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See photos from this cruise and many of our other cruises, including scans of the menus and daily schedules, at the link on our CruiseCritic profile: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ We decided to take advantage of the truncated Thanksgiving holiday week at work and run off for a week at sea. We prefer sailing from Baltimore given the proximity to home (90 minutes from our driveway to our cabin on the ship), and Carnival Pride’s schedule was the best fit for my work schedule. This was our first time on Carnival, so we were not sure what to expect in terms of food or service, but the comments we found comparing Pride to RCL’s Grandeur of the Seas, on which we’ve sailed several times, convinced us that any differences were negligible. Our trip did not start out well, beginning with a web discussion the night before our departure about Pride being delayed because it had to stop in Norfolk due to a passenger health emergency necessitating a hospital transfer. We received an email at 8:45 in the morning advising us of a delayed departure and to arrive two hours after our originally scheduled time. When we arrived at the port, it was obvious that the revised staggered passenger arrivals were not working and we had to wait at least a half-hour to check our luggage, something that the Baltimore port usually handles much better. Once we checked our bags and parked, the rest of the check-in process went very smoothly, and we were on board and in our cabin in minutes. Unlike other lines, Carnival leaves the room card keys in an envelope by the cabin door, saving time during check-in. I will discuss the cabin features below in a separate section. After dropping off and unpacking our carry-on bags, we headed out for the muster drill, which was held inside because of the weather. Our luggage arrived by the time we returned from the muster drill, faster than our previous cruise experiences. We unpacked and kept busy until we left for dinner around 7, our normal shipboard dinnertime. We kept waiting during dinner for the ship to start moving, which would have aligned with the two-hour delay that should have delayed departure until 7 PM from the original 5 PM, but we never moved. Shortly after returning to our cabin, the captain announced that the ship had propulsion problems, could travel at only a reduced speed, would leave Baltimore around midnight, and would stop only at Freeport and miss Nassau and Princess Cays. Those who wanted to leave the ship could do so and get a full refund. Those who stayed would receive a $50 per person on board credit and a Full Future Cruise Credit for a cruise taken within 18 months. We chose to stay, although about 10% of the passengers left. Carnival apparently hoped to repair the problem while we were in Freeport for an extended stay, but that apparently did not happen and our slow speed meant that we did not get back Baltimore until 2 PM instead of the expected 10 AM. Again, the cruise line tried to mitigate the problem by offering up to $200 per person for airline rebooking costs. The delayed arrival meant that those passengers traveling by car had to face the worst of the Thanksgiving homebound traffic. Cabin: We were in cabin 7170, roughly mid-ship and with an extended balcony, which meant that it was deep enough to allow a reclining chair. The cabin was one of the brightest we can recall seeing, with lights along the tops of two walls plus on both sides of the mirror. We had the “traditional” two beds linked as a king, a sofa that converted to a bed, plus a chair at the desk/mirror. There was a small bedside cabinet on each side of the bed, a shallow two-door cabinet, and four drawers. There was also a small refrigerator, which kept our ice from melting. The cabin had three closet sections in the entry opposite the bathroom. One closet had a single rod, one had two, and the third had three shelves plus the bottom. Those shelves were hinged and could lock up to allow access to two more closet rods. The hangers were the type that latched into a plastic hook as found in many hotels – but instead of one hanger per hook, there were three, which meant clothing could get crowded together. We had to request hangers with skirt clamps as the cabin had none. The LCD TV was about normal for a cruise TV – it looked as if it might allow connecting an external video device that used composite video although the HDMI ports were not usable. The TV had some news and sports channels, some shipboard content, a screen showing the ship’s position, plus views of the pool with closable roof to show the entertainment there. We were treated to a new towel animal almost every night, and the entire menagerie remained with us for the remainder of the cruise, fighting amongst themselves for the best positions in the cabin. The bathroom looks dated with a turquoise sink and counter, but everything worked fine. Despite horror stories about shower curtain floods, we never had a problem. There were two dispensers in the shower, one each for shampoo and shower gel. We used our own hair products and requested a bar of soap for the shower. We had three cabin attendants, one seemingly in charge and two assistants. This allowed better coverage during the day and we never had a problem. They made the bed every morning and turned down the sheets every night – as well as replacing bathroom linen as needed/requested. They provided ice bucket refills twice daily, as we requested. Food: We limited our eating to the main dining room and the buffet on deck 9. The MDR food was excellent with a varied menu that included food linked to the ports of call (conch fritters, Caribbean Pepper Steak), traditional food items, and one or more interesting specialties each night (braised rabbit, spicy alligator fritters). There were some interesting flourishes we haven’t seen on other ships, such as pouring the delicious chilled soups over a garnish in the bowl right at the table. Service was excellent – they assign a group of three servers to each section, which increases the chance that one will be in the area and not in the galley. Unlike other ships we have been on, the serving stations are not in the middle of the eating area, but off to the sides so passengers aren’t forced to watch dirty plates being juggled. The trade-off is that placement meant that the food might travel a little farther to the table and not stay as hot or as chilled as intended. Tablecloths were used only on formal nights, which meant that water and wine goblets on the bare wood tended to dance a bit from the engine vibration, which was very noticeable at the rear. We had a couple of lunches in the buffet. The selection was excellent with a different theme nation each day. The pizza and Guy’s burgers were excellent, as we had seen described in web discussions. Both were made fresh, almost to order, and tasted much better than their counterparts on other lines. The bakery section in the buffet area was outstanding with several delicious choices – much more interesting than in the MDR. Unlike every other ship on which we have sailed, minimal attention was paid to hand cleanliness. The hand sanitizer outside the MDR entrance was stuck off to the side, almost invisible, and I don’t recall seeing any at the buffet entrances. Other lines have staff stationed at the buffet entrance to be sure people clean their hands. Ship overall: I was disappointed to be unable to find a place on the warm days to sit outside that was in the shade and not exposed to some form of fairly loud music. One of the pools had a moveable roof that apparently has not worked for several months – that pool is also used as an entertainment venue, unlike the covered pools on other lines, which are quiet adult-only areas. The Pride does have an outside pool reserved for adults, but the only shade was near the bar area and only had chairs, not chaises. However, the area was fairly quiet with some background music at a fairly low volume level. The outside areas did not seem as clean as I’ve seen on other ships – when we looked down from our balcony, the tops of the lifeboats were covered with paint spots and their mechanical structures were dirty and rusty. The inside of the ship had a very dark feeling, with the atrium sealed off from the surrounding decks with no outside light and having fairly dark décor. The staircases were also dark feeling. Other ships on which we’ve sailed had open staircases with no risers and lots of glass to keep the stairs feeling open and safe. I felt as if the ship had been designed in someone’s perception of a 1930s gentleman’s club – dark wood and heavy, uncomfortable furniture. The elevators on board continued the dark feeling with all of the doors and signal lights recessed, making it hard to see which elevator had just opened. The corridors felt sterile, although bright, with no artwork to break up the monotony. The artwork (paintings and sculptures) in the stairways and other public areas was all covered by glass, making them appear darker and unapproachable. The public bathrooms all had electric dryers, several of which were non-functional, and no paper or cloth towels. The ship did have internet service, but it was so slow as to be useless. I gave up trying to read work email when it took me 15 minutes just to get the list of messages – and I was able to read one message only after waiting about a half hour. We did not go to any of the shows – we have consistently found the volume level on cruises too high for us to tolerate and gave up long ago. We checked out the piano bar and even that was too loud for us. For the seeming majority of the population who can tolerate the volume levels, the ship had multiple entertainment venues to satisfy almost every taste, with comedians, production shows, live music, and dancing. The ship staff was superb, especially considering that the ship had three sea days (harder for the staff) at the end of the previous sailing, a confusing turn-around because of the delays, and then another three sea days. They always greeted every passenger and the waiters and cabin attendants managed to remember everyone’s name – using first names, which is not something I would have expected. Overall experience: There’s almost no such thing as a bad day on a cruise – this was no exception. The food and service were excellent and we had a relaxing time – and a free cruise to boot. I honestly doubt we’ll book another Carnival cruise after using our future cruise credit, unless Carnival recognizes that there is a substantial part of the population who like to relax and enjoy quiet or music played at a volume conducive to conversation.

Thanksgiving 2018 on the Pride

Carnival Pride Cruise Review by jgnova

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Extended Balcony
See photos from this cruise and many of our other cruises, including scans of the menus and daily schedules, at the link on our CruiseCritic profile:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/

We decided to take advantage of the truncated Thanksgiving holiday week at work and run off for a week at sea. We prefer sailing from Baltimore given the proximity to home (90 minutes from our driveway to our cabin on the ship), and Carnival Pride’s schedule was the best fit for my work schedule. This was our first time on Carnival, so we were not sure what to expect in terms of food or service, but the comments we found comparing Pride to RCL’s Grandeur of the Seas, on which we’ve sailed several times, convinced us that any differences were negligible.

Our trip did not start out well, beginning with a web discussion the night before our departure about Pride being delayed because it had to stop in Norfolk due to a passenger health emergency necessitating a hospital transfer. We received an email at 8:45 in the morning advising us of a delayed departure and to arrive two hours after our originally scheduled time. When we arrived at the port, it was obvious that the revised staggered passenger arrivals were not working and we had to wait at least a half-hour to check our luggage, something that the Baltimore port usually handles much better. Once we checked our bags and parked, the rest of the check-in process went very smoothly, and we were on board and in our cabin in minutes. Unlike other lines, Carnival leaves the room card keys in an envelope by the cabin door, saving time during check-in. I will discuss the cabin features below in a separate section.

After dropping off and unpacking our carry-on bags, we headed out for the muster drill, which was held inside because of the weather. Our luggage arrived by the time we returned from the muster drill, faster than our previous cruise experiences. We unpacked and kept busy until we left for dinner around 7, our normal shipboard dinnertime. We kept waiting during dinner for the ship to start moving, which would have aligned with the two-hour delay that should have delayed departure until 7 PM from the original 5 PM, but we never moved. Shortly after returning to our cabin, the captain announced that the ship had propulsion problems, could travel at only a reduced speed, would leave Baltimore around midnight, and would stop only at Freeport and miss Nassau and Princess Cays. Those who wanted to leave the ship could do so and get a full refund. Those who stayed would receive a $50 per person on board credit and a Full Future Cruise Credit for a cruise taken within 18 months. We chose to stay, although about 10% of the passengers left.

Carnival apparently hoped to repair the problem while we were in Freeport for an extended stay, but that apparently did not happen and our slow speed meant that we did not get back Baltimore until 2 PM instead of the expected 10 AM. Again, the cruise line tried to mitigate the problem by offering up to $200 per person for airline rebooking costs. The delayed arrival meant that those passengers traveling by car had to face the worst of the Thanksgiving homebound traffic.

Cabin:

We were in cabin 7170, roughly mid-ship and with an extended balcony, which meant that it was deep enough to allow a reclining chair. The cabin was one of the brightest we can recall seeing, with lights along the tops of two walls plus on both sides of the mirror. We had the “traditional” two beds linked as a king, a sofa that converted to a bed, plus a chair at the desk/mirror. There was a small bedside cabinet on each side of the bed, a shallow two-door cabinet, and four drawers. There was also a small refrigerator, which kept our ice from melting. The cabin had three closet sections in the entry opposite the bathroom. One closet had a single rod, one had two, and the third had three shelves plus the bottom. Those shelves were hinged and could lock up to allow access to two more closet rods. The hangers were the type that latched into a plastic hook as found in many hotels – but instead of one hanger per hook, there were three, which meant clothing could get crowded together. We had to request hangers with skirt clamps as the cabin had none.

The LCD TV was about normal for a cruise TV – it looked as if it might allow connecting an external video device that used composite video although the HDMI ports were not usable. The TV had some news and sports channels, some shipboard content, a screen showing the ship’s position, plus views of the pool with closable roof to show the entertainment there. We were treated to a new towel animal almost every night, and the entire menagerie remained with us for the remainder of the cruise, fighting amongst themselves for the best positions in the cabin.

The bathroom looks dated with a turquoise sink and counter, but everything worked fine. Despite horror stories about shower curtain floods, we never had a problem. There were two dispensers in the shower, one each for shampoo and shower gel. We used our own hair products and requested a bar of soap for the shower.

We had three cabin attendants, one seemingly in charge and two assistants. This allowed better coverage during the day and we never had a problem. They made the bed every morning and turned down the sheets every night – as well as replacing bathroom linen as needed/requested. They provided ice bucket refills twice daily, as we requested.

Food:

We limited our eating to the main dining room and the buffet on deck 9. The MDR food was excellent with a varied menu that included food linked to the ports of call (conch fritters, Caribbean Pepper Steak), traditional food items, and one or more interesting specialties each night (braised rabbit, spicy alligator fritters). There were some interesting flourishes we haven’t seen on other ships, such as pouring the delicious chilled soups over a garnish in the bowl right at the table.

Service was excellent – they assign a group of three servers to each section, which increases the chance that one will be in the area and not in the galley. Unlike other ships we have been on, the serving stations are not in the middle of the eating area, but off to the sides so passengers aren’t forced to watch dirty plates being juggled. The trade-off is that placement meant that the food might travel a little farther to the table and not stay as hot or as chilled as intended. Tablecloths were used only on formal nights, which meant that water and wine goblets on the bare wood tended to dance a bit from the engine vibration, which was very noticeable at the rear.

We had a couple of lunches in the buffet. The selection was excellent with a different theme nation each day. The pizza and Guy’s burgers were excellent, as we had seen described in web discussions. Both were made fresh, almost to order, and tasted much better than their counterparts on other lines. The bakery section in the buffet area was outstanding with several delicious choices – much more interesting than in the MDR.

Unlike every other ship on which we have sailed, minimal attention was paid to hand cleanliness. The hand sanitizer outside the MDR entrance was stuck off to the side, almost invisible, and I don’t recall seeing any at the buffet entrances. Other lines have staff stationed at the buffet entrance to be sure people clean their hands.

Ship overall:

I was disappointed to be unable to find a place on the warm days to sit outside that was in the shade and not exposed to some form of fairly loud music. One of the pools had a moveable roof that apparently has not worked for several months – that pool is also used as an entertainment venue, unlike the covered pools on other lines, which are quiet adult-only areas. The Pride does have an outside pool reserved for adults, but the only shade was near the bar area and only had chairs, not chaises. However, the area was fairly quiet with some background music at a fairly low volume level. The outside areas did not seem as clean as I’ve seen on other ships – when we looked down from our balcony, the tops of the lifeboats were covered with paint spots and their mechanical structures were dirty and rusty.

The inside of the ship had a very dark feeling, with the atrium sealed off from the surrounding decks with no outside light and having fairly dark décor. The staircases were also dark feeling. Other ships on which we’ve sailed had open staircases with no risers and lots of glass to keep the stairs feeling open and safe. I felt as if the ship had been designed in someone’s perception of a 1930s gentleman’s club – dark wood and heavy, uncomfortable furniture.

The elevators on board continued the dark feeling with all of the doors and signal lights recessed, making it hard to see which elevator had just opened. The corridors felt sterile, although bright, with no artwork to break up the monotony. The artwork (paintings and sculptures) in the stairways and other public areas was all covered by glass, making them appear darker and unapproachable. The public bathrooms all had electric dryers, several of which were non-functional, and no paper or cloth towels.

The ship did have internet service, but it was so slow as to be useless. I gave up trying to read work email when it took me 15 minutes just to get the list of messages – and I was able to read one message only after waiting about a half hour.

We did not go to any of the shows – we have consistently found the volume level on cruises too high for us to tolerate and gave up long ago. We checked out the piano bar and even that was too loud for us. For the seeming majority of the population who can tolerate the volume levels, the ship had multiple entertainment venues to satisfy almost every taste, with comedians, production shows, live music, and dancing.

The ship staff was superb, especially considering that the ship had three sea days (harder for the staff) at the end of the previous sailing, a confusing turn-around because of the delays, and then another three sea days. They always greeted every passenger and the waiters and cabin attendants managed to remember everyone’s name – using first names, which is not something I would have expected.

Overall experience:

There’s almost no such thing as a bad day on a cruise – this was no exception. The food and service were excellent and we had a relaxing time – and a free cruise to boot. I honestly doubt we’ll book another Carnival cruise after using our future cruise credit, unless Carnival recognizes that there is a substantial part of the population who like to relax and enjoy quiet or music played at a volume conducive to conversation.
jgnova’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Extended Balcony
Cabin 8K 7170
Cabin 7170 is roughly mid-ship and has an extended balcony, which meant that it was deep enough to allow a reclining chair. The cabin was one of the brightest we can recall seeing, with lights along the tops of two walls plus on both sides of the mirror. We had the “traditional” two beds linked as a king, a sofa that converted to a bed, plus a chair at the desk/mirror. There was a small bedside cabinet on each side of the bed, a shallow two-door cabinet, and four drawers. There was also a small refrigerator, which kept our ice from melting. The cabin had three closet sections in the entry opposite the bathroom. One closet had a single rod, one had two, and the third had three shelves plus the bottom. Those shelves were hinged and could lock up to allow access to two more closet rods. The hangers were the type that latched into a plastic hook as found in many hotels – but instead of one hanger per hook, there were three, which meant clothing could get crowded together. We had to request hangers with skirt clamps as the cabin had none.

The LCD TV was about normal for a cruise TV – it looked as if it might allow connecting an external video device that used composite video although the HDMI ports were not usable. The TV had some news and sports channels, some shipboard content, a screen showing the ship’s position, plus views of the pool with closable roof to show the entertainment there. We were treated to a new towel animal almost every night, and the entire menagerie remained with us for the remainder of the cruise, fighting amongst themselves for the best positions in the cabin.

The bathroom looks dated with a turquoise sink and counter, but everything worked fine. Despite horror stories about shower curtain floods, we never had a problem. There were two dispensers in the shower, one each for shampoo and shower gel. We used our own hair products and requested a bar of soap for the shower.

We had three cabin attendants, one seemingly in charge and two assistants. This allowed better coverage during the day and we never had a problem. They made the bed every morning and turned down the sheets every night – as well as replacing bathroom linen as needed/requested. They provided ice bucket refills twice daily, as we requested.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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