Here is our review of the Carnival Pride for the cruise starting February 13, 2005. Some background information, I am 38, my husband is 41, our son is 15. This was our ninth cruise, but first cruise on Carnival, and first cruise where we had an inside cabin.
Things we liked? The itinerary. The price. The food. Our cabin. Our cabin steward and his assistant. The Mermaid Grille - especially the deli. The layout of the ship -- the ship flows very well -- it never seemed crowded (except when people lined up for dinner!). The wait staff at every meal -- very polite and prompt. The bands. The lounges. The comedy show on the last night. Cruise Director's Staff. Hot stone massage -- yes it was expensive, but it was a good massage. The therapist made no effort to sell me anything else and was knowledgeable and did a good job. There was live ballroom type dancing every night somewhere on the ship -- we don't dance ourselves, but liked watching it and thought it was a nice touch that you don't see very much anymore. David's Supper Club -- the food was good, the service great and fortunately the large anatomically correct statue of David has its back to the dining room!
Things we didn't like? Assigned seating at dinner -- we had the tablemates from you know where! Chair hogs around the Venus pool! Keep walking and you will reach the Apollo Pool -- it seemed like everyone went to the Venus pool and didn't realize there was another pool. The Apollo Pool was consistently less crowded. The lack of activities that were not bingo or other gambling. There was some trivia, but it was sparsely attended. There also seemed in the evening like there was very little to do except for the one show. Especially between 6-8 p.m. The staff at the pursers desk was somewhat abrupt -- I had questions about airport transfers on Sunday, Feb. 20 and the clerk acted like I was bothering her. The staff in the gift shop. The male clerk who works in the liquor store area is very rude and condescending. It really stood out because he was rude to me twice and it was a very unusual experience for me -- everyone else was SO nice. The first time I asked him if they carried dark rum and the second time (a different day) I asked to buy one of the liquor transport boxes. He very abruptly told me that they were not for sale and turned away from me. A box is a small thing to give or sell a customer. Especially after I had bought a lot in the gift store and was trying to figure out how to get it home. It struck a bad note with me and unfortunately, that and the pursers desk experience happened on Saturday and gave a bad last impression.
Embarkation -- it was not great waiting outside. However, I can see that Carnival has no choice on this as so many people need to get on the ship and the terminal building is not set up to accommodate them. Pool side drink service -- unless you wanted a drink of the day in a souvenir glass you were pretty stuck. They would take your order but be gone forever. Going up to the bar was no better. On port days there was no poolside service.
PHOTOGRAPHERS!!!! -- In Puerto Vallarta there was 4 photographers to get through before you could get off the ship. You could barely turn around without someone asking if you wanted your picture taken.
We didn't use the casino, didn't go to Bingo, didn't take any shore excursions (did our own) and didn't use the Camp Carnival. We didn't care for the dEcor of the ship, a little over the top for us. However, the ship was very well maintained and very clean. I also didn't find the announcements to be overwhelming.
Overall, this was a great trip. We feel that we received excellent value for our money. I would recommend this trip to anyone. The negative things I mention were little annoyances -- certainly not enough to spoil our trip.
If I can answer any questions -- ask away -- I would be happy to try to help.