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Traveled with hubby, 14 year old and 20 year old. Bought Faster to the Fun. It was well worth it. We didn't have to wait very long to embark; although our port was Baltimore, MD and I've read it's one of the more organized ports from which to embark but the regular line looked like it was quite long and seemed to be crawling along. We didn't have to wait at the customer service line for issues to be resolved, and there were a couple of issues that arose which I didn't anticipate such as losing our sail and sign card, etc. It was nice to be able to walk up to the customer service line and getting service right away. Disembarking first with Faster to the Fun was also great. FTTF was worth it for us but we are not the most patient of people. Kids: Signed up the 14 year old (kicking and screaming) at the club for teens (or camp as Carnival calls it). They have different age ranges and I would suggest making sure that the maturity level of your pre-teen/ teen matches the maturity level of those in their designated camp. My son was enrolled in the older age range (15-17) but had I felt he would’ve been more comfy in his age range I would’ve left him in that camp instead. The camp was a life saver since it was where the kids would congregate and plan what they wanted to do. My 14 yr old would venture to the camp at about noon-ish every day and we wouldn't see him again until dinner time, which we forced him to attend or he would skip dinners as well. I couldn't stress how helpful it is to sign your child up at the camp so that they are around other kids that are eager to have kids to pal around with. My 14 yr old was thanking me for forcing him to sign up by the end of the trip. 20 year old made some friends after a couple of days; however, until that point he was pretty miserable. Carnival should really think about having something in place for those that aren't 21 but don't want to hang out with younger kids. After he made friends his own age he had a blast. Hub App: This was the only way for us to communicate, although the app is not the most reliable. It's free to download the app but there's a $5 charge per phone for use of the chat option. Our family thought it was well worth the $20 for the week for 4 devices for us to be able to communicate. Social Package: Purchased for 14 yr old before boarding ship. It was about $25 for the week. He tried to use but after the first day didn't bother to even try to use since it was unusable. Asked for a refund on day two and was told I would get one but it would take a couple of days. Internet Package: We shared one package (only one user can use at a time). It was about $100 for the week. Service was sketchy at best but at least it was a way to check email, etc. We were told no streaming but we were able to stream music and movies, although not consistently. It was not ideal but since all four of us shared the service (cannot use more than one device at a time) it wasn't too bad of a service. You could purchase a separate package for every user if you'd prefer but we didn't want to splurge since it was expensive and the connection was not that great. Food: We are not foodies so the food was fine. We were unapologetic about ordering multiple appetizers and/ or entrees. Some were good, some not, but really that was due to our differing tastes more so than the food being prepared poorly, imo. Guy’s Burgers and Buffet foods were good as well but, as mentioned earlier, we are not very picky eaters. Alcohol/ Soda: We purchased the all inclusive alcohol and soda packages. They worked out well for us. We purchased mostly due piece of mind and not having to worry about the beverage prices. We didn't take the port days into account which is something to think about for those folks teetering on whether to purchase or not, I suppose. I would highly suggest folks take a Yeti or a Yeti type drink tumbler. They make a huge difference when lounging around the pool in the heat or simply walking around the ship. It keeps your drink cool and contained. I had read that previous to our trip and regretted not heeding that advice. Cabin: Four of us shared and it was tight but it worked. We had a balcony which was nice. Don't think I'd go without a balcony. Gym: I used the gym about half the trip (3 days) and it was fine. It was clean. I only used the treadmill but there seemed to be plenty of other equipment such as elliptical or weights. Before reviewing the island, I cannot stress how important it is to bring PLENTY of sunblock and apply quite liberally and often!! These islands and the ship get hot! Grand Turks: No excursion. It was fun. We didn't venture out to Jack's Shack and just stayed near Margaritaville which has a pool to use free of charge. We snorkeled at the beach on our own, right where the ship ported (took our own gear purchased on Amazon for approx. $40/ gear) and it was great. Saw enough to be impressed (blue fish, yellow fish, have no idea what types of fish or schools but they were beautiful). We had never snorkeled before so our expectations weren't high. The pool at Margaritaville has music and a DJ having fun with the cruisers. We enjoyed that scene very much. Half Moon Cay: No excursion. Beach was beautiful. No pool. Tried snorkeling on our own again but there wasn't as much to see without booking an excursion as there was in Grand Turks. It was not as fun as Grand Turks for us but if you're looking to relax this seems like it would suit you just fine. We happened to port there on an extremely hot day where just lying out on the beach was uncomfortable for us because of the heat. Others didn't seem to mind the heat. It was okay for us when in the water but outside of the water it was truly uncomfortable for us. We even purchased the clam shell ($30 for the day) thinking it would help but with the high temps and no breeze made the heat worst. Freeport: I had read Freeport would be the worst port but it was our favorite. We booked a beach excursion through Carnival (I don’t know what the name of the beach is) which included transportation to and from the beach. You could book just the beach or the beach and unlimited drinks (approx. $60 pp). There was also a third option of purchasing a buffet but we only purchased the drink package. Regardless of the package we were all at the same beach. We actually disembarked at the port, which is an industrial port, first thing (7am) to do some shopping. We liked the vendors and the trinkets at the port. Some vendors were pushy, some weren’t, either way it didn’t bother us. We then headed back into the ship at about 8a to meet with the folks taking us to the beach via van. It was about 30 min. ride but we enjoyed riding through Freeport. At the beach, there were umbrellas and Adirondack chairs free of charge but we did tip the person who set up the umbrella for us. There was a trampoline and obstacle course that were included in the price but paddle boarding and other water toys were not. It was a little bit windy but the water toys remained out which we all enjoyed. The bar area played mostly Caribbean music and it wasn’t too difficult to get a drink at the bar if you didn’t want to wait for the servers to come around. Their mixed drinks weren’t the best so we stuck to drinking their Sand beer which was pretty good. There was a vendor on the beach selling conch foods such as conch salad. We purchased the conch and fries for about $16. I thought it was a decent amount and it fed the four of us just fine. The van took us back to the port and since we had a little time left before having to get on the ship we stopped at Senor Frogs for a bit which was fun. We did have to be careful since there were other ships docked and it would’ve been easy to stay at Senor Frogs with another ship’s passengers not realizing your ship had sailed away! All in all the whole family had a great time. We found that most young folks on the ship were there with extended families, so it was a fun group on the ship but also lots of families. We are definitely entertaining another cruise and will probably stick with Carnival since it suits our personalities.

First Time Cruising Family had Fun

Carnival Pride Cruise Review by PennStateFam

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Traveled with hubby, 14 year old and 20 year old. Bought Faster to the Fun. It was well worth it. We didn't have to wait very long to embark; although our port was Baltimore, MD and I've read it's one of the more organized ports from which to embark but the regular line looked like it was quite long and seemed to be crawling along. We didn't have to wait at the customer service line for issues to be resolved, and there were a couple of issues that arose which I didn't anticipate such as losing our sail and sign card, etc. It was nice to be able to walk up to the customer service line and getting service right away. Disembarking first with Faster to the Fun was also great. FTTF was worth it for us but we are not the most patient of people.

Kids: Signed up the 14 year old (kicking and screaming) at the club for teens (or camp as Carnival calls it). They have different age ranges and I would suggest making sure that the maturity level of your pre-teen/ teen matches the maturity level of those in their designated camp. My son was enrolled in the older age range (15-17) but had I felt he would’ve been more comfy in his age range I would’ve left him in that camp instead. The camp was a life saver since it was where the kids would congregate and plan what they wanted to do. My 14 yr old would venture to the camp at about noon-ish every day and we wouldn't see him again until dinner time, which we forced him to attend or he would skip dinners as well. I couldn't stress how helpful it is to sign your child up at the camp so that they are around other kids that are eager to have kids to pal around with. My 14 yr old was thanking me for forcing him to sign up by the end of the trip.

20 year old made some friends after a couple of days; however, until that point he was pretty miserable. Carnival should really think about having something in place for those that aren't 21 but don't want to hang out with younger kids. After he made friends his own age he had a blast.

Hub App: This was the only way for us to communicate, although the app is not the most reliable. It's free to download the app but there's a $5 charge per phone for use of the chat option. Our family thought it was well worth the $20 for the week for 4 devices for us to be able to communicate.

Social Package: Purchased for 14 yr old before boarding ship. It was about $25 for the week. He tried to use but after the first day didn't bother to even try to use since it was unusable. Asked for a refund on day two and was told I would get one but it would take a couple of days.

Internet Package: We shared one package (only one user can use at a time). It was about $100 for the week. Service was sketchy at best but at least it was a way to check email, etc. We were told no streaming but we were able to stream music and movies, although not consistently. It was not ideal but since all four of us shared the service (cannot use more than one device at a time) it wasn't too bad of a service. You could purchase a separate package for every user if you'd prefer but we didn't want to splurge since it was expensive and the connection was not that great.

Food: We are not foodies so the food was fine. We were unapologetic about ordering multiple appetizers and/ or entrees. Some were good, some not, but really that was due to our differing tastes more so than the food being prepared poorly, imo. Guy’s Burgers and Buffet foods were good as well but, as mentioned earlier, we are not very picky eaters.

Alcohol/ Soda: We purchased the all inclusive alcohol and soda packages. They worked out well for us. We purchased mostly due piece of mind and not having to worry about the beverage prices. We didn't take the port days into account which is something to think about for those folks teetering on whether to purchase or not, I suppose. I would highly suggest folks take a Yeti or a Yeti type drink tumbler. They make a huge difference when lounging around the pool in the heat or simply walking around the ship. It keeps your drink cool and contained. I had read that previous to our trip and regretted not heeding that advice.

Cabin: Four of us shared and it was tight but it worked. We had a balcony which was nice. Don't think I'd go without a balcony.

Gym: I used the gym about half the trip (3 days) and it was fine. It was clean. I only used the treadmill but there seemed to be plenty of other equipment such as elliptical or weights.

Before reviewing the island, I cannot stress how important it is to bring PLENTY of sunblock and apply quite liberally and often!! These islands and the ship get hot!

Grand Turks: No excursion. It was fun. We didn't venture out to Jack's Shack and just stayed near Margaritaville which has a pool to use free of charge. We snorkeled at the beach on our own, right where the ship ported (took our own gear purchased on Amazon for approx. $40/ gear) and it was great. Saw enough to be impressed (blue fish, yellow fish, have no idea what types of fish or schools but they were beautiful). We had never snorkeled before so our expectations weren't high. The pool at Margaritaville has music and a DJ having fun with the cruisers. We enjoyed that scene very much.

Half Moon Cay: No excursion. Beach was beautiful. No pool. Tried snorkeling on our own again but there wasn't as much to see without booking an excursion as there was in Grand Turks. It was not as fun as Grand Turks for us but if you're looking to relax this seems like it would suit you just fine. We happened to port there on an extremely hot day where just lying out on the beach was uncomfortable for us because of the heat. Others didn't seem to mind the heat. It was okay for us when in the water but outside of the water it was truly uncomfortable for us. We even purchased the clam shell ($30 for the day) thinking it would help but with the high temps and no breeze made the heat worst.

Freeport: I had read Freeport would be the worst port but it was our favorite. We booked a beach excursion through Carnival (I don’t know what the name of the beach is) which included transportation to and from the beach. You could book just the beach or the beach and unlimited drinks (approx. $60 pp). There was also a third option of purchasing a buffet but we only purchased the drink package. Regardless of the package we were all at the same beach. We actually disembarked at the port, which is an industrial port, first thing (7am) to do some shopping. We liked the vendors and the trinkets at the port. Some vendors were pushy, some weren’t, either way it didn’t bother us. We then headed back into the ship at about 8a to meet with the folks taking us to the beach via van. It was about 30 min. ride but we enjoyed riding through Freeport. At the beach, there were umbrellas and Adirondack chairs free of charge but we did tip the person who set up the umbrella for us. There was a trampoline and obstacle course that were included in the price but paddle boarding and other water toys were not. It was a little bit windy but the water toys remained out which we all enjoyed. The bar area played mostly Caribbean music and it wasn’t too difficult to get a drink at the bar if you didn’t want to wait for the servers to come around. Their mixed drinks weren’t the best so we stuck to drinking their Sand beer which was pretty good. There was a vendor on the beach selling conch foods such as conch salad. We purchased the conch and fries for about $16. I thought it was a decent amount and it fed the four of us just fine. The van took us back to the port and since we had a little time left before having to get on the ship we stopped at Senor Frogs for a bit which was fun. We did have to be careful since there were other ships docked and it would’ve been easy to stay at Senor Frogs with another ship’s passengers not realizing your ship had sailed away!

All in all the whole family had a great time. We found that most young folks on the ship were there with extended families, so it was a fun group on the ship but also lots of families. We are definitely entertaining another cruise and will probably stick with Carnival since it suits our personalities.
PennStateFam’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8B 8251
Cabin was shared by four. Space was a bit tight but that was expected. Balcony was nice since it added a bit of extra room. The only substantial amount of time spent in the cabin was to sleep in overnight and to nap in during the day. Other than that we enjoyed out time out and about on the ship.
Upper Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews