We sailed on The Pride from November 3 to 18, 2019. We booked a 14 day cruise, but a storm turned it into a 15 day cruise.
Here is my review of the cruise and our experiences.
The food and service in the main dining room. Carnival served exotic and gourmet food each night. Their fruit soups can only be described as divine. I placed a spoonful of cool soup in my mouth, got a delicate and joyous sensation of fresh fruit and poof it was gone. My mouth and senses couldn’t wait for the next spoonful. Each night we looked forward to seeing what new appetizer and entree the chefs thought up. The gourmet in me squealed with joy looking over the offerings each night. The menu was never boring and the food preparation was spot on. I can’t say enough good things. FYI. Carnival publishes many of their famous recipes on their website.
Embarkation was amazing. There were no lines to wait in and it took one minute to check-in at the dock. Our Seapasses were waiting outside our cabin with our passport pictures and credit card information that I used in the online checkin incorporated. Carnival definitely used technology to everyone’s advantage.
We have been on the ship four previous times, and I disliked the decor so much that my son and husband teased me about it at home for years. Well, they took care of that during the refresh. The decor was toned down and modernized. Very nicely done.
The musicians through out the ship. The band was wonderful, and they had a violin trio that roamed the lounges and was amazing. Their other lounge performers were also good.
The ship was clean. As a germaphobe, I appreciated the total cleanliness of the ship.
The food in the Mermaid was diverse and well prepared. I can’t say enough about the Pizza Guys and the Sandwich Guys. The food was made to order and excellent. Guys’s Burger and the Mexican Cantina served fresh, tasty food that got my attention a few times. Guy’s fries were worth the walk.
We had originally reserved open dining, but the second night we transferred to late seating in the main dining room. We were extremely happy with our change. Our wait staff learned our preferences, and had the table set with them when we arrived each night. They danced with us on nights where the wait staff sang and danced. Needless to say, “Yes, I was in the Conga Line”.
The room stewards, (yes, we had two), were fantastic. We requested our cabin only be refreshed at night, and we never regretted our decision. Ours stewards were friendly, professional and immaculate. You can see that a lot of training was given out on the ship.
The Guest Services people did a good job with two issues I had.
Entertainment on the ship was good. The Cruise Director, Dr. E, made sure we were entertained morning, noon and night. He made himself visible throughout the voyage and was extremely approachable. He made it a point to interact with the passengers. He may seem silly at first, but when things went sideways, you could see his professionalism and expertise Shine through.
The size of the ship is great to me. It’s easy to navigate, and get to know crew and passengers. It doesn’t overwhelm smaller ports.
There were three sets of comedians during our voyage. It seemed that with each set, one comedian was good and the other bad. The bad comedians used the audience as fodder instead of their intelligence and wit. One comedian I will talk about under The Bad section.
The ports were nothing new. To be honest, we were so tired of the ports that we didn’t even get off at a couple. We don’t always take a cruise for the ports, but rather to get away from the cold and daily chores.
Smoking in the Casino! The smoke from the casino would fill up the Atrium and go all the way up to the Mermaid Dining room. It was disgusting. I couldn’t participate in any Atrium activities; I had to hold my breath in the Atrium elevators; and had to choose my seating carefully in the Mermaid Dining room. I complained about this condition, and was told nothing could be done. To this I say “Bachelors of Science!”. They could suck the smoke up in the casinos through filters, they could put air curtains on all casino openings, or even ban smoking all together like other lines. No Excuse is valid! Now, we all know the saying that “cruises are for the Newlywed, the Well Fed and the Nearly Dead.” There were a lot of the third category with portable oxygen and scooters on this cruise. Who is Carnival pandering to? I take it they don’t want my money or the more senior crowd anymore. Since I am allergic to smoke, I must consider other options for my cruising.
The comedian Thea. She was rude, boorish and so bad that people walked out when she took the stage. She cursed and threatened sexual harm to a young man during one show. If it was my son she did it to, I would have filed charges. The young man became so uncomfortable with her harassment that he walked out, and so did I. The Comedy Club manager heard quite and earful from many guests about how bad Thea was. Better screening of the comedians needs to be reimplemented. When George Lopez provided the comedians, I would cry with laughter.
The Pride could be a Great ship if they got rid of the smoking problem and got better comedians again. I doubt that Carnival will make the changes needed because The Pride has been sold and will leave Baltimore soon. I wish her well.
See above. We had a midship balcony