Leading up to our cruise on the Pride October 11th, I read everything I could find about this ship on the Cruise Critic boards. I thought I would post a short review in hopes that I can help future passengers. This was our 13th cruise ... Read More
Leading up to our cruise on the Pride October 11th, I read everything I could find about this ship on the Cruise Critic boards. I thought I would post a short review in hopes that I can help future passengers. This was our 13th cruise (wife and myself), on various cruise lines. We sailed on the Carnival Miracle three years ago, which is the sister ship to the Pride and basically the same ship.
We stayed in cabin 4237 which is a Vista Suite deck four aft, starboard. I have to say that this is the best cabin we have ever stayed in without question. I read a few other reviews on this exact cabin and some loved it and others were disappointed because of the vibration. Having sailed twelve times previously and a few in cabins near the aft, I was prepared for the vibrations that naturally come from the engine. I honestly didn’t think it was that bad for most of the trip. Going south, the ship never went over 16 knots, so the vibration was at a minimum. Coming back North, we were at 24 knots most of the ride and the vibrations became more noticeable, but nothing that bothered us. We had to move some glasses around and put something up against the safe to keep them from rattling, but that was all. If you are susceptible to motion sickness maybe the vibrations will impact you more, but for us it was just not an issue.
I will say that there is a problem with the water in that cabin. Every time we turned on a faucet in the sink or in the shower, the water had an obvious brown discoloration to it. It was so bad that we wouldn’t brush our teeth with that water, we used bottled water instead. Some days if you let the water run for five minutes it would clear up, but other days it would be much longer. Taking a shower is interesting when you see the water gathering at your feet is brown. The cabin steward had no answer to the issue other than to “let it run” and customer service gave me some reason about the fresh water tanks being in the back of the ship. I didn’t believe either of them. The water in the toilet was always clear.
The cabin itself was awesome. Basically three separate areas. The living room that had a couch and chair. A separate bedroom and a dressing area with a walk-in closet. There are a few videos on YouTube that show the room in detail if you search for Pride 4237. The wraparound balcony is outstanding. We spent many hours, night and day on that balcony listening to the wash from the props and looking at the sea. That balcony alone is worth the price of the cabin.
Be sure to bring an extension cord and a plug with a few outlets since useable outlets are hard to find. I had one ten outlet plug that we used for all of our electronic devices and my wife used for her hair iron and blow dryer, and it worked out fine. Since you can no longer bring bottles on the ship, I purchased bottled water from Carnival for a very fair price of $2.99 for 12 bottles (bought three). Carnival has a new thing where the steward only comes into the room once per day to clean. He asked us on the first day if we wanted early or late “make-up” and we chose late. They also will only change the bed linens once in the middle of the cruise if you ask for it, but we chose to use the same lines the entire trip.
Now for the cruise itself. We had the itinerary that stopped in Port Canaveral, Nassau and Freeport. Our son recently moved to Tampa, so I rented a car near the port from Budget and we met him in Kissimmee for an air boat tour. Spent most of the day with him, then drove back to the ship by 4:30 for a 6:00 pm departure. If you use Budget, be careful NOT to take the pre-paid fuel tank fill-up. They charge you for a full tank even if you only use half a tank. There are a few gas stations near the facility to fill up before you return the car.
In Nassau, we took a cab to Paradise Island and bought tickets for the aquarium. We spent a few hours over there and had a late lunch at the outdoor grill. The aquarium pass limits you to certain areas of the island, but we pretty much went wherever we wanted to go and no one ever stopped us. The resort was pretty quiet, so maybe it was more off-season.
In Freeport we did the ATV adventure through the ship. It was expensive, but what a blast we had. It consisted of three parts. First we went to Ardesta gardens, which is basically a walking tour of different flowers and plants. The best part was the ducks that roam the gardens. You can buy food at the café and sit around and feed the ducks while you wait for the ATV portion of the tour. We fed the ducks and had a blast. After an hour in the gardens we climbed aboard our ATV’s and were given the mandatory five minute “How-To” and off we went. I’ve been on a number of ATV tours through cruise ships and I think this was the best one ever. The roads we rode were barely wider than the ATV and the guides had us going at breakneck speeds the entire ride. The roads cut through a very remote area and if you go off the road, you will find yourself in vegetation and high grass. Nothing dangerous, so don’t worry about that. The island is very flat, so no cliffs to worry about. At one point the guides took us to a spot that was surrounded by beautiful blue water with a lone tree growing at the very tip of this peninsula. I have to say it was one of the best spots I’ve had the chance to stand on in my life. Really beautiful. The third part of the tour was an hour or so at a local beach. More beautiful water to be around. There was a place to buy food if you were hungry as well (sort of expensive, but good).
I don’t consider myself a foodie, so my review of the food is based on the fact that someone else is doing the cooking and if I didn’t like something, I just asked for a different plate of food. Overall, the food in the main dining room was good. I didn’t have a bad meal at any point. On lobster night I had three helpings because the lobster tail is pretty small. On other nights I tried two meals and put them together to make a larger meal. I found for me, the amount of food on the plate left me a little hungry, but if you get a pre-dinner salad and a starter, you will be fine. I saw a guy two tables over from me eating three or four plates of food each night, so don’t be afraid to ask for extra helpings.
We ate at David’s Steakhouse one night and the food was outstanding. It was my wife’s birthday and they came over and sang for her and gave us a special birthday cake for dessert. I had the surf and turf and it was very good. My disappointment was that they show you the types of steak and lobster you can get before you order and the lobster tail and fillet mignon were both huge, but when my meal arrived, my portions were about half the size of the items displayed. I asked the waitress and she said for the surf and turf you get smaller portions of each instead of the displayed large portions. It was still very flavorful and I enjoyed it, but felt like they pulled a fast one on me.
The food in the buffet was what you would expect of a buffet. Nothing I had was bad, but nothing was exceptional either. The Guy’s burger joint was very good, as was the Blue Iguana cantina. We had breakfast three times in the main dining room and the other days at the buffet. I prefer the MDR food at breakfast, but it takes longer to get through breakfast when you sit there instead of going up to the buffet.
I didn’t like the entertainment in the main show hall. We watched the 88 keys show on the second night and weren’t very impressed and then tried two other shows and walked out after ten minutes each time to go to the comedy show instead. I did enjoy the comedy shows each night. They have two PG type shows at 7:30 and 8:30, and then adult only shows at 9:30, 11:00 and 11:45. The comedians did a nice job of keeping each show fresh. Halfway through the cruise two new comedians came aboard, so we saw a lot of different comedy shows. The 9:30 show gets really crowded. People start lining up for that show at 8:30. We never got on that long line. Instead we sat in the Red Frog and waited for the line to be finished and then went to the comedy club and always found a place to sit.
Since we were in a suite (first time we ever did that. It was a gift for my wife’s 50th birthday), I can’t really give you a good review on embarkation and debarkation, because we had priority status on both ends. We arrived at the ship at 2:15 and were in our cabin by 2:45 and when we left the ship on Sunday morning, they put us in the dance club at 9:45 and we were off the ship by 10:00 and in our car and driving away by 10:15. I didn’t hear anyone talking about a bad experience or terribly long wait on embarkation, while we were on the ship and conversing with other passengers, so I can only assume it went pretty well. I can say that the parking was really easy getting in and getting out.
Overall it was a really nice ship and I thought the crew did an outstanding job making me feel comfortable while aboard. As far as I’m concerned, when I have someone else doing the cooking and cleaning, and I’m not at the office working, there isn’t really anything worth complaining about. I would certainly sail on the Pride again in the future. Hope this helped in preparing you for your future cruise. If you have any questions, I’ll pop in to the boards now and then and try to answer what I can. Read Less