Sail Date: May 2019
Grandure is a bit dated but if you are looking for classic cruising this is a good ship to meet those types of expectations. Royal has not updated this ship to include water slides and a wave runner. Because of this, the ship draws an ... Read More
Grandure is a bit dated but if you are looking for classic cruising this is a good ship to meet those types of expectations. Royal has not updated this ship to include water slides and a wave runner. Because of this, the ship draws an older crowd and there are few children, teens and college aged folks. Since the ship is older and lacks these amenities the price point is lower and attracts cotton tops on a fixed income and people who are looking for a bargain. The crew was awesome. It is not unusual for crew to try and remember you and your tastes but it seems that this crew really has a talent to make to feel you are the only person they are taking care of. I could write a review on Dan Burgess, the piano player in the Schooner Bar, and his talent for making connections and bringing an entire room of people together and making them have a great time. The food is standard Royal Caribbean offerings. I don’t find any uniqueness or variation in menu, quality or presentation from one RC ship to another. I believe corporate does this to maintain a homogenous expectation much like a chain of restaurants. I think this is a mistake because passengers feel like they are eating at the same chain restaurant every night and every cruise. The food in the MDR and the buffet are the same. The premium restaurants do serve a notch higher quality and portion and variety of menu. I would like to see RC put an exec chef of every ship and give them autonomy to create dining venues and offering that make one RC ship unique from another. My only truly negative feelings are of RC and their incessant and relentless jamming of dining, drink, internet, next cruise, jewelry, shore excursions etc etc. They are there to sell these things and I am here to buy them. Their nonstop, high pressure tactics is a HUGE turn off for me. Immediately upon entering the door of their terminal we were ordered, in a not so nice way, to empty all of our outside drinks on the ground. After checking in and even before getting to the ship we were hit up for dining packages, drink packages and the usual obligatory photo. I have no issue with this. Once on the ship, we were approached NINE (yes nine) times in the first hour to purchase premium dining. I began for feel this was rude and I had no problem being rude to anyone who approached me with a smile and a brochure by telling them to go away. Hitting the Windjammer for lunch as soon as you board is a bad idea unless you want to start your vacation by becoming angry. The spa personnel set up a table and greeted guests as you approached them instead of circling an area like a street beggar who is desperately pan handling for drug money. I purchased over $500 in spa services for my family. This is proof that slamming your guests with an army of beggars is not effective and creates a paradigm of anger that lasts for the entire cruise. If you are not a stickler for details and can turn a blind eye to sloppy repairs in public areas, worn furniture and scratches; then this may be a good fit for you. I would sail on Grandure again as the value is fair. If those little things bother you and mildew totally turns you off then you may want to look at Oasis class ships. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
7th cruise on the Pride for us and we have always loved the ship and staff. Pre/post-cruise Hotel: Stayed at the Best Western (Conference center) on Odonnell St which included parking and shuttle service. We have stayed here before ... Read More
7th cruise on the Pride for us and we have always loved the ship and staff. Pre/post-cruise Hotel: Stayed at the Best Western (Conference center) on Odonnell St which included parking and shuttle service. We have stayed here before mainly for the great shuttle. Hotel was OK, shuttle to the pier was good, coming home they waited until the van was full. Made 15 people wait for 1 spot to fill up even though they had a second, empty shuttle sitting there. Six of us had a 9 hour drive home. Got back to the hotel to find my truck with a nice new dent in the side. First time in 4 stays that my vehicle was damaged. The parking lot was jammed to capacity for this cruise. The Pride Embarkation: We arrived at 12pm, was on the ship by 12;30pm. Really nothing else to say, quick and painless. Staff: As always, the staff on this ship are great! Zero complaints again, their friendliness helped make our cruise enjoyable. Best part of sailing the Pride. Food: MDR food was very good as expected. We always try to eat in MDR as buffet is often tasteless and lukewarm at best. Deli was good, many new options. Pizza is decent and always open. Didnt have a burrito this time but had Guy's burger 3 times and always hit the spot. Stuck with plain cheeseburgers this time and added some tomatoes/onions....stock burgers are good but too much with sauces etc. I enjoyed adding my own toppings more. Cabin: Cabin was big and clean, our Steward was a very nice, hard working guy. He looked tired the entire cruise, was told they now have 35 cabins to clean. We had an aft balcony and enjoyed the views and lounge chair the Steward got for us after we requested one. Cabin noise from engines was pretty loud some nights. I sleep with earplugs so noise was ok but shimmying/movement could be a problem for some folks. Only smelled cigarette smoke on the balcony once. While was looking around for smoke a lady two decks up was also looking to see who was smoking. I loudly reminded whoever it was and no more smoke for rest of the cruise. No door slammers all cruise, if we could just get folks to turn off their balcony lights at night. Several very starry nights were enjoyed and several were spent enjoying light from next door. Overall we reaally got to enjoy the balcony. Ship condition: By day 5 of our 14 day cruise we were calling the Pride "Trusty Rusty." Lots of visible rust, windows seemed to be permanently stained with visible damage to tiles, trim work throughout the ship. Second Pride cruise in a row that the men's steamroom was out of order for almost the entire cruise (12 of 14 days) and sauna was out of order for 2 or 3 days. Spa staff kept telling me that they report to Maintenance but Maintenance doesnt respond. Passengers deserve a better answer to simple questions, these facilities are included in the almost $4000 I paid. Gym equipment never seems to get repaired. I had a pedal fall off a bike in Sept 2017, same bike in the gym is still broken with both bike pedals stuck in forward position. In three recent cruises the middle recumbent bike hasn't worked. This cruise 3 of 5 recumbents worked properly. They have removed some of the resistance equipment on upper levels to make room for their seminar/meetings to sell products/services to give you a flatter belly etc. This is the second pre-dry dock cruise we've done on the Pride. We got the impression on the previous one that they let some repairs slide until the dry dock. Might not be accurate but appearance is perception. Debarkation: Ship docked at 10am, we were in the paring lot by around 10:40am. This is really late for those of us with long drives home. Arrived home at 9pm after night time snow storms. An earlier debarkation would be welcome. Saw several blue, red and gold cards in priority debark lounge. Saw some asked by Staff to head to their waiting area in the theater and they just said no and did what they wanted. Half the folks there left luggage out the night before and then got in line with self-debarkation guests who were carrying luggage off. Lines and crowds were twice the size they should have been. If not carrying off your luggage stay out of the way folks! Wife and I carrying all of our luggage while walking behind 85 year olds with canes and no luggage struggling to walk because thy want to be first of the ship. If everyone followed the procedures set out these processes would go so much more smooth. To their credit I did hear Staff asking people to get out of line when they spotted people walking off without luggage. They make the line longer and when we walked past the luggage area their luggage wasn't even sorted/staged yet. ME-ME-ME Our next cruise is with NCL, while we'll cruise Carnival again I don't think we'll be back on the Pride anytime soon. Time to bring a new ship to Baltimore/NYC. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
The grand mother recommended the cruise with Royal Caribbean. The good food was great the staff where friendly the room attendant was great the waiter in the dinning room was great. The bad 2 broken hot tubs, Broken ice cream machine, ... Read More
The grand mother recommended the cruise with Royal Caribbean. The good food was great the staff where friendly the room attendant was great the waiter in the dinning room was great. The bad 2 broken hot tubs, Broken ice cream machine, unwashed windows, and rust abounding on the exterior of the ship. Now the Ugly I dropped my children off at the teen center on the ship for a "in room scavenger hunt" as described in the teen flyer. I come to find out it was a all over the ship scavenger hunt how easy at 10 pm. at night would it be for teen to be abducted and raped and thrown overboard? Brought the issue to guest services it was never addressed!!!!!!! More ugly RC claimed a port of call at coco cay which I hear from others frequently is cancelled so they flat out lied and offered no other port of call. Last of the ugly Shore excursions were great but very short not a good value. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Chose this cruise based off of price and date of vacation. There was not much to do for young adults. We were unable to go on our shore excursion and they tried to charge us extra for a supplemental excursion. Pricing was not clear for the ... Read More
Chose this cruise based off of price and date of vacation. There was not much to do for young adults. We were unable to go on our shore excursion and they tried to charge us extra for a supplemental excursion. Pricing was not clear for the Spa. Still had to pay for the entire cruise even though we had to leave early because of maintenance on the ship. Very disappointed with the overall experience. Only positive was the food and comedians on board. The ship is very outdated and it showed. One of the main features is the Casino so if you don't gamble there was not much to do. The ship has a small pool outside and inside. Most of the time the Jacuzzis were closed which was disappointing. We received multiple answers from different members of the guest services staff. This caused much confusion. Overall, I would not recommend going with this cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Love the friendliness of the crew, fantastic Captain with a great sense of humor! Itinerary was great. I did a B2B Canada/New England followed by Bermuda. When you go to the Centrum bar look up Madagascar, best bar tender in the ... Read More
Love the friendliness of the crew, fantastic Captain with a great sense of humor! Itinerary was great. I did a B2B Canada/New England followed by Bermuda. When you go to the Centrum bar look up Madagascar, best bar tender in the fleet. Food was mainly good, some meals could be improved upon. Deck 4 is the best deck in my opinion, right off the Centrum, close to dining room and embarkation/debarkation elevators etc. I had an interior cabin as ship was booked, NEVER AGAIN, they are small and very dry. My eyes are still recovering from the dryness as is my skin! You will love Captain Andre, he has his 2 little ones with him and 1 made an announcement for us to spend lots of money so her Dad could make more money to buy her and her little brother presents, lol. Love his personality’s!!! I was surprised as to how many children were onboard as school is in session, so it would be a great cruise for families with kids. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because it sailed out of Baltimore,MD and the destination was Bermuda. Upon arriving in Baltimore,MD at the port we were greeted with excellent service and smiles. The ship was awesome. It was impeccably clean and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed out of Baltimore,MD and the destination was Bermuda. Upon arriving in Baltimore,MD at the port we were greeted with excellent service and smiles. The ship was awesome. It was impeccably clean and well staffed. The staff was very friendly and welcoming. Our luggage was delivered promptly to our stateroom before we sailed. Our oceanview cabin 2064 was excellent. It was very clean, the bed was firm. There was plenty of storage space available in the closet, the drawers and in the bathroom. The dining on the ship was also very good.The Windjammer buffet offered the usual cruise like food. There was plenty of variety to choose from. The food was very fresh. Dining in the Great Gatsby dining room was great! The food was definitely gourmet. It was well prepared and presented. The dining room staff was very attentive. Greeted you with smiles throughout dinner. They made sure that you enjoyed your meal.The ship had plenty activities to choose from. You can relax at the sun deck, shop, or engage in the activities that were offered. We did not travel with children. I can't comment about the children's activities or services because we didn't use them. The age group on the ship varied from 25-70. Definitely an adult like cruise. The port at Bermuda Heritage Wharf was very nice and clean. It offers shopping and snorkel beach for those who did not want to venture out to Horshoe Bay upon arrival. Definitely do the excursion to Horseshoe Bay. It is absolutely beautiful. We were docked for two days. We chose to relax, however there are plenty of tours offered. It was a FANTASTIC cruise. Can't wait to sail again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I was not excited about driving into Baltimore Harbor but found the access eased by signage and staff at hand. Parking lot was tricky. More direction could be given when paying the parking fee when entering. Overall, my accommodations ... Read More
I was not excited about driving into Baltimore Harbor but found the access eased by signage and staff at hand. Parking lot was tricky. More direction could be given when paying the parking fee when entering. Overall, my accommodations with my daughter were excellent. The Stateroom attendant immediately noticed a light out and had it taken care of when we entered. The dining staff, main dining room, remembered our names and greeted us each evening. Problems we encountered: extremely hot water, be careful. Announcements by the crew were too loud and fast, considering the dialect as well. Could not absorb what was said. Dining very good, but some entrees were not enjoyed as much, though eaten. I liked seeing how the ship was anchored at each port, and for a fee, you can see how the ship is operated, met some of the crew, learned how the meals were prepared for so many, the bakery, the laundry, how the trash is prepared for pickup back in Baltimore, etc. Entertainment offered variety for all ages. Liked the least was shore excursions and I would advise choosing carefully, maybe not planning them at all and waiting until embarking each shore and talking with tour guides there. Look at all options for getting around if you choose to do the excursion on your own. I liked the city bus and the hop on/hop off buses, features of both. I do not feel that enough information is given or known about the excursions if planning aboard ship. You might consider also reading about the city you are going to visit before going there. The Boston tour guide was well informed of the history, in spite of traffic congestion and noise, (walking tour). The tour guide on the train of the Reversing Rapids Railway chatted too much about impertinent information and an attempt to steer her to more relevant information was futile. This excursion was most disappointing for the amount paid. I would travel again on Granduer of the Seas, and be more prepared to get the most out of the trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We were looking for a cruise from a port near enough to us so we would not have to fly to get there. Baltimore was closest and fairly convenient. The ship, although older, was fine. Very smooth sailing the entire voyage from Baltimore ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise from a port near enough to us so we would not have to fly to get there. Baltimore was closest and fairly convenient. The ship, although older, was fine. Very smooth sailing the entire voyage from Baltimore to Halifax. The food and service on board was excellent. Our Junior Suite was just the right size for a 9 night voyage. Shore excursions were mostly tours. We did the Zip Line in St John. Would have preferred there to be more options for physical activities when ashore. The ports on this itinerary were fine. We got to visit places we would have never seen without traveling on a cruise. The musical entertainment was not as good as I have been on other ships. Lots of inconsistency there. Finally, the ship's staff is constantly trying to up-sell you with drink packages, expensive restaurants, and rebooking. We could have done without that every day. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We went on this cruise to celebrate our 30th Anniversary. Adult kids stayed in a an inner room. Absolute friendliest cruise ship we were ever on! Activities Director is complete energy; hence her name Tornado Tanya. The Captain ... Read More
We went on this cruise to celebrate our 30th Anniversary. Adult kids stayed in a an inner room. Absolute friendliest cruise ship we were ever on! Activities Director is complete energy; hence her name Tornado Tanya. The Captain hung with us common folk at times. The Devils Isle kayaking/snorkeling/paddle-boarding excursion in Bermuda is worth it; funny energetic leaders that serve as bar tenders and inhibition reducers. They had " Rockie-Okie" where you could sing with a band, great way to serenade the Mrs of 30 years. If you like classical music with a twist, listen to Blue Ocean duo; Viola and "Spanish" guitar were heavenly. We were spoiled because the America's Cup is now in Bermuda and we got to see them in practice; TV does NOT do them justice. Balconies are worth it; always splurge for those! First time out of Baltimore and it was get in and onboard and off really quickly; you literally on I95 at your first right turn. Fitness area is smaller but the Trainer was extremely "peppy"; always motivating music! Get the drink package! The whole family loves to eat; we sat with two couples that loved to eat as well. Food was incredible as usual. Soups and steaks seem to be a specialties. Would absolutely go again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Great experience , good food, nice entertainment and crew was excellent!!! All areas from the pool, gym , sauna dinning facilities were extremely pleasant.... please see other related comments and suggestions listed below for your ... Read More
Great experience , good food, nice entertainment and crew was excellent!!! All areas from the pool, gym , sauna dinning facilities were extremely pleasant.... please see other related comments and suggestions listed below for your consideration: *The captain could have made more announcements i.e. from the initial departing and the return back to Baltimore... *Maybe thanking the guest for traveling with the Royal ship and hopefully asking if the guest had a good time etc. Overall the experience was positive, enjoyed the Bingo, the Comedians on the first and second night! The dancers were awesome really good choreography, the band Nexus was really good, enjoyed the 70 disco party and really enjoyed the respect and recognition given the the Military and the first res ponders!! The Belly flop contest was the least appealing due to exploiting the overweight passengers even though it was supposed to be in good taste....In my opinion all those guest were a heart attack waiting to happen instead of promoting good health..... Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
Chose this cruise due to the Ports of Call, location of departure and number of days. It was a relaxing cruise and the staff was the friendliest we have had on any Royal Caribbean Ship. This was a test for a cruise for more than 7 days ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to the Ports of Call, location of departure and number of days. It was a relaxing cruise and the staff was the friendliest we have had on any Royal Caribbean Ship. This was a test for a cruise for more than 7 days and we loved it. Great variety of food and drinks. One thing I do have to say is the ship is an older ship and you can see the age, but you also see the pride the employees put in it. Public bathrooms were an opportunity and smelled. First time on a ship that this was an issue. Sometimes I had to go back to my cabin to use the bathroom due to the poor cleanliness. Due to choppy waters, the Captain cancelled the Port of Call to Coco Cay and we did an overnight stay in Nassau. We did not get off the ship on the 1st day, but shopped the 2nd day. Fitness area was enough to get a great workout and I recommend. Overall- It was a fun and relaxing cruise; we booked another one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
I was on the Granduer for Christmas just last year. The only difference is that last year RCCL offered 2 week long cruises over the holidays, when this year it was 1 12-day cruise over both Christmas and New Years. Compared to last ... Read More
I was on the Granduer for Christmas just last year. The only difference is that last year RCCL offered 2 week long cruises over the holidays, when this year it was 1 12-day cruise over both Christmas and New Years. Compared to last year: 1. Qualtiy of food drastically went down. 2. Dinner menue selections were repetitive. 3. Quality of both dining room and cabin steward service drastically went down. 4. Entertain was just plain bad. Most in my group of 20 (who are Emerald & above Crown & Anchor members), either walked out of each show or sat through them and complained about how bad they were. 5. Only thing on the TV that ever changed was CNN and Sports. They continually ran the same episodes over and over and over. 6. All but 2 movie was geared toward children. Christmas children's and animated shows are expected, but after Christmas, they still ran the same kid's movies in the Palladium and on Pool Deck: Angry Birds, Minions, Annie were each show 3-4 times each. James Bond's Specter (1 time) and Suicide Squad (2 times) were the only adult movies shown and not until January 2nd, the 10th day of a 12 day cruise. 7. Never had an outdoor luch barbecue. I would not recommend the Grandeur, except for the fact that it leaves out of Baltimore, so we didn't have to fly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
It was our first cruise. The whole cruise experience was excellent and would definitely recommend to everybody. Positives - Food was superb. Service was excellent. Entertainment was good. Cruise Director Leigh was superb. The dining ... Read More
It was our first cruise. The whole cruise experience was excellent and would definitely recommend to everybody. Positives - Food was superb. Service was excellent. Entertainment was good. Cruise Director Leigh was superb. The dining room staff including Adrian, Shanti and Coco were very nice. Mohit the cook was really nice and very helpful. Spa and Fitness centre were very nice. Kids slides were very nice. Table Tennis, Basketball and Golf were very helpful for the kids and also for the adults. We took the Faster to the Fun and that was worth it. Negatives - The 2 pools were very small and could never accommodate more then 20 people at a time. The pool water was very very salty. All the activities for the kids were outdoor and when the weather was bad, the kids were confined inside with nothing to do. Some indoor activities for the kids would be nice. Overall I would highly recommend this cruise to everybody. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
We just returned from the March 9th sailing out of Baltimore....it was a real treat for us northerners to be able to drive to our cruise port!!.. This was a great cruise....there were quite a few college students on board as it was during ... Read More
We just returned from the March 9th sailing out of Baltimore....it was a real treat for us northerners to be able to drive to our cruise port!!.. This was a great cruise....there were quite a few college students on board as it was during Spring break....which actually was no problem....it kept the hot tubs tied up but other than that they were fun and added to the experience.....First of all....the staff were all excellent....I had purchased a soda card and never had to wait for service...and always pleasant....our cabin steward on deck 7 did an excellent job....Second....the food was very good at all the venues.....as a matter of fact we cancelled reservations for the steak house because we had such delicious beef for lunch that day in the buffet that we decided it wasn't necessary to go there....we went to brunch on two of the sea days in the Main Dining room....the steak and eggs were the best! We actually ate most of our meals in the buffet as we felt they had good food choices and the quality was very good....the late night Mexican buffet was really excellent and the deserts were often the same as the dining room and most times actually better....we didn't participate in excursions in Nassau or Freeport....just enjoyed strolling and shopping.....we took the shuttle in Port Canaveral to Cocoa Beach and Cocoa Village....the weather was a nice break from a harsh winter and it was one of the smoothest sailings we've been on ....overall we had a great time and felt the Carnival did an outstanding job at an affordable price. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Hi - Fairly experienced cruisers 10 w/Carnival and 24 overall. Just the two of us for this trip. Two days at sea going down the coast from Baltimore. Much warmer on the second day - and plenty of sunshine for lying outside. Carnival is ... Read More
Hi - Fairly experienced cruisers 10 w/Carnival and 24 overall. Just the two of us for this trip. Two days at sea going down the coast from Baltimore. Much warmer on the second day - and plenty of sunshine for lying outside. Carnival is what it is - discount cruising for the everyman... The food is good, and plentiful. Service is good and usually prompt. Shows are fairly routine, with the exception of the adult comedy which is above average. Nothing on the cruise would stand out as exceptional, but it's value for your money. Booked early enough you can't beat the price for what you're getting. We paid approximately 430 bucks each (this included taxes and port charges) for a balcony stateroom. You couldn't get a decent hotel alone for that price, and this includes shows and entertainment. The drinks are expensive be forewarned. We dropped 20 bucks for two drinks a couple of times. Elegance will not be found on this ship, or Carnival in general - folks this is the Wal Mart crowd at sea, and yes I shop there regularly. This isn't a bad thing, it's just that some of your fellow cruisers may not have been taught proper manners in public, or haven't heard the phrase "Use your indoor voice please..." Additionally there are a lot of kids running around pretty much unsupervised. One of the larger hot tubs is used as a pool by them - think kid stew and you have the flick here. The decor is Renaissance, yes there is some (very little) nudity depicted, in a classy artsy way. I've heard people complaining about the nudity on line - Puhleeze people how prudish and stupid can you be? It's classical art after all. Over all it was a good November getaway to warmer climates - we would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
My wife and I (Caribbean Cruise Bums) set sail on November 26, 2013 out of Baltimore. We arrived early in Baltimore to spend a day in the Inner Harbor, normally a lovely place. We expected cool temperatures but it was cold (low teens). ... Read More
My wife and I (Caribbean Cruise Bums) set sail on November 26, 2013 out of Baltimore. We arrived early in Baltimore to spend a day in the Inner Harbor, normally a lovely place. We expected cool temperatures but it was cold (low teens). When we departed on Grandeur Of The Seas, it was raining. As we exited the harbor into open seas, I could tell by the white caps that it could be fun (as in rocking & rolling). I am retired from the Navy and spent many months at sea in all types of conditions. As we headed south around the cape on day 2, the seas met our expectations. We had be rocking around a fair amount on the first evening, when we went to the wind jammer for breakfast and it was pretty empty, I knew it would be "easy pickins" around the ship for the day. During lunch, my wife and I went up to the very front of the wind jammer to eat. Place was pretty empty but those seas were just a rockin & a rollin. Plates flying everywhere, except ours (Navy trick: wet paper towels, place between table and plate to keep your chow in front of you). As we ate, we watched several waves wash over the bow and drench the windows. Not bad considering that the wind jammer is on deck nine. First time for us, on a cruise ship, that the swells were big enough to wash waves over the Bow. Swells were 30 - 45 feet. It was pretty fun if you don't get sea sick. Remainder of the cruise was pretty normal. Weather coming back in to Baltimore was rainey. Met a whole lot of new friends in the Diamond Lounge, more Pinnicles that I had ever seen or met on one cruise. Found my new travel agents (Louise and Andy from Worldwide Cruises). Met a number of new friends including Mark & Julie, Becky & Dennis, Denny & Kathy, Bob & Sheila, Mike & Donna and many others. Overall, the ship was fun and well managed. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This was my fourth cruise and my husband's first. While I had a good time, it was definitely not all that I remembered cruising with Carnival to be. The embarkation was simple and easy. The dining options and quality of food were ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise and my husband's first. While I had a good time, it was definitely not all that I remembered cruising with Carnival to be. The embarkation was simple and easy. The dining options and quality of food were absolutely SUBPAR! The most enjoyable food on this voyage was the Chocolate Molten cake on the evening dessert menu and the french toast. The public bathrooms tended to smell terrible so I always had to go back to my own room. We were located very close to the Taj Mahal and Butterflies lounge which were quite nice. The evening shows in the Taj Mahal performed by the Carnival Pride singers and dancers were hit or miss; the dancers were fantastic, the male singer was ok, and the female singer was quite disappointing (often sounding like she was screaming the songs, not singing). I felt like the Entertainment Hosts were overworked and I applaud them for not going crazy on some of the guests on my particular cruise. Pauly V, Harry, and Marissa all seemed like they were frazzled and in need of a break, so hey kids, cut them a break! The comedians were excellent, so great work Pauly V! The adult beverages were well priced and well made. The debarkation wasn't too terrible, other than the fact that when calling self assisted for level 1 all of the other levels decided that included them as well, making a longer debarkation time. For the price that we paid we got our money's worth, but as you can see all of these other little caveats to the trip cause me to be of the mindset that you get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Cruise from Baltimore to Canada and New England October 17-25, 2013. We chose this trip because a. It was from Baltimore, so we could drive to the port in less than an hour, and not have to worry about airline schedules or suitcase ... Read More
Cruise from Baltimore to Canada and New England October 17-25, 2013. We chose this trip because a. It was from Baltimore, so we could drive to the port in less than an hour, and not have to worry about airline schedules or suitcase limits. It turned out that more than half the people we talked to chose this ship and this port for exactly the same reason. b. The ship was big enough to have lots of activities. c. The activities were not so compelling that we had to forego our afternoon naps and early bedtimes. We were running on empty when we boarded, and took full advantage of getting off the grid and rocked to sleep. The food was good, but not so delectable that we couldn't say No to second helpings. The gym was well provisioned, and the trainer was enthusiastic and available for private sessions (harder to let slip than the classes). We loved Locomotion, a 3-piece-plus-singer group that we tried to catch every time they played. Their dance music was excellent. (Unfortunately the ship chose to feature them in the atrium, with its hard-on-the-feet marble floor, rather than the South Pacific Lounge with its exquisite wood floor, and our poor tootsies suffered from that.) Another group, Evergreen, also played dance music, but had an annoying habit of switching rhythms in the middle of their songs -- rumba had an interlude of swing, cha-cha was interrupted by samba... It was a challenge to dance. The final dance group Roots Vibration, was a Caribbean band, and did the best job of getting people on the dance floor (although not us -- we prefer ballroom to line dancing). The shore excursions? We have no idea. We didn't take any. They would have interrupted our afternoon naps. Staterooms were cleverly laid out -- we even had extra drawer space! Beds were very comfortable. Most amazing, although we were on deck 3 opposite the elevators and just under the atrium where all the activity was, we hardly heard a thing. How did they do that? Given the time of the year (no school vacations), and the itinerary (no ports where we could show off our buff bodies in bikinis and speedos), the average age on this cruise was much older than we've seen before. Many wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and oxygen tanks. Surprisingly, it wasn't a downer: everyone seemed to be having a good time, whether easily mobile or in the slow lane. That helped us enjoy it even more. Suggestion for Royal Caribbean: put a juke box into the South Pacific Lounge so those of us who want to REALLY dance can drop our quarters in when the room is not otherwise being used, and enjoy that beautiful dance floor.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
This was my 4th Carnival Cruise. We had an awesome time. We went to most of the shows aboard the ship and they were very good. We really enjoyed seeing Marcus Anthony and the various comedians. We also went to many of the trivia games. ... Read More
This was my 4th Carnival Cruise. We had an awesome time. We went to most of the shows aboard the ship and they were very good. We really enjoyed seeing Marcus Anthony and the various comedians. We also went to many of the trivia games. We went to the dining room each night with the anytime seating option. One night we had to wait 10 minutes for a table and on the first formal night we had to sit with another couple. (We could have waited 30 minutes if we wanted a table of our own but we opted to not wait.) Every other night we were seated right away. The dining staff was very nice and the food was good. Our inside cabin was nice. It was kept very clean and the bed was comfortable. Our state room steward was very nice and helpful. We had many pictures taken on the ship. The photographers were very nice and did an excellent job. When relaxing out in the sun it was very easy to get a drink as there were servers coming around all the time. There were a few things that we wished were a little different. The pool and hot tubs were small, and they all closed early each night. We were on vacation and would have liked to have the option to use them into the night, especially since they were so crowded during the day. Another thing, people save chairs and then leave them empty for hours with their belongings on them, especially in the Serenity area. Also, the pizza area has to change!! They make pizzas to order and sometimes you would have to stand in line for 20-30 minutes waiting to order your food and have it made. Also, we had an inside stateroom. We always bring an alarm clock with us so we know if it is day or night. However, on the Pride each stateroom only has one outlet. We had to keep unplugging the clock so that we could charge our phones, charge the camera, and plug in my curling iron. It was quite a pain. Another guest said that she brings along a power strip. What a great idea! We only had one issue on board during our trip. The last night room service called us at 1:30 am to say that our order was on its way. We were sound asleep and disoriented. A minute later when we realized that it was the middle of the night and not breakfast time we called back to say that we didn't order anything. They insisted we did. They knocked on our door and we told them that we didn't order anything so we refused the room service. A few minutes later the phone rang again and they insisted we ordered it. Long story short, we couldn't fall back asleep and had a 5 hour drive home the next day so we weren't too happy. To make matters worse, because we refused the room service they returned our breakfast order sheet to us (put it in the mailbox by our door) and would not deliver our coffee and breakfast the next morning. (So, no sleep, then no coffee. Nice!) Overall, this was an excellent vacation. The staff and the other guests on the ship were very nice and friendly. We had great weather. We visited some excellent places. There were a lot of activities to participate in. And, we got engaged onboard the ship, so that made the trip even better!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
This was our third cruise we have been on. We previously went on Norwegian in 1994 to the western Caribbean and Princess in 2002 to the eastern Caribbean, so it had been a while since our last cruise. I went on the cruise with my wife. We ... Read More
This was our third cruise we have been on. We previously went on Norwegian in 1994 to the western Caribbean and Princess in 2002 to the eastern Caribbean, so it had been a while since our last cruise. I went on the cruise with my wife. We arrived in Baltimore around 12:30 and got thru port security in about 30 minutes. If you are parking at the port, bring cash. It saved us a good 10 minutes waiting in long lines for people paying by credit card. There was nobody in line for cash payment. When we got on the boat, there was some food available at the Windjammer by the pool, nothing fancy or that good. There were a couple welcome things like dancing that was fun. Your luggage can sometimes take a while to get to your room, so bring a swimsuit if you want to swim or suntan lotion if you plan to lay out. I will review everything in sections: Food- we ate breakfast almost every morning in the Great Gatsby dining room. It was pretty good, though I was more impressed than my wife was with the pancakes and menu selection. She was more impressed by the granola/oatmeal bar available. I loved the selection of fresh fruit that was available for breakfast that was sadly missing at lunch. For lunch, we ate at the Windjammer every day we were on the boat. This was definitely the worst meal of the day. The selection changed slightly every day but was probably the low point of the trip for both of us. The desserts weren't that good (cookies looked like, felt and tasted like Frisbees), and the main courses were kind of dry. We should have tried the grilled food by the pool that looked much better than Windjammer, but somehow we didn't see that till the last day and it rained so it was out of commission. The lack of fresh fruit was really sad. They had one section with melon disguised as fruit salad but it had nothing other than a lot of honeydew. There were fresh apples and bananas but they were rotten when I grabbed them a couple times. There are no fresh berries of any sort to be found if you like that sort of thing. The dinner in the Great Gatsby was ok. There was a really good cold fruit soup every night. I had a couple good sides and things like really good steak fries and a high quality baked potato one night. The steak was not good, but I did really like the tender chicken and a cheese tortellini. In general the food was alright. My wife had a really good lobster meal the last night in the dining room, but otherwise, we weren't that impressed with everything. The desserts again were ok with the descriptions always coming off better than the delivery. The midnight buffet was a huge letdown as well. It was extremely dark in the area where the food was so you couldn't even see what there was. The ice cream was melted, and there wasn't anything that great to get anyways. The Park Cafe is a nice little different change of pace with sandwiches you couldn't find anywhere else on the ship. What we both absolutely loved was Chops Grill. We ate there the last night ($30 each) and got a 10 ounce filet that was amazing. My wife said it was the best one she has ever had and she has had quite a few steaks. The dessert was great too and the sides were amazing. Service/Waiters/Cabin Service- This was above and beyond fantastic on every level. The ship was always clean and people are always looking to see what they can do to make your experience better. Even though our food wasn't spectacular on the trip, our waiters were fantastic and friendly. Our cabin attendant constantly was getting me fresh ice and cleaning up our room. My only complaint, a couple waiters who came around the first couple nights during dinner pushing the dinner package to go to all the paid restaurants on board. Entertainment- Maybe the entertainment on Princess and Norwegian was so mediocre that I had a low expectation level of what the entertainment would be, but I was very happy with the entertainment. We had two very funny comedians, a comedian/magician that was very entertaining, three shows from the cruise line that reviewed the music of Motown, general music superstars and Broadway musicals, and a fantastic Motown group called Spectrum (best of the bunch) that was very entertaining. My only complaint was that the Broadway musicals could have used more familiar songs to sing. Boat Entertainment- I may be a giant loser, but I love trivia. There were plenty of trivia contests on this boat. I became a fixture in the Schooner lounge participating in lots of trivia contests. This is also where you can meet a lot of other passengers on board and make new friends. I also love karaoke and was there for all four nights of that. It is always fun to see who can get up there and surprise you. By far the funniest boat entertainment of the trip was the Quest game show. I can't even describe some of the things you will see people do for stupid prizes, but it is the must attend event of the cruise. There were a couple other events like the belly flop at the pool and the worlds sexiest man competition that are always fun. Personally, I try to participate in as many things as possible and get my money's worth, so I did all these things including putt putt golf tournaments, ping pong, wii tournaments, and line dancing classes. Just relax, have fun and go with it. Its vacation, and you will never see these people again so just enjoy the events. My only comment is that there were no poolside "events" for the ladies. The group running the entertainment was great. Andrew and Natalie seemed to be everywhere on the boat and they were fantastic. John the cruise director was funny and accessible, and my wife and I had a fun time laughing at how many times he will use the word fantastic. The band playing in the centrum was the low point of the entertainment for us. My wife and I got a kick out of the fact that the band name was locomotion and they were a sleepy boring jazz band (and I like jazz). The poolside reggae band plays about the same 20 songs on loop, but there were decent. Port of Call- Bermuda is absolutely the best island/port of call we have ever been to, bar none. It is amazingly beautiful. Everything is pristine. Every other island I have ever been to has a resort and horribly poor areas you drive to on the way to the resort. I didn't see a single place in Bermuda that was run down or not taken care of. Kings Wharf, your docking area is a nice little town. On the last day I hit the snorkel beach. I saw a ton of cool fish and I just used my swim goggles. The guy at the rental desk even gave me a snorkel to use for free! If you are going around the island get the bus/sea pass. It is well worth it. The second day of our trip, we went to Hamilton (via boat) and shopped some and toured the city on our own. Highlights include the beautiful Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, and the Sessions House (Bermuda Supreme Court). We then took the bus to the Botanical Gardens. That was ok, but free. We then caught another bus to Horseshoe Bay. Words cannot do justice to this spot. I had heard it was going to be crowded and crazy. We got there around 2pm and by 3pm a lot of people had cleared out, but it didn't matter. This is one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen in my entire life. I put it up there just behind Yosemite and some areas of Hawaii. I climbed up to the top of the giant rock formation there and took a TON of amazing pictures. I cannot encourage you enough to go to this spot. It was the highlight of the trip for me. On the third day, we went to St. George via boat. This town is the oldest in Bermuda and it is gorgeous. It is the jewel of Bermuda with quaint streets and beautiful buildings. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it shows. We happened upon a free tour of the city about the history of the site and it was extremely informative. We also walked the streets extensively and shopped some. Bermuda was an amazing experience. I do a lot of running as well, and during our only full day there, I woke up early and ran on the railway trails 12 miles around the island. It is an amazing way to see the island and side roads. Spa/Fitness- I work out every day on my vacations so having a place to workout is great. The track says 4 laps to a mile (not true), and its hard to get a good run in when people don't know you are on a track, but who cares. You are on a boat on a vacation. The workout place could have been a little bigger. The classes are for those who don't really work out hard and that's fine. The spa prices were so outrageous we didn't even utilize it. Overall- This was my favorite cruise I have ever been on. The destination certainly helped, but the service and crew really put it over the top for me. As stated earlier, my only downgrade was the food and quality of it. Other than that, I loved the ship. It was the smallest boat we have ever been on but I think that made it easier to get around and know more people. We stayed at the far end away from everything. Sure it was more walking, but it was completely quiet. I loved the cruise and unlike the last two I took, I can't wait to take another one now. My only suggestions for the boat- Have a non-smoking night at the casino. Its not fun to gamble when you can't breathe. If you have a sign in the dining room that says no hats or bootie shorts, then don't let people come in and eat with hats and shorts. I am the guy who never dresses up and even kind of dislike having two formal nights on a boat, but since that's the rule, follow the rule. I saw people coming in with tank tops and stripper shorts. I wouldn't care if you didn't have a sign saying its not allowed. Just like the no saving seats at the pool thing, they tell you that its not allowed but do nothing when people do it. Why bother? Either enforce the rule or don't even have it.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
My (grown) daughter and I wanted to cruise - just the two of us. We had been on Carnival Conquest before, during Spring Break (fun, but really busy, seemed overcrowded and a bit impersonal) This was a change: beginning of summer, smaller ... Read More
My (grown) daughter and I wanted to cruise - just the two of us. We had been on Carnival Conquest before, during Spring Break (fun, but really busy, seemed overcrowded and a bit impersonal) This was a change: beginning of summer, smaller ship. Not sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised at the more relaxed atmosphere. We loved the Serenity area aft - very relaxing and laid back. Embarkation was great. When we arrived on the ship, all the staff would acknowledge and greet us. I thought this was just going to be at the beginning of the cruise, but all of the staff was very aware throughout the entire cruise of making a connection with us. They were never too busy to make eye contact and greet us. This was also the first time that I can say that the Muster Drill was actually interesting. One of the guys leading our group was very adept at making it a creative performance! We found out later that he was the guitarist/singer in the band Music Society. We discovered the Piano Bar at some point near the end of the cruise. Can't remember the name of the piano player but he was amazing - talented musician: at the piano and also singing. He was able to get the entire (full) bar to sing along with him. This ship and staff seemed to be able to engage all the guests in the activities. All of the guests seemed to enjoy themselves. We also discovered early on the four piece band Music Society. Again, extremely talented. There was also Jerry, who played guitar and sang in the lobby for many nights. We learned that this was his last stint on this cruise. So, so talented. He could sing and imitate voices like any musician - could do country classics to Motown. Amazing. Very personable. Overall, excellent. Love the Pride! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
If it was your first cruise you may like it or others who have rated it highly may have liked it. This was our fourth cruise. By far the worst. For many they have no comparison as to what other cruise lines are offering..so they may it ... Read More
If it was your first cruise you may like it or others who have rated it highly may have liked it. This was our fourth cruise. By far the worst. For many they have no comparison as to what other cruise lines are offering..so they may it is the best. It was not that Carnival services were horrible or the staff was not up to par with other cruise lines (they weren't but they weren't bad), or we had a bad experience with a particular thing - simply if you have been on other cruises it is horrible. Here are the reasons why: Shows or Entertainment: HORRIBLE. I wish I can copy and past the daily activity schedule. Well I can, just a white space. In their activity schedule they have food, what restaurants are serving today, what is at a salad bar. Where are the Broadway style shows, where are ice sculptures, what happened to magic show, what happened to talent show, what happened orchestra, what happened to physical exercises (like yoga every day or meditation or other physical activities). Their evening shows that my wife generally never misses could not stand it for more than 15 minutes. Trust me we tried all of them and got of our seats within 10-15 minutes. Their show halls were empty. There were hardly people there. Food: BAD. The buffet was closed most often - try it yourself. There hours of operation were such if you come at an odd time like 3 or 4 they are closed. The only food place open was the Grill that offered (chicken stripes, hamburgers) or pizza place. The food at these was ok, but were on a cruise for 7 nights. We are not food hogs, but we like to have a late night meals sometimes, SORRY IT SAID "BUFFET CURFEW" Seriously, as others before you get on a cruise if they have been on cruises that close their buffets at 11:00 p.m. no cruise line does. In the dinning hall the food was made by Indians - so it had a curry flavor to every thing. BUY, BUY, AND BUY. All activities were tailored for you to buy something. So instead of having professional entertainers they had professional sales representatives: selling you "drink of the day." Art gallery was open and was on the activity schedule so you can buy a painting. OR poor photographers working 12-15 shifts for us to buy pictures and taking our snap shots, so we can be enticed to buy at least one picture for $22.00. Sorry! We took a lot of pictures enjoyed them on the pedestal and then left it for them to trash it! NO HEAT. The ship has no heat. Seriously! If you are taking a winter cruise going out of Baltimore you will be cold for 1.5 nights and then for 1.5 days coming back. I would suggest take another cruise line, spend $100 or more per person and enjoy the food, and particularly the entertainment. Our celebrity cruise was so amazing totally worth paying $150 per person for that cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
Where to Begin ? : : : Embarkation is definitely not one of favorite parts , Priority Boarding is the way to go if you can afford it , granted it wasn't bad ... just took awhile ! Once we got on-board we where good to go , our room ... Read More
Where to Begin ? : : : Embarkation is definitely not one of favorite parts , Priority Boarding is the way to go if you can afford it , granted it wasn't bad ... just took awhile ! Once we got on-board we where good to go , our room was ready when we got there an was able to drop off our carry on luggage as well as just check out the room an get to meet our porter for the week ... whom impressed us so much that We can't even remember the person's name , sorry but if they can't remember ours .. We don't feel that bad about not remembering there's .. granted our room was cleaned when we asked and ready to sleep in when we got there at night .. so all in all the room Stewart was good , just not memorable . The first day is always a whirl wind , however we did get to relax an just refresh our selves with the ship being we have been on her before . which made for a quick refresh for us as well as the the other family we where traveling with . We love the decor .. some complain , others comment , we kind of just go with , it is what it is .. deal with it and move on ! { My Time Dining } for the week worked out well for us being we where traveling with our 8 year old daughter whom was not always ready to eat when we where , yet when she was ... there was no problem with getting a table as well as a couple of nights we chose to go a little later then others .. think the worse we had was about a ten minute wait ,, which is allot less then if we went out to eat at our local restaurant an had to wait ! Cruise Critic get together was a BLAST .. Carnival hooked us up with the Butterflies Lounge being there was 25 to 30 people involved .. granted no drinks or food included ,, yet we did have the space which made for a good time had by all ( Thanks wshearn as well as shakybeef ) for setting it all up . The shows where good , you can fit more shows into one week for free then you could ever try to pay for on land an not get the quality as well as diversity that you get on a cruise ship . And a shout out to Mike Macey the Comedian whom had all of us in stitches ,, the children's version he did was good and toned down .. yet the adult version he did at the late night had us ( ME ) in tears we where laughing so hard . Also another shout out goes to { Kevin from New York City , NY } who was part of the entertainment team who besides doing the shows ,, he also kept us as well as our daughters entertained doing trivia as well as the pool party get together ! Another shout out goes to { Roger } in the Ivory Piano Lounge whom we spent many late night with an with out the kids singing songs an laughing an just having a great time had by all .. ( P.S. another little shout out goes to our fellow cruisers .. Jason / an Tommy .. who where awesome singers (ringers) that kept the music flowing ! ! Excursion's : We did the Air Boat / Alligator trip in Florida which was nice then we went to Coco Beach for some quick shopping ... wish they would of done the beach tour first so that it was warmer when we took the Air Boat Ride .. perhaps then we would of seen more gators . As far as Nassau & Freeport go .. we usually just go for a walk in Nassau to a beach about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the port .. ( out of the terminal / make a right .. down to SR Frogs .. then just follow the side walk to the beach ) we stayed on in Freeport an just watched the runners as they returned to the ship ... never gets old watching people run to the ship ... especially when they know it is leaving at one and they get there at one ten ... lucky for them it was a Carnival Excursion .. so we had to wait So as of now , we have been having a blast ... now comes the topper to the trip . Our daughter who was due on 2/28/13 ended up going into labor the day we where returning 2/17/13 , so that morning around 5 AM the texting started with the pleads of where are we ,, I want my MOMMY get here now .. LOL .. you get the point ! We spoke to the people at the help desk , whom again pointed us over to ( Kevin from New York,NY ) who was able to get us to the front of the line .. and I do mean the front of the line . Bridget an Myself was behind a Young Lady in a wheel chair about to get off the ship , when the Women in the wheel chair told the porter to move the )(*&^%$#@! over so we could get by ... we laughed , Thanked Her .. and by the time we reached the bottom of the ramp they where pointing where we should go .. as we got to Customs .. they said that they where waiting for us to get there .. lol .. and gone ! between the gangway getting off the ship / to in our truck an on the road was 5 minutes . PS .. Our Newest Grand Child Was Born At 1:11 PM .. An we where there for the Birth ! ! ! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Loved: Excellent service, courteous wait-staff, high quality on-board entertainment, memorable experience Improve: Not enough time at the beach/ports, had to pay extra to get around the islands, on-board spending can get pricey if ... Read More
Loved: Excellent service, courteous wait-staff, high quality on-board entertainment, memorable experience Improve: Not enough time at the beach/ports, had to pay extra to get around the islands, on-board spending can get pricey if you're not careful, WIFI is expensive, may be disappointed with shore excursions The ship itself is designed like a palace - gorgeous architecture, fine detail, and stellar decor - think Titanic minus the iceberg and the sinking, as you will be sailing into the tropics. The ship staff members are courteous, kind, and attentive to your needs - they work very hard to ensure a fantastic experience for you! The ship was very clean at all times. The stateroom always had a freshly-made bed with chocolates on the pillow and a towel animal surprise! The quality of the food is spectacular - imagine dining at a five-star restaurant every evening, at no extra cost. An abundance of options and flexibility were some of the defining traits of this cruise. Want to have a formal dinner? You've got it. Want a quick snack any time of day? Eat your heart out! The quality of the on-board entertainment was excellent - we found the comedy club and theater shows to be very tasteful. They hire some of the most talented people to entertain you! Lots of activities are available for you & your family. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time in port/at the beach, as we were rushed to the ship in fear of it departing (yes, it will leave without you, and you will get stuck in some tropical paradise without your baggage, at the mercy of the natives). You will also have to pay extra to get around the islands, so budget for transportation. The island natives are friendly, but may be a bit too pushy with their goods and services - you have to be firm in saying "no." Lastly, on-board spending can get pricey if you don't budget properly (internet/phone usage, the bar, and the casino can eat up a good thousand if you aren't careful)! All-around fantastic experience. Overall, I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone considering! The Food: The food was divine. All-you-can-eat, all day long - the American dream. Lots of options to choose from: you can enjoy a restaurant meal in the formal dining room, or catch a quick bite to eat at the cafeteria. The (free) sushi bar and round-the-clock ice-cream were a nice touch! For the food connoisseurs, there is a paid steak-house on the top level (at $35/meal), which is said to be well worth it! Stateroom: Clean (your bed is made every day), peaceful, gorgeous view of the ocean (especially at sunrise/sunset), comes with plenty of storage space, expect chocolates on your pillow and towel animals as an added bonus! Ship Staff: The staff members are fantastic. Be prepared for royal treatment! Each staff member works very hard to ensure that you have an excellent experience - give them some proper recognition. They make the magic happen! Entertainment: Excellent variety of options and flexibility. Comedy shows were very tasteful and entertaining. They choose some of the best entertainers to come out and show the cruisers a good time! The casino is full of fun and games if you're into that sort of thing - I felt like I was in Vegas! Lots of opportunities to win prizes, dance, and have fun. Overall Rating: ***** Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
My husband and I booked this cruise as an opportunity to get away by ourselves and take a relaxing break from our hectic lives. We live in Maryland so the ability to cruise out of Baltimore which is 45 mins from our home is an added plus. ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise as an opportunity to get away by ourselves and take a relaxing break from our hectic lives. We live in Maryland so the ability to cruise out of Baltimore which is 45 mins from our home is an added plus. Since this cruise departed on Jan 5, just after the holidays, it was certainly priced to sell cabins- almost too good to be true. My husband and I talked about the low price, and did worry that there would be cut backs on the ship before we departed, but we decided that if we just had some good weather and could be enjoying the sunshine on deck, we would be happy. The weather certainly was good, minus the first day after departing Baltimore, and the day before we returned to Baltimore. That is to be expected, it is winter in the North East! The ship recently went into dry dock and came back with 3 nice new additions- A poolside outdoor theater, a new food venue in the Solarium called the Park Cafe, and a new Centrum lobby area. All were appreciated- we did enjoy watching movies and sporting events pool side, and the Park Cafe which I think is linked to their Specialty Restaurant Chops was pretty good. I will also say that while our large outside cabin was actually quite small, it was comfortable enough and kept clean by our very attentive room steward. This is where my positive comments end. We got on the ship and were told that the ship had an out break of Noro Virus on the previous sailing. Noro Virus and severe colds were prevalent on our voyage. My husband, who probably has not been sick once in the past 10 years came down with a terrible cold, along with our cabin steward, bartenders, and many other guests and crew. On the cold days, it made sense to spend time in the Solarium. The Solarium has a glass retractable roof. The problem is that the roof is never opened. The temperatures and humidity quickly became stifling in the Solarium each day to the point where the crew who worked in there would be dripping with sweat. In addition, the Park Cafe is in a corner of the Solarium, so the servers and the sandwiches and salads in this area are also subjected to the extreme conditions here. Needless to say, the Solarium was a breeding ground for germs. I was told that the sunroof was most likely broken, as it had not been opened in the 5 months that this crew member had been on board. A little fresh air in the Solarium would have solved it's problems. The gym is another area that both my husband and I enjoy spending time in. It became clear on day 1 at sea that the gym suffered from similar problems to the Solarium. A small space, with motorized equipment causing heat, bodies causing heat, and no air flow and little A/C. While we are certainly used to sweating in a gym, this area was extreme. Even the personal trainer would have a moat of sweat around him 15 minutes into his spin class. To make matters even worse, the treadmills would routinely loose power most mornings- apparently a known issue on the ship. So imagine you are going for a run, getting into your workout, and boom, the treadmill stops dead. Now cool down, wait 15 mins, and maybe the power will be restored. The gym was surely another germ breeding ground. After a few days, we had to stop going to the gym. Another way you might like to relax on a ship is in a sauna or steam room. This ship had none, except for something called a steam shower. Apparently the sauna and steam room were removed to make space for more spa treatment rooms. The steam shower is basically a shower that has steam in addition to the shower head. The sign says it takes 10 minutes to warm up, but it really took 30. You if you went and turned on the steam shower to use it, chances are that when you came back after the warm up period, someone else was in it. It was lame. The entertainment was another dept that the ship was really lacking in. The cruise director, Luke Arrowsmith was mediocre at best. He was pretty good at a 70's party in the atrium, but that was it. The dancers and singers were lovely people, but their shows were not enjoyable. We had 2 comedians that really fizzled in the late night comedy show. The magician was OK. The best acts were a juggler, and a Celtic band called the Rouges that basically played for free on the ship (RCCL did not pay them). We did have a fun poolside farewell party out of Labadee, but just as everyone was dancing and partying, guess what? The sound system lost power! The pool band was a reggae band- the band was good, but the singer sounded like he was screaming at you. After about 15 minutes of them playing, people would start to complain about getting a headache. The absolute worst part of this cruise was the food. The Windjammer served SLOP. We ate there once and never went back. The main dining room was a step up from the Windjammer but not much better. They did have a decent salad bar in the dining room at lunch that made you custom salads kind of like the restaurant Chop'T. On lobster night, the lobster tails were mush. We did try to eat in the Park Cafe, as they had a good roast beef sandwich and good paninnis, but after 4-5 days of that, you get tired of it, and remember it's in the Solarium, so it's really hot and humid in there. In general the fresh baked bread was good all around the ship. We decided to try the specialty restaurant Chops one night. While it was OK, compared to specialty restaurants on other cruise lines, it was not worth the extra money. The NY Strip steak was tough, and the onion rings were frozen from the box. Chops was pretty much empty the night we went there, which said it all. Also, our waiter there did not know much about the menu, he told us he was new and not properly trained. We go the same story from our dining room busboy. He tried really hard, and we are grateful for that. We like to drink wine, so we bought the Platinum wine package. We had looked over the wines on the list before the cruise, and decided to go with it particularly for the Mondavi red and white wines on the list. When we tried to order this, we were told that they did not have those wines, and did not have them for many weeks. We really felt deceived. By the last dinner, I felt like I was slowly being poisoned by the food. The one plus about the dining room was the table seated next to us. We became good friends with this family, and had a lot of fun with them throughout the cruise. If they were not there, I probably would even be more negative in this review. We've been on over 20 cruises, and never before did we feel like we couldn't wait to go home. Guess there is a first for everything. Read Less

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