A Little Bit of Everything! :): Carnival Pride Cruise Review by mrsglovesapg

Carnival Pride 5
Member Since 2011
148 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

A Little Bit of Everything! :)

Sail Date: January 2012
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Baltimore
Sailed: 01/08/2012- 01/15/2012 out of Baltimore, MD.
Okay, a little bit of background information first. This was my DH (28 years old) and my (26 years old) first cruise. Therefore, we have NOTHING to compare it to. We are not foodies, or traveling critics. We go on weekend trips often and we like nice accommodations. I have been in different parts of the hospitality field since I was 16. Therefore, I know what I expect out of myself and I am very judgmental when it comes to good service. Currently I am a full time student and my mother passed away two days after Christmas (of Breast Cancer). So for me this was a much needed vacation considering the three weeks prior to vacation I was taking care of my mother and her final arrangements.

My husband and I live in Auburn, NY. We left our house at 5:10 am for the trip to Baltimore. We arrived at the driveway to the port at 10:50 am (we stopped a few times along the way for coffee:)). That first view of the ship as your coming More over the bridge on the highway gets your heart a thumping!

We were parked and in the port terminal and through security by 11:30. The computer system was down so the people who did the pre-check in online (like us) had to redo all their information on paper. This was a very long and drawn out process. A little irritating but I wasn't about to let it ruin my vacation. After the check-in process we were herded into the waiting room. (I think they should have a little more room in-between the row especially since everyone had at least one carry on per couple and it was hard to maneuver through all the baggage if you had to go to the rest room.) We waited it the waiting room and were on the ship at 1:07 pm (walked through the door and officially on vacation)! My only complaint in all of this is when you are welcomed aboard, that's it. No one directing hundreds of people getting on the ship at one time (but 30 wait staff offering you drinks) and then you get the handful of stupid people that stop right inside the door to take a picture of themselves. Really? Come on people! Commonsense would tell you to walk twenty extra feet and move to the side. Don't get me wrong I'm all for taking pictures but please get out of my way. I hadn't eaten since 4:30 am and I was starved. However, if you move to the elevators there was a cute blonde lady telling you what floor lido was on and that you could get into your room at 2:30 pm. We went to lido and there were about 2,000 people there all milling about so we went down on the third floor lounge and waited until about 2:15 then decided to find our room. It wasn't finished being vacuumed yet but the room steward told us to feel free to leave out bags there and he would lock up when he left. We went back up to lido at around 3:00 and the place looked like a ghost town so we decided to have a little something before our early seating dinner.

As stated before we are not foodies by any means.

Food on lido-
Aside from long lines if you went there at peak times, the food was moderately warm and good enough considering how many people they are feeding at one time. Best times to go to lido for breakfast are before 7:30am or after 9:30am (there are no lines). Don't forget to try the apple and vanilla cream Danishes, YUMMY! Lunch- anytime after 2:30pm. My recommendations are the burgers, Mongolian Wok, and the Turkey on Country roll or the turkey wrap (Ruben is okay, however bread is a little soggy) at the deli. Phenomenal!! The man behind the deli (Vijay) was always pleasant and the deli is open from 11 am to 11 pm and I swear anytime we went there morning or night he was there with a smile on his face. I asked him how many sandwiches he made in a day and he smile and said "maybe I will break a Guinness Record."

Food in main dining room-
We were at booth 175. We were nervous because we were sitting with another couple but the Matre'd did an awesome job pairing us up. We got along really well. Our food was always hot. Twice, I burned my mouth on the soup. The dinners were good, I only had to add salt and pepper a few times. Always try the soup, they are delicious. I had the warm chocolate melting cake twice (ask for extra ice cream) it was okay...super sweet though. The bitter n' blanc was tasty but a little dry for my liking. Our waiter at first was a little stand offish at first but by the end of the week he started warming up to us. Bar service was good as well, always remembered what you were drinking. The dancing wait staff was always a pleasure. Those guys had the biggest smile on their face you could tell they were having fun.

Room Service-
We ordered room service the first two mornings. It asks for you to tell them a time we put between 7 and 7:30 and it was always there at 7:25. We ordered Danishes and coffee and tipped three dollars each time.
Bar Service:
Our last night at dinner my DH and I ordered a Margarita on the rocks and it had so much liquor in it we had to add water after a few sips to tone it down. (It was $20.13 {for both} with gratuity and I felt that they were worth the cost.) I recommend doing the mini martini tasting. It is $19.55 pp w/ gratuity. When you are finished you get the recipes and a little martini charm. The bartenders in the Florentine lounge were very pleasant. That was the only time we went to the bar for drinks, we bought three bottles of liquor through Bon Voyage before we left. We left the ship with a full bottle. We were having too much fun to be drunk our whole vacation. We also brought onboard two bottles of wine and brought glasses to dinner on elegant nights. (Ask stewards or order wine glasses from room service.) On the last night at sea they have the Fun Farwell party where the show band plays and servers are walking around the Taj Mahal handing out {free} drinks (make sure you tip the wait staff and they will keep bringing you drinks every few minutes). It goes from 5-5:45. It was a lot of fun and there were only a few hundred people there. Not to mention you get unlimited drinks.

On Board Activities:
Anyone who says there are not enough activities onboard, are LIARS!!! There are activities from 7am until midnight. There are even activities all day long on port days, which was a pleasant surprise. The trivia games (there are plenty) are very eclectic well put on and fun, fun, fun. The comedy shows were for the most part HISTERICAL! The adult shows are just that adult. Right at the beginning, the comedians state that if you are easily offended this is not the show for you. So anyone who complains is just stupid because they were told it was going to be raunchy. There were two comedians on the first leg. (on in Baltimore, off in Port Canaveral) Jim did different shows each time and Chaz did the same show every time (which he told everyone, not only that he made everyone repeat back to him that it was going to be the same show) and the next day some lady was complaining because he did the same show twice in a row). Not kidding, people are actually that dumb!! I have to give props to the Pride dancers, they did really well considering they are on a moving ship that one of the nights had a significant rock to it and they still pulled it off. The vocals of Erin and Brian left a little to be desired but I think they did well enough. I recommend going to the Bust a Move workshop (it's free) and you get to meet a Pride dancer and learn some of their dance moves they perform in a show. As a side note, the show Vroom and Wonderful World were awesome however as a side not the girls are in thongs with their hinnies hanging out and the men do a strip tease (Vroom). I had no problem with this but they say nothing about it in the description and there were some very young children there. Just a heads up!

There are plenty of slots that range from penny lines to dollar lines. The slots are about 50% smoking and 50% nonsmoking. As a nonsmoker, the smoke on the nonsmoking side really didn't bother me. It was annoying however that my favorite slots were in the smoking area. I just went super early when no one was there and stayed until the smoke started bothering me and then went to the nonsmoking section. I will say however that I was a little concerned when I was playing a slot in the smoking section and a woman sat next to me, put her oxygen tank between us and took her tubing out of her nose and lit up! I couldn't get my card out of the machine quick enough. WTF!

If you can spare a little extra, upgrade to a balcony, two and a half days at sea can be a little much. Lots to do but its nice to have a little privacy to have some "me" time.
We were in room 5268 (aft balcony). The room was always clean and the towel animals were wonderful. All the room stewards always had a smile and a hello every time they passed us. The bed was comfy enough but there was definitely a very strong vibration when you sat or laid down. I felt it was very soothing and actually think it helped me sleep better. There are three closets, two for hanging and one with shelves (5). There is a cupboard with two shelves by the bed, plus night stands and there are four drawers in the vanity. Also there are six small shelves on the mirror in the bathroom so there is more than enough to store your bathroom stuff. ***Note to the ladies*** there is a hair dryer provided, it leaves a lot to be desired (however it was one less thing to pack) there are two settings low and high, and you have to hold the button down to make it work. Normally I just dried my bangs and took a little of the wetness out of my hair, then just let it air dried. Before dinner I would just straighten my hair. The water pressure was awesome and I had no drainage problems. However I would recommend bringing one of those gel cone air fresheners for the bathroom (enough said). Not to mention the shower was cleaned everyday (how nice)! The bathroom is big enough for what you need it for. I know everyone says to bring a bungee cord to keep balcony doors open but I just stuck a tube of lip gloss in the track and that worked really well.
Ports of Call: Just a note, we had not excursions booked through Carnival and had nothing set in stone. We had thing we thought would be fun and kind of played everything by ear when we got to the ports. Getting off and on was fast and efficient. There will be photographers to take your picture; there is no obligation to stop if you don't want to.

This was about as efficient as it could be with stupid people not following directions and just getting off. Side note, you have to leave through the casino so just a heads up! Again no one directing you? We were off the boat and on the highway by 11:15 am. It was kind of weird the customs people just let us walk right on through they didn't even look at our passports. Of course we really didn't have anything to claim either. You do have to be out of your room by 8:30 am and find a seat to park yourself and your stuff (self assist). We left our room at about 7:45am and just read our Kindle/Nook while waiting.
So, that's pretty much it! I'm long winded I know.
Side Notes:
The lemonade and Iced Tea are drinkable, the guava juice in the morning was delish, I would always bring my large water bottle and fill it up. (It mixed well with Vodka.) The coffee is strong I just added a little hot water to tone it down. There is a great hot tea selection, hot chocolate is good, and the ice cream and frozen yogurt were tasty also. The pizza was edible and that's about it. The water is also filtered and better than my filtered city water so no problems there, the water out of the tap in the bathroom had a slightly chlorine taste to it but it is drinkable. You can also bring a 12 pk. of soda (pp) back on board in each port. So unless you drink tons of soda the card just doesn't seem like a good deal to me. I didn't think the bar staff or the photographers were too pushy. They asked if I wanted my picture taken, if I wanted to, I would strike a pose, if not I smiled said no thank you and kept walking. They were never rude they just said okay, have a nice day! I would recommend this cruise to anyone. We plan on taking another cruise in June out of Boston this time. Hope this was helpful, have a wonderful day all! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to message me! Less

Published 02/25/12

Cabin review: 8M5268 Aft-View Extended Balcony

Awesome View, Two Closets (for hanging clothes, including about ten hangers in each), a third closet for folded clothes. Three drawers in vanity. Another cupboard by the bed. And storage in the night stands. Bed is a little on the hard side, moderate vibration when you sit/lay down but I thought it was soothing. Plenty of water pressure and hot water. Several shelves on bathroom mirror for amenities, bathroom is small-bring an air freshener-gel cone (I'll let you figure out why). Bring a tube of round lip gloss ($0.99 wet n' wild) to stick in track on balcony door so you can hear the ocean at night. On balcony, small table, chaise lounge chair (that also sits up), and a regular chair. Storage under bed for suitcases.

Read All Aft-View Extended Balcony (8M) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Freeport- We rented a scooter from a place right in port ($55) plus gas and went to a beach (Taino Beach). My DH and I are both licensed motorcycle drivers so we got our fix for a while, it was pretty interesting driving on the wrong side of the road. It was $5 per person and it included chairs, paddle boats, kayaks, bathrooms, and changing area. Jet skies were also offered for $70 per ½ hour. There were several people there offering hair braiding and jewelry. After you said no, they didn't bother you again. I did find a really nice bracelet, they were asking $7, I offered $5 and it was accepted. We tried some Kaliak and Sands Beer both were tasty ($4 each). We left and went back to port to return our scooter at Noon and while in port I had a Pina Colata in a coconut w/rum ($7). Then we got back on the ship and relaxed on our balcony for sail away. I did go up top to see the pilot get off the ship. Very interesting to see!
Read 1199 Freeport Reviews

Nassau- We walked from the port down to the bridge and over to Paradise Island. It was a really nice walk (about 2 miles) and a beautiful sight once you got to the top of the bridge. We went to the ferry terminal (go to the end of the bridge and take a right). We took a 2 pm catamaran ride (sailed most of the way) to rose island reef and snorkeled for an hour (or they would drop you off at the beach) ($70 pp)(Flying J's). It included a soda, rum punch, and bag of chips. These folks were WONDERFUL; I would recommend them to anyone. Snorkeling was an experience, the water was warm, crystal clear and beautiful. Got back to the dock around 5:30 pm and then took the ferry back to the port terminal. As a side note, nothing is free here; if you take the ferry ($4) expect to tip the guide. When you get off the boat people will offer you necklaces for "free" and then follow you saying that "nice ladies" give them five dollars a necklace. It was a small young boy and I felt bad so I gave him a five for two necklaces and he about grabbed my wallet out of my bag. Make sure you divide your money amongst everyone you are with incase something happens. Not saying it will but just to be safe. We went back to the ship after that because I didn't feel comfortable walking around there at night time. I would have liked to go to Senior Frogs, but didn't feel comfortable wandering around much longer. Actually, I feel safer walking around NYC at night. Plenty of people were wandering around and as far as I know no incidences were reported.
Read 5019 Nassau Reviews

Port Canaveral- We got off the ship right before 8 am. There were excursion buses, taxies, and 1 information person when you left the port terminal. We were going to try to do Kennedy Space Center on our own. Too bad it was a $50 ride pp/per way plus the $48 admission pp. If you plan on going here, book it through Carnival, it's worth the price. So, instead we took a cab $5 pp (we weren't charged on the way back) to Cocoa Beach. My recommendation here is don't buy anything through Ron Jon's there are 10 other surf shops in a two block radius with the same merchandise for ' the cost. We had lunch at the Shark Pit $11.95 for a pizza and a picture of beer (they feed the sharks while we were eating, very cool). We forgot our Carnival towels so we rented $5 pp beach chairs at one of the shops right by the beach. It was mostly overcast with sporadic rain and win. I found it funny that I was sitting on a beach in January wrapped up in a hoodie. On the ride back the cab driver pulled over so we could see and alligator sitting on a rock at the pond by the pier. Arrived back at the ship at 5ish, showered and headed down to dinner. Only had to wait about ten minutes to get through security to get back on the ship.

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