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The wife and I finally decided to take our boys (6 and 7) on their first cruise. While it wasn't a total disaster and there were a few positives, overall the vacation was subpar and I will avoid the Carnival Pride in the future. It's too bad they don't put a better member of the fleet in Baltimore but I guess beggars can't be choosers and the short drive from DC to Baltimore is very enticing. The Positives - there are a few... Embarkation out of Baltimore is a snap. Parking is a little pricey but what else are you going to do? The staterooms on the pride are pretty spacious and they are appointed well enough. The balcony was a must considering that you are at sea for the large majority of the vacation. Indoor pool - it's nothing special but very much a necessity if you are cruising out of Baltimore in late November. Camp Carnival - particularly night owls. This is a win/win if you have outgoing kids that dig the novelty of a late night watching movies while the folks have adult fun. We spent the majority of the time together as a family, but Mom and Dad need a vacation too. Service - The first 2 nights in the dining room were a nightmare. It took 50 minutes from the time we ordered to get our first courses - not a lot of fun with 2 young boys. I am in the restaurant business and therefore very easygoing when it comes to dealing with shoddy service...I had a chat with the Maitre'D and to their credit, the staff really went out of their way to make sure we were looked after for the remainder of dinner services - they were very helpful in helping deal with my kids' food allergies. Half of the staff. Some are great. Others are probably a little tired of being confined to this old beast of a vessel. The negatives - there are many...some not exactly the fault of Carnival but they might be helpful to note if you are considering the Bahamas itinerary out of Baltimore. Day after day at sea. I am a little perplexed as to why it takes 3 entire days to get from Baltimore to Port Canaveral on the way out but it takes half of that time to get from Freeport back to Baltimore. Get used to spending a lot of time on board. Entertainment - what they have is decent, but there is a real shortage particularly for a cruise of this length. Casino - in a word, it's dreadful. It's large enough but the variety of games if you are a slot player is REALLY bad. I play table games so this wasn't a huge issue for me, but unhappy wife = not happy life. Food - To be generous, Not good. We ate in the dining room most nights - not willing to shell out $120 per night for David's which I suspect is a lot better - and the buffet for most other meals. It was just not good food - really, it was pretty shocking and I have been on Carnival a few other times and never experienced food like this before. Ports of Call - Skip Disney and go to Cape Canaveral. It's 3 hours round trip for an experience very similar to the cruise ship; Nassau - The Pride was the last of 5 Cruise ships to get to Nassua. Atlantis was completely sold out so make sure that you just bite the bullet and get your Aquaventure passes through the excursion desk at $160 a pop; Freeport - you are there for 5.5 hours. What's the point? Service - The first 2 nights in the dining room were a nightmare. It took 50 minutes from the time we ordered to get our first courses - not a lot of fun with 2 young boys. I am in the restaurant business and therefore very easygoing when it comes to dealing with shoddy service...I had a chat with the Maitre'D and to their credit, the staff really went out of their way to make sure we were looked after for the remainder of dinner services - they were very helpful in helping deal with my kids' food allergies. So, I give this experience a 3 on a scale of 1-10. I think I could make it a 5 if I did some things differently next time, but Carnival will have to get a different ship to run out of Baltimore before I try them again.

Guessing this isn't the Pride of the Carnival fleet

Carnival Pride Cruise Review by DCFamof4

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2011
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
The wife and I finally decided to take our boys (6 and 7) on their first cruise. While it wasn't a total disaster and there were a few positives, overall the vacation was subpar and I will avoid the Carnival Pride in the future. It's too bad they don't put a better member of the fleet in Baltimore but I guess beggars can't be choosers and the short drive from DC to Baltimore is very enticing.

The Positives - there are a few...

Embarkation out of Baltimore is a snap. Parking is a little pricey but what else are you going to do?

The staterooms on the pride are pretty spacious and they are appointed well enough. The balcony was a must considering that you are at sea for the large majority of the vacation.

Indoor pool - it's nothing special but very much a necessity if you are cruising out of Baltimore in late November.

Camp Carnival - particularly night owls. This is a win/win if you have outgoing kids that dig the novelty of a late night watching movies while the folks have adult fun. We spent the majority of the time together as a family, but Mom and Dad need a vacation too.

Service - The first 2 nights in the dining room were a nightmare. It took 50 minutes from the time we ordered to get our first courses - not a lot of fun with 2 young boys. I am in the restaurant business and therefore very easygoing when it comes to dealing with shoddy service...I had a chat with the Maitre'D and to their credit, the staff really went out of their way to make sure we were looked after for the remainder of dinner services - they were very helpful in helping deal with my kids' food allergies.

Half of the staff. Some are great. Others are probably a little tired of being confined to this old beast of a vessel.

The negatives - there are many...some not exactly the fault of Carnival but they might be helpful to note if you are considering the Bahamas itinerary out of Baltimore.

Day after day at sea. I am a little perplexed as to why it takes 3 entire days to get from Baltimore to Port Canaveral on the way out but it takes half of that time to get from Freeport back to Baltimore. Get used to spending a lot of time on board.

Entertainment - what they have is decent, but there is a real shortage particularly for a cruise of this length.

Casino - in a word, it's dreadful. It's large enough but the variety of games if you are a slot player is REALLY bad. I play table games so this wasn't a huge issue for me, but unhappy wife = not happy life.

Food - To be generous, Not good. We ate in the dining room most nights - not willing to shell out $120 per night for David's which I suspect is a lot better - and the buffet for most other meals. It was just not good food - really, it was pretty shocking and I have been on Carnival a few other times and never experienced food like this before.

Ports of Call - Skip Disney and go to Cape Canaveral. It's 3 hours round trip for an experience very similar to the cruise ship; Nassau - The Pride was the last of 5 Cruise ships to get to Nassua. Atlantis was completely sold out so make sure that you just bite the bullet and get your Aquaventure passes through the excursion desk at $160 a pop; Freeport - you are there for 5.5 hours. What's the point?

Service - The first 2 nights in the dining room were a nightmare. It took 50 minutes from the time we ordered to get our first courses - not a lot of fun with 2 young boys. I am in the restaurant business and therefore very easygoing when it comes to dealing with shoddy service...I had a chat with the Maitre'D and to their credit, the staff really went out of their way to make sure we were looked after for the remainder of dinner services - they were very helpful in helping deal with my kids' food allergies.

So, I give this experience a 3 on a scale of 1-10. I think I could make it a 5 if I did some things differently next time, but Carnival will have to get a different ship to run out of Baltimore before I try them again.



DCFamof4’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Service

Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8F 5219
5219 was a winner. It's on the same deck as the Camp; is convenient to most everything since it is smack in the middle of the ship.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews