A passenger on Carnival Pride could sit in one spot during the length of the cruise and get more entertainment than is to be found on the Las Vegas strip. We were really impressed with the quality of the singers, bands and production shows, and marvel at the creativity of the cruise director's staff.
The Taj Mahal Theatre, the ship's main show lounge, is a state-of-the-art venue in which elaborate production shows take place. At night, Playlist Productions offer short, 30-minute song-and-dance experiences with themes ranging from Havana Nights to the '80s. During the day, families can enjoy and even participate in a live staging of Hasbro, The Game Show -- contestants compete in a variety of challenges taken from Hasbro's classic board games for prizes and for fun. Some of the support posts in the theater interfere with sightlines, but with three floors of seating space, finding an unobstructed view isn't too difficult.
Dance the night away at Beauties Dance Club or laugh until your ribs hurt at the Punchliner Comedy Club -- there's plenty to do at night while the kids are hanging out at their own age-appropriate clubs.
Pride's many bars and lounges have individual entertainment, whether a jazz trio (as in the Raphael Lounge), a country singer (as in the casino bar), or a cool and funny pianist (in the Ivory Piano Bar). Alchemy Bar's lounge area on Pride is one of the largest and most refined on any Carnival ship. Enjoy a handcrafted tipple or devise your own cocktail using a prescription pad in the bar and lounge's modern apothecary-style atmosphere.
Feeling like a brew and a ball game? Head over to EA Sports Bar for draft beer, bar snacks, and EA-branded video games with big-screen TVs playing live games. The RedFrog Pub is right next door, serving up the line's custom ale along with other beers and tropical cocktails.
The pools on Lido Deck have their own sets of entertainers: a Calypso band for the Venus pool area, a DJ for the Poseidon pool at the very aft. All of them are very good, and add substantially to the cruise experience. Newer additions to the Lido Deck are the Carnival mascots' watering holes, RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIgunana Tequila Bar -- whatever your poison, both are fantastic spots to escape into the shade and refresh.
But, when it comes to entertainment, nothing can compete with the ingenious shenanigans of the cruise director's staff, and the games and activities they devise to keep the ship hopping. There are the usual, of course -- Newlywed game, trivia contests and the like -- but then the creativity begins. Scavenger hunts, pub crawls, pool games that entail stuffing items in bathing suits or relays that require wiggling with balloons between legs, and of course the Men's Hairy Chest Contest (there isn't one for women). Those who don't choose to participate certainly have a great time cheering from the sidelines, but the level of participation is surprising and reaches across all ages. The Hairy Chest winner on our cruise was a 53-year-old electrician from northern California, who clinched the title with his flawless rendition of a Tarzan yell.
There is also an enormous casino with every imaginable table game and slot machine; dance classes, bingo, and art auctions; talent shows for both the adult guests and the kids (in Camp Carnival); dances in the evening either on the aft end of Lido Deck or in one or more of the clubs inside; and one of the best ideas yet -- a teens-only dance several times during the week, 12 to 17 only, adults not allowed.