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We enjoyed our cruise immensely, but not necessarily because Carnival offered such a great ship, crew or experience. We NEEDED a vacation and there would have been little, in the course of a normal cruise, to keep us from enjoying time away from the busy-ness of home. We LOVED the newer layout of this ship as opposed to our other experiences on Carnival ships. That being said, the Pride, even though she has been out of refurbishment for only a year, is looking very worn and tired in many places - paint, wall edging, flooring. This was disappointing considering we picked this Journeys cruise because our perception was that she would still be rather fresh. Adding to our feeling of disappointment was the fact that our room was not cleaned well before we arrived. We found a bobby pin and a Tic Tac from the previous guests on our stateroom floor, table sticky with maple syrup and empty Coke can full of cigarette butts on the balcony. As soon as I spoke to Guest Services about it, they inspected the cabin, so I expected to return to a shiny, clean stateroom. However, even after the "housekeeping inspection," the bobby pin was still sitting in the middle of the floor, the table was still sticky and the Coke can sat on our balcony for three days until the balcony was scheduled to be cleaned. We were, however, treated very nicely by our cabin staff throughout the entire cruise. We are also NONSMOKERS who spend a significant amount of time and money in the casino. Not hours and hours or thousands of dollars at a time, mind you, but it is definitely a part of the "getaway" that I referred to earlier. The very little time that Carnival spent to organize non-smoking areas for the convenience and air quality of non-smokers? Pathetic. Truly pathetic. And THEN, for slot tournaments, the spa staff took one of the ONLY full banks of non-smoking slot machines and tied them up for hours at a time! Carnival, if you're reading nothing else of this review, please read this - If Carnival doesn't make some changes in their smoking policy, they WILL lose passengers. 20-30 passengers, on this cruise alone, that I spoke with in the casino said that they would probably not take another Carnival cruise because of the lack of thoughtfulness when it comes to the heavy population of smokers they draw. It may be a loss they're willing to take, however, considering our experience. And that's disappointing to us as loyal Carnival passengers. We were also very disappointed in our seating arrangements in the main dining room. We were never given a choice about the number of passengers at our table and my husband and I would prefer to sit alone, and that is what I requested when we booked our cruise. Instead, we were seated at a table for 6 and two of the people never showed, leaving us seated with people with whom we were forced to make conversation for 2 weeks. Eventually, we just stopped going to the main dining room for dinner, which doesn't seem right. It did drive us to the other restaurants and caused us to spend more money on the ship, so maybe that's part of Carnival's plan? In any case, with the numbers of empty 2-top tables I saw during the 8:15 seating, we could have easily had our seating request granted and saved ourselves about $400 of additional dining costs. Not cool, Carnival. Not cool. Main dining room fare was mediocre, at best. David's steakhouse food was superb. The escargot and focaccia were two of the best tasting things on the ship, followed closely by the chocolate chip cookies served in Mermaids. Why do we have to pay extra for the best food? Again, disappointing. On a POSITIVE note, the itinerary was GREAT! This was our first time embarking from Baltimore and it could not have been better. We loved the 8 port days surrounded on either end by several sea days. It worked very well for our preferred cruise style. Several crew members stood out and provided service above and beyond. They made up for some of our disappointment with Carnival and helped us create some great memories. Two made significant impressions on us: Elena, the bar waitress in the Alchemy Bar, was a really treat. VERY knowledgeable about her craft and always ready to let us try new combinations for our nightly visits. She was so sweet and made us look forward to seeing her every evening. In fact, we began to rearrange our evening habits around her break time so we would not miss her. She was wonderful and I would highly recommend a promotion for her to full bar staff. The other member of your crew that impressed us greatly was Dejan, one of the dealers in the casino. He was fun, engaging, friendly and extremely knowledgeable about the table games we play all the time and also about the ones we've never played before. Honestly, there were several other dealers who seemed to treat us as if we were a bother to them, that they had a lot of better things to do than deal cards. We've experienced that on many cruises before, but this cruise seemed to have a larger percentage of dealers who just seemed bored with dealing cards. Could be the length of the cruise or the number of sea days in a row, but it was noticeable and worth mentioning. To put it more concisely, if not for our negative feelings about the stateroom first impression, smoke in the casino and the poor food/table assignment in the main dining room, we could not have been happier with this trip.

Pride Upgrades Enjoyable But Smoke, Mediocre Food and Dirty Cabin Wasn't

Carnival Pride Cruise Review by tdrenth

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2016
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Aft-View Extended Balcony
We enjoyed our cruise immensely, but not necessarily because Carnival offered such a great ship, crew or experience. We NEEDED a vacation and there would have been little, in the course of a normal cruise, to keep us from enjoying time away from the busy-ness of home. We LOVED the newer layout of this ship as opposed to our other experiences on Carnival ships. That being said, the Pride, even though she has been out of refurbishment for only a year, is looking very worn and tired in many places - paint, wall edging, flooring. This was disappointing considering we picked this Journeys cruise because our perception was that she would still be rather fresh.

Adding to our feeling of disappointment was the fact that our room was not cleaned well before we arrived. We found a bobby pin and a Tic Tac from the previous guests on our stateroom floor, table sticky with maple syrup and empty Coke can full of cigarette butts on the balcony. As soon as I spoke to Guest Services about it, they inspected the cabin, so I expected to return to a shiny, clean stateroom. However, even after the "housekeeping inspection," the bobby pin was still sitting in the middle of the floor, the table was still sticky and the Coke can sat on our balcony for three days until the balcony was scheduled to be cleaned. We were, however, treated very nicely by our cabin staff throughout the entire cruise.

We are also NONSMOKERS who spend a significant amount of time and money in the casino. Not hours and hours or thousands of dollars at a time, mind you, but it is definitely a part of the "getaway" that I referred to earlier. The very little time that Carnival spent to organize non-smoking areas for the convenience and air quality of non-smokers? Pathetic. Truly pathetic. And THEN, for slot tournaments, the spa staff took one of the ONLY full banks of non-smoking slot machines and tied them up for hours at a time! Carnival, if you're reading nothing else of this review, please read this - If Carnival doesn't make some changes in their smoking policy, they WILL lose passengers. 20-30 passengers, on this cruise alone, that I spoke with in the casino said that they would probably not take another Carnival cruise because of the lack of thoughtfulness when it comes to the heavy population of smokers they draw. It may be a loss they're willing to take, however, considering our experience. And that's disappointing to us as loyal Carnival passengers.

We were also very disappointed in our seating arrangements in the main dining room. We were never given a choice about the number of passengers at our table and my husband and I would prefer to sit alone, and that is what I requested when we booked our cruise. Instead, we were seated at a table for 6 and two of the people never showed, leaving us seated with people with whom we were forced to make conversation for 2 weeks. Eventually, we just stopped going to the main dining room for dinner, which doesn't seem right. It did drive us to the other restaurants and caused us to spend more money on the ship, so maybe that's part of Carnival's plan? In any case, with the numbers of empty 2-top tables I saw during the 8:15 seating, we could have easily had our seating request granted and saved ourselves about $400 of additional dining costs. Not cool, Carnival. Not cool.

Main dining room fare was mediocre, at best. David's steakhouse food was superb. The escargot and focaccia were two of the best tasting things on the ship, followed closely by the chocolate chip cookies served in Mermaids. Why do we have to pay extra for the best food? Again, disappointing.

On a POSITIVE note, the itinerary was GREAT! This was our first time embarking from Baltimore and it could not have been better. We loved the 8 port days surrounded on either end by several sea days. It worked very well for our preferred cruise style.

Several crew members stood out and provided service above and beyond. They made up for some of our disappointment with Carnival and helped us create some great memories. Two made significant impressions on us: Elena, the bar waitress in the Alchemy Bar, was a really treat. VERY knowledgeable about her craft and always ready to let us try new combinations for our nightly visits. She was so sweet and made us look forward to seeing her every evening. In fact, we began to rearrange our evening habits around her break time so we would not miss her. She was wonderful and I would highly recommend a promotion for her to full bar staff. The other member of your crew that impressed us greatly was Dejan, one of the dealers in the casino. He was fun, engaging, friendly and extremely knowledgeable about the table games we play all the time and also about the ones we've never played before. Honestly, there were several other dealers who seemed to treat us as if we were a bother to them, that they had a lot of better things to do than deal cards. We've experienced that on many cruises before, but this cruise seemed to have a larger percentage of dealers who just seemed bored with dealing cards. Could be the length of the cruise or the number of sea days in a row, but it was noticeable and worth mentioning.

To put it more concisely, if not for our negative feelings about the stateroom first impression, smoke in the casino and the poor food/table assignment in the main dining room, we could not have been happier with this trip.
tdrenth’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Aft-View Extended Balcony
Cabin 8M 4241
We came in with great expectations. We've enjoyed aft facing balconies before and expected nothing less on the Pride. However, to start, our room was not cleaned well before we arrived. We found a bobby pin and a Tic Tac from the previous guests on our stateroom floor, table was sticky with maple syrup and an empty Coke can full of cigarette butts was left on the balcony. As soon as I spoke to Guest Services about it, they inspected the cabin, so I expected to return to a shiny, clean stateroom. However, even after the "housekeeping inspection," the bobby pin was still sitting in the middle of the floor, the table was still sticky and the Coke can sat on our balcony for three days until the balcony was scheduled to be cleaned. I had heard of complaints of an engine rattle and possible temperature control issues with this cabin. We experienced both, unfortunately. The rattle usually came from lighting panels and the crown molding and couldn't be fixed. It was also inconsistent, which, for us, made it worse. The thermostat could not be adjusted and we spent 12 of the 14 nights in much warmer than preferred temperatures. All that being said, we were treated very nicely by our cabin staff throughout the entire cruise.
Empress Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Snorkeling
    Crusoe Island Getaway and Snorkel was really good. I would have given 5 stars had the coordination been better. We sardined into vans for the 20 minute drive and once we got to the resort where our tender was waiting, the 12 passenger, rickety, wooden boat was not large enough for all 40+ passengers to cross to the island together. Instead it served as a shuttle and significantly shortened the 2 1/2 hr period on Prickly Pear Island for those people who were on the last shuttle.

    The island is beautiful and the snorkeling was amazing - easy to navigate and just deep enough. Sand is really crushed shells, so water shoes would be helpful. There is a bathroom on the island but don't expect much.
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  • Middleham Falls
    ***This is a VERY, VERY strenuous excursion.*** We hiked to the Middleham Falls. If you are not in really good physical condition, please do not try this hike. I'm not being mean. I'm trying to keep you from injuring yourself in an area where there is NO close emergency services. The climbing is arduous and slippery, being that you're in the middle of a rain forest. My husband and I do a lengthy cardiovascular workout 4-5x a week and this was extremely challenging for us. There were members of our group that could not complete the 4 mile roundtrip hike to the falls and back. At times we were climbing rocks, traversing large streams and at all times we were walking on small logs, requiring the muscles in the pads and arches of our feet to grip constantly. The falls were absolutely gorgeous and it was a relief to finally arrive because it allowed us to finally take our eyes off the path we were climbing and the feet of the person climbing ahead of us. We would totally recommend this excursion if, and only if, you are in very good health and physical condition. Be sure to bring water. It is not provided during the hike.
    View All 6 Middleham Falls Reviews
  • Grand Turk
    I really think I would enjoy visiting Grand Turk...if it didn't involve Margaritaville and the what seemed like the "human stew" in the oceanside pool. My recommendation? Book an excursion.
    View All 2,078 Grand Turk Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Rum Mixology and Salsa Class
    Really enjoyed the Rum Mixology and Salsa Dancing we booked with Carnival. The guide/leader was phenomenal and the dance instructor was also good. We are not big fans of city walking tours so we may not have booked this excursion had we known we were walking to the rum tasting. Glad we didn't know because we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The Bacardi Distillery is no longer in Puerto Rico, so we had the pleasure of tasting some of the local rum craft distillers. The salsa dancing was fun, too! Incidentally, the walk was about 1/3 mile round trip.
    View All 12,409 Rum Mixology and Salsa Class Reviews
  • St. Lucia
    Stopped here on a Sunday. Did not have an excursion scheduled so we decided to get off and just check things out. Big mistake. The shopping at this part of the port was a little obnoxious. The taxi drivers were hawking you from the moment you entered the shopping area. We were able to bypass them and walk out of the port mall area, but once we got on the street there was really nothing but an open-air market with pushy vendors. We literally were off the ship for a 1/2 hr and felt like that was a waste of time. If this is the downtown area, I can't say that we will ever visit St. Lucia again.
    View All 1,385 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
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  • America's Cup Regatta
    Wonderful, wonderful excursion. Probably our favorite in the 10 cruises we've taken. We served as crew members of True North, one of the two Regatta-style boats as we raced the other boat, Stars and Stripes in a mini regatta in open water. Loved this so much. So worth the cost. DO THIS EXCURSION!!
    View All 48 America's Cup Regatta Reviews