We just returned from a 7 day cruise on Carnival Pride leaving out of Baltimore, Maryland. We chose this cruise as there were 5 adults and we were hoping to save a few dollars by driving from Cobourg, Ontario, Canada (a 10 hour drive) and saving on the air fare. This worked out really well as we spent just over $200.00 in gas divided by 5 that worked out to a big savings!
We also went a day early and stayed at the Best Western Plus BMI Airport. It cost me $141 with taxes and we left our vehicle there for the whole week. They provided a shuttle to and from the Port and it was only about a 30 minute wait to be picked up. Other than tipping the really nice driver, there were no additional costs and the hotel was really clean with a nice breakfast included.
We were not really optimistic after reading some negative reviews about the Pride but were pleasantly surprised as the ship was much nicer than we anticipated. We had previously travelled on the Liberty and noted a real difference in the ambiance but once we got used to it, we were very comfortable.
The only downside of cruise was that we left Baltimore in the cold weather and with 2 days at sea, it did not warm up until we reached the Bahams so no one was really out using the pool. There were two pools but for some reason they only had one open the entire time although all 3 hot tubs were working. The adult only section on the Serentiy deck was really comfy with hammocks, and large loungers. We had 3 in one cabin and two in another with adjoining baloncies which they opened up for us so that we had one large balcony. We lost a little bit of the view from the open door blocking slightly but it was well worth it. The extended balcony was nice too with plenty of leg room. We had two smokers with us so we used the balacony quite a bit.
I will note that the cabin was not as clean as I would have liked. Our stewart Joel introduced himself when we arrived and was really friendly but there were tooth paste splatters on the backsplash in the bathroom and the glass shelves were dusty and dirty. This never changed through the whole week. There was also hair on the desk where the last person had been blow drying their hair and the main part of the cabin was dusty. On the 4th day, our room stewart changed and the new one we got completely missed cleaning our friends room next door in 7162 on one occasion. They also never re-plenished our room service cards so if we wanted to put it on the door to have coffee brought to our room in the morning we couldn't.
Compared to the Liberty, the food on this ship was not quite as good. A number of times our food was cold in the middle i.e. lasagna. The diningroom staff were fabulous. Our server Heidi was absolutely the best and we made a point to eat in the diningroom the last night just so we could say good-bye.
There was a manager looking after the Lido Deck buffets that seemed to be constantly there and if you even looked like you were having an issue he was right there to help. I went up to get a decaf coffee and the machine was out so he immediately had someone bring me a coffee to my table.
I previously mentioned the Serenity deck for adults only that was really relaxing but the only downside was when we decided to use the pool and there was a brown slick floating on top. I am not sure if it was a culmination of suntan lotions or what but it looked really nasty so we did not use it.
This being my 3rd cruise and the 4th for my daughter who was with me we tend to not get too worked up about things that might not be quite right. There were far more positives than negatives and I would say the cruise was an 7 out of 10. We really enjoyed the Kennedy Space Center tour (our first time), and Bahamas was beautiful. The "straw markets" were pretty much all selling the same things but we noted in Nassau that you could dicker on prices. Our friends booked an excursion for beach resort and shopping in Freeport. The weather was not looking great when we arrived but it turned out to be a nice day and our friends said the beach was fabulous and the resort very modern and clean. The shopping was walking distance from the beach so they just sauntered over.
The grand finale for our trip was dinner at David's Restaurant on the ship. Please don't miss out if you can help it, the food was absolutely fabulous!
Would we go on the Pride again? Probably not. For those that like a quiet serene cruise you should definitely consider it but we rather liked the party atmosphere of the Lido deck on the liberty. I love to people watch and found there wasn't much of anything to watch on the Pride as it seemed that people did not really congregate to any one particular spot on the ship. Everything was sort of spread out. That said, we will definitely use Carnival again for our next cruise as we already purchased our certificates that are good for the next 2 years with a $100 credit.