76 Baltimore Romantic Cruise Reviews

This was my 3rd cruise, second time with Carnival. This was also my boyfriend's first cruise. We made the short drive from Pittsburgh to Baltimore the day before sailing and stayed at the Wingate by Wyndham as they offered a park ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise, second time with Carnival. This was also my boyfriend's first cruise. We made the short drive from Pittsburgh to Baltimore the day before sailing and stayed at the Wingate by Wyndham as they offered a park and cruise package that was EXTREMELY convenient. For about $45 more than parking at the port, we were able to arrive the day before and relax without the stress of traveling to port the morning of sailing. We purchased the Faster to the Fun package which was WELL worth the money. We arrived at the port around 1:30 and the line was extremely long outside of the terminal. We we able to go straight to the front of the line and into the terminal to be screened by security. After being quickly screened, we were ushered to the priority counter where we received our sail and sign cards and had our photos taken for ship security purposes. Then we were off to the gangway, again being ushered to the front of the line! We were on the ship in less than 25 minutes of getting off the hotel shuttle!!!! We then went straight to our room to drop off our carry ons. Needless to say that since it only took us 25 minutes to get to out room our luggage had not yet arrived. Not a big deal for us as we had everything we needed in our carry on bags. Our luggage ended up arriving several hours later though, NOT priority like the FTTF package promised. We had a balcony cabin on the 8th floor mid ship. Just a note that some of these rooms are located directly beneath the service pantry in the Mermaids Grill. At times there were loud noises from the kitchen but we weren't bothered by this. If you are a light sleeper, spend a lot of time in your room, or this would otherwise annoy you, I would highly recommend staying on a different floor. Also, the staterooms and their decor are very outdated. Our room had a picture tube TV. Those updates would have been nice as I am picky LOL but since we didn't spend much time in the room and got a great deal on this cruise we were able to easily overlook this. Next we were off to purchase the Cheers beverage package at the lobby bar and get some frosty beverages in our hands ASAP! Food everywhere on the ship was overall very good. We ate in the MDR 4 nights and also enjoyed the Chef's Table dinner. We HIGHLY recommend the Chef's table with Chef Dev. It was an AMAZING experience and the best meal I have ever eaten. Do yourself a favor and look into it, trust me!! Guy's Burgers, the Blue Iguana, The Deli and the Pizza Pirate were also very good. If you cannot find something to eat on this cruise then something is wrong. I also ordered room service early one morning but it took over 1 hour to arrive. In regards to shore excursions, we booked our own kayaking tour with Adventure Kayak of Cocoa Beach. For $30/pp we had a 2 hour guided kayak tour of the Thousand Islands area. Great value for the money and it was alot of fun! Be ready for ALOT of paddling though! When in Nassau, we purchased the Discover Atlantis Beach Day w/ lunch. The beach and ocean were amazing. It was also fun to walk around the resort, shops, and casino. The only down side was that not all of the restaurants that we were given a voucher to have lunch at were open on the day we were there. Since the resort is so large we wasted a lot of time walking around to find a place to eat. In hindsight, we should have skipped lunch at the resort as it just wasn't worth the extra money or the hassle. In Freeport, we were only in port from 7am - 1pm. We just got off the ship and did some quick shopping right at the port. Now for the onboard activities...we spent a little time at the Serenity Pool which was very enjoyable. It was nice having a child free area for adults to enjoy. We also spent time in the casino which was fun, playing bingo, and checking out the different bars. We also attended the Lionel Ritchie concert presented by Carnival Live which was an UNFORGETTABLE experience. We really enjoyed the EA Sports bar and the bartender Sandor who was great. Service on the ship was excellent. The staff members were very friendly. Other notable employees were our room steward Yasa and Dirk the bartender at the Serenity Pool Bar. The ship was also VERY clean. There was always someone cleaning the floors, tables, windows, brass railings, everything! Debarkation also went very smoothly. With the FTTF, we had the option of carrying our luggage off the ship before other guests or have our luggage picked up the night before and then being the first group called to get off the ship. We chose to have our luggage picked up the night before. Just a note to those of you with the FTTF...if you chose to set your luggage out the night before, ask guest services if you can still get off the boat ASAP in the morning. We waited for our number to be called (which was #1) but we think we might have been able to get off the ship sooner. We would definitely sail on the Pride again and would recommend this cruise to others. Thank you Carnival for making our first cruise together so AMAZING!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have sailed on Grandeur two other times. This time I decided to get a Jr suite for our anniversary. That was a mistake. On this ship it was small and the balcony was very small and no lounge chairs, they wouldn't fit anyway. I ... Read More
We have sailed on Grandeur two other times. This time I decided to get a Jr suite for our anniversary. That was a mistake. On this ship it was small and the balcony was very small and no lounge chairs, they wouldn't fit anyway. I didn't realize that we didn't get all the perks until months after our deposit. The room steward was fabulous. He gave us excursion tips, spoke to us every time we saw him and got everything we needed. The mar was great and so was most of the food. The service was wonderful. The dress of most people was lousy. Now I see the people that complain about dress code. I enjoy dressing nice every night. Shorts and Capri pants are not good enough. The entertainment was good could have been better. Grandeur is a small ship and one night they had only one show, wow what a mess. You can't get half the people in the theater and many stood including my husband and we got there early. Many couldn't get in at all. The adult solarium was nice. The pool could be bigger. The shows or entertainment in Centrum was a joke. No matter when we got there , there were no seats. People sit there for hours and drink and wait for the show. One night I did get a seat and was kicked and stepped on so many times we left. The crew didn't really speak much to us at all. The captain barely spoke even if we spoke to him. The servers everywhere were very nice. Excursions were good not great. It was slow getting back on. For what we paid which was a lot you do not get enough for the money on Grandeur. You are paying for the new ships they are building. It was a good cruise but a few problems. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have been on 6 cruises prior to this one and was somewhat skeptical about taking another Carnival cruise, was on the Splendor out of New York in 2013 and it was such a disappointment, the ship really needed an overhaul form top to ... Read More
We have been on 6 cruises prior to this one and was somewhat skeptical about taking another Carnival cruise, was on the Splendor out of New York in 2013 and it was such a disappointment, the ship really needed an overhaul form top to bottom. This trip was a last minute decision and decided to go for it, we were pleasantly surprised as to the friendliness and cleanliness of the Pride. Embarking was smooth, our room was ready as soon as we boarded, Lido deck food was good, room clean, shows good, my husband took the behind the scenes tour and was amazed at all that goes on behind the scenes. Carnival is an excellent company to work for, they really take pride in the well being of their staff and strive for 100% satisfaction. The only comment was the Serenity pool for adults, too few seats and on the second day the pool was less than desirable to swim in, we found comfy seats on the lido deck by the main pool and pretty much hung there on sea days. The port of Free port really was a big disappointment, we got off walked around the straw market and boarded the ship again, this is one port that they can do without. All in all, it was a good cruise and would definitely cruise the Pride again. Carnival will be our first cruise line of choice going forward. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Overall this was a good cruise but we had a few "bumps" and disappointments. The muster drill was a mess. Started late, was disorganized and staff seemed confused. You can definitely see the cost cutting measures Carnival ... Read More
Overall this was a good cruise but we had a few "bumps" and disappointments. The muster drill was a mess. Started late, was disorganized and staff seemed confused. You can definitely see the cost cutting measures Carnival has implemented such has no longer offering toiletries and hygiene items beyond basic soap/shampoo, no more mints on the pillows, no more cocktail parties for returning guests with lower level VIFP service and a general decline in the variety and quality of room service which now offers many items for an additional charge. We also noticed a less attentive and much slower service in the main dining room. You are no longer offered any drinks beyond water ( you must ask for ice tea or lemonade if you want it ), no longer offered fresh ground pepper outside of the speciality restaurant and have to draw your servers attention to your empty glass or need for more things. Also the menu most nights and food quality is mediocre on average. The only outstanding night was "lobster night". On a side note if you want really exquisite food, visit the steakhouse...words cannot describe how wonderful the food was. Pools were crowded at all times and we were only able to comfortably use the pool once. The green thunder slide and mini golf were closed most of if not all of our voyage which was a disappointment. The good stuff: Staff overall was friendly and the ports were great. Turks & Caicos and Half Moon Cay were great. Ship was very clean and decor was much less offensive than other Carnival ships we have been on. Our suite was an ocean suite stateroom towards the aft of the ship which was a beautiful room in a great location (if you don't mind some gentle rocking). Guy's burgers were phenomenal and never had too bad of a line except for embarkation day. Drinks were consistently good and bar staff were mostly friendly and tried to help you pick a drink if you were having trouble. FYI Watch for jellyfish in Half Moon Cay as my wife got stung and had to wait a good hour for treatment since the first aid station on the island only had emergency medications and supplies. Also get up early for a tender sticker or you won't get off the ship until about mid day. Good cruise and I would recommend to others. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Overall thoughts: We went as a couple in our early 30’s. No children. I have cruised before. Barring the poor room service and the overcrowding of the pools, this cruise is probably the best you are going to get for a ship of this ... Read More
Overall thoughts: We went as a couple in our early 30’s. No children. I have cruised before. Barring the poor room service and the overcrowding of the pools, this cruise is probably the best you are going to get for a ship of this size. Overall we had a good time and very few complaints. We did find that we had a lot of downtime where the ship did not have any activities planned before 5pm. We sat by the pool for several hours during this time, which was relaxing as long as the hordes of kids running around weren’t too obnoxious, which they generally weren’t. After 5pm, there were plenty of things to do (see below). Daily Routine: Generally, you could expect your day to look something like this if you have the late dining time: 10am - Breakfast 11am to 6pm - Sit by pool (read/ “swim”). Other activities during this time include small things such as trivia, the gym, bingo, etc. 7pm – Comedian show or movies on the lido deck 8pm – Dinner 10pm – Production show 11pm – Comedian show 12pm – Nightclub 1pm - Casino The Ship & Crew: Condition – The overall condition of the ship was very good. Although it was built about 15 years ago, it didn’t look more than a year or two old. This is likely due to the 2014 update. Even areas of the ship that did not receive the update were still in very good condition. Crew – I tend to be a harsh critic of service in general, and I found the crew to be extremely attentive and polite. Very impressed. Staterooms: We had an extended balcony stateroom. The rooms have not been renovated since the ship was built. They are kind of an old orange color. There was wear on the table and the couch, but other than that the room was in excellent condition. TV’s – The TV was a 20 inch tube TV. Not impressive. Activities: Comedians - Four different comedians on a 7 day cruise. All were professional comedians, and funny. They did two to four shows per day. Production shows - The main show theater was about average for most cruises. Mediocre musicals and other shows. Nightclub - The nightclub was cool. Casino - The casino had every table game and slot machine you could want. Table games were at a 5 dollar minimum bet. Pool – There were three pools on the ship. At all times of the day each pool was so crowded that you could barely move in it. Generally, the pools were full of loud children. Waterslides – There were two on the ship. Neither fed into a pool. Waterslide 1 was open, but slow and boring. Waterslide two was closed for the entire trip with no explanation. Not impressed. Adult Area – On the lido deck there was an area designated for “adults only”. This area was relatively quiet, but featured a TINY pool. Most adults in this area were middle aged to elderly. Room TV’s – The TV received two news stations and a max of ten other channels. There was nothing worth watching. You were able to buy new release movies to watch for 5 dollars. Gym – In excellent condition. Enough machines to accommodate the demand. Whirlpool in gym was nice. Sauna and steam room available and functioning normally. Other activities – Throughout the day, there were other things you could do including: trivia, bingo, shuffle board, Ping-Pong, or karaoke. Truth be told, most of these extra events were not up to par with what I can find in a local bar. Dining: Room Service – Pathetic. Four cold sandwiches and some cold vegetables on the menu. We tried several items. Tasted gross. Took over an hour to arrive. Planning - We had the late dining time. This allowed us to eat in the dining room every night, including nights that we were in port. The tradeoff is that we had to miss all of the “dive in movies”, projected on the lido deck as well as some of the shows that were running at the same time as dinner. I would recommend getting the early time if I were you. Main dining room – Staff very attentive and professional. Food excellent. Filet Mignon, lobster tail, prime rib, escargot, frog legs, etc. All cooked well and tasted delicious. Buffet – About average for your typical American buffet. Variety of foods, but nothing extraordinary. The buffet was not 24 hours. It had set times each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The only 24 hour food was the room service, the pizza station, and the ice cream. The pizza station maintained a consistent 20 minute line due to understaffing. There were two soft serve ice cream stations, but one was broken during the entire cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This is our 4th RCI cruise, the 2nd on the Grandeur. We love her, she is the perfect size for us! It doesn't hurt that we are less than an hour away from Baltimore. It usually takes us a little over 90 minutes from door to ... Read More
This is our 4th RCI cruise, the 2nd on the Grandeur. We love her, she is the perfect size for us! It doesn't hurt that we are less than an hour away from Baltimore. It usually takes us a little over 90 minutes from door to on-the-boat and the reverse. Everyone in Baltimore is so friendly and happy that it immediately gives you a happy vacation vibe. Security and paperwork took only minutes to complete. Lunch in the Windjammer, and then up to the pool deck to relax while we wait for the cabin to be readied. The sail away party on the pool deck was a bit lackluster but that is always a factor of the cruisers, not the activities staff. Activities throughout were plentiful, if not always well-attended. Entertainers were fun, and the production team does a good job with the singing and dancing. Dining staff, service and food were all superior. I have trouble getting meal on the table for 6 people. HOW do they do this, getting everything hot and perfectly cooked, for so many people? Every single staff member/officer we encountered was cheerful, helpful and polite. I can't wait to go on another cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
A little background on us--I am 42 and have cruised on the Explorer of the Seas twice, the Enchantment of the Seas once and The Ruby Princess of Princess Cruise Lines once. My partner Greg (40) has had very similar cruising experiences ... Read More
A little background on us--I am 42 and have cruised on the Explorer of the Seas twice, the Enchantment of the Seas once and The Ruby Princess of Princess Cruise Lines once. My partner Greg (40) has had very similar cruising experiences (before we met). Neither one of us has been on one of the mega-ships but we're not even sure we'd want to. We are definitely partiers and love to have a good time! We'd rather be at the pool bar at 6:00pm having drinks and grabbing "bar food" from the Windjammer than getting all dressed up and going to a 2 1/2 hour dinner in the main dining room. So hopefully that gives you a pretty good idea of where I'm coming from in this review. Overall, we had a wonderful time going to Bermuda on The Grandeur. We both agreed we'd likely give the overall cruise (Grandeur and Bermuda) an 8/10. This cruise definitely had an older demographic--lots of scooters and wheelchairs--but that's to be expected due to the ease of travel for those people. The Port of Baltimore couldn't have been any more convenient for us. We live in Annapolis so we left our house at 11:30 and were on board the ship by 12:15! SHIP- We both agreed that although there were some ways that she showed her age, overall, she was very well maintained. We both actually loved the size of her--we never felt "lost" or exhausted when we had to go from one end of the ship to the other. We also enjoyed seeing the same people and crew often throughout our week-long cruise. Having sailed on The Explorer, Enchantment and on a Princess ship, I can honestly say I didn't "feel" that much of a difference between them all. Had my three sons been with us, I'd likely feel that there wasn't as much for them to do on this ship as compared to Explorer, but since it was just the two of us, it was perfect for our needs. We found the large majority of the staff to be very pleasant and helpful and only a few who seemed like they needed to possibly find a different job--but that's going to be the case anywhere you go in the world. Maybe those workers were at the end of their stint on the ship and just wanted to get back home? ROOM- We had a Large Interior stateroom on the 8th floor (room 8521). We LOVED this location! Not only was it super-close to the pool and Windjammer, but it was one of the rooms in the middle of the "H" shaped hallways so it was very quiet! Yes, the bed was very low but we knew that going in so we both used a large rolling duffle to pack and these both easily slid under the bed when empty. I did request an egg crate the second we me our cabin steward and it was on the bed in less than an hour. Not sure how much it helped--the mattress was definitely NOT new and there was a definite hump in the middle of the two beds, but neither one of us thought it slept all that horribly. I wasn't a fan of the pillows but I also didn't want to carry my own on the ship and lug it around until our room was ready. They were do-able. Yes the bathroom is small. Of course we live on our 34ft Chris Craft boat part-time so it was all relative to us :) When I needed to shave my legs, I did throw all caution out the window and fully opened the shower curtain and put a leg up on the toilet. I just made sure there were no towels on the floor at the time and then used a few small ones after to wipe up the floor. Our toilet flushed perfectly every time so no need to play "toilet roulette" as some others spoke of. I will say that the room toilet seats are SUPER uncomfortable! I have three teenaged boys at home so I have accidentally sat on plenty of toilet rims when the seat hasn't been put back down....that's exactly what these toilet seats felt like! I would lose all feeling and circulation in my lower legs every time I sat on it! The public toilets around the ship weren't like this though. FOOD- Let me start this section by saying that we had very little desire to get all dressed up for dinner, let alone in formal wear, and sit for 2+ hours every night. It's just not how we choose to spend our time in the evenings. I am also gluten-free so the buffet in the Windjammer was nice for me because I could get as much of whatever food I wanted without having to make much of a fuss. I lived off of that salad bar with some protein on top! We did eat at Giovanni's one night and GREATLY enjoyed it! I had a gluten free pasta with shrimp, garlic and olive oil and Greg had the Filet that was cooked to medium-rare perfection! We also ate at Izumi one night and also found it very good. As a gluten-free person, I was a bit dismayed at how many of their sushi rolls had deep friend components to them...I guess we are a bit more of sushi purists. They were very willing to make whatever we wanted in the rolls though and we had some yummy nigiri. We really enjoyed breakfast in the Windjammer--you really can't beat the made-to-order omelets! We did eat breakfast in the main dining room one morning and the omelet and potatoes were horrid compared to what was in the Windjammer! The roast beef in the Solarium was yummy and I enjoyed it over my salad with blue cheese dressing numerous times. The only thing lacking was gluten-free dessert options in the Windjammer--there basically were none besides Jello. Overall, I was very satisfied with the food. DRINKS- We both decided to go for the Premium drink package and it was well worth it for us! We usually start the day with a Blood Ceasar or Mimosa and then have pool-side drinks throughout the day, some wine with dinner and maybe an after-dinner drink. It sucks that they have raised the drink prices so much that spending an extra $800 on drinks made sense, but it is what it is. Our favorite bartender was Noel at the pool bar! ENTERTAINMENT- This was another area where we really didn't take advantage of the offerings. We tend to hit the sack early and usually didn't finish dinner until 9 or so. We did watch the arial show and were very impressed! We didn't attend any of the shows in the Palladium theatre so I can't speak to those. BERMUDA- This was my second time to Bermuda and while I think it is a very beautiful island with gorgeous beaches, it's just a tad to "formal" for us--not to mention VERY expensive! We're much more the type to enjoy finding a small, hidden gem of a tiki bar on the beach somewhere in the islands serving great drinks and civiche where we can sit in our bathing suits. We went to Horseshoe beach for part of the first full day there. We took a private cab there, then one to Hamilton and then grabbed the ferry back to the ship. We should have just used the ferry from the beginning! Much more affordable and very pleasant. We had some fun times at Calico Jacks floating pirate ship right next to the ship and also went on the Sunset Rum Swizzle cruise through Restless Native...a first-class act with a beautiful sunset and no shortage of Rum Swizzles! OVERALL- Yes, we would go on this ship again in a heartbeat--mostly because of how convenient it is for us. We probably wouldn't do Bermuda again though...as I said earlier, gorgeous but just not really our style. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
A special 40th anniversary cruise to Bermuda where it all began! Drove to the port, and did not have any problems with traffic or entering the port. Dropped the bags, paid for our week's parking and off we went. We had a very ... Read More
A special 40th anniversary cruise to Bermuda where it all began! Drove to the port, and did not have any problems with traffic or entering the port. Dropped the bags, paid for our week's parking and off we went. We had a very easy embarkation, and headed to Park Cafe for a nice Beef on Weck. Booked a Mother's Day Sea Brunch before entering the ship for a discounted rate of $25 each. Lobster, Shrimp, Caviar! Truffled mushroom risotto. Potatoes with cream and procuitto. Desserts. Oh, and Champagne, Mimosas, and Bellinis.This was also our actual Anniversary, and the servers brought us a Chocolate dessert and sang to us! This was repeated by our MDR servers that evening! We enjoy a quiet relaxing time while on board, so we hung out in the Solarium most days at Sea. Get there early if you want a lounger as they were full by 0830 daily. Lots of (older) folks sitting at tables playing games, talking, reading, etc. Only last day had server coming around with drinks. Alternated between Park Cafe and Windjammer for lunch. Ate daily dinner in MDR. People complain about the food. None here. We are so happy to not have to cook, clean, or be responsible for a thing that we can Always find Something to eat. Granted, all food is not to our liking, but we don't care. We did not starve. On shore Bermuda, we only ate Seafood Chowder and had Rum Swizzles at the Pickled Onion. All of our other meals we ate on board. Bermuda is very expensive. Took the Pink Bus to Horseshoe Bay. They ran special buses to and from Dockyard. This means that there are no locals on the bus, and no stops. Same fare. At Horseshoe Bay, we rented two chairs and an umbrella. The restrooms had changing areas in the Ladies. Very clean and beautiful beach. Take the To the Top $2 bus! We felt that there were not as many overhead announcements as on most other of our cruises. The most pushed activities are Art and Bingo. We don't do either. Did go to the Shore talk. No Freebies. We took advantage of the onboard movies. Saw two in the Palladium and two poolside. Disembarkation was delayed for about an hour. Not sure why. Didn't matter, as we were only driving home to a couple more days of vacation. We had a very relaxing time this cruise. We had been on Grandeur in 2009, before the refurb. Was nice to see the Bones of the ship are intact, and nice to have some of the newer features we enjoyed on Oasis and Allure. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My husband and I sailed out on April 10th our 33rd wedding anniversary aboard the Grandeur. It was our second time on the ship, the first one being in 2010. We LOVE this ship. It may be small when sitting beside the Explorer docked in ... Read More
My husband and I sailed out on April 10th our 33rd wedding anniversary aboard the Grandeur. It was our second time on the ship, the first one being in 2010. We LOVE this ship. It may be small when sitting beside the Explorer docked in the Nassau harbor but you couldn't tell from inside the ship! We had a large outside cabin with a nice large window. The bathroom was a bit small and the shower hard to navigate but you expect that on a cruise. The dining staff, activities director, cabin steward were exceptional in hospitality and service. I can't say a bad thing at all towards the crew, they were phenominal! My only complaint would be the lack of hours spend in each port, especially Key West and their private island, Cococay. I wish we had more time at those ports. I would NOT recommend taking the garden/zoo tour in Nassau, complete waste of money. In fact, unless you are going to Atlantis, don't bother getting off the boat. Nassau is a poor and dirty place. I was also upset that there were smoking sections on the pool deck and on some of the only complete walking decks. As a non-smoker, I found that walking amongst a bunch of smoke or just sitting on the top deck with smoke drifting up, a BIG turn off, in fact we never went into the casino because of all the cigarette smoke which also allows smoking. Lastly, I wish the DJ would have played a better variety of music in the Viking Lounge, the only late, late, night life party place. It was all the rap and crap of today's music that I dislike. Had a great time watching movies on the big screen at the pool deck, met some nice folks and had my every desire taken care of by the crew. Would do this again in a heartbeat since I live just 20 minutes away for the port! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We just returned from the Eastern Caribbean cruise out of Baltimore. The ship is small, but the crew is great and they really try hard to make your cruise a great experience. The crowd on this crews was 60+, but it did not bother us. We ... Read More
We just returned from the Eastern Caribbean cruise out of Baltimore. The ship is small, but the crew is great and they really try hard to make your cruise a great experience. The crowd on this crews was 60+, but it did not bother us. We did realize that we prefer a bigger ship, but the convenience to leave from Baltimore and the itinerary is hard to beat. We had great weather, great ports and good food at MDR. Food in the Windjammer was just mediocre. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We had a wonderful cruise on the Pride. Embarkation was delayed, but we arrived at the pier after 1:00 p.m. and were on board and in our stateroom within one hour and we did not pay for the FTTF. We have taken several cruises and this ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on the Pride. Embarkation was delayed, but we arrived at the pier after 1:00 p.m. and were on board and in our stateroom within one hour and we did not pay for the FTTF. We have taken several cruises and this cruise departing from Baltimore was quite different. First, flying into Baltimore and staying overnight the night before our cruise was a breeze. Everything was pleasant and easy. We stayed at the Embassy Suites Baltimore airport and thoroughly enjoyed the cocktail hours, free transportation for dinner, kind staff, breakfast, etc. I would recommend this hotel and stay there again, although breakfast quality was not up to what we have had at other Embassy Suites, the staff made it pleasant and enjoyable. The ship itself is a little worn and dark, but we still found it beautiful in areas. The food was some of the best we have encountered on a cruise. We especially loved the pizza and ice cream served 24 hours. This was our first cold-weather cruise. They had an enclosed pool on the lido deck that people seemed to enjoy, but I wore a sweater every day and was too cold to want to go into a pool. Weather improved a bit as we moved toward the Bahamas, but a cold-front had moved into the South as well making our warmest day in the low 70's. Despite the weather being cold, people on board were the most friendly we have ever encountered! We had a fantastic, fun time on the ship and very much enjoyed our service, food, and entertainment. We met lots of people and this cruise will long be remembered as one of our friendliest cruises . We plan to sail out of Baltimore again some time due to the ease of it. However, I think I will pick a warmer month than January! Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
My wife and I booked this cruise for Spring Break, with our 6 younger family members. Our embarkation in Baltimore was a breeze! We arrived at 12:15 p.m., and were on the ship by 1:00 p.m. The ship is beautiful, our room was spacious, and ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise for Spring Break, with our 6 younger family members. Our embarkation in Baltimore was a breeze! We arrived at 12:15 p.m., and were on the ship by 1:00 p.m. The ship is beautiful, our room was spacious, and everything was spotless clean. Our service at dinner was absolutely wonderful! SHOUT OUT TO JERRY! and Winston, and their 3rd server. They were very attentive, courteous, and gave us wonderful service! Jerry was the show! Hope to get him as your server. Breakfast service was just O.K., but the food was good. As others have said, the service goes down, as the week goes on, especially on the lido deck, and the breakfast service the last couple of days. Don't expect much on debarkation day. Deck one forward is not a place for people who like sleep. Starry Nights lounge is just above, and plays very loud music, all through the night, but when music is not playing, it sounds like people moving furniture around, all day and night! Do not settle for deck 1 forward. A lot of things happen on deck 2. The shows were just O.K.. Dancers were just O.K., singers were O.K., but bad at times. The juggler was good and really funny, and the 2 comics were great. We were to pick up 2 more comics in Freeport, but weather messed that up. Overall we, as a family had a great time, but Carnival was just O.K. this time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
This first time cruiser and her husband had an amazing time, albeit with very minor criticisms. All in all, it was an enjoyable cruise involving a perfect mix of fun and relaxation. EMBARKATION took about an hour. Security was friendly ... Read More
This first time cruiser and her husband had an amazing time, albeit with very minor criticisms. All in all, it was an enjoyable cruise involving a perfect mix of fun and relaxation. EMBARKATION took about an hour. Security was friendly and professional, and luggage arrived at our cabin prior to setting sail. DEBARKATION was delayed without an announcement, causing disorganization when those carrying luggage off the ship formed a line rather than wait for the deck numbers to be called (at least it was a line instead of a mob). CABIN was originally booked for deck 5, with a view just over the lifeboats. Carnival emailed us an upgrade offer to deck 7, making the view even more spectacular. We loved the firm bed, room service, towel animals, and overall cleanliness, with plenty of space in the closets, drawers, and bathroom. No noise issues with neighboring cabins. THE SPA service we scheduled ahead of time was a couple's massage (his first). I've had better massages, but I've also had worse. We didn't use the rest of the spa or exercise facilities though they seemed sufficient and popular. SERENITY, the quiet adult-only area, was heaven for us, considering the other pools were filled with screaming children rough housing and doing dangerous flips, even with parents looking on. When our fishing trip in Freeport was cancelled due to rough waters, we spent much of the day in Serenity, taking a dip in the pool/hot tub and relaxing in one of the area hammocks. SERVICE cannot be commended enough, including wait staff, security making the rounds, and room stewards. Everyone was friendly, informative, helpful, and organized. I am amazed at all they accomplish week after week and, now that I'm home, I really miss the pampering. Past reviews make it seem like it's not enough but, as another passenger said: "this is a cruise the working man can appreciate." There may be invisible house elves in Hogwarts (a fun excursion at Universal Studios) but the staff's hard work should not go unnoticed, both by passengers and Carnival. INTERIOR decor some have complained is "ugly" though I don't think it's that bad, at least not to where it would make or break the vacation. Or criticism about "dirty" public areas could stem from the smokiness of the starry night cafe and casino. I couldn't look around without noticing a staff member cleaning. ENTERTAINMENT listed in the daily Fun Times itinerary was a mixed bag. Carnival certainly wants you to spend money during those days at sea by drinking, participating in fee-related activities, and visiting the casino. The Love and Marriage game show, comedians, Jazzy stage production, and other free activities, like watching the playoffs on this particular cruise, were fun. Otherwise the days at sea are better served as relaxation time. FOOD was edible and varying but mostly pre-made. Again the service was excellent. The only mistake we made was eating breakfast at Mermaids the first morning...it's a madhouse. You have your choice among 6 different food stations, then heading to the beverage counters, and then good luck finding a place to sit. People hold tables while others in their party make multiple food trips, or they use it to lounge around after eating. Some leave a mess on the table instead of taking it to the "soiled trays" area. Go to Mermaids for lunch, dinner or snacks but choose Normandie's for a more civilized breakfast experience. PASSENGER-related criticisms include: 1) a woman loudly complained when I, balancing my food tray, got to a table in Mermaids before she did although her group was still waiting in a long line for food (my husband and I finished eating just as they received their meal), 2) having to tell a teenager, who was sitting next to her mother in the Taj Mahal, to stop pushing her feet on the back of my seat and 3) watching a woman, who didn't even stay for the comedy show, hold an entire bench of seats for her adult daughter and rowdy friends in the Butterflies lounge, shooing away the crowds of others standing in the isles; while it is first-come first-served seating, that was just ridiculous. Understandably Carnival cannot be held liable for its passengers' rude conduct. EXCURSIONS were great, if only the line to get off the ship wasn't held up by photographers taking everyone's picture in case they want to purchase a photo (really Carnival, it's more than a bit pushy). The bus to Orlando took just under an hour, and the day at Universal Studios was a blast. The private Blue Lagoon Island in Nassau, while gorgeous, was almost not worth the price given the short amount of time you get there. It took 20 minutes once off the Pride to get to the boat which then takes 35 minutes to get to the island. Two and a half hours later and you're already on the way back to the mainland, to either spend some time at the shops or re-board, hence why Carnival should really allow for more time here. I noticed the Pride was the last ship to arrive in Nassau and Freeport yet the first to leave which is disappointing. Thought our Freeport fishing excursion was cancelled, the amount was refunded immediately, and since the shops there were unimpressive we took the day to continue relaxing at Serenity. We would certainly consider booking again with Carnival for a fun vacation, perhaps more toward the spring time for warmer weather throughout the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
This is my third cruise. I traveled with my husband and another couple to celebrate our 25th anniversary. This was a first cruise for all other members of my party. We departed from Baltimore, MD. The embarkment process was incredibly ... Read More
This is my third cruise. I traveled with my husband and another couple to celebrate our 25th anniversary. This was a first cruise for all other members of my party. We departed from Baltimore, MD. The embarkment process was incredibly fast and easy. It took all of us less than 15 minutes to check-in and make our way on-board. Ship/Room: The overall appearance is dated but acceptable. We had an interior room and it was adequate. We had a few issues about the cleanliness of our room. We had to ask that the shampoo dispenser be filled and we found a box of old pastries under our bed. The corridors always had vacuums and food trays laying in them. It never seemed completely tidy. The Main Dining/Windjammer Cafe: Our food experience was wonderful. The Windjammer Cafe provided an incredible variety of food. The staff for the most part were friendly and willing to help. Our Fair Lady Dining Room was a great experience. Our Waiter/Assistant Waiter were great. The food selection was wonderful. We never missed our evening meal in the Main Dining Room. Entertainment: Most of our time at sea was spent poolside. The belly flop contest was fun to watch. We also watched one of the crew shows, as well as an adult comedian and the Love & Marriage Game. Drinks: Although pricey, the amount of alcohol was more than sufficient. While there were a few issues cruising on The Enchantment of the Seas, it did not affect our overall vacation experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Cabin Stewart's were around but not when needed. Last night none of our three rooms received tip envelopes or luggage tags. There were a few times of need for assistance and again no one was around. I was actually tempted to have ... Read More
Cabin Stewart's were around but not when needed. Last night none of our three rooms received tip envelopes or luggage tags. There were a few times of need for assistance and again no one was around. I was actually tempted to have customer service adjust out gratuities. Dining Room experience was awesome. We dined at table #293. Our waiting staff was awesome. We constantly saw them on deck and every time we were greeted by name and continued conversation. Our dining room staff consisted of I Made, Kusuma and Nemesio. Dining with three children in our group makes eating any where an experience. I Made interacted with the kids very well. Activities Taken Part in: Behind the Scenes Tour- I took this tour with my Dad. This was a great tour and I would take it again. The only thing I would have liked was that this tour be given earlier in the cruise. It was on the last day at sea. It did not give much time to really express appreciation for what we saw. It would also had been nice to be able to take pictures in areas that were not security risk areas. Park West Art Auctions- This is not the first time participating at an on sea auction. The event was very well scripted with little deviation. I personally marked 7 different pieces that never came across the auction block. Time with other family events prevented me from experiencing any of the other auctions. Galley Tour - Quick stroll through the Galley. Pictures were allowed here. Camp Carnival- Our Daughters of 11 and 7 and niece of 4 all participated in camp carnival. They enjoyed it very much. Our daughters have been in camp carnival before and first time for our niece. The counselors were very understanding when it came to certain things. Pools- The pools were nice and our kids enjoyed the use during our port day at Canaveral. The slide seemed to be closed during good weather for "Extreme Chlorination" and open during windy conditions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
I offer you my apologies now as I have never written a review here before. I will try my best to be as concise and as accurate as possible. I must first offer a huge kudos to the Port Authority of Baltimore. This has been one of the ... Read More
I offer you my apologies now as I have never written a review here before. I will try my best to be as concise and as accurate as possible. I must first offer a huge kudos to the Port Authority of Baltimore. This has been one of the fastest and easiest embarkation we have ever had. We parked at the port and they had plenty of people guiding you along and it was not to bad. You drove past the cargo carts and dropped off your luggage, you didn't have to drag it anywhere! Drove around the other side of the building, paid your fee and they showed you where to park. Carry-ons in hand we entered the building and they had plenty of security screening stations and had a minimal wait(think minutes). Royal had their efficiency as well, they guided you to the sickness form and told you where to go after that. A few moments later we were all checked in and ready to head up the gang way. Word of caution...the coffee was REALLY BAD! We waited at most an hour and were on the ship by noon. As the rooms had not been opened yet, we like everyone else headed to the Windjammer. As the weather in Baltimore was horrible this day everybody was here. To many people sticking around and not giving up their seats to those that were coming in. The staff was doing a great job of helping people find seats and pairing people to tables that had room. The food this day was pretty decent. Great selection of items and the hot food was hot and cold food was cold. After lunch the rooms were open and we headed to our cabin. Low and behold our luggage was already there! We booked a large interior room as we have before and knew what to expect. As this room was in the stretched section of the ship, it was a little longer than most that did afford a bigger closet. The bathroom is like most, small. My wife jokes that she could use the restroom, shave her legs in the shower and brush her teeth all at the same time. Realistically you dont spend the most time there. The booked entertainment on this cruise rocked. We had a GREAT Las Vegas entertainer, The Baltimore Kid and several comics. The "adult" comic night was mild compared to others we have seen. He dropped the "F" bomb a few times and used the middle finger salute on occasion. The Royal Singers and Dancers did a great job performing, the singers as usual could sing wonderfully. Unfortunately the show as a whole was pretty lack luster. The overall response from the audience was pretty weak. I do have one major complaint, the Cruise Director staff is non-existent if there is not an event happening. Now don't get me wrong, when John Blair is out he is all the way there! He is a great entertainer and does a good job getting people going. His wife, Katrina, is the Activities Coordinator. She sometimes comes across as being a little fake and I have to wonder if she would be there if John wasn't there. My wife and I sailed with them before and not much has changed since then. When they did talk to people it was to people that they already know, how about the other 2000 people on the ship. Just say "hi!". We had our first experience of eating at one of the specialty restaurants on this cruise. Enchantment has Chops, a steak house. The service was exceptional as was the food. I had the large filet and it was to die for. I would go so far to say that it may have been one of the best ones I have ever had. They have a great selection of side dishes to choose from so that should not be a problem. Dessert was just as good. My wife had the Mississippi Mud Pie and we could hardly finish it based on the size and how rich it was, damn it was good! I had the Triple Berry Duo and it was just as good. We ate there a second time and the food was just as good. I have a weird complaint about this cruise that I have not experienced before. Crabby, pushy and inconsiderate older cruisers. If the elevator is full already, it is not prudent to force you and your 8 friends on just because you think you need to and don't shove your way down the steps to the gangway to get off the ship. You'll get there! Ok, that is about enough. What ever you do plan things out and have a great time. That's what a vacation is all about. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My husband and I have been on three Carnival cruises. We have never tried another cruise line because of price, itinerary, and overall great experience we've had with Carnival. This cruise did not disappoint with Itinerary (except ... Read More
My husband and I have been on three Carnival cruises. We have never tried another cruise line because of price, itinerary, and overall great experience we've had with Carnival. This cruise did not disappoint with Itinerary (except Freeport), excursions, or amenities. We made the most of it and had a GREAT time. But the service in the dining room and stewards were no where close to the wonderful service we've experienced on other Carnival cruises. By mid-week the wait staff really becomes a friend, someone you can joke around with. Both of our waiters seemed to be robots where if you asked for something special it would throw them for a curve ball. Everyday, they brought someone at our table the wrong meal. And something even as small as placing the napkin on our laps (which previous cruise waiters did) really made a big difference in the luxury or pampered feeling. Our stewards did not introduce themselves or say "hi" when passing in the hallway like previous cruises. I don't know what is going on with the staff of this ship! Maybe they've all just been on the ship too long and were frustrated. The staff was not friendly, often seemed sarcastic, and were like sharks in the club at night looking for young drunk girls to take back to their rooms. I couldn't even tell you who the cruise director was. The one thing I DID LOVE about this ship was the Serenity Adult's Only deck in the back of the ship! The plus lounge chairs, hammocks, and cabanas were amazing. They should have made this place bigger because by 7:30am, all of the chairs were taken with towels. It was away from the loud ruckus of the other pools and the hot tub and pool was never crowded. We spent a lot of time here. Besides the unfriendly staff, we had a fabulous time! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We're a married couple in our 30s (no children). This is our fourth cruise (3rd with Carnival) and we just needed some rest and relaxation. This cruise was perfect for our needs. We did a very similar cruise on this same ship ... Read More
We're a married couple in our 30s (no children). This is our fourth cruise (3rd with Carnival) and we just needed some rest and relaxation. This cruise was perfect for our needs. We did a very similar cruise on this same ship back in May 2009. We returned to the same ship for a May 29, 2011 sailing because the port is only one hour from our home and the price was very fair for our balcony stateroom. Embarkation was easy. We arrived at 2:00 (boarding is 1:30-3:30) and we were on the ship within 30 minutes. No complaints! We were blessed with beautiful weather throughout the cruise. The temps were low to mid 80s and the seas were calm. I have a tendency to get seasick but I did not need any medication on this trip. We couldn't have ordered up better weather. My favorite space on the cruise (aside from our private balcony) is the adults-only Serenity Deck (aft section for the Lido deck). The Serenity area has a small pool and a hot tub. Although it was difficult to get a chair on sea days, the deck has cushioned lounge chairs, hammocks, a large, covered bar, some tables for dining, couches (in the shade) as well as large, round, covered sofas for curling up and reading a book. We only got to sit on this deck three times due to the large numbers of people in the area, but it's still a very nice addition. I did not see any children in the Serenity area and the atmosphere was peaceful with a more "adult contemporary" music soundtrack. Our room was spacious (for a cruise ship, that is). It was immaculate and our room steward cleaned and refreshed our space at least twice per day. We had plenty of storage. If you're considering splurging for a balcony, go for it! Disclaimer: I'm a major foodie and an experienced home cook. The food was decent. The Lido deck seemed improved from 2009. The breads were surprisingly soft, fresh and tasty and everything on Lido was hot and fresh. I didn't mind waiting in line for food. It's not like we were ever hungry! We used the Lido for breakfast and lunch and ate in the dining room for dinner. We had late seating for dinner and a table for 6 with two other couples. There was plenty of variety on the menu. Our server was polite, funny, but overworked. He definitely had too many tables, but he made the best of it and we're really patient. I seldom, if ever, saw our assistant waiter. We found the maid'tr'd to be a bit snobbish, but we didn't let it ruin our meals. The dining room food was usually warm, not piping hot, but it didn't bother me. I didn't like everything, but I can recommend the following: fried shrimp, Grand Marnier souflee, Warm Spice Cake with Figs and Caramel Sauce (my favorite item in the dining room), the cheese plate (I asked for it as an appetizer), and the cornish hen. Your tastes are surely different than mine, but I believe they do their best work on appetizers and desserts. The entrees are just okay. Here's the best part: Go to David's Steakhouse. The $30 cover charge is worth it. The food quality is as good as an upscale, land-based restaurant. I like to dine in style, so I really appreciated this atmosphere and food quality. Book the Chef's Table if you are a food enthusiast. It's $75 per person and typically offered twice per cruise. We booked for Tuesday and had to roll our reservation to Friday due to low interest. On Friday night we enjoyed an 8-course meal with 8 other passengers. The meal hosted by the head chef and served at a beautiful, secluded table in the... (empty) night club! Right in the middle of the glowing dance floor. The price may sound steep, but you get a galley tour (with sparking wine and hors d overs during the dinner rush), unlimited wine during dinner, at least 7 courses, an autographed group photo, and a cookbook. It was the highlight of our cruise and the best meal we've had this year. Debarkation was FAST. We did self-assist and while the instructions may say that you'll get off at 10:40, make sure you call your family if you need a ride because we were outside on the curb at 9:15! We didn't even have time to eat breakfast. Works for me! Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
My wife and I booked a seven day cruise from Baltimore on the Carnival Pride as a couples getaway from the kids, jobs and the daily grind. I'd done some research on the ship here on Cruise Critic and selected an aft suite with the ... Read More
My wife and I booked a seven day cruise from Baltimore on the Carnival Pride as a couples getaway from the kids, jobs and the daily grind. I'd done some research on the ship here on Cruise Critic and selected an aft suite with the extended balcony, which was fantastic. I also had a good idea from this site on what to expect of the itinerary and ship-board activities.My wife and I live in Maryland so the travel to the terminal and the embarkation experience were a breeze. Our cabin got us VIP treatment at the terminal so it was literally an hour from home to the poolside bar. Our cabin was ready before 3 and the ship was underway on time and without problems.We found the ship to be generally excellent. The cabin was very well maintained and the bed was very comfortable. The ship was easy to navigate and the staff friendly and helpful. Everything was open at some point during the cruise, including the water slide. We enjoyed the Serenity deck and the gym and spa were first rate. No complaints about the food quality, drink pours or what few activities we availed ourselves of while aboard. The cruise director Kirk and the maitre d were hard working and did an excellent job. We asked for a table for two instead of group seating and were accommodated with no problem. Kirk and his lovely assistant Jaime were hard-working and very pleasant, even with the big issue I'll mention below. Also not to be left out: our two cabin stewards were on the job and kept our cabin ship-shape the entire cruise.The only negatives for us were more from personal preferences and not from the operation or efforts of the crew. The coffee was terrible. The food at David's was excellent but the service was not up to par with it. Too many waiters and attendants hovering about. We found the wealth of smoking areas to be a bit much, even for two ex-smokers. And I'm not sure if it's a good idea to get your money's worth out of a cruise by eating 10,000 calories a day as we witnessed most days with a lot of our fellow passengers. It was like a scary exhibit on the obesity epidemic in the US. Truly no such thing as a free lunch. Of course the big issue on the cruise was the ship getting blown off her moorings in Port Canaveral. I was up on the bow at the time the storm hit and it was a a big blast. Folks who went to Disney World and other later excursions were could not get back on the ship for several hours, and of course we missed our departure window for Nassau. Needless to say there were a lot of unhappy folks aboard and I'm sure a lot of disappointment over Nassau. Freeport was a lousy substitute in my opinion. But it was sad to see how many people were willing to ruin their vacations over what happened by trying to get some kind of refund for the cruise. The ship refunded all Nassau excursions so I don't know why so many passengers thought they were liable for more than that. But it was almost universal on the ship that some form of consideration get paid.For my own perspective, I'm just glad no one was hurt or killed when the ship separated from the gangway. Or that the ship was damaged in anyway, which was a miracle in some ways given the wind and proximity to land. If that had happened I don't think we would have ever gotten out of Port Canaveral, and it probably would've been the end of the cruise.Aside from that adventure in port, everything else went well and we returned on time and in good weather for the return to Baltimore. Given the convenience of sailing out of Baltimore we will probably do the cruise again with our children in a year or two. I recommend the Pride and if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask away. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
This is my 3rd cruise, 2nd with Carnival and I was married on the ship before we left. It was my husbands first. After reading reviews on here, I really didn't know what to expect because feelings about this cruise ran from horrible ... Read More
This is my 3rd cruise, 2nd with Carnival and I was married on the ship before we left. It was my husbands first. After reading reviews on here, I really didn't know what to expect because feelings about this cruise ran from horrible to fantastic. I'm happy to say my experience definitely fell in the area of great. We chose this particular cruise because the port is only 40 minutes from us and we could have family come aboard for the wedding who did not sail. Embarkation Process - Because we were getting married our embarkation process was different than usual. We had to be at the port before noon, check in with Carnival's wedding guest check in, than we got VIP check in for the cruise and waited in a separate area with our guests. We were the first to board when the ship cleared customs. Things I noticed that may help a future passenger - We got there at 11am and there were already 30 cars waiting to get in the parking lot. The lot does not open until noon and the ship didn't clear customs until after 12:30. The ship - The Pride is the largest ship I have been on, but the only time i felt it was walking the hallway to my cabin after dinner(it was towards the front of the ship and the dining room was at the back). I didn't feel like the ship was any darker than the other ships I'd been on even with the more renaissance art look. There are nudes, but I hardly noticed. Our sailing was full, but it didn't feel crowded. There are enough places for people to spread out. Food - Mermaid grill was standard buffet fare. We usually at breakfast there and I do recommend getting an omelet made. For lunch I would go to the deli and have a sandwich made. I tried the Asian station once and it was ok. Never made it to the international station which changes daily. The grill by the pool was good. The 24 hour pizza is in the grill too. It's not bad, works for a late night snack. Normandie Dining Room - We had dinner here every night, but one. I was hoping for a two top since we were on our honeymoon, but our table had 6 people. It turned out to be a good thing. We were all similar ages and ended up hanging out together outside of dinner. The food in the dining room is yummy if a bit bland at times. I liked to try different things while my husband usually got the steak. Our table also liked to get multiple meals and appetizers. Our server was great. We had breakfast here once - it seemed chaotic and food took awhile. Entertainment - We enjoyed the casino and comedy club the most. There are 4 comedians over the cruise - we saw 3. There is a family show and adults only show every night. The shows do fill up so get there early for a seat. Also recommend going to the love and marriage show. It was hilarious. We never made it to any of the nightly shows in the taj mahal, so I can't say how those are. The disco was somewhat boring as it was never very full when we stopped in. Probably because our sailing had a lot of families. There are plenty of lounges to chill and enjoy a drink. I heard the piano bar was great, but never made it there. You'll find live music throughout the ship on a daily basis. We played bingo once - it went really fast, only 5 games were played so didn't feel worth the extra charge. Stopped to check out the gym. It was packed and seemed too small for the amount of people on the ship. I never made it to workout. There is also a whirlpool here. The lido deck has 3 pools including an adults only one. A deck chair is a hard to find unless you get out early. We enjoyed the adults only area while in Nassau. Itinerary - The first 2 days at sea were mostly getting used to the ship for us. The ride down the Atlantic was somewhat rough and windy. You could feel the ship rocking and parts were closed off due to the wind. There is a lot of stuff going on. Just check out your daily newsletter to see whats up. Port Canaveral - It was nice to get off the ship. We chose to do the Up close Kennedy Space Center tour. My husband loved it. It was especially cool because we were there the day before the Discovery Shuttle launched for the last time and were able to see it on the launchpad (or rather part of it - the shuttle itself is covered until launchday, but the rocket boosters and external fuel tank were visible). Nassau - we stayed on the ship for a few hours to enjoy the pool. I'd been here before and wasn't really looking forward to it. When we got off, we wondered around Bay St for a bit. Once you pass the shops it gets rather dirty and smelly. The shops didn't really interest us, so we hopped a cab to Paradise Island to see Atlantis. This island is much nicer and probably the reason cruise ships stop in Nassau. Atlantis is a wow, but you can't do much unless you are a guest or buy a day pass. We played in the casino, finally found our way to the Marina village. Same shops as Bay St, but cleaner. The cab ride was probably the most interesting part of this port. Drivers have no fear, love to honk the horn, slam on the breaks and weave though traffic. I didn't see a speed limit and very few stop signs or traffic signals. We got dinner at the Hard Rock before getting back on the ship which was great. If I end up in Nassau again, I'll probably book a shore excursion or stay on the boat. Freeport - My favorite port and the one we spent the least time at. To me it has the tropical feel I wanted. Yes you dock in an industrial area and there is a little shopping area. Get a taxi and go to Lucaya. Our driver dropped us at the Radisson and pointed us to the beach. I finally got to walk on the beach:) White sand and clear blue water. Beautiful. We got there early and the beach was empty. After wondering up the beach for awhile we went over to the the Lucayan Marketplace. Yes similar shops to Nassau, but in a much nicer environment. We stopped and got some conch fritters at one of the restaurants (there are a bunch. My husband had to get a Cuban cigar, so we searched for one of them. And then ended back at the beach which was much fuller. I wish we had worn our swimsuits, but we hadn't thought we'd have time. We sat at the pool at the Radisson for a bit (very nice place) and checked out the casino. Our cab driver met as at noon to take us back to the ship. Back at the port we stopped to watch a conch ceviche demonstration which we got to taste. It was pretty good. If we'd been there longer I would have liked to try one of the tours. Last sea day - we mostly packed and relaxed. Do check out the farewell party in the taj mahal - free drinks, but they don't advertise it:) We just happened to wander in. Debarkation - I think it took longer than usual. We decided on self assist and were suppose to be called at 10:50. They ended up calling the deck before us and us at 11:40. Once we were called it was off the boat, through customs and on the road by noon. They cruise director at one point made an announcement to please wait until your deck/zone was called, please be patient and that some people had been verbally abusive to crew. Wow. It is not that important to be first off the ship. Overall, we had a wonderful time and will cruise again. Might try the other itinerary from Baltimore. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Background: I am a young professional single dad (26) traveling with my girlfriend who is a single mother (24). We left our kids with our exes for the week to recharge ourselves with some adult time. We live in Northern VA so we were ... Read More
Background: I am a young professional single dad (26) traveling with my girlfriend who is a single mother (24). We left our kids with our exes for the week to recharge ourselves with some adult time. We live in Northern VA so we were dropped off at the pier and didn't have to pay airfare. Furthermore we booked an inside cabin at the absolute lowest rate of $409 and got a deal through cruise.com that gave us an additional $100 per person on board credit. Had I spent more my expectations may have been higher but for this price it is hard to complain about much. Embarkation: We arrived around noon and were through customs and on board by 130PM. We smuggled liquor in 6 32oz rumrunners and legally brought a 12 pack of 20 oz coke bottles and a 12 pack of red bull as well as two bottles of berringer type wine. The rumrunners were in our checked luggage and all the legal stuff was in our carry ons. I would definitely recommend rumrunners for anyone who is thinking about drinking every night as cocktails average $8 and beer is at least $5, not including tax or tip that is automatically added. Some vodka with the onboard lemonade is delicious and you'll have plenty of ice for refills. It got a little tiresome carrying around the coke and redbull in a tote bag because our rooms were not available until around 6pm. If I did it again I would bring a backpack or find someplace on the lido deck to relax instead of trying to explore the whole ship on the first day. Stateroom: We had an interior stateroom on deck 1 (the lowest for passengers) and seeing as it was our first cruise we can't compare it to a balcony or window room. However I really liked being able to turn off the lights and have it pitch black. The rooms are all the same size (I checked right when we got on) and to me I'd rather save the money as even $10/per person per day is $140 just for a window that I can see if I just walk up another deck. We were also right near the dining room, theatre, and comedy club, and even so didn't hear any noise when napping or sleeping. The beds were very comfortable and I didn't even miss my memory foam mattress at home one bit. The showers were roomy, even for me a 6'4" guy pushing 300lbs. My girlfriend loved the towel animals and there was enough room in the minibar to put some coke and red bull in to chill. Food: The food in the Normandie (main dining room) was delicious and the service was among the best I've had. We did anytime dining which was great for us because we plan our dinner around our evening instead of most people having to plan their evening around their dinner. We were always sat immediately and watched as the traditional dinners formed a line into the elevator lobby. We also ate dinner by ourselves every night which gave us privacy. For breakfast and lunch we sat with strangers which was fun sharing stories so we had the best of both worlds I imagine. The only con for every time dining was that our food was never HOT. It was always warm but never felt like it was out of the oven. Perhaps that was because we were given the plates left on the "warming rack" from the early seaters but as another plus we rarely waited more than 5 minutes for our next course. The food in the Lido deck was subpar if you ask me. We ate there for breakfast most days and the buffet was what you'd expect from a holiday inn breakfast bar. The omelette station was good but there was always a line. There was also often a line for lunch. The burgers are only made well done even if you ask for medium. The fries were ok but never hot. The hot dogs were worse than the ones at my local gas stations. The pizza was "supermarket" quality and not the digiorno kind. Nonetheless burnt burgers and cardboard pizza was delicious for a drunken midnight snack. We ate at David's Steakhouse which was the premium restaurant that charges $30 more per person. I would say that the difference between it and the Normandie are negligible and not worth the extra money. You get an appetizer AND a salad rather than your choice of one in the main dining room. The atmosphere and service was again negligible. The only plus was that the steaks were HUGE and HOT and cooked perfectly to our desire (med-rare). The deserts were also fancier (well garnished) but tasted the same. If you're curious and have the extra money try it out, otherwise you're not missing out on much. Photos: On formal night and most others nights there are photographers eager to take your picture for free. What we didn't find out until the second night was that to purchase just one 8x10 is $23 and additional copies are $9 each. I would suggest asking a friendly cruiser to take your picture on your own camera and return the favor. You won't be able to use the "beach" backdrop or the fake champagne glasses on the piano but the ship is full of natural backgrounds and CVS will print out your pictures for a fraction of the price. Entertainment: The "Pride" dancers were horrendous. Their "vegas" style shows were more fitting for a high school stage and the "featured" signers were more like half decent karaoke singers. In fact on the last night some passengers got up to sing in the "Legends" show and put the "professionals" to shame. The girls are cute and wear skimpy outfits but that can't even make me forget what I'm watching. There was a great pianist in the Ivory Bar most nights that would take requests and you'd get to sing along on mic or off. It was very entertaining watching him play. The comedians I found were subpar from what you'd find at the Arlington Drafthouse or Warner Theatre in DC. They were ok when they were making fun of Carnival and their ships but their regular material was hacky. My girlfriend on the other hand enjoyed them, but I think that's just because she hasn't seen Louis C.K. or Craig Shoemaker live. To each their own and the comedians are swapped out every week so you probably won't see the same ones I did. They had a good comic/juggler, Thien Fu, who was a funny juggler but spoke broken english so he was kind of hard to follow. There was also a table magician who had hacky card tricks and rope/ring stunts which would have been ok if it wasn't obvious how he was doing his tricks. The best entertainment on the ship was when the crowd participated. They had the marriage/newlywed show, a men vs. women show, and a beefed up costume Karaoke at the end of the cruise. We caught the last part of the Carnival Quest contest which seemed like a riot with their cross-dressing runway walk. All in all I guess its what you should expect from a cruise ship. Gambling/Casino: Stay away from the Casino. If you must, go play BINGO. That is all. I may be biased after losing $500 bucks so try your luck if you must. Port Days/Excursions: In Port Canaveral we met up with some of my family. They took us to Ron Jon's surf shop and Cocoa beach which seemed popular on the ship as after thursday everyone seemed to have a Ron Jon t-shirt on. Disney and Universal were just too far away to justify the money. Our favorite port was Nassau. We rented a scooter immediately after we debarked. We did not plan this but the guy offered me the whole day for $60 and I had been thinking about buying a scooter for commuting around DC. We were able to drive anywhere on the island and although I have my Motorcycle license in the States I don't think that even mattered. It takes some getting used to driving on the opposite side of the road so don't do it unless you're comfortable. We drove about 3 miles east away from all the packed tourist beaches (at least I'd imagine they were packed) and found a Public but very empty beach called Goodman's Cay right next to the Sandals resort. The sand was clean and the water was clear. It was perfect for laying out and just what you'd imagine from the commercials. After a few hours of laying out we took the scooter to a local fish fry called Twin Brothers that was nothing special but good food. We tried Kalika (local Bahamian) beer that in my opinion was amongst the worst I've ever had but my girlfriend said "it tastes like beer to me". After lunch we took our scooter on a tour of downtown nassau which was fantastic. I wouldn't recommend this but my girlfriend videotaped the drive and we saw parts of Nassau that you just wouldn't see on foot or an organized excursion. The best part about the scooter was that we felt like we could (and nearly did) explore all of the island. At the queens staircase there was a "courtesy" guide who gave us a speech about the history of the islands and was well worth the 3 bucks my girlfriend tipped. After some sight seeing and shopping at the local market we headed back to the ship. Freeport was bad weather. It was cloudy all day and started to rain soon after we got off the ship. We didn't exactly land in Freeport so you were either stuck with the shops close to the ship or paying for a shuttle bus to the actual city. We just bought a hand carved wooden statue and a necklace or t-shirts for our families and went back on the ship. Most other excursions were canceled for the weather and you're only docked for about 5 hours anyway. Debarkation: We packed everything up the night before and opted for self assist debarkation where you carry all your own bags. If we checked our bags we would have been the last off the ship at around 1215PM but as it stood we were the first deck called for debarkation. We docked at around 915 and cleared customs around 945. As I said we were called first but I suspect a lot of people who weren't on Deck 1 were getting off the ship first anyways and no one was checking. We got off a little after 10AM and hit up McDonald's before returning to our lives in Northern VA Overall: I would definitely take another 7 day cruise at this price or around $1000 total and try to skip the airfare again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was mine and my husband's third cruise - second with Royal Caribbean. We've done the Mediterranean and Caribbean, so we decided to try something different for vacation this year by heading north. We live in northern ... Read More
This was mine and my husband's third cruise - second with Royal Caribbean. We've done the Mediterranean and Caribbean, so we decided to try something different for vacation this year by heading north. We live in northern Virginia, so the drive up to Baltimore is quick and easy - a major selling point. We're in our late 20's and travel quite a bit. Ship review is below, see separate port reviews for Portland, ME; Bar Harbor, ME; St. John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Boston, MA. Embarkation - Embarkation at the Port of Baltimore was a breeze, as always. We pulled into the parking lot at 11:30am, paid our $135 for parking ($15 p/day) and were on the ship by 12:30pm. Check-in lines were divided by cabin deck number, with separate lines for Diamond/Diamond Plus members and suites. We waited in a short line to go through metal detectors and a shorter line to check in. Dining - We chose the second dinner seating, which always works well for us, and ate in the dining room all nine nights. We were seated at a table for six, but unfortunately, our tablemates never showed up. Our waiter, Cruz; assistant waiter, Ender; and head waiter, Collins, were the best we've ever had on a cruise. Collins made it a point to stop by and chat several times; something we've never seen in a head waiter before. He also helped clear dishes and keep the service moving. Cruz made solid recommendations based on the menu and was almost always right. The food was pretty good, especially considering they were preparing 10,000 meals a day. Lobster tail was served on the second formal night, but it wasn't the fresh Maine lobster we had become used to on this itinerary, so it was a little disappointing. The sugar-free desserts and healthier foods off the "Vitality" menu did not disappoint. We ate in the Windjammer almost every morning for breakfast. There was plenty of selection, with everything from fruit to eggs to pastries to cereal. We both enjoyed the custom made omelets a lot. While it was crowded, we never had trouble finding a seat with a little walking around. The wait staff were very quick to clean tables after people were finished and were always on hand within moments of sitting down to get you coffee, water, etc. We had room service breakfast one morning and it arrived right on time and hot. Cabin - This was our first cruise not in a balcony cabin, but due to the limited number of the on the Enchantment and our itinerary, we couldn't justify the cost. Our cabin was on deck two, in the middle of the ship, which meant you could almost not feel any rocking of the ship. Our window, rather than being a huge picture window, was two smaller windows, which was fine. The room had ample storage and the bed was pretty comfortable. Our cabin steward, Roel, did a good job and kept a steady stream of towel animals coming - it looked like a zoo by the time we got off! Service - We felt the service was good on the ship. The staff was always friendly and smiling. Our waiters greeted us by name, even when we saw them outside dinner hours. The only disappointment was in the guest relations desk staff. Once evening I called down, after we had been "kicked out" of a hot tub in the Solarium by a group of eight teenagers who thought they belonged there more than we did. When I expressed to the woman who answered the phone that I thought it was a shame I couldn't enjoy a relaxing evening with my husband in an adults only part of the ship at 11:00pm, she dismissed my concerns and was quick to hang up the phone. Activities and Entertainment - There weren't loads of activities on the boat, which was a little disappointing since we had three sea days. The public space was nice, but there was a lack of quiet space for people to read. The library was packed every sea day with people reading and, other than Bingo and gambling, not really too many fun activities on the sea day. We didn't see any of the shows, but they had a lot of "guest entertainers" throughout the week. The cruise director was okay, but certainly not the most dynamic or personable one we've had. The Solarium is supposed to be "adults only," yet it's really 16 years old and up, younger than that okay with parents. A lot of kids of all ages seemed to be wandering or running around the ship, with seemingly few organized activities for people their age. Not sure if that's Royal Caribbean's fault, or their parents, but it did get pretty annoying. My husband worked out at the gym a total of four times and went to three group cycling/spinning classes. He said that the gym was very full every time and the exercise area was pretty small. We both went to the spa for one of their port day specials, and both had a good experience. There was a sales pitch at the end for some of their products, but we've just learned how to say no. The ship overall is in great shape, given her age. They were painting the outside at every port and you could tell there was a significant effort in upkeep. The biggest disappointment was that they allow smoking in almost every lounge where there is live music (Viking Crown and Boleros most often). We would have loved to go to these places more, but the smoke was really bothersome. There were also large sections of deck five outside where you could smoke and also a big section of the pool deck. Additionally, the deck five sections are right by the doors, so every time a door opened or closed to the outside, smoke came in. Debarkation - As easy as embarkation. We chose the Express Walk Off, since we didn't have much luggage, and were off the ship by 8:00am. There was no line for Customs and Immigration and we were quickly on our way! Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Ports of call were great especially Labadee Haiti. Food and dining room staff were excellent along with guest relations. Which brings me to my expectations. Upon arriving at cabin, room was humid and warm despite AC turned all the way ... Read More
Ports of call were great especially Labadee Haiti. Food and dining room staff were excellent along with guest relations. Which brings me to my expectations. Upon arriving at cabin, room was humid and warm despite AC turned all the way down. I investigated and found two large cutout holes in the balcony doors that were allowing great quantities of hot humid air into the room! Then our cabin steward disappeared and we found ourselves having to complain to guest relations to get our room cleaned up. (we found out later he had went out on medical leave). Replacement was sporadic in making up the room. Sometimes the ice bucket was missing, next time there were no glasses. Tendering operations in Samana Dominican Republic were the worst I have ever seen. Passengers were made to sit in open tenders in the pouring down rain since they wanted to "fill the boat". Mind you there was not another passenger in sight but we sat for 15-20 minutes out in the open. Needless to say, there were parents with small children who were not very thrilled. The ship itself needs a break for some maintenance. There was serious rust pockets, elevator up/down buttons not operational, elevator buttons inside that were loose inside the elevator control panel. For a ship in the "Vision" class for RCI, the windows to the outside in the public areas were filthy. They looked like they had not been cleaned in weeks. We would sit at dinner by the windows and count the water spots instead of watching a great sunset. Free coffee is available at the windjammer cafe but at Seattle Works (for the same cup of coffee/not a specialty) it cost you. On Explorer of the Seas, coffee was free (at Seattle CW) along with the snacks. On Enchantment, snacks were free if you bought coffee. Guest services suggested we go to the Windjammer for coffee. Considering the poor traffic flow in the windjammer, it could take you 20 minutes to get in and out. Guest services then suggested we use room service. It could take anywhere from 30-60 minutes for coffee to show up. Needless to say, Enchantment of the Seas (ship wise) was a "disenchantment" for us. We will stay with Radiance or Voyager class vessels. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Embarkation and debarkation were great....could not have been easier. The ship is clean...and while the ship was fully book, it never seems crowded. Overall, we had a great time and booked the same cruise next year. Baltimore is so easy ... Read More
Embarkation and debarkation were great....could not have been easier. The ship is clean...and while the ship was fully book, it never seems crowded. Overall, we had a great time and booked the same cruise next year. Baltimore is so easy for us to get to, and the we love the 9-night itinerary. We booked cabin 7666 a Jr Suite. However when we splurged for the extra expense of a Jr. Suite we did not expect: - The stateroom attendant to be a 'Trainee'. - On day of arrival, smelly bed linens and filthy comforter. - Dirty carpet in the cabin. = Empty ice container. - Having to request bathroom tissue three times during the cruise. Overall we did get the impression that this crew was just not clicking. Little oddities here and there. Windjammer closed at the most peculiar times. In the evening, only one grill with one clerk and one cook was open. These are just the negatives that got our attention. At St. Thomas we just stayed on board. Nothing there we wanted to see. Totally enjoyed an empty ship. The shows and food were GREAT and so was the overall service. In the end, a cruise is what you make of it. We enjoyed ourselves and found ourselves just totally relaxing on our balcony. And YES, we enjoyed the cruise so much we booked again for next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Embarkation: Friday July 31st, we drove forty-five minutes from Washington D.C. and arrived at the Port of Baltimore at 11:45-AM. My wife had pre-programmed the port in her GPS making locating the port very easy. We unloaded our luggage ... Read More
Embarkation: Friday July 31st, we drove forty-five minutes from Washington D.C. and arrived at the Port of Baltimore at 11:45-AM. My wife had pre-programmed the port in her GPS making locating the port very easy. We unloaded our luggage into their baggage carts, paid the $105.00 parking fee, parked the car, grabbed our carry-on's and walked to the terminal. There was lots of Carnival personal to point you in the right direction. We registered at their counter and were given a boarding number (we were 7) and our fun pass card which included our dining room table number. We waited approximately 1 ½ hours and boarded around 1:30-PM. Once onboard ship we went up to deck 9 (Lido deck) and had a nice hot lunch. At 3:15-PM the passageway doors were opened and we went to our cabin (7220) to find our luggage was waiting for us in the hallway. We unpacked and walked around the ship. Cabin: Our cabin was very nicely laid out with plenty of storage space and shelves (good lighting in the cabin). We both found the bed comfortable although a bit hard. The T.V. does have a very limited amount of channels. Although we did watch several newer movies (Marley and Me, Twilight and The Day the Earth Stood Still). The shower stall was good sized and had shampoo and body-wash in two dispensers mounted on the shower wall. The cabin steward will give you (if you ask) packages of shampoo and conditioner. They make very few announcements that can be heard within your cabin so you do have to open your cabin door to hear what being broadcasted. The cabins are well sound proofed and all cabins have a thick entrance doors. The balcony was small but adequate with two (2) chairs and a table. The balcony door is very heavy duty with thick curtains that keep the room dark even in the sunniest of conditions. Dining: • Breakfast: We ate all of our breakfasts in the 9th floor Lido Deck Mermaid Grill (fruit, cold cereal or oatmeal). We both decided to stay away from the fattier, heavier breakfast foods like sausage, eggs, bacon, hash browns, etc. but they were readily available from all the stations as was Danish and donuts from the dessert station. • Lunch: We mainly eat our lunch in the Mermaid Grill. They have a pretty good assortment of sandwiches and hot dishes. I recall we had hot turkey and mash potatoes one day and pizza another. We did try lunch one day in the main dinner room which was good. • Dinner: This is where I was probably the most pleasantly surprised. I thought the food was very good. In my opinion I would rate the food at a 7 (on a scale on 1-10). The soups and the main dishes were all severed hot and no one was ever limited to the number of meals you could order (have as many as you wanted). We had the first seat and were seated in the Captain's Club (table 291). I thought our waiter did a wonderful job. No wonder he was Carnival's waiter of the month for June. We did eat one evening at Dave's Super Club and the food there is very good (I'd give a...9). Ports of Call • Grand Turk: We took the Catamaran sail-away, beach and snorkel excursion. This was a lot of fun and the Catamaran captain and crew were a lot of fun yet very safety minded. The excursion took us out to snorkel at Grand Turk's wall, which goes from 25' to over 6000' (very cool - one giant drop). I personally loved the second part of the excursion. They anchored at a private beach where my wife and I swam and floating in the beautiful crystal clear calm water...it was great and very memorable. Although we took our own snorkel gear in the future I will use the gear provided by the excursion. It's just easier that way. • Half Moon Cay: We both loved the beach and the swimming area. It is the ideal beach day. My wife and I swam, snorkeled and floated in the water all day. We brought our own snorkel gear but it is available to rent. The water has enough salt that we floated without flotation devices but they are available for rent. I wish we could have stayed at Half Moon Cay for two days. The designated swimming area is huge with almost no waves. For $17 we rented one (1) clam shell under an island pine which includes two lounge chairs (bring your Carnival blue towels). I do recommend renting a clam shell so you can get out of the sun (not a lot of shade on the beach). They started serving lunch (free) around 11:45-AM at the large open pavilion which is located behind the dune (the food pavilion is about in the center of the beach). There were plenty of picnic tables (covered) available to sit and enjoy lunch. Try the Jerk Chicken. It was the best. • Freeport: This is an industrial working sea port with cargo ships coming and going. There are huge cranes off loading ships (and plenty of noise too). So that day we made arrangement for the spa. We had a wonderful couples massage. We also spent some time hanging out by the adult pool and just relaxing. We did get off the ship and we walked around the compound. There are several small shops (hair braiding, wood carving, t-shirts, beach wear etc.) close to the ship. They had a band that was close to the ship that played Caribbean music all day at one of the small pavilions. Other Activities: We attended the "Love and Marriage" game and that was fun and good for a few laughs. My wife and I both went to the dance lessons (Disco and Country line dancing). My wife liked the instructor "Brian" who was from Columbia, South America and a very good teacher. We did go to the gym three times and had a wonderful workout (they could use some fan in there). They limit you to 30 minutes per machine (I saw some people playing by the rules and some did not). I think it's best to be there between 6:30 - 7:00AM to get a machine. Neither of us could stay awake long enough (by 8:30) to attend any of the evening night shows. We were putting in full days and we were up in the five o'clock hour (saw some beautiful sunrises) but we heard good things about the shows from our dinner tablemates. Disembarkation: This is one area that Carnival at the Port of Baltimore needs to work on. Since we were using the self assist they announced (not in our cabin) to leave our cabins and go to either deck 3 or deck 9. We went to deck 3 (portside) and watched the activity and chatted with a few people. They started by releasing deck 1 odd then even first. Then they announced (not outside on deck 3) floor number 8. We only heard they made that announcement from fellow passengers. So we moved inside not wanting to miss our call. Than they skipped our floor (7) and jumped to deck 6? I saw people using the "self assist" carrying suitcases large enough to park a small car in. After roughly 1 ½ hours they called deck 7 next and we made our way to the terminal. Immigration moved fast as we had nothing to declare so we were at our car in ten minutes. Summation: The Pride is a fun ship...but any trip or vacation it's always what you make out of it. We had a great time and the wonderful cruise (loved the food and Half Moon Cay) and it really exceeded my expectations. One suggestion to Carnival...the hallway on deck 2 (going to the Normandie Restaurant) is to narrow to have the photographer setup and working. It makes for a real bottle neck. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009

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