1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Carnival Pride
We needed a cruise for my parent's 80th birthday that could take a whole family of grandkids from 3-20 and different lifestyles. I wouldn't have chosen this cruise except the dates worked and, most importantly, it left from Baltimore so we could drive right up and jump on. I did basically the same cruise with my immediate family on a Royal Caribbean ship out of Baltimore two years ago. Great- overall ship looked pretty good, smelled clean and looked in good shape. Our 5th floor outside room with balcony was great. firm mattress, clean, everything worked and fairly quiet. didn't think I'd ever use the balcony, but it was like an extra $100 for the week and was really nice some times Staff was outstanding from the room, to the restaurants to the bartenders. Can't say enough about them! Our family could do many activities together so the cruise was a good choice! We didn't do any excursions which was the right choice for us at Grand Turk (walk down beach to Jack's Shack and get the jerk chicken!) and Half Moon Cay as the beach was nice and we could walk down away from the crowds. Freeport is a shopping trinket dump. My youngest is 18 and was treated to an interesting time at Senor Frogs on the Wharf. Fun in the trashiest possible way! I liked the fitness room, beautiful view, clean, good variety of machines/dumbells/treadmills, not crowded. Did a spin class one day and worked up a good sweat for $12. Okay- I thought the food was fine, not great, but fine with some gems and some clunkers. Early in the trip I was pleasantly surprised that they were cooking fish just right (not overdone/not dry). I don't think I ate a beef dish I liked in the Main Room. The $35 extra dinner at Davids steak house was beautiful with great service, but not good steak or food. Breakfast was a little crazy on the Lido deck, but good choices and quick. Breakfast in Main Dining was pretty tasty, more options, not crowded but sometimes the dishes were off and it was slow service. My family doesn't like the TV star Guy Fiero, but the burgers were awesome. Lido deck seating was hectic at peak eating times. Our family drinks and many got the drink package. If you do, it is $52/day and the break even is about 4-5 fancy drinks at list prices or 8-9 beers. I didn't do it, but drank alot every other day or so. We saved $1-200 by not getting the package for my wife and I. If you have another adult in your room, the only option is to get the drink package for both. My younger brother had the max 15 drinks a day, and saved a lot of money. One or two nights, he wanted more than 15, but they won't even let you buy any more when you hit your limit. Criticisms- too smoky too many places. People aren't supposed to, but they smoke on their balconies and it comes right into the other balconies and is held there by the windscreens. the casino is a part of the walk through on the 2nd deck and is flat out nasty with smoke as is one of the main pool decks. Pet peeve-why do vapors think it's okay to blow the smoke right out at other people in a cloyingly sweet cloud of Yech! At Sea days early in the trip were tough because chairs are held starting early in the morning with towels, but no people. I'd get the staff to remove towels in 5 minutes or so. There was lots of angst on our trip about the lack of good space on pool levels or next level up. Internet is horrible. make sure you have a low bandwidth option on your email provider and set it up before you get on the trip and even then, you can only do email without attachments and with something to read in the 60+ seconds it takes to download one email. I had a contract problem at work and couldn't call or really use internet. My brother with a 3 & 5 year old had some issues because there kids didn't like the kid's club and the pool was so crowded.

Don't over think little disappointments

Carnival Pride Cruise Review by 236hokie

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We needed a cruise for my parent's 80th birthday that could take a whole family of grandkids from 3-20 and different lifestyles.

I wouldn't have chosen this cruise except the dates worked and, most importantly, it left from Baltimore so we could drive right up and jump on. I did basically the same cruise with my immediate family on a Royal Caribbean ship out of Baltimore two years ago.

Great-

overall ship looked pretty good, smelled clean and looked in good shape.

Our 5th floor outside room with balcony was great. firm mattress, clean, everything worked and fairly quiet. didn't think I'd ever use the balcony, but it was like an extra $100 for the week and was really nice some times

Staff was outstanding from the room, to the restaurants to the bartenders. Can't say enough about them!

Our family could do many activities together so the cruise was a good choice!

We didn't do any excursions which was the right choice for us at Grand Turk (walk down beach to Jack's Shack and get the jerk chicken!) and Half Moon Cay as the beach was nice and we could walk down away from the crowds. Freeport is a shopping trinket dump. My youngest is 18 and was treated to an interesting time at Senor Frogs on the Wharf. Fun in the trashiest possible way!

I liked the fitness room, beautiful view, clean, good variety of machines/dumbells/treadmills, not crowded. Did a spin class one day and worked up a good sweat for $12.

Okay-

I thought the food was fine, not great, but fine with some gems and some clunkers. Early in the trip I was pleasantly surprised that they were cooking fish just right (not overdone/not dry). I don't think I ate a beef dish I liked in the Main Room. The $35 extra dinner at Davids steak house was beautiful with great service, but not good steak or food. Breakfast was a little crazy on the Lido deck, but good choices and quick. Breakfast in Main Dining was pretty tasty, more options, not crowded but sometimes the dishes were off and it was slow service. My family doesn't like the TV star Guy Fiero, but the burgers were awesome. Lido deck seating was hectic at peak eating times.

Our family drinks and many got the drink package. If you do, it is $52/day and the break even is about 4-5 fancy drinks at list prices or 8-9 beers. I didn't do it, but drank alot every other day or so. We saved $1-200 by not getting the package for my wife and I. If you have another adult in your room, the only option is to get the drink package for both. My younger brother had the max 15 drinks a day, and saved a lot of money. One or two nights, he wanted more than 15, but they won't even let you buy any more when you hit your limit.

Criticisms-

too smoky too many places. People aren't supposed to, but they smoke on their balconies and it comes right into the other balconies and is held there by the windscreens. the casino is a part of the walk through on the 2nd deck and is flat out nasty with smoke as is one of the main pool decks. Pet peeve-why do vapors think it's okay to blow the smoke right out at other people in a cloyingly sweet cloud of Yech!

At Sea days early in the trip were tough because chairs are held starting early in the morning with towels, but no people. I'd get the staff to remove towels in 5 minutes or so. There was lots of angst on our trip about the lack of good space on pool levels or next level up.

Internet is horrible. make sure you have a low bandwidth option on your email provider and set it up before you get on the trip and even then, you can only do email without attachments and with something to read in the 60+ seconds it takes to download one email. I had a contract problem at work and couldn't call or really use internet.

My brother with a 3 & 5 year old had some issues because there kids didn't like the kid's club and the pool was so crowded.
236hokie’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Ages Under 3
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Carnival Pride price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Ocean Suite
Cabin OS 5260
Clean, functional, surprisingly roomy based on my other cruise experience. And the balcony was more fun than I expected.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Baltimore
    The worst part about check-in is the line of cars to get in the parking lot. Takes about 30 minutes of sitting in your car to pay and get parked. Just seems to me like there's a better way. Not a Carnival problem, because Royal Caribbean had the same problem two years ago.
    View All 346 Baltimore Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Baltimore Cruise Port Review
  • Freeport
    Had to take an excursion or taxi to get away from industrial port complex. Some in our group did that. 20 minute van ride in broiling heat in a packed van (they wouldn't leave until van was full) for $7 each way to Taino beach. They loved the beach, I think they paid like $25 for an umbrella and chairs.
    Some of us hung around, went to Senor Frogs, watched drunk people and got back on the boat. This actually turned out funnier than you'd think and we talked a lot more about our day than the ones who sat on the beach for their 3rd consecutive day.
    View All 1,342 Freeport Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Freeport Cruise Port Review
  • Grand Turk
    Walked down the beach to Jack's Shack where we tipped some guy $20 for 8 beach chairs and sat & swam there all day and bought $4 Turk's Head beers (really good!) and ate the best Jerked Chicken and Conch Fritters I've ever had. By walking to basically the last business along the beach next to the ship you escape the crowds. I don't think 75% of our cruise ship could have walked 200 yds.
    GREAT DAY!
    View All 2,098 Grand Turk Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Grand Turk Cruise Port Review
  • Half Moon Cay
    This was pretty nice. It was a Hot Day. We walked pretty far down the beach where it was less crowded but still crowded. The water is an unreal light aqua/blue with the finest white sand. Water Temp around 84 degrees. Nice for kids because it was very gradual entry and depth change with little to no waves. A little boring for me and the bars are too corporate and expensive. I thought the food was sub-par, but others liked it. It didn't compare to the food we had at a beach shack in Grand Turk. But it was free...unlike beers/drinks where your ship package doesn't come into play.
    Rant-Only one working water tap with a line of 20 people waiting to use it on our very hot day. Everything else was pay to play. Corporate overreach or bad maintenance?
    View All 1,180 Half Moon Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Half Moon Cay Cruise Port Review