. The staff at the port was very friendly -- I have no complaints. We boarded the ship around noon. Our room was ready immediately and it only took a few hours for our luggage to arrive.
Our room steward, Putra, was very friendly and basically our favorite staff member on the ship. He was personable and seemed to really enjoy his job. We had an interior cabin and it seemed very spacious, compared to other ships. We had plenty of space to put our things away.
The dining room (Normandie) was another story. Nearly everytime we sat down for a meal, we usually talked about how we wished we had gone to the Mermaid Grille. Service was unusually slow. Many times, it seemed like the server had forgotten about us. We didn't want to spend an hour and a half at lunch -- once, we walked out before our dessert arrived because it simply took too long. We rarely got refills on our water glasses. Was that a hint to purchase alcohol? Honestly, I think the dining room staff is exhausted and it shows. Some servers would barely acknowledge us -- just hand us our menus and leave immediately. I almost felt guilty for being there, as if I was being a bother -- definitely how I DON'T want to feel on vacation. Like most people, I just wanted a week of not having to cook and clean...I kept having to tell myself "I paid to be here, right?" I feel like we would have gotten better service if we had ordered alcohol at every meal. I asked one waiter for an iced tea, but I immediately felt embarassed when she told me that she only took bar orders. I had to practically flag someone down just to get a dang iced tea.
Speaking of paying to be somewhere....all around the ship, it felt like were constantly being asked to buy something. It got annoying after awhile. We did spend time at the bar, but we weren't going to spend big bucks on portraits, soda packages, bingo, etc. I'm sorry, but the high prices were ridiculous.
We had several sea days and on the schedule, it seemed like most things were selling seminars. One day, when it was cloudy and windy outside, everyone on the ship was huddled around the atrium (little kids included), watching 4 people play corn hole (bean bag toss). Now, I would have loved to play corn hole, but it was literally the ONLY THING planned for that time slot, and I'm sure everyone wanted to play. We just kept on walking.
Our trip to Bermuda was cut short due to threats of Tropical Storm Sean. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the beaches and missed out on a few places in Hamilton that we had been wanting to see. We made the most of it, but it was still upsetting that we specifically chose this cruise to do those things and we missed out on them.
The gym was great. It was never crowded, so my husband and I made good use of the machines, whirlpool, sauna and steam room. I wish I could go to that gym everyday!
Our favorite entertainers were James the piano man and Thomas, the acoustic guitar player. We often just grabbed seats at the bar and listened to them play. Both men were very friendly and talented. Thomas learned a Pearl Jam song specifically for my husband (he had requested it the night before). We felt very honored. As for the shows in the Taj Mahal -- the first night was cancelled due to flooding from the previous cruise, and then there were the rough seas which made it impossible to perform...and then when we did make it to see a show, we we just weren't interested.
I feel like the game shows have become pretty raunchy. I'm only 28, but I don't enjoy watching people squeeze a coin between their buttcheeks and try to drop it in a cup. Um. Yeah, that's just gross. Oh, and this was when kids were in the theater.
Comedians weren't too funny. We went to see some R rated shows...and you know what? Dropping F bombs every 2 seconds doesn't make you funny. I LOVE comedy and have seen Dave Chapelle, Brian Regan and Bill Burr live...so I feel that I have something to compare them to. The asst. Cruise Director acted like a tool. He had his own comedy show one night. Sorry, didn't care for him.
We made new friends on the ship -- most passengers were very friendly. The general consensus was that we didn't get nearly enough time in Bermuda and then nothing for our troubles. Then, a waiter walked up and asked if we wanted anything.
Debarkation was easy, too -- had our luggage picked up the night before, and then we were able to grab breakfast, get our things and head off. We liked to wait until the lines died down before going anywhere -- made things much easier.
The best part of our cruise was meeting new people. We also loved eating seafood and going to the gym.
We didn't like how we always felt guilty for not buying someting every 2 seconds or feeling like we were bothering the crew.