Just returned from our much anticipated Carnival Pride cruise out of NYC.... 7 nights (Departure Day, Day-at-sea, Bermuda, Bermuda, Bermuda, Bermuda, Day-at-sea, Arrive Home) and have terrific things to say about the ship, crew and overall ... Read More
Just returned from our much anticipated Carnival Pride cruise out of NYC.... 7 nights (Departure Day, Day-at-sea, Bermuda, Bermuda, Bermuda, Bermuda, Day-at-sea, Arrive Home) and have terrific things to say about the ship, crew and overall experience.
Arriving early at the port in NYC, check in was relatively quick and painless once we figured out where to go. Walking onto the Pride, you are taken back by the beauty of the main lobby with its soaring ceiling (topped by the red-glassed smokestack) and multiple glass elevators. This was like no cruise ship I had ever seen before. Our room wasn't quite ready, so we headed up to the 9th floor Mermaid Grille, where most of the buffets and a la carte eating were to be found the rest of the trip. This dining room, with its multiple food and beverage stations and plentiful seating, was a great place to grab a quick bite or get some pizza (from their 24-hour pizza bar) while lying poolside. SPEAKING OF POOLSIDE-- my husband and I were most pleasantly surprised to find an ADULTS-ONLY pool area on the Pride. The rear deck on the 9th floor has a terrific pool and jacuzzi, ice cream bar and alcohol bar and is off-limits to the under-18 crowd. It was a great option, as a couple traveling without children, to be able to sit at a child-free pool. Security did a great job of 'redirecting' kids away from this area. This seems to be a new idea that Carnival is toying with, as the signs saying Adults Only was a computer print-out and taped to the door. From the crowds on this deck, it seems that its a popular idea!
We made it down to our room and were quite pleased with the accommodations. 5th floor, obstructed balcony. I was apprehensive about the 'obstructed' part, but it turned out, as accurately explained by the Carnival rep when I booked this trip, that a lifeboat was in front of the lower part of the balcony. Not a problem at all, visibility-wise and certainly worth the savings. The deck had a small lounge chair, an upright chair and a small table. Great place to fall asleep reading. The room was clean, very spacious (3 closets!) and the bathroom was new and immaculate. Throughout the week, we ordered the FREE! room service and our order always showed up within minutes of hanging up the phone.
The cruise director, Michael, and his wife, Jennie were a riot and kept things rolling along. We won 500 bucks playing Bingo the very first night. The shows were entertaining and well-done. A little used area of the ship seemed to be the Ivory Piano Bar. We went there almost every night and sang along with the personable Eric. There's nothing like hearing and singing along to 'Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard! People took turns skimming through his song folder and making requests. What fun!
The crew warned passengers about Scootering/Mopeding once we got to Bermuda. Few people seemed to take heed and MANY were bandaged and broken by the time we departed from this lovely island. I also heard a few people complaining that they HAD to pay 60 bucks roundtrip for a cab to the beach. Yes, it costs that much to cab it to the beach, if you CHOOSE to go that way, but a better deal was to buy a 3-day transit pass for 23 bucks and use it for unlimited bus and ferry passage. A 15 minute bus-ride on a clean bus filled with mostly cruisers was a great alternative to that 60 dollar cab ride. Silly people. We snorkeled at Church Bay (the closest beach to the ship, though you can't walk there) and the beach was a bit rocky -- I wore my Teva's in the water when swimming. We took the bus to Horseshoe Beach and walked about 15 minutes down through a number of little isolated beaches and came to an empty beach where my husband and I spend the day riding the waves and snorkeling in virtual isolation. It was WONDERFUL and something I will always remember.(BE WARNED: I used sunscreen all over, but forgot my lips -- ended up with yucky sun poisoning on my lips in the form of lots of crusty old fever blisters--how romantic)
The dining staff was adequate in the main dining room. We sat at table 404, upstairs along the railing which was great for viewing people eating downstairs and the nightly dancing done by the wait staff. The service and food was good, though the last night, something strange happened that has me still scratching my head. We saw a few tables below us eating lobster when lobster hadn't been offered on the menu. We asked about it and our waiter laughed and said he would go 'fishing' We thought that meant he would try to find us some. We saw seconds and THIRDS! being served below us and brought it to the attention of our waiter again. He joked about it and we said we weren't joking (in a nice way) and that we really would loooove some lobster. He said Sure, Sure and brought us dessert menus. When asked what I wanted for dessert, I told him lobster and he said, sure, Lobster Ice Cream, ha ha. Well, I'm all for a good laugh, but I really do wish he had pursued the lobster. Even if he wasn't able to track one down for us, I just wish he had come back and said, "I tried, Sorry, we're all out." But, no luck. Since it was the last night, we were going to tip him some extra money as a thank you, but after such craziness, we decided to just stick with the standard tip.
David's restaurant was where we dined one night. My husband and I are great fans of Morton's steakhouse and we were hoping the experience would be similar. The atmosphere is lovely and the service extraordinary. Strangely, they were out of 2 of the entree's, though we were there as soon as the restaurant opened that evening. One that they were out of was their signature Crab. The quality of the steak was excellent, though not quite as wonderful as a Mortons. I was particularly impressed by the truffle butter that they offered with the bread. YUM! Having music to dance to throughout dinner was an extra wonderful touch. Without being asked or reminded, they brought us an anniversary cake, which they wrapped up for us to be taken back to our room. A nice treat. The desserts were MUCH better than the desserts in the main dining room.
AHHH desserts! I MUST mention one more interesting detail about the desserts. Every night, Carnival offers a "SUGAR-FREE" cake in the dining room and the Mermaid Grille. As someone who abstains from sugar and flour much of the time, I am familiar with "Sugar-Free" desserts and what they do to one's intestinal track. Malitol, Lacitol and other sugar-free sweeteners that bakers use have a tendency to have a 'ahem' laxative effect on most of the population. I warned my husband of this as he dove into his sugar-free banana cake, only to experience this side-effect for himself later that evening. I spoke with the waiter about it, and he had no idea about it. I wonder, over the course of a cruise, how many people find themselves in the bathroom with a tummy-ache and blame it on the ship/food/flu/etc, when its actually these desserts! Read the back of any sugar-free candy that contains the aforementioned substances. It says "May cause laxative effect"
Overall, we had a terrific time. I would cruise this ship again ANY time and wish that I could go again next week! Read Less