We wanted to go back to Panama. Unfortunately we didn't port there. We didn't realize that when we booked the cruise. We went through the locks into the big lake, anchored and then returned to the locks and headed out. It was very ... Read More
We wanted to go back to Panama. Unfortunately we didn't port there. We didn't realize that when we booked the cruise. We went through the locks into the big lake, anchored and then returned to the locks and headed out. It was very interesting but we would have liked to spend a few hours on land there. The trip was 10 days we couldn't Port in Costa Rica due to 70 knot winds and 15 to 18 foot seas...pretty crazy. This cruise was very strange for us. There were only 21 children on board, that was a first for us. The rest of the people on board were all over 60 (us included). I have never seen so many walkers and scooters and canes on a cruise. The comedians even had jokes about all the scooter traffic. It was different to say the least.
The crew was awesome as usual and did their best to keep us entertained and comfortable. Hats off to the captain. He did one hell of a job getting us through the turbulent weather. Read Less
The low rating is entirely due to the issue described. Except for the issue described below the cruise would have been fantastic from the service to the food to the excursions. As a ballroom dancer we found the music for dancing was ... Read More
The low rating is entirely due to the issue described. Except for the issue described below the cruise would have been fantastic from the service to the food to the excursions. As a ballroom dancer we found the music for dancing was great from Waltz to East Coast Swing. There was a two piece violinists who played music from Mission Impossible - Tango to Michael Jacksons Billy Jean - Hustle to Adel's Rolling in the Deep - West Coast Swing to Cake on the Ocean - Cha Cha. The floor was too small for the Two Step and Foxtrots played.
The main issue which spoiled the cruise was the one small child (around 5) who wandered the dance floor EVERY night which made dancing impossible. I took a video which shows the danger this child was placed in. It is amazing she wasn't stepped on and injured due to Carnival's negligence. The band found this cute and even encouraged it. I have tried to contact Carnival about this safety issue to no avail.
We are booked on the February 10 2018 Freedom cruise and plan on discussing this with Malcolm. Read Less
After taking a similar cruise a couple of years ago, I wanted to see the NEW Panama Canal. And I did, at least 3 locks and the lake in the middle. Other than that, this was not a good cruise.
Check-in has been streamlined at Galveston, ... Read More
After taking a similar cruise a couple of years ago, I wanted to see the NEW Panama Canal. And I did, at least 3 locks and the lake in the middle. Other than that, this was not a good cruise.
Check-in has been streamlined at Galveston, but it is still somewhat confusing and some people who were scheduled to check in much later that we were actually got through faster than we did - although we supposedly had "priority" check-in. Guess Carnival didn't know they had so many Platinum and Diamond cruiser?
HOWEVER, the Canal passage itself was handled very strangely. We were watching the forward camera on TV, while watching the actual passage from the back on the balcony. ALL the Aft balconies were filled with people, but the "management" couldn't decide whether to have the Panama Canal "expert" piped into the rooms or not, so we had to prop the door open into the hall to hear anything - and then the forward camera went out. Technology is NOT a strong point on this ship.
Dining was good. There have obviously been complaints about the slow service and it was much better than before. The cafeteria on the Lido also had much better service, with people actually coming around with drink refills. The food was good, it always is, so no complaints there. Room Service was good and arrived when requested.
Entertainment? WHAT entertainment? This was a 14-day "Legends" cruise out of Galveston, TEXAS. Average age, according to Carnival, was 63. So NO ONE on board knew any Country music or any pop music before 1990. The Houson Astros were in the World Series. The best place to watch the game was on the Fox Channel in the cabin, so that is where we mostly watched. The Sports Bar was completely full, but the TVs in the casino were often on some random other game or sport, so we just went to the cabin, as did a LOT of passengers. FINALLY, for the 7th game, the game was put on the big screen outside and the place was PACKED. Guess the World Series is too American for Carnival to be aware of.
Service was good overall. Our cabin steward had the entire port side of deck 7 to cover, so he was overworked, but he did a good job. We had few requests, but they were all honored quickly. The only real glitch was laundry. With so many cruisers with free laundry, it was not as fast as usual. We usually got it back the same day, but the second-to-last day it took 2 days, so we got it back just in time to put it into the suitcases.
Ports were OK. We had been to all but one before. We didn't book any excursions through Carnival, but did have luck with the two we booked elsewhere. Read Less
Another Halloween cruise with friends, plus another Journey cruise. Ship went thru new locks, entered lake and turned around and waited it's turn to exit. Visited several ports along the 14 day cruise. Dutch West Indies are our favorite. ... Read More
Another Halloween cruise with friends, plus another Journey cruise. Ship went thru new locks, entered lake and turned around and waited it's turn to exit. Visited several ports along the 14 day cruise. Dutch West Indies are our favorite. We have tranversed the canal before, but not the new canal. The ship is showing it's age and the workers are tired. Looks to me the staff has been reduced at the cost of the workers. They still smile, but have a zombie look on their face. Hot food was a hit and miss in all dining rooms during breakfast, lunch and diner.There's just not enough waiters to get the food to the guests. Also the famous Cholate Melting Cake was a flop. Always runny. We gave up and tried the food courts on the Lido. The Ballroom dance instructors were great. Learned a lot. We sang with crew one night, which was fun. John Heald, the big cheese was onboard. We joined a big group and did many activities on the ship. Purchased lots of cigars and coffee and some stuff for the grand children. Did some excursions from ship. Limon was a new port for us. Read Less
We love Journey Cruises. The staff was excellent. We received royal treatment from Ramesh the Maitre'd. We attended our first "Chef's Table" - what an experience. The comics are improving. Really enjoyed the ballroom dancing ... Read More
We love Journey Cruises. The staff was excellent. We received royal treatment from Ramesh the Maitre'd. We attended our first "Chef's Table" - what an experience. The comics are improving. Really enjoyed the ballroom dancing classes. Our ports of call were excellent. The trip thru the new Panama Canal locks was interesting but it is better to go thru the entire locks. We would prefer that Carnival allowed the enrichment speakers to select their own topics to talk about. We had an interior cabin on deck one and it was just fine. We had a sad situation that guest services helped us out with very nicely. Our experience boarding and leaving the ship was easy. We enjoyed the crafts. Throw back sea day is a blast and we always look forward to it. The playlist shows need to have more variety. The entertainment throughout the ship was enjoyable. We do like the food selections on Carnival. Read Less
While we love the Freedom and Carnival, this was the best cruise ever. It was our honeymoon, and not only were the staff great, the passengers were very friendly and helped make the cruise even better. Aruba, Curacoa, and Cartegena all ... Read More
While we love the Freedom and Carnival, this was the best cruise ever. It was our honeymoon, and not only were the staff great, the passengers were very friendly and helped make the cruise even better. Aruba, Curacoa, and Cartegena all wowed us more than expected - and our expectations were high. The shore excursions were great, but we would definitely take a cab to a specific beach next time in Curacoa and get a private tour to the old and new parts of Cartegena.
Carnivals new embarkation procedure was amazingly fast and simple. The shows were great, though we did not get to see many due to an injury (not too serious) of one of the performers. The shows we did see were great and as always, the comedians were great.
An inside cabin was great as always, but my wife would prefer some outside light for a 14 day cruise. Read Less
Was on the Journey’s cruise 14 days from Tampa ending in Baltimore. This is my 8th cruise with Carnival and have been on NCL and RCCL. I have done a 15 day to Hawaii with Carnival so we kind of knew what to expected. Wife and I are ... Read More
Was on the Journey’s cruise 14 days from Tampa ending in Baltimore. This is my 8th cruise with Carnival and have been on NCL and RCCL. I have done a 15 day to Hawaii with Carnival so we kind of knew what to expected. Wife and I are late 20’s, early 30’s. I think we only had a handful of people in our age group and almost no kids on this cruise. Most passengers 50+ or even 60+. Having some issues on past Carnival Cruises (missing Maui Twice) I do go into these longer ones with less expectation. I am happy to report most of my expectations were met or exceeded.
Ship - The ship itself is 15 years old but in most cases it does not appear that old. The interior upkeep from both the common spaces to the cabins was above what I was expecting. Staff are always cleaning and they must be doing a good job upkeep the ship, it at least appeared so. We did have an extended balcony and I could comment the balcony could use a little refurb. The wood flooring was showing its wear. Also paint splatter everywhere…. But for the age, she is in good shape.
Crew - Our Cabin steward Jessica was the best we ever had. Kept our cabin clean, towels fresh, etc. Thanks for taking care of us Jessica. Dining Room Staff, our Asst Waiters were excellent, our head waiter, blah, I found him disorganized and slow. If the head waiter let the asst waiters do more, I think we would have had better service. Saying that, the service was not bad, just slow. Overall all, all common area staff were friendly, including bars, lido buffet and elsewhere. Steve the cruise director was everywhere, not being my top pick CD, he did a good job. I should also say the Maitre’d Ken was excellent too, first time in 8 Carnival Cruises the Maitre’d talked to us younger cruises (and he did 3-4 times)
Food – The Pride has the American Table menu. This is the first time I had American Table. I am happy to report, the food was good to even excellent. I have noticed an improvement from the last few ships. Breakfast at the Lido Buffet breakfast was better than Seaday Brunch/Dining Room breakfast. Lunch was either Guys Burgers or Taco/Burrito from Blue Iguana. All in all, I think Carnival is improving the food, or the staff on the Pride are at least doing a good job.
Entertainment – This is one of the places Carnival has always failed and continues to fail. The playlist production singer/dancers are not good singers or dancers. I find the singing is usually out of key/tune or they are over singing. The dancing is also off sync most of the time. Also playing pre-recorded tracks is just plain awful, bring back the live band. The other issue is the shows are the same ship to ship. Since this was 14 days they bring on some headliners. Usually that’s exciting but I have seen them all before on another ship. Juggler, ventriloquist, sideshow guy, illusionist, I have seen ever single one of these acts within the last 3 years on Carnival and they were the exact same show. One act that Carnival needs to stop bring on the ships is Bobby Borgia illusionist, his act in my opinion is stale and has been the same for years. I love the Comedy on the Spirit class ships, as the do not clear the room. Your able to spend the entire night watching Comedy. That being said, first come, first serve. You have to make sure you are 30-45 mins before the first show, or you wont get a seat all night, you have been warned. Diane Ford is one of the best comics I have ever seen, Carnival needs to keep her coming back.
Issues – We only had one issue which was rectified. We booked 14 months in advanced and had Confirmed 6pm (early sitting) dining. When I looked at our Sign and Sail card it was listed as YTD (Your time dining). The issue is with most people being over 60, everyone wanted to eat early. Not sure how I was bumped from confirmed to YTD. We like to eat at 6pm, see the main lounge show and spend the night at the comedy club. I went directly to the Maitre’d station. At first they said, nothing they can do but to be put on the waitlist. The next day in our mailbox, we got a table assigned via a letter from the Maitre’d.
Overall this was a good cruise, a little boring for the 20/30 somethings. We like the brand new shinny ships. Would I go on a 14 days Journeys cruise again with partial Panama Canal? NO, I would not. As much as I love the Spirit Class ships, I will stick to larger, newer ships. I already have the Vista booked for December. One added detail, be prepared for a lot of Platinum and Diamond cruisers on these sailings. Over 50% were Platinum and Diamond and I never heard so many people yell out “ but I am priority”. I also found a lot of the guests were getting sick (colds) towards the end of the sailing. Tons of coughing and sneezing. Read Less
We chose this cruise as going to the Panama Canal was on my bucket list. My great grandfather had actually worked building the original canal and I wanted to experience it for myself. There were 4 of us adults in an extended balcony ... Read More
We chose this cruise as going to the Panama Canal was on my bucket list. My great grandfather had actually worked building the original canal and I wanted to experience it for myself. There were 4 of us adults in an extended balcony cabin on deck 7. The cabin itself was fine; plenty of storage for the 4 of us as I have come to expect with a Carnival ship. There were some dents and scratches but the cabin itself was very clean and the room steward was great; another think I have come to expect from Carnival.
Embarkation in Tampa was fine. We had FTTF and were on the ship by noon. However, our luggage did not arrive until 8 pm! Here I will comment on the reported over 1,000 Diamond and Platinum members on the ship. I believe the staff overall during the 14 days were so overwhelmed with serving the perks of the Diamond and Platinum members, that the rest of us lowly Gold, Red and Blue card members got overlooked. We had YTD, but because there were so many people who requested early dining that could not be accommodated, it was practically impossible to eat before 8 pm in YTD without having to wait 45 minutes for a table. Therefore, we only ate in YTD I believe 3 times on our 14 day cruise. We were hungry before we could get a table so we just ate on Lido for dinner, since the menu was almost the same. Upon debarkation, the FTTF people were held along with the suite people in a private area of the ship, but were not told to debark until after luggage tag 5 was called. We weren't actually told to debark even though we had luggage tag #2, but someone heard #5 called and we all left. The person in charge of us royally goofed. Anyway, the actually debark in Baltimore was fine, except there were absolutely no taxis available by the time we got off the ship. It was in the 20's that morning and we waited probably 45 minutes for a taxi. So, debark in Baltimore was not very good for sure. Anyway, the fact that Carnival sold FTTF spaces with that many Diamond and Platinum guests was a big mistake, IMHO and I believe it was a waste of money.
All of the ports were great! Weather was perfect in Cozumel, Costa Rica, going through the Panama Canal, Aruba, Bonaire and St. Maarten. We just took a cab to Paradise Beach in Cozumel, had a private tour in Costa Rica (awesome), took a cab to the Butterfly Garden in Aruba, shopped and went on the sunset cruise in the afternoon (awesome), rented a golf cart in Bonaire and went on a 2 beach private tour in St. Maarten. I will say that besides the Panama Canal being a highlight, we wish that Costa Rica would have been a longer stop. There was also an issue with getting off the ship in Costa Rica because everybody wanted to get off at once because of the short day. We had a wonderful tour, but with the ship being in port only from 11 am to 5 pm made it a very rushed day and it is such a beautiful country! It was very windy in all ports except for Costa Rica and excursions in Aruba and St. Maarten were cancelled.
Since we only ate in the dining room 2 or 3 times, I cannot comment on the wait staff really. The food on Lido was just OK and we always could find something to eat, but the Chinese food was pretty bad and there were none of those boneless breaded chicken fingers to be found anywhere on the Pride. We even asked the chef, who told us in no uncertain terms that they would not be served on Lido ever and we were told to go to the MDR. So, we went to the MDR and were told they only had the chicken strips but we had to order them a day ahead of time. We did this a couple of times and made them a take out order, but they were very small and I think had a Panko crust that was very thin. I never heard so many people complaining about the food choices on a cruise for dinner as on this cruise. Many guests called them "weird food" and I would agree that there were some strange things on the menu. Lots of pork dishes, lamb, very little pasta, dry seafood, beef dishes were generally tough and very little chicken. I only saw turkey one night and it wasn't the night of the American Feast. Thank goodness for guys burgers, salads and fresh fruit!
There was a noticeable lack of bar staff wandering around the Lido except for embarkation day. It was always easy to find a deck chair except for Serenity. The wait staff in the bars was pretty good, but it didn't seem like this was a drinking crowd because the bars were rarely full.
The entertainment in the Taj Mahal was pretty dismal. The Playlist Productions were not good. We have seen these productions on other ships and on the Pride they did not met my expectations. The special acts they brought on because it was a Journeys cruise were great. Adam in the Piano bar was OK. The other singers around the ship were OK, but the young woman who sang like Joni Mitchell and played the guitar really got on my nerves. It seemed wherever I went, she was there singing. They had her and another singer on the Serenity Deck for a few hours a day also. It's supposed to be quiet on Serenity, IMHO. Nice string duo playing around the ship.
Overall the Pride seems tired. It was very clean, but it is showing wear. Examples, there were many floor tiles loose in the Lido area that were not fixed, worn carpets, scratches and dents in various areas of the ships. The CD, Steve from Canada also seemed tired. The Fun Shops didn't have much of a variety of merchandise and it seemed like a lot of wasted space. We love the layout and different areas of the Spirit Class, but the Pride needs an update.
The one shining spot for the Journeys cruise was the Academy of Fun classes run by Tom Parks. Very informative, and we learned a lot from him Tom is also very approachable and if you had a question or wanted further information, he was always around to talk to. The 80's throwback day was also fun.
Overall, we had a great time and were not disappointed with the itinerary, which is generally why we choose a cruise. The other passengers were very friendly to us, but there were grumblings among them about the food, entertainment, condition of the ship and some were very rude to the staff. We would take the Pride again since it is only a 6 hour drive for us, but the normal itineraries out of Baltimore are not very great and it needs an update. We rate this cruise very good, mostly because of the itinerary. Read Less
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and were not disappointed with that. However found the Pride was the worst of any ship on our 14 cruises. 2 nights had nothing appealing to 4 of the 6 at our table. The other couple were first ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and were not disappointed with that. However found the Pride was the worst of any ship on our 14 cruises. 2 nights had nothing appealing to 4 of the 6 at our table. The other couple were first timers so had nothing to compare to. Room steward was great Jomel met our every need. However, our room balcony had paint splatter all over the lacquered railing glass, floor and seats. Then when they washed the balcony down there were floating paint chips that stuck to everything. We have sailed on the Pride previously and had a great experience. This time not so much. Female entertainer was off key every time she performed. The only good singer was Marcus Anthony who came on board at 1 port. Shows were quite amateurish from other cruises. Dining we requested to sit with 6 cotravellers and asked 4 weeks in advance and could not be accommodated. Met new friends but watched our party of 6 at every dinner. Matree'd was of no help. Read Less
Cruised before on the Pride, usually doing the Eastern Caribbean. The ship is a medium size ship that hold approximately 2,700 passengers. The ship was renovated in 2014 with Carnivals 2.0 upgrades. The older art that was on the ship ... Read More
Cruised before on the Pride, usually doing the Eastern Caribbean. The ship is a medium size ship that hold approximately 2,700 passengers. The ship was renovated in 2014 with Carnivals 2.0 upgrades. The older art that was on the ship was replaced with a more modern try of décor. Guys burger join, Iguana cantina, Red frog bar, Alcoy bar and a sushi restaurant were added. The ship was clean and easy to maneuver. You can walk from one end of the ship to the other on the same deck. The only problem with this ship is that the Casino can become very smoky.
This cruise went to Grand Turk which is a nice place to relax on the beach right by the cruise pier. The next port was Amber Cove. This was the first time to visit this port. Carnival has a nice port with shops, pools similar to Grand Turk, restaurants and bars, a sky bar with outstanding views and a zip line that is above the swimming pools. Next port was Cartagena, Columbia. This was a beautiful city with modern high rises and the old walled city. The walled city had houses, shops and restaurants similar to San Juan. Our next stop was a trip through the Panama Canal where we anchored and then traveled through the canal a few hours later back into the Caribbean. The passage was very informative and unique to see the ship and other ships being raised in the locks to a higher level to enter Gatun lake and then lowered when returned to enter the Caribbean. Our next port was Limon, Costa Rica. This port is full of different adventures. We chose to go zip lining and a boat exploring the canals. The zip lining had twelve different lines and was a great adventure. On the canal tour we were able to see different birds, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, sloths, an alligator and a cayman. The next port was Cozumel, Mexico. This port also had many excursions. The port area was loaded with shops, bars and restaurants. The only problem was that there were nine ships in port and the area was crowded. Our last stop was where the ship was repositioned in Tampa. Great cruise, but would have been better if the ship had sailed back to Baltimore. Read Less
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