DISCLAIMER -- NOT MY REVIEW COPIED FROM ANOTHER SITE ---
Carnival Pride review!!
We just got home after a wonderful week on the Carnival Pride!!! I'm going to try to remember everything now and give a review, but there's an awful lot to remember. I'll try though...
EMBARKATION - A total disaster!! We got to the port at 10:45, and from 10:55 until 12:45 did nothing but stand in lines! At the check-in line, which was already long when we arrived, there were only 3 Carnival agents working. There eventually were 7 of them, but only after the lines were incredibly long! We stood in line entirely too long; I feel that every station should have had an agent standing there to keep the line moving. I'm not sure what the problem was because when we sailed out of this same exact terminal on the Fantasy, we checked in and were seated in the waiting area within 10 minutes! Once we checked in, we stood in another very long line, and waited some more. Finally, the line started to move. We were next in line to go through security and everything stopped again. They were setting up the "welcome aboard photo" for the second time in a different spot. We went through security and our friends who were traveling with us ("ma2jared") were about to have their picture taken when the photographer ran out of film. They waved us through and told us they would take our picture at the next place, however, when we got there, the 2nd photo place had been torn down. Therefore, we got on the ship with no embarkation picture, and I'm not too happy about that. Carnival will definitely be hearing from me! We finally stepped on the ship at 12:45. You enter the ship on deck 2 at the atrium and it is gorgeous!!
CABIN - The cabins are wonderful!! They have lots of gorgeous wood. We were in cabin 6238, and our cabin steward was Ramon. He's a great guy and we were extremly pleased with him. Our friends were right next to us, and there was one night that Ramon never showed up to make up their cabin though. Other than that, I don't think there were any problems with him at all. He was a very pleasant man to deal with. He pushed the beds together for us, and unlocked the bar/fridge, and kept it well-stocked all week long. I was very impressed with the bathroom. They are much different than the bathrooms on the Sensation/Fantasy. They have utilized the space much better, making the bathroom feel a little bit more roomier. There is a nice long vanity, and 3 shelves on each side of the sink, with lots of space for storage. The shower was wonderful, too. The lip on the floor is a little higher than the other ships, and we never had any water from the shower out on the bathroom floor. We put 4 clothes pins on the bottom of the shower curtain to keep the curtain from sticking to us, and that worked great!! Whoever gave us that tip, I'd like to say "thank you"! I've always wondered in past reviews why people would say that they didn't keep the balcony door open very much because the cabin would get hot. Whenever we are at the beach, we leave the balcony door open and turn the air way back to keep the room cool. BUT Carnival has gotten very wise to this, evidently, and there is a sign on the balcony door that says when the door is open, the air conditioner automatically shuts off, and it does!! We took a bungee cord and had the door open many times, but didn't keep it open very long because the cabin would indeed get warm. The cabin has 3 very large closets, with tons of space to hang clothes, put them on shelves, and two of the closets have lots of open space on the bottom for large suitcases! There is plenty of drawer space in the cabin. Even the 2 small nightstands open for you to put things into. The cabin is very, very nice!
LIFEJACKET DRILL - One of the "less annoying" ones we have ever been to. Carnival has also purchased much nicer lifejackets for the Pride. They aren't those hard, orange lifejackets anymore, that are so tight around your neck that they suffocate you. These are lightweight, and not quite as suffocating! The drill was over pretty quickly, and there wasn't any of that standing around wondering what the heck is going on. They gave the instructions, checked our lifejackets and sent us on our way!
We left Port Canaveral at 4:35, and there was a huge crowd at Jetty Park to see us set sail!!
We had early seating for the dining room, which is 5:45. The food was always wonderful, and there were a couple of evenings where we ordered 3 meals between my husband and I, so we could sample different things. Yes, the food was always great, and always hot, but the service the first several nights was a little rough. Our waiter and bus boy were very nice, but they seemed to have a little trouble working as a team. We were sitting at a table for 6 right next to the window with our friends, and by the last night of the cruise, all 5 of us could see a great improvement in our team! They really worked together well by the end of the cruise. I'm sure they just needed time to learn how to work with each other, and they were doing just fine after a few nights of working together.
After dinner, we returned to our cabin to unpack, and found our Carnival Caper. It had a little box at the bottom of the front page which stated that we would indeed be docking at Nassau the next morning because they could offer us a faster and safer tendering company by doing this.
We ate all breakfast, all lunch and 4 dinners at the Mermaid Grille. This is a very nice buffet-style restaurant, with tons of food to pick from, including pizza, calzones, salad, deli sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, Chinese/Asian food, and some kind of meat and veggies. Iced tea, Lemonade and Fruit Juice are available at all times. There are plenty of waiters to keep the tables clean and help you in anyway.
We walked up to David's Supper Club just to look around. It is very pretty up there, and the red funnel for the roof makes it extra beautiful. It is $25.00/person. We never ate there so I can't answer any questions about the food or service. I will say though I have read several posts on this board about the glass steps leading to/from the supper club. It is a rather uncomfortable feeling to go up and down these stairs since they are glass, and you can see all of the way down the atrium to the very 1st deck -a long way down!!
The casino is very nice and very spread out. It's the first casino on a ship I've been in where it didn't seem filled up with smoke, because it is a wider, more open area. There are lots of slot machines available!! I did great in the casino, too - walked away many nights with more money than I had walked in with!
The deck party was a little disappointing to me. It was on the Lido pool deck, and the band playing was called "Music Society". I was hoping it would be the steel drum band that had been playing by the pool all week, but it wasn't. I just felt a deck party in the middle of the Caribbean should have had calypso music playing, but it didn't - instead the band was playing your typical "top 40" stuff, so we didn't stay there very long.
My husband was disappointed in the Sports Bar. He walked into the Sports Bar on the day we set sail to get scores of football games, only to find out that they have ABC, NBC and CBS but NO ESPN! My husband was shocked, because even though the Fantasy didn't have a sports bar when we sailed on her, the TV still had ESPN. There were many people complaining that the sports bar doesn't have ESPN.
There was a great band on the ship called "Unity" and we went to hear them play every night and bought their CD. Anyone who has sailed on the Big Red Boat may remember the band called "Unity" on there. We went to hear them play the first night wondering if it was the same band. It is NOT the same band. They aren't even a calypso band, but they are terrific!! It is 5 guys, who have a wonderful sense of humor, and interact with the crowd in a really fun way!! They sing everything from Motown, to jazz, blues, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, the Commodores, Lionel Richie, etc. They are really great!! They play in the Butterflies Lounge every night at 9:30.
On deck 3 in the front of the ship, leading to the arcade, is a section called "Sunset Garden". It is a beautiful little area of the ship but nothing happens there at all. It basically is just a hallway on each side of the ship that leads to and from the arcade, but it is really beautiful.
Someone had posted a question sometime ago, asking if you could buy a model of the Carnival ships. The gift shops sells a replica of the ship, which is about 8" long, for $25.00. We bought one and it is really nice!!
If you go in the Raphael Lounge, there is a really great guy in there named Georgi. He is really terrific!! We went in there many nights at 10:30 after listening to Unity so the guys could smoke cigars and Georgi always suggested interesting drinks for us to try. He's a lot of fun to talk to!
I was a little apprehensive about how smooth the Pride was going to be because I have read several posts about her rocking. I had taken some Bonine with me, but did not need it in anyway. We did not have any kind of rough weather though. The highest seas were 6' swells and even moving along at 22 knots, you were hardly aware you were on a moving vessel. We did feel some movement from time to time, but really nothing to speak of.
People have posted questions about FRS radios. We took Motorola FR60, and they worked great!! We all had them with us, and there were times when we would be on deck 2, and our son on deck 9, and we could hear each other just fine. We would have been lost without them!!
Even though this ship had over 2,000 people on it, there was always a quiet, out-of-the-way place to sit and relax. Carnival really knows how to do this well, because we found it to be the same way on the Sensation and the Fantasy.
NASSAU - Can't tell you too much about Nassau. We were only there for 7 hours, and we did not even get off the ship. This was out 5th visit to Nassau and we have only gotten off the ship once, and that was in 1992, so I can't really help you with anything in Nassau.
ST. THOMAS - Beautiful!! Tours offered were:
St. John Champagne Catamaran - 4 hours - $75.00.
St. John Trunk Bay Beach & Snorkel - 4 hrs - $47.00.
St. Thomas Historical Tour - 2 hrs - $33.00.
St. John Island Tour - $49.00.
St. Thomas Island and Coki Beach - $38.00.
St. Thomas Shopping Tour - $19.00.
St. Thomas Snorkel and Beach - $24.00.
Kon Tiki Party Raft - $33.00.
The Wild Thing - $63.00 (adult).
Discover Scuba Adventure - $59.00.
Five star certified dive - $55.00.
Five star st. John and Trunk Bay - $54.00.
Island and Catamaran Sailing - $55.00.
Magens Bay and Paradise Point - $28.00.
Paradise Point Tramway - $12.00.
Sailing Virgins to Buck Island - $60.00.
Sea Trek Helmet Dive - $85.00.
We did the Paradise Point Tramway. It is a cable car that takes you 700' above sea level for a beautiful, panoramic view of the island, caribbean sea and the port!!!
ST. MAARTEN –
America's Cup Regatta - $82.00.
Butterfly Farm and Marigot - $38.00.
Two-tank dive - $93.00.
Discover Scuba Diving - $66.00.
Everything cool beach day - $24.00.
Explorer cruise and island tour - $59.00.
Golden Eagle catamaran - $69.00.
Pinel Island Snorkel Tour - $35.00.
Sea and Sea Island tour/French side - $45.00.
Shipwreck Cove Snorkel Tour - $45.00.
St. Maarten island tour - $25.00.
Mullet Bay Resort Golf Course - $130.00.
We did not do any of the excursions on St. Maarten. Our friends took the tour though, and said the difference between the dutch side and the french side is pretty incredible. Security was tighter at this port than at St. Thomas. At St. Thomas, we just approached the ship and walked up the gangway. At. St. Maarten, you could not even walk out onto the dock to approach the ship, without showing security your photo i.d. and ship i.d.
Well, I think this review is long enough, don't you? If I have forgotten anything, I apologize. If you have any questions, post them, and I'll check back from time to time and try to answer them for you.
This cruise was wonderful. Everyone aboard the Pride treated you very nicely. The ship is absolutely gorgeous. Our trip was definitely an A+++++++++++++++++.
We pulled into Port Canaveral upon our return at 5:45 a.m. for those of you who may want to be up to see that. I was, and even though it's pretty sad knowing that your cruise is over, I always like watching us return to our home port.
Hope this review helps in some way.